Daily Archives: September 24, 2010

So, what’s really, truly for sale?

Not much. Fudrucker has hired an assistant to scour the land records and she’s produced an incredibly useful Excel spreadsheet on lis pendens: notices of suit, excluding matrimonial matters and extraneous bs: these are notices of foreclosure by lenders, and there are tons of them. What’s sad, reviewing the list, is how many of these owners rejected decent offers from our clients. They chose instead to bury their heads in the sand – a perfectly understandable, human response – but now they’re 30 -90 days away from losing everything. I see a lot of homes here that have recently taken huge price reductions, so I suppose reality is sinking in. Probably too late.

As for the bulk of the market, it’s just not going to sell. Buyers want bargains; not necessarily bottom-feeding prices, but nothing close to what most sellers are asking. The standoff will continue for at least another year, I predict (if not longer) and the only houses that will sell be either distressed properties or those owed by realistic sellers. 70% of the inventory will still be around a year from now.

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No real estate activity – none (bumped)

There is simply nothing moving on the market this week. We buyers’ reps are busy showing over priced houses and having offers rejected, the banks involved in short sales continue in their obstinate ways and the result is, we’re at a stand-still.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Elizabeth Douthit, of Round Hill Partners, brought a beautiful home at 16 Round Hill Road on the market at $4.25 million two weeks ago Friday, had an accepted offer by the following Tuesday and early this week reported it as fully under contract, meaning it had passed its building inspection, etc.  The house was assessed somewhere around $3.7 and some years ago, would certainly have fetched more, but we’re not in years passed, we’re here, now. Most sellers don’t get that.

I saw a price cut on a Cos Cob house yesterday which brings this to mind. Three years ago I was asked for a price opinion and suggested $1.375. The owners’ rep scoffed at me and proceeded to list it for $1.895. In the years since, he’s persuaded this poor retired couple, who want only to get rid of their house and move out west, to pour hundreds of thousands of dollars into a new kitchen, new baths, a new roof and God knows what else. He raised the price to $2.1, before dropping it back down.  He’s even boasted in print of burying the statue of a saint headfirst in the lawn.  As of yesterday, it’s back down to $1.795 and of course, remains unsold. My point is, I guess, that houses have always depreciated but until recently, land was appreciating and driving prices up. That has stopped now and land value is falling, dragging the total valuation with it. A new roof or shiny bathroom or an upside down saint won’t stop that. Had this joker priced the place properly in the first place, his clients would be long gone, enjoying their retirement. Malpractice? Nah – he’s practicing at the exact level of competence of the average of his peers.

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NYT: All the news they deem fit to print does not include today’s testimony by Christopher Coates

Y'all think you're gonna vote here today, Whitey?

A search of the Times’ website for “Christopher Coates” or “New Black Panther Party” yields zero results. Comedian Colbert? Yeah, they’ve got that!.

The Christian Science Monitor thinks that Coates’ testimony today on the Black Panther intimidation of white voters and the Justice Department’s quashing of any investigation “a bombshell for Obama”. But it’s only a bombshell if the mainstream media, including the New York Times, reports on it. When they don’t, it isn’t. Make no mistake: this is deliberate – the Times draws its reporters almost exclusively from Yale and other Ivy League schools and those people, as stupid as they are, can certainly understand the implications of this story and that’s why it’s been killed.

Doubt me? Ask yourself what would have happened if, during the Bush administration, a white supremacist group had stationed itself outside of polling places and driven black voters off with baseball bats, and the DOJ overruled its staffers and killed an investigation. Would the NYT find that newsworthy? I think yes. Reverse the races, and it’s not news fit to print.

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Greenwich: George Lindemann was unavailable for comment

Woman permanently banned from owing horses.

George (Jr.), by the way, is now out of prison and has reinvented himself as a gay patron of modern art down in Miami. Unfortunately for the lady in the horse abuse bust linked to above, she is not the child of a multi-billionaire and thus is unlikely to enjoy as successful a rehabilitation of her reputation.

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Red Sox in town this weekend

I haven’t been following the pennant race but I’m pretty sure that a BoSox sweep will send the Yankees home for the winter. Go Sox!

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Bottom story of the day

No link, alas, because Greenwich Citizen doesn’t put much of its dead tree version of the paper on the web, but a Glenville mommy called the police after another mother scolded the complainant’s son for bullying her daughter. The kids involved are seven-years-old. The little boy has been traumatized, his mother claims. From here, I see nothing wrong with the girl’s mother protecting her kid. Perhaps the boy’s mother should explain civilized behavior to her child and let it go. Not likely in today’s society, but I still think it’s good advice.

UPDATE: Anonymous sends along this link to a Greenwich Time story on the subject.

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We’ll be accepting them here in Riverside

Greenwich Post: drop off your unneeded prescription drugs this Saturday. Hot time on William Street this weekend!

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It depends on what the term “clean” means

Indian official on filthy bathrooms at the Commonwealth Games facilities: “Westerners have a different perspective”. When the games open on October 3rd these guys are going to discover what a different perspective really means.

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New home sales at 2nd – lowest level ever

That’s nationally. Here in Greenwich, decent new homes still sell, and at healthy prices, but we’re not immune to macro influences.

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Outsourcing gone awry

Bank of America employee forced to wear bomb strapped to his back and rob bank where he works as a teller. It’s fine to delegate: the best executives frequently do just that, but I think these guys may have gone too far.

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Republicans still won’t specify spending cuts

It’s fine and dandy to call for “fiscal responsibility” and such, but without specifics, it’s just the same old crap. Fudrucker and I disagree on almost everything political but we have always agreed that a candidate from either party who spoke directly and truthfully to voters would crush his or her rivals. Chris Christie does this; almost no one else does, and especially not the top of the Republican party.

California seems about ready to announce the savage budget cuts it will need to try to close its 19 billion dollar deficit and I expect the howling will be heard all the way to here in Connecticut. That’s tough, but if the state had had politicians willing to be honest with the electorate over the past couple of decades, this kind of slashing wouldn’t be necessary.

UPDATE: On the other hand, if 67% of Californians support the anti-global warming act, AB-32, by 67% to whatever, maybe they deserve exactly what they’re about to get. At some point, actions must have consequences.

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Bread and circuses

Congress brings comedian to Washington to tell them that farming is hard work. This is right up there in terms of usefulness as steroid investigations and hearings on Girl Scout cookies. These are not serious people.

Only the most cynical would suggest that comic Colbert’s testimony was scheduled to take the spotlight of Coates’ testimony on corruption in Obama’s Department of Justice.

Former Department of Justice voting rights section chief Christopher Coates testified this morning before the Civil Rights Commission regarding the department’s disposition of the case against the New Black Panther Party. Coates disobeyed the instruction of his superiors in order to testify and claimed whistleblower protection for his testimony. PJM has posted Coates’s testimony in full here. It has also posted J. Christopher Adam’s related column here.

Coates’s testimony is a bombshell. It exposes a couple of Obama administration scandals at once. One involves the Obama administration’s attempt to cover up the rationale for burying the case against the NBPP. The other involves the Obama administration’s support for the racially based administration of justice. Coates’s testimony is suggestive of other scandals as well. You probably won’t be hearing much about it on the broadcast news tonight ….

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Slooowly I turned, inch by inch, step by step …

38 Meadow Wood Drive

This Ogilvy listing started off with a zesty price of $6.8 million back in 2008. Today its price was dropped to $4.750.

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Foreclosure auctions

19 Clover Place

Being auctioned tomorrow at 10:00 AM. Bank is owed $1.450 but do not pay that much – let the bank take it if it wants to. But at $1.1, $1.2, this could be a decent deal. The owners paid $1.3 for it in 2003  (our calls to the “committee” – one lawyer, actually were not returned, so there’s no assurance that this auction will in fact take place tomorrow. I’m heading up there anyway, but you never know).

16 Lauder Lane is scheduled for the hammer on October 9th. The bank’s owed $6.5 for this one and it might – I say might – be worth it.

2 Windrose, down on Mead Point, is coming soon.

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What about Mongoloid Idiots?

Just as yesterday, Congress cured mental retardation by eliminating the term from its legislation, our own Greenwich Board of Realtors has dropped the link on our website that used to connect directly to the foreclosure docket of the Connecticut Superior Court. Hey, if it’s not linked to, it doesn’t exist, right?

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