Property Grunt

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Property Shark Third Quarter Foreclosure report

Kelly Kreth has provided me a summary of PropertyShark's Third quarter Foreclosure report and it is kind of funky. Gracias Kelly.

New York City:
" Number of New Foreclosure Auctions: There were 425 new residential foreclosures in New York City (5 boroughs), an overall decrease (-21%) in new foreclosures in the current quarter from the second quarter of 2006 (538 foreclosures).
" Foreclosure Auctions per Household: Of the five boroughs, Staten Island had the highest rate of foreclosure auctions per household in Q3 2006, about twice the rate of Brooklyn and over 10 times the rate of Manhattan.
" Average Lien Amounts: Manhattan had the highest average lien per property in foreclosure at $330,728. The Bronx had the lowest average lien at $226,995.
" Foreclosure Auctions by Neighborhood: In NYC, 17 of the top 20 zip codes for foreclosures were in Queens and Brooklyn.
" Lis Pendens (Pre-Foreclosures): The number of residential pre-foreclosures in NYC for the quarter (1468) dropped 10.92% from the second quarter of 2006 (1648), but increased 20.33% from the third quarter of 2005 (1220).

I have discerned the following from this following.

*Alot of people in Staten Island are having trouble understanding the concept of interest only mortgages.

*Manhattan taxes are bats**t crazy.

*If gentrification continues to pick up in the Bronx, buying tax liens in the Bronx is probably a better deal than Manhattan and that is a great way to get a distressed property.

*From looking at the low rate of foreclosures auctions in Manhattan shows that there is a ton of money backing Manhattan real estate.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Grunt escapes with his life.

Actually I wrote that just to be melodramatic. Someitme before 6pm this evening I walked into Cosmic Comics. After getting buzzed in I walked the hallway to the stairs when a young man rushed passed rapidly speaking on his cellphone. Two words that I heard were "fire" and "basement". Then I smelled a distinct aroma reminescent of sitting by the roaring fireplace when I was a child. Then I realized "That's not something you want to smell in a building."

I was considering what to do next when another young man who was a customer of Cosmic Comics walked past me. We both agreed that we smelled smoke and I suggested that we should alert the staff of Cosmic Comics. He said he had already had informed them of the situation and they blew him off.

So following the law of self preservation, I left and several minutes later the FDNY showed up. And me without my camera phone.

Breakout the Red Bull and Blow: Mosaic is throwing an apartment all nighter

I got this from the ever lovin crazies from Rubenstein Public Relations

Desperate Apartment-seekers Pull All-Nighter at

Mosaic Properties’ Emergency 24-Hour Brokerage Session

Desperate apartment-seekers from all five boroughs will line up to meet with Mosaic Properties’ real estate brokers in an effort to find new places to live before the first of the month when the majority of leases expire. Mosaic Properties will stay open for 24 straight hours, and the following business day, to help home-seekers find apartments amidst New York ’s most competitive rental market ever.

Coverage Invited. On-Location Shots Available.

DATE: Tuesday, November 28

LOCATION: Mosaic Properties

100 West 32nd Street, 4th Floor

I think this would be far more interesting if clients actually got to view apartments in the middle of the night. That way clients can see how nosiy and safe these apartments are. Showing apartments at night is also an opportunity to guage the intelligence level of clients.

This actually happened to me when I was showing a rental several years back when I showed an apartment to to client at night.

Client (In a snarky pissed off tone of voice.)

"Where are the sun flooded views?"

Grunt (In a you'd better get married now before your looks go because no man will marry you for your intelligence tone of voice.)

"It's after 6pm."

That was the last time I ever showed an apartment at night.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Roll Call: What lies ahead

Shalia Dewan has written an excellent article about cities who are trying to attract more young people to their streets. One part that I found confusing was this paragraph.

In addition to Atlanta, the biggest gainers in market share of the young and restless were San Francisco; Denver; Portland; and Austin, Tex. The biggest losers included Washington, Philadelphia, New York and Los Angeles.

Back in August, the NYT published an article stating that New York was now a magnet for college graduates.

So who is right? Patrick McGeehan or Shalia Dewan? Perhaps a monkey knife fight is in order.

Overall, Ms. Dewan's article Cities Compete in Hipness Battle to Attract Young , displays how cities from Memphis to Atlanta there is a concerted effort drive more college-educated 25- to 34-year-olds to their cities. Afterall they are viewed as a valuable asset to a city since they will provide more growth and revenue.

As the article puts it.

These measures reflect a hard demographic reality: Baby boomers are retiring and the number of young adults is declining. By 2012, the work force will be losing more than two workers for every one it gains.

Baby Boomers are going to start retiring next year and there will be more jobs and more speaces to fill. Any city that wants to be viable in this century has to maintain an aggressive approach to get qualified young people into these positions.

The problem for cities, says Richard Florida, a public policy professor at George Mason University who has written about what he calls “the creative class,” is that those cities that already have a significant share of the young and restless are in the best position to attract more.

In other words cities like New York City are kicking everyon'e asses in. New York City already has the infrastructure and brand that attract tons of young people particuarly for college. And since coming back from the brink of oblivion, do not expect New York City to step aside and let other cities raid their tenant piles.

Real estate investors, take note of these areas that are on the hunt for young people. These cities, if they are smart, will offer a ton incentives for real estate investors who are able to house and attract these particular demographic. It never hurts to see what tax they issue.

Those of you who are screaming about how hard it is to rent an apartment in New York City are going to be screaming some more. The NYT gives the red alert with Only the Strong Survive which discuses how landlords are now issuing more demands that prospective tenants must fulfill in renting an apartment.

This is not suprising considering that vacancy rates have plummeted and it is abysmally expensive to operate a building in Manhattan. And as the article has pointed out all the real estate laws in New York City are in favor of the tenant. And when you have a delinquent tenant it means you are losing money on your investment until that tenant leaves, which if you are lucky will take a year.

The article also recommends dealing with smaller landlords in order to get around stringent demands.

If you have any blemish on your record, smaller landlords may be more lenient, especially for renters able to pay more upfront. “You’ll have a much easier time dealing with them,” said Barak Dunayer, the president of Barak Realty.

He recommended seeking individual owners who are leasing condo units. “I can usually kind of talk them into it,” he said. “Whereas with those big landlords, I’ll be lucky if they return my calls.”

JoAnn Schwimmer, an associate broker at DJK Residential, agreed that smaller landlords tend to be less selective. “I want to say it’s because they haven’t been burned as many times,” she said.

In theory, smaller landlords are supposed to be more pliable, however they can be just as insane as any landlord when it comes to filtering out clients. Remember, the rent they get from the condo goes to their mortgage payment. If they have only one tenant, that tenant is their sole cashflow source. For whatever reason if that source dries up, then the landlord has to pony up the money to pay for the mortgage payments. Of course a delinquent tenant increases a landlord's overhead in terms of legal fees and replacement costs.

Those of you who are seeking a condo rental, please remember that depending on how often the board meets you could be waiting a month to 3 months to get a response. And the application for a condo rental isusally a condo board package which is akin to applying to college. This means a ton of paperwork including, financials, recommendations and maybe even a back ground. And you will be paying alot more money for the processing fees. So it is not all joy and sunshine.

Also remember it is not just a matter of protecing your credit or having a high fico score to get in the good graces of a lanlord. As Jake Harrington of has pointed out.

“So the most financially sound person is going to pay off their credit-card balance in full, but the best credit-card customer is not that person,” said Mr. Harrington of, which weighs FICO scores against factors like references from prior landlords, housing court history, length of employment and cash flow. Applicants with FICO scores below 650 receive closer scrutiny, but high scorers are not given a pass.

“We have people all the time with a 700 to 800 FICO score, but their landlord-tenant record is horrible,” said Mr. Harrington, citing a recent incident in which his company called the former landlord of a woman who had moved to New York from Georgia. Although her income and credit were excellent, her ex-landlord reported that she had not paid the rent for three months and abandoned her dog when she left

In other words, try to avoid any type of litigation with your landlord.

As some of you know I did two entries on Jake Harrington regarding outsourcing rental brokers and comments about outsourcing. I am happy that is company has become a fixture in the real estate world.

It is my prediction that he won't be alone. Other companies will also sprout up offering similar services however whether they will provide the same quality of service is another story. But if you want to get a better idea of what the future will offer for real estate, watch Jake Harrington and very carefully. What they are doing is an indication of things to come.

In Kelly Kreth News, I recently recieved an email from our favorite real estate pr blogger with news that she will working as a reporter for GM TV, which is the British counterpart of Good Morning America. She will be taping 4 segments per week and is interested in any story ideas that any of you have to offer. Congrats Kelly. Maybe this will lead to a gig somewhere more local than the land of Fleet Street.

Speaking of Fleet Street and all things British, Property Day has announced brand new additions to their website which include two podcasts and extended coverage of the international real estate scene.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Cracking the Wall Street Bonus Code

I hope you had an excellent Thanksgiving

Many of you already know that I am not biggest cheerleader when it comes to Wall Street bonuses. As far as I am concerned any talk of bonuses saving the day is just speculation.

Tom Acitelli of the NY Observer has taken it upon himself to cut the douchebaggery and crack the bonus code and see if Wall Street Bonuses even have an affect on the market and he comes up with some surprising results after researching Miller Samuel's data.

The Wall Street bonuses appear to affect Manhattan apartment prices much more strongly than they do sales. The psychological boost from the bonuses every year, coupled with the usually slow winter sales season (read: slim pickings on the sales market), typically send springtime prices upward. That’s a reliable reality that reassures brokers, says one industry veteran, regardless of sales volume.

So there appears to be a strong correlation to with bonuses and prices. Not sales. So how does one take advantage of the situation?

Miller Samuel tracked the number of condo and co-op sales in Manhattan by quarter going back to the second quarter of 1990, and the median sales price for those co-ops and condos.

Both the median sales price and the number of sales went up, on average, only in the first and second quarters—the first halves of the year—spiking especially in the second quarter. Prices dropped in the third and the fourth quarters.

It appears the best time to find a bargain is during the winter since sellers will be more pliable especially if they are still holding onto to their homes and were dissappointed by the horrible turnout from the Wall Street Cavalry.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Roll Call

Rise and shine, its time for the Roll Call.

Propertyshark for one time only has a free foreclosure weekend. That’s right, peruse all the foreclosures you want till the end of the weekend.

This is a great move on part of Propertyshark because foreclosures are going to be huge in 2007. And it is one of those features that will keep Propertyshark competitive in the online real estate world. Thanks Kelly.

Barry Ritzholtz gives some more night sweat inducing news on the real estate market and focuses on the huge drop of building permits. Perhaps the most telling quote was from Phillip Neuhart, an economist at Wachovia, who said: "This is a shocking number. The market is going to remain weak well into next year

However that has been a huge increase in New Jersey for foreclosures.

New Jersey's leading home foreclosure database warned today that a key indicator of housing market instability in the state has jumped substantially from 2005 to 2006 - indicating that the state's stalled-out housing market may have a rocky road ahead to recovery.
According to statistics compiled by the state's leading online foreclosure data service,, the number of lis pendens filed in the state of New Jersey has risen 44% -- from 2,486 in the third quarter of 2005 to 3,577 in the third quarter of 2006.

Thank you to the reader who sent me this.

The Craigslist discrimination suit is tossed. Congratulations Craig!

Another perspective on being a rental agent. Via Curbed

And those of you who are getting into arguments with people who think New York City is bubble proof, well you can use this latest NYT article to smack them into reality.

The most startling aspect of this article is this part.

In some cases, developers are trying to sell their lots before they start construction. “I’m getting five calls a week from people who own sites and want to sell them,” says Michael Forrest, a senior associate who works in the New York office of Marcus & Millichap, a real estate investment brokerage based in Encino, Calif. “I’m surprised at how many developers are running for the hills.”

Remember people, real estate development depends on timing and if developers are playing cut and run in New York City, well, that should be an indication how screwed things are.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Broker Ettitqutte Part 2: The Exchange

I became quite curious about what this reader was experiencing and requested a copy of the email exchange to analyze it. My good reader graciously granted my request and below is my response and analysis of this online squall. The content of this email has been edited in order to protect the identity of all parties involved.

Ok. Now I see what is going on. I don’t think you misread the intentions in the email but I can explain why this agent acted in this manner. Please do not take my analysis as criticism of your actions. I think you were quite respectful and clear cut in your email. Unfortunately I think this agent may have misinterpreted it in a negative fashion. Below is my analysis of the exchange. You will notice that I have a twisted sense of humor in some of my embellishments but I hope my analysis is clear.


I would like some information on this listing.

Translation: I would like some information on this listing.


Feel free to give me a call.

Give me a call. Let’s talk and get to know each other. Maybe you will buy this apartment Or maybe I can find you something else. We won’t find out unless you call.

Hello, thanks for the quick reply, please provide me the square footage of the apartment. I am very busy right now.

I am sure you are very nice person and all but I am juggling ten different things at once and it would really be cool if you could just give me the square footage that way you won’t waste my time and I won’t waste yours.

Then call me when you are free.

Excuse you? Listen, you want the information then you have to come to the source. You don’t have the time to call me? Then call me when you have the time.

There are many open houses tomorrow we need to sort out those that we don't wish to attend. Please answer the question or if you'd prefer not to.

As someone who is also working in a service related industry I have learned to do what the client asks. If I wanted to call, then I would have called. Feel free to answer or not at all. All I am doing is trying to determine the price per square foot. We just sold our home and we are looking for something different.

Dude, seriously. I don’t have time for this douchebaggery. Just give me information or don’t. I am not trying to make your life any harder than it is but there is a crapload of listings out there I need to narrow down the open houses I have to attend.

We both work in the services field which means the customer is always right. And guess what. I’m the customer. As the customer I have chosen not to call you and from what I understand you are supposed to respect my decision. I don't think I am being reasonable with my requests.

Listen, a tractor trailer filled with cash just rolled into our lives after we sold our enormous house and since we are aligning ourselves to a smaller home we are more than qualified to make this purchase. In other words we are well qualified buyers.

From the quickness of my replies it should be clear that I'm all about service and Ido what the “client” wants.
Besides REBNY forbids me from answering these types of questions.

Motherf***ker do you know who I am? I am the Liberace of the real estate scene. Have you even looked at my listings? Anything less than $2 million isn’t worth blowing my nose on, because that is the way I roll. You should be grateful that I am even emailing you at all considering how much paper I generate. You don’t like it? Then complain to REBNY. You want service? Well guess what? You just got served.

Seriously, from what I can gather from this exchange it comes down to perspective. He wants to start a courtship. You just want to see the prenuptial agreement.

It is also blatantly obvious that this broker is a passive aggressive individual and is scared out his mind. From what I have seen on his web ads, he has 4 high end listings that are sitting out there gathering dust. That is if the sellers haven’t taken them off the market or switched brokers.
From reading his profile and his closing record, this is an individual who probably just had the best four years of his life and now he’s stagnating. Along with getting yelled at by his sellers for the crappy market, his manager is probably pushing him to make something happen. Then you come along with your questions, which he sees as an opportunity to work his mojo to sell an exclusive directly to you or pick you up as a buyer. But you do not respond to his commands, in fact you rebel and ignore all his cues. That is what infuriates him. It is also irritates him that he is unable to use his phone mojo on you since you are standing your ground.

Another possibility why this broker went into snark mode was because of the medium being used. To quote Marshall Mcluhan “The medium is the message.” Unfortunately you can’t communicate the tone of voice or inflections in an email and perhaps if a conversation occurred things may have been different or maybe he would have went completely bats**t crazy. Who knows?

I understand where he comes from but I strongly disagree with his response. One thing I learned about customers is that they are all different. Some want to be cuddled and some just want the bare facts and then they will figure out the rest on their own. Some buyers are comfortable with email and others live by the phone. Whatever the customer dictates the broker should follow to the best of their ability. And that is where the trouble starts because some are unwilling or unable to adapt to the customer's needs.

What I would have done is send you an email with the floor plan measurements and politely offered to show the apartment to you. If you respond with the desire to see the apartment, great, if not, that’s life. At least I didn’t piss you off and you can say that I was cooperative and didn’t waste your time. And maybe you refer me to one of your friends or family or maybe you forget about me. But I am going to avoid getting into a confrontation with you because all it takes is one poisonous word to infect the whole well. Not that you are poison but you get my drift. At least I hope you do.

If you are still interested in this apartment I recommend you find another broker who will act on your behalf and contact the broker in question to arrange a showing. If the passive aggressive broker figures out who you are he might try to pull the “He was my buyer first.” bulls**t. Which technically you weren’t since he never showed you the apartment.

But don’t worry about that, any good buyer's broker will be able to protect you and if this broker is still a problem then who cares. There are other apartments out there that are probably better and more reasonably priced.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Broker Ettitqutte Part 1

Several weeks ago I received an email from a reader regarding broker ettitqutte. Apparently the reader was having trouble trying to get a straight answer from a broker which proved to be quite irritating. Being the helpful guy that I am open, I offered to shed some insight on the situation. Below is the initial email and my response. I have edited the content to protect all parties involved.

I'm noticing that more and more brokers will respond to email requests with a phone number and a message to call.

Should I strongly demand a reply, or leave a message with the property owners to the effect that the broker is not helping their cause?

Second question revolves around regulations and politeness. When I ask for an approximate size regarding an apartment, I realize that the number is an estimate, often based on a plan, or an architects estimate or the apartment's current owners perceptions. I always characterize my question as an attempt to get an estimate. In this slower market, I'm suddenly being told that REBNY forbids any estimates. I also notice that I can always get an estimate when the price per sf is a selling point. Again, what is the best way to get what I need to help make a decision? Is it rude to let the current owner know that the broker is not helping?

Below is my response.

Thank you for reading my blog. I understand your aggravation and I hope shedding light on the situation will it make it easier for you to navigate the mind of a broker and this insane market. I do have to laugh since etiquette and broker don't exaclty go hand in hand.

First of all ads serve as lead generators for brokers. The moment you contact a broker is all the broker needs to develop a rapport with you. There are three reasons why the broker wants that rapport. First, they want a direct buyer for their listing. A direct buyer means a bigger commission for themselves, which they only have to split with the house. That is the goal of every broker with an exclusive especially during these times.

The second reason is because the possibility looms that you will not like the exclusive listing which is alright. By showing their exclusive they have established credibility and will continue to pursue a relationship with you representing your buying needs.

The third reason is because they want to pre-qualify you. They want to have an idea of who you are. Are you worth their time? Do you have the money to buy this apartment or are you just spinning your wheels.

This can't be done through email. They need to actually meet you in person or on the phone.

Square footage is a tricky issue. I usually leave that to the appraiser and if buyers press me on the issue, I point to the floorplan and let them come to their own conclusions. The reason is that if brokers misquote square footage in residential sales they could be sued, which is something all brokers like to avoid. And I think it is best to get a more objective opinion rather than the exclusive broker.

If you want to get a better idea of the square footage, I think it is best to go there and measure it yourself or have someone with experience in measuring square footage to do the honors. If a broker objects, just ask if they are hiding something and that it has to be measured anyway for the mortgage. AND WHEN YOU DECIDE TO PURCHASE AN APARTMENT REMEMBER TO GET THE MORTGAGE CONTINGENCY INSURANCE. THERE ARE PLENTY OF TRUE STORIES OF BUYERS LOSING THEIR DOWN PAYMENT BECAUSE THE APARTMENT UNDER APPRAISED. AND YOU CAN SEE HOW SERIOUS I AM BECAUSE I AM WRITING IN CAPS.

As for this thing about RBENY forbidding square footage to be reported, I have never heard of that one. And even if it is true, I am not sure why the board would even implement that law.

As for what to do about a broker who either is really stupid or just plain sneaky? It is really up to you to inform the seller that their representation leaves something to be desired. It also depends on what you experienced. If the broker was downright rude, obnoxious and racist, a complaint is definitely in order. You might also want to complain to their manager. If you do complain to the seller they will eviscerate their broker from crotch to gullet. They might even lose the exclusive. Will it speed up the buying process? Perhaps not. Maybe the seller will be annoyed at you or appreciate your input. I don't know. It really depends on the person.

In part 2 I get analyze the correspondence between the two parties. Dr. Phil would have a field day with the broker.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Roll Call

The Grunt would like to introduce Roll Call which will be a list of links that are of interest.

According to the Real Estate Stephen Ross will maintain his chairmanship to REBNY. Interesting fact about Stephen Ross, he funded Related Real Estate through the sale of tax credits that he acquired through development.

This came in my email.
An amazing discovery has been announced in the real estate world. It's called blogging and its going to change the real estate world. A pair of real estate geniuses Richard Nacht & Paul Chaney have put a book about this brand new amazing phenomon. They call this book Realty Blogging which explains how to:
- Build your brand
- Find new customers
- Attract major search engines
- Dominate your market niche

This brand new, authoritative book on real estate blogging is perfect for:
- any realtor who is trying to get ahead
- a broker to give to his/her agents
- holiday gifts

With every book purchase, you receive a free blog to help get you started!

Did you hear that people? You get a free f**king blog! Can you f**king believe they will give you free f**king blog? That is so generous of them.

Yep. These guys are the authorities on blogging. How do I know? Because they said so. I mean why bother looking online for free resources on blogging? I mean that is just plain stupid when you could spend 13 bucks on this book.

And if you want to an autograph, well heading over to NARdi Gras and meet Realty Blogging authors Richard Nacht & Paul Chaney at booth #981!

Yes. I'm being brutal but these people should know when it comes to douchebaggery like this it is the way I roll.

Mosaic Properties Opens a branch in Herald Square and becomes BFF with Curbed with their Rental 911 sessions. They will be chugging down redbulls trying to find apartments for renters. Now that is dedication.

From baking cupcakes, throwing in free cars and hiring actors to stage a home, Nightline exposes how fached things reall are for sellers.

The Big Picture puts fist to head on NAR's marketing campaign. The Big Picture also calls in an air strike and practically napalms NAR's advertising claims and points out they are completely false. Realtors presenting half truths? Now I have heard everything.

Big Picture also does some recon on Home Price Indexes and provides evidence of how really screwed we really are.

I know. These are alot of links for The Big Picture, but Barry keeps sending me these links and I feel bad when I don't post them since he is a really nice guy.

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Ed Bradley

You will be missed.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Tom Acitelli joins the New York Observer

I just want to congratulate Tom Acitelli in joining the New York Observer.

New Observer Real Estate Editor Says Hello
This is Tom Acitelli, the new editor in charge of the New York Observer's rapidly expanding real estate coverage. Some of you may know me as the former associate editor at The Real Deal, the trade magazine your broker memorizes. The rest of you don't know me yet. But all of you should drop me an email or call me at (212) 407-9307 with tips, stats, suggestions and critiques.

To all of you Observer readers, Tom Acitelli made his bones in real estate journalizm over at the Real Deal. He is a throwback to old school journalism which is following the three rules which are "Get the story", "Get the story", "Get the story"

The man has gone beyond the call of duty in digging up the truth and for reporting on all aspects of the industry, including areas that are not so popular. He is definitely not a douchebag.

Monday, November 06, 2006

The politics are dancing.

New York City’s political climate is the best example of how politics have played a key role in the current state of real estate development. Bloomberg has displayed how politics can be used to encourage development and Bruce Ratner is an example of how even a man of his stature can be reigned in by those who have only their voices to fight with. Whether you are a developer or a just a homeowner, it is imperative to be aware of the politics of your neighborhood since it will either benefit or destroy your project.

Which brings me to the midterm elections occuring tomorrow. Its old news but the reality of Iraq is starting to become more obvious. It seems that Bush has mistaken pushing water as progress when in fact things have been spiraling out of control for awhile in Iraq. To make things worse Bob Woodward has come out with his Book State of Denial, which has presented harsh evidence that our administration is unable or unwilling to face the truth that invading Iraq was a really bad idea but also that the US does not have the capabilities to control the situation. Condolezza Rice has not emerged unscathed as disturbing evidence has been presented that the CIA did present information to her that Al Quadea was planning an attack several months before September 11th. Of course what also hasn’t helped the credibility of the administration is that an intelligence report was leaked that the current war in Iraq is actually fueling more polarization and creating more terrorists who are more than willing to blow themselves up to destroy the great satan.

Now adding to the mix is a pedohophile in the Republican party. Before I go any further, let’s get something clear, no matter how they spin it and try to blame on alcoholism, homosexuality, ABC news and the Democrats, Mark Foley is a predator whoe he used his position to prey on the young and powerless. I meanfor god's sake, the man was engaging in online sex before a house vote with a minor.

So any comments that it wasn’t his fault or that this is a conspiracy will not be tolerated.

Do not mistake what I am saying as a rant. It isn’t. I just pointing out the obvious that the tide has turned against the Republican party. A reckoning is coming and there is going to be a lot of new faces come January of 2007 in the Senate and House of Representatives. And if the Democrats are successful its going to make the last two years of Bush’s presidency very interesting. That is if he lasts that long. The possibility does loom that he could be impeached. And with North Korea now flexing their nuclear muscles and Iran playing catch up, it certainly makes things more interesting.

The real estate market is already heading downhill and has presented itself as a drag on the economy. If the political winds change in Washington, then the industry could be in for more of a beating. Already Democrats are acting as if they have already won, declaring that once their party is in power they are going to raise the minimum wage and tax the rich into the stone age. For all we know they might even tinker with real estate tax laws. That is if John Kerry can keep his mouth shut and not saying anything stupid.

Now I am becoming nostalgic for my youth when all I had to worry about was nuclear war and a marine selling arms for hostages to fight against commies in Latin America.

Basically we are dealing with a basketful of unknowns which is something people really don’t like. Whether it is impeachment or new taxes, non likes any obstacles in their flight to quality. Of course Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi says everything will be cool.

"Making them lame ducks is good enough for me."

That is until the Democrats hunger for a duck dinner.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Happy Birthday Alison!

This past Halloween I was invited by Alison Rogers to celebrate her birthday which was walking in the Halloween Parade.

Alison's the one with her hands up and the gentleman with the alligator head is her husband Ivan. He has the coolest job of brining comicbooks to other mediums. Both of them are quite hilarious and compliment each other. He was the only guy who got my Snake Eyes on a budget costume.

The rest of the group consisted of writers, journalist and even a person who was a subject of one of Joyce Cohen's The Hunt. Unfortunately, she was unable to join us. One guy I met worked in aerodynamics and provided some fascinating insights on figher jets. Did you know that in the near future all aircraft will be fully computerized?

We all wore birthdays to commerate the event and joined a massive crowd of pirates, cheerleaders, 80's dancers and massive floats.

This little devil, pun intended, used to work for Alison over at the New York Post and now works in the real estate section at the New York Post. And yes. She is hotter in person.

Happy Birthday Alison! Yes. That's me next to her.