HOUSE THE RICH

Once again, let’s take a peek [Lifestyle theme] into the “Lifestyles of the Rich … and Cranky.”

Once again, let’s take a peek [Lifestyle theme] into the “Lifestyles of the Rich … and Cranky.”

You think you’ve got it tough trying to find affordable housing or trying to figure out how you can pay for a two-bedroom apartment instead of the one-bedroom you’re now in? Well you don’t know the meaning of troubles, bucko, until you’ve walked a mile in the Guccis of those poor rich people who are dealing in the luxury housing market.

Enjoying Hightower? How about a weekly email that gives you the full scoop?

Yes, the general housing market has cooled down all across America, but stop thinking about yourself. The high-end housing market is booming, and it’s a struggle for folks there to get what they want. Take the case of a couple in Manhattan who recently found a sweet little duplex off Park Avenue. It was only $6 million, so of course they jumped on it. Indeed, they tacked an extra half-million dollars onto the asking price in order to fend off competing buyers.

Buying it, however, was the least of their troubles. Naturally, they had to tear out the existing walls and flooring and renovate the space to suit their taste… as well as to suit their social ambitions. And, darling, luxury renovation is not for the meek. The lady of the house had to quit her banking job so she could devote full time to coordinating the restoration. There was a small army of some 50 architects, specialty decorators, expediters, staircase builders, audiovisual installers, and whatnot who were called in to make the place “just so.”

Coping with luxury housing is harder than you riff-raff can imagine. I mean when you’re having kitchen cabinets built for you in Italy and purchasing a custom-made, wrap-around $30,000 couch – well, sweetheart, you’re going to have some headaches.

So, please, don’t tell us your tacky little stories of subprime mortgage woes, and don’t bore us with sadsack tales about your hunt for middle-class housing. Show a little love for those at the top, who’re struggling so mightily to make do in the Gilded Age.

“$6 Million for the Co-op, Then Start to Renovate,” The New York Times, October 6, 2007

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

Never miss a word from Hightower– sign up today:

Send this to a friend