Mr. Makowsky builds his dream house

From the NYT:

A ‘Money Pit’ No More

The Long Island mansion used for “The Money Pit,” the 1986 comedy starring Tom Hanks and Shelley Long about the ultimate fixer-upper fiasco, is poised to go on the market for $12.5 million. The annual property taxes on the home are $65,992.

The eight-bedroom 1898 house in Lattingtown, N.Y., has been totally redone, meticulously designed and decorated with a Versace-esque flair. The three-story white clapboard home has a center hall and is reached through a gated entrance and down a quarter-mile-long rhododendron-lined drive to a white-pebble motor court. “It’s now the anti-‘Money Pit,’ ” said Shawn Elliott of Shawn Elliott Luxury Homes & Estates, the listing broker. “The home was restored at the highest quality.”

Continue reading the main story

Times Topic: Exclusive
When the movie was shot, the home was owned by Eric Ridder, a publisher and a member of the American yachting team that won the gold medal at the 1952 Olympics. Front and back exteriors of the home, which is bracketed by symmetrical wings and is known as Northway, appear in the movie; most of the interior scenes were staged in a studio. Still, the current homeowners, Rich and Christina Makowsky, who bought the 5.4-acre estate in 2002, said their experience imitated art.

“We didn’t realize how bad it was,” said Mr. Makowsky, a shoe manufacturer and distributor. “The house was falling apart when you went from room to room. We definitely could have done the sequel.”

A crew of 30 spent a year and a half gutting the house, taking down ceilings, ripping out the cast-iron radiators, redoing the plumbing, heating and electrical systems, installing a cedar roof that cures to gray, not brown, and restoring the home to the splendor of Long Island’s Gilded Age.

This entry was posted in Humor. Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to Mr. Makowsky builds his dream house

  1. grim says:

    If you haven’t seen Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948, Cary Grant and Myrna Loy) – you are missing out, one of the best real estate movies ever made. Every bit as relevant today, you’d half expect JJ and Gary to come running out on screen halfway through.

    And if you didn’t know, this ’46 novel and ’48 film were the inspiration for the Money Pit in ’86.

  2. grim says:

    It was again remade in 2007 by none other than Ice Cube, and it was pretty terrible.

  3. grim says:

    Muriel Blandings: I want it to be a soft green, not as blue-green as a robin’s egg, but not as yellow-green as daffodil buds. Now, the only sample I could get is a little too yellow, but don’t let whoever does it go to the other extreme and get it too blue. It should just be a sort of grayish-yellow-green. Now, the dining room. I’d like yellow. Not just yellow; a very gay yellow. Something bright and sunshine-y. I tell you, Mr. Delford, if you’ll send one of your men to the grocer for a pound of their best butter, and match that exactly, you can’t go wrong! Now, this is the paper we’re going to use in the hall. It’s flowered, but I don’t want the ceiling to match any of the colors of the flowers. There’s some little dots in the background, and it’s these dots I want you to match. Not the little greenish dot near the hollyhock leaf, but the little bluish dot between the rosebud and the delphinium blossom. Is that clear? Now the kitchen is to be white. Not a cold, antiseptic hospital white. A little warmer, but still, not to suggest any other color but white. Now for the powder room – in here – I want you to match this thread, and don’t lose it. It’s the only spool I have and I had an awful time finding it! As you can see, it’s practically an apple red. Somewhere between a healthy winesap and an unripened Jonathan. Oh, excuse me…

    Mr. Delford: You got that Charlie?

    Workman: Red, green, blue, yellow, white.

    Mr. Delford: Check.

  4. Fast Eddie says:

    Kudos for referencing that film and yes, still relevant today! :) Do millennials know that they made movies in the 1940s without digital processors? I digress.

  5. Fast Eddie says:

    A gem! A must see, according to the description, despite the walnut paneling and 1965 bathroom! Just under $800,000 and endless open houses. The MLS is nothing more than a place holder for pudgy muppets.

  6. Torturing yourself for Father’s Day, Gary?

  7. Somebody help me out: Colombia doesn’t play well w/o Falcao? Do I take Greece +0.5 goal?

  8. Fast Eddie says:


    A glutton for punishment for sure but certainly not as painful as being a seller desperate for a score.

  9. Fast Eddie says:

    This one is the best. I was in this one before they cleared out the hoard. Whoever bought this one slapped a kitchen in and increased the price tag by 200K. The sills, windows and roof are rotting out and the yard is like a moss sponge. I can’t remember all the “surprises” but this is gluttony at it’s best. I wish we could do a field trip with this blog on a Sunday and see all the wonderful “homes” that “warrants” these prices.

  10. No more tour buses for listings, Gary. You gotta burn your own gas to go see this crap.

  11. Fast Eddie says:

    This one has been sale for years now at this price. You gotta see the location of this gem when you pull up. Besides the “surprises” inside this place, I’ll always remember the horror of seeing the neighbor in long pants and no shirt grilling a carcass of some sort. That alone, should drop the price by 100K.

  12. Fast Eddie says:

    I’ll pay for the gas; it’s worth the price in order to administer copious amounts of ridicule and innuendo.

  13. Fast Eddie says:

    Don’t you love the pictures with snow on the ground? If you’re expecting a commission, at least make an effort. This one needs a picture of Theresa Guidice standing in the kitchen:

  14. Fast Eddie says:

    Drop the price tag $100,000. Nothing more to be said. It seems to be well-kept and scheduled for an open house. What does that tell you, Mrs. and Mr. Seller? You’re priced too f.ucking high:

  15. Fast Eddie says:

    Incredible! Can’t sell at one price so let’s raise it 20K. How f.ucked are these bagholders! Got inventory? Not!

    05/16/2014 Price Change +$20K $599,000
    02/06/2014 Price Change $579,000
    10/31/2006 Sold $689,000

  16. Whole neighborhoods will lie in ruins. No recovery for 50-100 years.

  17. Godzilla likes Pineys, taste like chicken. says:

    Come on those with Pineys roots, identify yourselves!!! For those that complain about “Bebo” or think they are high and mighty because they are in Hunterdon County, look around. they are all over by now.

    From the Asbury Park Press.

    Jersey Roots: Children of the Pines: New Jersey’s proposal to sterilize ‘pineys’

    In March 1913, Woodrow Wilson resigned as governor of New Jersey to become the 28th president of the United States.

    In accordance with the terms of the state Constitution, Senate President James F. Fielder, a Democrat from Jersey City, succeeded Wilson as acting governor, a job Fielder intended to convince voters he deserved in his own right at the next election in November. Like any good politician with ambition, Fielder needed an issue, a societal ill he could promise to fix. He found his issue in the wilderness of the Pine Barrens, where he had heard unflattering tales about a local population of half-wits known as “pineys.”

    According to a newspaper account, Fielder traveled by automobile to Burlington County that summer amid a phalanx of aides and newspapermen. There, the acting governor and his entourage were introduced to a 31-year-old Southampton farmhand and his 18-year-old bride, the man’s third marriage to date, with no record of divorce from the previous two.

    The farmhand recently had been released from jail on bigamy charges, which authorities were forced to drop when it was revealed his previous two wives had been married to other men at the same time they were exchanging wedding vows with him. So technically, the farmhand had never previously been legally married and, ipso facto, he was not a bigamist.

    For the benefit of the people present, the acting governor quizzed the farmhand on the month and year, but the man drew a blank. The wife was not much better, somehow managing to work into a conversation that she had no idea who her father was as multiple spouses were an unintended family tradition.

    “The state must segregate and sterilize these people, particularly the mature ones,” Fielder said in the Boston Evening Transcript. The news made the wire services.

    “New Jersey Degenerates” was the headline in the Boston newspaper on June 28, 1913. “Terrible Conditions Found by Governor Fielder Among the ‘Pineys’ — Segregation and Sterilization Advocated.”

    “Sea Girt, June 28 — Gov. James F. Fielder got back to the New Jersey summer capital from a trip through the pine woods of Burlington County, where he saw for himself some of the degenerate and imbecile families called ‘the Pineys’.”

    Pineys were a menace to New Jersey was the conclusion the wire report attributed to the acting governor.

    Fielder was elected governor in November 1913 but no one in New Jersey was sterilized.

    Fielder was a product of his time. During the early 20th century, public health advocates in much of the western world believed preventing people who were criminal or who suffered from mental illness or mental disability from reproducing was a way of perfecting human evolution — a pseudo-science called eugenics.

    New Jersey passed its own compulsory sterilization law for so-called “feeble-minded” people in 1911, but the state Supreme Court became one of the first to strike it down as unconstitutional in 1913, according to extensive research on the subject by the University of Vermont in 2011.

    Nevertheless, the state Legislature continued to fund a state commission to investigate the “Sterilization of Defectives,” according to the official 1914 Legislative Manual of the State of New Jersey.

    Jersey Roots is a look at the history of Monmouth and Ocean counties. Have a local historical topic you would like more information about? Contact Erik Larsen at

  18. anon (the good one) says:


    World Cup Today: Four, that’s right, four, games to watch
    #COL #GRE
    #URU #CRC
    #ENG #ITA
    #CIV #JPN

  19. anon (the good one) says:

    Oops Uruguay.

  20. chicagofinance says:

    WTF is this? Seriously….how does he have the ball$ to say something so difinitively?

  21. Colledge graduates be Oblammy’s bitches.

  22. Need Cote d’Ivoire to come through for a fabulous parlay.

  23. What he said:

    The Generational Short: Banks, Wall Street, Housing And Luxury Retail Are Doomed

    “If Gen-Y cannot afford to buy Boomers’ houses at bubble-level prices, then what will keep housing prices at these elevated levels?

    Mish recently posted excerpts of a Brookings Institution study on changing generational values: How Millennials Could Upend Wall Street and Corporate America. The gist of the report is that Gen-Y (Millennials) view money, prestige, adversarial confrontation and managerial methods differently from the Baby Boom and Gen-X generations, and that this set of values will change Corporate America, the economy and the culture as Boomers exit managerial positions and their peak earning/spending years.

    Though we have to be careful in characterizing tens of millions of individuals as all reflecting one set of generational values, the basic idea is simply one of context: people who grow up in a specific milieu are naturally prone to sharing broadly similar perceptions and values.

    The Brookings authors claim that Millennials do not favor the adversarial style of the Boomers (competition and confrontation as means of advancing one’s cause/position) nor do they place great value on luxury goods as evidence of exclusivity. They actively distrust/loathe the banking sector and are financially conservative, preferring cash to investing in Wall Street.

    Asked to choose their ideal (corporate/state) job, their choices reflect preferences for a mix of security, idealism and technology. The big flaw in this career questionnaire (as far as I can discern) is that it did not offer the alternatives of self-employment/ entrepreneurship. Anecdotally, it seems clear that there is a strong entrepreneurial drive in Gen-Y–for example, What I’ve learned in my first year as a college dropout.

    One factor the report did not address fully is real estate/housing, which depends on bank-issued debt (mortgages) and the belief that a lifetime of paying a mortgage will magically result in financial security, based on the greater fool notion that someone in the future will be willing to pay more for an asset that hasn’t changed either qualitatively or quantitatively (other than needing more maintenance as it ages).

    This raises two issues: if Gen-Y cannot afford to buy Boomers’ houses at bubble-level prices, then what will keep housing prices at these elevated levels? Answer: nothing. Without strong demand for housing at sky-high prices, valuations will drop to whatever level demand can support. That level can be far lower than conventional housing analysts believe possible because they are still extrapolating Baby Boomer preferences and earnings into a future which will be quite different from the housing bubble decades.

    The second issue is a question: how much of the Boomers’ housing wealth will trickle down to Gen-Y when they actually need housing, i.e. when they’re starting families?

    The answer may well be: very little. If Gen-Y is unwilling or unable to take on enormous mortgages to buy bubble-priced housing, we can project a housing market in which Boomers are unloading millions of primary homes as they seek to downsize/raise cash for retirement but there aren’t enough Gen-Y buyers willing or able to buy these millions of homes at bubble valuations.

    In this scenario, home prices must decline to align with Gen-Y’s salaries (i.e. their ability to qualify for huge mortgages) and their willingness to shoulder bank-based debt.

    If Gen-Y essentially opts out of the belief that financial security depends on buying a house with a large mortgage, then the U.S. housing market will have no sustainable foundation for price appreciation. Housing could easily decline by 50% in highly inflated markets.

    The same dynamic will shred stock market valuations. If Gen-Y opts out of supporting the banks and Wall Street, the demand for Wall Street’s products will plummet, bringing stocks back down to historical levels–once again, perhaps 50% of the current bubble valuations.

    The funny thing about core values is that they are resistant to arguments such as “you should get a mortgage and invest all your money in Wall Street.” Once people opt out of the fantasy that buying a house and entrusting one’s capital with Wall Street leads to guaranteed financial security, no amount of cajoling or propaganda will change their values-based decisions.

    For example, those who have decided to eschew debt will never take on debt, even if the banks (or the banks’ pusher, the government) offer debt at 0% interest. Those who have lost trust in Wall Street or actively hate it and everything it stands for (neofeudalism, unbridled greed, the corruption and collusion of the revolving door between the state and Wall Street, etc.) will never change their minds and hand their money to Wall Street to play with.

    If the primary assets held by Boomers (houses and stocks) both decline for these fundamental reasons, there may be relatively little wealth left to pass on to Gen-Y. There is a peculiar irony in this: if Gen-Y avoids bank debt/mortgages, buying conspicuous consumption luxury goods on credit and investing in Wall Street’s scams and skims, this generational lack of demand for housing, stocks and luxury goods will effectively crash the sky-high valuations of these assets.

    That will reduce the value of whatever generational wealth the Boomers have left to pass on. Since many Boomer households are currently paying for three generations–soaring college costs for their Gen-Y offspring, care for their elderly Silent Generation parents and their own expenses–how much wealth they will have left once Gen-Y is dominant is an open question.

    These factors suggest a generational bet against banks, Wall Street, housing and luxury retail stocks. I am not recommending such a bet, mind you; it’s just one potentially interesting speculative consequence of the changing of the generational guard.”

  24. Libturd at home says:

    Bebo was not a Piney. Maybe a Rican, but not a Piney.

  25. Comrade Nom Deplume, a.k.a. Captain Justice says:

    Quelle surprise!

    Somewhere in the afterlife, Nixon is thinking “damn! If we only had email back then.”

  26. Michael says:

    Jeez, even the Goldman CEO knows inequality at this level is bad for the economy. The people running our govt are lost. Get them the hell out before they run this country into the ground. You guys would bust my balls and call me jealous for seeing the major problems with inequality. I guess the Goldman CEO is jealous too, or maybe he just understands simple economics.

    “Income inequality is destabilizing and “responsible for the divisions in the country,” CEO and chairman of Goldman Sachs Lloyd Blankfein said on “CBS This Morning” Tuesday.

    “The divisions could get wider,” Blankfein said. “If you can’t legislate, you can’t deal with problems. [If] you can’t deal with problems, you can’t drive growth and you can’t drive the success of the country. It’s a very big issue and something that has to be dealt with.”

    He said one way to deal with it would be to “make the pie grow.”

    “Too much of the GDP over the last generation has gone to too few of the people,” he said.

    Even economists like Thomas Piketty have said U.S. inequality is reaching “spectacular” heights.

    “People are trying to grapple with the reasons for it,” Blankfein said. “So for example, technology, media, the new economy. If you do something really well, the entire world beats a path to your door. The number three, number five, number 400 player gets nothing. It’s almost a winner take all.””

  27. Fast Eddie says:

    “If Gen-Y cannot afford to buy Boomers’ houses at bubble-level prices, then what will keep housing prices at these elevated levels? Answer: nothing.”

    Any questions?

  28. Michael says:

    28- higher than avg wage inflation combined with lower than avg housing inflation

  29. Fast Eddie says:

    higher than avg wage inflation…

    LOL! Sure, whatever you say.

  30. Comrade Nom Deplume, a.k.a. Captain Justice says:

    [31] clot

    Michael and anon both identify a problem that has simultaneously been and not been a problem for decades, if not centuries.

    The difference is that Michael proposes no solutions while anon proposes failed ones.

  31. anon (the good one) says:

    Breaking: Legendary radio broadcaster Casey Kasem has died

  32. anon and Michael are trolls, precisely because they cannot engage in actual debate, propose solutions or even offer factual basis for any of their useless bleating. There are a few people on the liberal side of the spectrum who have plenty to offer in a real debate (Elizabeth Warren, for one), but these two numbnuts are miles away from that level of thought. It’s Dumb and Dumber in blog form.

    I would hasten to add that my comment also applies to the knee-jerk conservative types, too.

  33. anon (the good one) says:

    this isn’t good news for most of you here

    New Jersey Thinks It Might Be Time To Outlaw Bestiality

  34. Godzilla misses kasem says:

    Thanks for the memories!!

    Not safe for public loudspeakers

  35. anon (the good one) says:

    Only FIFA could invent a goal line technology that increases controversy

  36. Wow, outstanding site layout! Just how long have you been running a blog with regard to? you will be making blog peek uncomplicated. The overall search of your respective website is extremely good, not to the content product!

Comments are closed.