Lots of price cuts today, but I'm not posting on them

trouble in our market

trouble in our market

Because they're all houses I've discussed before, and I really don't want to embarrass or humiliate their owners: the point of this blog is to report market conditions, not, I hope to hurt individual homeowners. 

That said, the homes I'd be tempted to write about are all properties that have now slipped below  their original purchase prices several years, even a decade (or more) ago, despite having hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on them for renovations and expansions. And, contrary to the happy experience of the spec builder on Husted, it seems that buyers of existing houses are experiencing depreciation of their homes, rather than the appreciation we witnessed in the glory days. 

So, suggestion: buy a house to live in, and enjoy it with your family; don't consider it an asset but rather, an expense, just like a rental.

(I've pointed this out before). 

Sold before it was finished

104 Husted, a 10,000 sq.ft. behemoth "listed" (not really, I suspect) 3 days ago for $7.1 million, is reported as pending. Not much of interest here about the house itself—one Granoff house is pretty much like another—but the selling price is encouraging news for mid country homeowners, and provides, maybe, a cautionary note to Riverside and Old Greenwich would-be sellers. 

This property sold for just under $2 million in 2015, and a builder was able to sell his new construction for $7 million. In our eastern end of town, building lots have also been selling for around $2 million, but the houses built on them average out at about $4 million. The mid country has returned to the traditional builder formula of "a third, a third, a third", meaning one third for land, one third for construction, one third for overhead and profit. In fact, in this case, the builder's doing even better than that. Riverside and Old Greenwich, however, have been demanding, and getting a half for the land alone.

It shouldn't take too long before builders notice the discrepancy.

This case should not only be dismissed, the lawyers who brought it should be fined and disbarred

Yevgeniy Turin, master carpenter

Yevgeniy Turin, master carpenter

Rather, the retailers say, those are “nominal” designations accepted in government-approved industry standards, which also specify actual minimum dimensions — 1½ inches by 3½ inches for a two-by-four, for example, and 3½ inches by 3½ inches for a four-by-four.
“Anybody who’s in the trades or construction knows that,” said Tim Stich, a carpentry instructor at Milwaukee Area Technical College.
True enough, said Yevgeniy Turin of McGuire Law, the firm that represents the plaintiffs in both cases. [But] “It’s difficult to say that for a reasonable consumer, when they walk into a store and they see a label that says four-by-four, that that’s simply — quote unquote — a trade name,” Turin said in an interview.
Turin said his clients don’t argue that the retailers’ four-by-fours (and, in the Menards’ case, a one-by-six board as well) are not the correct size under the standards published by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The product labels, however, should disclose that those are “nominal” designations and not actual sizes, Turin said.
Some Menards customers aren’t buying it.
“They haven’t measured four inches by four inches since the ‘50s,” said Scott Sunila after loading purchases into his pickup.
“My God, that’s crazy,” the 60-year-old bulldozer operator said of the lawsuits. “Let me on the jury. They ain’t winning. And they’re gonna pay me extra for my time.”

Construction wood (as opposed to wood-working material) hasn't measured the size it was when cut since lumber companies began kiln-drying wood back, what, 100 years ago? Anyone who doesn't know that has no business trying to build something in the first place, even a lawyer named, as in this case, Yevgeny Turin.

Lawyers are required by the ethical rules that govern the profession to sign pleadings in good faith. Even assuming that Yevgeny, who's a mere associate and thus only partly responsible for this shakedown, and his idiot partner bosses, who are fully responsible, are city boys who don't know one end of a hammer from the other, they're still under an obligation to investigate the subject, both to competently represent their clients and to avoid filing  a false claim. Had they merely Googled the question "is a 2x4 really 2 by 4 inches?" they'd have been lead to scores, even hundreds of answers, all answering in the negative, and all explaining why, like this one. 

Green wood is indeed 2" x 4" when cut, but you don't want to use green wood: it warps, shrinks and oozes sap, all of which will ruin what you build. Before kiln drying began, green wood was air dried for months, even years, and that slow aging did leave the lumber pretty close to its original dimensions—measure the wood in a 1800 house or barn for instance—but when kiln drying was introduced to speed up the process, long, long ago, the faster process shrunk the wood. Seriously: everyone who uses construction wood knows, or should know this, and the lawyers involved here must know it too—they filed the suit to shake down Home Depot, in the hope that they could collect a massive fee as nuisance value, and yield their supposed clients nothing.

How did these cases materialize? Here's how.

As Turin described it, all three men in the lawsuits wanted the lumber for home-improvement projects, got home and measured the pieces, felt they had been deceived and then turned to the law firm.
Asked whether it was coincidence that three different men found the same sort of issue with lumber first at Menards and then at Home Depot, and then all decided to go to McGuire Law, Turin said he couldn’t comment.

I'd suggest hanging them, but that's probably too harsh. Disbarment, however, is not.

Greenwich Democrats admit: as low a standard as he sets, they have no one qualified to challenge Peter Tesei

Is that Big bird? I wike big bird!

Is that Big bird? I wike big bird!

"Shame on us", Greenwich Democrat head Jeffrey Ramer admits. 

"Tesei's a drooling, Mongoloid idiot" Ramer told FWIW, as he adjusted his wig, "so it's pretty goddamned pathetic that we can't find anyone who can at least claim to be better than him. We'd hoped Blankely would try again—hey, he managed to hide a towel under his suit to catch his own drool during the last campaign, so he at least looked credible, but after he got his daughter installed as Town Planner he quit on us: wants to bring his Venezuelan - Illinois vision of budgeting to Hartford and is running for State Treasurer. So who's left?

"We got that Swamadama Dingdong character from what, Byram? She's a fucking moonbat refugee from a whack-job commune whose own daughter has denounced her; we got friggin Fudrucker, a three-time loser, and I suppose we might have my wife, the most hated divorce attorney in Fairfield County: there's a winner, eh? 

"And that's it: the cupboard's bare. There's no one else in our party with the minimum 75 IQ that the national party requires of all our candidates, so that leaves Tesei, at 82, unchallenged. I'd like to take that test again and see if I couldn't qualify to run against the fucking moron myself, but I'm told that I maxed out at five tries.

"Like I said—pathetic."