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Tax Breaks of the Rich and Powerful; Seeking a BK Fixerupper

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Welcome to It Happened One Weekend, our weekly roundup of The New York Times real estate section...

1) Rich people. What are they spending millions of dollars on? What are they complaining about? This is What's Up With Rich People?
Rich people hate taxes, and changes to the 421A tax-abatement program may net residents of luxury condos such as One57 (where asking prices are pushing $10,500 per square foot) real estate tax breaks as low as 94 percent. Assuming the city approves recent exemptions to the program put forward by the state legislature, that means that if you bought One57's $115 million penthouse, you'd be paying an annual tax bill of only $18,000.

Your emotional response to this story is directly proportional to your net worth. ["How the Rich Get a Big Real Estate Tax Break"; photo via Joel Raskin]

2) Every "The Hunt" column begins with the Hunters describing the apartment they want, and ends with them rationalizing whatever they came away with. This is The Hunt: Dreams vs. Reality
The Hunter: a young couple looking for a fixer-upper
Dream: up to $400,000
Reality: $255,000
Dream: Bed-Stuy
Reality: Clinton Hill
Dream: two- or three-family brownstone, fixerupper
Reality: 1BR condo, view
This was a debacle. The Hunters are a young couple who have a fetish for living in a state of perpetual renovation, so they searched for a brownstone in Bed-Stuy (to no avail), and eventually saw a one-bedroom, 560-square-foot condo in Clinton Hill (though at $255,000, the price was significantly less than what they were willing to pay). The place is a construction zone and it kind of seems like these two are deluding themselves, saying things like ""Brett lives for this . . . I enjoy it, too," and diplomatically referring to moving around their apartment as "a game of spatial Tetris." Sounds . . . whimsical? [The Hunt/"In Clinton Hill, a High Tolerance for Hammering"]