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.
California City is the 3rd largest city in California (geographically), home to California's largest open-pit boron mine, a privately-run Federal Prison, and only 8,835 residents. Originally planned as a "large master-planned leisure community" of up to 1 million people, such growth never materialized, and the remains of the undeveloped streets and cul-de-sacs presage images of the current housing crisis, and are a modern, uniquely American version of the Nazca Lines.
Notary fee: $3; County Clerk Recording Fee: $16; Protecting your land from abortionists forever? That'll cost ya $77. [more inside]
Eichler homes! Most Eichlers are located in northern California, but you can find a few developments in the southland. People restore and renovate their Eichlers, write magazine articles about them, and take lots of photos of them. Even Mr. Incredible owned an Eichler. But owning an Eichler is not for everyone. Want to buy an Eichler? Join the Eichler Network or tour an open house.
For a time the Internet's own poster-child for irrational exuberance and underwater mortgages, Casey Serin (previously discussed on Metafilter), the blogger behind iaminforeclosure.com and millionairebychristmas.com, is interviewed by WalletPop about his future plans... which include living in a van and panning for gold. The real-estate market in the US continues to present post-apocalyptic stories.
Champions of Reversible Destiny, architects Arakawa + Gins believe that people die because they're too comfortable. Having lost their life savings through Bernie Madoff, their bewildering East Hampton Bioscleave house - and, presumably, immortality - can now be yours for only $4million. [via the always awesome It's lovely! I'll take it!]
The Accidental Slumlord. In 2005, Daniel McGinn, a writer for Newsweek, wrote a story about out-of-staters buying rental properties in Pocatello, Idaho. A year later, Daniel McGinn, who lives 2,450 miles away from Pocatello, bought a rental property there. Why? [more inside]
Coincidental to the publishing of her memoir, Candy Spelling - the widow of legendary television producer Aaron Spelling - is selling her Beverly Hills mansion for $150 million. (Daughter Tori Spelling is not expected to share in the proceeds.)
The Compleat ÜberNerd: a fascinating series of blog entries detailing the nitty-gritty behind the mortgage industry by Calculated Risk's "Tanta." If you're curious about automated underwriting systems or the ins and outs of mortgage servicing or if you just enjoy some Mortgage Pig Excel art, Tanta was the blogger for you. Tanta, otherwise known as Doris Dungey, passed away on Sunday morning (NYT obit, CR obit).
Are you a young middle-class creative type (probably white) who has chosen to live in an urban neighborhood that your parents would have shunned? Have the families that formerly lived in your neighborhood (probably not white) been pushed out by soaring rents and real-estate prices to the city fringes or suburbs? The New Republic on demographic inversion.
In the market for a new house? This one comes complete with upgraded tile, Berber carpet and a European wife.
HotPads has one of the cooler interfaces to the real estate world. Especially worth looking at are the heat maps that show you scary, scary foreclosure rates across the country and the rent ratios that tell you whether it is worth buying in a particular area, among lots of other data.
The $100 House Essay Contest. Write a 500 word essay on why you deserve to win the house. Submit it to James Mathias, along with $100. If he receives 2,500 entries... a winner will be chosen and awarded the home. If enough entries aren't received, he'll return the money. Finally, a chance to get that dream home in Bonners Ferry, Idaho. Or... an extra $179,900.
You're familiar with the grand-daddy of (overhyped) real estate AVMs, or even some lesser known, but more accurate competitors. In this market, it can be tough to get out from under your current home before buying new. But did you know that you can also swap your home?
Need an apartment? MapsKrieg is a mashup of Google Maps and Craigslist real estate listings that can show you just how close to the Tenderloin you'll be.
The Most Important Article You Did Not Read This Week Now, it is true that the most important article you probably didn’t read contains all the usual hair-raising things you’d expect to see about the real estate market, including “developers under siege,” “signs of weakness in key markets,” developers “slashing prices,” and the head of a major builder advising “that people wait three to four years before purchasing a new home.” But the most important article you probably didn’t read is not about real estate markets in Naples, Florida, or Sacramento, California. It is about China. [ full WSJ article here]
The Next Bubble: Priming the markets for tomorrow's big crash. A layman's primer on the genesis and future of today's economic troubles, at Harper's Magazine.
The sub-prime mortgage crisis is giving way in some places to crime ridden McMansion ghettos, perhaps the beginning of a larger long term trend in demographics: "many low-density suburbs and McMansion subdivisions, including some that are lovely and affluent today, may become what inner cities became in the 1960s and ’70s—slums characterized by poverty, crime, and decay."
Ursa Major, the former home of deceased basketball great (and cocksman extraordinaire) Wilt Chamberlain is for sale. History. Slide shows.