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  • Writer's pictureJeff Matthews

The Pits

When I’m stuck in traffic anywhere in the vicinity of New York, I call Mike.

Mike is the busiest real estate lawyer I’ve ever known. He handles five to six closings a day in the New York Metropolitan area—and he basically spends 250 days a year in his car, driving from Queens to Staten Island to Rye to Brooklyn and back to Queens, handling deals.

After doing this for twenty years, Mike—to put it mildly—knows his way around The City. So, when I was stuck in traffic on the way to Yankee Stadium last night, I called Mike.

And in the course of getting from Mike the best way to get to the House That Ruth Built before the first pitch was thrown (“Where are you? Okay, listen, here’s what you do…”), I also got the low-down on Mike’s real estate business—which mainly involves multi-family, middle-to-low income homes:

“It’s the pits,” he said cheerfully. “Thank God I socked it away the last couple years.” He asked, “You remember 5, 6 years ago? Before 9/11?” I said I did. “It’s like that. I’m down to one or two closings a day.”

It seemed like only yesterday—but it was actually just last summer—that the home-builders and the real estate-happy day-traders-turned-condo-flippers had decided rising interest rates wouldn’t stop the housing boom, thanks to all the factors that people point to when they’re buying into a bubble, but which can be summed up in one sentence: “It’s different this time.” But it isn’t. “It’s the pits.”

Jeff Matthews I Am Not Making This Up

© 2006 Jeff Matthews

The content contained in this blog represents the opinions of Mr. Matthews. Mr. Matthews also acts as an advisor and clients advised by Mr. Matthews may hold either long or short positions in securities of various companies discussed in the blog based upon Mr. Matthews’ recommendations. This commentary in no way constitutes a solicitation of business or investment advice. It is intended solely for the entertainment of the reader, and the author.

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