Daily Archives: June 26, 2009

Marshal sale of prime NYC real estate! Hurry before it all goes! Place your bids now!

Following closely on the high heels of Marisa Noel, RuthlessMadoff has grudgingly consented to let the federal marshals sell off hers and Bernie’s love nest penthouse in the city. With the Florida place already gone and little Marisa’s place no longer available, where will Ruth stay? I’d suggest one of the boys’ homes here in Greenwich but word has it that they aren’t speaking to mom. Surely someone can find the poor lady a comfy cardboard box.

UPDATE: The WSJ reports that she’s agreed to give up $80 million in assets while keeping $2.5. Why should she be allowed to keep a penny? It’s stolen money and she and Bernie left their victims with nothing.

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Shaq dumps his Miami mansion. How? By cutting the price. Say, you don’t think …

Started at $35 million (that would be around Mel Gibson’s manse’s price on Old Mill Road, which also won’t sell), cut down down down – my guess, knowing absolutely nothing about Miami or its real estate, is $12 million. Why not?

He’s off to Arizona where my friend John Schneider can tell him prices are also down to next to nothing, so he should be fine. I won’t loose sleep, anyway.

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The Bourke Trial is beginning to look like a Raymond Donovan replay

You may remember Labor Secretary Raymond Donovan,who was indicted on the last day possible and who then spent years in trial hell. When he was finally acquitted of all charges (the jury deliberated for about 15 minutes after a 9 – month trial), having spent millions of dollars and years of having his life placed on hold, Donovan asked, “where do I go to get my good name back?” No one had the answer to that.

The coverage of the Fred Bourke trial is spotty, but I try to keep up with what there is and there is, so far, nothing there. The prosecution called one of Bourke’s former attorneys as its witness a few days ago and his testimony helped Bourke, not the government. By most accounts, Mr. Bourke is a quirky individual, and perhaps a bit too arrogant and rude for other’s taste. Those aren’t grounds for imprisonment, though, and I am still waiting for the introduction of some evidence that he committed a crime. After a month, the prosecution has produced nothing. What is it waiting for?

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By God, this’ll learn ya!

25 Beechcroft, a spec house, continues its curious pricing strategy. Built on land purchased for $3 million in 2007, it started at $7.2 that year, increased to $7.5 as it progressed and topped off at $7.950 in June, 2008, before starting to climb back down. The builder may be proud of his efforts but I know of one agent who was fired by his client for wasting his time showing this to him, so we obviously have some taste differences here. We also have a mossy pond instead of a backyard and, just across the way over that grassy muck, an abandoned spec house on Birch Lane. That one’s not looking better as time and weather take their toll and I’d expect its presence to hurt the value of this project.

Another problem is that nothing on Beechcroft has ever sold for this price. Another spec house listed for $8.3 million but its builder wisely cashed out for $6.1 last year and I’m sure has never looked back. We have one sale in the 5’s and another in the $4s, and then its straight down to Byram pricing.

But this builder is undaunted. Unable to sell it for $7.500millio, he’s raised his price today to $7.550 million. I bet he’s planning an insanity defense to the foreclosure suit.

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Chase, Citi resume buying jumbo mortgages

This might help revive the mortgage market here in Greenwich, but it’s my experience that clients these days who want a big mortgage have such great credit that they’re using a mortgage as a convenience, not a necessity, and that kind of borrower wasn’t having difficulty obtaining financing in the first place. Still, it can’t hurt.

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Multi-families aren’t doing any better than Putnam Park

222 Davis Ave

222 Davis Ave

The owner of this 1919, 3 – unit multifamily on Davis Ave paid $619,500 for it in 2004, “renovated” it in 2005 and listed it for sale in 2006 for $1.145 million. It sold today for $510,000. I’m sure the owner collected rents all that time so no big loss, but certainly his dreams of becoming rich through real estate took a beating.

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Well if you won’t help your own child, what kind of mother are you?

School secretary breaks into computer system, raises daughter’s grades and lowers those of her classmates. Friggin’ cops are charging her with a felony, for cripes sake. The lady shows a little initiative, like that Texan mom who murdered her kid’s cheerleader competitor, and the authorities go nuts. We need a new country, is what I say.

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Putnam Park, Putnam Hill prices

I notice that a unit at Putnam Hill, #2E, sold for exactly $300,000 on June 4th. Curious to see whether we were on the cusp of slipping below a support level (how’s that for tech talk? IB’R, eat your heart out!) I looked into the MLS records to see when units over here sold for less than $300,000. I found one in 2003, another in 2002 but the bulk date back to 1998 and 1999. These condos/co-ops aren’t getting any newer and as prices of more attractive condominiums come down, I’d think that these will continue to sell at a discount. If so, hang on to Granny’s wallet ’cause she’s gonna get whacked. Of course, most of these apartments are sold by an estate, so Granny won’t care, but her heirs might.

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A trickle, then a torrent

48 Byfield Lae

48 Byfield Lae

BSF makes a very nice house, albeit the same house, over and over, and this one on Byfield is no exception. It was listed for $7.250 in May, 2007, increased to $7.500 when it was completed in December of that year and stayed at that price for the next fifteen months even though some of us (well, I, at least) thought that a high price for this street. They have finally gotten religion and thi s past April they cut the price $500,000 and have continued to cut it $500,000 each month thereafter. Today’s price is $5.999 million. So buyers have a tough choice here – bid now, and take it, or wait for another couple of $500,000 price reductions? I suppose the answer depends on how much it would hurt to lose this house to another buyer. With 50 -60 similar new houses to choose from in this price range, I’d think the pain was bearable, but that’s up to you.

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Bad faith listings?

TheTucson realtor posts today on a phenomenon I’ve seen here: bank-owned-properties that aren’t on the MLS. You can attribute that to just dumb real estate agents selected to sell property by the FDIC based on their fee rather than intellect or, if you have a suspicious mind, you might think the agent doesn’t want to split the commission and is keeping the listing secret until he finds his own buyer. Either way we, as taxpayers, are getting hosed.

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Important news for Eddie from Greenwich

Booze responsible for one in 25 deaths worldwide, study says.

Eddie rests after posting blog comments

Eddie rests after posting blog comments

And the news is worse if your real name’s Edvoski, fella: The sauce is killing one in two Russians. Be careful out there – we hate to lose a single reader.

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I’m sitting this dance out.

Boo!

Boo!

I heard an otherwise- sane DJ this morning referring to the recent death of that drug-addled child molester as  “a dark day for humanity”. The idiot then continued, and I am not kidding, “what with the deaths of Michael, Farah Fawcett and Ed McMahon, we’ll be talking about this week for years”. Jesus Christ.

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The trouble with drinking and sending late night hate mail

One of the bloggers I link to sent along this comment from an “Eddie”, posted mistakenly, my friend  thinks, on his blog. Edie’s IP address places him in Greenwich and as you’ll see, he thought he was posting on my blog. I don’t want you to feel discouraged Eddie but try to spew your stuff before hitting the gin. You’re getting all confused here. Next thing you know, I’ll see your name on Drudge!

Chris, the best thing about your blog is that absolutely nobody reads it or gives a shit about anything you think. Give it up already, ok?
Eddie | 06.26.09 – 1:26 am | #

Eddie dropped his tumbler here but after a quick refill he was back on the keyboard but still on someone else’s site. Here we go:

You are a waste of good oxygen.
Eddie | 06.26.09 – 1:27 am | #

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Hint – it’s not your agent that’s at fault

75 Long Meadow Road in Riverside was purchased for $1 million in 2005 and has been back on the market since 2007, beginning at $1.595 and dropping from there until it hit $1.250 last October. It failed to sell at that price and now a new agent – from Century 21, the former Sotheby’s firm – has replaced the first broker but not the price. I’m guessing that if it couldn’t move at $1.250 for the past 8 months, there’s nothing that’s happened to the market this week that will make that price work today. Then again, if the sunlight hits that golden polyester blazer just right, who knows? Assessed value is $773,000.

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Land values

714 North Street, 3 acres in the R-4 zone, has sold for $3 million. That’s a good sale for the agent, Peter Janis, since he had both sides of the deal. $3 million approaches the high end for a building lot these days, but it’s significantly lower than the original asking price of $5 million.

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Pelosi to Gore: Just shut up!

While our local bank demonstrated its Patriotism and obeyed a summons from the Office of the Currency Comptroller to attend a meeting in Washington yesterday (no doubt to discuss an expansion of their free toaster give -away program), America’s fattest fraud, Al Gore, was told by Nancy Pelosi to stay on his house boat in Tennessee. Why? She needs every Democrat vote to pass the carbon tax and Gore’s presence would remind some people that this bill was originally supposed to be about Global Warming. As that pretext has withered under scientific and economic scrutiny, Pelosi and her allies have shifted gears and now insist that “it’s a jobs bill”. What its really about is another huge tax increase, another shift of power from individuals to the federal government. Al Gore was a useful idiot serving that purpose when he could scare people but as people start to realize what he has in store for them, they’re balking. So, change of game plan. Sorry, Al.

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But who created them in the first place?

The D.C. Metro couldn’t act quickly to replace the subway cars involved in this weeks crash because it had purchased them under a tax sheltered leasing plan that required it to keep them in service until 2014. Congressmen on both sides of the aisle are outraged, of course, and blame the deaths on greedy banks and rich tax payers but tax shelters do not materialize from thin air. They are devised by lobbyists and, properly paid, Congressmen enact them. Then they are shocked to discover that what they do has real world consequences. I am not impressed with their feigned anger.

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Earth Day

The Democrats are rushing to ram through the carbon tax bill today, buoyed by a CBO study that estimates the bill for an average family of four will amount to a mere $180 per year.  That “study” is debunked by the Wall Street Journal here, calling it “the largest tax increase in American history”, but common sense will save you the labor necessary to read the facts themselves. This legislation is intended to save the world from Global Warming by trebling, at least, the cost of energy and extinguishing conventional sources of that energy. As Obama himself said last fall, “you’ll still be able to build a coal plant, but it will bankrupt you.” This is eerily similar to his promise this week that “you’ll still be able to keep your private medical insurance if you want to”, but I digress.

Are you the least bit skeptical that we can save the world, invent, develop and employ new forms of energy production and eliminate the release of carbon dioxide for less than fifty bucks per person per year? When I see an obviously phoney cost estimate, whether from a car salesman or a politician, I wonder why he’s lying.  Whatever the reason, it has nothing to do with a benefit for me.

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