Property Grunt

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Yo Joe

No. Not this Joe.

I was in the middle of writing an email to a coffee joint that I frequent regarding my recent unsatisfactory customer experience but I figured why waste good content on an email when I can blog about it.

This coffee place is not Starbucks but it is starting to grow into a very well known local chain with their impeccable coffee and service. However, there was a bit of a change at my latest visit.

Usually when I go to my favorite bean slinger there is a line out the door. This time it was no different, however that was because the doors were closed despite they should have been open 30 minutes ago. That anomaly was explained with a sign on the door saying that they would be right back.

Just as the coffee mob was about to kick the doors down, the employee arrived with an ice coffee in hand and babbled apologies while opening the doors. When it was my turn to order, I indicated that I wanted an extra jolt of caffeine with my drink. I am unsure why she responded this way but she stated that the drink I was requesting already had a jolt of caffeine since it was a coffee based drink. I attempted to clarify but she walked away from me while preparing it and it was only after repeating to her that I knew that but I wanted an extra jolt. When she presented my drink she loudly stated that it had the extra jolt and the included jolt of caffeine.

From what I gathered from the situation the employee's entire schedule was thrown off course because upon arriving on time for work, the employee found that there was no milk and that a new employee was supposed start their first day with her and had not shown up.

As someone who deals with customer service, I find this whole situation appalling and that if they had taken certain steps, it would have eliminated or mitigated the impact of the situation.

Here are my recommendations.

1. The last crew to leave the store should check on all the essential inventory before closing shop. And whatever is needed, they should stock up on. If they are unable to do so, they should inform the next crew in advance of the situation so they are not taken by surprise. In this age of email, texting and cell phones that that should not be a problem. So they fact that she found out that they had run out of milk just as she arrived to start her day is mind boggling.

2. The employee who was late starting their first day needs to be informed that type of behavior is completely unacceptable and because of their tardiness they disrupted the work flow of my local bean slinger, which affected their customers, which has negative impact on the profitability of their company. Once again, we are in a recession and anything that f**ks up profits is really bad. And considering that we are in a recession, they need to understand they can be easily replaced.

3. Stew Leonard's adage is the following
"Rule #1 Customer's always right.
Rule # 2 If the customer is wrong look at rule # 1."

I would also like to add the following.

"No matter how you s**ty you feel, never , ever f**k with the customer."

When the employee in question responded to my request for an extra caffeine jolt, the tone and content of the response felt very patronizing and passive aggressive. One could argue that I should have been clearer with her. My rebuttal is this; perhaps, however what this employee should have done was to ask did I want an extra caffeine jolt and not go in a lecture of how all coffee, unless it is decaffeinated, already has caffeine in it.

When you treat your customers as if they stepped off the short bus, you are not asking, you are demanding to be put of business. Part of being successful in business is saying "Thank you" and meaning it even if you are thinking "Go f**k yourself."

As I said before I have been in their shoes before which is why I am exercising such compassion. But honestly, my patience for this type of bulls**t is wearing thin. People need to know what happens when you act like an 800 lbs gorilla. and the consequences it brings.

Things are rough all over for all of us. But that is no reason to become animals. As human beings we have the ability to overcome and control our mental states.

To all of of you f**k ups in customer service, stop it. All it takes is one rude comment and it won't ruin your day. It will ruin the rest of your life.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

"I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes,"

The first time I heard of J.D Salinger was when introduced to a Catcher in the Rye by me high school freshman English teacher. From what I recollect, my initial impression of the book was amusing however any joy I felt was squashed because of poseur who sat next to me and fashioned himself as a modern day Holden Caufield. I would roll my eyes when he drop the word "phony" in his conversations.

Back then I thought the coolest thing about J.D Salinger was that his son was Captain America.

Recently I read "Catcher in the Rye" again and I see it is an absolute masterpiece. It is funny, droll, painful and honest. There are countless things you only understand through the passage of time.

Godspeed to you J.D. Salinger.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hell has frozen over

"Oh hells yeah!"

this really took the wind out of my sails when I got this from Kelly Kreth.


-- Hamptons Luxury Rental Bidding Events Will Be Broadcast Live On PlumTV as Part of their Joint Media Partnership--

--First Hamptons Event Will Debut “Dutch” Auction—

--BOTC Introduces Smart Phone Application, BidCity Mobile --

New York, January 25, 2010 – Bid on the City,, [BOTC] the pioneer of online bidding for luxury Manhattan real estate, announced they will begin using their live online bidding platform for renting luxury properties in the Hamptons . This will be the first rental bidding event that Bid on the City has done.

Bid on the City will debut a “Dutch” auction, in which the starting price has incremental decreases until the first bid comes in, after which, bidding is closed. Unlike traditional bidding in which the price goes up and bidders have an opportunity to increase their bids, the dynamics for a Dutch auction are very different. The first bid is the final bid.

This event will also introduce BidCity Mobile, an innovative new technology that will provide mobile bidding with live audio and streaming video.

As part of a newly formed joint media partnership with BOTC, Plum TV,, a 24-hour lifestyle network, will broadcast the event live on Plum TV with expert commentary provided by local hosts and streaming live on

Bid on the City anticipates holding its first Hamptons bidding event on a Saturday in late February or early March. (Exact dates and property listings, along with starting bids, will follow to press shortly.) Live bidding will take place in Bid on the City's Fifth Avenue showroom. Bidding can be done in person, online, or via smart phones; all video and audio is streamed in real time.

Luxury rental properties will be listed on for 30 days and will include virtual tours, photos, the leasing agreement, a schedule of open houses, and area information. Properties aren’t up on the site yet, but BOTC anticipates listing at least five Hamptons rentals properties in the next three weeks, including their starting bids. After 30 days, a live “Dutch” auction will be held.

“Today's economic climate has created a demand for a fast, efficient, and transparent way to rent property. Bid on the City in the Hamptons will introduce a Dutch auction, which provides an interesting dynamic for someone looking to rent. There is no second chance, so if a bidder wants a property, the bidder must be the first to bid. Each property will be open for bidding for five minutes, allowing many properties to be presented in a very short time,” says Vlad Sapozhnikov, general manager, Bid on the City.

I think Bid on the City's timing is brilliant considering what is going on in the Hamptons right now. And any bullet proof aura that the Hamptons once had is now gone.

Okay. If the fact that Bid on the City is now staking a claim in the Hamptons does not prove to you that A. The real estate market is still in free fall B. Brokers need to think about getting into the auction business, then you are still living in 2004.

It's Over

Stuyvesant Town Turned Over to Creditors

The owners of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, the sprawling sister complexes overlooking the East River in Manhattan, have decided to turn over the two complexes to creditors, officials said Monday morning.

The decision by Tishman Speyer Properties and BlackRock Realty comes four years after the $5.4 billion purchase of the complexes’ 110 buildings and 11,227 apartments in what was the most expensive real estate deal in American history.

The decision to surrender the properties comes after the developers failed to make payments on loans due for the properties, which have been a comfortable harbor for the city’s middle class since they opened in the late 1940s.

Tishman Speyer and its partner had been negotiating since November to restructure $3 billion worth of debt and to hold on to the properties, which cover 80 acres east of First Avenue, from 14th Street to 23rd Street. But their reserves, once stuffed with $890 million for capital improvements, interest payments and renovations, are now virtually depleted.

Metropolitan Life built the complexes for World War II veterans in the 1940s, when the city was in desperate need of new housing. It received tax breaks and other incentives in return for maintaining low rents. The buildings became home for generations of workers searching for an affordable spot in Manhattan.

But with the real estate market soaring in 2005, MetLife decided to sell. Tishman Speyer and BlackRock won an auction the following year.

The rents collected did not cover the mortgage payments, but like other investors and developers at the time, the partners had a plan to increase net income by steadily renovating and deregulating vacant apartments while raising rents substantially.

For tenant advocates and urban planners, the sale underscored the loss of affordable housing in the city and the highly speculative financial structures that, they warned, would only end in disaster.

Yeah. As if we did not see this coming.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Plan

They had a plan too. Didn't work out so well.

It appears that everything I wrote about has come true.

Of things to come.

There has been dissension amongst the Democrats, the Republicans have staged a successful counter attack in Ted Kennedy's home state. Albeit Ted's replacement is a man with a history of being bare chested and bare everywhere. It also appears his wife and two daughters have a thing for showing skin. and the majority of the general public has pretty much turned their backs against Obama.

Mayor Mike: Don't Interfere with Our Wonderful Banks!Mayor Mike: Don't Interfere with Our Wonderful Banks!

What does Obama do?

Does he retreat?

Does he beg?
Does he hold his ground?


He grabs a blade and goes straight for the jugular.

Obama hammers Wall Street banks

Of course we have the expected reaction of people losing their s**t.

Bloomberg Hammers Obama, Congress Over Bank Plan

Obama Seen as Anti-Business by 77% of U.S. Investors

And this is not a brazen, wild hay maker of a response from Obama. This is a surgical pin point accurate laser guided bomb of retaliation.

There is a saying in Chinese strategy.

Remove the firewood from under the pot

In other words, if you want to disarm or destroy an opponent, remove their assets.

What keeps the Republican party pot boiling is money. Money generated from parties that benefit from a free market. Remove that fire and they are f**ked.

What Obama is asking for, is not simply populist rhetoric. All over the world, everyone is demanding these changes, even the British Tories. What makes it worse for Wall Street is that the changes that Obama is asking for have already proven to work.

It is my belief that President Obama was holding onto to this ace in the hole since the beginning of his presidency. He is switching gears from reforming our health care to reforming our financial system not because he wants to help the American people but because the Republicans went Cylon and put their plan into action. Now Obama is showing them the airlock.

Remember when you f**k Obama. He will f**k you back but harder.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Roll with it.

Whatever happens to this guy, I think he will be alright.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


I am going to be switching gears and do some lovely coverage of the Manhattan of Westchester, Scarsdale.

Now for this particular story, you need to watch the video.

It sounds like Officer Kraus is a stand up guy. A regular centurion with a badge. A man of honor.

Not Quite.

The word "stupid" is probably an accurate description of this person, however I would also like to add Karma.

The crash occurred around 1:30 AM in the village of Scarsdale. Ever been to the village of Scarsdale at that time of night? Even tumbleweeds do not pop out since it is so dead. The fact that this nudnik hit a police car shows how karma was literally riding shotgun with Kraus.

Here are some interesting facts about this case.

Kraus, who made $115,659 in 2008, including overtime, was suspended with pay pending a county police investigation. He was released without bail from Scarsdale custody, pending a court appearance.

With a salary like that and a pension, I think we all should become cops.

Due to heavy rain, Kraus was taken elsewhere for field sobriety testing, the police report said. He performed poorly on the horizontal gaze but completed the one-leg stand and walk and turn without fault.

He then refused a Datamaster blood-alcohol test.

Of course he was able to pass the field sobriety test and of course he refused the breathalyzer. He knows the system inside out.

Officer Jessica Knatz, a former New York City police officer who has been on the Scarsdale force for 2 1/2 years, underwent surgery Monday and remains at Westchester Medical Center with injuries that are not considered life-threatening.

Get well Officer!

And this should not be a big surprise.

Westchester officer pleads not guilty to DWI, hands over license

And what will his fate be? Well, I don't know but this article should shed some light.

Cops admit protecting their own from DWI

If you want to read more coverage of this latest contender for the Darwin Awards, go here.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Double Dip

Back in December 2008 I discussed the nature of falling knives.

A blizzard of falling knives

It appears that a lot of us under the illusion that everything is honky dory. Well, we're not.

And it appears that in 2010, not much as changed.

This Is Not a Post-1980 Recession

The following is a note I received from an attorney friend of mine:

I really enjoy what you write. No doubt we're in a stock market bubble. But there seem to be signs of underlying life within my firm's client base -- transactions on the rise, money being lent, etc. What are all these people missing?

This is truly the $64 trillion question.

For substantially everyone in business today, they've been "taught" to believe that in a recession, the Federal Reserve lowers interest rates, people respond by borrowing more money, and the economy turns because of higher end demand.

That's been the case since 1980.

Unfortunately, what we're experiencing bears no resemblance to a post-1980 recession -- either in cause or consequence.

What we're dealing with is the accumulation of almost 80 years of debt-funded growth -- across the consumer, corporations, and governments.

And what I see is a complete change in attitudes toward debt. Other than sovereign governments, no one wants more debt. Even worse, people with debt are trying to get to less -- either through repayment (by those able) or default (by those unable). But looking at the data, the change in behaviors is unmistakable.

What I sense some are witnessing is the seemingly "logical" post-recession borrowing directed toward what people believe are cheap assets.

Once asset prices turn down (which has already begun to happen anew) I expect that people who are doing deals today will discover that they've done nothing more than catch a falling knife.

Recent economic history has accustomed people to believe that all recoveries are V-shaped.

This one is at best W-shaped. And the second V will easily be worse than the first one as "financial staying power" (if not simply survival) drives behavior from here.

Blindsided By Hope: Investors Need to Watch Poor Fundamentals

NEW YORK CITY-Market energy, bolstered by marginal earnings growth, has outpaced the recovery of fundamentals. As investors look to take advantage of opportunities in the market, they may be ignoring the grim reality of weak asset indicators and a still-dysfunctional financial system, said panelists at Deloitte & Touche LLP’s Distressed Assets & Debt Symposium.

"I’m surprised that the market has jumped on what could possibly be short-term earnings," said Deborah Bailey, director of governance, regulatory and risk strategies at Deloitte. "There were clearly things that were broken and they haven’t been fixed yet." Regulators are still devising rules to prevent further systemic failure, but that process has been sluggish.

Jason New, senior managing director and co-head of distressed investing for GSO Capital Partners and the Blackstone Group, suggested that the stimulus-driven recovery is masking the risks still present in the market.

But Bailey said she shudders to think what would have happened without government sponsored actions. Stopgap measures, such as TARP and TALF, certainly halted further hemorrhaging of the market, said Bailey. The capital purchase program, for instance, provided floundering banks a lifeline during the desperate days of the crash.

However, the purchase of legacy assets through PPIP, she noted, has been far less successful and cumbersome as investors slowly wind through the bureaucratic process. The difficulty of determining pricing has largely hamstrung efforts to siphon off troubled assets.

Still, the FDIC is managing to clear its stock of repossessed holdings through foreclosure auctions, which are anticipated to ramp up in the coming year. In some respects, the agency, the prime market clearing mechanism, has become an RTC-like institution for smaller banks, observed David Ying, senior managing director of corporate advisory business and co-head of the restructuring practice at Evercore Partners.

For the larger institutions, the motivation to sell just isn’t there. Precipitous value declines--down some 40% from 2007 peak levels--would translate into substantial discounts and losses on assets brought to market. However, sales activity in the past six months eclipsed the transaction volume of the prior 18 months. If this trend continues, the market will likely see an influx of deals.

But some market observers remain leery of the continued poor performance of commercial real estate. Occupancy and rental rate growth is all but nonexistent across all property types. Randy Reiff, founder of Spartan Real Estate Capital LLC pointed out that relative value has improved and people are feeding into that excitement without necessarily acknowledging the poor performance of asset classes.

"The question with commercial real estate is: 'Are people continuing to watch fundamentals or are they being blinded by the technical effect," Reiff said. "The market traded off 30 to 40 points a year ago and everyone was saying the market rallied back. But fundamentals never came back."

From what I have read and learned about the market and our economic situation, these perspectives make far more sense to me then the ones that say happy days are here again.

As I have stated in a previous entry, I had the opportunity to purchase an investment property that was a great deal but I passed it up. And I am glad that I did because my gut feeling is that there will be more opportunities out there since there will a large segment of the population seeking capital since credit is still not readily available.

Does that mean I won't be jumping in at all? Nope. I am just waiting. All the elements of a double dip seem far more likely than a V shaped recovery. Could I be bring? Perhaps, but all the evidence I am seeing that this recovery is a long time coming. So I am going to pull back and if it takes another year, who cares.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Yeah, lots of space in this mall.

One of my favorite movies is the Blues Brothers. I can go on for days of the synergy of the comic genius of Landis, Belushi and Ackroyd.

The classic scene that pops up often considered to a comedy classic is the Dixie Mall Scene.

Interesting trivia fact. The state trooper on the radio is Steven Williams of 21 Jump Street and X-Files fame.

Here is footage of the Dixie Mall now.

Even before the bubble burst, I would have thought that this mall would be ripe for development since it was basically abandoned.

Friday, January 15, 2010

NBC Late Night: The Battle of Serenity Valley

Unless you have been transported 70,000 light years to the Delta Quadrant, you probably know that the Late night line up at NBC has been reduced into the Battle of Serenity Valley

Late Night War Reaches Hardball Phase

O'Brien's camp, Finke says, is wrapping itself in the banner of the pimply, skinny, awkward (red-headed!), schoolkid standing up to the fat rich bully, which is appropriate enough under the circumstances. But a troubling whiff of naivete seems to have crept into O'Brien's thinking, to judge by what one of his team reps told Finke:

"Someone's got to show NBCU that big greedy corporate dickheads can't win," one of Conan's manager-agent-lawyer "Team Conan" representatives told me.

WARNING! THIS IS DEMONSTRABLY FALSE. Big greedy corportate dickheads always win. This won't end well.

Looks like Conan O'Brien is a Browncoat and NBC is the Alliance.

I got a bit of flack for the following two entries regarding the much deserved smackdown certain people received


Know your role and shut your mouth

I am going to probably lose a lot of my readers or whatever is left of my base for what I am about to say, but it has to be said.

Not to worry SS. Schadenfreude has not forgotten you.

The video above is a clip from Conan O'Brien where Sarah Silverman said the word "Chinks" in an attempt at humor.

If you want further background on it, please go to this link.

In regards to SS, I don't consider her edgy or contemporary in any way. She is just a person who pretty much star f**ked her way up the comedy ladder to get where she is now, which isn't very far. I think her colleagues would agree with my assessment. I truly pity her and and once people start thinking why they wasted their time and money on her, that is when her age of Schadenfreude begins, which I have to say is long over due.

What I would like to bring to your attention is this quote by Conan O'Brien regarding this incident.

Meanwhile, the male comedy organ leaped to the defense of its young female apparatchik. "The reason I was O.K. with the joke was because it's a really smart joke!" Conan O'Brien told The Observer . "I would think that the guy with the Asian-American action committee, or whatever it is, would applaud a joke like that …. What's ironic about this whole thing is that Sarah is just the kind of person who should be on shows like mine. She's what everyone says they want: 'Where's the really smart young women comics who are saying edgy stuff that's really intelligent?' And it's like: 'Uh, she's right here. Here she is!' We would have her back anytime ."

First off all if you take a piece of monkey crap put it on a plate and call it foie gras, it is still a piece of monkey crap. Calling a joke smart doesn't make it so and what is really insulting about Conan's response is that he implies that the offending party should not be offended in the first place and dismisses why they are offended. And he refuses to take responsibility for what happened on his show. I wonder what he would have said if SS decided to use a common derogatory term for African Americans.

Sounds pretty f**ked up coming from a Harvard Grad, but if you ask Jeremy Lin, attending the Ivy Leagues do not negate anyone from racism or ignorance.

In the past I have referred to my experiences in the media industry, usually in the negative. One of the individuals that contributed to this experience was a narcissistic and selfish troll who I had a couple of run ins with. This troll apparently fits in Hollywood because this person works with Conan. And right now this person is probably mainlining nicotine trying to figure out what to do.

Which brings me to this quote.

Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: Lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him."

Proverbs 24:17-18

I take no joy for what has happened to these people, for what has befallen them can befall me. In fact I am quite humbled. Besides this double bind is their own making. Why take any satisfaction in something that I had no hand in?

My hope is that when I become successful that I remember this when interacting with others. When I have been wronged, I hope I have the presence of mind to remember and do the right thing, the smart thing but never the angry or hateful thing.

I must admit I do feel a great sense of relief because it is evidence to me that the universe is in working order and Karma, God, Allah, Buddha, whoever or whatever is keeping tabs on everyone. That is why we should let go whatever anger or hate we feel towards those who trespass against us and forgive them. Whatever wrongs people commit, they will get repaid in kind with interest.

Clint Eastwood can sum it up best.

We all got it coming. Even you Jay Leno.


No. Not that wings

This Wings.

Not surprised that the owner is looking for a way out. According to this Nightline story. From bigger ice cubes, to using shot glasses instead of free pours and using a smaller scoop for re fried beans, the industry is looking everywhere to cut their costs and increase their profit margins.

No surprises here.


If you are looking to donate money go to this link.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Things I have heard

Grab a drink. You will need it.

I had an excellent weekend of socializing. Through the good times, the subject of lay offs came up. One person had been laid off for 3 months but landed a job that starts today. Through sips of beer, they confessed it wasn't their dream job but they needed to pay the bills. Another person at the party had just begun their journey onto unemployment line.

A person who works in the legal industry was exasperated about the current developments at their firm. Their firm is not just cutting to the bone but they are amputating limbs as they jettison partners. That person is very nervous since they avoided the swing of HR's scythe several times. For those of you who are planning a career in law, do not take what this person said lightly. Just look at the facts.

It is all very sobering. And it makes me grateful for what I have.

For all of you out there in the recession badlands. The video below is for you.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

So what does this mean?

As many of you know, one of the things I like to do is look between the lines and to speculate. Above is an ad regarding two pieces of property that are up for sale. What struck me was that the two tenants are Dollar Stores. Dollar Stores are great tenants because no one can resist a bargain and they are pretty much recession proof. So why does the owner want to sell off these cash cows? The first location is surrounded by undeveloped land and in my opinion what happened was that there were plans to turn that land into some type of commercial strip using the Dollar store as an anchor.

3 years ago this would have been a great idea. But with the credit markets still frozen and the real estate market attempting to recover, no one is going to touch this idea with a ten foot pole. For whatever reason, the owners have no desire to ride it out until the next evolution. For whatever reason they need money.

Which bring me this series of articles regarding the commercial market.

The Biggest, Baddest Real-Estate Loan

Over the next two years, more than $1 trillion of commercial real-estate debt nationwide will mature, and many of these deals, completed during the middle of the last decade, are far underwater. “All of this debt is coming due,” a top real-estate lawyer explained. “And these are the bubble loans, and now cash flow is half of where it was two years ago.” This season’s hangover may take quite a long while to dissipate.

Further Slide Seen in Commercial Real Estate

There are 920 football fields of available office space in Manhattan. More than 180 major buildings totaling $12.5 billion in value — from Columbus Tower at 1775 Broadway to the office tower 400 Madison Avenue — are in trouble, meaning in many cases they face foreclosure or bankruptcy, or have had problems making mortgage payments. Rents for commercial office space fell faster over the past two years than in any such period in the last half century.

“I have been in the business for 12 years. I have never seen it this bad,” Peter Von Der Ahe, vice president of investments for the brokerage Marcus & Millichap, said of New York City’s commercial real estate market. According to more veteran colleagues, he said, things have not been so dire since at least the early 1990s.

And that is not the most sobering assessment.

“It hasn’t hit bottom,” Mr. Von Der Ahe added.

U.S. Now a Renters' Market
With Apartment-Vacancy Rate at 30-Year High, Landlords Cut Prices 3% in 2009

Apartment vacancies hit a 30-year high in the fourth quarter, and rents fell as landlords scrambled to retain existing tenants and attract new ones.

View Full Image
Seattle Average rent: $937
Getty Images

Seattle average rent: $937
Seattle Average rent: $937
Seattle Average rent: $937

The vacancy rate ended the year at 8%, the highest level since Reis Inc., a New York research firm that tracks vacancies and rents in the top 79 U.S. markets, began its tally in 1980.

Rents fell 3% last year, according to Reis, led by declines in San Jose, Calif., Seattle, San Francisco and other cities that had brisk growth until the recession.

Gains in home sales have been driven by government stimulus, leading some to wonder if the nascent housing recovery needs federal assistance to sustain, Nick Timiraos reports.

In New York City, the vacancy rate improved by 0.1 percentage point for the second straight quarter, but around 60% of rental buildings dropped their rents in the fourth quarter from the previous quarter. Effective rents -- which include concessions such as one month of free rent -- fell 5.6% in New York last year, the worst since Reis began tracking the data in 1990.

Landlords now must entice tenants to renew leases. "We'll shampoo their carpets. We'll paint accent walls. We'll add Starbucks cards," said Richard Campo, chief executive of Camden Property Trust, a Houston-based real-estate investment trust that owns 63,000 units. He said the first half of 2010 should be "pretty ugly," but was optimistic the sector would pick up later in the year.

It is no secret that I think 2010 is going to suck ass for real estate and our economy. However as the cliche goes, chaos equals opportunity and there is a lot of opportunity around us.

Last night I was at a social gathering where I spoke to one person who had a firend who bought a 2 bedroom condo in Florida. It cost him $60,000. The owners originally bought it for $200,000. This guy is already a head of the game because when the next cycle comes, his equity is going to through the ceiling.

Save your money, protect your credit score and look at the market closely. There are going to be a lot of deals out there in the near future and it is in your best interest to take advantage of the situation.

One place to observe closely is China.

Contrarian Investor Sees Economic Crash in China

I am not an expert in economics but if this scenario were to occur where do you think all that Chinese money is going? Chances are there will be a flight to quality and the usual destination is the USA. And what happens when you have a sudden influx of demand? The trick is to get there before demand hits.

So watch your 6 and keep your money and credit tight.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Don't move to Philadelphia if your Asian.

Yes. This is for real.

Recently Phidelphia attempted to market itself as the next borough of New York City. However it has been a destination for Asian New Yorkers for sometime.

In the last couple of years, a rising number of Asians from New York City, specifically from Chinatown moved into Philadephia. These were restaurant workers who would commute to NYC while their families stayed in Philadelphia.

Everyone loves Asians. Their quite industrious people who raise property values and test scores.

However they are not always welcome. Especially in South Philadelphia.

In summary, Asian American kids have been getting jumped by their indigenous peers. For further details go to this link.

It has gotten to the point that these kids are afraid to eat lunch in the cafeteria.

And what has the administration done? Other than hooting and hollering, not much.

No consensus on prevention at South Phila. High meeting

Apparently the Superintendent has dealt with these types of situations before and responded with the same CYA.

In other words she is collecting her pay until she can retire and cash in on her pension.

In other words she does not give a f**k.

What is the solution? Don't go there. If people are too stupid, too provincial to recognize a good thing when they see it, then let them wallow in their own ineffectual slime pit.

What will eventually happen is that the armies of gentrification will arise and when they see the hordes of gays and rich white people at their doorsteps, they will wish they will wish they never touched a single hair on any Asian.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


New Year is here and a lot of R words are being thrown around.

There is talk about the Real estate market. some say recovery other say retreat. Then we are debating whether our economy is in a Recovery or Recession. And some Rich girl died.

SO what is my take?

This quote sums it up.

The first time I visited in 2007, James W. Browder, the Lee County schools superintendent, had recently scrapped plans to construct seven new schools. When I visited last month, he detailed how one-fourth of his elementary schools were now sending home weekly backpacks of food with students.

“One elementary school principal noticed parents going into schools with kids in the morning and sitting down in the cafeteria with them,” Mr. Browder said. “Then they noticed parents eating breakfast off kids’ plates. And then they noticed parents taking scraps home.”

We live in one of the most advanced and well developed country in the world and there are people in this country who eating school cafeteria leftovers. That is not normal. Even during a recession.

A family member who specializes in bargain hunting noticed something odd a very well know off price department store. The family member noticed a surplus of high end inventory on the store's shelves. What is odd is that the inventory is in excellent condition and it is from the current season.

Something is going on folks. Something bad. I don't have any proof. It is just my intuition. For what it is worth.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Something to feel good about.

An Undocumented Princetonian

Say what you want about how he got into this country, but his contributions can not be denied.