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The Terrifying Future of NYC Includes Kids as Powerbrokers

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All that time, all that effort, all that investigative muscle the New York Times spent trying to figure out what nefarious figures were behind expensive real-estate purchases when the shifty moguls were right under their noses the entire time. Under their noses as in short. As in children. Meet Skye van Merkensteijn, 13 years old, and the kind of pint-sized powerbroker that can force his parents into buying a $14M apartment in the Aldyn that they claim they can't even afford. Teens and even preteens, the Times reports, are becoming "savvy connoisseurs of real estate."

Possible explanations for this trend include their familiarity with the internet, their susceptibility to online images of pools and playrooms and, the likeliest culprit, their obsession with Bravo's "Million Dollar Listing New York." Admittedly some of these kids sound pretty savvy. Little Alexandre, 10, saved Mommy from an exorbitant maintenance fee she overlooked. Patty, 14, uses StreetEasy, Trulia and Zillow in her quest for a Central Park view.

"They choose where they and their parents are going to have dinner or where they're going to go on vacation," a Corcoran broker told the Times. "So why shouldn't it extend to where they're going to spend several million dollars for a residence?"

Why not indeed? We've come a long way from Sally Draper making Don's cocktails. Once they've found you a new condo, let them rebalance your 401(k). Car making a strange noise? Send junior under the hood. But please mind the applicable child-labor laws.

· When New York Kids Help Find the Family Home [New York Times]
· All Aldyn coverage [Curbed NY]