Daily Archives: August 10, 2012
Fudrucker has finally been persuaded to ditch the firm name that brings to mind depositions and food stamps and we are now officially “Lockwood & Mead”. Yes, that’s my suggestion, but my hand was forced, because (a) look what happened when we let Frankie loose by himself in the name department and (b) (and most importantly), it is going to positively, absolutely drive the GAR and its members to a frothing, carpet-chewing frenzy when they see us referring to ourselves as “The Oldest Names in Greenwich Real Estate”. Accurate, true, and ooh, so much fun.
Bloomberg News has a video here on the Cherubini yacht makers, how they flourished after WWII and what happened in 1990 when Congress last felt like bashing the rich. If you remember, small boat yards from Florida to Maine simply disappeared, and Cherubini was one of them. Sales dropped 70% in 1991 as buyers of these playthings ($100,000 and up) stopped buying American boats and turned instead to Europe and Asia. The rich weren’t hurt, of course, no revenue was raised, and thousands of blue collar, high paying craftsmen jobs were destroyed. The tax was repealed in 1994 but Cherubini didn’t resume boat building until 2004.
As with every failure of the left, the results of their laws are irrelevant just so long as their intentions were good. Why attempting to punish the rich is a “good” thing is something you’ll have to ask a Democrat about but there’s no denying it hurt the people they claim to champion and had zero affect on their targets.
Alternative Minimum Tax, anyone?
22 Guinea Road sold for $2.084 million. Sellers paid $3.350 for it in 2005. Guinea is a bit out of the way, up off Stanwich but it’s below the Merritt and sheesh, that’s a lot of house for two million bucks. I’d expect this to depress the prices of several houses in that area that are, to my mind, grossly inferior and priced much higher. Ouch.
North Haven tells homeowner to get rid of his daughter’s bunny. Zoning officer claims that bunny rabbits are “livestock” and must be kept on a minimum two-acre lot. Sounds like a load to me: my Katie had a wabbit on our third-of-an-acre and I don’t recall it being a problem, but here, I suspect is what’s really going on:
The town must also address the blight issues raised by the neighbor. “There are a lot of issues at this resident’s home,” [the zoning enforcement officer] said.
So maybe these are some kooky homeowners, and the town’s using the kid’s rabbit as a way to get at them. That doesn’t seem right to me; in fact it smacks of harassing a little girl to punish her father. The Zoning Officer isn’t God and North Haven isn’t the desert (yet), so they’d be better off leaving the Exodus stuff, visiting the sins of the father unto the children and all that, to a higher authority.
Study: Giving oral sex cures morning sickness. Gotta wonder if the scientist who came up with this wasn’t having er, “difficulties” at home.
107 single family homes went to contract or accepted offers this past July. That’s not bad, compared to last year, when just 89 achieved that desirable status.
Of the 107,
9 $5,000,000 +
The $4,000,000 and up market continues in its dissociation from logic, however. There are 141 homes sitting in the $5,000,000 and up category, and an additional 52 in the $4-$5,000,000. Anything asking $4 million or more is presumably quite comfortable and a wonderful place to stay for another three or four years; that’s a good thing.
Cleveland housing activists said refinancing programs and even mortgage modifications may mean little to many homeowners who are so far underwater that it may take decades for them to get ahead. Homeowners are dismayed that they still owe the full amount of the original loan when their homes may be worth just half that much now.
The FHFA said it would only make financial sense to write down loans if the debt reductions convinced most borrowers who hadn’t made mortgage payments in more than a year to suddenly start paying again. The agency made it clear it considered that highly unlikely and suggested that the best solution was a “graceful exit” from homeownership for those borrowers.
I don’t like the sound of “graceful exit” because it carries the stench of taxpayer-funded bailouts. Homeowners who bet on rising prices and lost should just move on, freeing their former property for occupancy by someone new. This would probably have already occurred if the foreclosure process was speeded up (a state, not a federal issue). As it is, there’s no incentive to pay the mortgage on an underwater property nor, if one can live rent-free for many years, any reason to move.
Homeowners have figured this out: Bank of America reported last month that it got no response from more than half of the 60,000 homeowners it has contacted offering writedowns of as much as $150,000.
191 Shore Road, that parcel overlooking the Lucas Point beach just before Tod’s. has sold privately for $2.750 million. Although it originally asked $4.495, its selling price is still huge, given the various restrictions on building here. But the buyer must have satisfied himself that he could build a house acceptable to him and, satisfied in that regard, then I suppose $3 million for this waterfront and these views is understandable. Not sure I’d have paid so much but then, I couldn’t afford to anyway.
One Finney Knoll (Riverside Lane next to the Balducci parking lot) has cut its price to $1.750 million. Priced at $1.950 million in 2006, the owner “won it” in a bidding war for $2,013, 365 (I assume it went via bidding war; it’s possible the higher cost reflected extras installed at the buyer’s request). The cluster of houses built here by Strazza are quite nice and the quality put into them was enough, in 2006, to make up for their location. Not so now, apparently, but I doubt you can find such a well-built house in Riverside, even in NoPo, at this price. If this is your price range, you might want to check this one out.
Massachusetts conducting a get-out-the vote campaign for all welfare recipients. The (paid) Chairman of the goup leading this effort? Elizabeth Warren’s daughter. Well, if it helps even a single Indian ….