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Where is everyone getting the money?


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2011 Jul 12, 5:04am   37,925 views  166 comments

by exfatguy   ➕follow (0)   💰tip ($0.10 in tips)  

So all of you cash buyers, and those that can afford high down payments in pricy areas, if you don't mind my asking, where are you getting the money? Sometimes it seems like everyone but me in the Bay Area has hundreds of thousands in cash to plunk down on houses. Am I really the only one that doesn't?

So, if you don't mind, enlighten me. Where did you get your money, especially those that can throw, say, $300K-500K (or more) on a house.

Is it...

1. You just worked hard and saved. All blood, sweat, and tears!
2. Worked hard, got a bit lucky with stock options, made out like a bandit.
3. Inheritance
4. Lottery
5. Bought homes at start of (or before) bubble, then wisely cashed out at peak.

So which is it? The only things I might ever have a chance at are (1) and (2), but if that's not enough, then perhaps I shouldn't even bother trying, at least in the Bay Area.

Thanks!

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82   burritos   2011 Jul 13, 6:34am  

Katy Perry says

I don't know one person that has a house that didn't get a big fat break from a parent or close relative some how,..in some way. I mean I'm talking about 100k plus in some situations that I know of,... the lowest being like 40k.

My parents did pay my undergrad(went to state univ.) and 1/2 my professional schooling. I owed 60k after graduation. Paid off on my own. No help with our house.

My wife got a full ride to college and owed 120k out of professional school. None of that was paid by her parents. They aren't well off. Once we got going professionally, we bought her parents a brand new honda accord, and since they never go on vacations, we pay for all their vacations when they come with us(Hawaii twice, vancouver once, Alaska cruise, and all the small little trips, ie, LV, Cambria, Seattle, etc...)

83   Misstrial   2011 Jul 13, 6:35am  

fly solo says

6. Male never married. Saved the alimony payments. Never had kids of my own. What does the government estimate it takes to raise one child two, three or more including college? Saved it.

No hermit here, I've led a full life so far on just less than the average annual wage. I'm not alone.

I suggest you plan on having a $2M+ long-term care policy.

~Misstrial

84   JG1   2011 Jul 13, 6:58am  

Katy Perry says

OH Come On!!! Where are all the folks who got 50k plus from bank of Mom and Dad. Plus the car Plus the school money,..and all the help to land that first job maybe. Is everyone here being 100% truthful and giving enough credit to their first big money break. I don't think so. I think some of you are not giving credit to that well placed well timed parental help. you may have earned some of it,.. but you also where helped big time. you know who you are.

I don't know one person that has a house that didn't get a big fat break from a parent or close relative some how,..in some way. I mean I'm talking about 100k plus in some situations that I know of,... the lowest being like 40k.

Now I also know of some hard working hard saving friends who also got a big break from their hard working hard saving parents. so did they earn it? yes. did they earn all of it,...no.

My wife got nothing from her parents and in fact we give them money, making less available to service our mortgage. I am somewhere in between, I never got a lump sum, inheritance, or any financial assistance whatsoever in buying the house (i.e., no loan and no gift), but they did put me through college (mostly), and leave me with only moderate debt from those years (which I am still paying off - but it's such a small amount - ~$13K - my wife wants me to pay it off in a lump sum, but the interest rate is SO low, I'd like to borrow a lot more at that rate, not pay it off). We were able to put 20% down to buy a house by working and saving. Investing didn't help, in fact it wiped out about half of the savings. due to the timing of entering and exiting the market.

85   Sach   2011 Jul 13, 8:07am  

I bought my house in Sunnyvale (2300 sq ft 5Bed/3Bath for 491 K and spent 200k on remodelling. Now it is still worth 900K (Worst price - Foreclosure price). In four years I will be paying off. Got lucky during Stock Market bubble in 1999-2000. There are lot of people in Bay Area who are not over extended at all. In fact I am paying the lowest interest rate 2.625% for next five years

86   corntrollio   2011 Jul 13, 8:21am  

Misstrial says

May want to have a look at this article from the NY Times - the reporter interviews several couples and individuals who, without any help from family, saved for a 20% down and bought their first residences in NYC:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/29/realestate/29cov.html

This article is one of my most favorite of all time on the topic.

That article is interesting for several reasons:

1) It's a walking ad for Corcoran, which is annoying.

2) Two went from Manhattan to Manhattan (Washington Hts to Hamilton Hts, and Harlem/Hell's Kitchen to Gramercy Park)
two went Manhattan to Brooklyn (LES to Ditmas Park and Gramercy Park to Prospect Heights).
Query why all of them started out in Manhattan if they were really interested in saving money, for example, the last couple didn't have to live in a shoebox in Manhattan if they moved to Brooklyn to start off.

3) It very much reads to me like, "suffer for several years and don't buy anything, go to free dance parties, and defer your wedding, and eek out credit card debt if you have to, so you can make a massive housing purchase" although I realize that's not the intention. The irony is that all of these people talk about looking carefully at the inherent value of the things they bought, but completely forgot about looking carefully at the inherent value of their new real estate purchase, see point #4.

4) THIS IS MY BIGGEST CRITICISM (of the article for not giving a balanced view)FN1: They all hyper-optimized for the short-term while ignoring the long-term. They all set a single-minded goal to buy a "starter house" just so they could buy an apartment. At least 3 out of 4 bought a 1 bedroom place, although at least the 4th one bought a 2BR, since they had a 5-month old at the time. Buying a 1BR in Manhattan (but not Brooklyn) is better than buying a 1BR condo/apartment in many other cities, but still that's 2 young unmarrieds (who both mention envying aspects of marriage) and 1 young couple who are in a small space and may need to move at some point. Somebody's going to have a kid at some point, right? And maybe even the first couple will have another kid? Have fun in that 6th floor walk-up 1BR with a baby! As an example, the first couple could have gotten a much bigger place across the river in the Bronx that would have been just as good a neighborhood and saved them money, which would have been more forward-looking. Or maybe they would buy in the NY suburbs.

The "starter house" concept really only made sense during the recent real estate boom. You need excessively high appreciation to exceed transaction costs in the very short term for the "starter house" to work. Otherwise, you are paying massive transaction costs for the luxury of being able to say you own a non-ideal house. It would have been better if these people saved up even more money and bought their dream house, instead of trying to fulfill some intermediate dream that doesn't necessarily make financial sense. And it's entirely possible that their housing values dropped in the meantime, even in NY.

It's also worth mentioning that co-ops are less liquid than other types of ownership, and the unmarrieds bought shares of co-ops. That means even higher transaction costs, because you have to find a buyer who wants to be part of the co-op and whom the co-op wants. Those old ladies are fussy.

This is not meant to criticize these people. They had a goal, and they achieved it. Good for them. The goal just seems a bit short-sighted to me. If they are going to engage in the sacrifice, I would have preferred that they didn't have to pay a realtor twice to do it.

[Update:I just Googled this, the first couple was pregnant with baby #2 in November 2008 and they were looking to buy a house in Westchester County simultaneously! Their apartment actually got redtagged by the county -- actual quote from the wife's blog: "In the end, it turned into a bit of a nightmare for us, which is how we ended up in the suburbs. The apartment has been nicely repaired (no more danger of the floor or ceiling falling in) and is now on the market for sale." Glad they were able to land safely, nonetheless.]

FN1: This parenthetical was added later because Misstrial didn't understand I was criticizing the article and not the people.

87   Misstrial   2011 Jul 13, 8:55am  

corntrollio says

4) THIS IS MY BIGGEST CRITICISM:...

This is not meant to criticize these people.

Obviously you are a Boomer with entirely too much time on your hands to put together a criticism of how today's young adults are having to garner resources to afford a residence, that in all honesty, is less than what your generation could purchase.

Perhaps these couples and individuals wanted to live close to work and family so that child care could be taken care of affordably and so that more time could be spent with family?

Thank you and the majority of your generation for 2 decades of divorces and remarriages which lead to churning in the real estate market and for ever spiralling upwards of home prices and artificial "values" so that your generation could afford several lifetimes worth of wealth on the backs of those younger.

~Misstrial

88   JG1   2011 Jul 13, 9:28am  

corntrollio says

[Update:I just Googled this, the first couple was pregnant with baby #2 in November 2008 and they were looking to buy a house in Westchester County simultaneously!

Who didn't see that coming?

(By the way, the one who wrote a credit card check for $6500 to meet closing costs, I believe that is against almost every lender's rules to do so - because it increases the borrower's debt load. Correct me if I am wrong.)

89   corntrollio   2011 Jul 13, 9:47am  

Misstrial says

Obviously you are a Boomer with entirely too much time on your hands to put together a criticism of how today's young adults are having to garner resources to afford a residence, that in all honesty, is less than what your generation could purchase.

Perhaps these couples and individuals wanted to live close to work and family so that child care could be taken care of affordably and so that more time could be spent with family?

Thank you and the majority of your generation for 2 decades of divorces and remarriages which lead to churning in the real estate market and for ever spiralling upwards of home prices and artificial "values" so that your generation could afford several lifetimes worth of wealth on the backs of those younger.

WRONG. I am not a boomer. I am screwed by the boomers. My parents are boomers. Where the f*$& did you get that from? Have you never read my posts here that specifically criticize the Baby Boomer generation for stealing money from future generations?

I think these people are short-sighted because they bought less house than they need and will have to move again and pay more transaction costs to realtors and banksters. My suggestion is that they save more money and buy their dream house so as not to pay excess money to realtors and banksters.

You clearly did not read my post because your post is clearly non-responsive to my post. Are you encouraging people to make unneeded housing purchases? I want people to churn the market LESS and buy and sell houses LESS. Please try again. Instead of jumping instantly on a purchase because it's affordable, these people should have waited and bought a more suitable house that they could live in for the longer term. They would have saved themselves a pile of money.

Also, note the difference between criticizing the article vs. criticizing the people.

In addition do you know *anything* about Manhattan? It can be a shorter commute from Brooklyn to downtown than from uptown to downtown. Did you notice that two of the people lived uptown at some point? And did you notice that one of those couples that lived uptown now lies in Westchester, which is a further commute? I really don't understand your second paragraph at all.

90   JonnyG   2011 Jul 13, 9:56am  

burritos says

JonnyG says

When I had extra money, you bought a ski boat and a nice vacation. I never took vacations for more than a couple days in my 20's and 30's and I invested any extra money in my own business.

When you missed payments occasionally and didn't work to protect your credit, I used my good credit to take out out loans for my business.

When you were avoiding risk, I put everything I had into my business and risked it all for 20 years.

Now that I am in my 40's I have some money in the bank. Go figure.

Good job. If 1/4 of the Americans were this industrious, we'd be in good shape. Unfortunately it's probably less than 1%.

Funny how my income is in the top 1% now...so was my effort.

91   JonnyG   2011 Jul 13, 10:03am  

eastbaydude says

It is nice and all that you have all this money and brain you bragged about. But, I don't think for a minute, I, nor other people I know would ever give up their lives and trade it for yours. I nearly died a few years ago. I know people who died in their 30s and to me, I could at least said I lived a full life and saw the whole world. That nice apartment/Porsche in my 30s was also a nice bonus and motivator for me to work harder and make more money. You can't take all that money with you to the grave. I, at least, can remember my exotic sunsets on all continents of this world.

I don't need 7 figures. I can easily take my current (small 250K savings) and retire in a nice villa in Costa Rica and surf everyda

I am not bragging. Just answering the question. If I had it to do over again I'm not sure I would have done the "delayed gratification" route either. I just get tired of the people who chose a different path besmirching the results of mine. As the song goes "they just want the cup but don't want the race"

92   jamboree   2011 Jul 13, 10:20am  

#1 and #2, savings + investments, I have worked in software development for past 20 years in the valley, made some $$ off stock options, plus got lucky with the dot.com/telecom bubble in 1998-2000 making about 2500% gains (7 figures) in a few years on my investments, and I cashed out before the crash, e.g. bought SUNW at $5, sold at $80, etc. etc.

I rent a house and have thought about buying (that's why I visit patrick.net) but my rent is so much cheaper than the cost to own an equivalent home, it doesn't make any sense; The person who I rent from bought the house 30 years ago, and their property tax is miniscule compared to what I would have to pay if I bought an equivalent house today. Also, I'm biased from growing up in suburbs in Texas where you get 3 times the house for 1/3 the price. I can't stomach paying $1 million+ for a 3 bedroom 2 bath ramshackle home built in the 1950's that needs $100k of TLC.

As a renter, the biggest fear is that rents rise over time and make you regret buying, but I'm not worried right now as the key is jobs and wages, and both of those are stagnant. CISCO just announced another 10,000 layoff, and most of the companies that are doing well, e.g. APPL GOOG etc., are not hiring as much as you'd think. If AAPL needs to ramp up IPhone/IPAD production, they just call up FoxConn in China and they hire another 10k people there to add a new production line. I'm also reading about more companies expanding in other US states and not California

93   MoneySheep   2011 Jul 13, 11:13am  

If I tell you how, I will have to kill you.

You are not going to believe it, I won a lottery. If you look hard enough, you will find my story on San Jose Mercury.

94   MoneySheep   2011 Jul 13, 11:24am  

E-man says

The minority people work based on trust.

E-man says

Some of the investors I currently work with got their money from over sea. Their relatives wire-transfered money on the order of $100k to $200k/month to the U.S.

It is quite true. That's probably why micro-loan (like Kiva) works in Asia. If we have micro-loan in socal, every one will jump in and using the micro-loan as downpayment for houses, then, do a strategic default.

95   corntrollio   2011 Jul 13, 11:30am  

MoneySheep says

That's probably why micro-loan (like Kiva) works in Asia. If we have micro-loan in socal, every one will jump in and using the micro-loan as downpayment for houses, then, do a strategic default.

Really? You think people will start using $383.72 loans for down payments? We are talking about relatively small amounts of money by our standards.

http://www.kiva.org/about/stats

It's fun to stereotype a continent with almost 4 billion people and all, but get real.

The reason Kiva works is the same reason traditional lending works (i.e. not "innovative" finance with "alternatives" to traditional A paper and alternatives to traditional subprime that aren't tested) -- people actually take the time to assess credit-worthiness:

http://www.kiva.org/about/risk

96   JG1   2011 Jul 13, 11:38am  

MoneySheep says

If I tell you how, I will have to kill you.

You are not going to believe it, I won a lottery. If you look hard enough, you will find my story on San Jose Mercury.

Is this you? http://abc.go.com/shows/lost/bio/hugo-reyes/39832

97   JG1   2011 Jul 13, 11:41am  

MoneySheep says

E-man says

The minority people work based on trust.

E-man says

Some of the investors I currently work with got their money from over sea. Their relatives wire-transfered money on the order of $100k to $200k/month to the U.S.

It is quite true. That's probably why micro-loan (like Kiva) works in Asia. If we have micro-loan in socal, every one will jump in and using the micro-loan as downpayment for houses, then, do a strategic default.

I don't see how these can work in the U.S. or at least in California. $300 to start up a business won't cover the business license and possibly other regulatory licenses in many locales and God forbid you want to form an LLC for liability or other purposes - CA wants $800 minimum for every year including the first/partial year, regardless of profit/loss/revenues. All this assuming, which these days is not a bad assumption, that local zoning ordinances allow you to conduct your business out of your house (can't rent much commercial space with $300).

98   B.A.C.A.H.   2011 Jul 13, 1:36pm  

If I had that kind of money, the last thing I'd do is boast about it or even mention it on a web-blog.

Jeez.

99   B.A.C.A.H.   2011 Jul 13, 1:40pm  

corntrollio says

Where the f*$& did you get that from?

Chill out dude.

And I did not claim to be an expert on dowries or anything like that (just passed along what I read during the dot.com), nor did I fabricate the story. But I did read it, and it did match a few stories of colleagues of mine.

Why would someone go through the trouble spend time to make up and spread lies on a blog? What would the point of that be?

100   thomas.wong1986   2011 Jul 13, 2:28pm  

corntrollio says

Really? You think people will start using $383.72 loans for down payments? We are talking about relatively small amounts of money by our standards.

Lol! you might as well give it away, better yet just donate to charity and get a tax write off.

101   Magic   2011 Jul 13, 3:51pm  

I know lots of Asian families are renting out rooms or living a few families in a house to pay down the house faster. One around the corner has 7 cars in their house.

102   Austinhousingbubble   2011 Jul 13, 4:00pm  

There are 3 supermarkets within walking distance

AND they are Publix supermarkets....some of the best in the land.

Your place sounds amazing, and a lot like one I used to live in years ago. Loved it.

103   Michinaga   2011 Jul 13, 9:39pm  

Entirely #1 for me.

I bought my condo in Tokyo for cash in my 10th year our of college for 14 million yen, or about $140k at the time. No assistance from anyone and no spousal earnings either.

My salary has risen from about $30k when I started to about $45k now. Thing were much harder in the beginning -- I worked 12-14 hours a day, speaking a foreign language all day long and commuting on packed trains; the sheer exhaustion and misery of those first three years meant that whatever I was doing after that, I wouldn't be complaining.

I keep my expensive vices to a minimum. I like those $4 Belgian beers and find myself buying imported snack foods too often, but I spend less on those things that a lot of people spend in a month on something like cable television.

I've never made a penny on investments -- the first $2000 I saved in my first job went into the stock market, was cut in half with in a month (crash of 2000), and so I decided to stick with cash. Just kept staying in the black every month and watching that bank balance climb.

The key is to (1) not live in the Bay Area, and (2) not buy too much house. My condo is urban-sized, which means no extraneous space and no pointless, time-consuming yardwork (and thus no long commute, and no automobile, and none of the other hidden costs of suburbia), and in the future when kids come along (hopefully!), we can move into something bigger and rent this out to pay for it.

My only regret is that I wish I could have gotten a loan back when I had 20% of the purchase price of my home -- it's almost impossible to borrow any money in Japan if you don't have citizenship or permanent residence. As it was, I had to continue to save until I had 100%, which meant many years of paying rent to a landlord and not being able to build equity.

104   mdovell   2011 Jul 13, 10:41pm  

I once told a coworker "If you cannot make more then the only way to have more is to save more" he stared at me as if I was inviting a rabbi to shura!

Sometimes it isn't so much how much people make but as to how they spend it. I have a close friend that inherited about 30K (relative passed away and the land was sold, they split it around). He went on a buying spree that made his house look like a best buy. Digital camera, digital camera printer, pda, tons of games, tons of dvds, books and booze. His excuse was that he was (and still is) at a dead end job.

He could have gone back to school and finished the degree and would have been in better shape..heck if he would have bought gold or silver he would have been better off.

During the bubble there was plenty of crazy buying. Even outside of housing. Post 9/11 we had zero percent financing on cars, trucks, suv's..not a bright move. Just because people can buy things doesn't mean they can afford them. Cash for clunkers might have increased car sales but now millions are in debt from this that probably didn't really need a new car to begin with.

The older I get the less affect advertising has on me. I just saw an ad for a medicine saying that half of it was sodium bicarbonate. If I was a kid I'd be impressed but that's common baking soda!

"it's almost impossible to borrow any money in Japan if you don't have citizenship or permanent residence"
I hear Japan in general can be very rough against foreigners working there. I know a few people who have visited there for awhile and they tend to say the same things. South Korea and China tend to be more open.
\There's a book that came out that 's a bit about working in Japan called The Year of No Money in Toyko
http://www.amazon.com/Year-No-Money-Tokyo/dp/0982055005

105   corntrollio   2011 Jul 14, 7:13am  

Sybrib says

And I did not claim to be an expert on dowries or anything like that (just passed along what I read during the dot.com), nor did I fabricate the story. But I did read it, and it did match a few stories of colleagues of mine.

Yeah, your friend's friend's friend's cousin's dentist's brother-in-law's neighbor said this. I get it.

Why would someone go through the trouble spend time to make up and spread lies on a blog? What would the point of that be?

You clearly do not read certain posts here on Patrick.net if you believe that. Also, being uninformed is being uninformed.

106   corntrollio   2011 Jul 14, 7:22am  

Magic says

I know lots of Asian families are renting out rooms or living a few families in a house to pay down the house faster. One around the corner has 7 cars in their house.

In fact this is common for any group of people who are more communitarian than the stereotypical more individualistic American, or any group of people for whom it's more common to have people of more generations living together. It wasn't nearly as uncommon even in the US only a generation ago -- my in-laws lived at one of their parents' house, even for some small period of time after they had kids in order to save money. In addition, each of them lived at their respective parents' house as adults until they got married, which is less common here in the US these days too.'

Michinaga says

The key is to (1) not live in the Bay Area, and (2) not buy too much house. My condo is urban-sized, which means no extraneous space and no pointless, time-consuming yardwork (and thus no long commute, and no automobile, and none of the other hidden costs of suburbia), and in the future when kids come along (hopefully!), we can move into something bigger and rent this out to pay for it.

But you do have to be careful that transaction costs don't kill you on this. Buying property has transaction costs, and if you have a short time horizon for staying in a "starter house," you can get nailed on transaction costs. You also have to make sure it makes financial sense to rent out the prior house, or it's better to just sell.

Not living in the Bay Area certainly helps with the value proposition in many cases. The Bay Area is certainly one of the worst places in the country to find rental properties to invest in (not suggesting you can't find them, but just that it's easier to find cashflow elsewhere).

107   B.A.C.A.H.   2011 Jul 14, 12:18pm  

corntrollio says

Yeah, your friend's friend's friend's cousin's dentist's brother-in-law's neighbor said this. I get it.

Actually, the first colleague I know who fit that pattern was my boss, this was during the dotcom days. After he returned, another engineer that was my peer, working in the same department for the same boss, did the same thing.

I actually showed my boss that letter to the editor to ask him if it's true. He was a very personable guy. He just smiled and didn't say anything. Yep. Better to be discreet than to boast.

A few years later a couple of other engineers followed the same sequence: green card, "bride from back home", then Fortress House, within a year or so time frame. One of them was also a peer in the department, the other was in a department we worked with.

I don't really care if you believe it or not, but that is what happened, these were other engineers, my coworkers, not some sixth degree of separation rumor persons. Believe what you want to. Call me a liar if you want to. Sticks and stones. I have better things to do than make up phoney stories for a weblog.

108   B.A.C.A.H.   2011 Jul 14, 12:33pm  

mdovell says

I hear Japan in general can be very rough against foreigners working there

That is interesting. Did you hear any specifics about it?

109   Â¥   2011 Jul 14, 2:31pm  

The sample of foreigners Japanese people are exposed to in Japan is far from a random distribution. They get their share of lechs, clods, crazy, and inconsiderate gaijin.

The Japanese, being relatively isolated on their own little island at the edge of the world for a millennia and more, have a right to be chauvinistic about their own culture and judgmental about other people that they become exposed to.

Hitler and Goebbels spun up some pop-culture racial superiority BS from 19th century Romantics, but the Japanese have the luxury of actually having a very deep and impressive cultural tradition of their very own, even if 90% of it was appropriated from others, often quite literally.

Unlike the US or (for the most part) the EU's new attempt at "multiculturalism", people not born in Japan of Japanese parents are (with very few exceptions) still very much out-group and 1.5 class citizens at best.

But things are slowly changing I guess and the zainichi Koreans are slowly assimilating I suppose. Much of the Japanese entertainment industry is Korean-Japanese, almost to the extent and sub-rosa visibility that Hollywood is Jewish-American.

Not a whole lot of effort is made by Japanese to self-understand or improve this situation. Things are as they are, and might get better, or might not.

As the generation that remembers WW2 passes on, and contacts within the Far East continue to intertwine the neighboring cultures, I think things will get better. The System does tend to do a real good mindfuck on Japanese kids growing up though, imprinting a certain degree of cultural conservatism coupled with an abject lack of knowledge of history, 1925 - August 5, 1945.

110   corntrollio   2011 Jul 15, 3:37am  

Sybrib says

I don't really care if you believe it or not, but that is what happened, these were other engineers, my coworkers, not some sixth degree of separation rumor persons.

What you have absolutely no knowledge about is the actual dowries -- you are just stereotyping and assuming. I doubt any of them told you anything, and even your boss appears to have smiled and muttered "silly American" to himself. The dowry system is largely extinct in Indian cities, and there's no way that village people are saving up $100K cash as you claimed in another thread.

111   chip_designer   2011 Jul 15, 3:44am  

edvard2 says

renting cheap, driving the same worn-out ancient beater cars, rarely eating out, picking up furniture from the side of the road, not buying whatever latest gadget exists out there

you are a cheap bastard :) or you are one unique caucasian
you must not be married, are there girls who likes cheap life?

112   Ace   2011 Jul 15, 5:54am  

Many buyers in higher RE markets have corporate relocation packages that include home sale help for their old place, down payment loan if needed, buy downs and all sorts of help built into their purchase. They also get the better deals from banks be/c the employer, and they are in a higher mgmt/exec salary bracket.

113   thomas.wong1986   2011 Jul 15, 6:37am  

Ace says

Many buyers in higher RE markets have corporate relocation

In the Bay Area, you mean very few... we had 400 public companies back in 2000, down to low 200s today.

Plenty supply of CEO, CFO, VPs, mid managers and staffers kicking the can the down the street. They are all begging for jobs today, and since SOX you can forget about Perks.

114   corntrollio   2011 Jul 15, 6:39am  

Ace says

Many buyers in higher RE markets have corporate relocation packages

A lot of relo packages that have housing-specific items (as opposed to "we are giving you $X for relo") focus on transaction costs, e.g. realtor fees and closing costs, often with a cap, and often they'll reimburse for hiring movers. More common is just either $X or "we'll pay for your movers."

If you're talking C-level, a lot of C-level people already live here.

115   Jimbo in SF   2011 Jul 15, 7:12am  

I'm an immigrant, definitely no help from parents etc.

This how I saved the $300k downpayment to buy a house in SF:
- Both wife and I are frugal
- Kept monthly bills to a minimum (only recently got cable TV as I wanted better Internet speed)
- 2nd hand cars which I keep for a long time
- Took advantage of rent controlled apt in SF which really helped savings
- Invested in the stock market, foreign currency, gold, property outside of CA
- HH salary rose from prob $80k to $250k over 13 yrs

116   burritos   2011 Jul 15, 7:32am  

JonnyG says

burritos says

JonnyG says

When I had extra money, you bought a ski boat and a nice vacation. I never took vacations for more than a couple days in my 20's and 30's and I invested any extra money in my own business.

When you missed payments occasionally and didn't work to protect your credit, I used my good credit to take out out loans for my business.

When you were avoiding risk, I put everything I had into my business and risked it all for 20 years.

Now that I am in my 40's I have some money in the bank. Go figure.

Good job. If 1/4 of the Americans were this industrious, we'd be in good shape. Unfortunately it's probably less than 1%.

Funny how my income is in the top 1% now...so was my effort.

I think there was a misunderstanding. What I was trying to say that more people should put in the effort that you've described. If people did, we'd be in good shape. However, I think less than 1% of the population works this hard. Therefore, it'd make sense that your income would be in the the top 1%.

117   mdovell   2011 Jul 15, 9:58am  

Japan certainly is a odd case because unlike say Germany it is an island and relations were not (and some could stay still are not) fixed with neighbors. US bases and involvement in the korean and vietnam wars coupled with the western isolation of Japan and the cold war itself contributed to the mindset.

When you combine a long life expectancy (which keeps growing) and low birth rate eventually you can have labor shortages. From what I understand it looks like it is Brazilians that make up some of the labor force
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brazilians_in_Japan

118   Â¥   2011 Jul 15, 10:40am  

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/23/business/global/23immigrant.html

at this point -- strong yen and weak yuan -- it makes much more sense for Japan to pay Chinese to work in China.

There are 12 yen to the yuan. Y1200 is an average wageslave salary in Japan, but the 100 kuai in China is some big bucks --

http://en.ce.cn/subject/mncsinchina/mncsinchinamncs/201103/14/t20110314_22296258.shtml

says a MONTHLY salary is 1500 kuai, so 15 hours of cheapish labor in Japan is the same cost as a MONTH in China.

This was my theory for studying Mandarin back in 2008-2009. I didn't want to work in China or Taiwan, but I think being trilingual in Japanese/Mandarin/English will be useful, career-wise.

119   Dan8267   2011 Jul 15, 1:04pm  

agrifolia says

For me it's about half inheritance from grandparents and half saved income from being longtime DINK (until recently).

Wow, Dink. Haven't heard that acronym in 20 years.

120   ppexx   2011 Jul 16, 10:47pm  

It is easy:
Live the simple life, do buy/own a lot of junk
Live below your means
Immediately move from the hell hole of California
Do not buy stocks, buy RE
No credit card debt, no car loans, go in to debt for RE only
Do not listen to morons that recommend you rent, buy RE cheap

121   bubblesburst   2011 Jul 17, 12:59am  

Worked extremely hard for many years since graduating University. Paid off all debt and stayed out of debt. Lived within my means and took advantage of the power of compound investing since I was 21.

I've been fortunate that I've had executive level jobs all my life and made great income. Sold my house and all USA real estate before the crash and bought real estate in other places around the world where it wasn't out of whack like the USA. (And in most of those places now the real estate has doubled in value).

Although I'd continue buying investment properties, my primary residence I rented for 7 years waiting for real estate values in the USA to crash. I finally gave in and bought a home a few weeks ago.

Then it just became a matter of continuing to work really hard, spinning off rental income from the other properties and continuing that pattern and saving up.

Lots of blood, sweat and tears.... It's my opinion that short of winning the lottery or inheriting money or having a trust fund set up for you....there is no short cut to building up lots of wealth other than hard work or lots of luck maybe in picking the right stocks.

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