Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Voodoo magic

Real estate selling is a dark art. Take this Cambridge (MA) wreck for example. Originally, it was built as a workers hovel in 1848. Since then, it has acquired water, electricity and a telephone line. Apart from that, it is broadly unchanged. It is still only 800 sq. ft. It has the same number of windows and doors. It was a hovel in 1848 and it is a hovel now. Fundamentally, nothing has changed. So why does the realtor write-up say that in 2006 this wreck is worth nearly half a million dollars? Answer? Black magic.

The real estate industry has cast a spell over America. With occult-like incantations such as "property is a great investment", and "we'll find you a dream home", America has started to believe that houses are like some golden goose that lays 21 carat eggs. We need to see the light, and step away from the dark side. What is the truth here? This house is worthless.

Thanks William for this one. The MLS number is 70349722. It can be found on

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