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real estate

17 articles
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Crowded House

They thought that they’d found the perfect New York apartment. They weren’t alone.

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Stash Pad

How New York real estate became the new Swiss bank account.

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The Mansion: A Subprime Parable

On the urge to live in a house you can't afford, the "acceptable lust" of American life.

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Uncontested: The Life of Donald Sterling

A profile of the Los Angeles Clippers owner, an oft-sued real estate baron with a documented racist streak and a penchant for heckling his own players, on the occasion of him winning an NAACP lifetime achievement award.

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Welcome to Bakersfield, California

How a disgraced principal-turned real estate mogul helped cause the global financial crisis.

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The Broke Broker: He’s Got Keys to the Best Apartments, But Lacks One of His Own

Bruce Cawsey Waite has no home, no office, and wears a dead man’s suit.

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The Phantom King of Buffalo

A 21-year-old’s audacious real estate scam and subsequent escape.

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Earth Station: The Afterlife of Technology at the End of the World

A visit to the newly on-the-market Jamesburg Earth Station, a massive satellite receiver that played a key role in communications with space, and its neighbors in an adjacent trailer park.

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The King of All Vegas Real Estate Scams

Before the market crashed and home prices tumbled, before federal investigators showed up and hauled away the community records, before her property managers pled guilty for conspiring to rig neighborhood elections, and before her real estate lawyer allegedly tried to commit suicide by overdosing on drugs and setting fire to her home, Wanda Murray thought that buying a condominium in Las Vegas was a pretty good idea.
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Window Shopping

Dreaming of the perfect apartment.

Should anyone ever choose to remake and bastardize Breakfast at Tiffany’s, I propose an opening sequence re-imagined to reflect more contemporary preoccupations. The revised opening scene should be filmed against the backdrop of an early evening in Brooklyn. The throngs of suits coming home from their nine to five grinds in Manhattan would be emerging from the subway stairwells like ants from an anthill, rushing off down various streets towards their various homes and families and dinners. All except for the would-be protagonist who, as the crowd rushes past her, makes her way to the closed-for-the-night real-estate storefront opposite the subway station. Somewhere, “Moon River” might still be playing, as if it had never stopped. Disheveled, lugging her purse and gym bag, she pauses for a number of minutes to read listings she has already read, and which she committed to memory weeks ago: a studio on Pineapple Street; a loft on Gold Street; a townhouse on Argyle Street; a two-bedroom coop on First Place; a one-bedroom condo on Carlton Avenue; a brownstone on Henry Street. It’s fall and the leaves blow in eddies on the sidewalk. She gets cold and turns away from the window to walk off down the street just as dusk begins to arrive in earnest. The occasional “For Sale” sign swings on its hinges, and the story of the day ends only to begin again in the morning.

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Sardine Life

What a century and a half of piled-up housing reveals about New Yorkers.

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My Roommate, The Diamond Thief

A New Yorker finds an unlikely house guest on Craigslist.

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Condos of the Living Dead

A mid-boom critique of New York City’s high-priced, mostly glass condo buildings.

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Wells Fargo, You Never Knew...

A just-barred Pakistani-American attorney attempts to save a young family’s home from foreclosure and glimpses the contradiction-rich bureaucracy that has emerged in response to the housing crisis.

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Bleak Houses

The author joins his father’s work crew, gutting out foreclosed houses in Florida and interviewing their former residents.

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I Want This Apartment

War stories from the world of Manhattan real estate, written during an era when everybody knew the Internet would completely change the business and nobody quite knew how.