A $3.5 million estate for sale in Sherwood Oregon, outside of Portland, comes complete with almost 20 acres of land, a media room, a home gym--and its own miniature railroad.
The Museum of Modern Art’s announcement on January 8 that it will indeed tear down Tod Williams and Billie Tsien’s American Folk Art Museum building of 1997–2001 felt like hearing that a relative or close friend had finally succumbed to an incurable disease. Even though the outcome had been expected, it was a shock nonetheless."MoMA Loses Face": Martin Filler decries the museum's expansion plan in the NYRB. [more inside]
Crusty real estate blogger Garth Turner begins the year with his rules. He's had a good year: winner of a "top personal finance blog" poll; exposing the shenanigans of Canadian real estate statistics. [previously]
Ryan Mullen was on the run for over 14 years. Then, a professional skip tracer named Michelle Gomez got on the case.
Designer/Artist Phil Jones decided to do something to both honor and play with those ubiquitous real estate ads on bus benches seen in cities by recreating every photo of a realtor with a picture of himself, then pasting it over the originals. It's odd, amazing and Buzzfeed of all people has some followup with the artist.
Broker Bodega. (SLTumblr, excessive pun warning.)
For Anting New City, China asked for an idealized theme park of a Teutonic village, but instead they got a modern Bauhaus inspired ghost town. Only about 1,000 people live in this Shanghai mega-suburb that was built to be home to 50,000 residents. (via)
I’ve recently joined the ranks of San Francisco landlords who have decided that it’s better to keep an apartment empty than to lease it to tenants. [SLNYT]
Rebecca Solnit on how Silicon Valley corporations are transforming San Francisco: I weathered the dot-com boom of the late 1990s as an observer, but I sold my apartment to a Google engineer last year and ventured out into both the rental market (for the short term) and home buying market (for the long term) with confidence that my long standing in this city and respectable finances would open a path. That confidence got crushed fast. It turned out that the competition for any apartment in San Francisco was so intense that you had to respond to the listings – all on San Francisco-based Craigslist of course, the classifieds website that whittled away newspaper ad revenue nationally – within a few hours of their posting to receive a reply from the landlord or agency. The listings for both rentals and homes for sale often mentioned their proximity to the Google or Apple bus stops. [more inside]
Is San Francisco The Brooklyn To Silicon Valley's Unbuilt Manhattan? Much has been said about how San Francisco should build up and become a new Manhattan. (Previously.) Similarly, much has been said about the utterly boring suburban sprawl that is Silicon Valley. (At least in San Jose.) The Awl's Ken Layne points out that there's a lot of underdeveloped land in between that isn't exactly virgin wilderness- and suggests making more out of it: an entire metropolis, in fact. Alexis Madrigal at The Atlantic Cities mentions that Redwood City is the neighborhood of the future. [more inside]
Garth Turner, the former politician and now cranky (but funny and more or less accurate) blogger opines on real estate and the economy for 2013.
First the Bubble. Then the Short. Now the Long.
Some neighborhoods in Oakland are as devastated as any of the worst hit regions across America — Atlanta, Las Vegas, Phoenix. Now the morphing of the housing bust and foreclosure epidemic into a lucrative multi-billion dollar opportunity for major investors is also uncannily centered upon Oakland and the greater Bay Area, where companies flush with hedge fund cash are buying up homes by the thousands. The entire sweep of the US housing bubble, financial crisis, and foreclosure wave can therefore be told by looking at persons and companies with intimate links to Oakland and the Bay Area. What follows is one account.
In a few weeks, ground-breaking will begin on the far West Side. The project: Hudson Yards, the largest real-estate development ever undertaken in the city's history, an enormous mini-metropolis whose planning might have left even Robert Moses dumbstruck. - Wendy Goodman [more inside]
Orlando, FL - 10 ac, 90K sq ft, 13 bed, 30 bath, 20 car garage, 3 pools, 2 tennis cts, bowling alley, skating rink - $100M [more inside]
A headline rivalling “Batman to leave Gotham”: “Maupin to leave San Francisco.” But before the Tales of the City author (previously) moves to Santa Fe with his husband, you can pick up Armistead Maupin’s house for a mere $1,198,000. (28 Barbary Lane is not for sale.)
In 2008 the late Robert Fitch, author of "The Assassination of New York", was asked to foretell an Obama presidency before the Harlem Tenants Association:
If we examine more carefully the interests that Obama represents; if we look at his core financial supporters; as well as his inmost circle of advisors, we’ll see that they represent the primary activists in the demolition movement and the primary real estate beneficiaries of this transformation of public housing projects into condos and townhouses: the profitable creep of the Central Business District and elite residential neighborhoods southward; and the shifting of the pile of human misery about three miles further into the South Side and the south suburbs... Obama’s political base comes primarily from Chicago FIRE—the finance, insurance and real estate industry. And the wealthiest families—the Pritzkers, the Crowns and the Levins.
An oddly perky video of a real estate agent showing a real estate columnist around an old bank building and semi-attached house for sale (3:51). The building was offered on eBay, had its listing removed, and then reinstated. The reason for the video and the eBay concern? The bank (but not the house) had previously been rented to a group of serial killers. [more inside]
14 Year Old Buys House in Florida Meet Willow Tufano, age 14: Lady Gaga fan, animal lover, landlord. [more inside]
FML Listings posts incredulous commentary about outrageously overpriced real estate listings in Toronto. Look at the run-down bungalows -- in North York! -- listed for a million dollars and despair. Canada's housing bubble, on full display. Via Maclean's.
Garth Turner, former Member of Parliament and current entertaining, curmudgeonly, and well-informed Greater Fool blogger about Canadian real estate -- and the world economy generally -- gives his predictions for 2012. The main one, IMO, is the one that he talks about relentlessly in his postings: "Most people won't get it."
Slate's Negotiation Academy: a series of podcasts that teach you how to haggle with (among others) jerks & liars, the opposite sex, real estate agents and kids.
Lord British has put his mansion, Britannia Manor II, on the market. Richard Garriott de Cayeux, creator of the Ultima franchise, astronaut, geocacher and regular guest star in his own games as Lord British (or, in the future war MMOG Tabula Rasa, General British) has listed his Austin home, Britannia Manor II. [more inside]
If you're occupying a financial center, you might want to pass the time with a game of Monopoly. Though Hasbro gives ahighly contested "official history" asserting that the game was invented by an unemployed Philadelphia man, it actually originated 30 years earlier as The Landlord's Game, an anti-capitalist protest against the movement of wealth from poor to rich via real estate profiteering. Designed and patented by a Georgist Quaker woman, Elizabeth Maggie, in 1904, it was published by her Economic Game Company, but also spread far and wide - including in circles of socialist-leaning academic economists like Scott Nearing - as a hand-drawn and independently printed folk game. [more inside]
Realtors in Cars is one of the strangest sites I've seen in some time. I have no idea how these agencies got their realtors wedged into their cars, or why.
If Scenic, South Dakota isn't scenic enough for you, now you can have the opportunity to buy a chunk of Custer's Last Stand. The "town" of Garryowen is for sale on eBay, perched at the point where the Battle of the Little Bighorn came to a head. [more inside]
As a teenager, Zhang Xin was a factory worker in the sweatshops of Hong Kong. She saved enough to fly to England and at 27, graduated with a Master’s Degree in Development Economics from Cambridge University. At 30, she and her husband started what is now Beijing's largest real estate developer. She is quite candid about China's challenges. Here Charlie Rose interviews the billionaire CEO of Soho China.
[Urban planning] allows discrimination but dresses it up as discriminating taste. So says an opinion piece in Reason magazine titled Urban Design Hipsters are Evil. [more inside]
The north Chicago house featured in the movie Home Alone is for sale. Asking price? 2.4 million dollars.
Exquisitely Corrupt Charles Hugh Smith's predictions on the housing bubble, from almost five years ago, are proving accurate. Previously.
"The World", an ambitious real estate project conceived at the height of the real estate boom, is sinking back into the sea.
Man sells virtual space station for $635,000 in Entropia. Previously, same man buys virtual spacestation for $100.000.
Depressing million-dollar London property. Even in the economic crisis, £635,000 doesn't get you much inside the M25: you can take your pick of a worker's cottage near a football stadium, an Australian backpacker-style apartment near Earl's Court, a 2-bedroom house right near the ring road or various other similarly dispiriting residences.
Want a new secret lair, but don't like the Adirondacks? On a bit of a budget? How about a Kirkbride design State Hospital in Fergus Falls, Minnesota? It comes with it's own Flickr set, for your informed shopping
For Sale: historic Adirondack camp with 48 buildings on 92 acres of parkland. Camp Gabriels is truly a multi-purpose property and has been used as a tuberculosis sanitarium, college campus and most recently as a minimum security prison. Now it can be yours.
The immodestly named Versailles1 in Florida is possibly the largest home in America. At 90,000 sqft it is nearly twice the size of the White House and includes 23 bathrooms, a 10 car garage and 10 Segways to get around. The WSJ reports on Touring the (Almost) Largest Home in America. Of course the owners ran out of money and now the hulking shell of Versailles, sitting precariously for the ages a few feet above sea level, is for sale (click through for virtual tour).
You and your loved ones are invited to survive the next earth devastating catastrophe, terrorist or nuclear attack at the Vivos underground shelter network. The 132 spaces in Barstow CA are going like hotcakes, but there are 19 other facilities planned. Check out the facilities and even the menu. [more inside]
Brooklyn's Gowanus Canal, long nicknamed the "Lavender Lake" for its copious oil slicks, has gained a new title : Superfund Site. New Yorkers respond with really cool photography. While some developers bow out in light of the recent news, other area developers, hoping for a speedy cleanup of the industrial waste and, uh ... other things ... vow to continue their plans to revitalize the formerly-industrial corridor.