CNN just reported that New York is one of the TOP 10 cities for aging: further proof of why so many empty nesters are moving back to the big city for their ‘nouvelle retirement’. Gone are the days when those over 60 would automatically consider Florida or a small town for their retirement. The lure of the Big Apple provide lots of mental stimulation, forces you to walk lots, an abundance of entertainment, shopping, people and also outstanding healthcare. This bodes extremely well for Manhattan luxury real estate as New York doesn’t only attract these retirees…..it attracts the wealthiest of them. And these people seek high end real estate, surprisingly more Downtown now than ever before. How will buildings address the specific needs of this demographic? Or will the fact that the buildings don’t appear like homes for the aged be their greatest appeal?
Posts Tagged ‘CNN’
With Newt Gingrich’s remarkable surge in the South Carolina caucuses, I have to ask the following question: did he win on substance, or on the soundbite mentality that has overtaken our society?
Is Newt really more qualified to be president than Mitt Romney? What exactly in Thursday’s CNN debate demonstrated his real abilities aside from his Jersey Shore-style attack on the media for making it difficult for politicians to lead sordid private lives…..the same media he encouraged to vilify Bill Clinton and John Edwards for equally bad behavior? Yet this new Kardashianist-soap-opera-esque tone of the debates fueled Newt’s popularity even though none of it made much sense in light of the great historian Newt’s personal and professional history. Just like Kim Kardashian’s marriage, isn’t Newts protests about the media exposing politicians private lives just as fake?
I often ask the same question about my fellow New York real estate brokers: sometimes I am saddened how some really, really good brokers suffer because they don’t participate in the loudness of our industry, choosing to focus on substance rather than noise. I don’t think there is any harm in a bit of both, but the noise without the substance is really painful. There are too many brokers who are truly incompetent, or worse….really corrupt: These super-stars are seen on television, quoted in some of the most prestigious publications and their word is perceived my most to be reality and the truth. Not too long ago, wasn’t Shvo the ‘it’ broker of Manhattan……to-day he has all but dissappeared. He is not alone, although a good number of this breed are around continuing bad traditions and inventing worse new ones.
One can only hope that the future of these Kardashianistas fades fast and is replaced by competent and smart brokers……and substantive presidential candidates.
This week reminded us all about contracts when the architect of THE CONTRACT WITH AMERICA, Newt Gingrich, was exposed for allegedly attempting to re-negotiate his marriage contract with one of his ex-wives. Has the meaning of a contract changed over the years?
A contract is defined as an agreement between two or more parties, especially one that is written and enforceable by law. Now we all know that the law is a rather maleable thing, even more so this week when we learned that even the king of the moral majority seemed eager to re-negotiate his contract with his wife. No-one was shocked about the Newt revelation: what was most telling was how even the ultra-conservative audience at this weeks CNN presidential debate applauded Newt for his contract breaking, even in the most holiest of contracts, a marriage. Surely this is the biggest flip-flop? Newt was actually ousted for his fixation on punishing President Clinton for his extra-marital dalliances (while in the midst of his own affair).
Now back to real estate: the question I ask to-day is that if the (supposed)most moral of people are quite comfortable re-negotiating contracts, practically changing the very nature of its intent, surely all contracts are very, very fragile…..at best? I have found recently that more buyers and sellers seem to view contracts more lightly, and often arrive pre-closing or as late as the closing table itself and attempt to re-negotiate. A friend reminded me at dinner this week how at her closing, her buyers arrived and smuggly demanded a whole host of items (and money) that had never been discussed before. Of course, a contract does govern legal obligation, and often the only recourse to a conflict is a lawsuit. Most times the issues at hand are relatively minor and resolution is negotiated knowing the legal route would be more costly.
Minor contracts, the regular day-to-day promises and agreements we make seem to be under greater attack in my opinion. I am finiding more and more that some people hide behind the premise of the concept that ‘oh well, things change’ as a weak attempt to justify truly bad behaviour. The bad behaviour of individuals is always made worse by those around them who don’t voice their outrage at this bad behaviour. Its a slippery slope towards a really decayed society when a promise, contract or statement are always open to re-negotiation and re-interpretatio, especially when the initial intent is to allow this. Some may call this lying, deception or even fraud. Breaking contracts is nothing new…..it has happened all through time….that still doesn’t make it the kind of behaviour we should endorse.
Lets remember that we are all better served when contracts are respected and honored.
Posted by Leonard Steinberg on Januaryt 16, 2011
Ashlee Dupree, Elliot Spitzer’s fling-thing gives relationship advice in the New York Post.
Reverend Al Sharpton speaks on MEET THE PRESS these days about keeping civil tones in political discussion.
Reality TV shows show us the ‘reality’ of life in all its forms from fashion to cooking to real estate: is J-Lo really a great talent scout? Is Iman an authority on fashion design? Is “Selling New York” really about what it takes to sell real estate in New York?
Sarah Palin speaks of FAMILY VALUES while her daughter is impregnated out of wedlock.
Barbara Corcoran tells us all about real estate on NBC, yet has only sold one or two apartments in her entire career and has not done so in over 2 decades.
Not only are we being flooded with information, but the quality of the information is often coming from sources we should all question. I think the turning point is approaching, if it has not already arrived, where us as the recipients of all this information rise up in anger at the mediocre qualifications of those spewing advice. Yes some of it is well researched (I think lots of Barbara Corcoran’s advice is good) and some of it is accurate, but how are we to determine this when so much of it is unreliable and simply bad?
From a real estate perspective, I am astounded at the inaccuracy of some of the information I receive. Often the sources are highly regarded, and by the very virtue of their status, they are considered believable. Bankers tell me what the market in Manhattan wants. Editors who write a story, call for quotes: if the quotes don’t fit their story, do they re-write the story? No! They look for someone who will fit the bill. Websites generalize and summarize and make sweeping, conclusive statements that are often inaccurate. But if you read or hear about it on CNN, FOX or the New York Times, should you believe it?
In an age where style trumps substance, where celebrity trumps ability, we should proceed with great caution.