Realtors hire ruined millionaires to pretend to live in vacant megamansions


#1

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#2

So… it costs 1200 bucks a month to do this job? Kind of hard to buy groceries with negative 1200 dollars. And the thing about “ruined millionaires” is, they don’t have money. If they did, they would be called “millionaires.”


#3

I like to peruse the 1%er homes for sale in my city, and they are often empty looking except for a furnished bedroom and closets fully stocked with wardrobes. Always wondered how this happens!

I met a realtor that had picked up extra furniture along the way, and she has a moving company move it from empty house to empty house as they are put up for sale.


#4

Ah, but here’s where the idea of a “Millionaire” as something more than just someone with money and social status is laid bare. There is something intrinsically different about these people, the realtor’s idea for this depends on it.


#5

Once someone lets you live in their house, don’t you become kind of hard to remove if you decide not to?


#6

I’m having trouble reconciling…

“15 Tampa Bay homes, most of them valued at more than $500,000”

…with the term ‘megamansions’.

( I mean, I’m in LA, and I realize that not every place is as expensive as LA - but even in the cheaper parts of LA, $500k barely buys a decent house - certainly nothing resembling a ‘mansion,’ never mind a ‘megamansion.’)


#7

[quote=“tachin1, post:4, topic:36784”]
… “Millionaire” … . There is something intrinsically different about these people, the realtor’s idea for this depends on it.[/quote]Go ahead and move in somebody that has all his life lived in a ghetto or in a trailer park how it’s going to turn out.

It still looks like very tough job. And you have to pay for the privilege. An unfurnished two bedroom apartment in a small town (200k residents) in Virginia costs $700 per month. In a very nice neighbourhood. I personally wouldn’t sell my freedom for an opportunity to live in a very large house (where you have to mow huge lawn and polish floors in a dozen of rooms to perfection)


#8

Wow, I get to pay $1200 a month to live in a mockery of my former financial status and be micromanaged to death? Where do I sign up!?! They probably get to pay the utility bills for keeping those mega-mansions cool in the hot Florida summer too. I guess it’s worth it if you get to pretend to be rich again and hang around rich people. It seems like it would be hard to impress the neighbors if they notice that you moved in at the same time the “For Sale” sign went up though.


#9

200K residents isn’t a “small town.”


#10

Also, they’ve got three adult sons that they’re splitting the rent with. Still, though, you get the feeling that they’re still in the “temporarily-embarrassed millionaire” stage, if they hung onto a baby grand piano after they sold their own mansion.


#11

How long before one of these former millionaires snaps and burns the place down?


#12

I just recently read Empty Mansions - the writer was looking at expensive properties out of curiousity and found a mansion valued at $35? + million for sale and noticed that it had been unoccupied for 54 years, and yet there were a number of staff taking care of the house (caretakers, gardeners etc) for decades and none of them had ever seen the owner but the house had to be kept that the owner could drop by at a moments notice. The owner was Huguette Clark a reclusive 104 year old daughter of William Clark (who made a fortune in copper in the 19th century). She was heiress to a fortune of several hundred million and kept several houses around the country including New York apartments by Central Park. All of these had staff taking care of them for the owner. Huguette spent the last 25 years of her life living in a New York hospital (she had gone in for treatment, liked the attention and never left and of course the hospital didn’t mind at all either) Her nurse who literally spent years with her without a day off ended up inheriting 35million.


#13

“most of them over $500k” I wouldn’t consider a house under $1 million to be a mansion, much less a “mega mansion”. I looked up a few houses in Tampa out of curiosity and even ones for $700K+ are only around 3,000 sq feet.


#14

It’s probably like how former presidents are still referred to as presidents;
once you are something, you can always say you were something.


#15

Maybe they meant to say “McMansion?”


#16

This is the sort of thing, I’m sure, that cyberpunk writers in the late 80s cut out of their manuscripts.


#17

the story isn’t correct-- realtors don’t hire the home sitters, they aren’t mansions, and they aren’t polishing the floors on a daily basis like it suggests. The part of the story that reveals why and how this program works was completely omitted. The picture isn’t even a home that is managed by a home sitter. Shame on you media.


#18

Maybe you can enlighten us then? You can’t just say “This article is totally wrong!” and leave it hanging.


#19

This isn’t anything new, really. I knew people in the Dallas area who lived in empty houses - usually in the $500,000+ price range at the time, and all ginormous, because Texas houses used to be cheap as dirt - because they enjoyed it. They tended to be neat-freaks with nice furniture (often inherited from their parents) who wanted to live somewhere “fancy” but couldn’t stomach paying for a fancy house (a lot of them were trying to pay off student debt). The realtors charged absolute beans for rent, paid for them to move every 2 weeks to 6 months, and all they had to do was keep the place clean (or hire a housekeeper, which some of them did with the money they saved on rent).

A few of the people I knew were in roommate situations, so there were 4 girls sharing a 5000 sf house and each paying about $200/month. Not bad, if you ask me (which no one did, granted).


#20

For what its worth, if you know you’re going to move a lot, you can structure your posessions around that and avoid some of the big headaches of moving.

Keeping expensive furniture looking nice after it has been moved every 6 weeks for a couple of years is a challenge however, especially if it is heavy or bulky. Moving always incurs some risk of damage to your possessions, and that risk adds up if you’re moving constantly. I guarantee these people aren’t moving themselves each time–that would be hell.