Closings can be fraught with tensions between buyers, sellers, co-op boards. But the end of 2012 has brought a new esprit de corps to high-end residential real estate deals. Finally, brokers report, everyone is happy to work together. Is it the holiday spirit uniting this diverse group? Not at all! Just a shared class consciousness born out of the knowledge that capital gains taxes will be increasing next year.
Much like trust transfers, there’s a real impetus to complete the deals before we all fall off the fiscal cliff. Capital gains taxes, as of January 1, are expected to rise from 15 percent to at least 23.8 percent, and possibly more.
Storms are the great equalizer, and none more so than last night’s Hurricane Sandy. The devastating gales and high tides did not take into account summer homes in the Hampton, $4,300+ apartments in the West Village, or anyone living near Tribeca. Okay, so it did look like certain parts of Queens, Brooklyn, LES, and all the hospitals got it worse than say, the Upper East Side, but that’s based on weather patterns, not net worth or number of listings in the society pages.
That being said, here is how Tinsley Mortimer weathered the storm.
off the record
A man’s home may be his castle, but for Wall Street Journal readers, home is Mansion, the newspaper’s aspirationally titled Friday shelter section, which debuted last week. Because houses are all well and good, but, given the choice, aren’t mansions better?
“We all like to think of our home as a mansion, even if it is a humble abode, and we all have the license to aspire, so we have created Mansion to be the home of both aspiration and real estate realization,” WSJ managing editor Robert Thomson said in a statement announcing the launch.
The section bears a subhead with a quote from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet that is uttered by the titular heroine about midway through the play.
“O, I have bought the mansion of a love, But not possess’d it,” reads the subhead.
Toshi just wants everyone to have a good time. That’s one of the first things the 38-year-old entrepreneur told The Observer as we sat on the bench outside his Flatiron Hotel. It was only 5:30 p.m., and inside the hotel’s groovy restaurant, brightly colored drinks were passed around as a woman in a sparkly white dress covered a Beyoncé song in a smoky, lounge-y growl.
Through the crowd, you could see into the Flatiron’s lobby, with its two-story cylindrical aquarium filled with exotic undersea creatures, including a remora, a type of suckerfish that resembles a shark and gets around by attaching itself to bigger fish.
The first floor is called Toshi’s Playground. “I just made these signs, look!” said Toshi (real name Robert Chan), pointing to an anime rendition of his dog, Ponzu. Ponzu is a Morkie, we were informed: half Maltese, half Yorkie.
Graphics of Toshi and Ponzu are everywhere: above a red velvet throne that greets customers when they walk in, and almost subliminally painted around the white-on-white minimalist penthouse where Toshi throws his parties.
Unfortunately for non-Ponzus, the Flatiron does not allow other dogs inside.
Ponzu’s ubiquity is more than just a cute gimmick. It’s part of a strategic rebranding of his master as a fun-loving nightlife figure, after Toshi’s last such effort backfired.
celebrity real estate
Now that Lindsay Lohan has been kicked out of the Chateau Marmont for not paying her $46,000 bill, it is time for her to pack her bags and move Eastward. Surprisingly, the LAPD is letting her do this, despite the fact that up until yesterday she was the prime suspect in yet another jewel-swiping case. And what of The Canyons? Will no one think of The Canyons?
Just when you hoped that New York City had successfully dodged its last heat-seeking paparazzo after Los Angeles’ native Kim Kardashian left the Gansevoort, the New York Daily News is reporting that LiLo is moving to Tribeca and rooming with her assistant.
But where will she ultimately be hanging her temporary hat? We have some ideas.
This Land Is My Land
While it remains to be seen how Mitt Romney might perform if he won the presidency, we know one thing for sure—when it comes to remembering how many houses he owns, Mitt Romney is a pro.
Hamptons Real Estate
(Photos via Farrellbuilding.com)
Perhaps it was inevitable that New York’s royal family would start investing in Hamptons real estate, what with Jay-Z branching out into all sorts of mogulite territories. After all, you can’t own part of a basketball team, be best friends with Warren Buffett, and throw annual an annual White Party without eventually falling victim to the siren song of the Jitney.
Still, it’s hard to imagine Jay-Z, Beyonce, and Blue Ivy Carter “summering” up in Bridgehampton, despite reports from Page Six that the family is looking into renting an 11-acre property in the area.
Mon Dieu! Rather than redecorating their chateaus or contemplating the new Chanel collection, the French elite must now find places to stash their cash, now that the people have gone and elected that terrible Socialist François Hollande.
The taxman cometh, reports The New York Times, and wealthy Gauls are not standing around waiting for him to take their hard-earned euros. Non! Instead, the French are rushing to spend their money on Manhattan real estate.
More Rubles Than You Know What To Do With
Buyers are already starting to despair when it comes to finding ultra high-end New York properties, especially after casino king Steve Wynn reportedly snagged the $77.5 million duplex penthouse at the Ritz-Carlton.
And in the future, the market may get even tighter for buying-crazed billionaires, with a new crop of Russians and Ukrainians eager to snap up trophy properties, a new CNBC video warns.
When Michelle, a writer working on a first novel, tells people her husband, Daniel, is a hedge fund manager, they often remark, “Oh, honey, you did well.” And she did. The recently married pair live in a large dazzling loft in Dumbo. They currently rent, though they’ve started looking at places to buy and are Read More