Daily Archives: October 5, 2014

No welcome mat for the great unwashed

Westchesterites want to see your open house

Westchesterites want to tour your house

Greenwich real estate market has few public open houses. Certainly not for the $2.5+ market, and to be honest, it doesn’t matter: open houses are held to promote the brokerage’s brand, not to sell an individual house. If you, homeowner, don’t wish to let the general public come into your house on  a Sunday and wander about, checking out your art collection and stealing the Oxycontin in the kid’s medicine cabinet, don’t fret; you’re not missing a thing.

Nationally, homes in the $3 million-plus price range host their first open houses after a median 15 days on the market; in Greenwich, it’s 68 days.

“Usually when we see open houses, they’re within the first couple weeks of the listing to get as much excitement and activity as they can,” Breaker said. “But looking at the Greenwich data, after two months, it’s likely more in reaction to sellers wanting to push for more activity versus a market norm — sort of to spice up the listing.”

What that actually means is that the house has been overpriced, no one’s coming to see it and the owner grows furious with her agent, demanding to know what, other than cutting the price, can be done to sell the house. The truthful answer is “nothing”, but when owners aren’t ready to hear that, the agent starts running worthless newspaper ads and conducting open houses to show that she’s doing something, god damn it! It doesn’t work.

And seeking of bullshit, Theresa Hatton, chief flack for the Greenwich Association of Realtors is quoted in the same article listing the safeguards afforded home owners at broker open houses:

 Realtors are invited into the homes, and are asked to leave purses and jackets behind, and to refrain from taking photos. They wear badges provided by the Realtors’ board that are produced out of state — which Hatton says would be very hard to duplicate — and the event is monitored by security.

Oh come on, Theresa.

1. Cell phones (with cameras) are carried into open houses by everyone, including agents who’ve left their purse in their Mercedes.

2. “Difficult to duplicate badges” are nothing but a scrap of paper slipped into a fishing license holder. Printed in black ink, they contain the name of an agent and her broker, period – not even a logo. When I misplace mine, I just type up a new one and run it off the printer, as I’m sure everyone else does. I can’t imagine why anyone would go out of state to do that.

3. “Monitored by security”? Maybe if the owner has one of those $99 Drop-cams; otherwise, the only security is that provided by the family labradors, who are usually locked out on the deck for the duration, whining to be let in.

For all that, houses do get sold here, and burglaries by discontented agents few, so the good ol’ GAR must be doing something right.


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You’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do you feel lucky?

Well do ya, punk?

Well do ya, punk?

As airlines continue to fly out of Ebola Africa, it’s just a matter of time before it hits Europe and the UK

[T]he risks change every day the epidemic continues, said Alex Vespignani, a professor at the Laboratory for the Modeling of Biological and Socio-Technical Systems at Northeastern University in Boston who led the research.

“This is not a deterministic list, it’s about probabilities – but those probabilities are growing for everyone,” Vespignani said in a telephone interview. “It’s just a matter of who gets lucky and who gets unlucky.”


UPDATE: Of the 2 million Muslims who came to Mecca this week, how many were from Liberia? While Saudi authorities say that “not a single pilgrim shows signs of Ebola”, I wonder exactly how certain they are of that, and what happens when those millions return to their home countries?



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A great wailing and gnashing of teeth: American history as taught in public schools

Natchez Indians entertain fellow indian guest

Welcome to paradise: Natchez Indians entertain fellow indian guest

Seattle school board votes unanimously to replace Columbus Day with “Indigenous People’s Day”, to mark the beginning of the oppression of Indians.

The resolution declares that the Seattle school board “recognizes the fact that Seattle is built upon the homelands and villages of the Indigenous Peoples of this region, without whom the building of the City would not have been possible,” as local Fox affiliate KCPQ notes.

Further, according to board members, Seattle’s taxpayer-funded schools have “a responsibility to oppose the systematic racism towards Indigenous people in the United States, which perpetuates high rates of poverty and income inequality, exacerbating disproportionate health, education and social crises.”

The resolution also promotes “the teaching of the history, culture and government of the indigenous peoples of our state.”

I’ll take private schools, Alex, for 100.


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Sell the streets – libertarianism is coming, thanks to progressives

Boston Harbor, 2019

Boston Harbor, 2019

England: police no longer can afford to hold lost property, instruct citizens to “find the owners yourself”.

The front counter of the local police station has always been the first port of call for an honest citizen who finds somebody else’s property dropped in the street.

But now police across the country are refusing to handle lost items – telling members of the public they must track down the rightful owners themselves.

Some forces even tell people to put up signs in shops with details of the found items, and to throw away unidentified keys, because they no longer have the time or staff to deal with the paperwork.

When revenue is entirely devoted to welfare redistribution, debt service, and public employee pensions, there’s nothing left for traditional functions of government like policing and national defense. In Europe, national defense forces have been disbanded (German troops are currently stranded in Afghanistan because the military doesn’t have a single plane in working order to bring them back) and borders erased. Here in the land of the free, we’ve opened the floodgates to every immigrant, uneducated, diseased or bent on terrorism, and are watching local budgets dry up as they’re shifted to paying off the municipal employees of the past generation. Our military is shrinking rapidly, we can’t afford to maintain our roads and bridges and our legal and political system prevents the building of new ones..

Governments are given temporary authority of power by the people, conditioned on the consent of the governed; when the purpose of that ceding of power disappears, so does the consent.

Keep your powder dry and your quarters handy: private toll roads are coming back.


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