How the wealthy people, famous or infamous, get the deal done in private.
The public may get hours of fun following the home-buying antics of boldface names, but the goal of many wealthy people, famous or infamous, is to get the deal done in private. Brokers describe signing confidentiality agreements, taking high-profile clients to tour properties in the middle of the night, and employing code language. And they say clients are increasingly using the cover of trusts or limited liability companies to buy Manhattan property anonymously. Nor is it just celebrities who want to keep quiet how much they are plunking down for an apartment. As the financial industry has come under public scorn for the role it played in the economic distress of recent years, Wall Street types are more eager than ever to keep their multimillion-dollar real estate deals away from prying eyes, brokers say. Beyond concerns about perception and hopes for anonymity, buyers have personal reasons for choosing to keep their names out of a deal…Most commonly, according to brokers and lawyers, clients are hoping to protect their assets from their spouses in case the marriage hits the rocks. But some real estate lawyers say that can be a dubious proposition, since divorce courts are like “the Wild West” and there is no guarantee that an LLC purchase can keep an apartment from being part of a settlement.
By Marc Santora, June 4, 2011, NYT
Given Institute in Aspen’s West End at 100 E. Francis Sells to JAMMB, LLC, owner neighbor of adjacent property, on May 25, 11 for $13.8MM: