Daily Archives: January 16, 2011

Aren’t they all?

Long Island mansion raffle proves to be a scam.

It sounded like the deal of a lifetime: Buy a $50 raffle ticket for the chance to win a $1.6 million waterfront home on Long Island with a Mercedes-Benz thrown in.

But when the raffle drawing date came and went with no word of a winner, the Nassau County District Attorney’s office received 105 complaints, and an investigation followed. That led to the arrest Thursday of one of the partners in the Massapequa house on charges he stole more $100,000 and used it to finance a jet-setting lifestyle, authorities said.

According to District Attorney Kathleen Rice, Scott Cicerone, 32 years old, funneled the money from raffle sales to a private bank account and used the money to buy airline tickets, hotel rooms and to rent cars on trips to Las Vegas, Miami, Atlantic City, California and Oregon. He also used some of the funds to make payments on the Mercedes-Benz that was purportedly part of the grand prize, Ms. Rice said.

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Sometimes, design alone is enough to kill you

At the request of a client, I revisited a spec house this morning. I’ll leave out the address because frustrated sellers tend to file grievances against me when I describe their houses, but the project remains as badly designed as when I first saw it some years ago, despite having been “staged”, and its price dropped from $8 million to $6. It’s simply awful – little steps up, and down, all over the house, a tiny kitchen with a useless ‘dining room” that is really just an alcove, open on three sides, with a table and chairs stuck in it. The kitchen is the most ludicrous of all the rooms, in my opinion, with almost no counter space and all of its cabinets extending into what has been staged to look like a living room. What, you want to walk into your living room to retrieve a box of Cheerios? Totally absurd, but price can cure almost anything, so look for this at the foreclosure auction. At some price, it’s probably worth fixing its defects.

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