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Big Fat Stacks Vs. Housing

By surfer-x   2006 Mar 8, 5:05pm   1 link   7,650 views   119 comments   watch (0)   quote      

It's well established that HaHa makes $.$.

When will he buy a compound ? Will Mr. Right join him? And if he does, who will wear the chaps? Does Ang Lee deserve the Oscar, is Astroglide the Cowboy's best friend forever?

Will Mr. Right spring for his daughters wedding using the HELOC or will he go old school and have Santa Maria BBQ? Do tell. Plus any other amusing housing stories you care to tell. Be safe, bring the paper plates, homies HELOC might be running dry.

On a personal note, we were renting this place, it was on the market for 2.1 million (que Dr. Evil)(dollars, not bananas), they (debtor) "accepted" an offer for 1.45, do the math. Well Mrs X and I felt uncomfortable with the situation and found another rental in the same area for the same Bat-Price and the same Bat-Time, and get this, having everything we wanted, 2/1 with 2 car garage, killer backyard, mature banana trees (with bananas not dollars Amerikan), fenced, doggers OK, hardwood floors, fireplace, 2K a month, would sell for 800K or so, again do the math.

BTW the "escrow" fell through because the new debtor (I mean established member of the Mr. Right facist monkey army) no longer had us as pathetic renters. Go figure.

Suck it long, suck it hard.


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80   DinOR     2006 Mar 10, 1:11am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    


What's the matter? Don't you like Amurika? We build everything with recycled rubbermaid garbage cans here! (Maybe that's what Patrick meant when he dubbed this website "Housing Crash")

81   lunarpark     2006 Mar 10, 2:36am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

82   Peter P   78/78 = 100% civil   2006 Mar 10, 2:44am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

Lunarpark, everything is on the house!

83   nomadtoons     2006 Mar 10, 2:51am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Off the subject a bit,
But perhaps I could get some opinions. Being from Nashville, I've thought about moving back because: A: it is growing rapidly with a good job market. B: I am familiar with it and the culture that exsists there. C: it is affordable. D:the weather isn't too bad- 65 today, and 68 tomorow. E: Better place to raise a family. F: Better schools. G: changing diversification with new people moving in.
But... and the BIG but is that I've been keeping a close eye on it for a while now. I've never thought of it as a city that would be affected by the prices in NY and CA.. but now it is, and those prices are starting to do exactly what happened to the Bay area 5 years ago.. starting to climb up every single year. I imagine that it's partially to do with the national bubble, but also from people being squeezed out of the overpriced regions. If I knew that this phenomina is only temporary until the overpriced areas crash and burn, I would old off and save my money. My plan was to save my wages here for 5-6 years then move somewhere, maybe Nashville. But it looks like that if I don't move sooner than later, then ironically, I'll be priced out of my own home city, which would be a crying shame.
Does anyone think that places like Nashville will stop the climb after the crash in CA and NY, or will it just keep right on going? Should I move sooner and take advantage of easier to manage prices, or hope that the burst will halt out of control growth in nashville?

84   DinOR     2006 Mar 10, 2:54am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    


The author ultimately doesn't let you know fully which side of the fence she's on. Why does she need a contractor at her beck and call? A HELOC is better than car payments she declares but doesn't even invite the possibilty that there may come a time when payments aren't so easily made. The column is "Surreal Estate" but she seems to revel in her own lifestyle (and that of her parents).

85   Peter P   78/78 = 100% civil   2006 Mar 10, 2:54am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

I’m sure they just build new lofts because they are very cheap and because people will buy them imagining that they are hip, cool, lower Manhattanite types.

Lofts at Santana Row are not cheap and they are converted from rentals anyway. I do not know what is so hip about them. I will take a nice 2/2 instead.

86   Peter P   78/78 = 100% civil   2006 Mar 10, 2:58am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

A HELOC is better than car payments she declares but doesn’t even invite the possibilty that there may come a time when payments aren’t so easily made.

A Hell-locked is not always better in the days of 0% financing or near 0 money-factor leasing. It is not even deductible under AMT!

However, there are no 30-yr or IO car loans. If people want very low payments, it is the way to go.


87   DinOR     2006 Mar 10, 3:00am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Peter P,

"everything is on the house" (how beautiful is that?)

Again, what's not to like about TAX FREE money (accrued from "home equity") that you get to write off the interest on? Why we're at it, let's make the HELOC payments from the proceeds of the HELOC? Put your kids through private school and live the artists life with my new money making machine!

88   Peter P   78/78 = 100% civil   2006 Mar 10, 3:02am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

I like that lofts often make people live in a smaller footprint. Do you really need a 2500 sq ft suburban house for just yourself and your dog?

I am an advocate for multi-level condos. I do not like lofts because the openness, and I need at least two rooms. I guess it is a "love it or hate it" thing.

89   Peter P   78/78 = 100% civil   2006 Mar 10, 3:06am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

For myself, I’d rather have a pored and stained concrete counter then a granite one because again we’re talking about using a renewable resource.

I like anything that is durable, easy to clean, and relatively seamless.

90   DinOR     2006 Mar 10, 3:07am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Why we are at it (should read, While we are at it)

91   lunarpark     2006 Mar 10, 3:44am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

"everything is on the house!"

Yes, it's magic. I'm going to buy a unicorn and ride it around town.

92   DinOR     2006 Mar 10, 3:50am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (2)   quote    

SF Woman,

"These aren't old industrial buildings given a new use, they are just developer schlock".

So very true! I understand some of the old bldgs. in NW Portland had to come down. The old I.O.O.F building was a safety hazard and given the state of the fire escape I often thought I would have taken my chances with the fire. These new abominations are called Pre-Tense or Pre-Stressed buildings. My associate informs me that he CAN NOT even drill into the wall or ceiling to hang fixtures for fear of "compromising" the structure. I am not kidding. I gather that if a drill bit severed one of the many pre-stressed cables that run throughout it could jeopardize the entire building. Cool huh?

93   nomadtoons     2006 Mar 10, 4:09am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

The issue of the national housing bubble is what keeps me on the fence on what to do for the future. As someone who lived for 22 years in the south, I can speak from experience that it was very dormant, underveloped, underpopulated, and in bad economic condition. Basically, the region was by and large ignored by the country, and hollywood helped to foster the image of the poor destitute, and backwardsness of the area. SO that helped fend off development for decades. Suddenly, it's like half the people I know are thinking of moving there because it's practically like the new world that was formerly unkown and mysterious. Of course there will always be the coasters who think they'll die if they ever step foot out of NY, CA, or MA, but these people are the kind that I really worry about. Everywhere these people go they fuck it up, make it too expensive, and brand it with urbananity that I don't care for. It's been fun here for the 7 years or so, and I wouldn't mind staying a few more, but I'd hate to one day see that the same people that made life too expensive for me here will do the same there. The Coasters are the biggest population in the country. I'm just hoping they stay put long enough for me to be able to move back someday, thats all.

94   Peter P   78/78 = 100% civil   2006 Mar 10, 4:28am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

If the government fears the national housing market may be overheating, it may delay mortgage interest tax reform until after the bubble bust.

Homes around 300K-ish do appear to be cheaper (more attractive) after the tax reform if the owners do not itemize.

It would be a multiple whammy for Californian homeowners if the tax reform comes after the bubble bust though.

95   DinOR     2006 Mar 10, 4:35am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

Need 2 Leave CA,

A classic! Typically I'm not a fan of long posts (even my own) but that was a very worthy read! As with all well done humor there has to be an element of truth and many of the things you mention are just far enough out there to be comical, yet not so far out as to be beyond belief. Since I've made that flight a number of times it wasn't difficult to visualize your "guided tour". I'll be watchin' you!

96   saurin13     2006 Mar 10, 4:44am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

SFWoman, others, thanks for the news on highrises. I lived in Texas for 20 years before moving here. I do love it out here and feel there is much more career opportunity here than I had in Texas. But I tell you, it sure feels that people here are unfriendlier to strangers than in Texas. People here are so much more wrapped up with the "rat race." Sure Texas as humidity, nothing to see and terribly hot summers, but at least the people are nice.

I have travelled the world, make a good income with a strong education and can't buy a house here. Something is really wrong. I know several friends that are going to move back or won't move here at all because of the costs - yet they are well educated, top of the field people.

Not everyone wants to live in a loft. I don't. I want at least a 2/2, but with a family later perhaps a 3/2 or even a 4/2.5. Most of the country is used to be able to live in a house, not a matchbox. Just because people in SF or NY feel that the more money you earns is inversely related to the size of your home does not make sense. People in Texas have less work hours than here, lower cost of living, no income tax and have nice houses. The downside is that you are living in Texas and do not have the natural beauty, weather, beach, mountains of the BA or CA in general.

97   Randy H     2006 Mar 10, 4:50am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

An idea I've been kicking around re: aggregating RE buyer knowledge. For those interested in a technical and business design discussion. Otherwise, sorry for the cross-promotion.

98   Peter P   78/78 = 100% civil   2006 Mar 10, 4:55am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

An idea I’ve been kicking around re: aggregating RE buyer knowledge. For those interested in a technical and business design discussion. Otherwise, sorry for the cross-promotion.

My only worries are possible legal complications. Will a public blog on specific MLS properties infringe on the acceptable use policy? Can homeowners sue for damages because of misrepresented fact published in the blog.

However, I like the idea of aggregating RE buyer knowledge. The degree of asymmetric information has been severe. Any help from this angle will help shaping a better market.

99   nomadtoons     2006 Mar 10, 4:56am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

I really, really hate the perception that investors and others have about "undervalued" areas such as the south and Midwest. All that means is that the HUGE diffrence in prices compared to California makes them seem like deals to outsiders, but in reality, these prices are at the proper level they should be to provide a healthy and well balanced community right in line with salaries, population spectrums, and the local economy. When investors start coming in, this balance gets thrown out of whack. What you get is a misbalanced and unhealthy community with the real potential to mess up your local economy as well. This is what happened in CA and NY. Now these people want to do the same to my own home region.There aught to be a law against RE investment. it's the surest method to prevent local and even national recessions.

100   nomadtoons     2006 Mar 10, 4:59am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

Well you have to pick your battles. I have been here 7 years. Ya.. nice national parks, and natural beauty.. But the true fact is that the quality of life is considerably lower than anywhere I've lived, and this includes NC, TN, MA, and now here. If you want a family, home, pleasant neighborhood, and work less, then you don't live in CA. if you want to work 60 hrs a week, save for no reason other than a HUGE downpayment on a tiny ass house, and have kids at the age of 50, then you stay here. simple.

101   Randy H     2006 Mar 10, 5:03am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

The primary difference between the south and the midwest has been in jobs growth. The midwest (at least rustbelt down to the rivers) has been spanked by massive job losses, dying farmland, corrupt politicians (ok, they're everywhere, but places like OH and IL have had it bad lately), and even some real deflation.

If I were to guess, and my guess isn't worth all that much, I'd suspect that the rural south will be affected by the RE correction much more than the rural midwest. Put simply, the south has better schools, more stable communities, more attractive environment, and more jobs. The midwest has a ways to go before it starts to attract the mass immigration (foreign and domestic) that the south has succeeded in doing.

102   nomadtoons     2006 Mar 10, 5:08am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

George, Seriously man.. Last time I visited my folks, there were developments where they actually had literally bulldozed down the top of a tall ridge, put in a twisty road, and slapped up 20-or 30 HUGE 3 story massive, 3 car garage houses... all in the 400k range, all built with illegal immigrant labor. These things are hideous looking, and they have teeny little yards. My parents get offer after offer on their property. hey keep saying no, but someday, that land will be worth.. who knows? I hope they don't sell.

103   Randy H     2006 Mar 10, 5:09am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

My only worries are possible legal complications. Will a public blog on specific MLS properties infringe on the acceptable use policy? Can homeowners sue for damages because of misrepresented fact published in the blog.

IANAL, but from my early read it would be very possible to create a forum reasonably safe from reactionary lawsuits. UAPs are notoriously hard to enforce. Most are never tested in court because the plantif fears it will be shown to be the house of cards it really is. As far as retaliation against posters, that would fall under libel and slander. Very hard to prove versus First-Ammendment rights.

If I go to a house and later comment that the MLS listing says 4 BR, but there are only really 3 usable as bedrooms, and the "master suite" isn't up to par, then I very much doubt that a seller could succeed in suing me.

104   DinOR     2006 Mar 10, 5:13am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Randy H,

I like your idea b/c the truth is that people are talking anyway! Everytime my wife and I visit one couple we know it's like Louis Rukeyser for goodness sake! First they cover all the new listings (and how the seller will never get their asking price) what's wrong with the property (on a busy street etc.) what they feel it should be going for, along with the albatross that's at DOM #279! I understand the legal aspects, but you can't stop people from talking.

105   saurin13     2006 Mar 10, 5:27am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    


That is the exact issue I have here is building that social bubble from the scratch. In Texas, it was easy - people don't mind newcomers. Over here, people are a bit more hesitant about new people...

106   DinOR     2006 Mar 10, 5:39am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    


This could be it's own blog let alone thread. I lived in the Philippines for years. The American sailors didn't have much so they never left much of an impact. Most of us learned the native language and customs and observed them even if they were in conflict to our own beliefs. Commanders constantly reminded us that this is THEIR country and we are their GUESTS! Fast forward 20 years, add $$$ and you have gated and golf communities. What a shame. The true beauty has always been the PEOPLE. Now retirees want to make sure there is a wall between THEIR money and THOSE people. I wish they would just go to FL.

107   Peter P   78/78 = 100% civil   2006 Mar 10, 5:45am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Boomers leaving the US and taking their wealth with them?

Another front of globalization.

108   DinOR     2006 Mar 10, 6:02am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    


I've seen this before on later trips "home" to the Philippines. There is a wave of retirees and not just from the U.S either. Most western countries are represented and it is the dregs. Tax dodgers, preverts (of all kinds) and of course their drugs. (Sailors take pee tests, retirees don't). So the "travellers" created the market demand where there was none previously. There isn't one place on 7,000+ islands where you CAN'T get a fifth of rum 24/7 for about 50 cents, but they bring/buy their dope anyway. Manila is now awash in dope, which btw was unheard of 20 years ago. Then this gaggle of riff-raff move on to Thailand or wherever but there is always a fresh wave of people coming in figuring b/c they have been there for 3 weeks they know everything about the place. Where will we be able to go when we retire that the boomers haven't already screwed up?

109   surfer-x     2006 Mar 10, 6:34am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

My Greatgrandfather lived in a house in Flint Michigan bought by GM, during the depression they paid interest only on the house. I vaguely remember the area, we visited when I was very young, it was nice. Now it's a crack infested ghetto. Any chance of companies like Choogle buying housing for their workers? Not a freaking chance man, more for me is the motto now. Rising tide lifts all boats? Not a chance if they have a boat they are overpaid and we should send their jobs to China/India/Vietnam.

110   Peter P   78/78 = 100% civil   2006 Mar 10, 6:49am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

Any chance of companies like Choogle buying housing for their workers? Not a freaking chance man, more for me is the motto now.

It can "print" money (stock) for its employees to buy housing. But just like any "fiat" currency, it is subjected to "inflation" and "devaluation".

Is GOOG/USD a major cross pair? :)

111   Randy H     2006 Mar 10, 6:52am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

Is GOOG/USD a major cross pair?

Only if you're planning on using MSFT as the carry.

112   Peter P   78/78 = 100% civil   2006 Mar 10, 7:02am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Only if you’re planning on using MSFT as the carry.

MSFT yields 1.3% (per yahoo), GOOG yields 0%.

MSFT/GOOG is a positive carry trade indeed. :)


113   nomadtoons     2006 Mar 10, 7:08am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

I feel the same about NPR..BC, ABC, CNN.. etc. ALL news is basically horseshit and intertwined with the government and commercial enterprise. I dont believe one god-damned word they say. So I quit reading, and quit watching the news. If there's something truly newsworthy, I'll hear about it from other people.

114   Randy H     2006 Mar 10, 7:12am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

New thread:

Population Shifts and Housing Prices

115   nomadtoons     2006 Mar 10, 7:17am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Bay Area homeowner,
Well there are ways you can have your cake and eat it too. For one, I suggest anyone that wants to do a more realistic comparison of what money really means in the Bay Area to look up "cost of living calculator" You'll find a few out there that compare the cost of living compared to other cities across the nation. I tried it comparing Austin to SF. IF you make 60k in SF, then roughly 25K a year in Austin will allow you the same lifestyle. 25k to 60k. Woah! what they hell is up with that? So indeed, SF, in raw money terms, SF pays the most out of any state, but in reality- you're dirt poor on a 60k salary. I get calls all the time from agencies looking for designers and marketing people in TX, NC, etc that are willing to pay me 45-50k a year.. hence if we do a reverse engineering of the money scale mentioned earlier, I would be making roughly 120k in San Francisco dollars. Get my drift? I think that most here in the bay area fail to make this very basic assesment and fail to see that even though they may be making a large amount of money, the money they get to keep is pretty low.
So.. it is very safe to say that a wise person can save for 5-6 years, and either pay a house off in a fairly metropolitan area, like Nashville, and still come out ahead, years before the same person in SF would have a chance. That's my plan, but then again, my folks live there, and I don't buy that the Bay area is any better than anywhere else, thus I'm not romantically attached to it... which I am VERY grateful for.

116   nomadtoons     2006 Mar 10, 7:19am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

As far as population shifts, I've read more than once that the Southeast and Midwest are projected to grow 40% in less than 20 years. That places it as the fastest growing region in the country. What's more is that industry is moving there too, as in manufactoring, research, education, and so on. So there is a solid base of an economy to grow on. Prices will probably go up as well for everything, but so will wages. So my utterly arrogant response to population shift is that "the south will rise again." sorry for the pun..

117   Different Sean     2006 Mar 10, 11:05am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Driving home this afternoon I saw something that made me do a double-take. It was a large sign that read: “FACING FORECLOSURE? WE PAY CASH.”

The Sydney, Oz market turned downwards about 1 year ago, and there are record numbers of foreclosures right now - see my blog at, about the 5th article down.

People are watching Sydney nervously to see how what happens next as some sort of world barometer...

A lot of kids were purchasing houses on interest only loans, where they could only just afford the interest payments, convinced they were going to get 10% capital gains forever, just like the RE people were saying, and do a re-fi later. Some of the foreclosures may be 'investors' (stupid ones) who didn't even do the sums on rent returns before diving in after attending some spruiker's course, and then hurting every week trying to make up the shortfall.

The psychology of house purchasing? In the case of owner occupiers, there's an effect when prices rise for everyone to stampede into getting one now 'before they go up further', which seems to make them go up further. So it's only desperation. Most human behaviour and psychology seems to oscillate between fear-greed-fear-greed for the most part, which is why I gave up my psych degree as a waste of time...

As for Iran, we want them all to have 'nice, Western values' when those same values lead to these bloated weddings and constant capitalist boom-bust cycles, and a life full of fear-greed-fear-greed? Interesting. If only everyone else were just like us with our faultless values...

Under Islam, it's considered immoral to charge interest on a loan...

118   Different Sean     2006 Mar 10, 11:17am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

Make that about the 10th article down:

"THE number of properties repossessed by banks was higher last year than after the recession of the early 1990s, as a growing number of overstretched investors were burned by Sydney's house-price slump.

There were a record 4873 cases lodged in the NSW Supreme Court's Possessions List in 2005 - a 59 per cent rise on 2004, and more than double the number of cases in 2003.

This compares with 3287 cases in 1991 as the economy recovered from deep recession."

I got a letter from the national Treasurer recently saying there was no problem with housing distress in Australia. I might write back to him again...

119   Different Sean     2006 Mar 10, 11:20am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

I feel the same about NPR..BC, ABC, CNN.. etc. ALL news is basically horseshit and intertwined with the government and commercial enterprise. I dont believe one god-damned word they say. So I quit reading, and quit watching the news. If there’s something truly newsworthy, I’ll hear about it from other people.

well said, nomad... hear it from people like me!! ; )

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