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  • On 19 Apr 2014 in Five groups that lie about the housing market, swebb said:

    CDon says

    I got to say, it is nice seeing some people step up and take some measure of accountability about how wrongheaded this site has been for a while now. Unfortunately, it had a very large effect on my SIL & her family who are now worse off because of it.

    Yep. It had influenced my thinking too much...I *almost* missed the boat because of it. I was fortunate to find something that fit the bill and was fairly priced...but if I step back I was about 12-18 months late...almost got bit.

  • On 2 Apr 2014 in Cops Asking People to Retake The Streets!, swebb said:

    Not too far from "Police Academy 4: Citizens On Patrol"

    As I recall, the C.O.P program didn't work out so well.

  • On 31 Mar 2014 in More warnings about 401Ks, swebb said:

    clambo says

    The 401K is just the registration for any investment you prefer, and there are many great ones.

    One problem is that some employers, particularly smaller ones, don't offer good investment options. You can only invest in the funds that are offered in conjunction with the 401K, and you usually can't roll over to an IRA (where you can control what options you have) without separating from the employer.

  • On 30 Mar 2014 in Red Robin - Where the Porkers Fuel Up, swebb said:

    Damn good burger, though. I have only dared eat there twice. Definitely a porker place.

  • On 27 Mar 2014 in Home Sales Plunge Most In 3 Years, Drop 8th Months In A Row, swebb said:

    jojo says

    The only thing that matters is first time buyers and the people who are exiting. Everyone else is just playing musical chairs.

    That view oversimplifies it. It does make it easier to think about, but doesn't necessarily lead to accurate understanding/conclusions. "Musical stairs" is a bit more accurate. For one, the existing homeowner who is buying a new house is often buying up, so they wouldn't merely be trading places with someone, but are putting more money into the system. The first timers aren't buying what the boomers are selling...if the musical stairs part of the market isn't active, you can't clear the high end inventory, and there isn't low end inventory to be bought, save new construction.

  • On 26 Mar 2014 in The bill for house-equity lines is coming due, swebb said:

    ChapulinColorado says

    In fact, most seasoned investors will tell you to allocate close to 50 percent of your gross rents to costs outside of the regular mortgage payment.

    Really? What do you mean by "regular mortgage payment"? (only P&I, or does it include T&I also)

    Do you have sources to back up this assertion - it seems really high and is counter to my experience.

    Also, the zerohedge charts are a bit misleading. The cashflow number is presented as being "with tenants, and no expenses", but 8% vacancy is baked in to the numbers, as well as plenty of expenses, including utilities, property management, HOA and maintenance...

  • On 17 Mar 2014 in Will House Prices Rise in 2014? No., swebb said:

    corntrollio says

    I tried that with the Submedian calculator, assuming you invest the difference in monthly payments, and it didn't agree.

    Did you use $1200/month for the rent?

    BB may have exaggerated a bit, but my guess is that you couldn't rent a $480k house anywhere for $1200/month. I know in Denver you would be a lot closer to double that for rent. So in a more realistic scenario I think buying wins at these interest rates.

    Of course I recently bought a house, so I'm invested in the idea that ownership is better somehow...

  • On 17 Mar 2014 in Dad accused of killing teen found in daughter's room, swebb said:

    Dan8267 says

    Absofuckinglutely. But by the same token, if he's wrong, he's toast, literally.

    Well, I guess it depends on what you mean by "right" or "wrong"....It's pretty hard to be assuredly right about something that unfolds in 15 seconds upon waking from a deep sleep. But you might find yourself in that position and be faced with the decision...

    If you pull the trigger, and it turns out he wasn't a threat, you get the chair.
    If you pull the trigger, and it turns out he was a threat, you get to live, and he might die.
    If you don't pull the trigger, and it turns out he wasn't a threat, everyone lives.
    If you don't pull the trigger, and it turns out he was a threat you might die.

    Assign some probabilities that you think are reasonable. I'll call you at 2:00 on a random night and present you with the scenario and see how well you do assessing the situation.

    I tend to agree with you that the father probably acted out of anger, not fear, and the killing was likely to be not justified. But I wasn't there, and that's just a guess. If the daughter convincingly insisted that he was an intruder, and there was an altercation, I start to think the shooting might have been justified. The daughter might be more at fault than anyone, though there is enough blame for everyone involved to have a share of it. You really start to lose me when you suggest that the burden is on the homeowner, and that they subject themselves to possible execution if they misread the situation and kill someone.

    You use the word innocent pretty liberally, here...Dude was in the house without the knowledge/consent of the father. I'm not going to say I never put myself in that situation, but I will say I was aware that I was in the danger zone. (no, it never crossed my mind that I might get shot) The dead kid wasn't really innocent here.

  • On 17 Mar 2014 in Dad accused of killing teen found in daughter's room, swebb said:


    I agree that the father should be suspicious of his daughter's claim that she didn't know the boy in this case...But consider the situation where it's pretty clear the boy is an intruder and not a welcome guest (assume whatever you need to - a broken window, a screaming frantic girl, or the intruder is found in a 6 year old boy's bedroom..whatever).

    In that situation is the father justified in pulling the trigger?

  • On 15 Mar 2014 in College Students Scared Straight, swebb said:

    Call it Crazy says

    That's because you WON'T hear it from your parents.... The parents are the assholes that let you take on that debt and go into useless majors....

    Not so, if your parents don't suck.

    My wife got the opposite lecture..."while it would be nice to go to [insert your favorite university here], you would have to take on a significant amount of debt. I suggest you take the scholarship from the state school..."

    She graduated with about $2500 (not a typo) in debt. Does she have regrets about not getting to experience a grand liberal arts education at Smith (or wherever the fuck), yes! Is she glad that she was able to pay off the sum total of her debt in her first year in the workforce? You bet!

    I say parents who "get it" and don't have their heads up their vicarious living, keep up with the Joneses, competitive, striving, brag-about-your-offspring-to-co-workers-who-don't-fucking-matter-anyway exist! And they can give sound advice. The other ones? I say they can go fuck themselves. Not all parents suck, just a some of them.

  • On 10 Mar 2014 in Case-Shiller House Prices Dip For 2nd Straight Month In December, swebb said:

    It's just anecdotal, but in the Denver market I have noticed a lot of weird listings / transactions / happenings lately. Not much to speak of in terms of inventory...Seemingly slow start to the spring season (volume wise, that is...good houses still sell quite quickly).

    It has me wondering. We are also seeing an amazing amount of construction activity right now. Mostly multi-family and commercial...residential remodel activity also seems high (judging by the number of rolloff dumpsters I see lining the streets). It just seems like there isn't a lot of inventory these days...

  • On 4 Mar 2014 in Man delivers demolished house to repossessing bank, swebb said:

    CaptainShuddup says

    Today you can call your CC company and tell them you want to pay off $3500 bucks, they will oblige you, then the next month send you a bill for the interest of that previous month before you paid off your balance.

    Uhhh... how else is it supposed to work? You owe someone money, and every day that you don't pay it off, you accrue some interest. They quote you a payoff amount, you write them a check for the amount, and some time later they receive it and credit your account. However much interest accrued in the mean time is what you now owe them. Are they supposed to just pretend like you didn't accrue interest in the mean time?

    And your story about the car...sounds like you signed up for some shitty deal and got fucked around on it. I'm not sure how much the government ought to protect people from themselves in this kind of situation, but there are shitty loans that fuck people a lot. Sucks. I can't imagine ever getting into an arrangement like that, but if I were to find myself signing on, you can bet your sweet bippy that I'd grok that contract stem to stern. No surprises for me.

  • On 26 Feb 2014 in Buying a home beats renting in 100 major metros, swebb said:

    errc says

    Take the house I'm leasing. It will hit the market for 269k

    Current rent is 1375,,,S/T included.

    To purchase, wed have to dump 54k into a DP which means liquifying all my investments and be on the hook for any and all maintenance.

    Don't use you current rent as a basis for comparison, but rather the market rent for a similar place. Your rent could be over/under market.

    If you like the house/location, I'd strongly consider buying it. I may not put 20% down, though.

    And if you buy it and want to move somewhere else later, I'd strongly consider not selling it - rent it out instead.

  • On 11 Feb 2014 in JDs versus Engineers, swebb said:

    Dan8267 says

    Computer Science is and engineering discipline. It's software engineering.

    I see them as different. I would agree that software engineering is an engineering discipline...but computer science is more closely related to math.

  • On 11 Feb 2014 in Black residents reject Trader Joes because it would attract too many white peopl, swebb said:

    El HydroCabron says


    Walmart tried to put in a store in a white Subaru-and-SUV area here.

    Even the supposedly pro-business libertarians fought it tooth and claw. Didn't want an influx of "those" people in the area.


    You beat me to it. And what is going in there instead of that Wal Mart? You guessed it - a Trader Joe's...

  • On 2 Jan 2014 in Landlords & Lightbulb phaseout, swebb said:

    Is a landlord required to provide the unit with light bulbs installed?

    Could he charge a move in "light bulb fee" to cover the cost?

  • On 29 Dec 2013 in When do you think the next real estate downturn will occur? Why?, swebb said:

    edvard2 says

    As in 30-40 years or more, or about the same amount of time that it takes for the average American to retire. If you pull up a similar chart for real estate, that percentage is about half of that amount.

    Have you considered that the average joe can get a loan to buy that real estate with 5:1 leverage (or 20:1 in many cases), reap the shelter dividend and (assuming a high enough income) take a tax deduction on the interest....and enjoy tax advantages when it sells, too.

    Don't overlook the leverage's real.

  • On 25 Dec 2013 in Exponential growth,is that the same as stupidly overpopulating?, swebb said:

    marcus says

    I guess they reckon this will all sort itself out.

    Oh, it will. One way or another.

  • On 14 Nov 2013 in Top 5 Regrets of the Dying, swebb said:

    Ceffer says

    Basically, if somebody spends their last precious moments/time enumerating the regrets about what they did not do in life, they are unhappy people, who would have been unhappy even if they did what they claim to regret. They would have just wound up regretting something else.

    This isn't just what one dying person said, it's the 5 most common regrets of people facing the end of their life. For me it's worth considering the collective experience of others in the context of my own life.

  • On 13 Nov 2013 in Top 5 Regrets of the Dying, swebb said:

    Ceffer says

    I wish people would stop making these dummass, foolishly philosophical lists.

    I find that reaction a bit odd. Why do you think it's foolishly philosophical? And why is it that dummass gets a red squiggly line underneath it when I type it?

  • On 31 Oct 2013 in Reality check for Dan and other RE bears, swebb said:

    Dan8267 says

    As such, I do not expect the same appreciation rates to happen now.

    Yeah, but...

    I gave to examples of how it happened recently. Maybe nothing to that degree on a large scale, but locally (as in neighborhood by neighborhood basis) it surely happens.

    You originally asked how a particular run down house could have double (or quadrupled) in value in a very short period of time....and I'm saying it could happen if something big happens in the area. A new light rail stop? A new sports stadium (à la Colorado Rockies), oil and NG boom (see North Dakota) etc..

    It can and does happen...usually not overnight, but quite quickly compared to inflation based increases.

    So that house that you had a picture of -- where is it?

  • On 31 Oct 2013 in Reality check for Dan and other RE bears, swebb said:

    Dan8267 says

    Explain why that house suddenly and permanently quadrupled in value around 2004? What the fuck value was injected into that house in 2004 that I'm not seeing?

    If that house actually has a value history like you described, I'd say it's pretty obvious it's the land that is appreciating. Where is it? Is it possible that Something Big happened in the area to bring up the values? It happens.

    Here in Denver the area near Coors Field used to be off limits (unless you wanted heroin or hookers), but once the ball park was put in, it's one of the hottest areas in the city -- I couldn't afford to live there. Similar thing happened on the northwest side of the town. As the economy grew and there were more people looking for "city close" housing, the Highlands section went from cheap to out of my price range, seemingly overnight.

    People buy and "scrape" houses all the time -- clearly they didn't value the structure, and were just after the land.

  • On 31 Oct 2013 in Reality check for Dan and other RE bears, swebb said:

    Is that as far back as the data goes? Looks interesting but a longer duration to establish the "normal" trend would be nice. As it is now (and we all know that the bubble and crash was an anomalous period) half the graph shows a pretty stable direct relationship between the two, but the other half make them look pretty well decoupled..

    Ignoring the bubble-crash for the moment, the question for me is what happens next..the blue appears to be increasing more rapidly than the red in the recent few years, but will it rejoin it or establish some "new normal"?

    If blue catches back up with red, and Denver follows the national trend, I'm going to do pretty well on my purchase...and only wish I had "stretched" more.

  • On 30 Oct 2013 in Income Inequality Questions, swebb said:

    debyne says

    For purposes of how taxes, laws and rights apply to them, is there any other way to think about it? Oh wait, let's form a government committee to assess who really earned their wealth and who didn't, and then we can apply different rights and taxes accordingly.

    I'd say we already have the levers in place to allow a broad brush attempt at it. Adjust the tax rates for labor, capital gains, inheritance etc...

  • On 28 Oct 2013 in Lobbyists against Marijuana, swebb said:

    SoftShell says

    they are a hazard to the general public either driving or walking to their pie of choice.

    Driving - completely agree. Walking and otherwise interacting with the general public? I suppose if they are stoned out of their gourd they might pose a problem just crossing a street -- but at that point it would be pretty obvious and a PI ticket would be warranted.

    As far as the danger or inconvenience that the public gets saddled with because of the stoners - probably on par with that of the old people.

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