Celebrities can also find financial trouble, according to this article on foreclosures of the rich and famous. They may be rich or may once have been, but with the exception of Ed McMahan (however he spells his name – Johnny Carson’s sidekick) I can’t say I’ve heard of these people, so how famous can they be?
Daily Archives: November 12, 2008
British Commandos in firefight with Somali pirates. Kill three, force the rest to surrender. A marked improvement over the last such incident when the British State Department, which gives even our own diplomatic corp a run for its money in complete, abject wussieism, ordered British sailors to surrender to a band of Iranian thugs. Embarrassment can be a powerful tool for good.
The Ukrainian ship that inspired this continuing pirate watch, by the way, is still trapped in a Mexican standoff between Somalis and the U.S. Navy. 47 days and counting ….
Here’s a blog I just stumbled across. It’s advice for real estate investors, if any still exist, but certainly applicable to anyone buying a house to live in personally.
I’ve been looking for real estate that’s a “bargain” for one client. We’re defining, today, a bargain as being property for sale at 2003 prices or below. So far, while I notice a number of properties that ought to be at that level, few are. Maybe in a few months.
I did see that 25 Dorchester Lane in Riverside is still available. This pre-fab with some noise impact from I-95 sold for $2.150 million when it was new in May, 2004. In April of this year it was returned to the market at $2.950 which proved a bit too ambitious. Now, five price cuts along, it’s at $2.340 million. Getting there.
What’s a little scary, in reviewing the listings out there, are the houses whose value stumps me – I’m not sure some of them have any value in today’s market, given their location. That’s probably too pessimistic but when I knock down their price in my head, I come up with better houses at the same new price.
The best values will probably turn out to be some of the new, unwanted spec houses, when their builders are finally ready to bail out for what they owe in construction owns and accept the fact that they must lose their out-of-pocket contributions. There are certainly houses on the market that won’t justify even the construction loan – houses that should never have been built to begin with and which can’t justify the amount loaned on them. But there are some others which do offer good value. The magic moment to bid on these is, I’d guess, just before the builder turns his project over to the bank. Before then, he’ll refuse to accept his loss; after the bank gets it, it will disappear into the bureaucracy – one division will have written off the loan, the next division will know nothing about the property. How do you know when this opportune time has come? Beats me – I suppose you or your agent could approach a number of spec builders and keep after them. Or if you’re a spec builder reading this and are ready to throw in the towel, contact me: we’ll move that puppy for you.
If not quite a bridge over troubled waters, here’s an article lamenting George Bush and his embrace of collectivism. From Reason Magazine.
So yesterday I encountered two dear friends who, being of a certain age, still think there’s something wrong with divulging private confidences. What did they think then, I asked, about their man Obama attending a meeting with Bush – the sitting President and the man who will replace him – a meeting that, in all our history, has been treated as private and confidential, and hours later spilling the details of that meeting to the New York Times? The poor dears were flummoxed: Acknowledge that The One was a flawed boor, or turn on their bible, the New York Times? It wasn’t even close. “The reporters are lying”, one said instantly. “Of course they are,” the other said, in the deep, plumy tones that only a career spent as a BBC announcer can develop. “Believe me, been there, done that.”
When I was but a mere lad, my blessed grandmother told me that her daily paper, The Christian Science Monitor, only reported good news, which is why she read it. Even at 10 I though that was a stupid way to run a newspaper and it was only years later, after bringing myself to read the thing, that I discovered that the paper was an excellent one that covered all world and national events, good or bad; my grandmother had merely averted her eyes when she saw something unpleasant and thus kept her morning undisturbed.
That worked for my grandmother and she died at 92 serene in her confidence that all was right in her world but I worry about my living liberal friends, friends like these two ladies, who truly believe that Obama can indeed cast the first stone. The news is everywhere these days – there’s no escaping it and there’s only so much even a Times reader can blame on the paper itself. We conservatives have grown used to picking the best of a bad lot and accepting the dismal results as a necessary part of democracy – no disillusionment here. But we never anointed a President, as the liberals will next January. What’s going to happen when his human personality is revealed? I fear that their heads will explode.
Here’s a computer generated image of a new house proposed for Sachem Lane in Cos Cob, priced at $3.450 million. Surprised by that sum and wondering if Sachem can support such a price? The would-be builder may be having his doubts too because he is also offering it as unimproved land for $1.299 million. I haven’t seen the land yet (open house tomorrow, which, given the statusof the construction should probably be termed an “open field”) and, because the builders have given it a made up address – “Silk Cut” or some such thing – I can’t locate it precisely on Google. But I would guess it’s land that was carved from the 1855 antique on 2 acres that was sold for $4.0 million two years ago. That was a nice house with a beautiful yard and if that’s what was chopped up to give birth to this one, I wouldn’t count it as an improvement.
But it hasn’t been built yet and perhaps it won’t be, until the market turns.
This house at 229 Stanwich Road routinely rented for good sums: $17,000 per month in 2002, $16,000 in 2006. Somewhere in there was a rental to an insurance crook who never paid, had to be evicted and is probably still in jail for his sins but hey, that’s all part of the fun in renting your house – who knows?
In any event, the house, empty again, was put up for rent this past August for $16,800 not a crazy sum given its rental history. But there are no takers and today the rent was dropped to $12,000. That’s a big drop.
I have it on good authority, as they say, that a significant land deal has gone to contract. No word on price but this parcel’s asking price is high enough to make even a substantially lower bid make me, and I think others, take notice. So it’s nice to know that someone out there not only still has money, he’s willing to part with it.
That headline’s from “Cheaper by the Dozen” and was brought to mind by the new chief of the YMCA’s vow yesterday that her organization was “deadly committed” to completing the under-funded project. She says the Y has the money to complete most of what was planned, absent a gym and a racket ball court or two. The Greenwich Time reporter seems to lap it all up but I do wish she had interviewed some of the vociferous Y critics, of whom there are many, to get their take on things. I’d expect this kid gloves treatment from a particular weekly advertiser I once worked for but is Greenwich Time so dependent on advertising revenue from the Y?
One complaint from the construction superintendent, one Ryan Chinelli, that will have anyone who has ever renovated a home scratching her head and asking, “who are these fools”? : In explaining the many, many delays, Chianelli explained, “”You would open a wall and never know what you were going to find.” Duh.