This year may go into the history books as the one that sprang more surprises and turnarounds—including unparalleled disruptions and resumptions in Southeast Michigan residential commerce —than ever before. Amidst a financial world recovering from the steepest nosedive since the Great Depression, followed by the steepest single-month rebound in history, you might think that the real estate commentators would double down to bring readers their most penetrating analyses and prognostications.
But keep in mind that August is journalism’s traditional Silly Season. It’s also the end of the month, when reporters, editors, and publishers are most likely to abandon ship for a few weeks. It’s been an exhausting year for them, too, so it shouldn’t be surprising if at least some of the airwaves and news columns deliver the traditional less-than-compelling space fillers.
Against this background, last week, realtor.com tackled an inquiry that readers seeking guidance for their Southeast Michigan residential real estate endeavors would not have found in other seasons. Its headline posed the quandaries under investigation: “Why Did J. Lo and A-Rod Pick a $40 Million Mansion on Star Island? Is it Only for Stars?”
Disappointingly, the answers unearthed to these two of the summer’s least burning real estate questions were less than conclusive.
One example was how “perhaps” preceded some of the answers: for instance, “Perhaps that’s what attracted the power couple.” The “that” was the fact that the seller had “renovated and expanded the home to make it even grander.”
Even more speculative was, “it’s unclear if they’re just playing the real estate odds, or if they actually fell for the area…” Unclear, too, was whether the markdown of the single-acre estate (lowered from last year’s asking price of $65 million to $39,950,000) might lend credibility to another speculation: “It could be that home-flipping is their new pastime.”
As for the second question posed in the probe’s headline—“Is it [Star Island] Only for Stars?” the answer is maybe. Or maybe not. The artificial island was built by the Army in 1922, and for sure, stars (Shaquille O’Neal, Sean Combs, Gloria Estefan, among others) are in residence. But there are also regular, run-of-the-mill non-stars who happen to have the millions to spend for a residence with “quick and easy access to Miami Beach, the airport, and the best restaurants in South Beach.” It turns out that the sale isn’t even final, so the answers to either mystery may not be forthcoming, even after the editors return to their posts.
However, when it comes to more relevant questions that are closer to home, I supply answers that aren’t speculative in the least. Call anytime!