Daily Archives: October 20, 2008

Sales Statistics

Courtesy of John Cooke. I’m sure there’s a way to turn this right side up so if you can’t figure it out for yourself I’ll get to work on it later.

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Kan U reed this?
I won’t embarrass the schnook by linking to his blog, but I came across this on the internet, from an article entitled, “How to choose a good real estate agent”

A bad real estate agent would get easily irritated if you rejected the first house they present to you. It would look like they are only interested to get the commissions than giving you more criteria for a house.

Another example of it is that bad real estate agents are the ones who require a fee before they even start to show you the houses. This fee is used to guarantee themselves that the buyer is will only buy a house through them.

Here are examples of good real estate agents:

A good real estate are often patient when you reject a house after the other. This would mean professionalism and can mean that they want you to have the best deal possible.

Another way to determine if you hired a good real estate agent to sell your house is that they make the house look presentable as possible. They do what they can to sell the house as soon as possible and looks everywhere for prospective buyers.

It’s pure prejudice, I know, but I’d prefer an agent who can put together subject and verb.

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Southern California: House sales up 65% from September 2007. 50% of those sales were foreclosed homes with low, low prices, but it does show that there are buyers out there, at some level.

A total of 20,497 new and existing houses and condominiums sold last month in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties. The rise from a year earlier was the biggest in MDA DataQuick’s records, which go back to 1988, and September’s sales count was the highest since December 2006, the San Diego-based company said today in a statement.

Sales increased the most in areas where rising foreclosures drove down prices, MDA DataQuick said. Half of all the homes sold in Southern California last month had been foreclosed upon in the previous 12 months, up from 13 percent a year earlier.

“The prices are low enough that people who would normally not be able to purchase are buying,” said Stephanie Martin, owner of Champion Realtors, a San Bernardino-based residential brokerage.

I certainly don’t want to see half of Greenwich’s homes in foreclosure, but a lower price on many of them wouldn’t hurt, if you have to or want to sell now. Want to wait? Then that’s what you should do.

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In defense of short sellers. My favorite quote?

A UBS research note spoke for the widespread disbelief that modern regulators could ban short selling, even temporarily, even as a form of circuit breaker. “This can be characterized as a populist reaction of no positive value,” the report said. “Anyone who seriously thinks that the cause of this crisis arises from the actions of evil and manipulative speculators lacks the insight and knowledge to be allowed anywhere near the regulation of financial markets.”

Unfortunately, the monkeys are now in charge of the monkey house.

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8 Stillman Lane

13% Price cuts
Both this house and the proposed house next door were cut 13% today. Listing details for #8 can be found here MLS#70852. Cut from $6,650,000 to $5,800,000 and $6,450,000 to $5,600,000, respectively. Readers have asked that I at least identify the good builders in town. Here’s one of them. He also has a very large venture on Round Hill Road which hasn’t sold. Trouble? I’d guess that he’s merely adjusting his prices closer to current market conditions.

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Warning! Non real estate News follows! Avert your eyes or risk offense!

A concerned reader who labels himself a “moderate Republican” (heck, anyone can do that; I think I’ll label myself a “Democrat for Palin”) accuses me of using a single, solitary posted comment from Kos to illustrate my point that the loony left hated Powell just a few short years ago.
Well, here’s the Kos report itself, calling the man an Uncle Tom (front page, too!). Then there’s this, from some execrable blog, Roots Canal:

ROOTS CANAL: Colin Powell dances for his massah.

I’m sorry, but any shred of dignity or integrity Colin Powell may have had is now long gone. His continuing Stepin’ Fetchit routine on behalf of the Cheney/Rumsfeld administration is outrageous and embarrassing.

How humiliating. Any man in Powell’s position with the slightest shred of pride or self-respect would have resigned a long time ago.

Or from The Physics Forum: “Is Colin Powell a Compulsive Liar?” (I’m tempted to tell you their conclusion but you’ll just have to find the answer yourself)
Or this from democratic underground , where Powell is described as “a piece of shit Republican” (and a liar, of course), etc. etc.

Google “Colin Powell liar” and you’ll find 233,000+ entries. Try “Condaleeza Rice and Aunt Jamima” and see what you get: Democrat racism, is what. The nutroots on the left cannot abide a black who leaves the plantation (or a plumber, come to that) and they resort to the vilest racism when they find one trying to escape. If that escapee recants, however, and offers to return, all will be forgiven – these are forgiving folks, after all.

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20 Cherry Valley Road
Better to be the first born, the second wife and the third broker.

I was the first broker on this property when it was priced at $3,195,000. It’s back on the market today for the third time, priced at $2,495,000. A beautiful antique house with great land and completely renovated, the owners have put far more into it than it’s now priced at and, now, it’s an excellent value.

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More real estate news: to be filed under “Environment”.
They’ve known this for years but, like our stupid blue recycling bins, we want everyone to feel that they’re doing their part to save the world, even if their efforts are pointless: Cloth nappies pollute more than disposables

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Whoa, Nelly!

Anonymous has written again, this time complaining that my blog has veered from its promise of exclusively real estate-related coverage. I am truly sorry, and I repent. Here’s a story for him: Greenwich Police to increase patrols at Oil City

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Cont(r)act!

Indian Head Road Ml# 70803
I mentioned last week that this was going to be reported, so don’t get too excited.

On the other hand, I’m hearing from several agents that they’re wrapping up deals at “prices my sellers had said they’d never accept”. So (a) don’t think that because the market is moribund that you can’t sell your house – at the right price and (b) more sellers are getting that message. There is life after an 800 DOW.

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9 Boulder Brook

Beechcroft Revisited (on another street)

16 Boulder Brook, 8,339 sq.ft. of new construction on 1.87 acres, sold in November, 2007 for $5,832,000.

39 Boulder Brook
, also new construction, 8,000 sq.ft., on 1.46 acres, was listed for $8,595,000 (?!) in April, 2008 and remains unsold at its new price, $4,998,000.

33 Boulder Brook, new construction, 8,000 sq.ft., on 1.7 acres, was listed for $6,875,000 in February, reduced to $6,575,000 and hasn’t sold.

9 Boulder Brook, new construction, 8,150 sq.ft., on 1.0 acres, was first listed a few weeks ago at $6,750,000 and was reduced today to $6,450,000. It, too hasn’t sold (its builder must have sensed the coming tsunami – it tried selling it as land last October for $3,400,000 but found no takers).

One of these three unsold homes was built by one of the best builders currently building in Greenwich; the others were … not,in my opinion. But will buyers distinguish between the differing levels of quality? Will the $8,595,000 house’s price slashing drag everything on the street down with it? Time will tell but, like that guy on Beechcroft, I’d be nervous.

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Not as interesting as first it appears.
The headline promised, Lawrence Taylor’s D.U.I. blog exposes fraud in breathalyzer tests, which indeed it does – hardly surprising. But I thought it would be our own L.T., late of Giant’s fame, who could certainly supply an experienced view of drug busts and DUIs. Turns out, it’s written by a defense attorney, who looks nothing like the Giant. Too bad.

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The Mad Mullah

We’re not insane, we’re Iranians!

Iranians capture “spy pigeons” with “invisible strings”. One question: if the strings are invisible, how do they know they’re there? Perhaps, like Oakland, there is no “there” there.

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“Anonymous” writes,

Your fellow Greenwich residents seem to dispute the return to 2001/2002 prices when I report your considerations.
“My house is certainly ‘worth’ more than what I bought it for in 2001”.
Is this sure knowledge or wishful thinking on his behalf? Should I stick to that formula before I start parting with my money?

The only “sure knowledge” I’m aware of in real estate is what houses sell for. Which is why I’ve been pointing out sales of houses at 2001 levels. Are these just anecdotal evidence, belied by over-all sales statistics? I report, you decide; but we’ll see when the last quarter sales statistics (all 12 of them) are compiled after the close of the year.

Should you stick to a 2001 level when parting with your money? If you really like a particular house, I’d think a bid near its 2005 price wouldn’t be crazy – depends on your faith in the ability of Greenwich real estate to rebound, of course, but I doubt many sellers will, as of this writing, voluntarily agree to drop that price an additional 20% and you’ll lose the house. Then again, if the current crisis/market kerfuffle continues, sellers may get religion.

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From Google News’ headlines this morning (in succeeding order)Powell rejects Islamophobia
Powell’s endorsement of Obama shows his political transformation
Taliban says they killed aid worker for spreading Christianity

Oh, how times have changed, and thank God for Powell’s transformation. Now that he’s seen the light and endorsed the Messiah, he’s a wise, valued statesman. Twas not always thus: (from The Daily Kos)

Self interest the one and only
things that guides Powell.
Powell has no principles he says
and does what he thinks will
help him and that is all that matters
to him.
He is Republican because Republicans
raised him up to Power and because
Republicans were willing to give
him more since he would a rare black
Republican instead of one of money black democrats.
Even as for those stated political
beliefs he is only saying what
he thinks will gain him favor in the
press. So don’t think much of him
because he says something you agree
with, let the political winds
and the media change their tune
and he will too.
Powell really is a low-life.
Powell is a true Wormtongue.

Posted by Johnny Davis at January 17, 2003 04:25 AM

Update: Obama: Powell will have role in Administration

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Useful Idiots

Sean Penn drops in on his pal, Hugo Chavez, a second time.

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Wheelchair access to the YMCA?

Greenwich Time reports today on an athlete who wants to train at the Y but can’t get to it – no wheelchair ramp, and none planned until the building is complete (2050?). The Y claims that safety considerations and town building regs won’t permit a temporary ramp – the town says that’s not so and, in this case, I believe the town.

I’ll confess that when the disability act was first passed I, as a small government type, thought it was a bad law and was disappointed that Bush the 1st enacted it. I now think I was wrong, as I am so often, and was ignoring the very real difficulties people like me were thoughtlessly imposing on other people, when simple solutions existed. Okay, some of those solutions aren’t so simple, or inexpensive, but most are. I do wish some of the more ridiculous extensions of the law were quashed – there was a lawsuit going on recently and for all I know is still dragging on, demanding full wheelchair access to the New Hampshire mountain trail system – but, having become friends with a couple of wheelchair athletes and experienced family members’ difficulties finding a parking space close to shops (which spaces seem always to be occupied by SUVs – go figure), I’m inclined to think that, where there’s a reasonable means to accommodate those who can’t walk with ease, we should do it.

And I think the YMCA should do it.

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The 10 Worst Real Estate Deals in History?

This author thinks so but I notice that he didn’t include the story of my own ancestors, French Huguenots who landed with the Dutch at the tip of Manhattan in 1630 or so 1658 and promptly turned their back on that island and moved on to Staten Island Brooklyn. We’ve been blowing real estate deals ever since.

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Dodd refuses to release Countrywide loan documents.

Why? Because he’s a crook, he traded his office for sweetheart loan deals, and he couldn’t chair his great investigative committee looking into bank fraud if he were indicted, now could he? His father’s disgrace wasn’t enough – the current Dodd is determined to outdo him.

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Bad Gas!

My friend Claudette at Greenwich Diva reports on a scam being perpetrated at the Shell station at 83 East Putnam Avenue(across from Whole Foods). These guys “accidentally” lock their customers’ keys in the car, then demand $50 for a “friend” (I’d call him a co-conspirator or accomplice) to unlock it. If this happens to you, call the police – apparently they’re on to these guys.

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