Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Shady Palms

I love the Real Housewives franchises they are not about housewives but they are about attention seeking whores and in America they have a home on Bravo. Irony that their homes are provided largely by the male equivalent of fame seeking whores, the Million Dollar Listing dudes of both coasts.

When Bravo ventures out of L.A. and NYC the results are mixed and I stick with the coastal franchises and the satellite tows of the OC and Jersey I may at times wander by but they are not as drama queen-esque.

One couple whom I have dubbed the English Mafia, makes me wonder if we are focusing on the wrong immigrants to wall out. The two have had numerous lawsuits and shady business deals that makes one wonder and their friends are equally as obtuse and vague about their money and business deals, so I was not surprised when the New York Times did this article?  The shady lanes of Beverly Hills and their Million dollar Real Estate 

This was in conjunction with their earlier series of New York Real Estate transactions, called the Towers of Secrecy,  and the lack of oversight and potential criminal malfeseance when it comes to foreign investors engaged in current million dollar listings of their own.

I have long said that the deals and bullshit that goes on in these Million Dollar Listing shows would put a normal buyer on alert.  Why anyone would do business with these men makes one wonder? For the record there are no women agents in these series although the girlfriends and spouses are seen as are legitmate agents at times negotiating with them but it  does question that when you do actually look at the real stats for the top selling agents in New York it is a woman owned business.   Women have long been dominant in real estate, particularly residential for decades, and yet you never see them on this series, hmm why I wonder.

My loathing of Real Estate agents really is so far down the Totem Pole of shady business - such as law and medicine, I have no day to day interest in their businesses.  If I had to use an agent I would find a Lawyer first that way they can screw each other over first before I ever drop a check.

And this is the real issue - if we are so concerned about the finances and money of those investing in America and the issue about immigrants would this not be the easiest way to track and check funds?  

Some of the many comments had strong opinions on this issue and had potential solutions:

LLC's are often recommended to the very wealthy, esp. among the uber-rich who pay many more taxes as people than companies, so they just incorporate themselves to avoid taxes. LLCs are great for avoiding personal liability when one is really a business, but they are sold as tax shelters for individuals.

I think it should be illegal to incorporate a person or a family and I think that law should change. As long is it's around, I hope large cities and wealth communities start amending their zoning and other ordinances so that an entity listed as an LLC or other non-person entity cannot purchase or own a home in a residential area. This "mansion" looks like an office building, and I wonder if it is even legal to conduct commercial activity in the neighborhood, or at least outside of a home-based business owned by people. Cities need to use their zoning codes to protect their neighborhoods and human citizens. LLC have money, but they can't vote.
 Good article, makes one wonder how many elected and public officials in Los Angeles got campaign contributions and favors for looking the other way. How does construction continue with a stop order issued by the city? This LLC nonsense is nothing more than a way to hide ownership, secretly fund political campaigns, evade taxes and public scrutiny and should be illegal. As usual its all about money!
 Why isn't this a matter of Homeland Security, that anyone can control this real estate and profit by breaking laws, destroying the environment and then selling for a profit? If ISIS was buying and reselling a billion dollars worth of real estate in the US, would that matter to anyone? I am a Bel Air resident, at least for the moment because we are considering getting the heck out. I am nearly killed on a daily basis while walking my dog by gigantic construction trucks speeding around curves. If one of those trucks kills me, no doubt that will be owned by another shell corporation. The American legal system fails if there is no accountability.

And to say that these are the 1% so who cares is absurd.  A tree that was destroyed on the Walton property is a part of a larger eco system, the issues of water use and the destruction of infrastructure used to transport the building materials affect all the percenters that live in the area.

I also question how one can not ask why all of this is necessary. The excessive housing size and the acoutremants that no family truly need and the rise of homelessness across the country to stratospheric levels is due often to the buying of numerous properties that are then rehabbed to fit new gentrification and in turn displace more residents.  So no, not all of this is million dollar listings.

The obfuscation of these real estate deals exist in many of the new "in" towns. Currently in Seattle our median price of homes is 500K and the median income 57K.  Renters are being pushed out and new investors are buying properties many again LLC's or other obscure businesses with no ties to the area.  And the affect of gentrification has a much wider sweeping one than just income, it affects schools, how people buy food, transportation issues (longer commutes for everyone but the poor significantly so); the rise in utility costs.

But this is about power and money and they buy all the power they need to run their homes and those who enable said homes to be built and sold and purchased all under ground. Shame they can't put the power lines down there too.

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