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  • On 16 Oct 2014 in Whiny time: When will real estate prices ever make any sense?, YesYNot said:

    WaterGoat says

    Plenty of growth in the suburbs & foothills. Certainly very little in the city center, particularly since condo development ground to a halt in 2007. So new development has little effect on prices near the city center.

    It's the lack of new development in the city center with a growing population that makes it more expensive there.

    WaterGoat says

    But what I dislike about buying is that, if mortgage interest rates do return to 8-9%, which should cut housing prices just a bit, I'll be stuck with an illiquid asset.

    My point is that it would likely take 10 years for that to happen at which point, you would have a reasonable part of your mortgage paid down. A nice thing about low rates is that the principal payoff per month is larger in the beginning of the mortgage than it is with higher rates. You might be stuck renting it out, but you would likely have a descent income stream from it by then if rates go up to 8-9%.

    Another thing to consider, and I think you have from your post is that buying one house is the neutral position for the average individual/family, because you always have to own or rent one. Owning more than one house is long housing. Owning less than one is basically shorting housing.

  • On 16 Oct 2014 in Whiny time: When will real estate prices ever make any sense?, YesYNot said:

    I agree with call it crazy - #s 2 and 3 probably have a big impact.

  • On 16 Oct 2014 in Whiny time: When will real estate prices ever make any sense?, YesYNot said:

    WaterGoat says

    House prices were around 3x annual household income (not salary). They were at that level through decades of the 30-year mortgage being popular.

    When I look at home prices in a zip code and see an average of $350K against an average household (including all earners) income of $55K for that zip code, I wonder what is going on.

    Population is bigger than in 1960 for sure; bigger than in 1980; but not much bigger than in 1995.

    In light of the population plus limited supply near urban centers, perhaps these prices at near twice the norm of, say, 1994, are comprehensible. Frothy, maybe, but comprehensible. What's doubtful is that they will continue to rise much from here.

    If houses were 3x income in 1995, that would put them at 165 (ignoring inflation). Today, they are at 350K, which is 6 times income.

    In 1995, the average mortgage rate was 8%. In 2013, it was 4%. So, the interest paid in 1995 was $13K/yr. In 2013, the interest paid would have been $14K/yr. There are other costs as well, but the cost of interest is about the same in 1995 and today. There are other costs, and you could refine the math quite a bit, but the point is that affordability in terms of payments has not changed much. Why would you expect to be able to buy the same house with much less of a monthly outlay today?

    Denver has 40% more people now than in 1995. That's significantly more competition for close in sites. I don't know much about growth outward from the city center, though.

    I'm not arguing that housing will go up tremendously from here. It sure has turned a bit for the worse over the last half year. But, I just don't get the expectation that it will return to 3x income in the NEAR future.

    Maybe in 10 years, the interest rates will be 8% and housing will be 3x income. Who knows, but it won't be in the next couple of years, and the economic climate 10 years from now is anyone's guess. Waiting 10 years to buy a house in an effort to time the market seems kind of silly to me.

    As far as 30 year mortgage availability: Anecdotally, they were not as common or easy to get in the 1960s. They were much less common when inflation hit in the 1970s. After that, you never had the combination of 30 easy to get 30 year mortgages with low interest rates until 2011 or so. 2004 was pretty good, but mortgage rates were 6%, versus sub 4% in 2011/2012. That's a huge difference in interest paid.

  • On 16 Oct 2014 in Whiny time: When will real estate prices ever make any sense?, YesYNot said:

    House prices were 2-3x a years salary historically. In the past, people got 15 year loans, and interest rates were much higher.

    Do you expect house prices to be the same as they were in the past when (1) loans are 30 years and interest rates are very low (2) many people have two incomes and (3) there is a much bigger population and more competition to be in close to the city centers?

    I get why prospective buyers want house prices to be much lower, but I don't understand why they expect it.

  • On 13 Oct 2014 in You guys were right about wages, YesYNot said:

    ^ I agree that people should cook anyways. I was just noting a work / lifestyle pattern that has changed over the last 40 years.

  • On 13 Oct 2014 in You guys were right about wages, YesYNot said:

    thunderlips11 says

    As for dining out, I could not find that after a scanning the article. I think the culprit is a difference in household composition and consumption. Joe the Factory Worker may have eaten lunch at the diner or burger stand once in a while, but the big money was getting a babysitter and mom out of the house on friday night to Charlie's Steakhouse. Today mom is working too, so she is also eating out also - but they are going to Charlie's together less often. It's also a question as to whether it's inflation adjusted, and how it's reported. Corporate Chains are better record keepers and marketing researchers than Charlie.

    I agree with you that the patterns have changed. People go out to lunch a lot b/c both parents are working. The statistics I cited came from a set of pie charts in the report.

    To be more specific, the charts showed that the percentage of calories coming from sit-down restaurants has doubled. The percentage of calories coming from fast food joints has quadrupled.

  • On 13 Oct 2014 in You guys were right about wages, YesYNot said:

    Look at the graph here:

    People spend 50% of their grocery dollars on refined grains, beverages, frozen entrees, and sugar and candy. Considering all of the non-alcoholic beverages are sugar water, there's up to 22% coming from mostly sugar.

    From the link:
    In 2005-08, Americans consumed 32 percent of their daily calories away from home, up from 18 percent in 1977-78.

    If you look at the link, restaurant spending has doubled, and fast food spending has quadrupled from 1977 to 2008.

  • On 13 Oct 2014 in You guys were right about wages, YesYNot said:

    CaptainShuddup says

    hicken wings are the new Prime Rib, when it used to be meat that was added to making stock.

    People aren't spendi

    We didn't all eat prime rib ever. The parts of a cow haven't changed, and we've been eating the whole cow for a long time.

    People have been eating all parts of pigs and birds as well. It just wan't anyone in your family.

    Pig feet has been a traditional food in China:

    Chicken feet are as well. We used to feed them to slaves, and it became a component of soul food in the US, but now we are exporting a lot of these parts to China.

    Eating the whole animal has always been done, it was just done by other people in the past. Don't worry, though, what separates a delicacy from the trash is often a matter of cultural preference anyway.

  • On 13 Oct 2014 in You guys were right about wages, YesYNot said:

    mmmarvel says

    Again, who are these 'people' that you talk of?? I have one credit card that I'm carrying

    Americans spend on average $2500 per year eating out.
    Of this $1000 is for lunch.

    For a 4 person family, this is $10K. I'm sure that Parents with children spend less per person on average, and married with no kids spend more than their share. So, regardless of your personal habits, people spend quite a lot on average, and this is reflected by the shear number of restaurants around. The landscape was very different 10, 20, 30, or 60 years ago, and there were much fewer restaurants.

    When you go to the grocery store, just look at what other people are buying. I do, and there are tons of pre-made items going into carts. Most of these have >50% mark-up.

    So, the answer to your question, 'these people' whom you ask about are the majority of other people in this country.

  • On 11 Oct 2014 in You guys were right about wages, YesYNot said:

    CaptainShuddup says

    FOOD, a Roof, and Health is NOT a Luxury!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    People eat out more, eat more pre-packaged food, live in larger houses with more stuff, and consume more health care than at any previous time.

    Eating at restaurants and eating convenience foods is a luxury. Living in a big house with a bathroom per person is a luxury. I'm all for a single payer health care system, so I'm with you there.

    My point is that people tend to spend way beyond their means these days, because money is cheap and everybody else is doing it. They can ask for a raise and try to make more money, but the one thing that is in their immediate control is what they spend.

    You can look back at the 1950s and assume everything was better back then, but meanwhile people are spending money on all sorts of things that just weren't available back then.

  • On 11 Oct 2014 in You guys were right about wages, YesYNot said:

    The reason that prices are up relative to wages is that people have been willing to spend more than they have. Prices depend on demand and that depends on spending. Wages depend on many things and global competition has made it difficult to keep wages up.

    Culturally, people were less interested in living on credit in the past. Part of this is due to lower interest rates today that make borrowing more attractive. At this point, though, a lot of it in my opinion has become ingrained into the cultural mindset. Our willingness to live on credit as a group is why the average person needs to live on credit in order to keep up appearances or have what their buddy has.

    The only real way for the average Jane/Joe to force the issue is to refuse buying luxuries and depreciating assets on credit. They have to smarten up to the long term consequences of their decisions and have a realistic idea of what will improve their happiness long term.

    I'm a liberal, but don't think that the minimum wage will get at the root of the problem.

    To bring this back to housing, people have to come to a realistic view of what they can afford. If they can't comfortably make the rent, they need to take on house mates. When people buy what they can afford, their rent will match their pay-checks.

  • On 18 Aug 2014 in Black Facts, YesYNot said:

    Given the literal way in which you interpreted that idiom, I believe you are autistic ;).

    SoftShell says

    Given the orientation of the stomach, and the various supporting ligiments and muscles, I believe you are lying.

    HEY YOU says

    As a white, these facts & pics of " these people" turns my stomach.

  • On 12 Aug 2014 in Most student loans now not being paid on time, YesYNot said:

    Reading the article, it says that 1 in 6 are delinquent. Based on my experience with these companies, a good number of those are paperwork errors by the crap companies that service these loans.

    The 51% number likely includes people who defer for one reason or another. Is it people who are currently in deferment or people who deferred at one point or another? It's hard to say, because the article is written so poorly.

    The government still makes money on student loans. Current estimates are that the federal government will make $127 billion over the next 10 years off of their student lending programs.

    This will pay for about 18% of the cost of the Mortgage interest tax break over the next 10 years. It's take from the poor recent grad and give to wealthy leveraged homeowners.

    High five!

  • On 12 Aug 2014 in David Stockman on the global economy: "...all hell is going to break loose.", YesYNot said:

    indigenous says

    When ever you are looking for the cause of the problem you look earlier. Just logic right? Yet Friedman is trying to say the problem occurred simultaneously with the cause. It doesn't work like that. The problem was earlier in the 20s when there was too much loose money.

    OK, the great depression was caused in the 1920s.

    indigenous says

    But the bottom line is that the depression would not have occurred if HH and FDR had done nothing. Rather it would have been just another short recession. To place blame any where but these two mutts is misplaced.

    We should blame HH and FDR who were president during the great depression. If it weren't for these guys, it would have been a short recession.

    I'm confused.

  • On 7 Aug 2014 in Meet "McCashier" Your $15.00 Per Hour McDonald's Worker Replacement, YesYNot said:

    I haven't eaten at McD's in a long time, but if I had to touch a screen that has been touched up by the other customers in there, I'd definitely not go back.

    Maybe they'll have a glove dispenser to help with that.

    The supermarket autocheckouts are a pain in the ass between the alcohol purchase issues and the 'item in checkout area does not weigh the right amount' errors.

  • On 30 Jul 2014 in HVAC repair - weird industry, YesYNot said:

    corntrollio says

    Scratching my head on this one. SEER is a measure of energy efficiency right. If memory serves, SEER = BTU/watts used. So the 14 SEER should be cheaper to operate for the same level of cooling. WTF is your guy talking about?

    Yeah, my system is more efficient than the one he was trying to sell me. I don't know if he knew that, but he was just trying to make a sale. Being correct didn't seem to be important to him. He also told me it needed a new motor, when the controller was the only bad part.

    BoomAndBustCycle says

    How much is your time worth though? All that internet research can take awhile.

    That's why I called the company in the first place. I'm not local, and I figured it would make more sense to pay to have it done. If the price was reasonable, I'd have gone for it. For several trips, it was about 6 hrs in the car, 2 hrs looking stuff up on the internet, and 1 hour doing the work. That is 9 hrs, and it saved about $1500 over what he was trying to charge me. At least I learned something. If the local douche retailers would have sold me a part, I'd have saved 4.5 hrs of driving.

  • On 30 Jul 2014 in HVAC repair - weird industry, YesYNot said:

    Sure enough, the $300 part did the trick.

  • On 30 Jul 2014 in HVAC repair - weird industry, YesYNot said:

    The variable speed motor is for improved efficiency and comfort. I think it is the main difference between a 13 and 15 SEER systems the guy offered to install. Whether or not it pays for itself over time when you include repairing the damn thing is another question.

    Are you suggesting that I could just put a single speed motor and capacitor in the current system and Jerry-rig the controls in some way, or that it is better to just order the cheaper / simpler system in the beginning?

    My biggest gripe in this process was the hassle of dealing with the HVAC industry and obtaining parts. If it is fixed when the $300 part comes in, that is not to bad.

  • On 29 Jul 2014 in HVAC repair - weird industry, YesYNot said:

    The Carrier parts supplier said that the would not sell to consumers to protect the company. The guy said that a consumer might put a part in and screw up their whole system, and then blame the parts supplier. This seems like a silly non-issue to me. Just have a policy that all sales are final and the part is not covered by warranty if installed by an unlicensed person. Otherwise, have a restocking fee if the part is returned in good working order. They could even charge more for consumers, since this is a retail sale with a different warranty.

    This isn't rocket science. The install requires pulling two wiring harnesses, pulling the fan out, swapping motors, putting it back, and plugging in the wire harnesses. It would be hard to fuck up. Replacing the motor controller is even easier, as you don't have to separate the motor drive shaft from the fan cage.

    You can easily buy car parts that have much more difficult installs, and there are no issues with local sales, warranties, and returns.

  • On 29 Jul 2014 in HVAC repair - weird industry, YesYNot said:

    The motor that I have is a variable speed motor. This is a 3 phase DC motor with a controller that converts 120V AC + a speed signals to a power signal that will drive the motor.

    These motors are useful, because they can run at lower speeds for extended periods. For example, if someone had the fan on but no heating / cooling it would run at a lower speed. If someone turned on the AC, it goes at a higher speed. When the AC shuts off, but the evaporator is still cool, the fan can run at slow speed until the evaporator is no longer cool. It also ramps up to speed slowly, so that you can hardly hear it come on.

    These variable speed motors are more expensive than single speed motors with a start capacitor. For example, the cheapest replacement that I found was $750 online for the whole motor or $320 for the controller. These motors should not be that expensive, but you are right. They have a little proprietary program on a flash chip that makes them specific to the brand and model HVAC system that you have. Thus, the manufacturer has you over the proverbial barrel.

    My system, despite being 20 yrs old is 14 SEER. The replacement he was trying to sell me has a single speed motor and was 13 SEER. He, of course, said the new one would be better.

    The main reason that I posted this is that I thought it would be useful information for people who are maintaining a house or 3. Plus, I was hoping to get some more insight. I'm not sure what the best section would be for that. I figured that the Misc section gets a good bit of traffic these days.

    For $300, if it buys a year or two, I'll be happy. Hopefully, it'll be more like 5.

  • On 29 Jul 2014 in HVAC repair - weird industry, YesYNot said:

    Thanks CDon. I'll definitely call them next time I have an issue.

  • On 22 Jul 2014 in U.S. smokers say higher cigarette taxes are unjust, YesYNot said:

    komputodo says

    stupid, i think that der is a diferense between TAXING (to raise

    Well, you would apparently prefer a law preventing you from doing something than a tax that makes it slightly more expensive to do it. So, maybe you hate freedom? Maybe you are so idealistically against taxes that you would cut off your nose to spite your face? It's hard to know, because your debating skills are about as good as Costanza's dating skills.

  • On 21 Jul 2014 in U.S. smokers say higher cigarette taxes are unjust, YesYNot said:

    It took me a while to quit. During that time, I wished cigarettes cost $20/pack. I made them more expensive by promising to myself that every time I bought a pack, I'd smoke 2 cigarettes and give away the rest. That made it more expensive, and prevented the smoke 'em cause you have 'em thinking after the first two. Plus, if cigarettes were $20/pack, people would be less likely to give them away, making it harder to get hooked.

  • On 21 Jul 2014 in U.S. smokers say higher cigarette taxes are unjust, YesYNot said:

    komputodo says

    with just taxing all the bad behavior to save the lives of people that make

    I already gave a calm and logical answer to this and asked you to elaborate your beliefs. Since you cannot respond to that more intellectual line of thinking, here is a response more fitting of your rhetorical nature:

    Are you so stupid that you can't comprehend the analogous argument? If you oppose a tax on cigarettes, why not get rid of all laws designed to enhance safety?

    Why not get rid of all rules regarding automobile safety and speed limits. Why not get rid of OSHA rules for work safety? Why not let all drugs and all medicines be legal over the counter? Why not allow people to commit suicide? Why not let people buy whatever weapon they want and take it wherever they like?

    ^That's a stupid argument, but it is the same argument that you are making.

  • On 21 Jul 2014 in U.S. smokers say higher cigarette taxes are unjust, YesYNot said:

    Just to point out the obvious.

    We as a society must make judgments about the trade-offs regarding personal freedom and personal safety and societal safety.

    I'm not really sure what you are arguing.

    I am in favor of a tax on cigarettes. How does being in favor of a tax on cigarettes lead one to believe that we should make it illegal to be 20% or more overweight? A more sensible analogy would be to put a tax on foods that have little nutritional value but are shown to contribute to obesity. You're analogy, while not the 'definition of stupid,' makes no sense.

    What laws on the books today would you like to see repealed?

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