“Would You Rather?” Real Estate Edition

Would you rather live in the shoebox or in the Startup Castle? Or perhaps you'd like to see what's behind Door #3?

The Post-Modern One-Percenter Version of the Brady Bunch

The story is that the ex wants to move out but doesn't have the financial wherewithal to do so. So, until Levy can sell the mansion-like apartment where the entire brood currently lives, she and Lipman are stuck sharing a kitchen and squabbling over inanities.

“Behind Every Jane Jacobs Comes Giuliani with his Nightstick.”

Mueller's painting with too broad a brush. Not so much a broad brush, even: a flamethrower.

Today’s Rent-Saving Solution: Move Into An Old-Age Home

How long before someone options the rights to this story and turns it into a movie, or at least a sitcom?

Gentrification Turns 50! Aristocratization Turns 6

The city that once turned on its aristocrats and fed them to guillotines has decided, again, to take a stand against rapacious, unchecked capitalism.

Why SF is So Crazy Expensive & DC/NY Are Better

As we’ve established and you already knew deep in your bones, the same house will be more expensive in Greenwich, CT, than in Fargo, ND. What you may not have known, though, is that the difference in price is not merely reflective of the difference of costs, specifically land and material costs in CT vs ND. There’s an X factor too, or, as the experts call it, a “shadow price,” that makes San Francisco so absurdly unaffordable it might as well be Mars.

The price of a house or apartment, the authors argued, is more than just the value of the land plus the value of the building. There’s a third, shadow price, which represents how difficult it is to get something built given local regulations. In highly restrictive places like San Francisco, regulations impede the supply of new buildings, and so raise the price of housing.

So, like, for example, materials and land cost 2x the national average in SF, and yet a house costs 3.6x the national average. The difference can be attributed to regulations. You know, bureaucracy, red tape, all that nonsense. The Economist flatly states, “the [Bay Area] is one of the most difficult places to build in the country. Prices are therefore soaring and neighbourhoods are changing, touching off some occasionally nasty social conflicts.”

DC apartments, though nutsy, remain more reasonable than SF’s, in part because, after our nation’s capital went through crisis after crisis between 1969 and 2001, it decided to get back on its feet by investing in tons of new housing — for DINKs. If you build it, DC figured, they will come, “they” being single, sexy, spendy types, which represent more short-term gain for an urban area. And lo, the city was right

“If You Don’t Have Tchotchkes, I Don’t Trust You”: Celebrity Real Estate Wisdom

What would Real Estate month be if we didn’t get to drool over, or eye suspiciously, some really fancy living spaces? Refinery 29 has a slideshow interview of Stacy London, the delightfully mouthy former host of TLC’s long-running show “What Not To Wear,” in the home she’s owned for 10 years. She is not an entirely streamlined person. When asked about the toy dinosaurs and other humorous touches here and there, she says, “If you don’t have tchotchkes, I don’t trust you.”

London is also honest about how weird it can be to inhabit a space, even once you have purchased it and it’s, seemingly, yours.

It was my first apartment buy, and I had no idea what I was doing. It’s taken 10 years of moving through this space to understand what I wanted it to feel like. That’s why I have such huge respect for architects and interior designers. The way you understand space is key. I haven’t completely figured it out, but I’m getting there. 

She decorated the apartment in part off of Etsy which <3 <3 <3 

Ready to Buy? Get Ready to Move

Prices in areas favored by Millennials are only 6.1% higher than in 2013. Great, right? Except Millennials still can't afford to buy.

Soon We Will All Enter Through The Poor Door

Separate but equal, right? What could possibly go wrong? According to the Daily Mail, NYC has given a thumbs up to the Poor Door:

Extell’s proposal allows them to force affordable housing tenants to walk through an entrance located in a back alley behind the building to enter, leaving the more prominent front entrance for tenants paying for nicer apartments. … some developers dismiss the outcry over the ‘poor door’ concept.

‘No one ever said that the goal was full integration of these populations,’ David Von Spreckelsen, senior vice president at Toll Brothers, another developer specializing in luxury residencies, told The Real Deal in 2013. ‘So now you have politicians talking about that, saying how horrible those back doors are. I think it’s unfair to expect very high-income homeowners who paid a fortune to live in their building to have to be in the same boat as low-income renters, who are very fortunate to live in a new building in a great neighborhood.’

The great David Von Spreckelsen has spoken. Gross trash-people living in affordable housing should be grateful they get a door at all and don’t have to shimmy in through air vents or come in on their knees, flagellating themselves for not working harder in elementary school to prepare themselves for the marketplace. Count your blessings, human rats! If you can count, which we doubt.

Related: Have you watched Snowpiercer yet? Anne Helen Petersen says: “Snowpiercer is the first film I’ve seen since District 9 that takes the tropes of the blockbuster and transforms them into something so compelling that days after seeing it, you stop can’t thinking about it. It turns moviegoers into proselytizers: Once you’ve seen it, you can’t shut the fuck up.”