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January 2008


REAL ESTATE

Deeds & Don'ts
by Lily Oliver

INSIDE STORIES BEHIND AREA REAL ESTATE DEALS

Miserable Little Cottage For Sale
We couldn't resist an e-mail advertising the $365,000 "miserable" and "gutted" Milford Road cottage that, nonetheless, promises to confer the "lifestyle you've always wanted." While the photos do indeed look miserable, potential is there: the .09 acre lot that underlies the existing home is just steps from Laurel Beach and has been approved for a 2,500-square-foot new structure. The New York Times has identified a trend toward upselling the negative, citing listings on Craigslist advertising "ugly" and "the worst" houses in town. For more information about the Milford property, visit teardowns.com.

On the Sunny Side of the Street
Not to sound petulant, but the media has been harshly criticized for its coverage of the real estate industry's woes—as if the subprime mortgage mess, disappearing buyers and all those foreclosures are somehow "our bad." Chastened, this member of the media has resolved to walk on the sunny side of the street this month, reporting only on the market's strongest segments. A Nero-like tendency, fiddling while Rome burns? No, as it happens. In our state, anyway, there are a handful of factors keeping sales activity strong: luxury listings, indy "boutiques" and—you heard it here first&mdashthe divorced-dad market. Enjoy our rosy outlook this month, and check back in February when we return to our regularly scheduled whining.

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Greenwich Gold
The highest of the high-end market appears to be completely unaffected by, well, anything. At press time, Wall Street's year-end bonuses were projected to be lower in 2007, but the anticipated 10 percent reduction over 2006 will still yield a total of $21 billion doled out—the second-highest haul on record, estimates the New York State comptroller. And according to Forbes magazine, "A significant chunk of that change [will make] its way to the real estate market."

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