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Ask a JBR

By astrid following x   2007 Mar 11, 9:54am 6,184 views   52 comments   watch   sfw   quote     share    


This is a creative writing thread. All posts should be treated as entertainment and do not constitute advice.

Every post here (except for for this one) will answer the previous post's question and ask one new question. You can also post on other topics IN ADDITION to the one answer and one question format.

Sample Q: Dear JBR: Help! My mortgage payment just jumped from $2,000/month to $6,000/month, what should I do? -- Dangerously ARMed

Sample A: You should sell blood. And bury ten St. Joseph statutes. And eat lots of ramen.

Q: Dear JBR: My wife just quit her receptionist position to sell Amway products. How do I deduct for home office space? -- Deduction Minded

#housing

« First    « Previous     Comments 13 - 52 of 52     Last »

13   astrid   ignore (0)   2007 Mar 11, 1:00pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

"Q: Are you envious of those expectant mothers?"

Yes. I've always wanted a little bundle of parasitic joy parked in my belly for about 9 months.

"Q: I live near a super rich lady who has had a lot of plastic surgery. Things are usually quiet in the neighborhood since she is usually at her job on the east coast (she works in the same building as a richer lady from the neighborhood who has not has as much plastic surgery) but today there are a bunch of crazy ladies in pink out in front of her house making a lot of noise and cops and news trucks are making it hard to get down the street. How can I get the crazy ladies to leave the neighborhood and camp somewhere else (like Crawford, TX)?"

A: Three words - fatal facelift accident. Three more words - Congresswomen B Gone.

"Q: If the Bay Area devolves into an end-to-end gangland, who will have the most fortified compound–Larry Ellison or the geniuses at Google?"

A: I hope the Google Boys will be properly protected. I like Google stuff much better than silly ole Oracle databases.

"Q: If you are in the Bay Area and they are of the same gender as you, you could probably still have intimate relations with them, if you wanted to. Where else in the world could you have such possibilities?"

A: All over the world. I myself would recommend the Colorado Spring chapter of Campus Republicans.

14   astrid   ignore (0)   2007 Mar 11, 1:04pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

"Q: Why did this house in prime Palo Alto just drop it’s price by $100K this week? http://tinyurl.com/2gyoq3"

A: The owner took the house out for a dry cleaning last week and it shrunken to 890 sq ft.

Q: What will be the hot post-real estate career of 2010?

15   Glen   ignore (0)   2007 Mar 11, 1:15pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

A: Collections

Q: Will the unwinding of the carry trade / subprime collapse / bubble implosion lead to a new great depression?

16   B.A.C.A.H.   ignore (0)   2007 Mar 11, 1:23pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

A: (Will the unwinding of the carry trade / subprime collapse / bubble implosion lead to a new great depression?) - Yes, soon.

Q: When this happens, who will suffer more: people in the U.S.A, or people in China?

17   Doug H   ignore (0)   2007 Mar 11, 1:32pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

A: People in China, but who cares what happens to them anyway.
Q: Who killed Hoffa?

18   astrid   ignore (0)   2007 Mar 11, 1:39pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (2)   quote        

"Q. Are you allowed to neuter close relatives who insist on buying this year, in order to prune back the stupid branch of your family tree?"

A: Sadly no. If the stupid branch doesn't die off, you may have to move away from the tree to survive.

Q: Doug H.'s question.

19   Brand165   ignore (0)   2007 Mar 11, 1:39pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Q. Are you allowed to neuter close relatives who insist on buying this year, in order to prune back the stupid branch of your family tree?

A: No. What are they going to eat during the New Depression?

Q: Who killed Hoffa?

A: I killed Hoffa. But my Plausible Deniability-meter gives you a 0.002% chance of ever learning why.

Q: What is the probability, expressed in sigma, that our next President will be someone fiscally conservative but socially liberal?

20   astrid   ignore (0)   2007 Mar 11, 1:45pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

A: (Our next President will be someone fiscally conservative but socially liberal) = (1/ chance a bill introduced to change the name of California to Mexifornia ). Don't try to solve for it, doing so would cause the universe to collapse upon itself and turn into something even stranger than it already is.

Q: What is going to be Putin's next exotic radioactive poison of choice?

21   Allah   ignore (0)   2007 Mar 11, 1:49pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

A: People in China, but who cares what happens to them anyway.
Q: Who killed Hoffa?

A: No one; Hoffa is alive and well and lives next door to me.

Q: Peter Shiff believes that China will be better off and that their standard of living will rise while ours falls; why do others think differently?

22   Brand165   ignore (0)   2007 Mar 11, 1:57pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Q: Peter Shiff believes that China will be better off and that their standard of living will rise while ours falls; why do others think differently?

A: Well, my standard of living will be okay because I'm in a prime area. The rest of you guys are pretty much screwed, though.

Q: If Steven Hawking was commenting on the real estate bubble, what would he say?

23   B.A.C.A.H.   ignore (0)   2007 Mar 11, 2:04pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

A; It wouldn't matter, because we would not be able to understand him.

Q: Why is "keeping face" so important to some people?

24   Brand165   ignore (0)   2007 Mar 11, 2:11pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

A: Because your reputation is the only thing that really outlives you.

Q: How concerned is Greenspan about his place in history right now?

25   Brand165   ignore (0)   2007 Mar 11, 2:16pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

A: “Face” is important to all people. Getting, giving, and saving.

Bap, I think you're thinking of head, not face.

Q: What came first, the overpriced-stucco-wrapped-crap-box or the 0% down, 120% ARM, no doc, stated loan, given to Jose’ the landscaper??

A: The overpriced stucco wrapped crap box. It's from 1932! :) But that just means it's vintage and retro...

Q: How would Darth Vader correct the housing bubble, assuming he wasn't allowed to vaporize California?

26   sfbubblebuyer   ignore (1)   2007 Mar 11, 2:22pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

A: Darth wouldn't correct it. He always need more storm troopers who can't predict what's gonna happen if they try and take on Yoda. The bubble is his way of identifying candidates and will offer 'housing benefits' to anybody who joins up starting in 2008.

Q: How hot does it have to get before living in an apartment with no AC drive a person to buying a house with AC?

27   B.A.C.A.H.   ignore (0)   2007 Mar 11, 2:29pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

A: (How hot does it have to get before living in an apartment with no AC drive a person to buying a house with AC?)

It is an irrelevant question. The renter can find another rental that has AC, or else the renter can purchase a window unit.

Q: When will people quit using reasons like that as excuses to rationalize buying overpriced homes?

28   StuckInBA   ignore (0)   2007 Mar 11, 2:35pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Q: When will people quit using reasons like that as excuses to rationalize buying overpriced homes?

A: Never. Because you cannot put a price on the intangibles associated with owning a house. If they rally think it's overpriced, they wouldn't buy it. Every buyer somehow always rationalizes the decision.

Q: When will MSM debunk the "median price gains" ?

29   Brand165   ignore (0)   2007 Mar 11, 3:01pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

A: When their readers can tell the difference between Median and Average. Which is just a really indirect way of saying "never".

Q: How long will it take before someone in MSM realizes that when the average price is going up, but volume is way down, that it actually means the normal end of market has stagnated? How long until MSM "journalists" start doing square footage comparisons to determine YoY gain/loss?

Bonus Q: Who will be the first mid-sized or large homebuilder to go belly-up in the bursting bubble?

30   DaBoss   ignore (0)   2007 Mar 11, 3:35pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

“Q: Why did this house in prime Palo Alto just drop it’s price by $100K this week? http://tinyurl.com/2gyoq3″

~ anyone recall when a 800 sq bunghole in PA sold for 400K in 1999.
it made the local nightly news. Yes even in 1999 we had a bubble.
That 800K home really is *ucked up story. Even a 50% correction is
not enough to get to back to fundementals.... LOL

31   DaBoss   ignore (0)   2007 Mar 11, 3:37pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

"Never. Because you cannot put a price on the intangibles associated with owning a house. "

That so reminds me of the clicks per page from the dot.com era. Intangibles become worthless overnight.

32   ozajh   ignore (0)   2007 Mar 11, 4:13pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Q. What's the February median YOY price change in the next DQ release for the Bay Area? (Due out this week...)

A. Less than the January change.

Q. Given that the unadjusted sales volumes for March traditionally show a big jump from February, AND that subprime just tightened, will the adjusted sales volumes for this March show the lowest number for several years?

(Supplementary Q. Will the NAR fiddle the seasonal adjustment factor for March?)

33   e   ignore (0)   2007 Mar 11, 4:20pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

A. Maybe. But for sure, bad things are to come after March.

The WSJ is now hyping that buying a home might not be a good investment. Check out this piece:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB117329581356629863.html?mod=todays_us_the_journal_report

Why Your Home Isn't the Investment You Think It Is

Unfortunately for both groups, however, houses are not very good investments. For the grasshoppers, there's nothing quite as stupid as paying off your 2002 trip to Orlando in 2032, when you finally settle up your refinanced "cash out" 30-year mortgage. And for the ants, economic studies have demonstrated over and over that houses (1) cost more than most people make when they sell and (2) rarely match the long-term returns of stocks or other investments.

And that's doubly true today, with much of the U.S. well into a real-estate recession. It's unlikely that homeowners in once-booming areas will see a return of skyrocketing prices anytime soon.

"Real-estate investments suffer serious and sometimes prolonged downturns," writes economist W. Van Harlow in a new study of home equity and retirement from the Fidelity Research Institute in Boston. "A real-estate 'bust' could be quite damaging to an investor nearing retirement who relied too heavily on home equity."

It may be late for a lot of homeowners to read this, but here it goes anyway: It's risky and bad planning to have too much of your net worth in your principal residence. No prudent stock-market player would put 60% or 70% of a portfolio in just one stock, but millions will hold that much or more of their total net worth in just one house.

Food for thought:
• If you bought a house in Los Angeles in 1990, just as the real-estate market turned downward, you would have had to wait a decade for your home's value to return to what you paid.

• If you bought in Rochester, N.Y., in 1980, you would have seen only a mediocre 4% annual growth for the next 25 years.

• If you bought in Dallas in 1986, as the oil boom went bust, your home wouldn't have appreciated at all before 1998.

Q. Why does the WSJ hate our freedom?

34   ozajh   ignore (0)   2007 Mar 11, 9:21pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

Meek JBR,

A1. The 2 HaHa household could look for the longest lease they can swing in an appropriate neighbourhood. Then save/invest like crazy while renting. Perhaps they could even hedge in the true sense of the word by buying (even if prices are at a local top) in a much cheaper area where they could handle living if the printing presses really reward the FB's in BA.

NIA, but I am looking very hard at this option myself (I live in Australia).

A2. Housing is literally getting less liquid by the week, based on sales statistics, and even if it weren't you can have general liquidity (= availability of money) without necessarily having liquidity in a given sector.

To pick an example from 30-odd years ago in Australia. I can remember when the (government mandated) maximum interest rate chargeable on motrgages from savings banks was less than the inflation rate. There was plenty of liquidity for things like business/personal/car loans and credit cards, but mortgage money was literally rationed and depended on your savings record with a specific bank.

Q. Are there any tricks that the government or the finance industry could pull to keep the party going without penalising the innocent/thrifty/foresighted. (Offhand I can only think of one, and that may well be politically impossible as it would involve some loss of sovereignty.)

35   astrid   ignore (0)   2007 Mar 11, 10:30pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

"Q. Are there any tricks that the government or the finance industry could pull to keep the party going without penalising the innocent/thrifty/foresighted. (Offhand I can only think of one, and that may well be politically impossible as it would involve some loss of sovereignty.) "

A: Maybe. But I doubt the Chinese would pay much for American wage slaves, since they're so cheap...

36   SFWoman   ignore (0)   2007 Mar 11, 11:18pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

newsfreak,

A. Yes, gas will hit $4.00/gal. I guess you and I will have to drive our Hummers a little less.

Q. Why do people like Corian?

37   SFWoman   ignore (0)   2007 Mar 12, 2:07am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

PAR,

A. The Chron/Merc will run the article when the VP's office approves it.

Q. Does the Halliburton move to Dubai mean that they are closing their Tehran office, which they used to sell nuclear technology materials to Iran even during the US embargo and were recently using for gas/oil services, permanently as it will no longer be needed? http://tinyurl.com/2o8z6u

38   Bruce   ignore (0)   2007 Mar 12, 2:32am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

A. Not exactly. They will announce a new subsidiary, Root-Halliburton-Sunni, at the Tehran address.

Q. Did Ivy Zelman at Credit Suisse just say 40% of the mortgage market was currently at risk?

39   SFWoman   ignore (0)   2007 Mar 12, 2:46am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

Bruce,

What Ivy said is:
"We believe that 40% of the market (share of subprime and Alt-A) is at risk of significant fallout from tightening credit and increased regulatory scrutiny. In particular, we believe the most pressing areas of concern should be stated income (49% of originations), high CLTV/piggyback (39%), and interest only/negative amortizing loans (23%). The proliferation of these exotic mortgage products has been disproportionately weighted to former hotbeds such as California, Nevada, Arizona and Florida, which have accounted for the lion share of builder profits."

Q. What will happen to the housing in exurbs where the market is collapsing (Sacramento area) as opposed to what will happen when the crash becomes severe in SF? Will sort-of-gentrifying, marginally slummy neighborhoods revert, or will the people who were 'brave' enough to spend $700,000 on a house in neighborhoods such as the Excelsior stand tough, and claim their neighborhood? Will there be large subdivisions in Sacramento filled with renters, or will the houses simply sell for less and become neighborhoods filled with less financially stressed people?

40   HARM   ignore (0)   2007 Mar 12, 3:03am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Q. Are there any tricks that the government or the finance industry could pull to keep the party going without penalising the innocent/thrifty/foresighted. (Offhand I can only think of one, and that may well be politically impossible as it would involve some loss of sovereignty.)

Hell, no! Penalizing the innocent/thrifty/foresighted is precisely what the REIC is all about. If you aren't already spending more than you make on crap, like most good, patriotic Uh-merikans, then clearly you are in the "hate Uh-merika"/terrorist sympathizer camp. Please refer to this thread for your best options.

41   Doug H   ignore (0)   2007 Mar 12, 3:03am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

DinOR,

Here's a dude bloggin' in your backyard......enjoy.

http://activerain.com/blogs/herb

42   SFWoman   ignore (0)   2007 Mar 12, 3:15am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

PAR,

A. Yes, you were stupid for not buying a $2m in 1995.

Q. Other than having had three wives, how does Rudy Giuliani differ from Gavin Newsome?
http://youtube.com/watch?v=RVBtPIrEleM&mode=related&search=

43   StuckInBA   ignore (0)   2007 Mar 12, 3:20am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

New thread.

Revisiting “Bailout ?”
http://patrick.net/wp/?p=416

44   HARM   ignore (0)   2007 Mar 12, 3:22am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

Dear JBR,

Last year my wife and I made the wise decision to secure our retirements and financial freedom by investing in a 20,000 sft slice of the Uh-merikan Dreamâ„¢ --and at 2% off list price!! Well... technically, Suzanne made the decision for us, but that's another story. Anyway, lately, we've noticed that there are a lot of vacant homes just like ours (it's a gated/walled development in an L.A. community that our developer has assured us has "lots of potential" and is "in the process of gentrification"). Also, we've asked around and discovered that a lot of our neighbors are not even owners --they're renting!! There are some pretty weird people too. When we tell them what we paid for our home, they usually break out in uncontrollable giggles. Most of those people don't even own a Hummer, RV or even a small boat (can you believe it??).

Oh, almost forgot to ask my questions --here ya go:
Q: Is renting contagious and can you catch it from casual contact? Is it sexually communicable? (Not that we'd ever consider having sex with such people, just curious.)

45   SFWoman   ignore (0)   2007 Mar 12, 3:30am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

HARM,

A. Renting (aka 'intelligent financial decision in over heated market') can be acquired, but not extremely easily. In order to acquire 'renting' one might have to do such things as read several different newspapers and financial journals, read and understand history, look at past economic trends, and use logic and common sense in decision making.

Fell free to enjoy you beautiful owner occupied home. You are only spending 3x what the renter neighbors are spending to enjoy the fruits of ownership.

46   HARM   ignore (0)   2007 Mar 12, 4:01am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

@SFWoman,

Thanks for the response, but I don't understand this statement:

Feel free to enjoy you beautiful owner occupied home. You are only spending 3x what the renter neighbors are spending to enjoy the fruits of ownership.

How can this be true when renting = "throwing your money away"? Doesn't our mortgage interest deduction and Pride of Loanownership more than make up for any cost differential?

47   sfbubblebuyer   ignore (1)   2007 Mar 12, 5:12am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

Q: How long before it hits the bay area?

It has hit the Bay Area, but only just. The burbs are falling, but people believe the 'core' areas are so prime they'll withstand the crash.

I think Aug-Oct, 2007 is when the BA realizes it really is in a RE recession.

Q: How do you avoid fistfights with friends who have recently purchased or are currently in the process of buying?

48   Claire   ignore (0)   2007 Mar 12, 5:14am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Q: How long before it hits the bay area?

A: It has - read this while looking for rental properties in Mountain View - what a deal - not!

“my house is currently on the market for sale, because the housing market
is very slow right now, and I haven’t found a buyer yet, so I put it for rent;
if you rent my house, you also agree that you will let my agent show
the house to protential buyer when it needed.
asking $2300.00/mth +deposit+ credit check. ”

Encouraging to know that Mountain View IS being affected and we ARE NOT special!

49   Claire   ignore (0)   2007 Mar 12, 5:16am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Q: Do you think that all the houses that have just gone pending on the MLS will loose their funding and go back on the market?

50   sfbubblebuyer   ignore (1)   2007 Mar 12, 5:31am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Q: Do you think that all the houses that have just gone pending on the MLS will loose their funding and go back on the market?

Good question. Probably not ALL of them. If my wife and I had offered and been accepted on one of those, we'd almost certainly get our funding, and I'm sure there are other gainfully employed people with downpayments buying right now with 20+% down and enough salary to actually afford the overpriced crapboxes. A better question is... what percentage of accepted offers are going to lose funding before close?

I'm guessing 20%, and it will peak in August at 45%, and start falling precipitously in September, mainly because very few subprime loans will even be submitted for approval by lenders. Then we'll get down to 5-10% through Q1 2008 as lenders finish their 'tightening' in the Alt-A and Prime markets.

Q: How worried are you that whatever the government does to 'bail' the industry will hit the JBRs for a goodly precentage of their saved cash, through stock/inflation/tax/etc? (say, more than 5%)?

51   HARM   ignore (0)   2007 Mar 12, 5:50am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

Q: How worried are you that whatever the government does to ‘bail’ the industry will hit the JBRs for a goodly precentage of their saved cash, through stock/inflation/tax/etc? (say, more than 5%)?

VERY worried. See next thread.

52   astrid   ignore (0)   2007 Mar 14, 9:14am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

This thread is now closed. Thank you all for your great response.

I'll save "Ask a FB" for another lazy weekend.

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The Housing Trap
You're being set up to spend your life paying off a debt you don't need to take on, for a house that costs far more than it should. The conspirators are all around you, smiling to lure you in, carefully choosing their words and watching your reactions as they push your buttons, anxiously waiting for the moment when you sign the papers that will trap you and guarantee their payoff. Don't be just another victim of the housing market. Use this book to defend your freedom and defeat their schemes. You can win the game, but first you have to learn how to play it.
115 pages, $12.50

Kindle version available


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