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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

08/05/08 The “Not My House!” sentiment

Denile is Not Just a River in Egypt

Hot Property

Perception vs. Reality was an ad campaign Rolling Stone magazine used to convince advertisers its readers weren’t unemployed hippies living in old VW campers but instead wealthy members of the establishment with nice homes in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Real estate web site Zillow.com has a survey out today that also highlights the difference between what people want to believe and what’s really going on in the world. According to Zillow’s research, 62% of Americans believe their home has increased in value or at least stayed the same in the past year. Reality: 77% of homes have fallen in value.

The site has called this the “Not My House!” sentiment and even created a Home Value Misperception Index. That’s the difference between the percentage of homeowners who believe their home increased in value and the percentage that actually did. Presently the difference is 32 percentage points.

Interestingly the number of folks in denial directly correlates to the severity of the fall in prices. In the Western U.S., where 88% of all homes have fallen in value, fewer people think their homes have increased. In the southern states, less harder hit by the housing slump, more people think their homes have increased.

Nationally 90% of those surveyed reported foreclosures in their neighborhood. But fewer than a third of all homeowners support government bailouts for their neighbors who took on more mortgage than they can afford.

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08/05/08 Boo Hoo, I can't sell my 20 million dollar mansion.


How one family's enormous dream home became an enormous nuisance.

WLS-TV Chicago

There are pockets of America that have, until now, seemed untouched by the real estate bubble's burst. Places, for example, set on 30 acres of rolling hills in posh Greenwich, Conn.

The dream of owning such a property is a reality for Stanley and Dorothea Cheslock, whose home boasts 26,000 square feet of some of the finest materials money can buy.

"That's a hammerhead beam structure, which is the same beam structure that's in Westminster Abbey," Stanley said on a recent tour of his home.

The vertical posts came from a barn that was built in 1760. And in their wine room, which can hold 3,700 bottles, the base of one table weighs 2,000 pounds. "We had a crane to bring it in and set it down," Dorothea said.

Not to mention the little extras: a movie theater with a marquee and concession stand, an indoor lap pool, a bass pond and the piece de resistance: a view to die for, courtesy of a French bird cage elevator.

So who wouldn't want to bask in all this luxury? The same family who owns it: The Cheslocks.

"You know, we're not really going to be around enough to take advantage of this place, so we should probably just sell," Stanley said.

The Cheslocks painstakingly built the Hillcrest estate from the ground up. They devoted four years and $21 million to building their dream mansion. But just over a year after moving in, it was time to call the movers again -- their dream was just too big.

"It's like a Cinderella house. To me, it's a castle," Dorothea said. "I never really needed the castle, and I think somebody else could enjoy it now. It's been fun, but I'm going to keep my prince, and I'm just going to go I think to a smaller home. But I'll take my prince with me."

Dreams (and Homes) Too Big?

Robert Frank, a Wall Street Journal columnist who writes about the ultra rich, says he has a name for the Cheslocks' change of heart. He's seen it too many times in America.

"I call it 'Oversized Mansion Syndrome,'" or OMS, Frank said.

"I've heard that recurrent theme," Stanley said. "Houses are too big, people are going to go back to smaller houses and then the next cycle in the real estate boom the houses get bigger. I just think that's part of the cycle."........

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08/05/08 Greenwich Time News Links For Tuesday



Sternberg waiting for OK from docs
Her doctors will tell Superintendent of Schools Betty Sternberg this Friday whether she can return full-time to being the town's chief school administrator, a position that she temporarily vacated two months due to an undisclosed illness.....

...."There is a positive aspect to having being removed from everything," she said, "because you come back and understand what's important in a big picture - and what you need to do help children meet the vagaries of life, when not everything goes as planned."

Greenwich lawyer Stephen Walko has found himself in a compromising position, so to speak. The lifelong town resident has been named as an alternate member of the state Board of Mediation and Arbitration by Gov...

...A graduate of Greenwich High School and San Antonio's Trinity University who holds a law degree from St. John's University in Queens, N.Y., Walko is a former chairman of the Representative Town Meeting Budget Overview Committee.

He is also a member of the Hamilton Avenue School building committee.

Owners seeking sewer settlement
North Mianus homeowners suing the town over the cost of a $23.5 million sewer installation project are hopeful a compromise can avert a protracted and costly legal battle.....

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"We're well-funded," Romeo said. "The agreement is that if we need more money, the residents have said they are willing to see this through to the end."

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08/05/08 Reader Submotted Comments Update on Hamilton Avenue School



Anony Mouse

Invisible To Everyone



says...

Emails About Frank Mazza And Hamilton Avenue School Meeting Are Circulating Around Town. Here is what insiders are reporting....


Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2008 10:13:15 -0400

Subject: Update

Building committee approved the $500,000 today and Tesei was there urging for it.

The impression seems to be by pouring the cash in the job can get
Hamilton Avenue to go right into the new building and then Glenville School won't be dispersed.

Nancy Weissler said they would call a new special meeting if they can get
the TCO and revise the modular/dispersement plan.

They checked with the law dept and they can do a meeting without a quorum present as long as they're there by speaker phone so expect that to happen in a week or so.

By the way, no one from Pinnacle was at the meeting but Mazza said it was because Gerry Adam is on vacation. Gerry is so dedicated and worried about meeting Hamilton Avenue School's "new" deadline, he went on holiday.

Syl Pecora offered to resign from the committee,
but they said that wasn't necessary since Pecora Brothers was being hired by the
Board of Ed and wouldn't report to the committee and it wasn't a
committee vote to hire Pecora Brothersk;


Please send your comments and reports about what Frank Mazza is doing with your tax dollars to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

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