Bernie Madoff's Montauk home goes up for sale this week. A spectacularly lavish retreat it is not. According to the AP, it's "cottage-size by superrich standards" and full of "faded furnishings," an impression echoed by the Times, which describes it as "less grandiose than one might expect given the scope of Mr. Madoff's $60 billion scheme."
That doesn't mean it's going to sell for a song, however. The U.S. Marshals Service is planning to ask $8.75 million for the home and reportedly won't consider any bids under $7 million. And the buyer won't get to take possession of the contents of the house either. The government is planning to auction off such gems as Bernie's exercise bike and Ruth Madoff's old shoes at a later date.
Of course, even $8 million could turn out to be the deal of the century if, as some locals suspect, Bernie buried some of his riches in the home. Given that federal agents have been combing the house for months now, if there is any treasure there, the buyer is probably going to have to uproot the house to find it. Then again, considering how unimpressed the reporters were who got to take a tour of the house, the buyer may very well want to rip down the house and start fresh anyway. A spiritual cleansing of the property? That wouldn't be such a bad idea either.