Anna Eshoo, Enemy Of Cheap Housing

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2008 Apr 10, 10:35am   29,580 views  264 comments

by Patrick   ➕follow (50)   💰tip   ignore  


I tried to reply to a spam mail Congresswoman Anna Eshoo sent me, but my reply bounced because communication with our "representatives" is apparently one-way only, so I'll post my reply here. I hope it helps her lose a lot of votes in the next election.

From: Patrick Killelea p@patrick.net
Date: April 10, 2008 4:50:51 PM PDT
To: ca14ima .pub@mail.house.gov
Subject: Re: Message From Rep. Anna G. Eshoo


STOP IT. STOP keeping housing UNaffordable.

We want CHEAPER houses, not more debt! Are you listening?

Do a poll. Everyone I meet wants cheaper housing. No one wants more debt!

That means you should do everything you can to REDUCE conforming loan limits.

Are you listening?


Here's her spam to me:

On Apr 10, 2008, at 9:49 AM, ca14ima.pub@mail.house.gov wrote:

April 10, 2008

Dear Mr. Killelea,

On February 8th, the House and Senate passed an economic package designed to help stimulate the economy by assisting millions of Americans who are struggling in this downturn. This bill provides for tax rebates to 130 million households, including seniors and the disabled, along with tax deductions to help small businesses, and an increase in conforming loan limits for home mortgages to bolster the housing market. The legislation is a bipartisan effort and will specifically target those who need the resources most. Only those who have social security numbers and file their 2008 taxes will receive rebate checks. This leaves no loop-holes for undocumented immigrants to qualify.

The legislation has been sent to the President for his signature.

The following are important specifics of the bill.
(blather about giving away tax dollars what-a-good-girl-I-am deleted)

Housing Provisions
oThe package would boost the size of mortgage loans that the Federal Housing Administration could insure and that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could purchase.
oThe FHA loan limit would be permanently increased to a maximum of $720,750 from $362,000.
oFannie and Freddie's conforming loan limits would be increased for one year only to a maximum of $729,750 from $417,000.

This stimulus package is timely, targeted and temporary and represents an important first step toward stimulating the economy.

Anna G. Eshoo
Member of Congress


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203   OO   2008 Apr 15, 7:47am  


I don't agree with your comment on Rice based on what I heard from people who worked with her at Stanford, and the public statement she made on lots of issues. Also, I consider it an oxymoron to be a "smart and competent" person who is loyal to Bush and considers Bush "intelligent" (in her words). But I don't want to linger on this topic, so let's just leave it at that.

204   Peter P   2008 Apr 15, 7:53am  

I still don't see a problem with an employee being loyal to her boss.

An intelligent person will never imply that his boss is not intelligent.

Also, this is California, people like to bash Republicans for no reason at all. They rather condone extramarital affairs.

205   EBGuy   2008 Apr 15, 7:55am  

If you build your house properly in BA, you don’t need AC.
This is a good criterion for a superset of potentional Fortress properties. If you need AC, guess what, your property isn't in Fortress BA. Oh, and lets add "no AC needed" to Jimbo's list of what makes the Bay Area special. :-)
Speaking of AC, I came across a company, LSB Industries (LXU), that is part geothermal/water heat pump play crossed with a fertilizer/chemical manufacturer. I haven't done enough research to figure out if I want to invest, but they seem like they could be interesting given our discussions as of late.
Banks earnings have been just plain ugly; the gloves are coming off as they attempt to model behaviour for underwater buyers. Surprise, FICO doesn't matter (see CR for some good discussions). Feels like we are hitting the Alt-A wall and entering a new phase. Wells reports tomorrow; missed my short on them by a couple of pennies when they were above $33. :-( Must not be tempted (yet!) by the dividend.

206   Peter P   2008 Apr 15, 7:57am  

This is a good criterion for a superset of potentional Fortress properties.

Palo Alto and even SF need AC.

If there were more than 5 days in the last 100 years with temperatures in the 80's, I need AC.

207   DennisN   2008 Apr 15, 8:15am  


Take a note. Don't ever think of moving to Phoenix.

208   northernvirginiarenter   2008 Apr 15, 8:19am  


Apologies as I'm not interested in baiting this topic either, but agreed on Rice.

I'd add that she has been completely ineffective, which boggles my mind as to why she is on the short list. My reading has led me to believe she has been a lame duck for nearly all of her governmental involvement, basically ignored at the cabinet level. It might not be fair to blame her entirely, but often to succeed at that level one needs some serious political acumen and instincts, not to mention leadership skills. I don't think she is in possession of these things, academic quals only carry one so far.

But if she can bring in the minority estrogen vote, since when did qualifications really matter around here?

209   OO   2008 Apr 15, 8:20am  


actually AC installed is a selling pt in the MLS ads :-)

I think a more immediate play would be companies manufacturing bullet-proof windows, home surveillance system (not just the alarm but also CCTV), car surveillance and anti-crime controls (not anti-theft, but anti-robbery), safe etc. I haven't found the right target, but the crime rate will go through the roof for sure.

210   SP   2008 Apr 15, 8:27am  

OO said:
I consider it an oxymoron to be a “smart and competent” person who is loyal to Bush and considers Bush “intelligent”

That I can agree with :-) - although whether the loyalty is to W, or to some other self-interest is open to question. My esteem for Dr. Rice is actually diminished by her association with the Bush-Cheney Axis of Weevils.

211   northernvirginiarenter   2008 Apr 15, 8:28am  

CNBC poll yesterday.

In keeping with my sordid pessimism, this is really really ominous.

ONE in SEVEN mortgage holders are worried about making their payments within in the next 12 months.

212   SP   2008 Apr 15, 8:33am  

OO Says:
If you build your house properly in BA, you don’t need AC.

Pfft... forget Bay Area, I have been in buildings in Harare and Nairobi that were designed for natural temperature control and did not need air-conditioning even in mid-day at the equator. It can be done, but it does not look like the bastardized Tuscan Garage-Mahals with Mission-style accents and Ionic columns that are so popular around these parts.

213   SP   2008 Apr 15, 8:39am  

# northernvirginiarenter Says:
ONE in SEVEN mortgage holders are worried about making their payments within in the next 12 months.

That sounds _low_, actually. Just One in Seven mortgage-slaves?

The other six are all good, or are there a few Alfred E. Neuman's among them?

214   skibum   2008 Apr 15, 8:57am  

It can be done, but it does not look like the bastardized Tuscan Garage-Mahals with Mission-style accents and Ionic columns that are so popular around these parts.


You mean to describe 90% of new construction in Palo Alto, Los Altos or Los Altos Hills???

The alternative is the ubiquitous 3000sf+ McCraftsman on a 4000sf lot.

215   Peter P   2008 Apr 15, 9:01am  

I hate Tuscan, Mission, or Mediterranean architectures.

Craftsman and Tudor homes are so cute. :)

I don't want McAnything. Architectural details are everything.

216   SP   2008 Apr 15, 9:02am  

Bap33 rants:
listening to thump thump music so loud it is vibrating the windows of the store

Yesterday, on Lawrence Expwy, I was at a light next to one of these cro-magnon blokes whose car - some kind of eighties-vintage Pontiac sedan, with an exoskeleton composed of equal parts bondo, paint and scratches - had the 3 kilowatt audio WMD going....

...so loud that with each thump-a-whaka-thump, the windows and mirrors palsied to the extent where it was difficult to see through the rippling glass - and the excess air-pressure inside the car was expelled through the panels with a violent, rubbery-fart.

Does a car that sounds like a flatulent buffalo actually impress whatever female demographic that these buggers are trying to mate with? Has it occurred to them that their courtship may actually be improved if they actually spent the money/effort on buying/stealing a better class of automobile? Or is the intended audience for this display not a female, but instead similarly retarded examples of the male?

Sorry for straying off topic, but it isn't any worse than getting Steamed about Rice just because it isn't White. :-)

217   SP   2008 Apr 15, 9:06am  

"F" for sentence structure.

218   EBGuy   2008 Apr 15, 9:14am  

The other six are all good....?
Let's see: you, me, OO, Jimbo, Malcolm, surfer-x

219   HeadSet   2008 Apr 15, 9:51am  

Sorry for straying off topic, but it isn’t any worse than getting Steamed about Rice just because it isn’t White.


220   Brand165   2008 Apr 15, 9:58am  

Some anecdotal evidence from Fort Collins, CO. Since April 1st, inventory appears to have climbed from about 2100 to 2350 homes, condos and land for sale. I think there might be some CRE mixed in, but that's relatively light.

If anyone recalls (not that I'd expect that), I predicted that condos and townhomes had been overbuilt thanks to the Fort Collins zoning laws that require a certain amount of high density housing in every development. In my personal favorite development, the Lodge at Miramont, I've watched a few 2bd/1ba condos with 1 car detatched garages go for $129K-139K. Circa 2003-2005 those were selling for into the $160K range and above. A significant amount of REO is pushing the comps lower. I suspect that many of these newer condos and townhomes were pushed to subprime borrowers by buildings using pocket brokers and ARMs. Some are just sitting on the market, I suspect so far underwater that they will eventually be foreclosed or never sold.

Nice homes are still selling in the $200-300K range, but only when the price is reasonable ($95-100/sqft seems to be a magic number) and the property quality is excellent. Anything overpriced is languishing on the market for months.

Up near CSU, there seems to be a definite dynamic of 100% cash buyers picking off the REO around campus whenever there's a bargain. You can tell when something is underpriced, and it always ends up in Backup about 2 days later.

Lots more listings advertising "short sale". As observed much earlier, the REO no longer gets listed with any keywords indicating bank owned property. Some of the builders are cutting lot costs, but since I don't want to get roped into their contracts, I've ignored those. Plus Fort Collins has an asinine rule where if the raw land is improved with water tap and power, your property tax moves into the 10%/year assessed value range. There are $130K estate lots in town with $3.5K/year in taxes.

To my great frustration, there seem to be quite a few folks in my cash-rich position looking in the same nice neighborhoods. It's sufficient that the really prime, correctly priced properties get snipered off the market in a week or two. But if you're outside those small zones... fuggedaboudit. You might as well be walking on the sun.

221   northernvirginiarenter   2008 Apr 15, 10:03am  


Very entertaining stuff there. :-)

222   EBGuy   2008 Apr 15, 10:23am  

In honor of WaMu's $1.14 billion loss, here a are couple of the listings from the "it can't happen here file":
First, let's start off with this one: $929900 CUSTOM BUILT 3.5 STORY HOME IN THE BERKELEY HILLS. Was sold in 2006 for $1.6 million and a year later WaMu took it back for $1,066,217. Oh, and the Relitter isn't wasting his time (err... money), listing it on the MLS. A bargain all around.

There is also a newly constructed home at 1871 Tunnel Road that is owned by WaMu. Appears that the lien was for $750k, so they might come out even as it is offered at $815k. As the MLS listing says: Contemporary 3 bed 3 bath in Oakland/Berkeley Hills. Bank's Loss is your gain.

223   HeadSet   2008 Apr 15, 10:26am  

if the raw land is improved with water tap and power, your property tax moves into the 10%/year assessed value range. There are $130K estate lots in town with $3.5K/year in taxes.

When I was recently looking at house prices in C-Springs and Castle Rock, I noticed the tax rates on property with houses was much less than that. Does Ft Collins lower the rate once a house is built on the raw land?

224   Brand165   2008 Apr 15, 10:50am  

Does Ft Collins lower the rate once a house is built on the raw land?

As completely ridiculous as that seems... yes.

225   Brand165   2008 Apr 15, 11:00am  

Comparison of a 1/4 acre improved lot with a decent house in the same subdivision. The locations are Harbor Walk Estates and Warren Shores, respectively; both are around the perimeter of Warren lake and do not have lake access. You can find both properties on Colorado HomeFinder.

1106 Devon Way Fort Collins, CO 80525
$180,000 - Land
Subdivision: Harbor Walk Estates
Property Type: Land
Property Tax: $3,772
Tax Year: 2007
Lot Size: 11,520

3701 Gull Way Fort Collins, CO 80525
$325,000 - 2495 sf, 3 bed 3 bath, 1973 Single Family
Subdivision: Warren Shores
Property Type: Single Family
Property Tax: $2,377
Tax Year: 2007
Finished Square Feet: 2,495
Car Spaces: 2
Lot Size: 7,971

226   EBGuy   2008 Apr 15, 11:06am  

This woman is a total Bay Aryan (warning: biodynamic farming alert), but you have to admit her 3,136 square foot pad in Napa is pretty sweet.
She is not home for the day's warmest hours, but with the insulation of the 18-inch pisé walls and ventilation from transoms atop the dining room doors, she didn't even consider installing air conditioning.

"It never gets hot, it never gets cold," she said. "It's a very efficient home."

227   Malcolm   2008 Apr 15, 11:12am  

OK, the shit just hit the fan. Fresh off the press from KGTV channel 10.

San Diego County median home price is $395,000 down from $490,000 in March 2007. (That was down from over $600K)
Sales down 35% (Last year was down 40%)

228   DennisN   2008 Apr 15, 11:19am  

Craftsman and Tudor homes are so cute.

Peter, did you ever get my email forwarded from administrator? I was wondering if you looked down on the local architecture of the faux-craftsman houses.

229   DennisN   2008 Apr 15, 11:21am  


Link please!

230   Peter P   2008 Apr 15, 11:23am  

Dennis, I got your email. Thanks for the pics. (Sorry for not replying earlier. Got distracted.)

I don't look down on any architecture, since I live in an apartment.

But I am free to hate. :twisted:

231   Peter P   2008 Apr 15, 11:26am  

I hate Eichlers and I hate Ranches.

233   Brand165   2008 Apr 15, 12:24pm  

I am envious of her Napa retreat. The pictures were quite inspiring; I've saved a few as reference. I loved the open living room. I've toyed with many diagrams of earth-sheltered and earth-bermed retreats. One green building site detailed shotcrete airforms that yielded dome-like structures with reinforced steel skeletons.

I've also thought that it would be awesome to basically just have a near-town summer mountain retreat that basically just have an elegant bathroom plus a little storage. The outside would have pillars for erecting a semi-permanent tent and shade. Cooking would be firepit, minimal power would be photovoltaic, hot tub would be solar. The view of the lakes and city lights would be exquisite.

I would love to have a large garden as well, but it's high and dry in the foothills. Haven't figured out how to solve that one yet. I did see a site where a local guy was experimenting with genetically toughened varieties of wine grapes.

234   northernvirginiarenter   2008 Apr 15, 12:39pm  

Wow relative to latest San Diego numbers.

That's Armegeddon.

We should all keep in mind that this is all occurring on the front end of the downward cycle. We haven't even really seen much in terms of employment softness yet. Man, once that hits....is CA looking at an over correction from historical medians? 70% off peak? Yikes.

235   justme   2008 Apr 15, 12:53pm  


Tuscan Garage-Mahals is a great one, you're very inspired today.

But on the topic of Rice, I'd say her main traits are that she is double-minority, smart about being ruthless, not very principled, and not the least bit afraid of pandering to older white men that are part of the conventional power structure. These are all negatives for a leader in my book, except one that is neutral. Guess which one. Go Aunt Jemina.

236   justme   2008 Apr 15, 12:59pm  


Do you have specific knowledge as to what is the best solution to turn a BA crapshack (per building code) into something that is livable without forced cooling, 24x365?

237   Malcolm   2008 Apr 15, 1:37pm  

Thanks for the link EB. I DVRd it.

My source for the high above 600K is from the CAR. Their figure is for single family homes. Their data has the median above 600K from April 2005 to at least April of 2006 which was when I stopped graphing it.
I should note that Dataquick data is for the county of San Diego whereas CAR's data is for all the regions of the city of San Diego and it's suburbs.

238   Malcolm   2008 Apr 15, 1:38pm  


239   OO   2008 Apr 15, 1:40pm  


The most efficient way is to re-insulate the house. Double-pane windows, doors, insulation throughout, you can use wool or fiber glass if you want to be fancy. I believe that you can even get some tax break on your insulation cost.

Then you may want to see if you have enough windows and openings facing the right direction (south, east), and if you can find ways (adding covered porch) to reduce heat dumped into your house in the afternoon if it faces west, or reduce your windows and openings to the north.

240   SP   2008 Apr 15, 3:14pm  

justme Says:
Do you have specific knowledge as to what is the best solution to turn a BA crapshack (per building code) into something that is livable without forced cooling, 24×365?

One of the simplest ideas I know of is vents.

In the northern hemisphere, install vents low to the ground in the southern wall, and high near the ceiling (preferably under eaves) on the northern wall. In summer, this results in cold air getting sucked in near the floor from the south while hot air gets expelled from the top to the north. That alone drops your peak room temps by 5 degrees - which is a big deal because over the course of the day, that 5 degree temperature difference adds up to a huge amount of trapped heat. The vents can even be in different rooms, as long as there is some way for air to flow from one to the other.

You can increase the effect by having some kind of water-feature just below your south vent, which cools incoming air even more dramatically. The longer the air-way over water, the better it gets. And a couple of slow fans on the exhaust side can help too.

I have seen variations of this trick used literally all over the tropics - central and southern africa, Tangier, Iraq, Lebanon, Ceylon, Indonesia, Turkey, etc.

241   Jimbo   2008 Apr 15, 3:40pm  

Forced cooling? In The City you almost never could imagine needing cooling. Maybe a few days out of the year, but on those days, I just go to the beach.

We have our house very thoroughly insulated though, per OO's suggestion. A breeze blows in almost every afternoon and it used to get chilly before the insulation.

242   ozajh   2008 Apr 15, 4:55pm  


link please

StuckinBA gave you the full link at 10:41 am. It's the March SoCal numbers from DataQuick.

Alright, I know median is not the best measure available,


EVERY county on the DQ SoCal list has a YOY median down 15% plus, and the SoCal aggregate median is down 23.8% YOY.

Plus sales have taken ANOTHER big seasonally adjusted fall (up 18% from February when the normal Feb/Mar delta is 38%).

March Bay Area DQ numbers are due out in a few hours. :twisted:

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