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? We all know that rich Chinese people love New York City real estate, but there's something else going on here. The Times takes a deeper look at the EB-5 program, a federal visa program dating back to 1990 that grants foreigners green cards if they invest at least $500,000 in projects that create " at least 10 jobs" in areas with high unemployment. It's all a bit sketchy, what with its "lack of transparency and oversight" and the fact that most of the projects lie in wealthy neighborhoods that don't have pressing unemployment problems. But with much of the program up for renewal in September, the program is undergoing quite a bit of scrutiny . "It takes a lot of work to make a transparent market and we are continuing to work to improve this," says Peter D. Joseph, the executive director of Invest in the USA. [Want a Green Card? Invest in Real Estate]
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 Hunters: a couple looking to buy in Riverdale
Dream: 2BR, 2BA, short walk to subway
Reality: 2BR, 2BA, short walk to subway
This weekend's Hunters are a lovely couple looking to downgrade from an expensive rental in Morningside Heights. Their new landlord—an investment company—offered them a decent buyout, so they they began looking in Riverdale, after hearing how inexpensive an area it is. Eventually, they found a huge two-bedroom, two-bath apartment within walking distance of the 1 train, which is basically all they needed. Their landlord put in an offer of $275,000 and quickly negotiated up to $290,000. Their old apartment is on the market for $1.7 million, natch. [The Hunt/A Bronx Apartment Just Like the One in Manhattan]