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

    komputodo says

    Obviously no smoker wants higher taxes on cigarettes. But why do non smokers approve?

    I would like to propose a Bob tax. This will be an additional 3% income tax on anyone named Robert or living in a household in which the head is named Robert. In turn, everyone not named Robert will have their tax burden lowered by 0.04%.

    Pretty sure this tax would pass if allowed to go to vote.

    In the case of cigarette taxes I'm sure some non-smokers approve because of the health effects yadda yadda. But most are just looking out for themselves. Tax someone else? Sounds good! Cigarettes are smelly anyways, I hate them!

  • On 11 Jul 2014 in So half of America loves Sarah Palin, varmint said:

    Just because you're a republican doesn't mean you have to believe everything Rush tells you. Palin is a sideshow and a disgrace, she abolutely needs to shut the fuck up... like yesterday. All publicity is good publicity does not apply to politics.

  • On 22 May 2014 in Condo sales surge ahead of single-family homes, varmint said:

    Strategist says

    Call it Crazy says

    (Condos may be the last step before moving to the rental apartment)

    In high priced areas, condos are the first step before moving into houses.

    Condos are a ripoff. I guess they're ok if someone is lazy don't want to keep up their place, but in a decent condo the HOA fees are greater than the difference in price to a house. Each $100 in HOA is like 25K added to purchase price (minimum, HOAs will go up over 30 years while payments are fixed) and they aren't giving you 100k discount off a SFR. Apartment style condos are considerably cheaper, but then again you can rent something equivalent for significantly less than the payments.

    I dunno when I was looking at a place my agent kept trying to push condos but I did the math and it didn't make sense. Likely in SF proper or other high density spots it's different but in the burbs condos suck IMO.

  • On 13 May 2014 in Greedy SF landlords throw old and disabled in the street, varmint said:

    protip:

    If you want to immigrate to a new country when you're already past retirement age and live off government assistance, don't move to the most expensive place in the entire fucking nation.

  • On 8 May 2014 in Overbid madness: Glen Park home sells for $605K over asking, varmint said:

    no, do you have a link?

  • On 8 May 2014 in Overbid madness: Glen Park home sells for $605K over asking, varmint said:

    It's not just SF. I was looking in Glenview Oakland and the four houses I was considering all went 170k-225k over. I bid 10% over on one and got outbid by 25%.

    My folks put an offer 200k over on a house and got a counter for 250k over. The sellers countered the top 3 offers to see who they could get the highest. They balked but one of the other potential buyers bit.

  • On 8 May 2014 in 1 In 5 Would Have Sex With A Robot, varmint said:

    Rin says

    Yes, this could be a major issue, as an entire generation of Leonardo DaVincis, Goethes, Michelangelos could emerge out of a bunch of happy guys, pursuing their true interests than in trying to get some tail.

    Or the opposite. People could get laid whenever they want without having a job, brushing their teeth, or even acting like a reasonable human being. Kinda removes a lot of incentives for why guys do pretty much anything.

    This it the futurama hypothesis on robot dating.

  • On 28 Apr 2014 in For the Married Guys (And the Guys Who Have Been Married), varmint said:

    My wife has my great grandmothers ring. Even though it's not big and flashy, she loves it because its a family heirloom and makes her feel special.

    We got married in Hawaii and our budget was 10K. We made it, but obviously when you do destination you are putting a burden on your guests. The upside is that you have a smaller group. We would not have been able to have something as nice locally with a larger guest list that would be expected.

  • On 16 Apr 2014 in The Housing Recovery That Never Was is Over, varmint said:

    smaulgld says

    the trend is towards more inventory and no increase in demand

    I see it the other way around, but with the same outcome. The trend is towards decreased demand. People are priced out and throwing in the towel. Prices can still escalate with weak demand if the supply is restricted enough, which is the market condition that's been going on for a while already.

    I'm not sure if/when we will see more inventory. If it's a gradual increase you'll see a flattening, maybe trending down as interest rates rise. If it's a big spike (big if) there could be some pullback in prices, but I would be very surprised if it erased more than the last 6 months or so gains.

  • On 16 Apr 2014 in Fixing the broken lower rungs of the property ladder, varmint said:

    $/sqft is highest at the bottom. Most investment activity was in lower priced houses, also retirees cashing out and downsizing? I'm not sure all the reasons for this but it's true.

    As a prospective 1st time buyer with 20% down I go into places and say "really... I'm going to pay 500/sqft/3.5k/month for this?" I can't even send my kids to public school here.

  • On 16 Apr 2014 in The Housing Recovery That Never Was is Over, varmint said:

    Prices can't go down until inventory goes up. Demand is down due to steep price increases but there's still not enough houses out there to meet what's left.

    By rational measures we've already blown the top off, but people aren't rational. I personally think we are close to a top but not there yet.

  • On 8 Apr 2014 in One reason for housing inventory shortage, varmint said:

    bob2356 says

    I saw a bunch of that same scenario, when I was looking for a rental a few years ago. Many of the houses I looked at were people who HAD to move, but were underwater, so they either had to sell at a loss, or rent it until hopefully prices came back up...

    Define a "bunch". I find it very hard to believe that people who "had" to move but were underwater had the down payment and credit to buy another larger house. They became renters.

    Since the thread is about people buying another house and renting their underwater house I assumed you were keeping on that theme. My error.

    I'll say they did.

    Underwater doesn't equal bad credit. Those I know could afford their overpriced house it just didn't suit their needs for whatever reason. FHA loans require very little down.

  • On 7 Apr 2014 in Is home ownership increasingly just for the wealthy?, varmint said:

    EBGuy says

    Let's also be clear; urbanization trends are driving part of the price increases in cities. That said, I'm not too sure about their chart. On their website, Redfin is reporting a median listing price for Oakland of $369k (past 90 days). Their report Two Middle-Class Incomes Don’t Add Up To a Home shows a median list price for Oakland to be $550k. I'm not sure why there is such a big discrepancy (one month? vs. three month?). It's all rather strange as the report also shows the median list for New York to be $369k (coincidentally, its the entry before Oakland).

    may be SFR vs condos included?

  • On 7 Apr 2014 in One reason for housing inventory shortage, varmint said:

    I have no evidence other than anecdotal, but I believe this to be true. Multiple people I know who never aspired to be landlords found it made more sense financially to hang on to their old home and rent it out than to trade up.

    My father did the same for awhile. His prior place was underwater so he bought a new one at the bottom -> rent from the old payed for new mortgage. He hated being a landlord though so he sold when the price recovered enough to get out.

  • On 4 Apr 2014 in Is home ownership increasingly just for the wealthy?, varmint said:

    Median house on median income is not a fair comparison. It only applies if there are no rentals. In reality if a market is 50/50 rent/own you would expect the median house to be affordable for somewhere around the 70th percentile of incomes, with a low end house somewhere a little under median income.

    That being said, housing is still unaffordable in the Bay Area. Median income can't buy shit. Even in areas with few rentals the median earner in that city couldn't afford a single listing. In more mixed areas you need to make at least twice the median to even get in the game and that's at the extremely low end.

  • On 2 Apr 2014 in Southern California Has Aging Issues, varmint said:

    A lot of places known for their schools will eventually have to shutter them since nobody who has kids can afford to live there. Despite increasing population, elementary enrollment is way down in more "well off" areas

  • On 27 Mar 2014 in Finding a House That Won't Destroy You, varmint said:

    1/4 of take home is a joke tho. That's like a home value 2x your annual income.

  • On 22 Oct 2013 in The Fed Predicts Housing Rush To The Exit, varmint said:

    I wonder how interest rates are influencing things. Owners with equity should all have refinanced in 2012 or early 2013 at rates that may never be seen again.

    That seems like a fairly large disincentive to sell.

  • On 17 Sep 2013 in The Simple Reason for the Long Downturn, varmint said:

    Too many people lived outside their means for too long. People can't spend more than they make and more than the country produces indefinitely.

  • On 11 Sep 2013 in Long Apple, varmint said:

    SFace says

    yes, the Iphone 5C is too expensive. Can't crack the asian market with that price tag.

    Well, the good news is everyone should download the new Ios7 update on Sep 18th. It would be a good chance to see what improvements are made to the software side of it.

    It was never going to be that cheap and would be a bad move for apple if it were. Apple is selling it's name and has to remain above the fray. If they try to compete in the trenches on specs and price point with samsung they will lose. Samsung's business model is built on lower manufacturing costs and smaller margins.

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