Things don’t always work out, but I remain optimistic

Bhutan - 1 (1)

The other passengers have just finished eating delicious food. I didn’t even start.

A brothel, a baboon and a bone-rattling drive have been some of the lowlights of travels you can read about in my previous posts.  In this one, you’ll discover how this scuba diver was led to water and left mostly high and dry.  After my trip to Bhutan, you’ll see how the drawbacks of climbing every mountain became clear to me and will be evident to you as well.

Last of 4 Parts

Travel insurance definitely would have eased the financial pain of one my most recent travel disasters, a scuba diving break.  Logistics forced me to take three airplanes each way from my home in Cambodia and spend two overnights at hotels in Indonesia both before and after.

Given that I parted with an unholy amount of cash for the five nights of diving from an exceptional liveaboard boat that cruised from the island of Flores, I conceivably should have considered that something could go wrong.

What went wrong, to put it mildly, was Continue reading

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An expat’s perspective on health care and immigration

BNH-Hospital-bangkok-premium-clinic-thailand-ogocare-2

BNH, the hospital in central Bangkok where I have received annual check-ups.

Technically, I am not an immigrant, though I make my home in Cambodia.  I have only a mailing address in the United States.

What I am is a retired expat whose year-to-year visa allows him to reside in Phnom Penh, where my savings go far indeed.  It is a good life, but it is one without a citizen’s rights (such as they are in Cambodia) and without dependable medical care.

Fortunately, I am an expat in excellent health now into his 70s.  Should I develop problems, the quality of my medical care here generally is suspect and its cost would be prohibitive for anything serious.

You see, I am uninsured outside the United States.  Even if coverage were obtainable from a reputable firm at my age Continue reading

Liking paperwork, you’ll love co-op renovations

(Flickr photo by luxomedia)

Anyone planning to undertake major renovations in a co-op apartment faces a forbidding task.  Without the building’s prior written consent to undergo structural alterations of an apartment, count on trouble ahead.

If you are a brave soul with plans to expand the kitchen you soon will acquire, add a bathroom or take down a wall, there is no guarantee that the co-operative will approve the alteration request.

Many boards won’t even consider Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: Landlord confession, piece of Portugal, April building permits, pocket listings, air purifiers, timely Lotto win, recovery threats

Penthouse pursuit is costly contagion to attain height, light, unobstructed views

Airbnb gears up for Albany initiative that would regulate short-term apartment rentals

City plans sale to debt collectors of tax liens against Sandy-hit homeowners

Cost of rent, price of property actually moving in sync

New York region’s borrowers way below average of homeowners who deduct mortgage interest

Stuyvesant Town tenants told pay up and up or move out this summer

Onetime Sinatra apartment sells after steep price cut

Lease confessions of small landlord make for compelling reading

All it takes is money, but there’s still rental inventory in the Hamptons

Investment group identified as purchaser of most expensive Manhattan residence, One 57 penthouse

Nascar superstar lists trophy condo on Central Park West for $30 million

Dancing queen Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: Condo inventory, rents, pet scams, best markets for sellers or buyers, retirees’ downsizing, consumers’ outlook

Next Weekly Roundup Jan. 4

Tastes downtown changing from industrial lofts, glass boxes

More evidence that developers adding to supply of condos

There’s nothing like decisions on art to stir the pot of acrimony in condos, co-ops

Real estate licensees rebound to 27,000 in the city alone

Manhattan’s median rent edges up in November

When buildings bar a pet, lawyers say, residents suddenly claim disabilities

High living costs cause half of population to contemplate leaving Long Island

Southampton home owned by TV news personality and actress wife goes quickly to contract

Author achieves perfect sale of Manhattan condo

Pair finds buyer of Upper East Side one-bedroom apartment in amazing time

 

Strongest sellers’ markets in Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: New. . . rent data, celebrity moves, U.S. market reports, interest rates, generation of investors, forecasts and more

November rents in Manhattan ease slightly as Sandy contributes to drop in inventory

Almost burned, one tenant unscathed after renting out apartment via Airbnb

Mayor calls for immediate redrawing of FEMA flood maps

Sunlight in apartments comes at a cost

NY Fed’s interactive tool provides housing market data

Insurance won’t cover loss in event of apartment misuse

Many of the city’s newest transplants favor Manhattan

His new home is, strangely, no fixer-upper

London house of singer who died tragically young sold at auction below original asking price

Retired Yankee’s condo sale long way from home run

Chef’s purchase Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: Condo ‘madness,’ price rises, creditworthiness, 1031 exchanges, piece of the Pitt, micro apartments, boomerang buyers, more

City’s encouragement of waterfront living is scrutinized

Hundreds of new condos soon to be on market on Upper East Side

‘Condo Madness Returns,’ New York magazine declares in five-story package

Region’s prices rise 3.1 percent from September to September

Brooklyn new development sales grow 31 percent over last quarter

Storm continues to complicate closings, but lenders honoring expired rate locks

The $235 million he drops on second home is no shack

Comedian’s Bel-Air home goes for $6.3 million

Tattooed singer Continue reading