Snark and Real Estate

It’s funny when The New York Times writes a piece about something you do. In this case, the real estate section has a story about people who leave snarky comments on real estate web sites, criticizing apartments that are for sale.

For their part, sellers and their brokers are seething over what they perceive as a lack of accountability, hidden or misanthropic motives, and the fact that defending one’s property — even correcting a factual error — can prolong or aggravate its turn under the collective microscope. Sellers also object to being typecast as Marie Antoinette in the French Revolution-style discourse.

Continue reading “Snark and Real Estate”

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Once In A Lifetime Opportunity!

“Now is the perfect time to buy,” I’m being told by realtors in New York. “You won’t see prices this low again in your lifetime. And the mortgage rates? Forget it. Never be this low again.”

Oddly enough, they were telling me this last October — when prices were 8% higher and rates were at 6%. And again in December, when one apartment developer refused to cover closing costs and wouldn’t drop his price another $10,000 to meet our offer. At the time, we were sort of desperate and thought that apartment–with all its faults–was the only similar that we’d ever see in our price range. Now we know better. And that apartment’s still on the market. Has been on the market for over four months now. They’ve dropped the asking price. Even if we were to overlook all the faults and make another run at it, we wouldn’t offer the price we made last year.

Hey, developers and owners. Consider this. That offer might be 20% below asking price, but you might not see offers this generous again in your lifetime.

Remember My Idea to Buy Detroit?

Last month, I proposed snatching up 60 or 70 houses in Detroit with the money we’re planning to spend on a two-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn. Guess what? A bunch of artists are buying up the town.

Buying that first house had a snowball effect. Almost immediately, Mitch and Gina bought two adjacent lots for even less and, with the help of friends and local youngsters, dug in a garden. Then they bought the house next door for $500, reselling it to a pair of local artists for a $50 profit. When they heard about the $100 place down the street, they called their friends Jon and Sarah.

Admittedly, the $100 home needed some work, a hole patched, some windows replaced. But Mitch plans to connect their home to his mini-green grid and a neighborhood is slowly coming together.

House Hunting in New York

Quick observation: Looking at apartments in Brooklyn is fun … up until the point where you actually think about pulling the trigger and the money becomes real. I’m from Louisiana — the part of Louisiana where you can buy a three-bedroom house for what’s considered a downpayment in these parts. I’m glad there are sites like Brownstoner and StreetEasy to make modern house-hunting a little less intimidating.

I’m also glad I married up.