Month: March 2009

Monday Morning Coffee And Links

Well, no open houses for us this past weekend. I had to work on Sunday and the weather kept Debra and Aurora inside the apartment for most of the day. No great insights from me on this springy Monday. Here are a few links I’ve collected over the weekend for your enjoyment and edification. A Hidden Benefit of the Downturn [NY Times] If you’ve got the scratch for a construction project, either building a new home or renovating your old one, you’ll find a lot of builders who are anxious to compete for your business. Home Decorating With The Obamas [New York Magazine] Our new first family has decided to forego the customary $100,000 an uncoming President gets to renovate the White House. Instead, the Obamas will be paying for redecorating the White House’s private quarters out of their own pocket Suffolk County – Asking Price vs Sales Price [Long Island Real Estate Guru] The gap between the median asking price and median selling price remains significant. The Guru provides us with a nice graph, although I think that he misinterprets the data somewhat. Aaron Spelling’s Widow lists home for 150 million [Wall Street Journal] Apparently, the recession isn’t hitting everyone exactly the same. Since Ms. Spelling announced her planned move to Century City, she’s fielded roughly a dozen calls from qualified buyers, including some hotel investors, estimates Stephen...

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Hoisted From The Comments: Some Open House Visits

Commenter Babylonian remarks on some open houses. I’d like to add my comments on the open houses from last weekend. As for the George Street house, I’m not sure what the big deal is. The house is cute, that’s about it. There were a ton of people there so much that we were on our own (which I thoroughly enjoy much better than given a tour) but I scooted out of there quickly. Nice bedrooms upstairs but the master downstairs with no closet, the narrow bathroom, the plan to stud 10 different rooms in the basement and the maze of fences in the backyard sent me running, not the price. I really loved the Park Ave. house. The huge dining room, original farmhouse sink, living area with sliding doors to the patio is great. Definitely would need to do a kitchen makeover to add cabinets. However, I do think that there is some wasted space with the “picture alley.” Agent said that it was the wrap around porch, I would have loved it more! I’m wondering if I ran into your wife here. There was a woman upstairs (blonde hair) with baby in carrier making jokes about the little step ups into and out of the rooms. I’m assuming not very conducive to a happy house hunting experience. More so than Park, I surprised myself with how much I...

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Weekend Open Thread

Hello HIB fans. Here we are at the weekend and yet another open thread. Could it be that the third time’s the charm? I’ve got my son this weekend and I’m working on Sunday, so probably no open houses for me. Debra is likely to take the weekend off from open housing. There might actually be some some spring-like weather this weekend, so I’m relying on you, my loyal readers. One again, an open thread is a post where the blog readers are encouraged to leave comments on any topic they like. Feel free to leave a comment and ask a question, make an observation, tell us what you’re up to or just introduce yourself and say hi. I’m very interested in hearing fellow home shoppers, especially their impressions of any open houses that they’ve seen. I’m posting this “sticky”, which means that it will stay at the top of the page even if I post new stuff afterward. If you’re accustomed to stopping by and glancing at the top of the page to see if there’s new stuff, scroll on down a bit before you click away. Enojy your weekend,...

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New Home Sales Fall 41 percent In Feb

Hmmm…wait…what was that? Didn’t new home sales go up last month? New Home Sales Rise 4.7% [Wall Street Journal] Sales of new homes rose in February for the first time in seven months, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday, another sign that the housing market is thawing Via New Jersey Real Estate Report, Barry Ritholz begs to differ The parade of the mathematically innumerate business writers continue to misread data. The latest evidence? New Home Sales. After incorrectly reporting the Existing Home Sales, the mainstream media misread the Census department report of New Homes. No, New Home Sales data did not improve. In fact, they were not only not positive, they were actually horrific. The year over year number was a terrible down 41%. Sales from this same period a year ago have nearly been halved. Read the whole thing...

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Are Prices Going Down?

Over at his blog, my real estate guy Tom McGiveron asks and answers this very question in a conversation with a prospective client. As we talked, I showed her all the information that I normally review. This information contains the latest insights from experts in the real estate industry as well as my expert analysis of the Long Island market. Halfway through our discussion, she said, “Oh, so prices are dropping?” This interaction helped me realize that I, and my colleagues in the real estate business, have our work cut out for us. There are a number of homeowners out there that just do not pay any attention to what’s happening. And there are some that do listen and know a little, but still think Spring will bring higher prices. It’s a nice piece and you should read the whole thing. It’s amazing to me that anyone would even ask this question at this point. I realize that most people haven’t been following this obsessively like I have but…come on! Don’t you read the news? Watch TV? Talk to your friends and neighbors? It’s like Jack and Rose, standing on the deck of the Titanic, the last strains of “Nearer, My God, To Thee” being drowned out by the horrific groans of the cracking hull, and wondering if the ship is really sinking. Yes! Yes! The ship is...

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