Daily Archives: November 15, 2010

Why not tie him to a bumper and drag him to death?

Drunken driver sues, from prison, parents of child he ran over and killed,

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Nudists, unite

Our TSA claims we have nothing to fear from the new radiation machines. Whatever – I’m not planning a plane trip right now, but next time, I’ll just strip in line. I do it at (select) beaches, why not at JFK? I can always use the publicity, even at the expense of exposing my pitiful “extremity”. And just imagine if, a la Arlo Guthrie, fifty people a day, I say fifty people a day, do the same thing. You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant.

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Morons, jerks, thugs

This is theatre. TSA goons search nuns, baby’s diapers and panic over my 86-year-old mother’s artificial knee while refusing to profile and attend to likely suspects, all while their cohorts are rifling our luggage and stealing valuables. You may feel safer because of this farce – I don’t.

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Balance the budget?

Easy as pie. Let me at entitlement spending and I’ll have a huge surplus while cutting taxes 50%. There’s nothing complicated here, just a lack of will.

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Wilderness Escape Outfitters

So here’s where I stayed last week. The owners, Randy and Sharon Flannery, are just about the nicest people you’ll ever meet, and Randy is an amazing deer hunter. He’s Irish/Scot/Indian, and boy, does he know how to hunt the Maine woods. Randy still-hunts – that’s stalking, to you and me- and doesn’t park his hunters in tree stands or blinds. My kind of hunting, my kind of guy. After dinner (and Sharon makes great dinners) Randy explains his strategy and technique. Google him, and you’ll find him all over the net, but better yet, go on up to this obscure spot of Maine and learn from the master himself. I certainly intend to do so again next year.

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Eliminate the mortgage deduction?

A couple of readers have asked my opinion on this proposal by the deficit reduction committee which puzzles me, because my opinion is as irrelevant as theirs. But for the record, I’m all for it. Why should renters have to pay with after-tax dollars while borrowers get the break? It’s a market-skewing tax, like so many others, and I think it should go.

But it would be grossly unfair to impose it retroactively, since so many middle class borrowers calculated their purchase based on that break. Going forward, however, I’d like to see the playing field leveled. Fat chance, with the Realtors and home builders lobbies zeroing in on this, but we can always hope for a more rational tax code.

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Short sale

49 A Shore Road

This Old Greenwich house, new construction, was originally priced at $4.2 million. Last ask was $2.775, and it’s reported as under contract today. I’m guessing, but do not know, that the final price will be around $2.2, $2.3, which would make for a great deal for the buyer.

There are more such deals around. Knock wood, I’m working on a house that once asked well above $5 million and we have an accepted offer from the lender at $2.1. There’s still plenty of room for that deal to go south, of course, but if you have cash, there are banks ready to cut and run.

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Call me crazy but …

27 Midwood Drive

This house on Midwood was listed with an excellent broker earlier this year for $9.750 milion (assessment, $5.3). It didn’t sell, so the owner has fired his first broker and re-listed it with another, equally – qualified agent, for $10. 375. Huh?

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Who are these people talking to?

I’m prowling through the new listings that came on last week, and I wonder whether the owners are delusional or are they selling their listings to lying brokers? Either way, a house bought for X$ in 1999 is not worth 2X 10 years later, with no improvements: really – trust me on this.

Smilarly, a house that hasn’t sold at $6.5, $5.9. $5.5, $5.7and $6.9 is unlikely to sell for its new price of $5.9, even with a new broker. If you’re stuck in a lousy location, like this house is, bite the bullet, drop the price to $4.5 (I like $3.9 better) and move on.

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While I was away

Some busy beavers were active. Lots of contracts, a few sales, and even more price cuts.

64 Club Road, listed at $4.950, assessed at $2.507, is marked as “pending”. This will be an interesting comp – on any other Riverside street, $2.5 would be generous for a house of this size and quality, so how high is the Club Road premium? We’ll see.

18 Pinecrest, also n Riverside, dropped from $4.9 to $4.0 and is now under contract. Assessment is $2.6. Don’t be afraid to low ball a house.

17 Pheasant Lane, assessed for $3 million (2.78 acres), once asked $5.595, dropped to $4.975 and has gone to contract for, I would guess, far less than that – see above re: low bids.

There were 39 price cuts submitted last week, not one of which caught my attention. Nibbling at an over-priced offering will accomplish nothing – sorry.

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