Daily Archives: March 25, 2010

Tea party folks – supermen!

A rock was thrown through Congressman Dreihause’s office window, according to this article.

A rock was thrown through the window of Driehaus’ Cincinnati office Sunday, and a death threat was phoned in to his Washington office a day later, Mulvey said.

Are we cool, or what? Instapundit reports: Justin Binik-Thomas emails from Cincinnati that Rep. Driehaus’ office “is on the 30th floor of a skyscraper downtown.”

Let’s see a limp-wristed wussie Demmerkrat do that!

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Obama to Israel: drop dead

Obama disses Prime Minister and goes off to a private dinner. I have a good friend, a liberal Jew (redundant, I know) with whom I regularly argue politics on our fishing trips together. I tried the ultimate trump card a year or so ago, arguing that, if he cared about Israel, he really shouldn’t support the Democrats but he scoffed at the idea that his party would ever abandon that country. I love this man, but he’s a fool. It’s 1934 all over again and, once again, people aren’t taking notice.

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Do you remember when we had a constitution?

Obama to order banks to slash mortgage payments for the unemployed.

There really is a clause in our constitution that was supposed to protect us from this.

UPDATE: Free speech is next.

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Our ruling class

$13 billion spent last year to fly government employees to various junkets, first class. And while they were in Washington, the staffers at the SEC were trolling kiddie porn sites. I don’t want to make too much of Barney Frank’s sexual orientation, but given his position as Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, I find it interesting that so many of the web sites visited by the SEC folks were of the homosexual persuasion. Is Barney procuring jobs for his friends?

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This seems stupid

David Frum tossed from the American Enterprise Institute for disagreeing about Republican strategy on ObummerKare. The guy wrote a column lambasting the Republicans for not playing ball with the Democrats – I didn’t agree with him, but what the hell happened to the big tent? If AEI is just a tool for Republicans, then phooye on them.

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Capital punishment for architects?

Greenwich Post's "House of the week"

No comment needed.

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Builders coming back?

I see that 84 Butternut Hollow, a tear-down, sold to BSF Builders for $1.6 million. BSF makes a decent house, even if they’re all identical, and it’s encouraging that they’re back, presumably, in the spec business.

And 12 Loading Rock, a challenging lot  but one that should yield a great building site overlooking the Mianus, sold privately for $850,000. I was bidding on this on behalf of a client but someone with more cash won out. I don’t think he over paid at all, but limits are limits. A very nice house can be built here.

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ObummerKare

Our President was just on NPR, vowing that we’ll cut costs of medical care by “eliminating waste”. No one who is serious believes this, of course, because unnecessary tests and such represent just a tiny bit of our medical costs that have increased from 16% of our GDP in 2007 to 20% in 2008. But Americans love to hear this, because it maintains the illusion that we can have cheaper medical costs without any real sacrifice. Obummer knows better – but he also knows that his voters don’t.

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Marketing plans for real estate

I was just having a hearty chuckle with brother Gideon over the supposed “marketing plans” agents use to snare listings. Gideon and I agree that, by the time those boxes of glossy 8X10 brochures arrive from the printer, usually six weeks or so after a house has been listed, it’s too late. I always knew what houses were in trouble back at another firm I worked for when the brochures arrived – oops! Wrong price.

The best marketing strategy of all, in fact the only one that works, is to price a house right in the first place. Do that, and your house will be gone long before you have time for those nice ads in Greenwich Magazine to appear. Of course, your ego will suffer a bit not seeing your impeccable taste reflected in glowing prose, but your wallet will thank you.

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So what’s with the remaining 75%?

25% of Republicans think Obama is the Anti-Christ. Hey, you can make up your own mind, but Fudrucker has been hosting Demmerkrats here in the office and between the stench of burnt blood and the wails of ditch-strangled babes, I had to move out. Go figure.

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Assessed value

I spoke with Realtor Peter Joyce this morning, and he told me that by his calculation, houses are selling for an average of 1.3X their assessed value (which is 70% of estimated 2005 market value). That sounds about right to me – in the boom days of 2007, we saw an average of 2.3X assessed value, and now there are plenty of houses selling at or below their assessment.

But some assessments are way off, and some don’t properly account for a great location or exceptional condition of a home. I think that, for a run of the mill house in an average location, assessed value is an excellent starting point.

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Sales

16 Hendrie Avenue came on just two days ago, asking around $1.1. I thought it was a good deal, since new construction right next door sold for $3.8 back in the glory days of 2007, but I mistakenly thought it might succumb to an all-cash bid of perhaps $775, $800,000. I stopped by its open house this morning and discovered that it already has an accepted offer, so I was wrong – the buyer demand is even stronger than I thought.

Similarly, 3 Cherry Tree Lane, in Old Greenwich, came on on Tuesday at $1.495 and, while I thought it was a sweet house, I thought the lack of a back yard would keep it from selling immediately. Wrong again – it, too has an accepted offer. Lesson here, especially in view of the many listings still languishing after three or more years on the market, is price your house right and get rid of it. There are a ton of buyers ready to pounce, but they aren’t going to pay illusionary prices.

And the lesson for me is, don’t under-estimate the pent-up demand.

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Come on, you can’t do this

Federal judge strikes down ordinance forbidding rentals to illegals. Immigration is a federal matter – I’m not wild about Obama’s plan to legalize them, but towns can’t just push them out. Get real.

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A cautionary tale from David McCucumber

Wally Peepers struggles to extend his expiration date

Greenwich Time’s editor, shown below, is just a pathetic shadow of the man he once was. I was dismayed, after Googling the guy, to discover that he was once a kindred spirit and my own age. Spent a year ranching in Montana, went on the road, and was a truly adventurous guy. Now he’s just a hack, struggling to hang on until his pension comes through. How sad. Makes me think all the better about moving to Hong Kong. What do you say, Dave – want to try one last blast with me? It’s our last chance.

In better days

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Move to Hong Kong?

I’m getting long in the tooth for reinventing myself, but this book review of a guy who got rich in Hong Kong has me thinking that maybe it’s time to try one last adventure. America seems to have lost its appreciation for entrepreneurs and is on a course of destruction that pretty much precludes wealth accumulation by schnooks like me. Hong Kong, on the other hand, still celebrates industrious people and rather than pull a John Galt and quit, I’m tempted to try again, where success is still possible.

Just musing, so far, but ….

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Diving to the bottom

Not to be outdone by the Christian Scientists who, numbers dwindling, have decided that it’s okay to use medicine, so long as the new ObamaCare will pay for CS “practitioner” charges, the Episcopalians are selling out to the very people sworn to murder them

The Bovina Bloviator reports on a Episcopal Church that denounced the current rulers and moved to an African branch of the church. They offered to buy their church from the Episcopos for full market price but were rebuffed – sued, in fact – and the place was sold to Muslims for a 1/3 of what the former Episcopalians had offered. That damned offensive cross has been ripped off the roof and the place is now host to people busy plotting to kill Christians. Oh joy!

Before

After

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Did WGCH’s Michael Metter get Teri Buhl fired?

Bill Clark writes that Ms. Buhl may have been fired from Greenwich Time for reporting on the stock scam WGCH owner Michael Metter is running. I don’t know – it seems to me that GT’s Dave McCucumber is a frightened rabbit, scared of his own shadow, and would a dump a reporter at the first sign that someone was “Angy” at McCucumber, but certainly Teri gave Metter something to be angry about. He’s running a penny stock fraud for something called SpongeTech and people running scams just hate when you point that out.

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