Daily Archives: September 6, 2011

First of all, I don’t really care about basketball and second, who cares about European basketball?

From what I understand, the NBA is on strike, which will effect me just about as much as when the hockey players lost a season a few years ago. But here’s a story about some Spanish team doing well, or something. Are these guys kidding us or are there really people following Spanish basketball teams? Just wondering.

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But in the meantime, there can be no debate on global warming on campus because the science is settled.

Not even at MIT.

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Say, here’s a surprise!

Vermont Greens discover problems with wind farms. You know, we over here on the right aren’t complete idiots, we just tend to think things through past “good intentions”.

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Funny movies

I suppose because of  my heritage, I’m willing to watch silent movies, but if you haven’t seen “Safety Last” (1919)  you’re missing out. Harold Lloyd did all his own stunts and everything you ever saw in a modern movie in the way of crazy acts was invented by this man. Really: Hollywood’s just been duplicating his inventions for the past 90 years. Absolutely hilarious, and I’m sure you can get it from NetFlix. Spend a few bucks and be rewarded.

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Creek report

Half-an-hour before high tide, still several feet (well, 2′, at least) below the seawall, so no problems here.

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Thinking of jokes

I mentioned to Last Liberal Standing that we should share popcorn at a movie together and that got me to thinking. You’d never believe it, but (some) real estate lawyers have a sense of humor, notably, the two Kaye brothers, Joel and Jeremy and their honorary brother, Tom Ward, who was abandoned as an infant on the Kaye doorstep and raised as a Gentile in a Jewish home.

You would expect Tom and Joel to have a wicked sense of humor, and they do, but if you ever have the good fortune to have a closing with Jeremy, as buyer or seller, you really must insist – put it in the sales contract, if need be – that Jeremy agree to tell you both his jury picking/goat f”’ing joke and his popcorn/Parkinson’s Disease story. Not only does the guy have his accents down perfectly, but coming from such a sweet looking, soft speaking guy (unless you’re negotiating with him) the shock of hearing risqué jokes is doubly hilarious.

My real estate tip of the day.

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Cry me a river (but don’t you dare step in it)

We should be shed of him in five years or so

Robert Redford disappointed with Obama. This man flies private jets, owns thousands of acres of Wyoming land that he’s shut to the public, and claims he’s disappointed in the president not preserving the Redford private land trust? This is a family friendly blog, but Bobby, screw you, you friggin’ dwarf.

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Not all regulations are stupid

Back in the early 70’s, one  of my geology professors used to rant about the idiocy of middle class taxpayers subsidizing rich folks’ houses built on the water’s edge in the Hamptons. Well, laws changed, and a when a friend of mine wanted to build a house on Pine Creek Road in Fairfield, right on the water, in the early 2000’s, she had to put the whole thing up on pilings, at great expense, but maybe 12′ above sea level.

She later sold the house but when  I read today that Pine Creek houses were pretty much wiped out, I called her to see if she knew how her house had fared. Turns out, it came out just fine. So smart zoning.

On the other hand,  she also told me that Fairfield has raised taxes on houses on the street 37% since she sold so that no one can sell anything and that her neighbor’s house, once listed at $2.35 million is now down to $1.5 and remains unsold, but that’s a social/political issue, not a flood zone problem.

UPDATE: (By the way, I don’t know what the taxes are, but at $1.5, the house would be an incredible bargain – definitely designed for a couple, maybe one kid, but if I wanted to downsize and could afford to  live on the water, I’d be there – it, too, was built to modern building codes, so did just fine).

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It only encourages them

Wall Street drug store Duane-Reade opens for Wall Streeters: sushi bar, shoeshine posts, smoothies and God knows what else. Wall Street is the Greenwich real state market these days, and its denizens are my clients and, some of them, my friends, but this crazy disparity between the real world and a few tens of thousands is getting pretty weird.

Yessuh, boss!

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Movies – do you still go to them?

I pretty much don’t. Much of my family is off to see something or other this afternoon but I begged off. I’ve come to pretty much hate the entire experience: over priced tickets, unaffordable popcorn, endless ads and movies that are far too long. I did see the remake of “True Grit” because I love the Coen brothers and westerns really should be seen on a big screen but otherwise, I won’t go. Of course, as I mentioned in a previous post about being irrelevant, the film industry doesn’t miss my patronage at all, so this is just a rant.

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Lazy and cheap

That would be me, I guess, but it’s the direct result of this slow market. I mentioned Bill Andruss’s new listing at 116 Clapboard  Ridge house this morning and expressed my interest in seeing it but at 11:00 it was pouring rain, it was the only house I cared about seeing and, at $4.5 million, it’s unlikely to sell immediately, so I figured I’d have another chance to see it. Besides, my clients aren’t in such a rush to buy anything (especially with the stock market diving) that I felt any special urgency. I used to pride myself on seeing every house on the open house tour. Now gas is $4 a gallon, most of the houses are retreads, and I’m more selective. Not a great business model, but I promise to buck up next week, when the open houses expand. Knowledge is all we agents have to offer, so I’m being derelict.

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Could the Hoover Dam be built today? Not on your life.

This link is actually to a discussion about gun sales but check the comments about the Hoover Dam, which the NBC report apparently cited as an example of “can-do” government. It was built in 1935 (by private industry), long before our EPA. Now they are thinking of redoing it and estimate a 15-year slog through EPA rules to get approval, if they can get approval at all. Just as a reminder, the Empire State Building assembled the land and was built in 18 months, beginning in 1929. The new World Trade Center, ten years on, has barely started and the West Side Highway was never built at all. And we wonder why our economy is collapsing?

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What a mean thing to say

Accurate, but mean. Chris Whalen: Bank of America should declare bankruptcy and save itself. Unless you believe their numbers, which I don’t, BOA is totally screwed and will never get out from its liabilities incurred when it bought CountryWide Mortgage. Remind me again why Mozillo isn’t in jail? Oh, right – friend of Chris Dodd.

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How can a house that’s under water burn up?

 

Fairfield Citizen

Nah, just kidding – I have absolutely no idea of the mortgage  status of this unoccupied house. Still, if I were an arson investigator these days, I think I’d start my search at the town clerk’s office.

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Never saw the show, but I believe many will miss him

Greenwich’s Regis Philbin will retire in November. All I know about the man is that he is cited by my small retail friends (that sounds like I only shop with midgets, but never mind)  as just as nice a person as Ron Howard, and that says a lot. Happy retirement, Mr. Philbin.

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Here’s a rather gloomy view of Europe’s prospects

Gloom and doom. Dow down 300 as of 10:30. Another fun day on Wall Street.

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Sale on Cottontail

18 Cottontail

This was a cute cottage with a guest house and pool but it came on asking $1.875 million back in 2008, which was just too high. Sold last week for $1.350, which seems more reasonable. You can tell when an agent’s sick of a listing, by the way, when the listing photo still shows snow on the ground.

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Slow start to the real estate week

Just a handful of houses on the open house tour day (maybe everyone’s getting kids ready for school?). One new listing at 116 Clapboard Ridge looks interesting and I’ll check it out, It’s on just an acre in a 2 acre zone  but has almost 6,000 sq.ft (that’s probably counting its basement). Sold for $4 million back in 2003 but I can’t say I remember it. Asking mid-4s today.

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