Few real estate brokers did better during the boom times than Paula Del Nunzio, the Brown Harris Stevens mega-agent who unloaded eight-figure townhouses to the likes of hedge funders Phil Falcone, Jim Chanos, and John Paulson and our fave Tblisi-born cabdriver-turned-real estate baron, Tamir Sapir. With New York's real estate market headed off a cliff, it's unlikely that Del Nunzio's record-setting deal—the sale of the Harkness Mansion to financier J. Christopher Flowers in 2006 for $53 million—will be surpassed any time soon. But is Flowers, who reportedly enjoys plays chess against himself, really happier than the rest of us because he gets to set up his chess board in a small corner of a magnificent 22,000-square-foot limestone mansion overlooking Central Park?
NYO: Does huge real estate bring buyers happiness? Is there a direct relationship between one's contentment and home size?
Del Nunzio: Actually, there might not be. We have no idea. I'm not inside the heads of all of the people that buy the houses; and once they acquire it, does it end up fulfilling them? All that they had hoped? I couldn't possibly answer.
Just something to console yourself with when you get into an argument with your roommate over the remote control later this evening.