Daily Archives: October 21, 2008

New Construction on Cat Rock Road
No picture because it just came on today, but a good builder in town has listed 137 Cat Rock Road, 8,141 sq.ft. house for $5.495 million, or $675 sq.ft. But Cat Rock’s a difficult sale, for a lot of people. It’ll be interesting to watch what happens here.

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When they came for my Mercedes I remained silent, because I drove a Bentley. When they came for my spec house …. Mercedes in a full-blown sales crisis.

And if you were one of those lucky ones who were accepted into the Tesla buy-a-car program, it must cause a few sleepless nights wondering where your deposit is, now that the company’s laying off 25% of its workforce and looking for money. Nicest touch? They informed their employees they were being fired via a blog. Great.
Oft’ promised, never delivered, Tesla sports car ($100,000?)

Update: I stand corrected – retail is $109,000 plus extra for tires, radio and seats.
This article says that the CEO remains upbeat , and that’s nice. But I note that he’s already sunk $55 million of his $300 million fortune into this deal, is also involved financially with tossing a private-passenger rocket ship into the air and is divorcing his wife, with whom he has five sons, all under six. California’s a community property state so there goes 1/2 that $300 million, plus child support for all those kids whose mother will want to maintain a millionaire’s lifestyle and, by gosh, I’m not sure I’d start clearing out a space in my garage for my new Tesla’s arrival; at least, not quite yet.

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Buy ’em all rubber boots
The paper version of Greenwich Time says that a “preliminary estimate” to correct drainage problems in town will cost $100,000,000. I don’t know what the preliminary budget for Hamilton Avenue School was, but I’m a bit skeptical that this latest proposal will come in under budget, eh? I don’t see how we can afford this. If you disagree, please write in to say so and please include your solution to financing this project.

By the way, there’s no link here to the article itself because Greenwich Time chooses to keep it off its website. Brilliant idea, what? Keep important local news off your site but do include national stories that readers can, and do find elsewhere. But all is not lost – wanna know about a family turning its yard into a “fright fest”? That they’ve got. Splendid.

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4 Old Round Hill Lane

This 15,916 sq.ft. stone/clapboard builder’s spec. finally sold today (per contract signed Sept. 3) for $10,087,500 or $644 $633 per sq.ft. That’s probably not what the builder was hoping for when he first listed this house in May, 2006, for $14,500,000 ($911 sq.ft.) but heck, that was then and this is now. The sales price represents 30% off the asking price, by the way. Is that a bargain? I guess it depends on your budget.

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21 Wilshire
Another contract today

Which makes two already this week and it’s only Tuesday! Before you get too excited about this event (details of listing can be found at ML# 71300) you may want to know its history:

Originally listed for $3.6 million in June, 2005, it sold 10 months later for $2.98. The buyer placed it back on the market 4 months after that, asking $3.495 – why so much? Who the hell knows? It didn’t sell so it’s sat on the market since, slowly dying the death of a thousand cuts while its price dropped, ever-so-slowly, to $2.695 million this past June, or $285,000 less than was paid for it (and all with the same broker – what loyalty!). Even that “low” price didn’t speed things up much but today it’s reported as under contract. What will the selling price prove to be? Inquiring minds want to know. The last listing price was about 10% off its 2006 price, there’s another 5% to account for via commissions and, of course, we still don’t know the final selling price. Should be interesting.

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More blather from the Blathersphere

According to this piece of nonsense, only Turkey and Mexico have higher poverty rates than the United States.

The poorest 10 percent of Americans have an income of $5,800 per year, compared to the OECD average of $7,000.

The press eats this stuff up and never points out that, besides cash, we taxpayers shovel over huge amounts of our money to these unfortunates, like Food Stamps,Earned Income Credits, Welfare, Medicaid,Aid for Dependant Children, job training and Section 8 Housing (and a million more programs, I’m sure)

How needy are these folks? Well,
112,275,000 households in this country have cable television. According to census data, there were 100,480,000 households in 2000. Even accounting for some growth in households, that’s just about a cable subscription for every household in America. Now it’s possible that a family scraping by on $5,800 per year is willing to fork-over $720 per year ($60 X 12, or 12% of its annual budget) for television, but that leaves only $5,080 for food, housing, clothing and transportation: giving each of those 25% of the remaining money, that’s $24 a week ($1,270 / 52) for what, four people? $6 weekly to feed, clothe and house a child ? I don’t believe that’s the case. It probably is in Turkey – what do I know? But this report, with it’s oh-so-precise-sounding statistics, is nothing but filler for national television news. Fortunately, when the Annoited one is elected, all economic news will be presented in glowing, cheerful terms and we won’t be bothered with this kind of garbage. So two more weeks.

One parting thought: Transfer payments – money ripped from earners and “redistributed” to non-workers, has increased from $39 billion in 1965 to $1 trillion today, in inflation-adjusted dollars. Now I remember when, as a budding young liberal of 12, LBJ announced the beginning of the War on Poverty; a new day was dawning! Peace (and plenty) in our time! I wish the critics of our efforts in Iraq who are so disappointed in the results generated by spending $1 trillion in current dollars would apply the same standard to Johnson’s war. According to this article, it’s been a complete bust. I wonder why?

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Thanks to a Terrific Reader

See what happens if you’re lazy enough? Nice people, perhaps tired of turning their monitor (or their head) sideways do your work for you! Anyway, now you can click on this doc and see what I was trying to pass along yesterday. One caveat, these are year-to-date figures (I think – I didn’t turn my own head upside down to study them) so they may not show the market’s cliff diving act of the past 6 weeks.

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Sell, rent, or stand pat?
A reader asked that question and the best answer I can give is that, if you are under financial pressure to sell, now’s as good a time to do it as ever. Traditionally, the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years (and a few weeks on either side of those holidays) has been dead but last year, December was pretty active and maybe this December will be, too. There are buyers out there – unfortunately for sellers, they’re all looking for real bargains so if your house isn’t among them, you aren’t going to sell. A common experience right now: buyers make one offer, refuse to respond to a seller’s counter-offer and instead move on to the second house on their list. There’s so much inventory out there that they can afford to toss low-ball offers around and see if one sticks.

The news on rentals is no better. Rents are (way) down, and there are plenty of houses to choose from. So the option of renting out your place and waiting for better times isn’t as viable as it once was.

It’s sort of like owning stock on margin in 1987. Investors who couldn’t meet their margin calls and were forced to sell were wiped out – those who could hold on for a year did okay.

And if that’s not gloomy enough for you, it’s begun to rain.

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Something fishy’s going on

A dead goldfish was registered to vote in Illinois

ACORN has been defending itself against (proven) allegations of voter fraud by saying, in essence, “hey, we just submit these registrations, let the Voter Boards screen them out”. The mainstream media has by and large accepted this theory but what it overlooks is the true purpose behind the fraud: by submitting million of phony registrations, ACORN has swamped the screeners who are now in an impossible position. If they deny someone the right to vote because they haven’t confirmed their registration, Obama and his army of lawyers will be in court that very day, howling in protest. If they just open the doors and let everyone in, then ACORN can get their man elected – the last election was decided by around 100,000 votes, nationwide – ACORN’S efforts dwarf that.

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Get ready to pay higher taxes – all of us.

Credit shortage, falling oil prices slow down alternative energy programs

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Tinfoil roof

Just as soon as I’m evicted I’m donning my tinfoil hat and going out to vote for the Messiah!
Update: Courtesy of a commentator, we’re proud to link to The Tinfoil Hat Song

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