Wednesday, November 04, 2009

It's my prerogative (to pay 40% of assessed value)

At some point home prices will fall back to level that is interesting for patient buyers. Some homes are already there.... See Whitney Houston's NJ home that hit the market for just 44% of its assessed value and 10% less than she paid in 1987. Repeat after me "homes are always a great investment, right?".

"Whitney Houston has put the 5-acre Mendham estate where she married singer Bobby Brown on the market for $2.5 million, far less than its assessed value of $5.6 million.

The 12,561-square-foot home, which she bought in 1987 for $2.7 million, is described in its listing as modern, full of natural light, with three fireplaces, walk-in closets, a bar (uh-oh), floor-to-ceiling windows, and a four-car garage. The (quite frankly rather dated-looking, and we’re not the only ones who think so) home has Frank Lloyd Wright-style stained glass in the entry, an enormous kitchen, and what appears to be a custom-made bed in the center of the master bedroom."

You can see all of the pictures here...

Admittedly, it is more than a little dated -- and you have to really, really like the color white, but $2.5 million for 12,000 square feet and 5 acres in Mendham (a top 10 town in NJ) is probably a deal. I'd bet you could buy the house today if you walked in with $2 million cash. Any banksters from Goldman want the ultimate suburban party house?

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The ADP data was roughly as expected and since job losses seem to be slowing (more on this in a moment) the market is hopeful that they'll hear some positive news from the FOMC and hopes that the jobless numbers will be ok on Friday (expected to be 175,000 jobs lost and an unemployment rate of 9.9%).

The service sector of the economy grew barely in October - but at a slower rate than September - and employment contracted sharply in October again.

I suspect that the slowdown in job losses that we've seen is in part due to the stimulus allowing many jobs to be saved (while few have actually been created). However, as budget officers and CFOs look forward to 2010, I think we have to expect job losses to pick back up again.

Look for talk of Stimulus PART II to start circulating after Friday's jobs number.

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Walmart, Sears and a few other retailers are trying to spread out the Black Friday rush to the weekends throughout November. Walmart (click here for the flyer) today announced a series of electronics "specials" that are good on 11/7 only. The HP laptop for $298 w/Windows 7 3GB Ram and 250GB hard drive and the XBOX 360 for $199 with a $100 gift card (effective price $99) seem like pretty good deals, but expect them to be gone 1 minute after the stores open.

Cheers!

1 comment:

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