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Be the Expert: Spot the delusions in this real-estate ad

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This is a “luxury real estate” newsletter I get every month. See how many logical disconnects/delusions you can spot in the copy.

Real Estate Delusion

Leave a comment with your findings.

Read more “Be the Expert” posts.

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  1. well, just after a brief skim, the first thing i noticed was the pressing URGENCY to do something before other people steal your opportunity, or inflation kicks in *for real*; the message is that if you don’t you’ll suffer.

    second thing i noticed was the claim that Manhattan is devoid of property to buy (the implication there being that even the wealthy will have a hard time purchasing something they’d like).

    there’s no citations or evidence of any of the claims in this, only vague mentions of what the “buyers” are seeing/feeling (who? which buyers? where did you get this info from?).

    and finally, I’m not really sure if (what i am assuming is) the end goal of the ad (I’m guessing to get you to visit and “register for the fight”) has ANYTHING to do with any of the text that precedes the call to action.

  2. Where to start: really, the first quarter began with a vengeance? Numerous contracts, many places, multiple bidders (or *interested parties*). Sad, disillusioned. Homeless wealthy? Dismal selection (and there is a gripe about it), better act NOW NOW, there are never bargains on good apartments, act now and bid high!, price escalation is starting (in someone’s mind, but not really), no one bargains (except Ramit…), there’s nothing new right now (and you need NEW), and you need chic lobbies and common areas (despite not hanging out in them), nothing meets your needs, you can’t afford it…BUY NOW, don’t think just buy, get it over with, or you’re screwed FOREVER. OMG INFLATION IS COMING BECAUSE YOU DON’T READ KRUGMAN.

  3. Blam! Walloftext WTFpwns you for 99999999 damage.
    You die.

    No, but really, did they try to eliminate all the whitespace from the text in their ad? Also, 1 room with a gigantic mirror screams “not a home!” This is the “formal” living room and looks anything but welcoming. Sorry, I didn’t read the text.

  4. Okay, sorry, another comment after I read it. “Inflation is on the horizon”? No shit? Of course it’s going to go up as it’s been near zero/negative for the past while. This just in: “The sky predicted to be blue in the near future!”

  5. Manhattan is “home to the homeless wealthy”? Nice paradox.

    “dismal selection of great properties”

    “FEELING the beginnings of price escalation” – didn’t that begin at least 40 years ago in Manhattan?

    How, over time, can bids rise and asking prices not?

    If the bids are higher than the asking price, then why would the selling price be lower than the bidding price?

    if the “remaining units are not what [buyers] need or can afford”, then why would they “pick a unit and be done with it”?

    “the perfect apartment is not out there” – WTF? According to whom? What are the criteria?

    “Inflation is on the horizon” – isn’t it almost always?
    But wait: just before the ad warned of inflation, it told me I had the option of waiting 3 years before buying. Wouldn’t three years’ worth of inflation increase the price more? And what about the “beginnings of price escalation”? Between price rises and inflation, wouldn’t waiting be a bad idea rather than the second best piece of “advice” the ad can give?

  6. #1. (Logical Disconnect) : “Numerous contracts signed on many great properties” means that wealthy buyers ARE finding properties, and that there isn’t a “dismal selection.” What the hell is there to be “saddened and disillusioned” about?
    #2. (Delusion) New York was in no way exempt from the recession. I know that and I’ve never been there and don’t know a single person who lives there. Their assumption that “bargains hardly ever happen on the best apartments in a city like New York” is ignorant.
    #3. (Logical Disconnect) How the hell do you “feel” price escalation without actually seeing asking prices rise?
    #4. (Logical Disconnect) There is a decrease in brand new housing, yet they “can’t afford” the non-brand-new housing? If they can’t afford the 2 year-old+ housing, they wouldn’t even look at the brand new housing.
    #5. (Delusion) The “high pressure” suggestion for wealthy buyers to just buy whatever pops up before someone else takes the place, paying no attention to whether it’s the perfect place, is ridiculous. The whole point of buying luxury is to get the perfect place. And the whole point of having a lot of money is that people line up to sell you their place…because you have money…and not very many buyers have a lot of money.

    I think it’s funny that this little article is implying that luxury buyers are in a panic.

  7. I realize they were shooting to create urgency – but I just found it a downer and was annoyed at the end-instead of motivated to jump over to their website and “register for the fight”.

  8. Beside what the first 2 said…

    Buy any crappy thing now while you can AND pay a much higher tax assessment while you’re at it.

    • That was what jumped out at me. Hurry up and spend a bunch of money on an apartment, and oh by the way, your taxes just went through the roof.

  9. Ramit, this letter is ridiculous. why do you subscribe to this trash? i hope it’s only for our amusement. I only bothered to deconstruct the first paragraph below, and even then I could’ve taken it further.I can’t believe some people think this is credible.

    First paragraph:

    ‘as predicted’ Who predicted, exactly? and when? and why should I care? and why are they credible?

    ‘the first quarter has begun with a vengeance’ compared to what? and avenging what exactly? and isn’t the first quarter always generally better in real estate than the winter quarter? I’m sure the summer quarter will begin with a vengeance too because more houses trade hands in summer than the other seasons, mainly due to weather.

    ‘with numerous contracts signed on many great properties’ this could mean anything from 3 contracts signed to 20,000 and up. and signing a contract doesn’t necessarily mean that the buyer will follow through and be able to complete the deal with financing. Although, bringing up that problem would assume that contracts were signed, something we have no objective proof of in this letter. also, what quantifies a property as ‘great’, anyways?

    ‘often with multiple bidders or interested parties’ what exactly is an interested party? I’m fairly interested in manhattan real estate if I can buy it for 1 dollar a property. does that make me an interested party? if no, then who does qualify? and often? how often? what percentage of properties had multiple credible bidders? and don’t great properties almost always have multiple bidders, some of whom aren’t entirely credible or who’s bid is way lower than the asking price? otherwise how great of properties could they be?

    ‘this has left many buyers saddened and disillusioned’ uh, first off, if they’re buyers, doesn’t that imply that they bought? I assume they actually mean bidders, because if somebody actually was a buyer and bought the house, I’m not sure why they’d be saddened. and only many buyers (bidders) are saddened and disillusioned? Couldn’t this mean that many bidders are ecstatic? and many are much more worried about little league games than the house they lost a bid on and has already sold? and why do we care they are sad? should I buy more because they are sad?

    ‘this is what buyers are seeing/feeling right now in the luxury manhattan market, home to the ‘wealthy homeless” come on, are you really purporting to be talking for all buyers in the luxury manhattan market? and you know what they’re seeing/feeling? every one of them? what about the people that supposedly signed contracts on properties already? does this apply to them as well? and the ‘wealthy homeless’? really? if they’re wealthy I’m sure they can afford a motel 6 to spend the night, at least, which would probably disqualify them as homeless. and where are they living now? if a person was able to become weatlhy, and couldn’t buy a house, I’m sure they would be perfectly capable of solving their ‘homelessness’ easily. they’re wealthy!

  10. I think Whitney spotted a lot of them, so I’m trying to find stuff she didn’t mention.

    If there have been “numerous contracts signed on many great properties”, how can the buyers be “saddened and disillusioned”? Do they not like the great house they’ve just bought?

    There are a lot of weasel words ( like “as predicted” (by whom?), “this seems to be”, (according to whom?) and the constant use of “buyers” without specifying which particular buyers – are we talking about first-time buyers, families, young professionals, retirees? There is a total lack of precision in terms, which is used to hide the fact that the copy contains absolutely no data. This is probably designed so that people can project their own situation onto what is being described here, rather than read something that is explicitly talking about other people.

    And it’s a bit of a stretch to call someone “homeless” if they can clearly afford to rent a place somewhere. It’s not like there are tons of people out there sleeping rough under their 1000 thread count sheets, burning their Armani suits in a barrel to keep warm.

    Lastly, the advice to rent now and wait for 3 years for a new unit to be finished is fine I guess, but then it tells you to commit to something sooner rather than later – do you want me to buy in the next 3 years or not?

    Like people have mentioned, the whole article is designed to create a sense of urgency. Otherwise INFLATION IS ON THE HORIZON SO WE HAVE TO FIGHT JUST TO GET ANY OLD APARTMENT OMG BID NOW ON EVERYTHING