Soon after moving to Red Hook, almost fifteen years ago, I realized I could gauge just how frothy the real estate market was by the frequency of the bits of junk mail I received, offering to buy my home.

(click on any image below to view letters in a slideshow)

In the mid-2000s, as the national economy recovered from the dot-com bomb and the neighborhood started to be “discovered,” as if it were Papua New Guinea, I began to receive floods of letters. Some were sophisticated and glossy brochures, but most were not; the typical proposal was a one-page sheet of letterhead from a holding company or some other casually corporate entity. They generally had in common crappy graphics and offers of vast riches, cash purchases, loan renegotiations, living wills, mortgage assumptions and much more.

In mid-2008, from one day to the next, the flow of these letters dried up completely. Soon they started arriving again, until hurricane Sandy inspired another sudden pause in the action. Lately they have been pouring in once more. I’ve been collecting them for some time.

(The “Collected Letters,” or “The Real Estate Offers,” as archived here, was on view in June and July of 2016 at the Gut Rehab show, curated by Rachel Owens, at the Red Hook offices of the Realty Collective, a Brooklyn real estate brokerage.)