We were in Manhattan for Mother’s Day weekend, and I had the chance to walk both Madison and Fifth Avenues to about 80th Street, then back to our hotel window shopping with an occasional duck inside to shop. NYC was bustling as ever, Broadway was thriving, and Times Square was wall-to-wall. 

But the retail! So many stores were closed or seeking tenants, I had to write my friend real estate expert and appraiser Jonathan Miller, who I unfortunately did not have time to see:

“But the empty retail spaces! Whoa even along Fifth and Madison! I think I saw one or two every block, and we walked from 44th to 80th. What gives” I wrote in an email.

His response:

“It’s funny you mention the retail apocalypse – I am supposedly on “Inside Edition” tonight to speak to this very issue!  Strolled up and down Fifth with a camera crew last week to explain it for 90 minutes in a 3 minute segment. From 49th to 59th, 1 out of 4 stores are empty.”

Here is the segment on Inside Edition. 

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The answer may not be can you deduct those 2018 property taxes you pre-paid, but should you? (Photo courtesy TaxRebate.org.uk)

Over the  Christmas-to-New-Years week, a steady question was being asked all over Texas, thanks to the new tax bill signed by President Donald Trump last month — “Can I pay my 2018 property taxes early to take advantage of one last deduction?”

The answer is well, yes and no. The Internal Revenue Service released an advisory last week to try to tamp down the rumors (we shared it on our Facebook page to give everyone the heads up). (more…)

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We know that president-elect Donald Trump, as a businessman, probably detests regulations as much as any other business owner. While protective, some go too far and tack on extra costs to consumers. You really need a balance — enough law to protect the consumer and punish morons who prey upon the unsuspecting, but not enough to make the burden unbearable. I have seen this happen first hand in healthcare — in fact, mountains of regulations are one reason why health care costs are so bloated.

Well, according to HousingWire,  Donald Trump’s transition team and their website say the incoming president plans to dump Dodd-Frank completely. This could be very good for the housing market. Or would it? (more…)

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As if the Lakewood, Dallas Facebook page wasn’t entertainment enough, enterprising Realtor Elena Dinaburg added some snarky fuel to the flames with an ad targeting folks who have promised to leave the country if Donald Trump makes it to the White House.

So far, Dinaburg says feedback on her flyer has been both positive and negative. “I would say 98 percent positive,” she said. “With all that is going on in the media, and Trump making headlines, I thought this would be a perfect marketing plan to get people to talk and associate me as their Realtor of choice if they decide to sell their house.”

While Dinaburg said that the ad was not designed to be political in any way, there have already been some pretty heated political comments on her post inside the Lakewood Facebook group.

“You’re the one making our prices skyrocket!” said Brenda Arnold, who went on to say that Texas has always been a “red state,” and that people moving here from out of state are driving up taxes. She even went so far to call Dinaburg a “smart ass.”

That’s pretty tame considering what happened to a West Texas Realtor who posted a similar ad on Facebook.

What do you think of this ad? Is it clever marketing, or is it potentially alienating would-be clients?

 

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Update 11:33 am: Grabbed a quick chat with Nate Shar with Heritage Auctions who tells me that at least eight people are registered to bid for Leppert’s ski crib, but they expect a few more showing at the actual auction on site. It happens at 2 p.m. No reserve. Mountain Time. Wish you were there? 

Maybe he did it because he wants some of Trump’s real estate prowess to rub off on today’s sale? Maybe he did it because he ran against Ted Cruz and is not a fan, I don’t know. Whatever. Out of all the Republican contenders, the endorsement was a shocking move from the former Dallas mayor.  I’d sure like to ask him why.

But I might just wait until after today’s sale of his magnificent Park City, Utah ski house.

There is no minimum at all, and this home was last listed for $6.2 million. I mean, can you spell DEAL?

As you know, former Dallas mayor Tom Leppert and his wife, Laura, have been trying to shed some properties. First it was their home on Alva Court with that jazzy media room, remember? It was listed by Mary Poss and then Ryan Streiff, the current agent. Asking is still $4,795,000.

But my oh my Park City Utah! I am actually headed that way to check out some more vacation home possibilities, some a little more affordable than a $6.2 million ski-in. ski-out house, though this place could be the best bargain west of the Mississippi come two p.m. Mountain Time.

This is a fantastic piece of property that you can see from the ski lifts. I know exactly where this house is. In fact, if you have ever skied Park City — there are three neighboring resorts, Deer Valley, Park City and Canyons comprising 7300 acres of white powder — this home is near the Dreamcatcher Lift. And it sounds like a dream! (more…)

Nicole Barrett at Trump

You know how I believe that Real Estate touches every inch of life? Well, there is no better proof of that right now than Donald Trump. The Real Estate mogul running for President of the United States was in Dallas Monday night and stirred up quite a storm, from the Dump Trump marches outside to the Trump fever inside American Airlines Center. Condo residents at the W and Ritz were told to prepare for downtown crowds. Meantime, I’ve learned that Carleton Varney (did the Stoneleigh Hotel, the Carleton Varney unit at The Residences at the Ritz Carlton) is a huge Trump supporter — Varney lives in one of Trump’s buildings in New York City.  Honestly, this campaign can be brought down in 24 hours or less: just talk to everyone who lives in a Trump-owned building, see how he runs them!

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The Stoneleigh Hotel

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The Stoneleigh Hotel

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