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  • On 23 Apr 2014 in Should I buy a house here in San Francisco?, SFace said:

    JH says

    SFace says



    expensive does not make it overpriced. I can make a case it is underpriced.


    hahah, SF is cheap, BUY BUY BUY!!!!

    cheap/expensive, overprice/underpriced are completely different things. Don't commingle the two.

    Based on those logic, everything good in nature are expensive/overpriced which are faulty logic.

    notice Jdubb only wants the Marina district in San Francisco, which also means they would not live in Vallejo even if you pay him $500.

  • On 22 Apr 2014 in Should I buy a house here in San Francisco?, SFace said:

    Ceffer says

    You are almost always better off renting and saving, especially in grossly overpriced markets. A lot more flexibility as well.

    expensive does not make it overpriced. I can make a case it is underpriced.

    In any case, If you are relatively sure Marina district is your "love" and long term, you'll need to buy.

  • On 22 Apr 2014 in Money has corrupted us. We no longer understand what it's worth, SFace said:

    mmmarvel says

    In Hong Kong, the unemployment rate is 3.1% and their safety net is just about zilch. If you're an able bodied person, you are pretty much expected to find a job and fend for yourself.

    I have no idea a person from Texas knows so much about the safety net in Hong Kong.

    The reality is half the population lives in public housing. If you are a resident for some short period of time or married one, the welfare payment (with kids) is not too far off from working full time which amounts to less than $4 an hour. Working is kinda idiotic in HK if you are on minmum wage (almost everyone) with kids. HK has one of the greatest safety nets in the world. The unemployment rate is apples/oranges.

  • On 22 Apr 2014 in Voters open to tweaking prop 13, SFace said:

    The time passed when Democrats had supermajority in both houses and gov office.

    In any case, all old people and their lawmaker friends like Prop 13, regardless of party affililiation. Because our congressman/women are old, they would not touch it. These polls go nowhere.

  • On 22 Apr 2014 in House prices down third month in a row, SFace said:

    "The median price of an existing home climbed 7.9 percent from March 2013 to $198,500, today’s report showed. The appreciation was led by a 12.6 percent year-to-year advance in the West, while the Northeast lagged behind with a 3.2 percent increase."

  • On 16 Apr 2014 in Apples's offshore tax shelters, SFace said:

    The protestors should protest to lawmakers as the IRS surely looked at the issue and view it as following what you voted the lawmakers to do and wrote into revenue law. Apple is quilty of following the law?

    but here is a very simple scenerio.

    Apple and Samsung is fighting for marketshare in the Brazil market. It is closely contested and a key battleground country.

    Samsung made 1B in brazil net of Brazil tax of and having the benefit of being domciled in Gangham, they get to keep all the money and reinvest it all in Brazil and try to kill Apple. hundreds of millions reinvested to buy more carriers, sales, advertising whatever in Brazil

    Apple made 1B in Brazil, but due to some protest, 300M gets eaten up by uncle Sam and auntie Sally for money earned in a market that is 5K miles away from DC. Apple cannot reinvest the same 300M like Samsug did and over a period of 5 years, the Brazil market is won by Samsung. Over a longer period, Samsung is a trillion dollar company and Apple 200B. We are all buying Samsung products and instead of talking about Apple, the world is buzzing about the Galaxy S9 and Note 7

    Alternatively, Google is forced to pay tax to Uncle Sam and their blended effective tax rate goes from 20% to 30%. Meanwhile, Alibaba how wants to approach Google's turf enjoys a 15% tax rate. Money is earned but uncle Sam eats it all up. Meanwhile, Alibaba throws capital in the US market from China support and start to win in more markets around the world. Alibaba domination, Google destruction. You don;t want working capital if the federal and state government takes it. Meanwhilem China tells Alibaba to go dominate because we will not take away your working capital.

    Same with oil. If Uncle Sam takes capital from Exxon, they'll just lose on the basis to Petrochina for oil find in Nigeria.

  • On 10 Apr 2014 in 150 Homeless in Palo Alto, SFace said:

    had he bought a home in Palo Alto during his working years, he is probably sitting on $2M instead.

    besides that point, 30+ years working credit (high pay) should be enough to live on social security in many places in America.

    "But three years ago, Mr. Smith could no longer afford an apartment here, so he moved into an aging Winnebago camper."

    That's why you buy not rent. When you are old and helpless, the last thing I want to do is be at the mercy of landlords

  • On 9 Apr 2014 in SFBA Residential Construction Projects, SFace said:

    New Renter says

    Is compensation skyrocketing too? Rent increases have to come from
    somewhere.

    Avalon Bay is amazing predicting rent. Here is their forecast for 2014:

    From Mgmt who obviously understand economic, supply and demand

    "Based on what we can tell you right now just in aggregate, we're expecting blended rent change to average in the 4% range over the course of the year. Obviously, that is cyclical as you move through the seasons throughout the year, but that would be the average for the year on a blended basis." (Northern CA leads the way with slowdwon in DC)

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/1982791-avalonbay-communities-management-discusses-q4-2013-results-earnings-call-transcript?page=5&p=qanda&l=last

  • On 8 Apr 2014 in SFBA Residential Construction Projects, SFace said:

    and when will those 16K new residences be delivered? within 12 months, 24? or ever?

    No doubt there is a construction boom off the bottom in 2010-2012, especially in San Jose, but it nowhere near enough to bring down vacancy rates which drives rent.

  • On 8 Apr 2014 in SFBA Residential Construction Projects, SFace said:

    Santa Clara County and San Jose in particular is the fastest growing county in California. The construction is not keeping pace. For 16M sq feet of apartment space, some commerical space are going up just as fast in proportion.

    5% vacancy rate will lead to rent hike. You'll need 7% vacancy rate to stop rents from going up. When net migration is hitting 30K people plus, that is not enough to bump down the vacancy rates.

  • On 7 Apr 2014 in Need tourist advice for SF, SFace said:

    Need Tourist advice, just do everything opposite of Edvard.

    I'm sorry, if you visit San Francisco for the first time and want to avoid Fisherman's wharf because it is tourist trap, might as well say Waikiki is tourist trap, Pike Place is a tourist trap, or even Santa Monica piers is a tourist trap, visit Fisherman's wharf, don't overthink it.

    The restaurants are definitely tourist trap but that is the deal, duh. Just don't sit down in a plain jain place disguised as a fancy place and just have a Boudin bread here, an In-out burger there, crab and street foods. If you must sit down, then my prefer choice is Bubba Gump, at least I know it is not a box of chocalate and you get the best view in all of Fisherman's wharf. It's almost better to skip the fancy meals on vacation and just keep it simple. I rather spend money on a restaurant I love and crave.

    Yes, I believe the muni Metro from Powell is the best path to AT&T park. It's still ballpark food, but AT&T sells Gordon Birsch beer. The only thing about AT&T is you get to see yachts out in the bay and you get a nice cool breeze (in the upper deck at least) even when it is sunny. If you want to take pictures with the 2010, 2012 world champion tropies,m they are located right underneath the coke bottle beyond the left field bleachers. There are lot of expense card/corporate restaurant around the ballpark. San Francisco is as corporate as any city in the world and half the people who dines here are paid by someone else, meaning they all run around 30-50 a head for simple meals to unlimited budgets for VP's.

    From Union Square, you should definitely take cable car on Powell (the hyde line) up nob hill, russion hill and down to the wharf. You'll pass by Lombard Street on the HYDE route. The difference between LA and SF are the hills. Once you are in the wharf, head toward pier 39 there detour back from the Mason cable car line which runs through Washington square, home of the European town and not a single starbucks or brand store in sight. If you love real football or the english premier league, i mean soccer then this is the place to watch it.

    You should definitely head toward Fort Mason and Park Presidio if you want mostly postcard type views. If you are fit, rent a bike and go across the bridge to the other side for an even better view looking back from the city. Or go down to crissy field (on a bike) and enjoy the most beautiful clean air of a big city in this world. On a beautiful weekend there may be 500 yachts out in the bay and you have the most amazing weather, sight and fresh air. You look out from there and it's reminder why I think it is the best place to live in the country.

    skip the disney museum (as you come from home of Disneyland afterwall and sick of mickey and friends and pixar and friends), if you are the museum type go to the De Young or Academy of science instead. I'm not sure if there are any special exhibits going on.

    sorry, who the hell goes wine tasting in lodi or Livermore, does that even sound right to you? Might as well just go to treasure island as there is a wine tasting warehouse there and save yourself the gas. You know the wine areas, Sonoma, Napa, St Helenas. Personally, I would detour there on Monday morning (opposite traffic) and head to your next destination from that pivot point.

    Monday traffic should not be bad as some 500K people come into the city by car, bus, boat or BART, not leave it and it is not like you are heading to the finacial, market, SOMA district. But you definitely don't want to leave the city after 4:00pm. If you are heading 80E, probably good idea to leave by 2:00pm because the Fairfield area trafffic are pathetic during commute hours. San Francisco's commute hours are shorter than LA's. That's what a lot more vehicle registration will do. Your real concern is the Sat afternoon traffic through 101N to make it into dead of downtown.

    Have fun, come report back.

  • On 31 Mar 2014 in Crisis in the housing market, SFace said:

    New Renter says

    SFace says

    hrhjuliet says

    I'm just curious to hear if either the bulls or bears would like to add to the lists in the article, or have their own prediction.

    Sellers want money than what buyers are willing to pay. Seller wins. As simple as that.

    Only if the seller isn't motivated by other factors.

    You know, job loss, divorce, medical expenses, death, that sort of thing.

    Then all those qualitative factors need to be measured. There is one that is all wrapped nicely into one: consumer confidence index. Feb and Macrh 2014 are 78.3 and 82.3 respectively

    http://future.aae.wisc.edu/data/monthly_values/by_area/998?grid=true

    I just don't think consumer confidence will hit the 70's which means those job losses, divorves, medical bills, etc are not a factor. In fact it is likely less of a factor which means seller should be confident not to sell.

  • On 31 Mar 2014 in Crisis in the housing market, SFace said:

    hrhjuliet says

    I'm just curious to hear if either the bulls or bears would like to add to the lists in the article, or have their own prediction.

    Sellers want money than what buyers are willing to pay. Seller wins. As simple as that.

  • On 27 Mar 2014 in 5" Smartphone screens, SFace said:

    jvolstad says

    I'm just not comfortable with the larger screens even though I have large hands.

    4" is not enough screen size. The HTC one M8 is a fine choice.

    LCD > AMOLED
    5" > 4"
    Metal > Plastic

  • On 26 Mar 2014 in California state Sen. Yee arrested in corruption case, SFace said:

    That's makes it a hat trick for CA democrats in Sacramento. 2014 may be year of the red.

  • On 26 Mar 2014 in Why it's a terrible time to rent...especially in the bay area, SFace said:

    wave9x says

    SFace, you're argument that you should ignore rent vs buy ratios sounds to me like a variation of "buy now because prices only go up".

    I didn't say ignore it. The rent to buy ratio is a long winded way of saying of buy in the Ghetto and not buy prime. (becuase the results reflect that correlation) That has proven to be a mistake.

    Location was, is, and will be the most important aspect of buying.

  • On 26 Mar 2014 in Why it's a terrible time to rent...especially in the bay area, SFace said:

    WhatchaKnow says

    >> I'll take greedy landlord over a charity case.

    So I take it you will vote to repeal Prop 13?

    voting is a waste of time and I don't even care either way. When has ever a bill passed not passed and your vote make a difference.

  • On 25 Mar 2014 in Why it's a terrible time to rent...especially in the bay area, SFace said:

    There is really no definite answer that renting is cheaper than renting. Those determinations are based on unknown future factors like future rent and future price that are unknown.

    I never really buy the fact that cheap price to rent ratio means something. Based on that metric, you would have bought in Vallejo instead of Palo Alto anytime for the past five decades when the towns established and made a million or even multi million dollar mistake. If it doesn't work, I have no idea why so many worship it. Let's put in this way in 1990-2013, it is about location, location, location. In 2043, it will no doubt be location, location, location, location and location. lol

    The opposite of mobility is uncertainty. There are plenty of headlines that old long time renters are being evicted, poor renter is being evicted after many years, so unfair, protest, hire a lawyer, yadda. Let's put it this way, if they would have bought decades ago instead of renting, they would not be begging not to be eviced and be the greedy landlord instead. I'll take greedy landlord over a charity case. Well just turn the clock to 2043 and see if you want to be old, helpless and renting and beg the lawyer or tenant union can save your butt.

  • On 18 Mar 2014 in Get rid of Fannie and Freedie, SFace said:

    Name one thing from above we shouldn't push for, and if we shouldn't, why?

    "Why can't we go back to housing prices being about twice the median income? "

    That presumes much lower prices which will benefit some but will devastate others. I don't think 2009 was all that great.

    "What would happen if Freddie and Fannie were eliminated?"

    Nothing really, private market will pick up the void. The US financial system is too dynamic to not pick up an extremely profitable segment.

    "What if at the same time we tightened regulations for foreign investors, or better yet, made it a law that only tax paying citizens can purchase property?"

    That implies that low price is a good thing. Good for some, not good for some. Almost everyone was a foreignor at one time anyway so not sure why natives are all that special. We want to attract bright foreignors not alienate them. nothings wrong with recruiting elites, that makes the country stronger.

    "We could tax the 1% their share and force everyone the government bailed out to pay back the government at 14% interest. "

    Taxing “everyone” but yourself is popular. Unless it effects you, it must be good. I support all taxes I don't have to pay as well and get government subsidized affordable housing.

    "How about more afforadable housing? "
    Who will pay for it and who will get it? Let's use the 1% money.

    "How about a tax on anyone owning more than one home?"

    Where in American law that says one home for all? Taxing “everyone” but yourself is popular. Unless it effects you, it must be good.

    "How about eliminating prop 13 while on this roll?"

    Taxing “everyone” but yourself is popular. Unless it effects you, it must be good.

    All the questions amount to is socalism. I get that. but the US is competing against the world in a capitalistic driven society in a smaller planet. Better to compete than to give up.

  • On 18 Mar 2014 in Get rid of Fannie and Freedie, SFace said:

    hrhjuliet says

    Why can't we go back to housing prices being about twice the median income?
    Normal markets price adjust all the time. What would happen if Freddie and
    Fannie were eliminated? What if at the same time we tightened regulations for
    foreign investors, or better yet, made it a law that only tax paying citizens
    can purchase property? We could tax the 1% their share and force everyone the
    government bailed out to pay back the government at 14% interest. How about more
    afforadable housing? How about a tax on anyone owning more than one home? How
    about eliminating prop 13 while on this roll? If all that happened, and it could
    (and we the people could push for all of the above) then where would housing
    prices be?

    Politics in a nutshell. 50% wants something and the other 50% doesn't. It is a waste of time. The reason you are for somemthing is also something many are against for the same reasons.

    In a capitalistic society, resources are scarce and things people like are coveted and competed for. Things will always get more competitive, not less competitive in the future.

  • On 18 Mar 2014 in Get rid of Fannie and Freedie, SFace said:

    Bellingham Bill says

    tatupu70 says



    And only people who can afford to live in desirable areas. The riff raff cannot get in.


    Prop 13 is a beautiful thing. My BIL is an extremely hard-core libertarian/conservative. They're renting an $900,000 place in a very nice part of LA that was inherited and has a Prop 13 value of $500,000.


    We don't get into politics much, well I don't, but I like picking around the edges of this reality he's stuck in, paying sky-high rent to someone who's doing absolutely nothing to earn this money other . . .


    The contradictions are heightening. . .

    My neighbor once responded. I have been paying property tax for 40 years (in inflation adjusted amount), how long have you?

    Well you know, If you hold 900K worth of Edison Electric stocks, you have done nothing to earn the 40K in dividends too.

  • On 18 Mar 2014 in Get rid of Fannie and Freedie, SFace said:

    Bellingham Bill says

    hrhjuliet says



    but Freddie and Fannie still have to be done away with. The institution is waste of time and money.


    I disagree. We need a 'public option' for housing finance, too, where life necessities like housing don't get sucked into the 1%'s maw.


    I'd rather the interest I'm paying on a mortgage go to DC than some hedge fund in the Caymans.

    +1. That's the whole point, the money will inevitable flow somewhere.

  • On 18 Mar 2014 in Get rid of Fannie and Freedie, SFace said:

    corntrollio says

    Except that Fannie and Freddie don't securitize subprime loans, last I
    checked. They did securitize some Alt-A loans, which were believed to be as
    secure as prime, but were not underwritten in the same way. This caused some of
    their losses, but traditional subprime never really did.

    Of course it is subprime. You pay for it in the upfront fees and insurance. The substance is the same. Those things piss money away which is the very substance of subprime.

  • On 18 Mar 2014 in Get rid of Fannie and Freedie, SFace said:

    hrhjuliet says

    Over the long term, between the building department fees and regulations and
    Fannie Mae's price inflation, the government has not helped families looking to
    purchase a home."
    Once again, I agree.

    The market is a function of many things, Fannie and Freddie is not even material in the overall scheme of things.

    The wealthy who owns 2 homes now will be owners of 4 homes in the future. That's just the way it is going to be.

  • On 18 Mar 2014 in Get rid of Fannie and Freedie, SFace said:

    There is nothing magical about Fannie and Freddie loans, the government makes a shitload of money (now) on these things with the right level of insurance, qualification baseline and down payments.

    It's just simply subprime lending and Fannie and Freddie borrowers pay an extradordinant sum (pissing money away). The private market will just pick it straight up (pay subprime rate as well) with modification and business as usual like the rest of the world. There will still be economic motivation to lend to subprime borrowers regardless if it is Freddie, Fannie or private bank.

    Fannie and Freddie made something like 85B on pre-tax income on US opeations alone in 2013. That is by far the most profitable enterprise that makes money from just one country. Apple, a moneymaker themselves can only manage like 50B in pre-tax income in a worldwide market. Plenty will pick up the slack. There are 85 billion reasons why subprime lending will be here no matter what happens. The profit margins tell me Fannie and Freddie loans are too expensive already. Lenders are better off financing oustide of them anyway.

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