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2017/10/23 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
10/23   

2006/2/6-7 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:41720 Activity:moderate 90%like:41694
2/3     Amazing view, simply amazing:
        http://tinyurl.com/bdz5o (forbes.com)
        \_ No backyard.
           \_ These are all like living in a hotel. I don't see the
              allure, except for perhaps the one in NYC where there are
              no real alternatives nearby.
              \_ yes you're absolutely right. Every single person on this
                 planet prefers living in the suburb that's nice and
                 big and quiet and have huge backyards. People who think
                 otherwise are dim-wits, like the ones who live
                 in the city.
                 \_ I never said that. I said that it's like living in
                    a hotel. The city is fine, but paying $15 million
                    to live in a hotel isn't my cup of tea. Most of those
                    cities (except NYC) have pretty nice housing
                    available, so why live in a hotel except for the view?
                    \_ some people prefer the view over other things. Somehow
                       you seem to think that people like what you like.
                       In case no one ever pointed this out to you, you
                       seem pretty narrow minded and above all, dim-witted.
                       \_ I'm just expressing an opinion. Why do you have
                          a problem with that? You seem like the
                          narrow-minded one.
                    \_ It's..."different".  We have a penthouse in Santiago
                       that looks over the city (no, not anywhere even near
                       any of these places, but a nice duplex that we got a
                       good price on during our stay here.)  It's furnished
                       and has maid service, but it's not like a hotel at all.
                       I'm used to both houses in the countryside and city,
                       as well as apartments, and it's just something you get
                       used to.  And frankly, if I had the kind of wealth that
                       let me blow $15 million on a place that I really really
                       liked, why not?  -John
                       \_ Anyone blowing lots of money on condos, apartments,
                          and such either has no financial sense, or is
                          just stupid. If I had so much money I'd invest
                          in a nice single family home where I have a lot of
                          space and freedom, where I have a nice
                          garage to do garage/repair work, a nice yard with
                          dogs (you can't have pets in the city), and a
                          nice driveway where I can wash my car. When you
                          live in the city, you have no privacy and you
                          have no freedom.
                                        -pp and I maintain that the
                                         city life is for stupid people
                          \_ I guess arguing with someone as open-minded
                             as yourself is going to be rewarding, but then
                             again, it's nice that you are so clear about
                             your preference in housing choices.  This sounds
                             vaguely like the bitter people you see scoffing
                             at the guy having a great time in his Ferrari
                             (who doesn't realize they're there.)  And by
                             the way, we're getting a dog, my building has a
                             nice clean car wash space, I have no neighbors
                             peering over my fence, and a whole city's worth
                             of space.  But your choice, more for me.  -John
                             \_ You must be a young yippie who loves to
                                drink latte and capuccino and likes to wear
                                nice designer clothes. Above all else you
                                probably never exerienced marriage and
                                have no kids. The city is big enough for
                                single men like you but one day you will
                                mature and your perception will change,
                                drastically. My word of advice to you--
                                be prepared. You're still young, and stupid.
                                                        -pp
                                \_ how come with all that space in the
                                   suburbs, 60% of Americans are classified
                                   as obese?
                                   as obese and overweight?
                                   \_ Because a huge number of them live in
                                      tightly packed cities and don't have
                                      enough space to "stretch their legs"?
                                      \_ How come obesity is especially
                                         prevalent in the midwest and less
                                         common in bigger cities like NY,
                                         Boston, etc.?
                                         \_ Because 43.74% of all statistics
                                            are made up on the spot, except
                                            on the motd where that number
                                            rises to a statistically confirmed
                                            86.263%.  Are you done making shit
                                            up yet?
                                            \_ This is common knowledge.
                                               You need to read more, or be
                                               You the to read more, or be
                                               more observant.   check out
                                               indiana, michigan, wisconsin,
                                               illinois, ohio.  compare with
                                               new york, massachusetts.
                                               midwest == fat.  ok south
                                               even fatter:
                                               http://tinyurl.com/3rfta
                                               \_ Now go find statistics that
                                                  say *who* is fat.  It is
                                                  poor people due to shitty
                                                  fast food diets.  You need
                                                  to understand your statistics
                                                  not merely blindly quote
                                                  them.  Stat 2.
                http://www.thedenverchannel.com/health/2269064/detail.html
                                \_ If you have enough money, you can have
                                   all the space you need, even in the city.
                                   -40 year old, married with kids living
                                    in The City and loving it
                                    \_ Alright I've been trolled enough.
                                       All I have to say is that you're old
                                       and still stupid   -pp
                                    \_ Exactly, which is why I don't
                                       really like these glorified hotel
                                       rooms. The exception (as I said
                                       before) is NYC, where apparently
                                       $70 million still won't get you
                                       anything but a (huge) apartment.
                       \_ Are houses (and penthouses) more affordable
                          in Santiago? Are we talking about Chile or
                          Dominican Republic Santiago, Panama Santiago,
                          Minnesota Santiago USA, Spain Santiago Compost,
                          Cuba Santiago, or Argentina Santiago del Estero?
                          \_ Pedant!  :)  Yes, Chile, and they're vastly more
                             affordable than in the US.  -John
        \_ I used to work at a company that occupied the whole penthouse of
           the Great Western Building on Shattuck.  Not much view, though.
           \_ Gee, that's what ... a short bldg in the middle of Berkeley?
2006/2/3-6 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:41694 Activity:moderate 90%like:41720
2/3     Amazing view, simply amazing:
        http://www.forbes.com/feeds/2006/02/02/cx_sc_0203homeslide_7.html?thisSpeed=6000
        \_ No backyard.
           \_ These are all like living in a hotel. I don't see the
              allure, except for perhaps the one in NYC where there are
              no real alternatives nearby.
              \_ yes you're absolutely right. Every single person on this
                 planet prefers living in the suburb that's nice and
                 big and quiet and have huge backyards. People who think
                 otherwise are dim-wits, like the ones who live
                 in the city.
                 \_ I never said that. I said that it's like living in
                    a hotel. The city is fine, but paying $15 million
                    to live in a hotel isn't my cup of tea. Most of those
                    cities (except NYC) have pretty nice housing
                    available, so why live in a hotel except for the view?
                    \_ some people prefer the view over other things. Somehow
                       you seem to think that people like what you like.
                       In case no one ever pointed this out to you, you
                       seem pretty narrow minded and above all, dim-witted.
                    \_ It's..."different".  We have a penthouse in Santiago
                       that looks over the city (no, not anywhere even near
                       any of these places, but a nice duplex that we got a
                       good price on during our stay here.)  It's furnished
                       and has maid service, but it's not like a hotel at all.
                       I'm used to both houses in the countryside and city,
                       as well as apartments, and it's just something you get
                       used to.  And frankly, if I had the kind of wealth that
                       let me blow $15 million on a place that I really really
                       liked, why not?  -John
                       \_ Anyone blowing lots of money on condos, apartments,
                          and such either has no financial sense, or is
                          just stupid. If I had so much money I'd invest
                          in a nice single family home where I have a lot of
                          space and freedom, where I have a nice
                          garage to do garage/repair work, a nice yard with
                          dogs (you can't have pets in the city), and a
                          nice driveway where I can wash my car. When you
                          live in the city, you have no privacy and you
                          have no freedom.
                                        -pp and I maintain that the
                                         city life is for stupid people
                          \_ I guess arguing with someone as open-minded
                             as yourself is going to be rewarding, but then
                             again, it's nice that you are so clear about
                             your preference in housing choices.  This sounds
                             vaguely like the bitter people you see scoffing
                             at the guy having a great time in his Ferrari
                             (who doesn't realize they're there.)  And by
                             the way, we're getting a dog, my building has a
                             nice clean car wash space, I have no neighbors
                             peering over my fence, and a whole city's worth
                             of space.  But your choice, more for me.  -John
                       \_ Are houses (and penthouses) more affordable
                          in Santiago? Are we talking about Chile or
                          Dominican Republic Santiago, Panama Santiago,
                          Minnesota Santiago USA, Spain Santiago Compost,
                          Cuba Santiago, or Argentina Santiago del Estero?
                          \_ Pedant!  :)  Yes, Chile, and they're vastly more
                             affordable than in the US.  -John
        \_ I used to work at a company that occupied the whole penthouse of
           the Great Western Building on Shattuck.  Not much view, though.
           \_ Gee, that's what ... a short bldg in the middle of Berkeley?
2006/1/24 [Computer/Domains, Reference/RealEstate] UID:41493 Activity:high
1/24    Fight eminent domain?  Seize a judge's house
        http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4639374.stm  -John
        \_ Yeah, threatening judges with retribution based on their decisions,
           no matter what form it takes, seems like an excellent long term
           plan to guarantee the impartiality of the judiciary.
2006/1/20-22 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:41458 Activity:low
1/20    That's funny.  Money being pulled out of real estate naturally
        gravitates to the stock market.  After blue chip weakness, where
        does money go?  Oil futures.  And, let me predict:  defense co.'s
        continue to outperform.
        \_ Euros maybe? Commodities, of course. Foreign real estate.
        \_ Gold.  Always a good commodity when war is coming.
           \_ Copper.
        \_ goes to EMRG
        \_ wow, 16% drop in GOOG over 3 days
2006/1/13-17 [Reference/RealEstate, Reference/Tax] UID:41370 Activity:high
1/13    You think Bay Area housing prices skyrocketed?  Check this out.
        http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060113/ap_on_re_us/everglades_holdout
        $60K -> $4.95M in 30yrs.
        \_ Synopsis of this article: Many dumb asses bought useless FL
           swamp lands during the 1960's land scam, and got paid millions
           of dollars 4-5 decades later.
           My interpretation: The land/real-estate market is dumb ass
           dummy-safe. If you hold it long enough, and in this case
           2/3 of your lifetime, you'll still come out ahead. So go
           ahead and buy your first home or 5th income property regardless
           of the bubble, you'll still do well 4-5 decades later.
           \_ Why is it a surprise that land might have tremendous value
              *50 YEARS* after purchase?  You seem pretty bitter that these
              people had the foresight to give themselves a nice retirement
              package starting *50 YEARS* ago.  Why are you so upset that
              other people have done well in life?  Nothing is stopping you
              from putting some money down on cheap land today and *maybe*
              retiring well on it in *50 YEARS*.
        \_ "...I will never be able to freely do what I wanted to do."
           With $4.95M?  I'd think he could afford a big place somewhere just
           as rural.
           \_ He was apparently forced off his land.  I see a problem with
              that.
              \_ Go bother Jeb
                 http://web.naplesnews.com/03/10/naples/e39080a.htm
                 "Bush said Thursday that it looked as if negotiations with
                 Hardy would not succeed and that the state would have to
                 pursue eminent domain against him, something Bush said he
                 doesn't like to do. He said Hardy would be
                 'well-compensated.'" (Oct 17, 2003)
                 Hardy sure wants to:  http://www.jessehardy.com
                 "So, you can do the math, people, 160 acres at $50,000 per
                 acre, equals $8 million dollars - a far cry from the
                 'staggering' $4.95 million I 'shrewdly' negotiated!"
                 ... along with his lawyers:
                 "My negotiator, Will Smith, let me get ripped off, just like
                 my attorney, Charlie Forman. I would do anything to get my
                 land back, even if I didn't have anything else left."
                 \_ I'm happy to bother Jeb.  Why does that matter?
        \_ 70 year old with a 9 year old son..  This guy sounds like a trip..
                    \_ just telling you who's to blame in this case.
                 \_ This is horseshit, Jeb or not.  There is a reason for
                    the existence of eminent domain, and the fact that it's
                    been abused crazily by corrupt politicians and property
                    developers doesn't mean it's always bad.  Ask yourself:
                    qui bono?  The guy got $5 million for a piece of swamp he
                    acquired for 60k--that's a lot of money.  -John
                    \_ It doesn't matter what he got for it or what he paid
                       for it.  We still like to pretend in this country that
                       we have property rights.
                       \_ Not after Kelo.
                          \_ Well yeah, like I said: "pretend".
                    \_ So when someone lubes you up and reams you, it's just
                       haggling over remuneration?
                       \_ Re. property rights:  if you don't pay property
                          tax, your property is taken away from you.  So that
                          sort of scotches that argument.  Re. reaming: you
                             \_ Scotches what?  In no manner does the concept
                                of property taxes scotch an anti-ED point.
                                [erased my own long rant].  In short, what
                                the hell are you talking about?
                          don't seem to be getting the fundamental difference
                          between taking away land for someone else's
                          profit (a la New London) and taking away land that
                          was initially probably developed at least shadily,
                                \_ Probably?  All land in this country was
                                   initially stolen from the natives.  By
                                   your logic it is therefore ok to ream all
                                   current land owners just because.
                          like much of the Everglades, and returning it to
                          the commons.  And yes, I know there's a huge grey
                          area.  -John
                                \_ There's no grey area.  Land taken from an
                                   owner for anything more than strictly
                                   defined public use (such as needing a
                                           \_ I hope you realize that after
                                              Kelo pretty much anything the
                                              gov says is a public use is a
                                              public use, including taking
                                              away your home and giving it
                                              somebody wealthier b/c they
                                              will pay more property taxes.
                                   school, firehouse, etc) without first making
                                   all reasonable efforts to use other land and
                                   not *fully* compensating the victim for
                                   their loss is theft by government.  There
                                   are way too many ED cases where the ED isn't
                                   for a real public use and the compensation
                                   figures are calculated falsely (such as
                                   after prices in the area drop by 80% after
                                   they announce an ED) that it is impossible
                                   to defend ED and it's advocates without
                                   associating one's self with some of the
                                   scummiest people in local government.  This
                                   isn't Europe.  We've always been allowed to
                                   actually *own* our property here.
                                   \_ Nice dig, there.  The money allocated to
                                      him was not calculated falsely, as
                                      property prices could would not drop
                                      in the conventional sense if the property
                                      was not being commercially allocated.
                                      You may have noted the bit about it
                                      being returned to its natural state.
                                      That said, of course there is a grey area
                                      and it is huge.  I agree fully that ED
                                      is vastly over- and too often misused.
                                      But do you seriously believe that
                                      communities as such could make _any_
                                      economic progress if they had no way at
                                      all of occasionally expropriating
                                      resources?  And no, before you hint at it
                                      again, I do not believe in some socialist
                                      utopian idea of land as a public good,
                                      but as a limited resource to be handled
                                      judiciously.  And let's face it, the guy
                                      _did_ get $5 million for a swamp.  -John
                                      \_ Ah, so the lube is okay if the price
                                         is high enough.  Thanks for sharing.
                                         If the government can take land not
                                         for public use, then private property
                                         doesn't exist.  Period.
                                         \_ Parks are for public use.  -tom
                                            \_ Not state park and "preserves."
                                               Too often they're off limits
                                               for people.  ED is reasonable
                                               for roads and ... well pretty
                                               much nothing else.
        So let's take this ad absurdum--if I build a house on a pristine _/
        natural resource under some sort of homesteading "nobody's using it,
        come 'n git it" initiative, and the land is later found to be the
        last remaining preserve of the rare spotted mud iguana whose
        secretions cure cancer, and my presence is killing off the last few,
        then the gub'mint takes my land, fences off the area and doesn't let
        anyone in, you would oppose this, right (like I said, ad absurdum)?
        Also, I'll freely admit that maybe I'm dense, but I fail to see the
        difference in the big-picture between this and the gub'mint taking
        your land if you don't pay property taxes.  In both cases, the land
        isn't really yours unconditionally as such.  -John
        \_ I'm not the op or anyone who responded to your post. I just
           want to say that all this talk is further proof that the
           concept of ownership (I give you XX trinkets so that you will
           give me YY acres of land) makes people greedy and do really
           evil things. The land is precious, and an individual has very
           limited scope in what he/she can do to fully use the land for
           greater goods. Given that most common people have been proven
           to be selfish & stupid in the entire history mankind, it should
           have been the case from the beginning that the land is not
           monopolized by individuals. Land belongs to the common habitats
           of the land.
           \_ Is this a troll?  Are you really actually advocating some form
              of socialism or just looking for enraged responses?
              \_ What?  You haven't learned to pick up on the subtle
                 article-abuse we have all come to know and love of Chicom
                 troll? Get with it.  Nevermind. I re-read the post, and I
                 believe it to be an imposter.
                 \_ I didn't see the expected ChiComTroll grammar at all.
                    I'm sure it is someone else but still a troll.
        \_ I'm not the above poster you're responding to.  With that in mind:
           Cancer: it doesn't matter how you came about the land as long as
           it is legally yours today.  ED'ing cancer cure land: first, it is
           necessary to keep the frogs on that land to harvest them directly
           for a cancer cure?  If so, we're screwed anyway since there won't
           be enough of $rare_animal_or_plant_X to matter.  If someone wants
           to "steal" all the frogs off the land, I don't have an issue with
           that.  We're assuming the rare plant/animal is secondary to the
           normal land use pattern for the owner.  If the owner was actually
           raising and farming these things for a cancer cure then I've got
           a problem with stealing his frogs.
           Property taxes: this is what all land owners pay in exchange for
           the State (be it local, state or federal) to support and protect
           the owner and their land claim so they don't have to raise their
           own private army to defend their stake.  The resource being paid
           for with PT is protective physical and legal enforcement of the
           land ownership claim.  The State usually uses that cash to do
           things like provide water, roads, schools, etc, but it doesn't
           have to.  Once the PT are paid, the State does what they want with
           the money.  By not paying your PT you are not paying the State what
           they need to protect your land claim.  Since the State is
           effectively forced to defend all land claims, you can't opt out of
           your property taxes.
           Back to the core idea: I don't think the vast majority of people
           have a problem with the concept of ED.  I don't.  The problem is
           that local governments have been very seriously abusing it for
           years and in the last 15-20 years the abuses have skyrocketed
           both in number and severity well past the point of thinking of
           ED as anything more than theft.  Far far far too many cases all
           over the country go like this:
           1) Business Developer buys a few beers and kicks a few bucks at
              a local mayor or board.
           2) Locals find some nice water front land inhabited for the previous
              $MANY_DECADES by honest, hard working tax paying, working class
              folks and retirees and announces ED on the whole area calling it
              a "blighted area".
           3) ED announcement naturally causes huge drop in housing prices in
              the area.
           4) Locals use new lower comp figures as pay out number to determine
              worth of remaining houses and small businesses.
           5) Citizens get pennies on the dollar and evicted.
           6) Locals hand over the land to the Business Developer we saw back
              in #1 who builds yacht club, fancy hotels and condos.
           7) Locals and Business Developer claim victory for The Community
              and "Yay!  ED makes everyone a winner!" except for those
              Community Members we decided weren't adding enough to the tax
              base and were kinda lower class anyway and couldn't afford a
              yacht club membership, screw them.  Welcome to ED in the
              current era.  Oh yeah, we might have built a school or small
              park in there somewhere, too.
           The alternative to the above is less common but has happened here
           and there is they steal some dumb bastard's land, don't do a thing
           with it and then sell it on the public market 20 years later after
           real estate sky rockets.  Not even a token park is built.  Just
           pure raw flat out theft under color of authority.
           \_ Well, I think we agree that (a) this is theft, and (b) ED has
              been massively abused and is a slippery slide in itself.  I do
              however still think that this particular case falls under the
              few "legit" uses of ED--both due to the intended use of the
              land ("for the public good" in the greater sense) and the
              amount paid.  -John
              \_ I believe in this case he ended up in some sort of
                 negotiated settlement that he felt was forced upon him
                 under threat of ED.  Negotiating under the gun isn't much
                 of a negotiation and he probably could've gotten more which
                 I think is what his gripe is.  Anyway, at least we agree on
                 the major points which is the part I was here for.
2006/1/11-13 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:41347 Activity:nil
1/11    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-chinabubble8jan08,0,7585034.story?coll=la-home-headlines&track=morenews
        At least 30% to 40% of homes sold were bought by speculators. Wow
        that's a lot of wealthy people around the world.
        \_ Well, one 35-year-old speculator bought her two apartments for $110K
           and $170K, and the article says many homes are $70K or less.
           Rich for China/Taiwan/HK, I guess.
2017/10/23 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
10/23   

2006/1/11-13 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:41341 Activity:low
1/11    http://anotherfuckedborrower.blogspot.com
        In case bitter housing guy hasn't seen this --oj
        \_ Wow, there's some interesting stuff in there. Refi junkies
           indeed.
        \_ "This is the part that I have 100% no-doubt-in-my-mind will happen
           in this country. People will take zero responsibility for their
           actions, and look to grab a lawyer to 'save' them from the
           'investment' they were 'cheated' on."
        \_ 100% no-down loans aren't a problem.  The down is so high today
           that having 20% sitting around and then plunking it into a house
           just isn't a wise financial move anymore.  Going underwater isn't
           a problem either if we're talking about people using the home for
           their primary living space.  It could drop to whatever and as long
           as they can still make the monthly payment it doesn't matter.  A
           house is not like a stock option.  Being 'underwater' doesn't mean
           it has no value or you're financially ruined.  The ARMs aren't a
           a problem either.  All it means is they got a loan that can go up
           a fairly large amount in a fairly short period of time *IF* they
           don't refi before then to a longer term locked in rate.  The
           difference in the monthly between their ARM and a 30 year is not
           going to be so much that a lot of people will be unable to pay the
           difference and lose their home.  The problem here is the interest
           only buyers.  No one knows how many of them there are but their
           monthly is going to skyrocket when they refi from ARM to a 30 (or
           whatever more typical) year loan and the difference is going to be
           so large that these people might be unable to pay it or even be
           allowed to refi into a 30 year at all if the lender sees they can't
           pay it.  The interest-only buyers are the ones going to get hurt
           if anyone does.  Never forget that a house is a very different
           investment than a stock or a stock option and different rules
           apply.  The only thing that will truly hurt all these home buyers
           as well as the very few 20% down/30 year home buyers and everyone
           else in the country is massive jobs losses from a deep recession.
           As long as people have the same job they had when they bought the
           house and could theoretically make their monthlies, they will be
           able to continue to do so.  However, if we reach the point that
           massive job losses are causing massive home buyer wipe outs we
           have far far far worse problems on a global economic scale than
           anything going on in the housing market.
2006/1/10 [Reference/RealEstate, Finance/Investment] UID:41316 Activity:nil
1/8     Dear mature home owners, maybe I'm young and stupid, but I want
        to know some of the justifications for your irrational needs.
        What exactly is the purpose of a formal dining room? My mom has
        \_ Some of us have a lot of cocktail & dinner parties.  -John
        a 4500 sq ft house and the formal dining room has been
        used twice in an entire decade. Secondly, what is the purpose of
        having a separate living room used for meeting guests and a
        family room? My mom's living room is rarely used and is there
        mostly for looks-- her guests usually go directly to the family
        room since it has a nice TV and is closer to the kitchen. Lastly,
        what exactly is the purpose of a large backyard with lots of
        grass when it is often used less than once a month?
        \_ I can tell you that my sister spent about $60,000 on her fancy
           front yard with gazeebo, statue, malibu lights, waterfountain,
           and other things. One time I went to her backyard and found
           moldy, deformed boxes which were once malibu light boxes
           where the workers left them a few months ago. I asked her about
           them and she said she hadn't noticed them. The only time
           she'd go to the backyard was when she had guests, so she
           could show off her fancy McBackyard. Oh and by the way
           she has a 4 bedroom McMansion and the only people living
           in it is... her. Suburbia is a total waste of land and
           resources, but as you already know, people are stupid.
        \_ Geez man, she lives in a 4500sq ft house.  Of course there's a
           lot of wasted space.  You could comfortably house 3 families in
           that much space.  As the above poster says, it's all just
           conspicuous consumption. -jrleek
        \_ A formal dining room is useful if you throw a lot of dinner parties
           or have old-fashioned sit down dinners as a family.  Otherwise it's
           just for show.
           \_ It's also good if you have big multiplayer board games.
              \_ Or have poker games with lots of people.
        \_ I always thought the formal dining is there so you can sell your
           house to people who want a formal dining room.  Me, I converted
           mine into an office, and it works great.  I'll deconvert back into
           a dining room when I sell.  The backyard is there for your kids.
           In fact, a friend is moving specifically for a larger backyard so
           his kids can have more play room.  The larger yard is also great
           for more buffer space between you and your neighbors.
        \_ These are artifacts of older housing concepts. Formal dining rooms
           just used to be the room you ate in, before the invention of the
           breakfast nook. Living rooms were styled after parlors and located
           in the front of the house to avoid tramping through a cluttered
           house, while family rooms were invented for the "back of the house".
           The more informal family and social life became and the less people
           entertained, the less need for these distictions. Large backyards
           were important because of a lack of green space (parks), to allow
           for entertaining, and to boost the ego. Land is still land.
        \_ It is simple: having nice things and lots of space gives people a
           warm n fuzzy feeling.  There is nothing irrational about it.  If
           you stepped back from the class warfare language and pre-judgement
           of those with a life style you can't afford, you'd soon realise
           that "living" in a 650 square foot apartment isn't living.  You
           look at something you might never be able to afford and call it
           irrational.  People who have it can't imagine how you could stand
           to live in a rat hole apartment.  High density housing sucks to
           live in and going skiing a few times a year or having a nice park
           nearby doesn't make up for it.
           \_ I could afford to live in a large house in the suburbs or a
              smaller condo in the city and I chose the city. I could even
              afford a larger place in San Francisco if I wanted it, but I
              don't. Not even's concept of self worth is tied up in their
              over consumption. I prefer high density housing and so do
              many people. Get off your high horse.
              \_ I think the person on the high horse is the OP. I like
                 having a FDR and a large back yard. I go out in the yard
                 every single day, because I like to garden. When I
                 entertain, I either entertain outside or in my FDR and
                 living room. The family room is upstairs and is sort of
                 a 'junk room' I don't invite guests to. In short, just
                 because a few people are putzes with more space than they
                 use doesn't mean everyone choosing a house over high-density
                 living is. I think 4500 square feet is excessive, but
                 then I couldn't afford that if I took out 3 mortgages.
              \_ I never said anything about self worth.  Don't project.  It
                 is entirely about personal space and comfort for those who
                 have.  I'm glad you have chosen to pay more to get less in
                 the city.  That is a wise investment.  Actually, most of the
                 people in high density housing are the poor.  I wouldn't
                 really call being poor a "choice" they made.
                 \_ Tell all the people living in South Beach, Telegraph
                    Hill, Nob Hill and Russian Hill that they are poor.
                    In most of the world the most desirable places to
                    live are in the city center, where density allows for
                    all the advantages of urban living. And is your
                    "that is a wise investment" line intended to be
                    sarcasm? It is hard to tell over ascii whether you
                    are being serious or not.
                    \_ Well, the pp said "most of the people in high density
                       housing are the poor".  IOW, we're counting heads here.
                       So, in SF, are there more people in expensive areas
                       like Nob Hill or in poor areas like the Tenderloin?
                       Are there more expensive neighborhoods or poor
                       neighboorhoods?  Are there more rich people or poor
                       people?  They can pack a lot of people
                       into projects, and it'll take a large area of luxe
                       apts and such to balance the head count. - !pp
                    \_ Rich people live in spacious penthouses in the
                       middle of the city, not shitty ratholes. Then they
                       fly out to the Hamptons or Aspen or whatever on
                       the weekends to unwind. While Manhattan is
                       expensive, the *average* apartment in Manhattan is
                       a dump - unless you are rich, of course.
           \_ I grew up in a big city where 95% of the people lived in
              apartments, so I am used to it   Living in a big house would
              be nice but living beyond my needs seems wasteful.  I finally
              bought a townhouse just so I can host my church fellowship
              gatherings at my place.  Other friends have bigger houses,
              but they are out of the way, whereas my place is centrally
              located so everyone can come without travelling too far.
                                           - yet another poster
              \_ You could afford more if you weren't tithing your 10%
                 \_ sure.  I had not been tithing a full pre-tax 10%
                    before last year.  Then I decided to start doing it
                    early last year after quite a bit of struggling, and
                    within 2 months, my stocks did so well that the
                    capital gains would be enough to cover 3 full years
                    of tithing.  Just goes to show how small we are and
                    how great God is.  We tithe because we should, not
                    because God would bless us because of it, but in
                    regard to tithing, Bible does says: "Test me in this,
                    and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of
                    heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will
                    not have room enough for it."  Malachi 3:8-12
                    http://tinyurl.com/bz5d4
                    Note that I am not saying that Christians have to
                    offer 10% pre-tax.  It's not a matter of following
                    a rule, or of judging people based on that.  It's
                    a matter of your heart and love of the Lord, and
                    love of your brothers and sisters and fellow men.
                    \_ I think you are a false Mormon.  Jesus quite clearly
                       teaches in the Bible that your faith in God has
                       nothing to do with your material wealth.  Unless
                       the book of Moroni has a few extra chapters not
                       being shared with the class.
                       \_ I am not a Mormon.
                    \_ So, you came into extra money and didn't tithe on that?
                       naughty boy.
                       \_ Like I said, it's not a matter of following
                          rules.  For capital gains, for me, since it's
                          for generating an income post-retirement,
                          I will just continue tithing that income
                          when I retire, and leave 10% of what I have
                          when I die.
                    \_ Why don't you tithe it to me next year, and cut out
                       the wasteful middlemen?
                       \_ You are funny, but I don't think you have
                          a need for it.
                          \_ Ever checked out the LDS Church balance sheets?
                             I can assure you I need it a lot more than it
                             does. I'd even share it with some other sodans.
                             \_ they make those public?
                                \_ I was glib... estimated assets are...
                                   large. ($tens of billions)
                             \_ if you want some, just join their church.
                             \_ My church is a small Lutheran church.
                    \_ You started tithing and your stocks went up.  Do you
                       actually think those are related?  Just think of how many
                       people God would be hurting if he made _your_ stocks go
                       up to reward you.
                       \_ Why would my stocks going up necessarily hurt
                          anyone.  The stock that went up most is doing
                          vaccine and antibodies production research for
                          diseases like flu, ebola, malaria, west nile,
                          rabies, etc.
        \_ I don't think that the presence of a dining room in most homes
           is that controversial. I, for one, strongly believe that meals
           should be normally consumed in the company of your relatives at
           a dining table and not in the living room or in the bedroom in
           front of TV. In many homes, the dining room is just an extension
           of either the kitchen or the living room which is fine. However,
           having separate family and living rooms seems to be less common
           (and less useful) indeed.
2006/1/8-10 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:41293 Activity:nil
1/8     Has anyone else found that over the years, the doors in their house
        don't open or close easily anymore? It seems like maybe the house has
        gotten slightly warped, maybe because the ground it's on has shifted
        slightly, or something. What do you do about something like that?
        \_ new houses settle over time, makign doors not fit their jams as well
           and such.  It just happens.  In my case, we adjusted the doors that
           were having problems.
        \_ you might want to have your house checked out, especially if it's
           an older house for foundation or other structural problems. if your
           house is "sagging" and if it will get worse over time, you might
           want to have the problem fixed.
u
        \_ Wood expands and contracts with moisture, too. I plane down the
           high spots on the doors and make sure the hinges are screwed in
           tightly.
        \_ http://www.homedepot.com -> KNOW HOW -> Doors -> Freeing a Sticking Door.
2006/1/6-9 [Politics/Domestic/California, Reference/RealEstate] UID:41277 Activity:high
1/6     http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/29/realestate/29afford.html
        Buying a home now is still easier than it was in the 80s
        \_ "in almost every place outside of New York, Washington, Miami and
           along the coast in California. ... places like New York and Los
           Angeles ... families buying their first home often must spend more
           than half of their income on mortgage payments, far more than they
           once did"
           \_ This could be read to mean exactly the opposite of what the
              article said.  Even ignoring that, you left out the next
              sentence, "But the places that have become less affordable over
              the last generation account for only a quarter of the country's
              population."  Considering the concentration of population in
              NY and CA, it's likely only a tiny number (<< 1/4) of
              municipalities have become less affordable.
              \_ It only means the exact opposite in places like NY,
                 Washington, Miami, and coastal California.
                 \_ It's your choice where you want to live and how much you
                    are willing to spend on real estate.  Fortunately, the
                    number of places with more affordable housing is growing.
                    \_ Enjoy your life in Nebraska.
                       \_ I imagine that's the difference between us.  I feel
                          no superiority over people who would find Nebraska
                          right for them.  It sounds like you do.
                       \_ I imagine that's the difference between us.  You're
                          a snob and I'm not.
                          \_ Be grateful.  Having all the people with that
                             personality want to buy houses in the same small
                             group of cities gets them out of your way.
                             I could name several really wonderful cities
                             which still have affordable houseing, but I won't,
                             because I want to keep the speculator-parasites
                             from even hearing the names.
                             \_ have fun in boonyville. It's not hard to
                                find out which cities will continue to boom
                                regardless of existing population. I'll
                                give you a hint-- where there are damn
                                jews and orientals there will always be
                                irrational housing boom.
                                \_ *laugh* Hi Wannabe-Racist Housing Troll!
                                   And that's "damned" not "damn".  Also, if
                                   you're going for the racist thing there are
                                   plenty of hard core racial slurs you could
                                   have used instead of "damn jews and
                                   orientals".  That was pretty weak.  You get
                                   a "D-".  --Troll Rating Advisory Board
                           \_ I imagine I have actually live in Nebraska
                                \_ As far as "orientals" are concerned,
                                   there are plenty of busts following
                                   booms.  Just check out HK, Spore, Tokyo,
                                   etc.
                           \_ I imagine I have actually lived in Nebraska
                              and you have not. Enjoy the 20 below zero
                              weather with endless winds blowing off the
                              prarie while I enjoy my sunny days in the 60s
                              in January.
        \_ Yeah, but harder than it was during the 90s. At the end of the
           80s home prices took a big drop. They will soon again.
2006/1/6-9 [Reference/RealEstate, Politics/Domestic/California] UID:41275 Activity:nil
1/6     http://www.inman.com/blogger/2006_01_01_bradinman_archive.aspx
        Go to "No thanks banks, I'll pay cash." Apparently 1/3 of the
        homes over 1 million dollars are paid by cash.
        \_ Why is this surprising?
        \_ The 1/3 number came from a 2003 Coldwell Banker survey of 200 of
           its agents.  It's probably not all that scientific.  Of the 15-ish
           people I know in $million+ houses (it's not hard in the Bay Area),
           everyone financed.  Of course, that's not that scientific either.
           its agents.  It's probably not all that scientific.
2006/1/6-9 [Reference/RealEstate, Finance/Investment] UID:41271 Activity:low
1/6     We survived the great bear market of 2000-2002.  Congratulations.
          \_ and by the skin of our teeth.  Bears are scary!
        \_ What do you mean by survived?  My previous company went under in
           2001.
           \_ though you suffered, you are still here, healthy, and
              earning a decent income (I hope).
              \_ nope, took a pay cut to find a job in 2002.  Gonna change
                 jobs soon though.
        \_ Prepare for the great housing collapse of 2006-8.
           \_ I already have lawnchairs and a case of beer, if that's what
              you mean.  I intend to bask in shadenfreude.
              you mean.  I intend to bask in schadenfreude.
           \_ didn't they say they were going to stop increasing interest
              rates soon?
              \_ Greenspam has been making noise about 1 more increase and
                 then seeing what happens.  In other news, the housing bust
                 is here.  In the last quarter the rate of increase in the
                 price of housing crashed down to 6%.
                 \_ Greenspan retired.  And, uh, the rate of increase slowing
                    to 6% annually isn't exactly a bust.  -tom
                 \_ Uh, the rate of increase slowing to 6% annually isn't
                    exactly a bust.  -tom
                    \_ Sarcasm detectors... ACTIVATE!
2006/1/5-10 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:41237 Activity:very high
1/5     Dear mature home owners, maybe I'm young and stupid, but I want
        to know some of the justifications for your irrational needs.
        What exactly is the purpose of a formal dining room? My mom has
        a 4500 sq ft house and the formal dining room has been
        used twice in an entire decade. Secondly, what is the purpose of
        having a separate living room used for meeting guests and a
        family room? My mom's living room is rarely used and is there
        mostly for looks-- her guests usually go directly to the family
        room since it has a nice TV and is closer to the kitchen. Lastly,
        what exactly is the purpose of a large backyard with lots of
        grass when it is often used less than once a month?
        \_ Hello, I guess I'm an immature home owner because I have not
           yet expanded into all of my space.  However, I plan on using
           the "formal" living room as an office.  The "formal" dining
           room will be a dining room, 'cause my kitchen table can't
           accommodate more than 4, nor could the kitchen.  I'm growing
           fruit trees and vegetables in my back yard.  Said deciduous
           trees also shade the house in summer and allow sun through in
           winter.  Other uses for the spare space could include workout
           room, etc.  --PM
        \_ What you consider an irrational need, other people consider a
           nice thing to have.  You are too stuck on absolute utilitarian
           necessity and the rhetoric of class warfare.  People were not
           meant to be crammed into tiny psychosis inducing apartments.
           Wanting a large living space, nice things, and a generally
           attractive living environment is supremely rational.
        \_ I can tell you that my sister spent about $60,000 on her fancy
           front yard with gazeebo, statue, malibu lights, waterfountain,
           and other things. One time I went to her backyard and found
           moldy, deformed boxes which were once malibu light boxes
           where the workers left them a few months ago. I asked her about
           them and she said she hadn't noticed them. The only time
           she'd go to the backyard was when she had guests, so she
           could show off her fancy McBackyard. Oh and by the way
           she has a 4 bedroom McMansion and the only people living
           in it is... her. Suburbia is a total waste of land and
           resources, but as you already know, people are stupid.
        \_ Geez man, she lives in a 4500sq ft house.  Of course there's a
           lot of wasted space.  You could comfortably house 3 families in
           that much space.  As the above poster says, it's all just
           conspicuous consumption. -jrleek
        \_ A formal dining room is useful if you throw a lot of dinner parties
           or have old-fashioned sit down dinners as a family.  Otherwise it's
           just for show.
           \_ It's also good if you have big multiplayer board games.
              \_ Or have poker games with lots of people.
        \_ I always thought the formal dining is there so you can sell your
           house to people who want a formal dining room.  Me, I converted
           mine into an office, and it works great.  I'll deconvert back into
           a dining room when I sell.  The backyard is there for your kids.
           In fact, a friend is moving specifically for a larger backyard so
           his kids can have more play room.  The larger yard is also great
           for more buffer space between you and your neighbors.
        \_ These are artifacts of older housing concepts. Formal dining rooms
           just used to be the room you ate in, before the invention of the
           breakfast nook. Living rooms were styled after parlors and located
           in the front of the house to avoid tramping through a cluttered
           house, while family rooms were invented for the "back of the house".
           The more informal family and social life became and the less people
           entertained, the less need for these distictions. Large backyards
           were important because of a lack of green space (parks), to allow
           for entertaining, and to boost the ego. Land is still land.
        \_ It is simple: having nice things and lots of space gives people a
           warm n fuzzy feeling.  There is nothing irrational about it.  If
           you stepped back from the class warfare language and pre-judgement
           of those with a life style you can't afford, you'd soon realise
           that "living" in a 650 square foot apartment isn't living.  You
           look at something you might never be able to afford and call it
           irrational.  People who have it can't imagine how you could stand
           to live in a rat hole apartment.  High density housing sucks to
           live in and going skiing a few times a year or having a nice park
           nearby doesn't make up for it.
           \_ I could afford to live in a large house in the suburbs or a
              smaller condo in the city and I chose the city. I could even
              afford a larger place in San Francisco if I wanted it, but I
              don't. Not even's concept of self worth is tied up in their
              over consumption. I prefer high density housing and so do
              many people. Get off your high horse.
              \_ I think the person on the high horse is the OP. I like
                 having a FDR and a large back yard. I go out in the yard
                 every single day, because I like to garden. When I
                 entertain, I either entertain outside or in my FDR and
                 living room. The family room is upstairs and is sort of
                 a 'junk room' I don't invite guests to. In short, just
                 because a few people are putzes with more space than they
                 use doesn't mean everyone choosing a house over high-density
                 living is. I think 4500 square feet is excessive, but
                 then I couldn't afford that if I took out 3 mortgages.
              \_ I never said anything about self worth.  Don't project.  It
                 is entirely about personal space and comfort for those who
                 have.  I'm glad you have chosen to pay more to get less in
                 the city.  That is a wise investment.  Actually, most of the
                 people in high density housing are the poor.  I wouldn't
                 really call being poor a "choice" they made.
                 \_ Tell all the people living in South Beach, Telegraph
                    Hill, Nob Hill and Russian Hill that they are poor.
                    In most of the world the most desirable places to
                    live are in the city center, where density allows for
                    all the advantages of urban living. And is your
                    "that is a wise investment" line intended to be
                    sarcasm? It is hard to tell over ascii whether you
                    are being serious or not.
                    \_ Well, the pp said "most of the people in high density
                       housing are the poor".  IOW, we're counting heads here.
                       So, in SF, are there more people in expensive areas
                       like Nob Hill or in poor areas like the Tenderloin?
                       Are there more expensive neighborhoods or poor
                       neighboorhoods?  Are there more rich people or poor
                       people?  They can pack a lot of people
                       into projects, and it'll take a large area of luxe
                       apts and such to balance the head count. - !pp
                    Perhaps as a global world-wide statement "most of
                    of the people in high density housing are poor" is
                    true, but it is not true in San Francisco or even
                    the Bar Area.
                    \_ Rich people live in spacious penthouses in the
                       middle of the city, not shitty ratholes. Then they
                       fly out to the Hamptons or Aspen or whatever on
                       the weekends to unwind. While Manhattan is
                       expensive, the *average* apartment in Manhattan is
                       a dump - unless you are rich, of course.
           \_ I grew up in a big city where 95% of the people lived in
              apartments, so I am used to it   Living in a big house would
              be nice but living beyond my needs seems wasteful.  I finally
              bought a townhouse just so I can host my church fellowship
              gatherings at my place.  Other friends have bigger houses,
              but they are out of the way, whereas my place is centrally
              located so everyone can come without travelling too far.
                                           - yet another poster
              \_ You could afford more if you weren't tithing your 10%
                 \_ sure.  I had not been tithing a full pre-tax 10%
                    before last year.  Then I decided to start doing it
                    early last year after quite a bit of struggling, and
                    within 2 months, my stocks did so well that the
                    capital gains would be enough to cover 3 full years
                    of tithing.  Just goes to show how small we are and
                    how great God is.  We tithe because we should, not
                    because God would bless us because of it, but in
                    regard to tithing, Bible does says: "Test me in this,
                    and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of
                    heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will
                    not have room enough for it."  Malachi 3:8-12
                    http://tinyurl.com/bz5d4
                    Note that I am not saying that Christians have to
                    offer 10% pre-tax.  It's not a matter of following
                    a rule, or of judging people based on that.  It's
                    a matter of your heart and love of the Lord, and
                    love of your brothers and sisters and fellow men.
                    \_ I think you are a false Mormon.  Jesus quite clearly
                       teaches in the Bible that your faith in God has
                       nothing to do with your material wealth.  Unless
                       the book of Moroni has a few extra chapters not
                       being shared with the class.
                       \_ I am not a Mormon.
                    \_ So, you came into extra money and didn't tithe on that?
                       naughty boy.
                       \_ Like I said, it's not a matter of following
                          rules.  For capital gains, for me, since it's
                          for generating an income post-retirement,
                          I will just continue tithing that income
                          when I retire, and leave 10% of what I have
                          when I die.
                    \_ Why don't you tithe it to me next year, and cut out
                       the wasteful middlemen?
                       \_ You are funny, but I don't think you have
                          a need for it.
                          \_ Ever checked out the LDS Church balance sheets?
                             I can assure you I need it a lot more than it
                             does. I'd even share it with some other sodans.
                             \_ they make those public?
                                \_ I was glib... estimated assets are...
                                   large. ($tens of billions)
                             \_ if you want some, just join their church.
                             \_ My church is a small Lutheran church.
                    \_ You started tithing and your stocks went up.  Do you
                       actually think those are related?  Just think of how many
                       people God would be hurting if he made _your_ stocks go
                       up to reward you.
                       \_ Why would my stocks going up necessarily hurt
                          anyone.  The stock that went up most is doing
                          vaccine and antibodies production research for
                          diseases like flu, ebola, malaria, west nile,
                          rabies, etc.
                          vaccine production research for diseases
                          like flu, ebola, malaria, west nile, etc.
        \_ I don't think that the presence of a dining room in most homes
           is that controversial. I, for one, strongly believe that
           meals should be normally consumed in the company of your
           relatives, if possible, at a dining table and not in the
           living room or in the bedroom in front of TV. In many
           homes, the dining room is just an extension of either the
           kitchen or the living room which is fine. However, having
           separate family and living rooms seems to be less common
           is that controversial. I, for one, strongly believe that meals
           should be normally consumed in the company of your relatives at
           a dining table and not in the living room or in the bedroom in
           front of TV. In many homes, the dining room is just an extension
           of either the kitchen or the living room which is fine. However,
           having separate family and living rooms seems to be less common
           (and less useful) indeed.
2006/1/1-4 [Reference/RealEstate, Recreation/House] UID:41189 Activity:nil
12/1    I just bought a 2-year old condo unit. What's the best way to clean,
        seal, and polish flat marbles to semi-glossy in the kitchen and
        bathroom (which by the way has a little bit of pee stains)?
        Also the granite in the shower-room could use a bit
        of work too. I went to Home Depot but it's a bit confusing
        given that they have hundreds of solutions to use. Any
        advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks and Happy New Year!
        \_ ObHousingBubbleTalk
2005/12/30-2006/1/4 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:41179 Activity:nil
12/30   I live in an apartment. My unit's electrical meter covers both my
        unit and the unit above; the electrical bill is in my landlord's
        name, but I've been paying it. Is this legal? I'm in Oakland.
        Suggestions on who to contact about this?
        \_ wow thats messed up.   You could stop paying it -- if its in your
           landlord's name, they're responsible.  But I dont think theyd feel
           the pain of you not having any power...
           \_ They might feel the pain when he stops paying rent.  If the
              apartment doesn't meet basic living conditions (running water,
              heat, electricity, etc) you don't have to pay the rent for it.
              The landlord isn't providing a suitable residence.  By the way,
              I would suggest you talk to the landlord about the bill because
              that would be much easier than going through the "not paying it"
              process.
              \- it is my understanding that if anything outside your living
                 space is on you meter ... even the light in the hallway ...
                 this must be disclosed to you. i am not sure what your
                 remedy options would be at this point. i believe oakland
                 has some kind of rent board but it might be easier to ask
                 the berkeley rent people and just say you live in berkeley.
                 let us know how this goes. --psb
                 \_ Turns out the relevant section of the California Civil
                    Code is 1940.9: link:csua.org/u/egh
                    It makes for fascinating reading; the gist is since our
                    rental agreement specifies that I have to cover the gas
                    for upstairs and doesn't mention the electricity, I may
                    be able to sue for the payments I made, and I certainly
                    am not liable for all of the electricity. We'll bring this
                    up with him first thing next week. Thanks. --erikred
           \_ Whatever you do, do not stop paying the electric bill.  As far
              as PG&E is concerned, since you live at the location and are the
              beneficiary of power, it is your responsibility.  If you stop
              paying, they will just start accruing a balance, possibly shut
              off the power (which then requires a deposit for restoration).
              The California PUC supports this practice.  What does your
              lease/rental agreement say about who is responsible for the
              power?  You probably have recourse against your landlord. -dans
2005/12/23-28 [Reference/RealEstate, Finance/Investment] UID:41130 Activity:nil
12/22   http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/051223/economy.html?.v=10
        median price in oct: 234800
        median price in nov: 225200
        "However, sales fell in all other areas, led by a 22.1
        percent drop in the West, the biggest decline in this
        region since February 1995."
        \_ How is this going to affect the interest rate?
        \_ Finally. I've been watining for this to come for a long time.
           Now maybe I can afford something close to work. It's about
           time, damnit.        -bitter home buyer, 32 years old
           \_ How do you figure?  Rates are going up so your monthly will
              be the same (roughly) on the same house even if the buy price
              is lower.  If you're a home owner now, your house will sell
              for less also.  If you're bitter because you're a renter, then
              you don't even have th eold house to help offset the cost of
              the new.  This is sum zero for you, guy.  The prices and #s
              sold are slipping because rates are going up.  I feel bad for
              you but this isn't going to help you at all unless you're a
              high cash buyer.  If you had that kind of cash you'd own now.
        \_ Another 85% and my house will be back where I bought it.
           \_ And with a higher interest rate.
2005/12/21-22 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:41111 Activity:nil
12/21   What's the difference between a real estate agent and a realtor?  Thx.
        \_ Main Entry: Re·al·tor
           Pronunciation: 'rE(-&)l-t&r, -"tor, ÷'rE-l&-t&r also rE-'al-t&r
           Function: collective mark
           -- used for a real estate agent who is a member of the National
           Association of Realtors
2005/12/15-16 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:41025 Activity:kinda low
12/14   http://www.ziprealty.com/buy_a_home/logged_in/national_housing.jsp?src=zn
        This says in the 80s, mortgage interest was 13%. If we have 13%
        today, there'd be a great depression. What the heck happened
        between the 80s and now?
        \_ Nothing happened, the monthly payment just balanced.  BTW, my
           parents rate was 18% on their house in the 80's, it depended on
           other things as well (income, credit, etc).  Fact is, the interest
           rate is meaningless because the monthly payment will always reflect
           the market rate.  If the interest is high, the prices of houses
           will be low (parent's place was $38k), if the rate is low, the
           place will be high ($600k equivalent house now).  Simple economics,
           people will base the price of house on monthly payments, not on
           interest rate or real price of the house.  The key is to get in
           when there is a swing in either one.  BTW, provide the ID & PW to
           the site next time, bugmenot doesn't work on that site.
        \_ Carter got kicked out of office.
           \_ No, Nixon got kicked out of office. Carter lost an election.
              Not the same thing. Ask GHWB.
              \_ If you want to get that anal, Nixon didn't get kicked out
                 of office either, he resigned. Nobody in U.S. presidential
                 history has ever been technically kicked out of office,
                 although Johnson and Clinton did get impeached.
2005/12/13-15 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:40988 Activity:low
12/13   For an average priced house in the Bay Area paid with 20% down,
        how much more monthly payments is it per quarter point hike in
        the interest rate? I did a quick preliminary check on yahoo's
        mortgage calculator and it's only about $50/month/quarter point.
        That's not a lot.
        \_ Think about how excited you'd be to save $50/month on, say, your
           gas/power bill.
           \_ and that's just for a quarter point (0.25%)
              \_ The op's point is that even with 1 point increase, or
                 $200/month extra, it's not really going to affect people.
                 Heck, in the Bay Area I pay $80 for gardeners, +$200 for
                 premium cable/phone/DSL, $105 for Cingular family plan,
                 $500 eating out, and another $500 for movies, skiing,
                 road trip, gas, whatever. How is $200 extra/month going to
                 affect the economy where I'm at?
                 \_ Not everything is about you and your ilk.  Are you
                    stupid or just dumb?
                 \_ Let's say rates go up to 8%. That's $400/month and
                    there goes your eating out or your car payment or
                    whatever. Even if it's $100/month it will "affect
                    people".
                 \_ Do you own an average house?
                 \_ Are you one of those contributing to the negative
                    savings rate of the nation?
2005/12/13-15 [Academia/Berkeley/CSUA/Troll, Academia/Berkeley/CSUA, Reference/RealEstate] UID:40987 Activity:nil
12/13   Ya'll are boring.  Enough with the housing talk.  Where's the juicy
        topics?  And I don't mean political flames...
        \_ Be patient my little cricket. One of the politburo
           newbies like amckee will do something stupid and comical.
        \_ my GF insists on getting brazillians even though I'm not that
           into it. what should i do
2005/12/12-14 [Reference/RealEstate, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:40981 Activity:high
12/12   dim, do you advocate living a lot farther to buy a single family
        home instead of a condo that is a lot closer?
        \_ Tough question. In general, I like the lifestyle a SFR affords.
           However, I'd rather have a condo in SF than commute in from
           Sacramento every day. There are advantages to both. All else
           equal, you are better off with a SFR in most cases. For
           investment purposes, small buildings and duplex/triplex
           situations are better than either. --dim
        \_ Condos are better when you're young and you don't have time to
           mow the lawn, adjust the sprinkler, rake leafs, clean up the
           garage (which your wife thinks is an unlimited storage space),
           plant new flower beds, add manure [or chemical fertilizer],
           take out weeds, kill gophers, spray pesticides, etc.
           In addition, when you're older and move up to a SFR that real
           men live in, you can rent out your condo without worrying
           about the condition of the condo as your home owner's association
           should take care of things for you. Lastly, home owner's
           association dues (HOA) is completely tax deductable as expense
           so it's all good.
           \_ Jesus, what is wrong with you people?  You do realize that you
              can hire a gardener to do most/all of that crap, yes?  It's
              really actually rather common and can work really well at a
              fairly modest price.  You can find these 'gardeners' in the
              yellow pages.
           \_ If I ever want to do any of that shit on your list other than
              killing gophers, I hope someone has the mercy to kill me.
              \- spoken like a young rebellious liberal. One day, you will grow
                 up and assimilate, and you'll love to do all of the above.
                 Grow up, get a job, buy a suburbian house, buy a minivan
                 or SUV, and have kids. Family values, that's the American
                 way.  Like I said, you'll have to do all of the above sooner
                 or later. Can I kill you now? God Bless.
                                               \_ God Bless? God Bless what?
                                                  What exactly is it that god
                                                  is supposed to be blessing
                                                  here?  Do you really believe
                                                  in god, or are you just being
                                                  'clever'?
                 \_ Yes, but at least he galloped.  When did you?
           \_ blah! both options suck. why buy when you can rent worry
              free. i'm happy renting my place, i feel perfectly fine
              playing PS2, Xbox and having cool LAN parties. what is it
              with you old farts. grow down man -young troll, will try harder
           \_ SFR have greater demands and lower supply. Old SFR and
              orchids and warehouses are constantly being torn down for
              \_ That's gotta be the smallest condo ever!
              more condo developments. SFR are disappearing while condos
              are being built all the time. So, it's not hard to see why
              one is better than the other. If you spend just a little
              bit of time in traffic, your overall gain in the long run
              is much higher. SFR rules.
           \_ I'd actually argue that condos are better for older people.
              Young people have a lot more energy for all of the above.
           \_ Are HOA dues really tax deductible? googling says otherwise,
              can anyone say definitively?
              \_ If you are renting the place out, you can deduct the HOA
                 dues from the amount you collect in rent.  You cannot
                 deduct the HOA dues on your primary residence.
                 \_ Good to know -potential future landlord
           \_ Live simply, and spend your extra time doing charity work,
              instead of mowing the lawn.
              \_ helping thyself is the best charity work.  -libertarian
                 \- how do you, mr libertarian, define charity? do you
                    define it as "helping yourself" or that just falls
                    under your defn? --psb
                     \_ I think you have been had.  Libertarians LOVE
                     \_ I think you have been had.  Libertarians like
                        charity. Charity makes one feel good about oneself
                        and helps another who may well be gratefull. It is
                        and helps another who may well be grateful. It is
                        Govmnt handouts, which are coerced from one person
                        (how many here feel good when paying their taxes?)
                        and given to another as entitelments, (which are
                        less likely to make one feel gratefuly)
                        less likely to make one feel grateful)
                        Please note, that I am *not* arguing personally
                        against social welfare.  I am simply stating the
                        libertarian POV to illustrate that it is more likely
                        that the above is (mis)characterizing a "libertarian"
                        not actually speaking as one.  -crebbs
                        \- i dont think i've been had. i think you are being
                           defensive. saying "chess is my favorite sport"
                           may make sense if sport to you is at essence about
                           competition but may not make sense if must involve
                           something physical. is non-competititive mountain
                           climbing a sport? similarly, i am trying to figure
                           out what this fellow considers the "essence" of
                           charity. shopping on amazon makes me feel good
                           and helps amazon stockholders. that isnt charity.
                           i do know a bit about libertarianism and
                           contractarian philosophy. i am asking a narrow
                           question to the PP. not making a statement about
                           social welfare in the large.  --psb
                           \- on i see ... from below it looks like
                              the "-libertarian" fellow is just mocking
                              libertarianism. it's hard to tell the mocking
                              from those who are in earnest ... privatize
                              from those who are in earnest ... privatatize
                              fire depts! --psb
                              \_ right, my point was just that he is mocking
                                 As for the "Fire Depts" comment. All groups
                                 have their irrational fringe elements.  It
                                 happens that 3rd party groups, being ipso
                                 facto out of the mainstream, tend to be more
                                 defined by their extremists. That being said
                                 there is a huge difference between someone
                                 Characterizing Libs as radicals, and some
                                 idiot(s) who (regularly) MIS-Characterize
                                 them as mean/cruel/hateful/dimwitted/selfish
                                 hedonistic bastards (not to say that there are
                                 none who are) -crebbs
                                 \- my criticisms of libertarians is not a
                                    philosophical criticism of libertarianism.
                                    i think most libertarians actually dont
                                    care about the philosophy they just like
                                    what it says. this isnt a perfect analogy
                                    but it's like the difference between a
                                    raiders supporter because they are co-
                                    located in oakland and somebody to endorses
                                    the raider image/lifestyle/values and would
                                    stick with them even if moved to Dallas.
                                    i do have separate criticisms of the lib.
                                    philosophy but i also think the it is a
                                    compelling framework that can force
                                    opposing views to answer some tough
                                    questions (as i have said before some
                                    liberals become defensive when confronted
                                    with "dont you feel people know what is
                                    best for themselves" ... when it is phrased
                                    as "do you think poor people are stupid"
                                    and feel obligated to backpedal rather
                                    than say "yes, there are a bunch of cases
                                    where people dont make good decisions"
                                    either for structural reasons [info costs]
                                    or "weak will"). the Randroids are pretty
                                    much the Stalinists of the Libertarians.
                                    are you related to the Krebs cycle people?
                                 them as evil/hateful/dimwitted/selfish
                                 bastards (not to say that there are none
                                 who are) -crebbs
                                    are you invovled with the crebbs cycle?
2005/12/11-14 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:40962 Activity:moderate
12/11   Housing Bubble pops in Northern Virginia:
        http://csua.org/u/e9a
        \_ Watch foreclosure rates over the next few years as all those ARMs
           are pushed up by the fed's prime rate increases...
           \_ Ah, finally, someone posts something that makes sense re:
              real estate bubbles.  Certainly, whatever is going on in another
              state has little if anything to do with pricing here.  Location,
              location, location!
              \_ Yes, I think Chicago's housing market will hold up much better
                 than Bay Area's.
              \_ Interest rates will affect everywhere and will affect the
                 places where people borrow a lot of money relative to
                 income the most.
                 \_ Of course as interest rates rise, there will be fewer
                    buyers, price rises will slow, housing will take longer
                    to sell, etc.  No one disputes that.  That is a natural
                    part of the housing cycle.  However, rates slowly rising
                    is not going to magically burst the bubble and bring
                    prices down to where a 24 y/o new college grad can afford
                    one on their first job like a few people here are praying
                    to happen.  Those people are just screwed if they want a
                    house before 30 without getting lucky or having two good
                    incomes.
                    \_ I worry that the exotic financing schemes (interest
                       only, reverse amort., and even simple ARMs) being
                       peddled to people who can't financially handle the
                       repercussions of rising rates and stagnant prices,
                       especially combined with stricter bankruptcy laws,
                       are ingredients of a dangerous economic storm.  Can
                       you set my mind at ease?  Also, as the feasability of
                       ownership is pushed further and further into retirement
                       years (buying at 35, mortgage done at 65), what will
                       that do to the overall economic state of "frothy" areas?
                       Not to mention the burden of financing retirement when
                       you've worked so hard to build that equity, but had
                       little or nothing left to save.
        \_ This is very similar to what's going on in Livermore, CA.
        \_ And in Boston:
           http://csua.org/u/e9c
        \_ Ooh, the median price dropped 5%.
        \_ Their super hot market sold houses in 20 days?  Houses here now
           sell in a week instead of a weekend.  My God!  At this rate, we'll
           be at their 20 day super hot mark in 6 months!  The sky is
           falling!
           \_ I did notice this. Houses took 20 days to sell? That's about
              the norm for California (well, maybe 30 days) in an average
              market. Houses here were selling in, like you said, a
              weekend. However, I have noticed a lot of houses on the
              market in my area and they are selling much more slowly.
              It's probably because the prices are so damn high. The woman
              across the street is selling for $100K more than she paid
              for the same house last year. Also, someone is trying to
              sell a house for $1M in VA an hour from DC and they wonder why
              it won't sell very fast? Heck, prices aren't that high in CA
              once you get 50-60 miles from the urban centers. I think the
              frenzy in places like CA has people in other areas losing
              their minds. After all, real estate doesn't appreciate like
              that in other parts of the country very often, if ever. A
              house in Northern Virginia could be bought for $160K just 10
              years ago, when houses in CA were already $300K+. I don't
              think houses in many of the hottest markets (e.g. Miami and
              Las Vegas) will hold their value when this runup stops -
              certainly not as well as CA will. CA is a bit of a unique
              situation. However, it certainly is not immune and I think
              prices will fall here, too. They will just rebound faster.
              In some other places the market may never rebound.
              \_ Prices may pull back a bit and some speculators are going to
                 get burned but the sky is not going to fall.  Normal single
                 income people still won't be able to get into a first house
                 without a miracle, a lot of saving, or getting a second good
                 income into the equation.
              \_  How about Modesto and Gilroy?
                  \_ What about them?
           \_ yea, sun and cisco stayed hot for a little bit longer than the
              rest too during the internet bubble pop.
              \_ You give two divergent examples which undermine your point.
                 Sun is a company which fundamentally lost its way, not to
                 mention lost a lot of money; its stock would have tanked no
                 matter what happened with the rest of the market.  Cisco is
                 a fundamentally sound company that still has profits.  CSCO
                 is still as high as it was at the end of 1998, and double
                 what it was at the beginning of 1998.  If you bought in
                 February 2000, and had a < 5 year time horizon, you got
                 screwed, but even then you probably still will be OK in
                 the long run.  -tom
                 \_ yes, cisco is in a much better position than sun, but
                    growth and margins have both fallen, and I am not sure
                    if these will improve anytime soon.  what do you think?
                    are you still holding your ge stocks?
                    \_ I still own CSCO and have no intention of selling.
                       In fact, at current levels I am probably going to
                       add to my holdings.  I haven't owned GE in 10+ years.
                         -tom
              \_ what does the stock market have to do with anything?
                 everyone needs a place to live.  few people need a router
                 and even fewer need a solaris box.
                 \_ what do you mean?  how many of the products you use
                    daily were made by companies in the stock market?
                    \_ dotcoms?  almost none.  sun?  nothing not easily
                       replaced if they vanished.  cisco?  same story.
                       my house?  brrrr sure is cold outside!
                       \_ yea, I am sure your land line, cell phone
                          service, internet connection just magically
                          works.
                          \_ I had a land line before the dotcoms.  I also
                             had net.
                       \_ Yes because if you lost your house you would
                          live on the street. There are no available
                          domiciles left. And the ones we have were made
                          by the high men of old; their art has been lost.
                 \_ yea, everyone needs toilet paper, that's why they
                    should sell for $10 a roll.
                          \_ You mean I could live with you?  Gosh, thanks!
                 \_ yea, but the japanese are weird, that's why their housing
                    price slipped for 14 straight years and is now 40% below
                    the peak in 1991.
                    \_ I think that housing prices will fall, but what
                       people seem to miss is that if they fall 40% over
                       the next 14 years most of us are still ahead. The
                       same is true of the stock market. If you always buy
                       at the tops then you are very unlucky indeed.
                       \_ If they fall 40% I'm going to buy 4 or 5 of them.
                          I don't care what the paper value of my house is.
                          It isn't important since I'm not selling.  Too bad
                          for me I didn't buy a few houses 5-6 years ago.
                          \_ If they fall 40% they probably won't be any
                             more affordable than they are now unless you
                             are planning to buy them cash. Rising rates
                             will make the mortgage payments about the same
                             for most people. I don't understand the
                             advantage to buying a house for 50% off if
                             you have to pay 50% more interest for it.
                             Yes, eventually you can refinance. Why not
                             just buy now then? You are either going to
                             wait out a fall in rates or wait out a rise
                             in prices. Funny how the two are linked like
                             that. I think it's better to get the low
                             rate, because prices will take care of
                             themselves over the long term.
                             \_ A lower price and higher rate means that I
                                have some upside if the prices rise so I can
                                sell and take some profit or buy more.  A lower
                                rate at a higher price means I'm a landlord for
                                life.
                                \_ I guess it depends on if you plan to
                                   keep the property or sell it. Most
                                   people I know who made millions in real
                                   estate kept it a decently long amount of
                                   time (i.e. were landlords) and only sold
                                   if they saw a better (income-generating)
                                   opportunity or found themselves needing
                                   cash for another reason (e.g. medical).
                                   \_ Of course.  I didn't say I was flipping.
                                      Over time, real estate and everything
                                      else goes up (mostly).  Since the idea
                                      is to grow a real estate empire and
                                      destroy Trump, buying low and selling
                                      high is better than buying high and
                                      renting the same properties forever. I
                                      see no reason for buying high at any
                                      realistic interest rate.
                                      \_ The people I know who own millions
                                         in real estate are still buying
                                         quality. It's the same as with
                                         stocks. Low or high, the key is
                                         to buy quality and keep buying.
                                         The cycles of the market become
                                         irrelevant over time. A woman I
                                         know casually lost more in a quarter
                                         of investing than I make in 2
                                         years. She keeps buying, though.
                                         Why? She's been buying for the
                                         last 40 years is why. Same with
                                         her real estate. Sure, some times
                                         are more ideal than others, but
                                         in general you play the game or
                                         you don't. It doesn't pay to sit
                                         out (time the market). You might
                                         lose some battles, but you will
                                         win the war. Your ideal situation
                                         (falling prices) may never
                                         materialize. What if prices fall
                                         10%? Is that the bottom? 50%?
                                         What if you buy at 50% off and
                                         they fall to 75%? You're still
                                         hurt. --dim
                                         \_ In stocks, the woman is doing
                            dollar cost averaging (investing at fixed
                            intervals).  In buying a house, most people
                            only have one or two houses, so the point
                            of entry is important.
                            \_ If you only have one house you aren't an
                               investor, so don't worry about it. The
                               person above is talking about starting a
                               real estate empire. Real estate investors
                               buy low and buy high. The typical homeowner
                               shouldn't care. He's buying a place to live.
                               \_ If he is talking about big investors,
                                  his generalization to stocks is even
                                  less true.  Warren Buffet buys low and
                                  hold and hold.  He doesn't buy high.
                                  Dollar cost averaging applies to small
                                  investors who aren't confident in what
                                  they are doing.  As for real estate,
                                  I know people who own millions worth,
                                  and I also know they will laugh at you
                                  if you think buying high is good.
                                  \_ The motd is the only place you'll get
                                     financial "advice" telling you that
                                     buying high is good.
                                     \_ Buying high is good as long as you
                                        can sell higher.
                                  \_ Buffett is buying all the time. He
                                     didn't stop when the market got high. He
                                     just had to work harder to find value. In
                                     any market there is something worth
                                     buying. That's why I say 'buy
                                     quality'. Buying low is better than
                                     high. No one is disputing that.
                                     Investors don't time the market. They
                                     look for the right stocks/properties
                                     to buy. Many would've told you the
                                     real estate market was at a top a few
                                     years ago and yet it wasn't. When you
                                     buy a quality stock/property you come
                                     out ahead no matter the prevailing
                                     market at the time you bought it. If
                                     your friend the investor is out of
                                     the market now then when will he
                                     reenter? It's easy to miss entry/exit
                                     points. It's better to just keep
                                     buying - high or low. Your implication
                                     that DCA is for people who don't know any
                                     better is ridiculous. People DCA
                                     because the alternative it to put
                                     your money in a CD. It's better to
                                     buy equities with it whatever the
                                     market conditions.
                                     \_ CD is the alternative?  huh?
                                        There are so many things you can
                                        do like long term bonds, short
                                        term bonds, municipal bonds,
                                        foreign bonds, REIT, option
                                        hedges, shorting, utilities,
                                        TIPS, commodities, infrastructure,
                                        foreign stocks, emerging market
                                        stocks, etc.  No, it is not
                                        "better to buy equities whatever
                                        the market conditions".
                                        \_ foreign stocks are equities,
                                           you know.
                                        \_ Lots of research (and experience)
                                           proves you wrong. You might
                                           shuffle your mix, but if you
                                           stop buying equities altogether
                                           at some point then you are an
                                           idiot.
2005/12/11-14 [Reference/RealEstate, Consumer/TV] UID:40961 Activity:nil
12/11   When life imitates TV:
        http://csua.org/u/e9b
        \_ What a crappy article.  Despite what the headline says, the
           cop died, not either of the suspects.
           \_ Misleading intentionally?
2005/12/9-11 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:40929 Activity:high
12/8    Housing bubble? Yes yes yes!
        http://money.cnn.com/2005/12/08/news/economy/housing_bubble_jobs
        \_ You know, I really do honestly feel bad for the younger people
           here who weren't able to buy a house years ago and now just can't
           but posting articles that say housing is going to fall back to
           more normal levels of price growth and screaming "bubble! bubble!"
           is not going to make housing prices drop.  The article you posted
           but didn't read did make me wonder how many of the 800,000
           construction jobs are legally held, though, and what increase,
           if any, we'll see in unemployment claims as housing goes slowly
           from "way too hot" to "normal expected growth rates".
           \_ I don't have generous Asian parents so I've been trying to
              save enough money for a decent down payment. BTW I graduated
              almost a decade ago. But no matter what, it seems like the
              price of homes in the past 5 years keep outpacing the
              rate at which I can save up. I'm at an age where I really
              want a home *now* but it's impossible. Almost everyone older
              than me say that I should buy a home. But it's so easy for
              them to say that when they bought their homes several years
              ago when the prices aligned with income and savings. Now it's
              all out of wack. Had I been older and saved up, of course
              I'd buy a home. Life is arbitrary and random, and this whole
              home buying deal is even more arbitrary and makes life seem
              so meaningless. Do I feel bitter? Of course I do. And I'm not
              the only person who feel this way.
              \_ My theory is that this is the result of all the tax cuts.
                 With wealth so much easier to generate, the people with
                 money can easily generate and keep more after taxes.  Couple
                 that with $250k tax free profit (if you're single), meant
                 lots of people could speculate on less desireable locations,
                 like Modesto or Gilroy.
                 \_ The tax cuts were trivial as a percentage of income for
                    people in upper brackets.  Going from 70 to 50 was a big
                    cut.  Going from 50 to 39 was a big cut.  No recent tax
                    cuts were of any note.
              \_ Yes, life is unfair.  I have no easy answer for you.  Have
                 you looked in other parts of the country?
                 \_ That is, in fact, the easy answer. Some people in the Bay
                    area don't seem to have any conception of how out of whack
                    prices are there, even compared to other "expensive" regions
                    back east and in the Northwest.  I live about 70 miles from
                    nyc, and I know people who are paying mortgages on
                    decent homes with a grad student stipend.  That would be
                    harder now than it was three years ago, but still doable.
                    I'd say housing where I live, where everyone is complaining
                    about prices is roughly a factor of ten cheaper than the
                    Bay area.  Is the Bay a factor of 10 more desirable?  Not
                    to me.
              \_ Your problem is that you are not financially savvy. Saving up
                 for a downpayment is silly. I used to think like you. I
                 was trying to save $50K to put down on a (then) $200K
                 house. However, interest rates got so low and lenders got
                 so lax that I didn't have to save that much in the end. I
                 bought my house for $10K out of pocket. Sure, I didn't
                 have much equity then, but I sure do now. I think you are
                 too tentative. You could've had a house by now and now
                 it's too late (for this real estate cycle). I bought my
                 house when I made $40K/year less than I do now and so did
                 many of my friends. It was difficult to make the payment.
                 If you are expecting to magically "save up" to buy a
                 house stress-free and also buy (say) all of the gadgets
                 you do right now then you will never make it. If you
                 graduated 10 years ago then you missed your chance. I
                 feel badly for the kids who graduated 2 years ago, but
                 that's not you.
                 \_ I graduated two days ago.  Can I feel bitter? -!pp
                    \_ Sure, but your situation isn't so bad. When you are
                       ready to buy in 3-7 years housing will probably be
                       more affordable. I'd like to add that if I was
                       saving that $50K I'd probably have it about now,
                       5 years later, and it wouldn't do me any good. Even
                       making $40K more I probably couldn't buy my own
                       house and my mortgage payment (after interest
                       deductions) is less than many 'housing bubble whiners'
                       are paying for rent. Your first house is always a
                       stretch to buy, but to me it's been totally worth it.
                       Even if it hadn't more than doubled in value, but
                       merely stayed flat it would've been a great buy.
                       Heck, I think I'd be happy even if the value had
                       fallen somewhat. Home ownership is that important
                       to me. Maybe it is less important to others. If it
                       is important to you and you can afford it then do
                       it, whatever will happen to the market.
              \_ I graduated in 1993 and my Asian parents are not generous to
                 me at all.  Yet I managed to buy a house in 2000 while putting
                 my sister thru Cal (paying out of state tuition) and then
                 supporting my parents with $1k/mo (non-tax-deductible).  And
                 no I didn't make big bucks from dot-com stock options.  I
                 think it's just a matter of what fancy car you drive, how
                 often you eat out, and how many vacation trips you go in a
                 year.
              \_ Don't feel too bad. In the Bay Area these days it takes
                 two incomes to make a housing payment. You will probably
                 be able to afford a starter home when you have a spouse.
              \_ Just rent for now, and be flexible with your home buying
                 plan.  Don't listen to the stupid advice asking you to
                 put money saved for a housing downpayment in a CD.
                 There are lots of ways to invest and make money.  Take
                 the stock market for instance.  I've been getting 30%
                 annual return the last 3 years.  That will double your
                 money fast, and unlike a house, it's liquid.  And the
                 S&P500 aggregate PE ratio is lower now than when it was
                 in 2002, unlike the ridiculous price/rent ratios of
                 homes in the Bay Area.
                 money fast, and unlike a house, it's liquid, so unlike
                 money fast.  Also, it's liquid, so unlike
                 a house, you are not stuck in a single type of investment.
                 And the S&P500 aggregate PE ratio is lower now than when
                 it was in 2002, unlike the ridiculous price/rent ratios of
                 homes in the Bay Area.  Now some will claim that stocks
                 are risky, but the housing market is just as risky,
                 especially now.  And check out Japan, Hong Kong,
                 Singapore, etc. over the last 15 years and you will see
                 how badly home prices can fall.
                 how badly home prices can fall.   - homeowner
                 \_ A first home is not an investment. Don't treat it like
                    one or think of it like one.
2005/12/1-4 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:40799 Activity:kinda low
12/1    Based on national average, what is the closing cost of a $500K
        house, and how much is it usually in California? How about in
        your case?
        \_ Trying to buy your frat house?  The closing cost have two parts.
        \_ Trying to buy your first house?  The closing cost have two parts.
           The "point" part depends on your loan amount, and the "other
           fees" part doesn't.  A rough guess is 1 point (1% of your loan
           amount) plus $2000.
        \_ Depends on if you are in a buyer pay or seller pay county. Alameda
           is buyer pay, santa clara is seller pay for example. I payed
           $8000 in closing costs on my house I bought in alameda county.
           House was $540K. In a seller pay you will prolly pay about $2000.
           \_ What the hell are you talking about re: buyer/seller pay?!
              You negotiate whatever you want to negotiate. I was supposed
              to pay the costs when I bought, but I asked the seller if he
              would pay and he did. By the way, I think $8K is ridiculous
              unless you paid points on your mortgage.
              \_ Yes, you negotiate whatever you want, but the poster above is
                 talking about the common convention such that each party
                 understands how much actual money a nominated selling price
                 translates to.  Anyway, would it be better if you negotiated
                 for a lower selling price but you paid the commission instead?
                 For example, if you bought your house for $530k and the seller
                 paid $30k commission, you'd be paying property tax on $530k
                 assessed value.  Whereas if you bought your house for $500k
                 and you paid $30k commissioin, you'd be paying property tax
                 on only $500k assessed value.
                 \_ Good idea.  --someone else
                 \_ Yes, but in one case you can borrow the money and in
                    the other you need cold, hard cash.
                    \_ False.  In both cases the $30k in question can be part
                       of your loan, if you want.
                       \_ You will have a hard time finding a bank to roll
                          $30K of closing costs into your loan. They will
                          do it if the costs are small, though. Remember,
                          your mortgage is secured by your property. They
                          don't like to give out $30K unsecured. This is
                          the same as if you asked for money for repairs
                          on the property or even to finance down payment
                          money. These are not really allowed, although
                          loan agents can sometimes do them. The higher
                          the $$$ amount, the more scrutiny and the less
                          likely you will be able to do it. I've been told
                          that usually up to about $5K isn't a problem.
                          \_ Oh, I stand corrected.  Thx.  --- PP
2005/11/28-30 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:40757 Activity:low
11/25   http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051128/ap_on_bi_ge/economy
        Sales of Existing Homes Drop in October. Swami the Magnificent
        was right afterall! All the greedy investors will now suffer.
        Suffer they shall, muhahahahahaha.         -bitter priced-out guy
        \_ "The decline in sales pushed the number of unsold homes to 2.87
           million, the highest level in more than 19 years."
           Anyone happen to have access to a graph or table of this data for
           NoCal/SoCal/the U.S.?
        \_ "Home sales hit new record - Yahoo! News"
           http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20051129/bs_nm/economy_dc
2005/11/22-23 [Reference/History/WW2/Germany, Reference/RealEstate, Politics/Foreign/Europe] UID:40688 Activity:nil
11/21   http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20051122/od_nm/germany_drunk_dc
        A German man drank too much, wet his bed and set fire to his
        apartment while trying to dry his bedding. Sieg Heil german john!
2005/11/22-23 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:40685 Activity:low
11/21   http://tinyurl.com/8vozk
        Good introduction on how to flip houses. Please don't delete
        this lafe. Flipping is not illegal nor is it unethical.
        \_ Yeah, it's just playing a game of musical chairs hoping you
           won't be the one with no chair.  Of course, it could lead
           to a housing panic which would leave many with no chair.
           \_ Not if there are enough people buying out the houses to live
              in them.  It is not the same situation as the stock market
              bubble.  The tech stocks had no value to investors unless they
              went up since they didn't do dividends.  Houses have a real
              world use and thus real world value.  It is only a question of
              buying at a number now such that the product can be resold later
              when the real world value has gone up minus the costs of the
              transaction and maintenance.  Some people win this bet, a lot
              lose.  It could be any essential product with real world use
              such as energy/fuel, clothing, food, water, etc.  Housing happens
              to be the big ticket item among life's essentials so that's
              where the games get played.
              \_ big difference here is in the tech stock bubble, there was
                 no cost (aside from lost capital) from holding onto them
                 in a falling market.  Real estate has taxes, maintenance fees,
                 and such.  Plus its almost always financed, so you have
                 borrowing costs as well.  If there's no profit incentive
                 any more, the speculators are going to want to dump them.
                 And fast!
2005/11/21-23 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:40684 Activity:nil
11/21   On the scale of global averages, which one is a worse investment,
        a condo or a loft? I know that single family homes have much
        higher demands and limited supplies, hence making them much better
        investments. However, I'm curious to know whether condos or lofts
        are better.
        \_ There is no global answer to this question.  Do you mean on a
           scale of Bay Area averages?  After all, Italy has wildly different
           real estate laws.  I ran a few searches on mls and the condo
           prices seem to fluctuate in lock step with loft prices (small
           data set, do not trust this answer for investment purposes).
           Were I you, I'd look at more important things like location,
           noise, layout and so on.  That what the people you resell to
           will look at.
        \_ Single family homes do not make better investments over time.
           Who told you they did? SFH tend to do better at the beginning
           of a housing boom, condos at the end. The maint cost of a
           condo is going to be lower, that is why big investors prefer
           multi-unit buildings.
2005/11/20-22 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:40661 Activity:nil
11/20   Suppose your property drops X percent but you're still paying
        the old property tax rate. Can you get your property reassessed
        to get a lower rate? What would it entail? Thanks.
        \_ Talk to someone at the county level.  Usually there's someone
           with the title of "Assessor" with an associated staff and office.
        \_ Yes, you can. You file a petition.
2005/11/18-19 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:40640 Activity:nil
11/18   http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,175927,00.html
        It is buyer's market now! Good news for first home
        buyers and investors alike. Good news for everyone!
2005/11/14 [Reference/RealEstate, Reference/Tax] UID:40577 Activity:nil
11/14   My Alameda County property tax statement reads "Secured Property Tax
        Statement.  What's the difference between Secured and Unsecured?
        Thanks.
2005/11/11-14 [Reference/RealEstate, Finance/Shopping] UID:40553 Activity:nil
11/11   Are mega apt complex->condo conversion units particularly bad
        to buy as homes or investments, even if you plan to own them
        for a while?  I'm asking because single family homes are
        out of my price range.
        \_ Not particularly bad, but not as good as SFRs. Find a SFR, even
           if it means a city you don't like as well.
           \_ What if the city with the cheapest affordable SFR is
              over an hour drive away? What if the city where the
              condo is has a lot of amenities, like walkable markets,
              close to the beach, etc?
              \_ Why do you think you can't afford the SFRs if those are
                 the amenities? Why do you think you *can* afford the condo?
2005/11/11-13 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:40547 Activity:high
11/11   http://csua.org/u/dzn (Washington Post)
        Oops, a couple bought a townhouse under construction for $796K in May,
        but equivalent places are now selling for $699K, and their house isn't
        even done yet!
        \_ Here's the full context strongly implying the eager beavers did no
           research:
   "Lynn Edmonds and his wife, Sebnem, could barely wait to sign on the dotted
   line back in May when they committed themselves to pay $796,000 for a
   three-floor townhouse under construction in Alexandria's Cameron Station.
   But since May, the sales prices for the development have fallen -- and
   units like the one the Edmonds bought are now being sold for $699,900. The
   Edmonds are facing the prospect of a $100,000 loss in value before they
   even walk through the front door."
                "Lynn Edmonds and his wife, Sebnem, could barely wait to
                 sign on the dotted line back in May when they committed
                 themselves to pay $796,000 for a three-floor townhouse
                 under construction in Alexandria's Cameron Station. But
                 since May, the sales prices for the development have
                 fallen -- and units like the one the Edmonds bought are
                 now being sold for $699,900. The Edmonds are facing the
                 prospect of a $100,000 loss in value before they even
                 walk through the front door."
                [ reformatted - formatd ]
           Even though their on paper value has dropped, they apparently plan
           to live in it so the important thing is the interest rate they're
           paying, what would their costs be to live somewhere else for the
           additional time they didn't have this house to be in the same area,
           and what will the final selling price be years from now when they
           eventually do leave that house?  Being overly concerned about a
           single number without context is like saying you're a google ipo
           millionaire based on your unsold options.  Anything can happen
           between now and the sale date.
        \_ "... Sandra Cabral, a real estate agent with Re/Max Pros ...
           'Within two or three years, there's going to be a whole lot of
           foreclosures, because with all of the interest-only loans ...'"
           \_ Axiom 1: people are stupid.
        \_ ouch! that's a fast way to throw 100k down the drain.  well,
           maybe they got a consolation prize in a lower interest rate.
        \_ For reference:
           $796k @ 5.25% for 30 years: $4,395.54/month,
           total principle + interest paid over life of the loan: $1,582,394.93
           $699k @ 6.5% for 30 years: $4,418.16/month, total P+I: $1,590,535.97
           \_ For reference:
              - average length of time americans stay at a home: 5 years
              For reference:
              - 30 year fixed interest rate: current rate - lowest rate in last
                2 years: 0.9%
              For reference:
              - The additional $20k downpayment if put in the stock market and
              assuming a return of 8% per year, in 30 years, would earn: $200,000
              assuming a return of 8% per year, in 30 years, would earn: $200k
              For reference:
                assuming a return of 8% per year, in 30 years, would earn:
                $200k
              - Did you forget mortgage interest tax deduction?
              \_ between ~ June 1 and today, the difference is 0.8%
                 don't need to go back 2 years
                 not as big as the 6.5 - 5.25 = 1.25% that other guy posted
           \_ that's pretty interesting!
              \_ 8%/yr for 30 years?  Really.  Now if you had stuck $20k in
                 the stock market, say, 2 years ago...  How would that 8% be
                 looking?
                 \_ S&P500 was 1060 two years ago, and 1235 now, almost
                    exactly 8% per year.
              \_ None of these numbers take into account their current cost
                 of living somewhere else for 8-9 months if they had bought
                 now instead of in spring.  Are they in a house?  Probably
                 not or they'd be less desperate.  So what's their rent cost/
                 month?  Either way we just don't have enough info to know
                 if they got hosed or not.  The average person may stay in
                 a house 5 years but these people may stay 30.  And does that
                 5 year ownership number include all the speculator flips
                 which would drag the number down by some other unknown
                 number?  Basically, it looks like a scare article intro.
                 The people who are going to get hurt are those who paid $X
                 in the past and are now forced for some personal reason to
                 sell now at $X - $Y.  Everyone else can sit tight.  Anyway,
                 I wouldn't mind a huge housing crash.  I'd snap up a few
                 houses if prices dropped enough and rent em out for a few
                 years until prices recovered again but I fear they'll never
                 drop enough to fall back into my investment price range.
2005/11/8-9 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:40483 Activity:nil
11/7    Dear housing bust expert Swami the Magnificent, my wife and I
        really really want to get a house soon. What is the best time
        for buyers? end of December? mid January?
        \_ Uhm, did you read your own links?  The builder they quote in the
           second link says he expects housing prices to go up slower.  Going
           up slower is not the same as dropping.  I understand the desperate
           desire to own a home but don't fool yourself by selectively
           reading articles.  That's no way to invest or buy.
        \_ http://tinyurl.com/dpd3j (yahoo news)
           http://tinyurl.com/acxh2 (yahoo news)
           Housing market crash crash crash.
           May hard working homeowners stay and keep their abode.
           May greedy flippers burn in hell cuz they're brash.
           May new buyers find renewed hope for finding a home.
        \_ I'm not STM, but from a co-worker who is currently trying to
           sell a house, the slow times are when closing dates fall on
           the holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas) since no one wants to
           do a big move around those dates. He de-listed his house and
           will try again early next year.
           \_ Have your friend sell to this guy!
              \_ Mind living in Phoenix?
           \_ Yes, November and December are slow times. This can be good
              in terms of price, but bad in terms of selection. I bought
              my house in November and there wasn't much on the market.
              When houses started to list in earnest again (spring) the
              prices were a lot higher. So, now is a good time.
              \_ I'm not sure about that. With less inventory, everybody
                 goes looking at the same few places. That's what I saw
                 when I was looking a while back. The inventory was down
                 but there were still tons of people looking. I don't know
                 if maybe there are less buyers now though.
                 \_ Fewer buyers and fewer sellers. The market is more
                    quiet. In the spring it will pick up again. Prices
                    then are usually higher than now, despite the
                    increased supply. It's less a factor in CA, but many
                    houses don't show well in winter. It's like buying
                    your car on a rainy day. Factor in holidays and this
                    is a better time to buy than, say, April.
        \_ Be aware of the proposed new tax law which caps mortgage
           interest deduction at 420k. If this gets passed, it will
           most definitely affect housing price.
           \_ Another way to screw the blue states, since obviously anyone
              with a 420K house is superrich.
2005/11/3-4 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:40419 Activity:low
11/3    In Arkansas, we kill our deer with our bare hands!
        http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051102/ap_on_fe_st/deerly_departed
        \_ Great URL
           \- tresspassers will be eaten
        \_ A guy was recently killed by a deer. They can inflict some
           damage. However, why this guy didn't shoosh it out of the house
           is anyone's guess.
           \_ Mynd you, m00se bites kan be pretti nasti.
              \_ Heh.  I just rewatched that this week.  Heh heh.
        \_ Is the guy a pro wrestler or something?
2005/11/2-4 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:40405 Activity:nil
11/1    http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/housing/2005-11-01-real-estate-usat_x.htm
        Housing cooling off, prices drop, inventory grows. If you own
        a few investment properties using ARM, now is the time to sell!!!
        \_ All Hail Swami The Magnificent!
2005/11/1-4 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:40390 Activity:low
11/1    Hello I'm a newbie shopping for a condo. I've been doing research
        lately and saw this 400 unit complex I like. According to Google's
        cache, in August they only have 50 units left. Looking at
        their current web site however, they still say they only have 50
        units left. I called them up, and sure enough, 50. What's going on?
        \_ we're not psychic. why don't you call them up again and ask?
           \_ Ok I just called them up. They said 1/2 of the units are
              "reserved" so they can't sell them. Whatever that means.
              \_ that means that they adjust the reserve over time such that
                 there are always <= 50 units left
              \_ uh, how about you ask followup questions until you're not
                 confused anymore?  i mean ask the condo people, not the
                 motd.
                 \_ Maybe op is afraid of condo folks thinking op is stupid.
                    Here at the motd, we assume it.
                    \_ I'm the op. Yes, after making a few stupid calls
                       the condo people started to realize how stupid and
                       desperate I seemed and raised the prices by about
                       20K for a 500K condo. This is exactly why I don't
                       want to keep calling them, because it shows how
                       badly I want their place.
        \_ maybe they're lying to you ...?
        \_ They haven't sold any more since then? They have, but some
           others fell out of escrow? What does it matter?
        \_ Housing market has cooled. Mostly people see it has topped out
           and are all selling so there is a huge amount of inventory on
           the market. Total sales are still going up but since so many houses
           are on the market prices are coming down a bit. Very very good time
           to buy.
           \_ Time to buy has passed. I wouldn't buy now.
              \_ (Pulling number out of hat): Let's say you're currently eyeing
                 a $700k house in the bay area.  What price would it have to
                 drop to before you'd buy it?  Assume you like the house, it
                 is a good location for you, etc.  Only price is the issue.
                 \_ Why is this an issue? I just need to exercise 1/2 of
                    my GOOG options and I can buy it cash next week.
                    \_ In that case, exercise all of your GOOG options,
                       and diversify.  Heck, you could easily retire if
                       you moved someplace cheaper.
                    \_ That's all you got from your options??  That's pretty
                       chincey.
                 \_ Do I already own a house? Is this for investment?
                    \_ Your call.  What $# is the right price for you?  With
                       all these people saying the numbers are too high, there
                       must be some lower number at which they don't feel that.
                       I'm just curious what that number is.
                       \_ If I already own a house I will buy cheaper than
                          if I don't. I'd say maybe $400K for an investment
                          and $500K or more if I don't own a house already.
                          I do think the price can (but will not necessarily)
                          retreat all the way to $400K. The time to buy
                          is when prices start to rise again after they've
                          fallen for a while (at least 3-4 years). The
                          number is less important than the direction of
                          the market, which is clearly down now. Cycles
                          are about 7-10 years, so I'd reanalyze the market
                          again in maybe 5 years. However, if I am renting
                          right now then I may buy as soon as I can
                          reasonably afford to make a 30 year fixed
                          mortgage on the place.
                          \_ thanks.  that's what i was looking for.
                 \_ I think even more important than price is the interest
                    rate and terms of the loan. Even if the price comes down,
                    it could become unaffordable quickly if the interest rate
                    jumps up or the amount of down payment is increased.
                    Back in '02, every 1/10th % increase meant $200 more per
                    month for a $400k loan.
                    \_ Ok, pick any reasonable rate you want.  How much would
                       you offer and feel ok?
                       \_ The depends on income does it not? If I'm making
                          $2M/year then I buy that $700K house now. If I'm
                          making $80K/year I wait.
                          \_ He's asking what you personally would pay now.
                             \_ That's useless information, because my
                                situation isn't yours or his. *Someone*
                                would pay $2M for it and *someone*
                                wouldn't pay over $100K.
                                \_ then apply your personal situation.  the
                                   on going topic has been about housing being
                                   over priced. fine. so all im asking is what
                                   do you consider "not over priced".  it isnt
                                   that hard.  sheesh.  nevermind then.
                                   \_ It's not that it is overpriced, but
                                      that we seem to be near a top. It
                                      will some day be worth even more
                                      than it is now, but that doesn't
                                      mean the time to buy is now with
                                      interest rates rising and sales
                                      cooling.
2005/11/1-3 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:40375 Activity:nil
11/1    Hi, I'm really new at real estate so please forgive me if this is
        stupid. I know that agents on both sides (seller/buyer) typically
        take about 3% of commissions, totally 6%. Does that mean that
        if I buy a house that is worth X, I have to spend an extra
        0.06X? On the other hand, if I buy a completely new place where
        I don't have a seller, do I still pay the other 3%?
        \_ The seller pays the commission, not the buyer. And when
           you sell the commision is negotiable. Lately commissions have
           been closer to 4% because houses sell so easily. Although the
           market is entering a downturn now so that will change.
2005/10/31-11/2 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:40367 Activity:nil
10/31   http://www.realestateabc.com/insights/doomandgloom.htm
        Housing will not bubble! We're still looking much better than
        the 70s. So go ahead and buy your house. BTW this site has a
        lot of cool statistics and graphs.
        \_ In the 70s, inflation is really high, and I suspect there's
           a corresponding rise in wages.  These days inflation has been
           low until recently, and wage growth is slow.
        \_ In the 70s, inflation is really high, and there's a corresponding
           rise in wages.  These days inflation has been low until recently,
           and wage growth is slow.
2005/10/31-11/1 [Recreation/Dating, Reference/RealEstate] UID:40349 Activity:low
10/31   A while ago I went to take a look at a condo development. I
        answered a survey and an agent took me around. Then I asked
        the agent if it is possible to bring in another agent
        (such as my friend) in order to save a few commission fees.
        She said it is possible, but that I'd have to bring an
        agent during the FIRST visit. Is she bullshitting or is this
        a standard thing?
        \_ Are you the same person with the "The condo agent *LIED!* to me!"
           story?  The seller can make up any rule they want as long as they
           don't violate some civil rights laws and similar things.  They can
           say they give a $15K discount to anyone who wears green and yellow
           spotted sneakers when they FIRST visit and can even change the
           colors at their whim.  They're a seller.  They set the selling
           rules.  You're in a negotiating situation.  Bring your friend if
           you want.  They then have the choice of selling or not selling to
           you at that or any other price with or without your friend
           involved.  There are no 'standard things' in the way you seem
           to think.
           \_ ok cool, thanks. I'm pretty new at this so I have no idea
              what the 'rules' are. I guess there are really none. Your
              response is very helpful. Thanks.
              \_ Oh, there are rules. However, they all happen once you
                 agree to them by signing something. If you didn't sign
                 anything you are free to do/say whatever. That goes for
                 both parties.
                 \_ And make sure you wear green & yellow when you first go
                    into any place to get the funky sneaker discount!
        \_ Ask your friend, the AGENT.
           \- FYI: nolo press has a book called "how to buy a house in CA"
2005/10/28-31 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:40302 Activity:nil
10/29   http://biz.yahoo.com/rb/051027/economy_housing.html
        Sales tumbled 11.8 percent in the West. It's finally happening!
        \_ Hehe, way to misquote and take out of context!  Go-Go Renter Troll!
           I'm going to desperately cling to my home and hope prices don't
           plunge 50% causing my profit to slim down to a mere $100k.  Oh,
           wait.  I live here.  It doesn't matter what the on-paper value is.
           And hmm, the article only talks about new homes.  OTOH, good news
           for you is the "medium home sales price fell 5.7% to $215,700".
           I'm going to run out and buy a few of those... in Idaho.  You would
           have scored 2 motd troll points, except you put the silly "sky is
           falling" editorial in there, but you'll get partial credit: .75
           troll points in your column.  How's the rent thing working out?
           \_ don't worry.  jim cramer says fed is going to raise rates
              until housing bubble pops!  3rd quarter economic growth is
              good.  inflation is through the roof.  this means fed can and
              will raise and raise and raise.  jim cramer is always right!
              yippee!  you will have negative equity soon!  bwahahahaha!
                                                - disgruntled home owner
              \_ Hi renter troll.  Inflation is hardly "through the roof".
                 You'd have to go back to Jimmy Carter times to see that.
                 Homeowners don't care what their on paper value is.  Only
                 speculators.  I'm taking away .5 troll points for the
                 inflation comment.  You're down to .25 troll points.
                 \_ For consumer products, no, but for assets, yes, they
                    are very much through the roof!  Even for consumer
                    stuff, 5.7% ain't mellow.
              \_ If you don't plan on selling right away and you're a homeowner,
                 inflation is a good thing.  You get paid more, stuff costs
                 more, so that's a no-op.  But hey!  Your property tax and
                 mortgage don't rise to match.  You win!
                 \_ In fact, real estate prices tend to track inflation in the
                    long run.
                 \_ Supposedly.  But I think the inflation for houses
                    has already happened.  The other things are only
                    now slowly catching up.
2005/10/24-25 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:40242 Activity:nil
10/24   King of real estate getting out of real estate, his reasons are
        interesting:
        http://tinyurl.com/7zeh9
        \_ Seems like the usual reasons to me.  His "deflation scenario"
           is a little more detailed that most, but it's generally the
           same.
        \_ I don't think construction material costs going up is a big secret,
           but this article is mostly focused on the high end buyers, not
           little people looking for a house.  If you already own your place
           and plan to live in it, you win.  If you can/must wait 2 years,
           you might win.  If you're buying casinos or ball parks for
           hundreds of millions, you should listen to this guy.
2005/10/22-24 [Science/GlobalWarming, Reference/RealEstate] UID:40224 Activity:nil
10/21   http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/probe/docs/disillus.html
        Housing disillusion. You can skip the last paragraph on Jesus Christ
        \_ Uh, this article was written in 1991, and turned out to be
           completely wrong.  -tom
        \_ What is the point of posting this article, unless it is to show
           that gloom and doomers are always with us?
2005/10/21-24 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:40215 Activity:nil
10/21   http://tinyurl.com/4ghvb
        16% of the houses in Vegas are bought as investments, followed
        by 15% Sac, and 13% Phoenix. Please don't cuss or delete this lafe.
        \_ I see no reason find your post at all offensive.  -lafe
        \_ I see no reason to find your post at all offensive.  -lafe
        \_ Who is lafe?
        \_ It says bay area construction permits are down -25% 99-04. I wonder
           if that's offset by more condo building.
2005/10/21-22 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:40207 Activity:kinda low
10/20   Two weeks ago my family and I went to check out a condo development.
        I took notes, did some research in the past 2 weeks and finally
        decided to call the exact same condo agent that helped me out to see
        if a particular unit is still available. It is still available,
        but to my surprise, she gave me a higher quote (by $15,000).  I asked
        her if the price changed, and she said no, price for condos didn't
        change for the past 2 weeks. She claimed that she was just reading
        the prices off of her spreadsheet. However, my family members and I
        specifically remember the original price, so either she made a mistake
        two weeks ago, or she's fucking with us. I'm pretty sure she's fucking
        around. Has anyone experienced something like this, or know someone
        who has experienced something like this?
        \_ Realtors are crooks.  Just buy from the builder directly.
           \_ I'm assuming op was talking to the builder realtor already.  Go
              to the builder instead.
        \_ Whether or not she's lying isn't important.  They raised prices
           and have the right to do so.  You were just one of dozens of people
           who came through that day and they're under no obligation to hold
           a price for you from 2 weeks earlier.  You now have the option of
           trying to negotiate it down, biting the bullet and paying up, or
           going elsewhere.
           \_ I have no problem with them raising the price. I have a
              problem when they lie to me with a straight face that
              the price didn't change when in fact they changed. I am
              not going back to that place, though it won't change
              anything anyways because they have hundreds of buyers
              waiting for condo units. Too bad. It's the only development
              with a tiny view of the ocean.
              \_ Welcome to the adult world.  People lie!  *gasp*  And realty
                 people lie even when they don't benefit from it *GASP*!  If
                 you want the thing, go make an offer, if you don't, skip it.
                 But not making an offer because some salaried bottom end
                 sales rep *gasp* *lied* to you with a straight face makes no
                 sense.  You had nothing in writing.  You hadn't put money down
                 to hold that price.  Maybe she just didn't remember.  She may
                 work in 5 different offices selling 30 different models.  And
                 hey, maybe *you* are the one who didn't remember after doing
                 all that house hunting.  Just go buy the damned thing since
                 you obviously want it so badly and are already emotionally
                 attached.
                 \_ He can even offer $15K less if he wants to. The price
                    is whatever the seller is willing to accept. By the
                    way, is this the difference between $50K and $65K or
                    $950K and $965K? If it's the Bay Area, I assume the
                    $15K won't even change the payment much.
2005/10/19-21 [Reference/RealEstate, Finance/Investment] UID:40188 Activity:nil
10/19   Housing boom/bust links from swami the magnificent:
        http://tinyurl.com/cv3mt (thestreet.com)
        http://www.patrick.net
        http://tinyurl.com/bl5rm (finance.yahoo.com on stock prices)
2005/10/10-11 [Finance/Banking, Reference/RealEstate] UID:40034 Activity:moderate
10/10   Has anyone bought or know someone who has bought a condo in a
        high-rise building in a super busy city for primary residence?
        I'm talking about any mega high-rise condo, like the ones in Houston,
        NYC, Vancouver, etc? Single family homes are either unaffordable,
        or are simply too far so I'm thinking about alternatives. I do
        have enough cash for 20-25% down and it's silly to keep
        in my savings account. What is the condo experience like and
        is it worth paying the exorbitant HOA fee which is usually 2-3X
        of single family homes for the same value?
        \_ houston?  aren't single family houses in houston like $150K?
2005/10/9 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:40028 Activity:high
10/7    While doing apartment hunting, I decided to have some fun and checked
        out a few waterfront 1bdrm and studio rentals. Most of them range
        from $2500/month to $6000/month!! For me, paying $1200/month rent
        is a waste of money. Who the heck would rent something for that
        price when you can just buy something, perhaps a bit farther and
        at least have complete ownership? In another word, who fits in
        the insane profile of wasting $6000/month on a frigging
        rental property?
        \_ Someone I know recently sold her small, squalid, old apartment
           overlooking Central park for about 2.5 million dollars.  What
           do you think is a reasonable rent for a 2.5 million dollar aprtment?
           If a homeowner pays about 1000/mo for their 100,000 dollar home,
           wouldn't it make sense for the rent to be 25,000 on the 2.5 million
           dollar place?  Looked at in that light, 6000/mo is cheap.
        \_ I don't know how it is in SF, but in a lot of European cities (and
           from what I've seen, in NYC) it's either wealthy single (for the
           small places) yuppies who can afford it -- traders, executives,
           etc., wealthier people who want a nice city apartment because
           their big villa is somewhere inconvenient for commuting, or, more
           significantly, expats on a company housing allowance.  A friend
           of mine is blowing $4500/mo. of his company's cash on a NY upper
           east side 1-bedroom.  Why?  Because he can.   Like many luxury
           goods, of course it's completely absurd if you have limited
           resources like most of us, and better things to spend them on. -John
        \_ The answer is: because those rents are probably a really good deal
           right now.  $2500/month is probably 1/2 of what you'd pay in
           interest + tax + maintenance - tax deductions.  Now, note that I
           didn't include principal.  So really, if the non-investment portion
           of purchase is higher than the rent, you're losing money buying
           vs. renting.  In a few years the balance will shift and it'll be
           about even, or a better deal to buy.
2005/10/6-7 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:39997 Activity:nil
10/5    Imagine living in NYC with all the conveniences without the
        pollution, dirt, crowds, and expensive housing. Imagine a city
        that is well connected via mass transit and is completely walkable.
        Housing is scalable and thus affordable, and work place is nearby.
        School and daycare are within walking distance. Shopping
        and retail stores are only 10 minutes away. Imagine no more.
        New Songdo City is here:
        http://www.metropolismag.com/cda/story.php?artid=1192
        http://www.new-songdocity.co.kr
        \_ I don't follow you on the "scalable and thus affordable" bit.
           Assuming this venture succeeds, and this becomes a very desireable
           place to live where people can find very high paying jobs, why
           wouldn't the cost of housing in the convenient locations spiral
           upwards just like in other successful cities?  I guess it might be
           a chance to see what a downtown housing market looks like without
           rent control or rent subsidies, but there are probably other cities
           like than by now anyway.
           upwards just like in other successful cities?
        \_ Where will I park my Hummer?
        \_ Will I have to forsake busty, blonde, blue-eyed women in favor of
           slanty-eyed chicks with small tits?
           \_ Pardon?
           \_ Considering you obviously cannot get either, I don't see how
              it matters.
              \_ "For everything else, there is MasterCharge..."
        \_ is it in the range of North Korea's artilery?
           \_ It's within range of their nukes.
           \_ It's within range of their nuclear catapualt.
                \_ Nucular
2005/10/4-6 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:39977 Activity:nil
10/4    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/04/realestate/04reals.html
        Housing bubble bursting in New York.
        \_ OTOH, one of my buddies just lost a bidding war on a Rockridge
           house.
        \_ I walked around and checked out the other units in my townhouse
           complex this weekend. The 2 bedroom units are listing for about
           10K less this week than last week. Housing definitley cooled off
           and possibly in a down turn.
                \_ One townhouse in my development just went for $100K over
                   asking price, which was already way over what they were
                   going for last year.  But there are very few units up
                   sale.
                   \_ I've seen people getting really bad advice and offering
                      way too much for homes when they are the sole bidder.
                      Last year it was normal to get 10-15 offers on a house.
                      These days you get one maybe two so best to see how many
                      offers were sent for that townhouse...
2005/9/27-29 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:39884 Activity:low
9/27    http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/050927/economy.html?.v=6
        New home sales declined by 9.9% in September, more than twice
        what analysts were expecting.
        \_ HOUSING WILL KEEP GOING UP!!!!!11! NEW ECONOMY!!!! LALALALALALAAL
           \_ wow, bitter paying your rent lately?
           \_ When my house is paid off in 15 years or so it will be worth
              the price of one (1) single family residence. That's always
              a lot of money in every economy. Whether it goes up or not
              is sort of irrelevant, because I can still live here. The
              sooner you buy the sooner you will pay it off. When I bought
              I thought prices were high, but now I've paid enough
              principal that I can actually sell for a 'loss' and still
              have made money over renting. I guess some people don't get it.
              \_ The sooner you buy your first home, the sooner you can buy
                 your second home, so on and so forth, and this goes on
                 until 99% of the land in/within 10 mile metropolitan is
                 gone and 1/2 of the homes are investment homes that make
                 landowners happy. This is truely an American dream! Everyone,
                 buy your home now!
              \_ 15 years is a long time.  How do I pay off my house in 5
                 years?
                 \_ Pay more each month.
                 \_ Move to Podunk.
                 \_ http://www.condoflip.com
                 \_ *****************
           \_ The same article says "Even with the slowdown, the median sales
              price rose 2.5 percent from July's level to $220,300."
2005/9/26-28 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:39871 Activity:low
9/26    "Defying expectations, sales of previously owned homes rose in
        August to the second-highest level on record with home prices
        rising at the fastest pace in 26 years."
        Go housing go!
        http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050926/ap_on_bi_ge/economy
        \_ it costs $5000 per month to own a $1 million house,
           but only $2400 per month to rent.  Do you think the
           economy will become very hot soon so people can
           increase the rent?
           http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/25/realestate/25cov.html?pagewanted=1
           \_ $5000 per month buys you about a $700K house with nothing
              down for 30 year fixed at ~5.6%.
              \_ No it won't, you doofus, you forgot the land tax. At around
                 $1 million the land tax becomes significant. The mortgage
                 you can pay off, the land tax is forever.
                 \_ I was counting property tax, dude. The payment for the
                    mortgage alone is $4000/month.
           \_ The economy will be very hot for the owner of the
              $1 million house, when it becomes a $2 million house.
              \_ that will just make me even happier living in a $2 million
                 house for $2400 per month while the owner is paying
                 $10000 per month.  yea, some owners bought it while its
                 cheaper, but I will find the owner who just recently
                 bought and rent from him.  that will make me feel good!
           \_ It's the dawn of the age of the NEW ECONOMY!!! Aquarius!!!
              \_ Do not misunderestimate the staying power of the Age of
                 Pisces!  Us Pisceans are not done yet!  We shall sock
                 you with one last tidal wave of natural disasters,
                 financial disasters, wars, plagues, and famines, and acts
                 of mass terrorisms, and lots of WMDs!  Just watch!
                 \_ Aquarius!
                    \_ Aquarius?
                       \_ Aquar-ee-us!
           \_ My theory is that as long as house prices keep growing at
              the current clip homeowners will keep rents low because they
              are making so much money just by property appreciation.  I don't
              know what will happen if the housing market stalls/crashes.
              \_ You have a good heart, and believe people have good hearts
                 too.  But market theory says otherwise.
        \_ still waiting for our social-communist commentator lafe to say
           something about the evils of being an efficient capitalist by
           owning too much and controlling other people's lives...
2005/9/25-26 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:39863 Activity:nil
9/24    Why buy when you can rent?
        http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/09/25/INGAUERPKR1.DTL
        \_ The author will not laugh at the buyers anymore when his 3 bedroom
           house in Berkeley soars to over 1 million dollar by next year.
2005/9/21-23 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:39798 Activity:nil
9/21    Robert Kiosaki of "Rich Dad, Poor Dad", a financial guru and a
        motivator of investment clubs that teach and guide people on
        making money fast, including flipping houses and condos, is now
        saying that real-estate is the thing of the past.
        \_ The next big thing: Live Organ Donation ...
        \_ "beanie babies" are next big thing.. especialy the retired ones
           \_ I have many of those after my then-gf made me eat Happy Meals for
              lunch for several weeks.
              \_ you have "teenie beanies".. not the real thing..
                 \_ Damm, and I ate all those Happy Meals.
                    \_ It could be worse. You could still be eating your ex.
2005/9/18-19 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:39741 Activity:nil
9/17    Think bay area home prices are scary? Try Carmel, four bedroom,
        three story house, asking price, $5,000,000.
        \_ "This is America, damn it.  Reagan is President and Clint Eastwood
            has his own police force!"
2005/9/16-18 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:39712 Activity:low
9/16    Speculators rushing in as the water recedes
        http://csua.org/u/deq (LA Times)
        "Messages from those wanting to buy houses -- whether intact or
        flooded -- and commercial properties are outrunning those who want
        to sell by a factor of 20"
        \_ This makes me proud to be an American.
        \_ I hope eminent domain to create parks kicks in.
           \_ more likeley eminent domain as a form of urban renewal to clean
              out the trashed poor neighborhoods and replace them with rich
              high-tax-paying ones.
              \_ Pfizer employees need homes!
2005/9/16-17 [Finance/Investment, Reference/RealEstate] UID:39709 Activity:moderate
9/15    Uh oh.  Consumer confidence at 13 year low.
        http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20050916/bs_nm/economy_consumers_dc
        \_ And the housing boom continues. It is dawn of the NEW MARKET
           and housing will continue to boom forever!
           \_ seconded.  housing is the most essential and limited asset
              you can buy in the US, hence the boom!  Peak median price
              should reach 30 * median annual income, that's how long
              most people have mortgages anyway.
              \_ it's a good time to buy second homes too.  since even if
                 it doesn't appreciate, you can always rent it out.
                 \_ where are you finding the renter to cover that mortgage?
                    rents aren't that high so if it doesn't appreciate, you
                    lose.
                    \_ I believe the ppp (to whom you replied) was kidding.
                       Were you kidding, ppp?
                        \_ :-)
              \_ Because people don't need to eat and can afford to put 100%
                 of their income into a mortgage?
                 \_ if you watch your pennies, food can be a very small
                    % of your income.  You should see my Chinese parents!
                    \_ All I ate the first year after I bought my first house
                       were free company meals and instant noodle.  My
                       monthly food cost was < $10.
                       \- did you become a puffy supergiant?
                          \_ I ended up consuming fewer calories than I would
                             otherwise, though those calories are of undeniably
                             lower quality.
                \_ How big is people's monthly food budget generally?
           \_ Housing will only boom till eternity in Prop-13 places.
2005/9/14-15 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:39672 Activity:nil
9/14    http://money.cnn.com/2005/09/13/real_estate/buying_selling/real_estate_fall_trends/index.htm?cnn=yes
        Housing market going right back up, picking off where Katrina started
2005/9/11-13 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:39625 Activity:low
9/10    http://money.cnn.com/2005/08/30/pf/city_county_rankings
        San Jose #1 as the Richest American city with a pop of +250K
        Here is my question. How the hell do you survive with an income of
        $71,765? You can't even buy 1/2 of a house in San Jose with that
        type of income. $71,765 is the median, so clearly someone's making
        less than that. I don't understand how people survive in SJ. It's
        crowded and it's a total dump. Housing is ridiculously expensive
        and single women there are incredibly few and ugly.
        \_ http://wealth.mongabay.com/tables/100_income_zip_codes-20000.html
        \_ you know, houses weren't always that expensive.
           \- there are plenty of people who are say retired school
              teachers in san jose who live in a ~$1m house they
              paid <$50k for in 1970s and some of them bought extra
              real estate and some point and now own a $3million apt
              bldg ... and they live modestly too and done have any kids
              left to send through college. they have very different
              income:wealth ratios compared to the +$200k income
              yuppie couple still paying off law school loans who take
              $5k vacations and drink $40 wines every night.
              \_ And the school teachers live comfortably and own lots of
                  ^school teachers^school teachers who got here in the late 60s
                 land, and truly understands the term "money working for
                 you", all thanks to this thing called ***Proposition-13***.
                 Look, inflation is above 2%, housing inflation is well
                 above 2%, and if your tax incr is just 2% then it's a
                 sure thing that most smart and entrepreneurial people would
                 want to buy land, lots and lots of land.
                 \_ Sure, real estate is a good investment - mostly
                    because if you rent it out it is 'free'. That combined
                    with leverage can make a lot of money. However, in
                    terms of returns, real estate historically has
                    returned at about the level of inflation. Stocks do
                    much better historically.
                    \_ rents are no where near the mortgage costs in the SF
                       area and many other cities.  if rent could cover a
                       mortgage then no one would claim we're in a bubble.
                       that people will pay for something that they're not
                       living in and cant be rented out to recoup the rent
                       costs means they can only recover if the sale price
                       goes up and then sell.  then those people having to do
                       the same, etc.  of course if the buyer is going to live
                       in the house and can cover it thats fine but that isnt
                       the topic here.
                       \_ Most landlords are covering the mortgage with
                          rent. The last 4 years are an anomaly.
        \_ how did oakland become #11?  all the engineers who can't afford sj?
        \_ Looking at the chart, I sense the numbers are totally meaningless.
           By limiting it to cities with populations of over 250,000 people
           they are excluding rich enclaves. On the other hand, most large
           cities are so diverse that they'll never make the list. Witness
           the absence of LA, Chicago, and NYC, which are probably the
           wealthiest cities in the country. When NYC (or even Santa Barbara)
           does not make the list and Riverside does you know your stat is not
           too useful. The county numbers are even more useless, since
           counties are often even more diverse. I was driving through Santa
           Barbara once with friend from out of state. As we went through
           a Latino area they said "I thought Santa Barbara was expensive".
           I said "It is! Lots of these little houses are worth $650K or
           more". Easterners especially equate expensive with 'white upper
           class with the exclusion of blacks and  Latinos'. So there
           forms this structure whereby they have wealthy white
           cities/counties and poor minority cities/counties, with the
           glaring examples of the ubercities like NYC. That's what these
           figures reflect more than anything, IMO. In CA, to the extent
           glaring counterexamples of the ubercities like NYC. That's what
           these figures reflect more than anything, IMO. In CA, to the extent
           that phenomenon exists, it is restricted to the elites who move
           into cities like Tiburon and not to middle class slobs making
           \_ I strongly agree with you that these numbers are meaningless.
              Mostly, I think they reflect the difference in definition of
              "city" of the east vs. the west. Many eastern counties are smaller
              in square miles than many western cities.  Hell, I think the
              entire state of CT is smaller than san diego.  Thus to even
              look at the numbers and conclude that easterners live
              farther from downtown is simply wrong.  There are 169 towns in
              ct, probably most of which have real downtowns.
              \_ Yes, this is true, too. The cities there are constructed
                 differently. A good example is DC. Wealthy people live
                 in places like Bethesda (not only different city and county but
                 different state) and less affluent people live in their
                 own suburbs. It's a sort of gerrymandering whereby rich
                 people isolate themselves from the poor. It happens in
                 the West (e.g. Beverly Hills) but it is much less common
                 here. Cities like Santa Monica have $4 million houses a
                 few blocks from the homeless shelter.
                 \_ There are 4 million dollar homes a few blocks from homeless
                    shelters on the east coast also.  They just define towns
                    differently, so that place a few blocks away is a different
                    town a lot of time.
                    \- ObPiedmont
           \_ Tiburon is relatively impoverished, as these things go.
              Belevedere just next door is quite a bit richer.  And those
              Marin towns aren't even in the same league as the big three
              on the Peninsula.
              \_ I just chose a town at random. It could have been Beverly
                 Hills or Atherton or even Orinda. Point is the same,
                 which is that not a lot of $70K income earners are buying
                 there.
           only $70K per year. Further, are Anaheim, Oakland, and San Jose
           considered wealthy cities?! I'd say they are not perceived to
           be compared to their neighbors. It's probably that 250K cutoff
           driving that.
2005/9/7 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:39554 Activity:nil
9/7     With uncertainty over the return of evacuees to NOLA and indeed
        NOLA's future in general, would the better real estate bet be on
        places like Baton Rouge or Houston, where most displaced NOLA
        residents will end up?
        \_ in neighborhoods where the poor flood in, prices will plummet,
           white flight, etc.
        \_ baton rouge looks good:  http://csua.org/u/dal (latimes.com)
        \_ In the short term, the huge population inflow from NOLA, flush
           with flood insurance money, should drive up real estate prices.
           Is growth around Baton Rouge naturally bounded by geography?  In
           any case, it will be a few years before private real estate
           development catches up and public infrastructure may take
           even longer.
2005/9/5-7 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:39507 Activity:nil
9/5     How is Katrina going to affect the housing market? I'd like to hear
        opinions from both sides. Thanks.
        \_ Just a wild guess, but I think you can probably get something
           in underwater New Orleas pretty cheap now.
        \_ Answer unclear. Try again later.
        \_ Sometime last week, houses and office space in Baton Rogue were
           being snatched up by speculators.
2005/9/2-4 [Transportation/Airplane, Reference/RealEstate] UID:39467 Activity:nil
9/2     Hey, this is pretty cool:
        http://neworleans.craigslist.org/hhh
        \_ Uh, yeah, but some of these people don't even have enough money
           in their bank accounts to fly to Stepford, Connecticut.
           \- there is an interesting mix of impressive and
              creepy stuff in there. at least one person says
              he'll let a hurricane victim have his southwest
             free tix to get there. geeze, there are real
             estate ads there?
2005/9/2-3 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:39461 Activity:nil
9/2     http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20050902/od_nm/germany_spiders_dc
        German lady eradicated spiders by burning her whole house down.
        \- it was the only way to be sure.
2005/9/1-2 [Recreation/Food, Reference/RealEstate] UID:39406 Activity:kinda low
9/1     I am in the south bay, and yesterday out of no where I discovered
        lots and lots of aunts in the bathroom. I am usually very
        careful about leaving food outside, and the trail of the aunts
        (from bathroom - living room fireplace) does not appear to
        show that they were after my food. What the hell were they
        after? Were they just moving? I sprayed and killed most of
        them, which probably numbered in the thousands.. I've not had
        a single aunt problem for the past 2 years I've lived here.
        What would cause such a sudden outburst of aunts?
        \_ They are probably after water, not food.
        \_ They are probably after money, not food.
        \_ has it been hotter than usual lately?
           http://www.mindfully.org/Pesticide/Pesticides-Wont-Stop-em.htm
           \_ I've been having exactly this problem for the past three months.
              I had the same problem the same time last year.  I've been
              wondering why the same brand of bait that used to work a few
              years ago doesn't work now.  It must be this new Argentine ant
              species.  One thing I notice is that some ants crawl much faster
              than others.  Is it the Argentine ant vs. the native species?
              years ago doesn't work now.  It must be this new Bolivian ant
              species.  One thing I notice is that Bolivian ants march faster
              than others.  Is it the Bolivian ant vs. the native species?
              I live in north Fremont.
           \_ I've noticed a lot of ants in my bathroom the past several
              months as well.  They go away for few weeks after I put those
              ant bait/traps, but come right back.  I don't have problems with
              ants in other parts of my Oakland apartment.
              ants in other parts of my Oakland apartment. I live in E. Fremont.
        \_ Its not like the ants in CA bite or anything, what are you
           so concerned about?
           \_ They crawl up my legs and arms.  My in-law got a few on her face
              a few nights ago while sleeping.
           \_ They crawl up my legs and arms. My in-law got her face chewed off
              a few nights ago while sleeping. We are Taiwanese.
2005/8/29-30 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:39331 Activity:high
8/29    "If you paid your mortgage off, it means you probably did not manage
        your funds efficiently over the year."
                -David Lereah (chief economist, National Assocn of Realtors)
        "If you own your own home free and clear, people will often refer to
        you as a fool.  All that money sitting there, doing nothing."
                -Anthony Hsieh (chief executive, LendingTree Loans)
        http://csua.org/u/d6q (LA Times)
        \_ Indeed, I suppose it's better to pay interest and have the
           possibility of losing your home if you ever lost your job
           by being unable to pay off the debt than the alternative.
           Unless you plan to utilize the debt in some sort of constructive
           method, taking out a loan for a loan's sake (especially with
           the rather wonky instruments utilized today) isn't necessarily
           smart.
           \_ Actually, it's better to have money for your monthly
              payment than to have spent it all paying off the house.
              Also, carrying a mortgage has tax benefits, and someone noted
              investments below too.
              \_ You don't spend it ALL paying off the mortgage.  Like
                 an investment, you can spend a small portion of what
                 you earn toward the mortgage, paying off principles.
                 The tax advantage you get by paying mortgage cancels
                 out the tax you pay on investments, so paying off
                 your 30 year 6% mortgage is like making a guaranteed
                 6% investment (for 30 years). If you are sure your
                 money will earn more than that, then by all means put
                 it to good use. If it's just sitting at your band
                 account earning 1% or doing nothing useful (ie, you
                 already have enough emergency reserves), then you are
                 wasting your money. Unfortunately the majority of
                 people waste their money this way.
        \_ I read that too.  If the economy gets totally fucked at least
           you'll still have your house to live in ... If your goal in life
           is maximum consumption with no safety net, then the advice in that
           article is very good.
           \_ Queue Prop 13 argument. Without it you might not have a
              house to live in even if it's paid for.
        \_ I agree with Mr. Lereah and Mr. Hsieh.  Mortgage interest after
           tax savings for a 30 year fixed is like 4%.  It's not hard to
           beat that with some smart investing.  I've been getting like
           35% return per year the last 3 years.  Mortgage interest is
           ridiculously low, and you get the rate for 30 years, then add
           a big tax break .. it's a no brainer.  Of course, paying off
           your mortgage is a safe (guaranteed) return, so if you are
           35% return per year the last 3 years.  Of course, paying off
           your mortgage is a safe and guaranteed return, so if you are
           close to retirement ...
           \_ What investment options have better return than 4% and carry low
              risk these days?  I only made the required mortgage payment for
              the first year or two, thinking that I would invest the extra
              money somewhere and get better returns.  After a while I changed
              my mind and started making extra payments towards the principal
              instead.  I'm 34 and have a wife and a kid.
              \_ You choose wisely!
              \_ also, guy was saying:  doing better than losing 4% per year
                 due to mortgage interest
              \_ I bonds are paying 4.8% currently.  Granted your earnings
                 will be taxed, but your mortgage interest rate stays the
                 same for 30 years, and it won't surprise me at all if
                 one year down the road, you'll be getting say 5.5% from
                 two years down the road, you'll be getting say 6% from
                 I bonds, and pocketing the spread.  The bigger question,
                 however, is why you are so risk averse.  At 34, I presume
                 you are far from retirement and your kid far from college.
                 you need to grow your money to prepare for those.
                 (note that I bonds interest earnings are exempt from
                 state and local income taxes, and if used to finance
                 education, may be exempt from federal taxes too.)
                 \_ I am 32 and I think there's some benefit to having a
                    mortgage and keeping cash. I know a woman with
                    millions in cash who still has an $800,000 mortgage
                    on her $2M house. Why drop $1.2M for something that is
                    costing only $4K/month? On the other hand, I am paying
                    on her $2M house. Why drop $800K more for something that
                    is costing only $4K/month? On the other hand, I am paying
                    extra on my mortgage because I want it paid in 15-20
                    years instead of 30. It would be great to be 50 and
                    have no mortgage. Not only would retirement be better,
                    but those 15 years before then could be great (e.g.
                    travel) without that big monthly expense. So I see
                    myself as a compromise. My mortgage (principal) is one
                    investment I make, but not close to my only one.
                    \_ yes, but if (granted, a big if) you invest well,
                       you would have plenty of liquid asset on hand,
                       that you could use to pay off your mortgage anytime
                       you want.  that's my goal and strategy.
                       \_ Of course, which is why I say it's not my only
                          investment. However, by cutting years off of my
                          mortgage and saving lots of money in interest I
                          am doing myself a favor. I invest more OUTSIDE
                          of my mortgage. People putting every available
                          extra dollar towards their house are misguided,
                          I think. I knew a girl who was a performance
                          artist/exotic dancer. When she retired (at a young
                          age by necessity) she had saved $500K cash. She
                          bought a $500K house with it. I am not sure
                          that's the wisest use of money. I personally
                          would have taken a small mortgage out on the
                          place and kept some cash for something else. Same
                          ideas at work.
              \_ You are not the target of Messrs. Lereah and Hsieh ire.
                 People who have paid off their houses are their objects of
                 scorn. The concept is that these people should risk some
                 small percentage of their home equity for a chance to make
                 more than the rate of a home equity loan. Since you do not
                 actually own your house or are close to paying it off, you
                 can and should ignore their taunts.
                 \_ Actually, anyone with equity is the target. That
                    equity could be working for you, right?
                    \_ If you reread the quotes, they are referring directly
                       to people who have finished off paying their mortgages.
                       The article itself implies more the "any equity" crowd.
                       \_ But, really, what's the difference if I owe
                          $20K or nothing on a, say, $300K house?
                          \_ Not much. The better question is $100K vs. $20K.
                             Of course, it's your house. How much you want to
                             risk is up to you.
                             \_ I'm just saying the 'finished paying off
                                their mortgages' distinction seems
                                unnecessary. Anyone with equity is the
                                target.
                                \_ Their word choice is VERY telling. They are
                                   aiming to get those people with a high
                                   amount of equity, not those who are just
                                   5-10 years into their 30 year mortgage.
                                   I'd guess they are looking at older, lower
                                   risk homeowners as their target audience.
                                   \_ If you're 5-10 years into your mortgage
                                      in the Bay Area, you have an enormous
                                      amount of equity.  -tom
                          \_ You need to think of the difference in
                             terms of years. ie, 50k now = 10 years of
                             mortgage free living. Whether it's
                             something you want, it's up to you.
                             \_ Where does the $50K number come from?
        \_ translation: there are not enough naive individual investors
           to take risks and shelter our instititutional investment
           models to provide steady revenue for our capital investors
           who are not willing to take those high-risk investments
           themselves.
           \_ real translation: we need more idiots to buy houses they
              can't afford, and more idiots to refinance their loans
              to extract the equity to spend on new cars.
              \- why do you hate idio^D^D^D^DAmericans?
           \_ yea, naive american investors should learn from the
              japanese and put all their money in 0% savings accounts
              - real safe!
                                     \_ you should fix that backspace key
                                        \_ The ^D's were meant to be a joke.
                                           Welcome to the net.
                                           \_ Real Sodans use "^H".
2005/8/28-29 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:39313 Activity:nil
8/28    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,167141,00.html
        Can you identify a housing bubble? Fox the Magnificent says
        the bubble will not be a local phenomenon, it'll be national. Also
        there will be a RECESSION.
        \_ better to overestimate the damage than underestimate it
        \_ It will necessarily be national, because interest rates are
           driving it. However, a house in Missouri which is $150K and
           falls to $125K isn't too big of a deal. The places that will
           feel it most are where the gains have been the largest and
           prices are the highest.
2005/8/25-26 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:39277 Activity:nil
8/25    <Ahhh, nothing like multiple housing related flamewars on the motd.>
        \_ It's called the housing flamewar boom. It'll bubble soon.
           \_ THERE IS NO BUBBLE!!! THE NUMBER OF HOUSING FLAMES WILL INCREASE
              FOREVER!!!!1!!! I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!!! LALALALALALALAA!!!!!
2005/8/25-26 [Reference/RealEstate, Reference/Tax] UID:39276 Activity:nil
8/25    How much is california property tax like?  ballpark figure?
        here in the chicago suburba, my property tax is about 1.2% of the
        price of my house.
        \_ 1% per year, based on the assessed value of your house.  The house
           is re-assessed when it's sold or there's new construction.
           \_ how is "new construction" defined?  Anything with a contractor/
              building permit? (new windows? update bathroom?)  Or more major
              things (build an addition?)  Seems like this would be a major
              disincentive to do repairs/updates?
              \_ Minor stuff doesn't count. I dunno what the cutoff is though.
                 Not minor remodeling.
                 \_ Yes, minor remodeling counts. However, you are only
                    assessed the added value of the construction. That is,
                    if you add a $50K den to your house then you pay
                    property tax on $50K. If your previous assessment was
                    $100K it is now $150K. It doesn't cause the entire
                    house to be reassessed.
           Otherwise, the assessed value changes +/- 2% per year depending on
           inflation.
           E.g., my parents' house owned for ~ 15 years is taxed at $375K even
           though it's worth $800K right now.
           If they decided to gift it to me for $0, I'd have to pay 1% of
           $800K per year.
           \_ I've always wondered how it worked with inherited property -
              some articles I have seen seemed to imply that if it was not
              a sale, it would still have the original cost basis.  Anyone
              have any experience with inherited houses and the resulting
              property tax?
              \_ Yeah it retains the cost basis.
           \_ Your parent's house is from 15 years ago and it only
              went from 375k to 800k? Something's not quite right
              here. 15 years ago 375k would by you a lot! I for sure
              would've bought one in Palo Alto for that price ;)
              \_ it's next to a freeway ... the 10 freeway
                 and you're doing your math wrong.  it's taxed at $375K
                 today, but new it was purchased for ... $150-200K?  I forget.
              \_ 15 years ago was the top of the last real estate bubble.
                 Houses have about doubled off of that high (after
                 subsequently falling for a few years) so it's totally
                 feasible. My neighbor bought her house in 1989 for $280K.
                 It's worth probably $600K. In the interim it fell in
                 value all the way to maybe $220K and was only worth $300K
                 again in 2001. So it doubled in 4 years, but fell before
                 that.
        \_ 1% + regional additions.  Albany, for example, is 1.25% I believe.
           \_ Alameda county base is 1.1%, Berkeley adds 0.6%, so in Berkeley
              you pay 1.7%.
2005/8/25-26 [Reference/RealEstate, Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:39265 Activity:nil
8/25    Is property tax painful because the housing price / rent ratio is
        so out of whack?  It's like, for the property tax one is paying,
        one may as well go rent.
        \_ If you are not taking property tax into account when buying a
           house, you don't deserve to own.
           \_ Yes, which is why Prop 13 is so valuable. If you take it
              into account and then 3 years later it rises 50% because
              the market goes nuts you can be screwed. It is not a good
              solution to sell or to take out a loan to pay for the tax,
              in spite of what Tom says. Prop 13 actually allows one to
              budget because it limits the rise of property tax to a
              reasonable level (1%/year).
              known level (1%/year).
                \_ do you think artificially low property tax has artificially
                   jacked up real estate prices?
                   \_ Heh, that's pretty funny.  "artificially low property
                      tax".  You do know that all taxes are arbitrary, right?
                      -emarkp
                   \_ Well, if property tax is raised then prices will
                      fall, sure. Does that sound like a good idea to you?
                      Transfer more wealth from the people to the
                      government, right? It's here to help us.
                      \_ Not to mention that if the rate rises and the
                         values then fall the government still collects
                         the same amount of $$$ except the homeowner is
                         assed out of his equity.
              \_ How about a scheme that keeps track of additional property
                 tax owed and then charging the seller that amount when the
                 property is sold?
                 \_ too fucking complicated.
                    \_ What do you call the IRS?
2005/8/19-22 [Reference/RealEstate, Computer/Companies/Google] UID:39175 Activity:low
8/18    http://tinyurl.com/alu76
        How rich are Googlers? Now you find out.
        \_ Crap!  If you can afford a $12 million dollar home, RETIRE!
           \_ I don't know a lot of really rich people, but in my observation
              truly retiring is always a bad idea.  Changing careers later
              in life is one thing, but ending all productivity is a great
              way to have your health go downhill and die young(70's instead
              of 90's) and bitter, even if you have enough money.  I'm just
              basing this on observations of older family members who've
              kept working in some capacity forever vs. those who truly became
              retired.  I'm never going to totally retire, even if I have
              enough money to never work again.
              \_ I basically agree.  I don't really think 30
                 year-ld googlers are going to retire in the "sit around
                 and watch TV all day way," anyway.  But there's all kinds
                 of things I'd like to do/work on other than showinging up
                 here 8-5 everyday. I would at least ditch the bay area. -op
              \_ I basically agree.  I don't really think 30 year-ld
                 googlers are going to retire in the "sit around and watch
                 TV all day way," anyway.  But there's all kinds of things
                 I'd like to do/work on other than showinging up here 8-5
                 everyday. I would at least ditch the bay area. -op
              \_ I know a woman with a few million in cash and many
                 millions more in real estate. Even though she made the
                 money doing other things (real estate, businesses) she's
                 also a psychologist. She continues to run her practice
                 on a small scale (accepts no new patients) even though it
                 only makes her $60-70K per year. Why bother? I've never
                 asked her, but I'm sure she does it because she enjoys
                 it. If the GOOG guy enjoys his job then that's all that
                 matters.
           \_ No, a good capitalist keeps working until he owns everyone
              else, like Gates, Rocketfeller, Walton, and Lay. Capitalism
              is what makes our nation so great! Haven't you learned anything
              in grade school?
              \_ I find it hard to believe that you'd compare someone like a
                 Rockefeller, who at least believed in a work ethic and just
                 about gave away most of his fortune to a Ken Lay.  -John
           \_ I have an acquaintance who owns his own business. Last year
              he bought a house in Beverly Hills for $4 million in cash.
              He owns many cars, including a Cayenne S and a Bentley.
              Another acquaintance of ours asked him why he bothered to
              keep working at this point when he and his family are set
              for life. His reply: "I don't want to have to drive a BMW
              5 series, which is what I'd be limited to if I stopped
              working." So there you have it.
              \_ Huh, I'd be interested in talking to him about
                 diminishing returns.  What's the real difference between
                 a BMW and a Bently?  Why is it worth 10 hours of every
                 day?
                 \_ It's an example. What he is saying is that he'd live
                    a good life, but not his current lifestyle.
                    \_ No duh.  The law of diminishing returns extends to
                       pretty much all areas as well.
                       \_ Sure, but who is to say what when returns are
                          not worth it? Is it when you own your own
                          home? Whether it is worth it or not is an
                          individual decision. You might be happy with a
                          5 series. This guy is not. You don't think it's
                          worth it. He does. Lots of people could get by
                          with less, but they want more. Right? Are you
                          going to decide for them when enough is enough?
                          \_ Did you take too much meth this morning or
                             something?  I said I'd like to ask him about
                             his motives, and what he thinks; I did not
                             say I wanted to tell him what to do.
                             \_ I didn't read the question "Why is it
                                worth 10 hours of every day?" as an honest
                                question, but as criticism. If it was an
                                honest question I apologize.
                                \_ No, it was quite an honest question.
                                   I'm surprised more people don't ask it.
                                   \_ I've had the privilege of test driving
                                      a $150k sports car and of receiving an
                                      upgrade to a stupid $$$ hotel room (no
                                      clue why) and being invited to try some
                                      really expensive delicacies, stuff which
                                      I can't-but-would-like-to afford.  Even
                                      if there's no intrinsic motivation to
                                      work, there are some pretty definite
                                      material benefits that I imagine I could
                                      really get used to.  -John
              \_ I think owning your business is different.  The
                 business becomes your baby, and you can't just let it
                 die.  My girlfriend's mom runs a business and makes
                 a few million a year, but she works like crazy
                 (15 hour days, 1 day of rest per month).  My gf is
                 more tired when she goes home for vacation cause
                 she has to help her mom and follow her schedule.
        \_ The grape is very sour to me. :-(
2005/8/18-19 [Reference/Law/Court, Reference/RealEstate] UID:39172 Activity:low
8/18    A refrigerator box under the bridge: The
        Kelo Seven prepares for the worst
        http://fairfieldweekly.com/gbase/News/content?oid=oid:119000
        \_ It's not chutzpah, but it's a definite case of sore winners.
2005/8/18-20 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:39163 Activity:low
8/18    Does anyone live in Vancouver? What is it like working and living
        there? How easy is it to get a citizenship? What about buying
        properties, what is it like buying a cheap affordable condo
        (you can get a 2 bedroom for only $300,000 CAD) in W Vancouver?
        \_ Vancouver is historically a very expensive city with very
           expensive real estate. Be careful of any bargains you find.
           They may not be in a good area.
        \_ Parts of W. Vancouver are pretty much in the sticks.  The city
           is gorgeous with a lot of great bars and restaurants, nice
           geography all around (I think they have some rule that no
           building built downtown can block anyone's view of the mountains
           or something like that) and beautiful women.  I hear it gets real
           cold though.  -John
           \_ In terms of weather, Vancouver is considered the Hawaii/CA of
              Canada.
              \_ Why do you hate Canada?  -John
           \_ It rains a lot.
2005/8/9-11 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:39075 Activity:nil
8/9     Housing market collapses in San Diego:
        http://www.thespoof.com/news/spoof.cfm?headline=s8i8827
        \_ The spoof isn't that funny IMO.
           Real article:  http://csua.org/u/czc
2005/8/2-4 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:38934 Activity:nil
8/2     Save CBGB's!
        http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050802/ap_en_mu/music_cbgb_eviction
2005/8/1-3 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:38917 Activity:kinda low
8/1     Fuck you.  go speculate on real estate somewhere else.
        \_ To repost the original question... "Tell me if this is legal and
           feasible. We all know about the housing boom and possible bubble.
           The bubble hasn't happened yet, but if it happens, it'll burn a lot
           of individual investors. Since it's a risky business, how about
           starting a corporation that borrows money from banks and from
           individual investors to buy up huge amount of properties, and maybe
           even buy sections of big cities? They can make huge profits by
           renting out properties or flipping them to other individual
           investors? If things go sour, the corporation shares the risks
           so no one gets burned badly, and worst case comes they can
           always declare bankruptcy. Is this legal? Possible? Can
           corporations buy blocks of land or buy cities and make huge
           profits since they have no competitors?"
           \_ Why not just sell crack,  you worthless fuck?
              \_ You seem to have a lot of anger. What's wrong?
                 \_ I've had to move three times in three years because of
                    places that were bought out by real estate speculators
                    who drove all the tenants out.  In one case, a place I moved
                    out of three years ago is still vacant because the soulless
                    motherfucking cunt ass shits who bought the place are simply
                    sitting on it, presumably to sell later.  I know, I should
                    have just bought a place like everyone else, blah blah blah.
                    Well, I'm sorry I commited the crime of wanting to get
                    an education and delaying my entry into the workforce at the
                    time whenn all the bloodsuckers decided to fuck low income
                    renters with their little speculative shitfest.
                    \_ I'm sorry you hate the spirit of capitalism that makes
                       United States the best country in the world. If you
                             \_ We lived in my grandfather's basement until he
                                asked us to leave.  She couldn't find an
                                apartment.  She had some savings and used them
                                to buy a cheap house so we'd have a roof.
                                She didn't "owned her own successful business",
                                she took over my grandmother's failed business
                                and made it work again with 16-20 hour days
                                when said grandmother died and my father
                                divorced her and she had to move back to the
                                US.  She made it, I made it, and I know people
                                whose family had far more than we ever did who
                                got financial aid.  Enough of a sob story for
                                you?  Who are you to ask?  -JOhn
                       hate America so much, you should get the fuck out of
                       my country and move to Commie Europe.    !williamc
                       \_ Go fuck yourself.  I couldn't get a financial need
                          scholarship because my mom bought a cheap house with
                          all of her savings so we'd have a roof over our
                          heads while she spent 20 years resuscitating a
                          failed business (successfully) that she'd taken over,
                          only to have it triple in value.  You're not a
                          capitalist investor, you're a third-rate
                          opportunistic tick.  -John
                          \_ Your mom owned her own successful business
                             plus her house was paid for, yet you still
                             felt entitled to financial aid? Who are
                             you calling a tick???
                             \_ We lived in my grandfather's basement until he
                                asked us to leave.  She couldn't find an
                                apartment.  She had some savings and used them
                                to buy a cheap house so we'd have a roof.
                                She didn't "owned her own successful business",
                                she took over my grandmother's failed business
                                and made it work again with 16-20 hour days
                                when said grandmother died and my father
                                divorced her and she had to move back to the
                                US.  She made it, I made it, and I know people
                                whose family had far more than we ever did who
                                got financial aid.  Enough of a sob story for
                                you?  Who are you to ask?  -JOhn
                                you?  Who are you to ask?  -John
                             \_ Reading comprehension 101, padawan.  "Cheap
                                house" + "failed business" = "no $".  "Cheap
                                house" + "resuscitating a failed business" +
                                "real estate speculators" = "expensive house" +
                                "no $" + "people with far more but who didn't
                                grow up not believing in debt getting financial
                                aid".  Enough of a sob story?  I'm calling
                                you a tick, assuming you're the op.  -John
                 \_ This is the anger one feels when having to spend $600K
                    for some crap place that's still kind of far from work.
                    \_ ObIGotIntoTheMarketInTimeGloating.
                    \_ People are unlikely to change their investment habits
                       and it's a waste of energy to get angry, so how
                       you get your ass in an investment club and start
                       investing? If you don't have enough capital, there
                       are lots of time-shared flipping clubs you can join
                       these days. You can buy 1/4 of a house with 4 other
                       members and flip the house for 1/4 of the profit
                       (minus club fees), I've made a lot of money in the
                       past 2 years this way, and now have enough to flip
                       a few houses of my own. If I can do it, SO CAN YOU!
                       Don't wait! Do it while the market is still hot. All
                       indications show that sales of homes rose AGAIN in
                       June. Despite liberal naysayers yapping about the
                       bubble, the Bush economy is really working and
                       things are looking really good.
                       http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8758416
                        http://lin.kz/?mbl19
                        \_ Erhehehahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahah
                           Didn't any of you LIVE through the late '90s?
        \_ To answer the original poster, it seems this is done with corporate
           space.  E.g., Arden Realty owns a whole bunch of class A office
           bldgs in SoCal.
           Big real estate companies owning lots of single-family homes is not
           as natural, since home buyers get a big tax break that frequently
           goes into the hundreds of thousands of dollars if they live in the
           house for two years, and if you're the big company, you don't get
           \_ Could you go into detail on this?  I'm not quite at the point of
              buying a house yet (esp. in this market), but considering it.  I
              wasn't aware that the savings were in the hundreds of thousands?
              \_ http://biz.yahoo.com/brn/050726/16039.html?.v=1
              \_ http://lin.kz/?40lym
              \_ http://biz.yahoo.com/brn/050726/16039.html?.v=1
           the tax break, so you're not as competitive.
           Persons or small/mid-size companies owning lots of apartment bldgs
           is more common.
           \_ True, rental real estate does not get the 250K/500K tax free
              treatment of residental real estate.  However, you do get to
              roll one rental unit over to the next rental unit and put
              off paying taxes on your profits.  I've always assumed that
              there are not companies owning and renting out many residential
              units because the business doesn't scale well.  And of course
              being a new landlord today is just awful for cash flow.
        \_ so let's come back to the original question. Can rental (apartment)
           companies as well as land-owning companies merge to form a single
           land owning mega corporation? Can companies own and run their own
           cities? Will the CEOs be like kings and the people who rent or
           \- like Disney?
           pay exorbitant city fees and association fees be like... peasants?
           \_ isn't that what a REIT is?
              \_ Yes. Also, look up Irvine Land Trust.
                 \_ There are also lots of real estate investor's groups doing
                    this. Someone forms a LLC and each investor puts up $x .
                    Usually it is for office buildings and the like, but
                    investors have been doing this for residences on a large
                    scale in places like Arizona, Florida, and Las Vegas.
           \_ I never understood this spectre of corporate feudalism that
              people are so afraid of.  The government is a much more dangerous
              entity as far as sliding back into feudalism is concerned.
                -- ilyas
              \_ Insofar as govt. is given broad central powers, sure. But in
                 terms of actual legal implementation of serfdom in the US,
                 look no further than Walmart.
              \_ You load sixteen tons and what do you get?
                 Another day older and deeper in debt.
                 Saint Peter don't you call me, 'cause I can't go....
                 I owe my soul to the Company store. -Kentucky folk song
                 I owe my soul to the Company store. -West Virginia folk song
                 \_ http://www.ernieford.com/Sixteen%20Tons.htm
                 \_ http://lin.kz/?fmdj3
                 \_  http://www.ernieford.com/Sixteen%20Tons.htm
                 \_ It is important to remember in discussions with ilyas that
                    he is a tax payer supported grad student.
                    \_ This is a similar red herring to saying tom holub or psb
                       is a college dropout.  -- ilyas
                       \_ I don't remember either of them espousing an extremist
                          ideology that equates dropping out of school with
                          evil.  If they had, it would certainly be relevant.
                          What if you found out one of our local religious
                          conservatives worked at an abortion clinic?  Would
                          that be a red herring?
                    \_ ilyas reminds me of those old shredded wheat
                       commercials.  "The whole grain libertarian in me says
                       'FUCK POOR PEOPLE!  POWER TO THE CORPORATION!', while
                       the frosted side of me in the real world loves the fact
                       that MEN WITH GUNS are forcing poor slobs like meyers
                       AT GUNPOINT to pay for my quality education!" -meyers
2005/7/14-15 [Reference/RealEstate, Finance/CC, Recreation/Dating] UID:38617 Activity:low
7/14    http://sportsbybrooks.com/Denise1.html - more Denise!
        \_ so what?  fake tits and a vacant stare?  there's no shortage
           of that in Hollywood.
        \_ Here's a more interesting pic: http://sportsbybrooks.com/events.html
           \_ Hot chicks sorted by ...
        \_ Is there some significance to this particular cheesecake?
        \_ Looks like a chick I met in a Reno stripclub who came to visit
           me in the Bay Area, but this was before the boob job.
2005/7/12-13 [Politics/Domestic/California, Reference/RealEstate] UID:38550 Activity:low
7/11    Top cities to live in the US. Northern Cal towns got mentioned a few
        times. Go Bay Area!!! Northern Cal >>> Southern Cal. We are the best!
        Go Mill Valley, Saratoga, Aptos, Benecia, and Petaluma.
        Proof that California >>> Rest of the US!!!
        http://money.cnn.com/best/bplive/top100_1.html
        \_ I regard any list with Chino Hills on it with the utmost
           suspicion. As someone who lived in LA and SF, though, I think
           San Diego is the best place in CA. Nice weather, lots of single
           women, good quality of life, close to LA but not in it.
           Somewhere like La Jolla would rock.
        \_ Dude...they have COMPTON on that list!!!
           \_ I don't see it. What number?
        \_ Coronado is indeed BEAUTIFUL, but if the median household income
           is $72000 and the average home price is over 1 million dollars...
           then something's really screwy here.
        \_ Naperville, IL has a median household income of $96,000 and
           average home price of $311,000. Compare that to California
           where it is not unusual that average home prices are 10X the
           household income. Based on unaffordability, I failed to see why
           they even bother to put in CA cities. I guess it makes sense
           if you bought houses in the 80s or inherited land.
           \_ Wait until you see how big that house in Illinois is, too.
              It's probably 3x the size of the average house here. However, it
              is in Illinois. I wouldn't move there if you paid my mortgage
              for me.
              \_ nah, Naperville is not that cheap.  $300K will likely get
                 you a nice 1800 sq ft townhouse, but that's about it.
                 A suburb of chicago, it's a pretty nice city, but not
                 comparable to the bay area in terms weather, outdoors
                 activities, places to go within 4 hours drive, and
                 cosmopolitan demographics.
                 activities, places to go, and cosmopolitan demographics.
                 \_ 5 bedrooms, 2 baths $374K. 3/2 $239K. $500K gets you
                    a 3000+ square foot house.
                    \_ yes, that sounds about right.  How much is a
                       decent 1800 sq ft townhouse in the Bay Area
                       (say Fremont) these days?
                       \_ $500-700k
                       \_ Sister's 2/2 in Walnut Creek is $595K. I saw
                          a 3/1 1600 square foot SFR in Naperville for $200K.
                          \_ but the SFR is likely old and crappy.
                             \_ Sure, just like it would be here in CA but
                                cost 3x as much.
                                \_ don't worry, the price/rent ratio between
                                   naperville and bay area will eventually
                                   start converging, one way or another.
                                   A $200K townhouse in naperville rents
                                   for about $1300.
                                   \_ Yeah, but it will probably be home
                                      prices going up in Illinois. You
                                      still make more money over the long
                                      run by buying, even in California.
                                      There is a global savings glut right
                                      now, driving down yields, forcing
                                      investors into things like rental
                                      property.
2005/7/12-13 [Reference/RealEstate, Finance/Investment] UID:38549 Activity:low
7/11    http://money.cnn.com/best/bplive/topten/earners.html
        Saratoga has the 7th highest median income in the US, trailing
        behind Great Falls VA, Darient CT, New Canaan CT, Wilton CT, and
        others. What the heck do people do in VA and CT that make them rich?
        \_ Pretty shocking that these are ahead of places like Beverly Hills.
           Anyway, the CT people work in NYC. The VA people rip off the
           government.
           \_ The residents of places like Beverly Hills and Brentwood probably
              don't have high incomes but instead high net worth.
              \_ Brentwood is not a city. BH's median income was $91K (2000).
                 What you say is true, but you don't buy a $2M house by
                 making $91K. The "slums of Beverly Hills" must drive down
                 the median.
                 \_ Also, many SoCal places (e.g. Manhattan Beach and Laguna
                    Beach) have had a huge run-up in the last few years.
                    Long time residents might not have the income of people
                    who might be buying in now.
                 \_ I went to Maggiano's once and overheard 3 real estate
                    agents talking about how hot the market is, and one of
                    them said his dream house is to buy this condo in Santa
                    Monica, 1100 sq ft, is really close to 3rd Street and
                    overlooks the beach. It starts at 1.5 million dollars.
                    Then he said he sold one of them last week, and the other
                    agent said "Jesus! What kind of people buy these places?"
                    and he replied "Oh, she works for the Judge Judy
                    production."
        \_ Only for cities with population over 14000, thus eliminating the
           truly posh towns.
        \_ The amusing list is the top 10 priciest homes.
           http://money.cnn.com/best/bplive/topten/homes.html
           \_ What's so amusing about it? If you have money, anywhere is
              a good place to live.
              \_ It's amusing that 9 of 10 are in CA.
                 \_ It'll more amusing when they go down by 20% of their
                    value in 3 years.
                    \_ Drat, so in 3 years I'll only be up 115% since I bought
                       my house?
                       \_ :-)
                       \_ I piss in your general direction.
              \_ Actually, no.  Some places are awful to live in, especially
                 if you have money.
2005/7/7-8 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:38452 Activity:nil
7/6     Australian housing bubble.
        http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/05/realestate/05aussie.html
2005/7/5-6 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:38418 Activity:kinda low
7/5     The Randy Cunningham story just keeps getting better.  Turns out
        a guy trying to get a request in to the white house for a pardon
        bought Cunningham's old yacht (the one he lived on before moving
        onto Mitchell Wade's yacht).  Cunningham bought the yacht from
        another congressman in '97 for $200k.  He sold it to the pardon-
        seeker for $600k, who put $100K in repairs into it, and was set
        to sell it back to Cunningham until the shenanigans with Cunningham's
        real estate deals came out in the press.  This guy's filthy.
        \_ Who the fuck is Randy Cunniingham and why should I care? -dans
        \_ Who the fuck is Randy Cunniingham and why should I care?
           \_ The guy who authored the flag protection amendment in the house,
              sits on the appropriations committee and has taken what amounts
              to very large bribes in a number of real estate deals.
        \_ Any time negative info comes up about a politician, ask yourself, is
           it something you would have brought up and spread about anyway
           if you'd known about it (and been right to do so) or is it
           irrelevant, and only being used to smear someone in connection with
           an unrelated issue they're involved with?  If it's the latter, you
           are displaying an incredible paucity of political creativity and
           good sense.  -John
              \_ Regardless of who the guy is, this is typical smear.  His name
                 pops up in conjunction with some unrelated political stuff,
                 and out come the trolls digging up anything even remotely
                 compromising.  Sad.  Don't you have any good arguments
                 against his flag shit?  -John
                 \_ Actually, I had no idea he sponsored any flag amendment.
                    I heard about the story because "corruption among pols"
                    is a newsworthy item.  Also, because it deals with Cal.
                    real-estate.  Originally the story broke that he sold his
                    SD house to the owner of some engineering firm for $1.6m.
                    The guy turns around next month and puts the house on the
                    market, and it doesn't sell until a year later for $900k.
                    Ha. In this market?  Turns out, shortly after he purchased
                    the house, the engineering firm receives it's first multi-
                    million dollar gov't military contract in years.  And it's
                    been rolling in gov't contracts ever since.  -nivra
                    \_ It was something like 3 days later that the house was
                       back on the market.  the FBI recently raided both MZM's
                       (the contractor involved) and Cunningham's offices and
                       home.  It's a funny, sad, dirty story, and definitely
                       worth watching, John.  Bringing up the flag burning
                       amendment was just a point of reference for the guy,
                       not any commentary on it.  --scotsman
                       \_ Here's a helpful chart describing some of the
                          goodies so far:
                          http://csua.org/u/cm5 (swingstateproject.com)
2005/6/30 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:38379 Activity:nil
6/30    dear motd this is really eating me out and i cant keep it a secret
        anymore.  im a student and i rent a room in a suburb with mostly
        working class people who are gone during the day. lately i've
        noticed something really strange with my neighbor with whom i've
        met a few times. she's a really attractive and flirty housewife.
        anyhow like most people her husband is gone most of the day.
        everyday at around 3pm this mailman rings her door bell and they
        usually talk for a while but for the last two weeks he takes a
        package to her house GOES INTO THE HOUSE for 10-20 minutes then comes
        back WITH THE PACKAGE!!! i dont really want to know whats going on
        and its really none of my business but i feel guilty for keeping
        this a secret.  i mean what if something really goes on? should i
        keep quiet for status quo... ignorance is bliss, or should i be
        honest and tell someone about it in which case i may be responsible
        for destroying lives? whats the best thing to do?
        \_ Stay out of it. You have no idea what's going on. Maybe they
           are friends. You have evidence of nothing. I say make a move
           on the housewife yourself. It's the only way to be sure!
           \_ Seconded.
        \_ Blackmail her for sex or money.
        \_ Use your electronic skills to videotape her and the mailman.
        \_ procure a mailman uniform and sub for the day
2005/6/24-26 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:38292 Activity:nil
6/24    Hello, I'd like to join the craze and flip houses for huge profits.
        However, I don't have enough capital or expertise to do this. Does
        anyone know if there are companies out there that manage time-shared
        house flipping? For example, if 10 people buy a house and flip
        it, each person gets 1/10 of the profit (minus commission)?
        \_ Post your home address, and I'll volunteer to come over and beat the
           shit out of you.
        \_ Yeah, there's definitely no real estate bubble.  Sheesh.
        \_ I'd be interested in starting a company like this. Professional
           Flipping Management Corporation. We take in a lot of cash and try
           to flip a house or two, and even if the market goes bad, we can
           still get by with management fees that we charge. It's a win-win
           situation for whoever starts this company.
           \_ Yeah, it's a win-win as long as none of the victims from whatever
              neigborhood you end up ruining don't come knocking at your door
              with a tire iron.
        \_ Is there such a thing as real estate mutual fund?
           \_  Perhaps you're interested in REIT's ?
        \_ sadly enough, http://condoflip.com (from
           http://sfgate.com/columnists/lloyd
           \_ dude, I put that on the motd yesterday
2005/6/24-27 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:38291 Activity:low
6/24    Thoughts on Duke Cunningham?  selling one house to a company with
        business in front of him for $700k more than market value.  Buying
        another house from another campaign contributor under fraud
        investigation for $2-3million below market value.  And the real estate
        "agent" and "appraisor" who had never sold a house before and managed
        both sales just happened to be a big contributor as well.  It's
        breathtaking.
        \_ Why do you hate successful investors?
           \_ Yeah, successful investors who live for free on their military
              contractor friend's yacht. Why you gotta be a hater!
              contractor friend's yacht. Why do you have to hate!
        \_ Look!  Over there!  A missing blonde chick in Aruba!
        \_ If it is not covered by Fox News, it didn't happen.
2005/6/24-25 [Reference/RealEstate, Science/Electric] UID:38281 Activity:kinda low
6/24    Maybe house contractors will be outsourced to robots in the future:
        http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn4764
        \_ old. There was a Discover mag. article about this 6 mo. back.
           \_ So?  It's still interesting.  Go stick your head in a pig.  -!op
2005/6/23-25 [Reference/RealEstate, Finance/Investment] UID:38264 Activity:nil
6/23    Even Warren Buffet is talking housing bubble these days:
        http://csua.org/u/cho
        \_ Assuming the housing bubble is a form of momentum investing, how
           much talk of a potential bubble burst do you think it will take to
           trigger the burst?
           \_ I don't know, but I do know quite a few people in Livermore
              trying to get out of the market and finding it harder to
              sell...
        \_ "...certainly at the high end, people who buy houses today may
            have some periods when they regret it."  That is extremely mild
            for a comment from Buffett.  -tom
2005/6/23-25 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:38261 Activity:nil
6/23    The Irvine Corporation buy a lot of land, enough to build cities.
        They build houses, LOTS of houses, and control when and how
        much to build, depending on supply and demand. Take Irvine, CA
        as their first success story. They still have a lot of land, but
        they choose to withhold land as to keep the value of the homes.
        They also charge an exorbitant amount of Home Owner's Association
        Fee, in which new home owners (since 2004+) have to pay $300-$500
        a month. They use that money to buy more land, and expand their
        operation. While some argue that they're monopolizing land,
        you can't deny that Irvine communities are also one of the
        prettiest, cleanest and safest communities in the U.S., and many
        say that you really get what you pay for. So what do you guys think
        about their business practices? It seems to me that land isn't
        really controlled by the state or individuals, but corporations.
        \_ Yes, Irvine is nice looking and clean, but it's like a fascist
           community. My uncle can't put up a satellite dish visible from
           the street because he'll get penalized. Exterior house paintings,
           modifications to windows, all have to go through approvals.
           You can't use aluminum foil in the front window... you'll get
           3 warning letters and finally a fine. Front curtain colors must
           be "tasteful" and blend in with the community.  There's a 9PM
           curfew for kids. You can't park on the street unless your garage
           and your driveway are all taken up. You can't use your garage for
           storage other than a vehicle (supposedly this will reduce fire
           hazard). They audit too, to make sure you follow their rules.
           \_ This says it all, "You can't use aluminum foil in the front
              window".  I stopped reading at that point.
        \_ They say living in Irvine feels like linving in Singapore.
        \_ I find Irvine sterile and bland. It is certainly clean and safe
           but I don't think it is very pretty. But I prefer cities.
        \_ I owned a home here, sold it, and currently am renting here.
           Irvine's just as pretty, clean, and safe as nearby communities.
           The housing price jumps as you cross the zip code primarily due to
           the school system and (relative to north/eastern communities)
           closer proximity to the ocean.
           Re: HOA's.  I don't know about post-2004.  I purchased in 2002,
           stayed on the HOA board, and we didn't pay ongoing tithe to the
           Irvine Co.
           Re: HOA ccr & community: It's part of the price of moving into
           Irvine communities.  Some ppl love the bland, uniform appeal
           Irvine suburban life allows.  Easy access to strip mall #179,
           with all the conveniences you need for modern suburban living.
           Along with this is HOA governance of outside aspects of your
           home, and how it looks.  You want external character? Don't move
           here.  I'm glad I sold despite the creature comforts.
           Re: Evils of the Irvine Co. Certainly all the charges that are
           normally levied against large, wealthy corporations are levied
           against them. They rake in profits to be sure, but iirc, they're
           privately-owned so no transparency.  I've heard the counter-charge
           that they're wasting precious undeveloped land, and that the only
           land left undeveloped is unsuitable for residential/commercial
           development despite the fact that their brochures and advertisements
           trumpet how "environmental" the company is for setting aside "green
           space."  I have no opinion re: public v. corp. control of land.
           FWIW, Irvine co. should thank their lucky stars for the UC nearby
           even while I'm sure they curse the land that the UC owns and doesn't
           develop as IC would wish.  Unfortunately, IC still controls too much
           land, and Irvine can't develop any of the character of typical large
           university towns. -nivra
           \_ What the OP misses is that the Irvine Corp. owns the land
              because it was a ranch. The same is true of the land owned
              by the Hearst Corp., Sierra Pacific, Weyerhauser, or Tejon
              Ranch. They didn't go out and buy land to resell later.
2005/6/16-18 [Politics/Domestic, Reference/RealEstate] UID:38163 Activity:nil
6/16    If Tom Delay has nothing to hide, why has he effectively shut down
        the House Ethics Committee?
        \_ Because Accountability means never having to say you're sorry.
2005/6/8 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:38033 Activity:nil
6/8     Houses too expensive? Now you can buy condos converted from hotel
        rooms. For only $700,000 you can a 1100 sq room! Get them while
        they're still hot and affordable with 0% down!
        http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8075717
2005/6/7 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:37999 Activity:nil
6/6     Historical Evidence of US Home Price Booms and Busts, 1978-2003:
        http://www.fdic.gov/bank/analytical/fyi/2005/021005fyi_table1.pdf
        \_ Those who bought homes before 1998 will live like lords over
           the peons who failed to buy. Anyone who has not purchased a
           home yet is doomed to live forever in bondage, and their
           children and children's children too.
2005/6/6-7 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:37986 Activity:moderate
6/6     Swami the Magnificent is going to revise his estimate of when
        the housing bubble will start to pop, from Q4 2005 to Q1 2006.
        \_ Is salami saying NoCal, SoCal, or national, and what does "start to"
           mean?  E.g., I could say the housing bubble has already started to
           pop with what's already happened in Vegas.
           \_ What is the definition of a pop? How much do prices have to go
              down, in what time frame, for it to be considered a pop?
           \_ Speaking of Salami:
              http://www.sputnik7.com/vod/index.jsp?section=music&key=pdsf
           \_ You mean the speculators cashing out?
           \_ What already happened in Las Vegas? You mean record home
              price appreciation?
              http://www.ktvu.com/news/4562424/detail.html
              \_ http://csua.org/u/c9m (sfgate.com)
                 "When you lose money in real estate, you really feel it,"
                 said Igor Doncov, a software engineer in Half Moon Bay who
                 bought two new houses in Las Vegas early in 2004 but sold
                 them at a loss after his builder, Pulte Homes, cut prices on
                 its new models by $180,000. "I thought I couldn't lose," he
                 said in a telephone interview. "But it turned into a total
                 disaster." ... By December, it was clear the peak of the
                 frenzy had passed. Residential building permits that month
                 were 34 percent below the previous December's, as measured by
                 the Center for Business and Economic Research, which Schwer
                 directs. And 15 percent fewer people were moving to Las Vegas
                 -- some undoubtedly spooked by the region's steep jump in
                 home prices. Pulte officials would not comment on the price
                 reductions. In the wake of Pulte's move, other builders also
                 cut prices but made no formal announcements.
                 said Igor Doncov, a software engineer in Half Moon Bay.
                 http://csua.org/u/c9o (reviewjournal.com)
                 King paid $498,000 for the house, which he bought as an
                 investment. The same model now lists for $382,990 ...
                 But a major increase in the number of resale homes on the
                 market -- currently about 16,000, up from February's 1,400 ...
                 [I take this as lots of people in Vegas saying "Vegas is a
                 shithole place to live.  What?  Home prices are going through
                 the roof?  Take my house -- buh-bye!]
                 \_ Thank God. Literally. The Chinese proverb that greedy
                    people should and are punished, is coming true. Maybe
                    I should thank Confucious instead of God.
                 \_ Did you read the entire article? It gives examples
                    of other people making money during the same time
                    period and has quotes from people saying the market
                    is still healthy. Appreciation rates slowing down
                    does not equal a bubble popping. Home prices
                    actually going down might.
                    \_ Yes, I read the entire article.  Please note that
                       the criterion is "start to pop", which is a very
                       low bar indeed, especially in the context of saying
                       "A-ha!  The Swami is right!"
                       I am still waiting for the Swami to explain what
                       "start to pop" means anyway.
                       One could also argue that all red-hot-Vegas-real-estate
                       news is intended to bury bubble news, to keep the good
                       times rolling for those already in, but that's just
                       speculation.
                       \_ I just did, below.
           \_ Nationwide, quarter to quarter decline in home prices
              continuing for an extended period.
              \_ Can you say "extended period" means two quarters? (6 months)
                 Can you say "Nationwide" means all the hot housing markets,
                 or all the hot housing markets excluding 1-3 of them?
                 \_ Nationwide means national average. Extended is deliberately
                    left undefinited because I have no idea how long it will
                    go down. Even the Magnificent Swami has his limits.
                    Certainly more than two quarters.
                 \_ no one sells their house in February; that's a seasonal
                    variation
                 \_ Nice job deleting my rebuttal. Have fun arguing with
                    yourself.
           \_ Mmmm... I want dry salami...
2005/5/30-6/1 [Reference/RealEstate, Reference/Tax] UID:37887 Activity:high
5/30    dear motd probate lawyer,
        an elderly woman who lived in an expensive house dies, leaving two
        surviving sons, brother X and brother Y. After her death it turns out
        that several years before, brother X got her to sign over the deed to
        the house to his name in exchange for some money that was worth less
        than 10% of the value of the house. no one else in the family knew
        about this and everyone assumed she still owned the house at the time
        of her death. People suspect that coercion or trickery was involved
        but there is no proof. The brothers don't get along but the mother had
        a good relationship with both and there is no possibility that it was
        her intent to "cut off" brother Y from owning his share of the house.
        Does brother Y have any legal recourse?    -clueless about legal stuff
        \_ this is pretty sad. I assume you're Y. You can take X to the court
           of course, but you have no evidence of coercion, and basically,
           you have no case. You might be tempted to talk to lawyers and
           many will take up your weak case without telling you
           what your real chances are, since they just want to take your money
           (trust me, many lawyers will tell you what YOU want to hear and
           take you for a ride). Trust me, my grandpa left several estates
           back in my country and my dad, who thought he was close to his dad,
           only got 20 acres of tea farm while my old uncle (the oldest son,
           who never talks to my grandpa), got EVERYTHING. But this is in Asia
           and the oldest son always gets everything, and there's nothing you
           can do. Anyways, let's examine your case. If you really had a
           good relationship with your mom, and if she's not senile
           or stupid to be tricked, then she would surely have consulted
           with you in regard to the transfer of deed.  The fact that
           she didn't tell anyone, is an indication that 1) she really
           favored X for whatever reason, like being the oldest son,
           etc and 2) she didn't want to hurt your feelings. If this is the
           case maybe it's time to reflect back and see that perhaps, perhaps
           you weren't as close to her as you originally thought. And if she
           was indeed coerced, then I'd just take this as an expensive lesson
           in life, because seriously, your case is just weak. It's a
           cold world out there and it's all about survival of the
           fittest, and it's clear to me that X is the one who's more
           fit, you're weak. I'm sorry, I wish you luck.
           \_ Sorry but you're totally clueless.  This isn't "the old country"
              where you come from.  Judges here 'tend' to apply common sense
              to cases when allowed to by law.  See below for a much more
              useful answer as it applies in the US.  In short, the cheated
              son should consult a few lawyers, compare notes, and decide
              from there.  This sort of thing is very common unfortunately
              and can be invalidated by a judge quite easily if they choose
              to do so.  From the OP's description there was clear intent to
              defraud the mother and other heirs.
        \_ I'm not a lawyer yet, but some things I think you need to find
           out about are:
           (1) Was the contract between mom and X for the sale of the home
               in writing? - If not, mom's estate may be able to void the
               the contract b/c the statute of frauds.
           (2) How educated was mom in relation to X and was mom in decent
               health, &c. when the contract was made? - If mom wasn't very
               well educated or was sick, &c. it might be possible to void
               the contract b/c of a lack of capacity/unconscionability
               since the price was so low (by itself the low price probably
               is not sufficient to void the contract, and I'm guessing that
               you won't be able to find evidence of coercion/duress).
           (3) Did X record his deed? - If so, it will hard to invalidate
               the transfer from mom to X.
           (4) Did mom live in the home (or rent it out and keep the rent)
               after she "sold" it to X? - If so, mom's estate can argue
               that the deed to X is ineffective b/c mom did not have an
               intent to convey the property to X.
           (5) If mom lived in the house or rented it out, (i) did she do
               w/ X's possession and (ii) how long did she do it? - Mom's
               estate might have a claim of adverse possession.
           Notes/Assumptions:
           (a) I'm guessing that mom didn't have a will or her will didn't
               cover the house or what to do w/ unidentified property
               interests.
           (b) The deed from mom the X didn't impose any conditions on X
               that X might have violated thus forfeiting his claims.
           (c) There might be a statute of limitations problem w/ (1) and
               and (2) if the sale happened a long time ago.
           (d) Unless Y is the executor/receiver of mom's estate, I don't
               think that Y can sue X directly for (1) and (2), however Y
               probably can sue for (4) and (5) directly
               think that Y can sue X directly for (1) and (2).
               \_ Anyone with an interest can sue.
                  \_ My contracts class was a mess but I'm pretty
                     sure that for a 3d party, like Y, to sue on a
                     contract theory (#1 and #2) they will need to
                     show that there were an assignee or a 3d party
                     beneficiary.
                     It doesn't look like mom assigned her rights
                     under the contract to Y, so Y would have to
                     argue that he was a 3d party beneficiary
                     under the contract to Y, so Y would probably
                     have to argue that he was a 3d party beneficiary
                     (possible, but hard) of the contract in order
                     to sue on his own, which is why I said that
                     Y probably can't sue X directly.
                     \_ This isn't a contracts issue.  It is fraud and probate.
                        It is also defrauding the IRS since I'm sure the son
                        who stole the house didn't pay taxes on his instant
                        10x profit on the difference between what he 'paid'
                        and the fair market value of the house.
                     \_ This isn't a contracts issue.  It is fraud and
                        probate. It is also defrauding the IRS since I'm
                        sure the son who stole the house didn't pay taxes on
                        his instant 10x profit on the difference between
                        what he 'paid' and the fair market value of the
                        house.
                        \_ AFAIK, there are multiple issues here.
                           (1) Y wants to rescind the contract for
                               sale between mom and X which means
                               Y needs standing under a contract
                               theory. If fraud was involved in
                               the formation of the contract for
                               the sale of the home, then the
                               contract is generally voidable by
                               the parties.  I don't think there
                               are enough facts to show fraud,
                               misrepresentation, &c.; incapacity
                               and unconsionability are probably
                               better theories.
                               theory.
                           (2) There may or may not be a probate
                               issue separate from the contract
                               issue - did mom actually transfer
                               an interest to X and did mom get
                               and interest via adv possession?
                           (3) There may not be a tax fraud issue
                               if 10% of fmv is close to the state
                               assessed value of the house.
           (e) I think that Y can sue directly for (4) and (5) b/c mom
               would have retained a property interest that (assuming the
               will did not deal with explictly) may have passed in part
               to Y.
           BTW, is this for real? It sounds more like an exam question.
           \_ Yes, this is a real case, and yes, it's pretty sad. I'm not Y
              (though I can see why people might assume that) but he's someone
              I care about and I appreciate the advice so far. I guess the
              first reply mirrors the kind of worry I have about lawyers
              pressing for a case when there's no case there, which would waste
              a lot of money, and more importantly, cause a lot of unnecessary
              stress. Then again, i don't see this as weak versus strong (and
              there is no "survival" involved). what's "strong" about cheating
              an old woman? but of course I'm biased. The mom did live in the
              house until she died. Apparently after selling the house she
              told a friend of hers it was one of her "biggest regrets". The
              rest of the questions I don't have answers for right now. -op
              an old woman? (I know, I'm biased). The mom did live in the
              house until she died without paying rent. Apparently after
              selling the house she told a friend of hers it was one of her
              "biggest regrets". The rest of the questions I don't have
              answers for right now. -op
              \_ If mom lived in the home rent free, it would strengthen
                 #4, but it might cause you a problem with adv possession
                 (esp if mom knew she had sold it).
                 If you answer #1 or #2 as yes, then you might have a case
                 and should probably see a real lawyer and see what they
                 think. If the plan is to sell the home, you might be able
                 to get the lawyer to take the case on contingency that Y
                 wins and gets an interest.
                 \- It seems to be the strongest thing to focus on
                    is the sham sale, given that it was not anywhere
                    near market value. Otherwise that would be a way to
                    get around tax laws. I think you may be able to attack
                    that way. If you hire your kid to mow the lawn so he
                    is eleiglbe for your "corporate education program"
                    where you pay for his college and then you claim that
                    as a business expense, something fishy is probably going
                    on. etc.
                 \- It seems to be the strongest thing to focus on is the
                    sham sale, given that it was not anywhere near market
                    value. Otherwise that would be a way to get around tax
                    laws. I think you may be able to attack that way. If you
                    hire your kid to mow the lawn so he is eleiglbe for your
                    "corporate education program" where you pay for his
                    college and then you claim that as a business expense,
                    something fishy is probably going on. etc.
                    \_ The "sham" sale may not be the best thing to
                       focus on:
                       (1) The fact that the sale price was 10% of fmv
                           is inconclusive b/c family members often
                           sell land to each other at below fmv in
                           order to keep the property tax low (in sj
                           there are homes the city values at $200K
                           for property tax but fmv ~ $1.2e6, a sale
                           at $200K would be ~ 17% of fmv but still
                           legit)
                           \_ My understanding is that property values are
                              re-assessed whenever a property changes
                              ownership, so it doesn't matter if the sale price
                              was x% of fair market value.
                       (2) Unless there is conclusive proof for the
                           sale, X can claim that the money he gave
                           his mom was a gift and that she made a
                           separate gift of the home.
                           \_ BZZZT!  Gifts are limited to $11k per person
                              without getting nailed by the IRS.
                              \_ Even if X had to pay the tax it is
                                 probably on the assessed value (in
                                 CA generally less than the fmv) so
                                 claiming it is a gift maybe pretty
                                 good for X.
                              \_ There is a large exemption called the unified
                                 tax credit which everyone uses when gifting
                                 houses.
                       (3) Y may not have standing to sue under the
                           contract.
                       Best thing OP can do is to get more info and
                       then go see a real lawyer.
                       \- yes, i understand this happens, i understand
                          the law and tax enforcement people dont spend a
                          lot of resources rooting this out, but i image
                          it is not legal ... just like a business is supposed
                          to be in the business of making money if it is to
                          be treated as such for tax reasons.
        \_ I am aware of a situation where a 'family friend' bought a
           house from an old widow for quite a bit less than it was worth.
           Someone involved in the process (attorney, realtor, or
           accountant - I have forgotten) noticed the unusually low sale
           price. The transaction was rescinded by a court after they
           found the woman mentally incompetent. The house went on the
           market with the stipulation that the 'family friend' could not
           bid on it for something like 30 days. It ended up selling for
           $70K over asking, which was like double what the 'friend' had
           offered. He was not the winning bidder. This happened in CA.
2005/5/27-31 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:37867 Activity:nil
5/27    Here is something to do for fun. Guess how much the following
        Santa Monica property sells for, and what can you say about
        West Los Angeles housing vs. Bay Area housing:
        http://hhlldevelopment.com/126Pacific.html
        \_ I'm guessing $1.5-2 mil, and if you didn't already know, LA housing
           prices have been insane for the last few years.  One bedrooms in
           that area can go for $2k/month.  My friend lives a few blocks up
           the beach from there, and he pays $2700/month for an ocean view.
           -rollee
        \_ I am guessing around $1.4M, or $1k/sq ft. -ausman
        \_ Historically, LA housing prices have always been higher than
           the Bay Area. I think this is still true if you compare like
           properties to each other.
        \_ ausmas and rollee are good. I called and it's in the
           "mid millions". I thought LA is cheaper than SF, I guessed wrong.
           \_ The median in LA is a lot cheaper, but you wouldn't want to
              live in a median-priced neighborhood. There is more cheap
              housing in bad areas. In nice areas the real estate tends
              to cost more in LA.
2005/5/22-23 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:37797 Activity:low 80%like:37788
5/20    If I want a little basement for my house (to put wife, or hot surfers
        to keep them cool), is it possible to do so? How much does it cost
        and what are some complications to it? Thanks.
        \_ Most houses in California (at least recent ones) are built on a
           slap of concrete.  They dig, fill with concrete, then build on top
           of that slap.  It'd be impractical to try to put a basement there.
           slab of concrete.  They dig, fill with concrete, then build on top
           of that slab.  It'd be impractical to try to put a basement there.
        \_ You haven't seen how those lowered one-car garage on Ellsworth gets
           flooded to street level during heavy rain.
2005/5/20-21 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:37788 Activity:kinda low 80%like:37797
5/20    If I want a little basement for my house (to put wine, or hot servers
        to keep them cool), is it possible to do so? How much does it cost
        and what are some complications to it? Thanks.
        \_ Most houses in California (at least recent ones) are built on a
           slap of concrete.  They dig, fill with concrete, then build on top
           of that slap.  It'd be impractical to try to put a basement there.
        \_ Where do you put your hot wife?
2005/5/14-17 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:37676 Activity:nil
5/13    Looking for a free web site that shows you a listing of houses
        sold in the neighborhood with price/date/location, thanks.
        \_ Yahoo! Real Estate. Also, possibly your county assessor,
           depending on what your county is.
           \_ http://sfgate.com publishes a list of bay area homes sold
              with city, address, price
        \_ http://sfgate.com/homesales if youre looking at Bay Area.
           \_ Thanks. Looks like there's no end to housing bubble. I will
              just wait a few more years and see what happens.
              \_ http://csua.org/u/c3e
                 What bubble?
2005/5/9-11 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:37578 Activity:nil
5/9     Do you use a subwoofer in your apartment or condo complex?
        \_ I had one, but my downstairs neighbors complained, so I
           disconnected it.
           \_ did they knock on your door or leave a message on your door?
              \_ How in hell is THAT supposed to matter?
                 \_ curious
              \_ Well, actually they told my roommate who was a good friend
                 of theirs and him deliver the message.
                 of theirs and let him deliver the message.
        \_ ANNOYING.
           \_ You have neighbors who have a subwoofer?
           \_ Is it the subwoofer that's annoying, or is it your female
              neighbor's moaning while masturbating with the subwoofer that's
              annoying?
2005/4/22-23 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:37311 Activity:kinda low
4/22    Housing bubble!  Arrghhh!
        http://www.economist.com/agenda/displayStory.cfm?story_id=3886356
        "n IMF study on asset bubbles estimates that 40% of housing
        booms are followed by housing busts, which last for an average
        of four years and see an average decline of roughly 30% in
        home values."
        \_ This is tangent but the article point-of-view pisses me off. It
           states that recent loan arrangements allow "more marginal"
           homebuyers to take out loans. As opposed to maybe prices increasing
           faster than any realistic notion of valuations? It's as if the
           problem lies with how poor the people are who are buying the
           houses rather than how expensive the houses have become relative to
           people's incomes. This is a banker's view of the world, I suppose.
           Oh, and, yes, this is just me being bitter, of course. -- ulysses
           \_ Who or what do you blame for current housing prices?
              \_ I support violent vigilante action against real estate
                 speculators.  I'm pretty sure if the severed head of the
                 last parasitic fuck who bought land in my neighborhood just
                 for profit were on a spear at the major intersection it would
                 deter further speculation pretty fast.
                 deter further speculation pretty fast. -- !ulysses
              \_ I blame you.
        \_ Just as anecdotal evidence, I live in Livermore.  Before I
           arrived rents were through the roof.  A friend of mine bought a
           house because it was cheaper than renting.  Next, rents
           returned to reasonable levels (sort of, $1000 for a 2 bedroom
           apt.), and housing skyrocketed. Now it seems like about a
           quarter of the apts. in my complex are vacant, and I think rent
           is at about $875. -jrleek
        \_ Oh no!  If my house drops in value by 30%, my leveraged profit
           could drop as low as 300%!
           \_ ouch!  that would hurt!
        \_ Interesting way to report it.  That means that 60% of booms are
           followed by no bust.
           \_ If you priced the houses in 'real dollars' I'd bet a lot of
              those 60% are long shwallow busts.
              those 60% are long shallow busts.
              \_ except you have the use value and tax benefit of home
                 ownership.
                 \_ I'm not dissing home ownership, but just saying a bust is
                    still a bust.
                        \_ decline != bust
2005/3/31-4/1 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:37003 Activity:very high
3/31    I own a small Chinese in el cerrito.I called city hall and asked if/how
        I could get a copy of the blue prints.  (I may want to knock down a
        wall or two).  They told me that they would *not* make a copy of the
        blue prints for me as blue prints are copyrighted.  Now it seems to me
        that, as the owner of the damn house, i have a pretty strong fair use
        claim to a copy of the blue prints.  What gives?  What should i do??
        \_ you own the house, not the copyright to the blueprints.  Find out
           who actually owns the blueprint copyright and persue a copy from
           them.
           \_ I did not imply that I did.  There are lots of things that I
              don't own that, none-the-less, I am able to copy for personal
              use.  Get the question now?
           \_ You do not own the picture that I just took of you! ;)
              \_ Actually, he might depending on the circumstances.
              \_ If he's not a public figure and he buys the picture from you,
                 he owns the physical picture and you own the copyright.  If he
                 is a movie star or something, I don't know.
                 \_ are you a lawyer or something? ;)
                    \_ No, but I'm a freelance wedding photog on weekends.
        \_ See if they'll let you inspect the blueprints.  Then take a picture
           with a good-quality camera.
           \- You could also pull a Sandy Burger. --psb
        \_ Hire an architect to draw a blueprint of your building.  That's what
           I did when I remodeled my house when the city didn't have a blue
           print available.
2005/3/30-31 [Computer/Rants, Reference/RealEstate] UID:36982 Activity:high
3/30    Do I have to give a 1099 form to a contractor who works on my house?
        If not, what's the difference between him and a guy who works on my
        computer?
        \_ you don't give the guy who works on your computer a 1099 either
        \_ I am pretty sure you are supposed to.
           \_ Why?  You're not their employer.  I thought 1099's were for
              employers reporting wages for an independent contractor.
              I would think a housing contractor would be self-employed,
              or an employee of a firm (who would handle 1099 reporting)
           \_ Why?  You're not their employer (or are you?).  I thought
              1099's were for employers reporting wages for an independent
              contractor.  I would think a housing contractor would be
              self-employed, or an employee of a firm (who would handle 1099
              reporting).  I would think the distinction is that you, the owner
              of the house, are not a business.
              However:
              http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=99921,00.html
              \_ If he is self-employed and you give him money, who is
                 supposed to report it? Yeah, it says right there that
                 you are supposed to file a 1099-MISC for payments of
                 over $600.
                 \_ What if he is not self-employed, but works as a sole
                    proprietorship or has incorporated?
        \_ I think you've got the definition of building "contractor"
           confused with the HR definition of 1099 "contractor."  The guy who
           works on your house is just someone with the word "contractor" as
           a job descr/title. For the "guy who works on your computer" he's
           a "contractor" as an employment category.  Both are self employed,
           yes -- but the building contractor probably has his own business
           and is (hopefully) licensed and bonded.  You would probably not
           issue him a W9.  You would probably just pay his company.
           \_ What is a W9?
2005/3/30-31 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:36978 Activity:high
3/30    Dear home owners who have|plan to buy 2nd/3rd/4th homes for the
        purpose of investment, PLEASE STOP IT! For each home you buy, you're
        taking it away from first time buyers. Last year, ~1/4 of the homes
        bought were investment homes. That's at least 3-4 million less homes
        for people who really want one. I mean, come on, what is this, the
        era of Monarchs and Aristocrats? Medieval period where the people who
        own land gets to own even more land? I thought social equality is
        suppose to improve especially after WWII. Something's wrong here.
        \_ Tough Shit -- getting ready to buy 2nd home.
             \_ We REALLY need to do something to the Chinese population.
                They're like the Jews in Germany in the 30s, buying
                and owning all the properties and making everyone else's life
                a total hell.
                \_ Yeah!  go go final solution!
                \_ But Chinese immigrants are relatively poltical quiet.  They
                   don't try to influence American politics to benefit their
                   home country like the Jews do.
                   \_ YOU TELL EM!  Damn Dirty Jews.
        \_ Ah, now it makes sense; Sour Grapes Housing Guy is someone who
           has been holding on to his money since 1998, waiting for the
           housing market to go down so he can buy.  -tom
           \_ He'll "save" $200K in the end, but will have spent $150K
              in rent and will have lost another $50K in deductions while
              having lived as a renter the whole time. We'll have to hear
              endlessly about the $200K he saved on his house price.
              \_ the amount that goes to mortgage interest is higher
                 then rent these days, even after tax deductions.
                 no point buying unless you think home will appreciate.
                 rent savings, tax deductions, etc. no longer are
                 sufficient justification for buying.  Only buy if
                 you think house will appreciate more than you can
                 earn with your principal invested elsewhere.
                 \_ Interest is higher than rent?  I rent out a house for
                    $2000/mo, and I'm paying a $1500/mo. mortgage payment on a
                    15-yr fixed loan for that house.
                    \_ yea, but when did you buy the house?  try buying one
                        now and renting it out.
                       \_ I bought it in 2000.
                          \_ I bought mine in 2004 and my mortgage interest
                              is around $1800.
                       \_ If you buy $650k house in the southbay, the MI would
                          be around $2k.  It's reasonable that a 3bd house can
                          be rented for over $2k/mo.
                       \_ Interest is supposed to decrease over time, but
                          rent is increasing.  Don't forget there are tax
                          benefits with interest.
                          \_ rent is increasing?  SourceP
                                                  \_ #t
                             are you talking short-term or long-term?
           \_ give me a break, there are more than one person on the motd
              that believe the current housing market is in a bubble, and
              I do own a home. -!pp
        \_ Please move to a communist state, where social equality is
           mandatory for everyone except the Chairman.
        \_ We need land reform for urban areas!
        \_ Yeah right. seriously though all the housing tax incentives
           are totally unhelpful to regular people wanting a home. They
           are designed to help investors (low capital gains tax on
           appreciation, bullshit depreciation writeoffs, mortgage writeoffs,
           etc.). All that stuff does is help those with leverage and jack
           up the price that much (since houses are sold based on monthly
           payments not on actual value). I'd also argue it harms the
           economy, relatively speaking, to have so much debt and assets
           tied up in these useless houses that in the end just sit there
           not producing anything.
        \_ Gotta love capitalism! The more wealth you own, the more wealth
           works for you. What are you gonna do, revert Reagan's great tax cut
           for inheritance and investment property? Revert Bush's income tax
           cut for the upper-class Americans? Unlikely.
        \_ Patience young Skywalker, you waited this long, don't be
           tempted by all the house talks in the news, etc. It IS a
           bubble, it will dip like it did at the end of 2001, that's
           when you go in with your savings. At any rate, it cannot
           sustain the current growth for another year, period. The
           best investors have a cool mind when everyone else is
           buying into the hype, like all those stupid people who
           decided to join Nasdaq when it is at 4000-5000. Even
           Greenspan acknowledged the housing market is in a bubble,
           do you remember what he said about the stock market back
           then? Trust yourself, don't buy into the hype.
           \_ You know, that's what I said in 2002, 2003, 2004. It's 2005
              and things haven't changed a bit. I don't have problems with
              housing going up. I have a lot of problems with people buying
              investment homes and claiming deductions and other loopholes
              in the tax system. If your 2nd/3rd home is an investment, then
              it is business, and should be subject to business tax rules
              and tax brackets. The current tax system and interest rate
              encourages everyone to buy a house, but made it even easier
              for existing home owners who could take a 2nd mortgage loan or
              reallocate and what not. And in the end, when there's only so
              much land to offer, the winners are the people who have the most
              land. Fuck GW Bush and fuck Reagan.
              \_ I admit it's easy for me to say this because it is
                 all in the past, but things are not quite the same in
                 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005. 2004/2005 can be
                 classified as red hot, but in 2001/2002 and even in
                 part of 2003, it was actually quite manageable.
                 Perhaps your expectation needs to be adjusted
                 slightly. Instead of waiting for a crash, watch out
                 for cool periods. Have realistic goals. As it is
                 right now, it's unlikely that the house you like will
                 drop back to 400k, but a instead of selling at 600+,
                 it may drop to 550 or something. Are you willing to
                 take it then? Don't get stuck waiting for it to go
                 back to 400k just because that's your limit, limit
                 can be stretched. The bay area is a special
                 situation, everyone I know, including myself, my
                 parents, their friends, have "bit the bullet" when
                 they bought the house and at the time it all seemed
                 very expensive. But sometimes you just need to do
                 that, even if you buy it relatively high, in the long
                 run, say 5-10 years, you are still likely to be ok.
                 (Still, I don't recommend you do that right now, in 6
                 month or a year, see what it is like, I don't think
                 my house will approach 1 million, trust me, it will
                 level off and people will stop bidding up as much)...
                 Vegas has already dropped 25% and one person I knew
                 who's in your accused category is in a hurry to sell
                 the home he has and guess why...
              \_ Think outside the box, do you really need to live in
                 the bay area? How about somewhere else? You DON'T
                 have a house yet, so you are not tied down. Find a
                 job somewhere else and see if you like it. Houses are
                 more affordable elsewhere. If you are Asian I can
                 understand your desire to stay in the bay area, but
                 if you are not, then why not? If I don't have a
                 house, I may very well move to shanghai. With my
                 savings, I can buy a very decent home in shanghai.
                 There are also other options as others have pointed
                 out. There are still 400k homes around. Your first
                 home doesn't need to be perfect, like your first gf. ;)
        \_ Do you absolutely need a house right now? or it would be nice
           to have one? Our advice depends on your situation.
        \_ Let them buy their 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th home.  While they
           are waiting and waiting for them to appreciate, rent it
           from them for cheap.  Then, when the housing prices start
           falling, and their highly leveraged investments go south,
           and they are forced to sell at a loss, buy it from them for
           cheap.  Be merciless when bargaining for a good price.  Housing
           bubble's gonna pop!  bwahahaha!
           \_ what if they're so dang rich they already own all 5 homes
              and can wait 20 years?
              \_ Yep. Lots of landlords have been doing this since the
                 1970s. They bought all their houses/buildings for cheap.
                 If the portfolio takes a dip that's okay as long as
                 income stays good.
2005/3/30-31 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:36960 Activity:high
3/29    Great Bubble Housing blog post by Dan Gilmor:
        http://csua.org/u/biy
        \_ Tell me, Sour Grapes Housing Guy, what do you get out of posting
           things like this?  -tom
           \_ He's trying to warn potential home buyers to avoid the bubble.
           \_ I enjoy yanking your chain. -sghg
        \_ There may or may not be a bubble, but I believe that real estate
           prices will only go down in the long term as the demand goes down,
           and demand is tied to population levels, which won't go down for a
           long time...  -ax
           \_ nah.  interest rate, my boy.  some say inflation will keep
              housing prices up.  but that's for regions where the cost
              of building materials represents a large chunk of the price
              of a house, which isn't true for the Bay Area.  Home price
              inflation will end when interest rate goes up.  OTOH,
              US economy isn't that great, and the Fed may not dare to
              raise rates too much, but if they don't, the pain will
              just be delayed and exerbated.
                \_ My definition of long term is > 10 years...  In the
                short term, yes, interest rates going up will bring prices
                down, but keep payments the same.  -ax
                \_ I wouldn't be surprised at all if housing prices
                   is lower 10 years later than it is today.
                   \_ I would. Has this ever happened in California?
                      \_ I believe so.  In LA at least.
                         \_ Which 10 year period?
                            \_ Not 10 years, but from ~1991-1998.
              \_ In the long run or the short run? In the short run,
                 interest rates may win out, but in the long run,
                 population and land availability will be the key.
                 \_ yea, someday, the nasdaq will reach 4000 again too,
                    but why buy at 4500 when you can buy at 1300 three
                    years later.
                    \_ If you are waiting until prices drop 70% to buy,
                       you will be waiting a long, long time.
                       \_ For most people, a home is a leveraged
                          investment, you can easily lose your entire
                          principal and more.
                          \_ What has that got to do with the original
                             statement?
                          \_ For most people, a house is a home. They live
                             there. Unlike stocks, if the house loses
                             value it still has value as a home. Leverage
                             only matters if you are buying a house as an
                             investment, which most people are not.
                             \_ Something like 25% of them are, currently.
                                \_ Which means 75% are not.
2005/3/29-31 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:36951 Activity:kinda low
3/29    Dear financial guru dans, for the past 3 years I've been trying to
        save enough money for a down-payment in a decent house in N Cal.
        However, no matter how much I save, it seems like the housing price
        goes up much faster than I can save. I mean, this is pretty
        frustrating. I can't even buy anything around $400,000 with what I
        have saved (I have saved about 20% of that), and if I buy something
        out of that range, I will not have enough to eat.  Do you have any
        suggestion for people like me?
        \_ Well I can attribute some of the reasons why pricing is going up
           faster than you can save. For one, a lot of people are buying 2nd
           and 3rd houses for the purpose of investment. While that is good
           news for people who already have money (and thanks to Bush, it's
           much easier for them to do so), for each house that they buy for
           investment, it is also one less house for first time home owners
           to buy. Capitalism-- the more you own, the more you get to own.
        \_ You're screwed. although, you can buy a $400k place with 10% or
           even no money down if you want, well probably anyway.
           Definition of "decent house" varies of course. Your choices are
           1. buy whatever you can afford (1 bedroom sj condo?)
           2. buy something somewhere else that seems like a better deal
              and either rent that or move there
           \_ but then you go back to the problem of not being able to buy
              something and rent it and still make money.  There's a
              reason why its cheaper right now to rent than buy...
           3. invest in something other than houses
           \_ Although if you have < 20% down, most (if not all) lenders
              will require you to pay for mortgage insurance.
        \_ 42% of first time buyers bought with 0% down... FYI
           http://csua.org/u/biq
        \_ There are places less than $400K, with upside; West Oakland
           comes to mind.  You could also look at something like buying
           a duplex and renting the other half to cover the mortgage.  -tom
           \_ Not really a great idea these days.  Compare cost for duplex
              vs. what you can actually charge in rent for half of it these
              days.  Rent : Mortgage+Tax+Ins ratios are shite these days.
        \_ Stop thinking you need 2000 sq ft. There are plenty of smallish
           places in halfway decent neighborhoods for $400k. Where do you work?
           You might have to take in a border to make your mortgage.
           \_ I agree with this. My sister bought a nice 2+2 townhouse in
              Walnut Creek with a big fenced yard near BART for $439K a
              year ago. With $80K in the bank you either waited too long
              or make a really small income. Maybe you should take in a
              border in the form of a gf/wife. Single people always have
              trouble affording houses unless they have really good
              careers.
              \_ What's a 2+2 townhouse?
                 \_ 2 bedrooms, 2 bath
        \_ Here ya go:
           http://csua.org/u/biu
           A cute starter home in an up and coming neighborhood with
           a bedroom you can even rent out if you need to.
        \_ Are you sure you won't have enough to eat if you go for a house over
           $400k?  I just ran a quick check on http://www.eloan.com with $400k and 20%
           down, and you can get a 30yr no-point fixed loan with monthly
           payment of $1944.  How much do you make now, and how much rent (if
           any) do you pay now?  With a CS job this kind of payment should
           leave you plenty of money to eat.  Just stop going on frequent
           vacations and driving a fancy car.
           \_ + $4k+/yr in prop. tax =~ $333/month
              makes that $2277/month.  Going up just to $450k makes that
              $2246 + 375 = $2621/month.
              That's getting pretty pricey.
              \_ You get a huge tax break from buying a house. Your property
                 tax and the interest on your mortgage is deductable. You
                 need to include this in your calculations.
        \_ I wish I had an answer for you.  I find myself in a similar
           situation (though I am still saving for a downpayment).  I actually
           don't know much about loans and the housing market, though I've
           heard that conventional wisdom states that if you are going to stay
           in one place for three years or more, you are better off buying
           then renting.  The nice thing about buying is that your monthly
           loan payments build up equity, whereas rent payments are just money
           down the toilet (which I guess would make your landlord's pocket
           the sewage system, apt description IMO).  Ultimately, you just need
           to run the numbers.  How much would you spend on rent over the next
           three years?  How much would you spend on down payment/loan
           payments over the next three years (don't forget to factor in tax
           deductions from your loan interest payments).  If you then sold
           your house, how much of that would you recoup?  Barring housing
           bubble disaster, you should actually end up with a 5-15% profit,
           but there's nothing to stop you from calculating the worst case
           scenario where your home depreciates 10%. -dans
           \_ Agreed.  Don't forget property tax.  There's also homeowner's
              insurance, but it's negligible in the big picture.
              \_ Also, don't forget about HOA fees (for townhomes and condos),
                 although you might be able to recover some of the costs for
                 property tax from the tax break.  You may want to start small
                 and several years later after your property appreciates,
                 upgrade to a more comfortable home.  Another option is
                 to invest with a trustworthy and reliable partner.
        \_ Wait for the next big al kida attack. Seriously though, I
           don't recommend you buying right now. The housing market is
           in what a lot of experts agree as a bubble. Now people own
           homes obviously do not want to believe that, but the best
           time to buy when you have cash would be when the market is
           not doing so well. Unless you have urgent needs for a
           house, ie, you are getting married, or something, renting
           is a better option for you right now. If you really having
           been saving for 3 years, then you should've bit the bullet
           and bought the biggest house you could afford when US
           attacked Afghanistan, everyone is selling, it was a buyer's
           market. I even bargained the price down by 20k. right now
           the housing market is stock market in 2000, do NOT go in
           with all your savings. You'll be sorry.
        \_ Find an ugly (or not so ugly) chick that has a house! Yes,
           they are around. :) In a few years it won't matter (whether
           they are ugly or not), and having more cash to spend each
           month (for you, your family, and kids) could mean more to you
           than banging the girl you really want when you are 40. ;) This
           is an equal society, guys should be allowed to marry for money
           too!!
           \_ what if you're gay?
              \_ tell her to work out until she has nice broad shoulders and
                 looks good from behind and make sure you're on top.
              \_ Marry an ugly guy then.
              \_ Marry an ugly rich guy then.
              \- FYI: there is a Nolo book called How to buy a House in CA
                 which seems decent to me. --psb
        \_ Even though Bay Area is  nice, maybe you guys should just dump
           the Bay Area and move somewhere else.
2005/3/25-26 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:36881 Activity:moderate
3/25    Poll, in your deep desire, you wish housing would do the following.
        Also, put a number to indicate the number of houses you have:
        \_ pop the bubble: 0
        \_ pop the bubble: 000
          \_ I want interest rates to go up to around 8 so there isn't so much
             easy money flying around. I want to see people get burned on their
             $500k, no-money-down-interest-only-loan'd shitty condos and
             desert houses in arizona where water restricts growth more than
             the desert land area.
          \_ I'm the bitter housing guy and I'll tell you why. I'm a strong
             believer in meritocracy. Take the dot-com for example. Some
             people got rich just because they happened to get in and out at
             the right time, regardless of how much good work they've
             contributed to the society. That's not meritocracy, that is
             lotteritocracy. Life is already random as it is, and when you
             have people making 2X in speculative Arizona housing, that just
             feeds on lotteritocracy. Is that the kind of message we want to
             give to our children, that hard work and contribution to society
             is secondary to just getting lucky?
             \_ It is very rare that anyone makes money investing (whether in
                stocks or real estate) because they got lucky.  People who
                don't know what they're doing (who haven't put in the work to
                learn about investing) get fleeced.  -tom
                \_ You're an idiot.
        \_ keeps going up: 2
           \_ and I'm considering buying a small apartment complex
              \_ You are obviously a landlord in SF
                \_ The more you own, the more you get to own. I love
                   this country.                                -pp
        \_ Decline 10% and remain flat for a few years: 0
           \_ Same as him: 1 duplex
        \_ Fall by 50% so that I can buy more: 1
        \_ Crash by 70% so that I can buy 5 houses. I sold my house at a
           very nice profit 1 yr ago. Local market is down about 10 pct
           since then. No houses now.
           \_ do you live in vegas? where has the market fallen?
2005/3/25 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:36878 Activity:kinda low
3/25    http://csua.org/u/bhu [nytimes.com] More on the housing bubble,
        comparing it to dot com bubble.  From the article:
        "South Florida," he said, "is working off of a totally new economic
        model than any of us have ever experienced in the past."
        Sound familiar?
        \_ Yay, it's Sour Grapes Housing Guy!  Thank you for your brilliant
           insight!   -tom
           \_ Oh, no.  Thank you for *your* brilliant insight, Mr. Pyramid
              Scam!
        \_ And just like the dot-com bust, for some reason I still haven't
           gotten into this game.  (Dot-com:  Bought some shares in Yahoo! with
           plans to sell it for a 50% profit several months later.)
           Real estate:  Sold my $700K house with plans to come back several
           years later to buy another one for $500K).
           Real estate:  Sold my $700K house with plans to move back into the
           same neighborhood several years later for $500K).
           \_ Actually it sounds like you have gotten into it and out of it.
2005/3/24-25 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:36862 Activity:nil
3/24    New housing numbers: http://tinyurl.com/59xbe
        \_ ITS A BUBBLE I TELL YOU A BUBBLE!!! IN THREE MONTHS I WILL
           BE ABLE TO BUY MY DREAM 4 BEDROOM 3 BATH HOME IN ROCKRIDGE
           FOR UNDER $200,000!
           \_ Heh, I bet you bought into the NASDAQ in 2000 also, didn't you.
              Now I can buy stock at less than 50% of their highs.
              \_ Yeah, but I also bought stock in 1997, 1998, 1999,
                 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005.
2005/3/22-23 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:36812 Activity:high
3/22    Are you ready for the Bay Area housing crash?
        http://patrick.net/housing/crash.html
        \_ http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/4373687.stm
           Good, I can't wait. I missed out while everyone around me is buying
           a second home or a vacation home in Arizona and all they can say
           is how stupid I am for not buying something.       -frugal saver
           \_ In some parts of the country the market has been stagnant.
              Likewise, when it is stagnant in the Bay Area it might be
              hot somewhere else. I personally would not buy right now,
              but it was certainly smart to have bought a few years back.
              When prices fall, what do I (as a homeowner) care?
           \_ Well you are and you aren't. It's like the dot com boom... you
              were right if you thought it was stupid... but you also missed
              out on the boom. Still unlikely to see a real drop in prices
              in bay area for a couple years I think, there's no recession
              here and tons of demand.
              here and tons of demand. But it does look a lot like 2000 in that
              a) prices seem ridiculous but keep rising, leading to b) ordinary
              people hyped up about house appreciation gains and speculating,
              just like every Joe was buying Cisco back in the day with no
              regard for investment principles.
              I look at the low interest rates like a money faucet the fed
              turned on, that seems to mostly go into housing because it's
              easy to do and touted as low risk. Ordinary folks don't normally
              buy a ton of stocks on margin etc., nor do they have the savvy
              to borrow to start successful businesses. So if the housing
              market is like a money balloon filled from low interest rates,
              the question is when it would deflate... I have the feeling that
              it won't really deflate here due to low housing supply. Then
              again a lot can happen in a couple years.
        \_ Rather than being like nweaver (maybe Sour Grapes Housing Guy
           is really nweaver), and pretending like predicting for 4 years
           that prices will at some point stop going up is clever, why don't
           you do something useful and tell us when the turn-around will
           happen, and how much it will drop?  Because home values are up
           probably 50% since you started posting this crap.  -tom
           \_ You want to start a crash pool?
              \_ No, I want Sour Grapes Housing Guy to give a real prediction,
                 rather than going on for the next N years about how a drop
                 in housing price is imminent, and then saying "see I told
                 you so!" after one happens, while ignoring the fact that
                 prices rose 100% during the time he was predicting a
                 crash.  -tom
                 \_ tom is just following the common strategy of Wall Street
                    stock analysts.
                   \_ You lead an impoverished life indeed.
                 \_ The Sour Grapes Housing Guy is just following the common
                    strategy of Wall Street stock analysts.
           \_ I would also like to know when the nadir will be reached so that
              I can buy at that moment. +/- a year is fine. Thanks!
              \_ Home prices will start to fall in Q4 of 2005 and reach
                 a nadir on Nov 17, 2007. -Swami the Magnificent
                 \_ Wow, well if you're right we'll give you respect and
                    accolades.  If you're wrong, I'll personally hire four
                    large white supremacists to come to your house and sodomize
                    you until you squeal like a pig.  Whaddya say?
                    \_ Swami the Magnificent is above your petty threats.
                       \_ Hey, if you're confident enough to bet your
                          prediction against being gang-sodomized by big angry
                          white supremacists, then I'm going out to buy some
                          popcorn for the show.
                          \_ I think Swami swings that way already.
        \_ has some interesting points, but much of it is ruined by the
           crackpot sensationalist exaggeration.  Many of the points are
           assuming the crash has already started/happened, which is blatantly
           false.
           \_ Yeah, he starts off ok but if you've looked at buying something
              lately you'll know prices are higher than ever. And he makes
              crazy statements like this: "under current conditions, a renter
              would be able to live in a house for 30 years, then buy that
              house outright with the saved principle payments, and have an
              extra $227,200 of savings on top of that".
              \_ I think he is correct. An average home in Noe Valley costs
                 $1M. You can rent the same house for ~$2800/mo. PITI on
                 a $1M house are ~$7k/mo, which if you are in the 40%
                 overall bracket come out to ~5800. This means you save
                 a $1M house are ~$7k/mo, which if you are in the 37%
                 overall bracket comes out to ~4800. This means you save
                 $2k/mo by renting. $2k/mo invested in 6% bond for 30
                 years has got to be worth over $1M. Let me do the math
                 and get back to you. -motd thought leader
                 Okay, it is more like pay off the $1M house and have $1M
                 left over. But this makes the unsupportable assumption
                 that the house will not appreciate in value in 30 years.
                 \_ Also the unsupportable assumption that your rent won't
                    go up in 30 years.  -tom
                    \_ Yeah, there are other varibles too, like the fact
                       that the mortgage deduction is worth less as you
                       pay off the loan. But I think those two probably
                       cancel each other out. SF has rent control, so
                       rents can't go up *that* much. -mtl
                             \-SF doesnt have that serious rent control
                               if you move in today.
                               \_ You are obviously not a landlord in SF.
                                  \_Yes the annual permitted rent increase
                                    may be small, but I think something like
                                    stuff built in the last 25 yrs is not
                                    covered. Some people are highly protected
                                    but overall, it's not as onerous as
                                    Berkeley or as it used to be.
                                  \_ Please kill yourself, fucker.
                       \_ What rent are you paying now compared to 15 or 30
                          years ago?  -tom
                          \_ 15 yrs ago, my family rented a 4br house in
                             Cupertino for $1k/mo.
                          \_ If I had gotten the maximum allowed annual rent
                             increase according to law, my rents would have
                             gone up 45% since 1989.
                             \_ but what if you had moved?  -tom
                 \_ In 30 years $1M is not a whole lot.  But the $1M house
                    could worth $10M n 30 years.
                    \_ At a very conservative 3% yearly appreciation rate,
                       the home is worth more than $2M. -mtl
                 \_ You'd have almost exactly $2M.
        \_ "Even a broken clock is right twice a day." Brilliant.
        \_ "It's a house. Wherever one lives is a home, be it apartment,
            condo, or house. Calling a house a 'home' is a manipulation of
            your emotions for profit. "  This guy probably never owned a house.
        \_ "This winter's sales volume in Santa Clara County is only 44%
            of what it was last summer, the worst ratio in at least 10 years.
            Prices are already down every month for Nov, Dec, Jan, and Feb."
            1) Sales volume means nothing.  (Could be low supply)
            2) Winter months volume are typically lower than summer months
               for obvious reasons (holidays, weather, etc).
            3) Where did he get the numbers that prices are down every month?
               From what I've seen, prices have gone up.
            \_ I think he was comparing the ratio, not pointing at lower volume
               itself. I don't know where this data is though.
2005/3/17 [Recreation/Food, Reference/RealEstate] UID:36738 Activity:high
3/17    It's spring season and every now and then I see spiders inside my
        house. Anything I can do to stop them from coming inside the house?
        \_ kill all but one.  rip one of his legs off.  he'll go back and
           tell his friends to stay away.
           \_ Think this would work in Palestine too?
           \_ This doesn't work. No one makes that small of a wheelchair
              that works with the straw. You need to leave at least 1 leg
              intact.
              \_ Read: "...... rip one of his legs off."
                 \_ One? Hell, that doesn't prove anything. If you gonna
                    do this right, you need at least four ripped out.
                    -Scored low in SAT verbal guy
                    \_ You don't want to incapacitate him.  He needs some cred,
                       though, for his story that everyone else was killed.
                       \_ Yeah, but he could have lost one leg in some sort
                          of accident. If he's missing every other leg, the
                          others know you're not screwing around.
        \_ Stop leaving delicious insects all over the place.
           \_ This is the correct answer.  Spiders are hard to kill
              systematically, but they only go where the food is.
              \_ And as long as you do have spider food all over your house,
                 having spiders to eat it is probably a good thing.
                 \_ Except they leave sticky piles of spidercrap beneath them
                    if you let them hang out too long. Just so you know.
                     -- been there.
           \_ The house hardly has anything even for me to eat. I think it's
              too hot outside during the day so they tend to come in. What type
              of food attracts spider? I don't even leave kitchen garbage
              inside overnight so I don't think it's the problem....
              \_ Spiders eat insects.  If you have any insects, it will attract
                 spiders.  Even if you have no insects you will get the
                 occasional spider looking for insects.
                 I'd guess it's more likely they want a nice warm house at
                 night.
                 \_ Spiders also eat other spiders.
        \_ Rear some cockroaches.  They will breed really fast, and eat up
           all the spiders.  They will also quickly infest your annoying
           neighbours' homes.
           \_ How do you get rid of the cockroaches afterwards?
              \_ Call the dude who sprays lots of chemicals.  That, or just
                 move to a new place.
                 \_ Then there will be a lot of dead cockroaches lying around,
                    which attracts spiders again.
                    \_ Spiders don't eat dead insects.
              \_ Camel Spiders
                 \_ No way dude, cockroaches tend to smoke in bed. Next thing
                    you know, the apartment is aflame. Plus secondhand smoke
                    kills! And the filters everywhere are a pain to clean.
           \_ Similarly, if you have termites, encourage ants to infest your
              home. They will feed on the termites and neatly stack their
              refuse (e.g. piles of their dead) in piles for you to clean
              periodically.
              refuse (e.g. their dead) in piles for you to clean periodically.
              \_ A coworker killed the ants milling about his doorstep and
                 the next year termites were discovered in the same place.
                 \_ Are you sure what he was killing weren't termites?
                    Termites look a lot like ants.
                    \_ IMO, termites and ants are easily distinguishable.
                       Also, termites don't tend to mill about outside.
                       \_ Also, ants won't strip your face to the bone in
                          seconds.  Termites are dangerous, man.
                          \_ Termites killed my mother. Bastards.
2005/3/16-17 [Transportation/Car, Reference/RealEstate] UID:36711 Activity:high
3/16    Hitachi's new robots:
        http://tinyurl.com/4rmv7 (news.com)
        \_ Why do robots have to resemble human appearence anyway?  Eyes (video
           cameras) on head, two arms, and so on.  And somehow using wheels
           that are much simpler instead of legs is a technological
           breakthrough?
           \_ Cf. Daleks.
              \_ mere shells housing organic matter.
              \_ Do you have stairs in your house?
                 \_ No.  But if you do, you can get two robots without legs at
                    lower cost.
                    \_ Then I'd be protected.
                       \_ You might also stand a better chance of getting away
                          in case they went nuts and started biting off
                          people's heads or bludgeoning them with their own
                          torn off limbs or something.
2005/3/14-15 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:36693 Activity:moderate
3/14    More evidence of Real Estate Speculation. We are definitely
        in bubble land here folks:
        http://money.cnn.com/2005/03/14/magazine/flippers_0504/index.htm
        \_ great, since you were so accurate predicting the dot-com
           bubble, that means we can only expect another 150% increase
           before it's time to sell.  -tom
        \_ eh, you need some major event that affects national psychology:
           like gas prices going too high, something getting all blowed up,
           deficits finally affecting the economy / all the banks pulling out
           of the dollar.  Otherwise it will be a slow-motion bubble pop.
           -total newb
2005/2/6-7 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:36081 Activity:high 54%like:36078
2/6     Gambling on housing:
        http://www.csua.org/u/az4 (to the schmuck who put in the boobs, thanks)
        \_ whoo! http://tinyurl.com/5jk9o
        \_ I would say I hope these speculators loose their shirts and go
                                                \_ ObYermom
           bankrupt, but that's an understatement.  I hope they get tarred
           and feathered, and get cancer from the tar.  Fuck all real estate
           speculating parasite bastards.
        \_ Yep.  A good friend told me oh 6 months ago that the smart Vegas
           real estate types were all moving money out of Vegas and into
           Phoenix.  I imagine those guys will move out now that the dumb
           money is moving in.
        \_ Seriously, can't these people find something to invest in the
           grows the economy instead of just screwing the little guy?
           \_ Ergo, the need for fair market, rather than simply "free".
              \_ Market must be fairly regulated for all citizens, comrade.
              \_ To be frank, the controlled housing market around here is
                 screwing me far for than the housing speculators.
                 \_ I have no proof, and don't really know what I'm talking
                    about, but I'll bet dollars to donuts those laws that
                    make a "controlled" housing market were written by
                    politicians who are in the pocket of real estate
                    speculators.  In the end, this is why I've come to be
                    anti-regulation: regulation will always be written by
                    the shitheads, and I'd rather fight them in the free
                    market than live in a world where they write the laws.
                    \_ Actually, it's much simpler than that. For whatever
                       reason, no matter what type of system you have,
                       whether it be heavily regulated or not, whether
                       it is communist, capitalist, fuedalist, etc.
                       there will always be people who learn how to
                       beat and cheat the system to their own advantage.
                       So, it really doesn't matter what you do, there
                       will always be have and have nots, and the have
                       nots will always outnumber the haves. The only
                       way to have true equality is to make everyone
                       equal, and that's not going to happen because
                       doing so would result in a meltdown in society.
                       \_ Well, that, and it would be wrong.
                       \_ What is wrong with real estate speculation?
                          \_ When speculators take over, they end up driving
                             the prices up way beyond what people in that
                             area can afford, meaning that people who live there
                             get screwed and end up spending way more money on
                             houseing or just gettin gdriven out of the area.
                             If the speculating frenzy is not connected with
                             real economic growth of the area, everyone gets
                             totally fucked except for the early speculators
                             who screwed the later speculators.  I've lost my
                             apartment three times in as many years to these
                             fuckers, and at least one of the places I had to
                             leave is actually still sitting vacant now, two
                             years after I had to move out.  No, I don't live
                             in the Bay Area.
                             \_ Just for clarity, where do you live?
                                \_ New Haven, CT.
                                   \_ Yale has been buying up whole city blocks
                                      around the campus for years now.  It took
                                      real estate speculators this long to
                                      capitalize on this?
                             \_ Gee, that's too bad for you.  Do you need big
                                government to keep the bad evil capitalists
                                away at night too?
                                \_ Hey, asshole, I was the one advocating
                                   deregulation.  Just because I think something
                                   should be legal doesn't mean I don't hate
                                   the bastards who do it.
                                \_ Have trouble reading, moron? I was
                                   saying the government IS the problem
                                   usually.  There's miles of wide open
                                   completely unused land around here
                                   (literally), but it remains unused
                                   because the local government says that
                                   it can't be built on.  As far as I can
                                   tell, this is simply to keep land
                                   prices as high as possible.
                                   \_ You have to hand it to this guy, he's a
                                      skilled troll.  He managed to elicit a
                                      "asshole" and a "moron" from people who
                                      agree with him on this issue. Funny.
                             \_ You know, the owner of my favorite neighborhood
                                lunch place retired and her son took over the
                                running of the place.  You know what the bastard
                                did?  He decided to go upscale, changed the
                                menu, and raised prices!  Now the place sits
                                half-empty, and I have to get my lunches from
                                another restaurant.  There should be a law
                                against restaurants changing owners and raising
                                prices.
2005/2/6 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:36078 Activity:very high 54%like:36081
2/6     Gambling on housing:
        http://csua.org/u/az4
        \_ I would say I hope these speculators loose their shirts and go
                                                \_ ObYermom
           bankrupt, but that's an understatement.  I hope they get tarred
           and feathered, and get cancer from the tar.  Fuck all real estate
           speculating parasite bastards.
        \_ Yep.  A good friend told me oh 6 months ago that the smart Vegas
           real estate types were all moving money out of Vegas and into
           Phoenix.  I imagine those guys will move out now that the dumb
           money is moving in.
        \_ Seriously, can't these people find something to invest in the
           grows the economy instead of just screwing the little guy?
           \_ Ergo, the need for fair market, rather than simply "free".
              \_ Market must be fairly regulated for all citizens, comrade.
              \_ To be frank, the controlled housing market around here is
                 screwing me far for than the housing speculators.
                 \_ I have no proof, and don't really know what I'm talking
                    about, but I'll bet dollars to donuts those laws that
                    make a "controlled" housing market were written by
                    politicians who are in the pocket of real estate
                    speculators.  In the end, this is why I've come to be
                    anti-regulation: regulation will always be written by
                    the shitheads, and I'd rather fight them in the free
                    market than live in a world where they write the laws.
                    \_ Actually, it's much simpler than that. For whatever
                       reason, no matter what type of system you have,
                       whether it be heavily regulated or not, whether
                       it is communist, capitalist, fuedalist, etc.
                       there will always be people who learn how to
                       beat and cheat the system to their own advantage.
                       So, it really doesn't matter what you do, there
                       will always be have and have nots, and the have
                       nots will always outnumber the haves. The only
                       way to have true equality is to make everyone
                       equal, and that's not going to happen because
                       doing so would result in a meltdown in society.
2005/1/20 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:35830 Activity:high
1/20    "People are buying strictly on the basis of price appreciation, and
        that's a recipe for disaster," Thornberg said. "It's obvious we've
        peaked out. The question now is when do we start coming down the
        other side? -UCLA economist Christopher Thornber (on home prices)
        http://csua.org/u/as3
        \_ I like Mr. Fair and Unbiased Poster! The whole article is saying
           how things are unclear, there's indications that the market could
           head either way, and he/she posts the last paragraph in the article
           as if that's the proper summary. Fine work!
        \_ These grapes, dey are so SOUR!
           \_ *sniff*! Yeah, I sure miss being sick half the year from the
              fucking polution, sitting in traffic for an hour to get anywhere,
              and dealing with the attitudes of fucks like you.  I wish
              I were worthy of the privelage of paying an outragous fraction
              of my income into a mortgage on some fucking tract home
              surrounded by strip malls.  yep. Sour grapes all the way.  You
              just keep telling yourself that, buddy.
              \_ You are worthy.  Your spelling qualifies you.
              \_ Well, I live in San Francisco, with the cleanest air and
                 water of any big city in the nation. I don't sit in traffic,
                 in fact I don't even own a car. I use Muni to go back and
                 forth to work. And yeah, it is late sometimes, but even
                 on a bad day, it only takes me 50 minutes to get to work.
                 50 minutes I spend reading the paper, I might add.
                 \_ SF and north bay are tolerable. It's south bay/silicon
                    valley that is the shithole. -not previous guy
2005/1/16-18 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:35736 Activity:kinda low
1/16    If I own a condon/town house/house/etc. in SJ and I want to rent out
        one or of the rooms, i.e. "share" my place, can I discriminate?  Can I
        refuse to rent the rooms to males/females, singles/married/etc.,
        gays/straights/bi/etc., smokers, drinkers, partiers, nerds, etc.?  Is
        this legal since I am "sharing" the place with them?
        \_ I'm pretty sure I've never been in a rented apartment outside of
           student housing where there wasn't *some* form of discrimination.
           I have no idea what the legality of that is, but if you were to
           decide not to discriminate on the basis of gender, age, and
           marital status, you would be in a *very* small minority of landlords.
           And what about all those apartment ads that are in Chinese only?
           I've always wondered what would happen if a white guy were to call
           one of those up and ask to see the place.
           \-i think if you are a landlord as a business, you really do have
             a lot of obligations. for example, i have had bldg managment
             people could tell me "i am not allowed to answer your question
             whether there are a lot of childrent in the bldg" ... they were
             clearly sympathetic to the inquiry but said thier hands were
             tied. so what they ask explicitly is constrained ... i dunno
             how strong the presumptions are in this area and dunno what
             actually ends up happening.
             \_ Your naivete is almost touching.
             \_ There are of course ways of doing an end-run around some of
                these restrictions.  A common anti-children one is setting a
                maximum occupancy.  For "no young adults" there's a credit
                check, large deposit, and a minimum income figure.
        \- well i am not sure what would happen if you advertised "blacks and
           jews need not apply" ... if anything you'ld probably be asking
           for "extra-judicial remedies", but i do think in a case like this
           you can for all practical purposes pick anybody you want. if you
           have a poker game or movie night or book club at your house, nobody
           can force you to integrate something like that. if your book club
           meets at the public library, it may be another matter. while
           "state action" doesnt mean "wholly run by the govt" and the trigger
           may be as small as something like admitting a student with a pell
           grant or applying for a liquor lic, it still doesnt apply to who
           you invite to your house. it may be an interesting first amd case
           to see if you could be liable for some kind of group defamation
           of you took out an ad for something like "hong kong businessmen
           in vancouver are dirty cheats."           /
                is this psb?   - psb's last fan  ---/
        \_ As it's a rental, I'm pretty sure non-discrimination law applies.
           As a practical matter, you can rent to whoever you want and nobody
           has any recourse.  Where you'd get in trouble is if you put
           "no <protected class> need apply", or if you had many, many rentals
           and consistantly excluded some group.  It's illegal to decide to
           say not rent to gays or something, but you could always say "person
           X was the best fit".
        \_ The Federal Fair Housing Act 48 USC Sec 3606 (b)(2) probably
           applies to you and exempts you from the anti-discrimination
           requirement ("rooms ... in dwellings containing living quarters
           occupied by no more than 4 families living independently of
           each other, if the owner maintains and occupies one such living
           quarters as his residence").
           While it is okay to say M (or F) only and non-smoker/drinker/
           partier (b/c of the noise) you probably shouldn't say no gay
           or married need apply.
        \_ More importantly, can you advertise that you are only looking for
           hot single asian female roommates? My...um...friend wants to know.
           \_ Why do you only want hot asians?  Are you broken?  Hot black
              chicks are just as hot, and so are hot white chicks, and hot
              Latinas, and hot Indians.  I love them all. I will go look at
              my multiracial porn now.
           \_ Single/Female is probably okay. Maybe even asian. Hot is not.
              Even if it were, if your friend expects to get some action
              from his tenant, he is walking into a legal mine-field. Unless
              he wants to defend against all sorts of harassment claims (and
              possible criminal charges) if things go badly, advise him
              against picking tenants b/c they are hot.
2005/1/13-14 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:35701 Activity:insanely high
1/13    Go rent Control Room on DVD.  Documentary on Al-Jazeera.  Has a lot
        of footage of a U.S. liason, too.  Rated 8.0 on http://imdb.com.
        \_ Saw it in the theaters. Thought it was interesting and thought-
           provoking. Was sad to see it overshadowed by the other documentaries
           last year.
        \_ Does it have a political agenda or is it a true documentary?
           \_ A documentary can't have a political agenda?  Go home, little boy.
                \_ No, it can't, to answer your question, fag.
                \_ No, it can't, to answer your question, fag. -chrchan
                        \_ I love how someone signed my post for me, as if
                           that's supposed to piss me off or something.
                           \_ When someone is that stupid, it's good for
                              everyone to know who it is
                              \_ Seconded.  Thanks. And the beauty is, the
                                 jackass acutally verified it for you.
                                \_ Whoever said the person who signed my post
                                   got it right, bitch?
                                   \_ Chris, you're wrong.  Grow up.
                                        \_ Comedy gold. Like now I'm supposed
                                           to be freaked out that someone
                                           knows how to use finger, w, and
                                           cron. Is this the same person who
                                           thought that one guy was running an
                                           online pharmacy on here?
                                           \_ Freaked out?  Why on earth would
                                              you be freaked out over this?
                                              Get a grip, dude.  I think it's
                                              more to do with either accepting
                                              the fact that people now
                                              associate your name with
                                              stupidity, or continuing to freak
                                              over something so dumb as being
                                              'outed' on motd.  You have GOT
                                              to be an undergrad.
                    \_ Yes, it can, moron. -phuqm
                       \_ I saw 9/11 and it had no agenda whatsover. Nope.
                          Nada. Nothing. Totally unbiased.
                          Nada. Nothing. Totally unbiased. -fag
                          \_ Noone said it was.
           \_ It's a feature about Al Jazeera. It presents Al Jazeera as being
              reasonable, rational, and concerned with doing the right thing.
              Most of those interviewed are moderates, although they tend to
              get (understandably) strained after a stray US bomb kills one of
              their field corespondents. It's interesting because it's a point
              of view you're not likely to have seen on the American news.
              \_ "Stray bomb" isn't exactly the right phrase.  "Missiles
                 deliberately targeting journalists" is probably closer.
                 \_ I'm still not convinced "journalists" is the right term
                    for the enemy propogandists at Al Jazeera, but I guess
                    I'll have to rent the DVD and decide for myself. I'll
                    rent it tomorrow.
                    \_ Looking forward to your take on it.
                 \_ I also watched Control Room.  I think it's possible that
                    Al-Jazeera's Baghdad office (whose location the coalition
                    forces had) was deliberately attacked, but I think it's
                    more likely the A-10 pilot thought the guy with the helmet
                    pointing the videocamera at him was aiming a shoulder-
                    mounted SAM.  I've also read one report suggesting that
                    this was the first time an A-10 was in the area, so he
                    probably either freaked, was trigger-happy, or there
                    really was someone firing at him from the same building.
                    The last explanation was the official U.S. one, but I
                    don't think it's correct given eyewitness reports.
                    -liberal
                    - idiot liberal
                    \_ Yeah, just make conjectures based on no proof. How
                       are you any better than those who you condemn?
                       \_ I just read the previous post twice, and I'm still
                          trying to figure out who you think he's "condemning".
2004/12/16 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:35327 Activity:moderate
12/16   Another report showed housing starts unexpectedly plummeted 13.1
        percent last month, the biggest dive since a 17 percent tumble in
        January 1994, as groundbreaking activity fell sharply across the nation.

        Housing starts slid to an annual rate of 1.771 million units in
        November from an upwardly revised 2.039 million clip a month earlier,
        the Commerce Department said.

        Economists had expected starts to ease only slightly and some saw
        the report as a sign of brewing trouble for the long high-flying
        U.S. housing sector.

        "The housing market is finally beginning to cool off. This is the
        beginning of the end," said David Wyss, chief economist for
        Standard & Poor's. "The housing number is scary." (Additional
        reporting by Alister Bull in Washington and Pedro Nicolaci da
        Costa in New York)
        \_ Why do you hate America?
        \_ Am I naive to think that this is just the price rising enough to
           get closer to the point that supply and demand actually meet?
           \_ Yes, because housing has always tracked inflation. When housing
              tracks 10X inflation you know you're in a bubble.
              \_ hey it's Missed Buying A Home Sour Grapes Guy!
2004/12/16 [Computer/Rants, Reference/RealEstate] UID:35316 Activity:high
12/15   some terraserver data in color now in urban areas
        http://csua.org/u/ad4 - danh
        \_ Jesus, I can see my sister's car.
           \_ Peter, I can see your house from here.
                \_ i can see his mom
        \_ this is still cooler
           http://keyhole.com
           \_ this IS cooler, but it ain't free like TerraServer
        \_ I can see my wife in the pool and ...... hey, who's that man!?
        \_ This is awesome.
        \_ alright this is awesome. Let's collect some interesting data
           points, like Sather Tower, Statue of Liberty, Bill Gates' house,
           etc etc. Can someone start the list? Thanks.
           \_ http://csua.org/u/adi is slightly out of date - danh
           \_ http://tinyurl.com/4nuzj   Oracle, my former employer
                Anyone know the address of B Gates and Larry Ellison?
                I'd like to know where the rich Walmart people are as well.
                \_ Ellison has a home in Pac Heights on the same block
                   as Sen Feinstein. I am pretty sure it is that last
                   block of Broadway just before the Presidio. Not
                   sure exactly which house though.
           \_ http://tinyurl.com/5dy83    Soda Hall
           \_ http://csua.org/u/ads http://csua.org/u/adr - danh
           \_ http://tinyurl.com/3jyta Hearst Castle
2004/12/14 [Reference/Law/Court, Reference/RealEstate] UID:35277 Activity:very high
12/13   When I moved recently, the manager inspected my apartment and told
        me that I cleaned it well enough so that I do not have to pay for
        cleaning the kitchen and bathroom.  However, 2 weeks later I received
        a letter from the company owning the property that I owe $85 cleaning
        fee in addition to the carpet cleaning that I knew I should pay.
        I also found that on the move-out checklist that the manager and I
        both initialed she checked neither the clean nor the not-clean column.
        I am away and traveling and cannot (afford to) fight them in small
        court even if I have ground to win.  What can I do?
        \_ Send them a copy of the checklist and demand the $85.  Ask your
           former manager for help.
        \_ whoa, the exact same thing happened to me earlier this year.
           Basically verbal agreements mean... nothing. Did you record the
           conversation? If you did, you'd have a case. Otherwise, :(
           I learned my lesson, I hope you do too.
           \_ Recorded conversations are not admissible as evidence w/o the
              consent of those being recorded. What you need is statements in
              writing.
              \_ Why is that? So we recorded the terriorists conversation but
                 cannot use against them because we don't have their consent?
                 If we cannot apply the same kind of laws to our so called
                 enemy, then the law we think is so great, isn't so.
                 \_ Just so you're aware, there's a little leap from damage
                    charges on a rental to fighting int'l terrorism.
                 \_ That's a provision of civil law, not criminal.  For
                    wiretaps occuring in this country, you need a warrant, but
                    outside of this country, I don't think so.
                    \_ But why do we need their consent? If you overhead Simpson
                       said, "Yeah, I killed that bitch", but you can't use it
                       because obviously you don't have his permission? What about
                       all those movies where the agents are wearing a tap?
                       It sounds silly if the otherside knows that you are
                       recording, what the fuck do you expect to get?
                       \_ Re-read what I just wrote.  In criminal law, you need
                          a warrant, not permission from the other party.  In
                          civil law, it's meant as a reasonable safeguard of
                          privacy and free speach.  Otherwise you could just go
                          privacy and free speech.  Otherwise you could just go
                          around recording everyone all the time.
                          \_ Further clarification: You CAN go around recording
                             everyone all the time. Some people do. You cannot
                             submit any of it as evidence unless you have the
                             consent of those being recorded, though, acc to,
                             as pp above says, civil law.
                             \_ Actually in some cases (phones for one)
                                recording someone without telling them
                                is illegal.
                                \_ Not in New York! (but in CA, illegal, yes)
        \_ Call the manager, recall the conversation, and ask her to contact
           the company owning the property on your behalf.  While this may get
           you nothing, and everyone may be out to screw you, it's equally
           possible that this charge is something they hit everyone with
           reflexively; they may not even realize they've mistakenly hit you
           with it.
           \_ I once lived in a shitty apt. in the ghetto which got bought by
              some evil corporate real estate speculating fucks.  I spent months
              calling them every other day or so to try to just get a fucking
              lease to no avail.  It was literally impossible to talk to a
              real, competent human at this company, so with no lease, we just
              moved out(after giving them written notice a month in advance).
              I then spent weeks again trying to get them to give me the
              security deposit, again getting blown off, trying to call people
              who have pager numbers only and never call back.  After weeks
              and weeks of that, a check showed up for exactly twice what it
              should have been.  Fuck 'em.  If it had been a real human landlord
              I would have given them half the money back in a second, but
              I just kept the money, and i'm positive that they'll never know.
              I think they actually lost all the paperwork, and ended up just
              guessing an amount for the check.  Sometimes what looks like
              malice is in fact just stupidity.  In other words, I agree with
              you.
2004/12/12-13 [Finance/Investment, Reference/RealEstate] UID:35255 Activity:nil
12/12   Oh so sorry bubble boy. You will not get the house of your
        dreams for next to nothing after the bubble pops:
        http://csua.org/u/aan
       \_ You're missing the point dickhead.  I and pretty much all bitter
           renters from the bay area who post to the motd can afford a *nice*
           home outside the bay area now, 10 years ago, and ten years from now.
           Maybe the bay area kool aid will never wear off, and housing in
           the Bay Area will always be totally disjointed from reality.  But
           think on this: when you talk to homeowners *outside* the Bay Area
           about the benefits of homeownership, they don't get all defensive
           and assume you're starting a fight.  Why do you think you people
           are different?  Could it be because you know deep down that
           regardless of what your koolaid bretheren who control the *local*
           housing market say, that you got screwed?
        \_ Wow thank you!  I've been looking for a commentator who tells
           me I _should_ buy in this market!  Now I have one!
           \_ Did you actually read the article?
2004/12/6 [Reference/RealEstate, Reference/History] UID:35187 Activity:kinda low Cat_by:auto Edit_by:auto
12/6    Awsome site: http://nationalatlas.gov/natlas/natlasstart.asp
        Statistics on geography and other things
        \_ Florida IS for old people! Look at age over 65.
           Look at the Black population, it's interesting.
           This also confirms that the Bay Area IS a haven for Asians.
           Also, this confirms that Mormons DO have more children!
        \_ Stats for crime and population seemed to be grouped by county, so
           LA skews the visual for California.
        \_ very cool; thank you --darin
        \_ wow. the country-wide trends for breast and ovarian cancer
           are strange.  Truly a rich, white woman's cancer.
                               \- isnt breast cancer higher among the
                                  nulliparous ... hence the "marin county
                                  effect" --psb
        \_ nice map/atlas, nice demographic/statistic stuff.
2004/11/28-29 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:35101 Activity:high
11/28   Condos are appreciating faster than single family homes:
        http://csua.org/u/a4t (sfgate)
2004/10/17 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:34181 Activity:nil
10/17    I seem to be breeding drosophila like crazy in my apartment.  is it
        possible to make a few bucks by selling them to biologists?
2004/10/10-11 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:34023 Activity:nil
10/10   Anyone know where I might be able to find out approximately how much
        real estate LOAN agents make per transaction versus real estate in the
        East and South Bay?  From what I know, most real estate agents make 50%
        to 80% of 1.5% of the total transaction.  How about real estate LOAN
        agents?  I know they get about 0.25% to 2% of the total loan amount.  I
        am interested in knowing if the real estate LOAN agents also add other
        bogus charges, jack up the interest rates, etc. to make more money.
        And, how much of that total amount do they get from their bosses.
        \_ I do know that they make most of their money from buying loans
           at "wholesale" and reselling them at "retail." The loan disclosure
           docs tell you what they paid for the loan. In my first home
           purchase, they bought the loan at 5.9% and resold it at 6.0%
           to me, which meant that they made about 1.4% on my loan. It
           was an owner operated business, so I assume they got all of it.
           On my refi, I was not in such a rush, so I was able to negotiate
           it down to 3/4 of a point, or .75%. In this case, the guy worked
           for a big company, so I have no idea how much of it he made. And
           yes, they will try and charge you more if you let them. In my
           first loan, they tried to charge me 6.5%, claiming various bogus
           reasons for such a high rate. So make sure you know what the
           market rate is for you loan before you go in to negotiate. They
           are called mortgage brokers, btw, not loan agents. Calling them
           by the wrong name is confusing.
2004/10/5-6 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:33937 Activity:very high
10/4    Vegas bubble pops. Can CA be far behind?
        http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/041005/vegas_pulte_2.html
        \_ Your schaudenfreude is unseemly. I feel pity for you that your
                \_ Wow, a Simpsons fan trying to sound smart.
                   \_ You nailed it perfectly. Now just read that paragraph
                      in the tone of "the comic store guy."
           life is so hollow and empty that triumphalism about housing
           prices is one of your high points. Enjoy your glee.
           \_ An admirable effort, but still Worst. Troll. Ever.
           \_ Uhm, having housing prices drop is a GOOD thing. We pay less
              for the house, the property tax goes down, responsible people
              can afford to buy a house again. This artificial atmosphere
              of low interest rates/high housing prices is not healthy
              in the long run. Look at what happened to Tokyo, look at
              what happened to LA during the early ninties. The market
              is way overdue for a correction.
              \_ Lest we forget potentially massive fraud at Fannie
                 Mae, home of the Democrat sinecure.  It could get very
                 very ugly.
              \_ Housing prices drop will have cascading effects on the
                 economy.  You may be paying lower prop tax or rents, but
                 those who lost their equity will spend less.  This will
                 cause stores and companies to make less and start laying
                 off workers.
                 \_ Not to mention some companies own their office buildings.
                    Now they'll have less capital to work with.
           \_ I'm with him. It sounds evil but watching a housing market
              crash would please me quite a bit. I don't actually think
              it will happen anytime soon though. This Vegas pop isn't
              yet a pop so much as a "stop growing so fucking fast".
              \_ Why would it please you?  Still renting and missed the boat?
           \_ No. I am more "nervous homeowner" than showingFreud. -op
              \_ Nervous about what?  If you truly believe what you're saying
                 then the only smart thing to do is sell now and buy back after
                 this coming catastrophe in the housing market.
                 \_ Nervous about a drop in the housing market of course.
                    Isn't that what I said? Nervous about something happening
                    isn't the same thing as being certain that it will happen.
                    \_ Well, look at it this way. There's no way that
                       housing prices will go up. $500,000 for a crap house
                       isn't going to last when interest rates hit 7-8% by
                       next year. Remember, this has been THE LOWEST rates
                       have been for the past 40 plus years. You're not
                       likely to see rates like this again in your lifetime.
                       So, although they might not go down, it's unlikely
                       that they will go up. In other words, you shouldn't
                       rush into a housing market. (Boy, where did you hear
                       that one before, oh yeah, a couple years ago when
                       everyone was buying internet stocks, har har har).
                       Plus, historically house prices track inflation, so
                       it seems like that there is a very high probability
                       that there will be a major adjustment coming in the
                       next 12 months. My family has personally seen this
                       happen with real-estate in SoCal during the early
                       ninties. Housing prices dropped 25-33% from peaks.
                          \_ That could be kind of a weird situation.
                             Homeowners' loans would not be 'underwater', but
                             housing prices could still fall in real dollars.
                             Hmm...  So if inflation was a cumulative 200% and
                             housing prices went up 100%, then your house fell
                             33% in real dollars, but if you sell you gained
                             100% in book value.
                             Thinking about it a bit more, since houses are
                             generally a heavily-levereged investment, the
                             homeowner could come out way ahead in this
                             scenario.  If you put $100K down on a $500K house
                             and a few years later you sell for $1M, you've
                             increased your equity by 500%, which in real
                             dollars might still mean doubling your money.
                             \_ like all heavily-leveraged investments,
                                you can come out way ahead or way behind.
                                As leveraged investments go, a house
                                ain't bad in terms of volatility.  In
                                the current market, it's hard to say ...
                                \_ I guess just about any heavily-levereged
                                   investment will do well in inflation if
                                   you have fixed-rate interest.
                                   \_ you seem to be talking about really
                                      drastic inflation though.  But how did
                                      housing prices go during the 70s,
                                      when inflation was very high?
                                      \_ I just picked big numbers to make the
                                         math easy.
                                      \_ They rose a lot in CA. One thing
                                         not to miss is that this money is
                                         tax-free.
                                         \_ Your HOUSE is so BIG and TAX FREE!
                       What does this mean? Basically it means that your
                       downpayment for your house is basically wiped out.
                       So, there is reason to be nervous... Let's just
                       hope the next quake isn't too big....
                       \_ Actually there is a really easy way for housing
                          prices to go up: inflation shoots up. I am
                          starting to believe this is how it will play out.
                          \_ when inflation shoots up, doesn't it mean
                             that the fed would be forced to raise
                             the interest rate more?  would not that
                             cause a decrease in home prices?  I am
                             confused on this one.  Anyone?
                             \_ Sure, they would raise interest rates.
                                Sure this would tend to cause a crimp
                                in home prices. But inflation could
                                still force nominal prices up.
                                \_ I think the effect of a interest
                                   rate rise would be more drastic
                                   and immediate.
        \_ I don't think this is going to happen in Bay Area anytime soon.
           I can understand it happening in Vegas.  LV has land to meet the
           demand.  But here, there's no more land.  There's always a big
           demand.  Another reason for the Vegas bubble is very similar to
           Japan and HK.  People in Vegas buy houses in hope of making money
           out them.  But here people buy houses because they need a place
           to live and start a family.  Thirdly, there are still people who
           can buy houses with all cash regardless of the interest rates.
           \_ Oh, it will happen in the Bay Area and relatively soon, too.
              The irony is that the renters still won't be able to afford
              a house owing to higher rates and the homeowners will still
              have a place to live that they can afford. After that, the
              prices will go up again. There is a high demand and a lot of
              wealth, but demand will fall and take prices with it. Prices
              will still be expensive relative to elsewhere, but less than
              they are now. All the factors you cite are already in play.
2004/10/5-6 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:33929 Activity:moderate
10/5    Just read in an article in today's WSJ that 10-15% of new mortgages
        today are interest only ARM, and the percentages are even higher
        in regions where housing prices have soared.  After say 5 years,
        these people would suddenly face much higher payments due to the
        principle payments kicking in and potentially higher interest
        rates.  It uses an example of a $350k loan where the home owner
        currently pays about $1900 monthly but would have to pay about
        $3700 when the principle kicks in and assuming a higher interest
        rate of 7%.  Historically, the percentage of these interest only
        loan is about 2% of total number of loans, and most of it is used
        by very well-off people for tax / invesment purposes, but now it
        is often used to entice people to buy a bigger house than they
        can afford.
        \_ And in the Bay Area the precentage is quite a bit higher, like
           30% and even higher in The City, like 60%
        \_ And in California the precentage is quite a bit higher, like
           50% and even higher in The City, like 60%
           \_ Overall in the Bay Area it's about 65% for ARM, but I do not
              know what percentage of that is interest-only.
              \_ Oops, misread it. I thought you meant all ARMs.
        \_ Statistically, the average stay of a first house is about 3.5 yrs.
           Getting a ARM for your first house makes sense.  There's no
           point of paying more interest for a 15 yr loan when you know
           you won't stay for more than 5 years on your first house.
           \_ with big bubbles and its aftermath, you can throw history out
              the window.
              the window.  there's this thing called negative equity.
           \_ Most people keep their house for 7 years before selling.
                \_ If that's the case a 5yr ARM and a 15 year fixed are
                   same.
               \_ First time home buyers keep theirs shorter, especially
                  those who buy condos and townhouses.
        \_ Can these people refinance after 5yrs and get a new interest-only
           ARM?
           \_ Yes.
        \_ I get a 15yr fixed mortgage when I bought my first home 4yrs ago.  I
           guess I'm conservative compared to the average Bay Area homeowner.
           \_ I got a 30yr fixed when I bought our first house last year (and
              am Bay Area).  I guess I'm more conservative than you.
              Well... poorer, I guess.
           \_ I got a 30 year fixed too when I bought my house 2 years ago
              in the south bay. Often loan agents advocate ARM because if
              everyone gets 15/30 year fixed, then they will have less business.
        \_ the problem  with this is if housing prices collapse, these people
           will be completely and royally screwed as they wont even be able to
           sell the house to recover the mortgage debt.
           \_ I recently met a dude from HK who said he still has a condo in
              HK with negative equity.  The price got halved after they
              bought it a few years ago.
              HK with negative equity.  The price got halved after he and his
              wife bought it a few years ago.
              \_ And if he bought in Bumfuck, Arkansas, it would have cost
                 1/20th as much, been 5x larger and the price wouldn't have
                 changed at all.  So?
                 \_ that's not the point.  the point is he and his wife
                    would rather have bought after the price came down.
2004/10/4-6 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:33912 Activity:high
10/4    "If you live in Mountain View, California, and someone gives you
        $1 million, you might be able to pay off your mortgage, but you
        can't retire"
   http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20041002/bs_nm/tech_google_dc_3
        This is the exact reason why I moved out of Silicon Valley, one
        of the most inhospitable places to be as a tech worker. Moving
        out was the best decision I ever made.  I now have a nice house,
        a nice car, and a pretty gf... thing that are difficult to obtain
        had I stayed.
        \_ Google brain drain here we come!  All those smart Google people
           are taking their $1m to some place nice out of state to raise
           their families.
           \_ Wow, you're so cool. Tell me something else neat. --googler
           \_ That must be why the stock went to 138.37. Let's see you
              short it, smarty pants.
        \_ where did you move to?
        \_ get a clue, get rich first then move out
           \_ by then, going bald already.
        \_ Mountain View is a relatively inexpensive area to buy a house.
           The part that borders Los Altos is pricier, but still not as
           silly pricewise as South Bay can get.
           \_  Who the heck wrote this?  Have they actually priced out MV
               houses?  Houses anywhere outside the high crime areas are
               rediculous.  Maybe not LA or PA rediculous, but still bad.
               ridiculous.  Maybe not LA or PA ridiculous, but still bad.
               \_ I sold my Mtn. View house 6 years ago for $550k, and other
                  houses around that one have been hovering around $800k for
                  the last year or so.  That's pretty damn awful growth for
                  6 years (in comparison, I moved into a $650K house that's
                  now $1.3M).  Median for Mtn. View seems to be high $700K,
                  average low $700K.  Like I said, relatively inexpensive.
                  \_  You must be a Republican if you think high $700k is
                      inexpensive.
                      \_ I am probably not a Republican, but you certainly
                         are not a logician if you don't understand that
                         inexpensive != relatively inexpensive.
                  \_ Overall it is $545K for MV. $675K in 94040, $532K in
                     94041, and $530K in 94043. That is not too bad for
                     the Bay Area.
                        \_ These numbers don't tell you much.  True valuation
                           is based on $$$/sq ft for single family, condos,
                           and townhouses.
        \_ Yeah, some places a $100k salary is actually considered high
        \_ You can't retire on $1M if you expect to live an extra 40+ years
           unless you decide to find a nice third world country or someplace
           in BFE America. Choices, choices...
           \_ But you *can* take your $1m to almost any other part of the
              country, buy a house in cash better than anything that even
              exists in the SFBA, and take an nice easy slacker job for spare
              cash that will still allow you to enjoy life.
              \_ I know this will be very hard for you to understand, but some
                 of us value things other than material possessions - things
                 we may not find in Colorado or Las Vegas.  There are all sorts
                 of different ways to measure quality of life other than the
                 size of your house, the size of your car, and the amount of
                 plastic surgery your wife has.  I'm glad you're happy where
                 you are, but please stop belittling people that make different
                 choices than you.  ok tnx.
                 size of your house, the size of your car, the size of your
                 penis, and the amount of plastic surgery your wife has.  I'm
                 glad you're happy where you are, but please stop belittling
                 people that make different choices than you.  ok tnx.
                 \_ hear hear.
        \_ Where did you move to? -serious
        \_ Do yoy make as much as when you're in the Bay Area?
           \_ You will probably make 15-20% less in, say, the Midwest but
              salaries for CS/IT are pretty high everywhere. My friends
              who moved out of state definitely came out ahead, especially
              after selling their houses in this seller's market. The
              problem is that they will never be able to move back here if
              they want to - or, rather, it will be difficult.
              \_ Assuming they moved somewhere that will grow faster than CA,
                 they would be able to move back no problem.  Have you seen
                 Vegas prices?  My friend's house gained $400k just in the last
                 year.
                 \_ Once you leave CA, you won't want to come back.  I've
                    already started my search in other states for both jobs
                    and housing.  Taking a 20% or even higher pay cut and I'll
                    still get a *way* nicer house, an easier job, have a few
                    hundred grand in the bank, and work less for nicer people.
                    You can keep CA.  No sane person would want to come back
                    once they hit gold (or silver) and cashed out.
                    \_ A lot of people who leave miss it and want to come
                       back. Get back to us after you've lived 10 years
                       in Missouri, Minnesota, or Reno.
                        \_ I live in Chicago, and I kind of miss the
                           Bay Area.  But then, I found my dream girl
                           here in Chicago, so overall, I am happy.  I
                           didn't leave the Bay Area on choice.  I left
                           for school and then found a nice job in
                           Chicago.
                           \_ Chicago, Boston, NYC, and some other places
                              have similar quality of life to CA. None
                              of them are particularly cheap.
                    \_ It is amusing that you say this, because I have
                       talked to three people this *week* who have told
                       me they sold their San Francisco house for a house
                       in the suburbs and now regret it a decade later
                       because they cannot afford to move back now.
                 \_ Nowhere is going to grow faster than CA that also
                    doesn't have plenty of land. Thank the illegal
                    immigrants for that. If you sell a house in CA for $600K
                    and buy one in NV for $600K then you are not financially
                    ahead moving. The assumption is you buy a cheaper
                    place elsewhere. I had a friend who moved back to San
                    Diego and found he could only afford a condo, although he
                    sold a house when he initially left.
                \_ The bubble has already popped in LV. Home prices are now
                   declining there.
                   http://csua.org/u/9bv
2004/9/8 [Reference/RealEstate, Computer/SW/SpamAssassin] UID:33421 Activity:nil
9/8     Can someone please explain the following spam that I just received:
        "Any prime minister can bounce apartment building beyond marzipan, but
        it takes a real freight train to sheriff living with.Any short order
        cook can seek related to satellite, but it takes a real bubble to
        toward midwife.And befriend the dark side of her philosopher."
        ??? What is this an advertisement for?
        \_ umm, that's just some random text to fool spam filters. the real
           pitch is probably an html attachment or graphic or something.
           \_ Nothing was attached.
        \_ It's most likely an address miner.  It didn't get bounced, so it was
           sent to a valid address.
           \_ No need to send any text in that case.
2004/9/3-4 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:33327 Activity:high
9/3     How much does it cost to tear down an old house and rebuild a new
        ~2500 sqft house on a flat lot in the bay area?
        \_ Call a building contractor.
        \_ I seem to remember it's around $200/sf. for 'luxury' homes.
           \_ My house appraised at $150/sq ft replacement cost, but
              it is certainly not luxury. I think the going rate for
              new construction is $250/sq ft right now. I will ask
              my architect friends and get back to you.
        \_ I seem to remember it costing a lot lot more if you tear the
           whole thing down... then it's a rebuild... leaving one wall up
           allows it to be a remodel, or something like that.
           \_ By law or by union contract or what?  I'm not disagreeing with
              you because I don't know about this, I just think this is weird.
              \_ This is usually by city ordinance, but there is a Prop 13
                 aspect as well. If you gut the house but leave something
                 standing it's a remodel and you will pay less tax on it.
2004/9/3 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:33325 Activity:very high
9/3     Cool!  Housing market slowing down:
        http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/mortgages/20040902a1.asp
        Prices will soon slide down.
        \_ They've already started down, but the questions are how far and
            for how long.
           \_ In what part of the universe do you live where housing prices
              are dropping?
              \_ Prices fell in Ventura and Orange Counties, at the least.
              \_ Prices fell in San Francisco last month. A tiny bit,
                 but still.
                 \_ Speaking of which, can you recommend an online reference
                    for browing through San Francisco apartments and/or condos
                    for sale?  I'm curious what sorts of prices are out there.
                    \_ http://www.sfarmls.com
                       \_ Thanks!  Looks like its still insane: $400,000 for
                          a 1 bedroom!
        \_ Yeah, I'll shed a bitter tear when my house stops going up $75k per
           year in my neighborhood and only goes up $15k a year instead during
           the coming housing bust and slow down.
           \_ will you cry like a big mama if it goes down like 15% ?
              would you recommend people to buy house now like the recent crazy
              motd idiot?
2004/8/18-19 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:32992 Activity:high
8/17    Watch out tom!  People are beating up peeping toms!  Who's to say
        freeping toms won't be next?
http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ibsys/20040818/lo_wews/2334207
        \_ This site has more graphical details:
           http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/0818042nroyalton1.html
           \_ milfish picture included.
              \_ Yeah not bad until you consider for a moment she beat on a
                 guy for an *hour* and stuck a tree branch up his ass and
                 left him to bleed to death.
2004/8/12-13 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:32859 Activity:high
8/12    besides craigslist, what is a good place to find duplexes to rent?
        \_ you know what city or area you are looking for would help...
          \_ oops.. campbell , san jose, thanks
        \_ How is the rental market now? Is it easy to find rooms to rent?
           \_ Obvious troll.
              \_ No, I am trying to decide if I should rent out my rooms.
                 Last time I did it it was quite difficult to get tenants.
2004/8/10-11 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:32813 Activity:very high
8/10    Nothing to see here. move along, yes this is another "housing market
        crash is coming" link:
        http://csua.org/u/8jd [nytimes.com]
        \_ eh, whatevah, home prices in SoCal and NoCal will not crash, too
           many yuppies with money who don't have any money in the stock
           market.  Prices will stagnate at some point; and will only dip if
           something goes boom.  Take it from someone who has no experience.
           Can't say the same about other areas or states.
           \_ Yeah, like they didn't crash during the early ninties...
              (Someone who DOES have experience in the SoCal housing market
               because my family has owned real-estate there for over fifteen
               years, amongst other places around the globe)
              \_ Wasn't that "crash" a small drop followed by several years
                 of stagnation?  My mom bought her house right before the
                 crash and has done quite well regardless.
                 \_ After the peak in 1989, interest rates fell for 4
                    straight years, staving off a more severe drop.  Where
                    are the interest rates going to fall to this time?
                    \_ FWIW, my neighbors paid $50K less than I paid for
                       my house. I bought mine in 2001. They bought theirs
                       in 1989. Of course, now values have doubled off of
                       their original price. However, the drop was
                       significant. It took 10 years to reach the original
                       price again. You could see a 30% drop or more
                       easily, which sucks if you just bought a place for
                       $600K and find it's worth $400K in 2 years.
                       \_ YOu must live in a lowsy neighborhood.  My parents
                          bought their house in 1989 before the so-called
                          crash, and now it's valued at more than twice the
                          price they bought it.
                          \_ What part of 'doubled off original price' did
                             you not understand?
                             \_ in 10 years?  the fact is that most houses
                                in my parents' street doubled in prices from
                                1989 to 1999.  Only in the early 90s, it dipped
                                like 5%.  That's hardly a crash.
                                \_ Your parents are lucky or you are full
                                   of shit. In 1996 the median for houses
                                   was $160K. In 1989 it was $176K. That's
                                   a 7 year period over which there was
                                   a loss. It wasn't until around 1998-99
                                   that houses regained the old values. In
                                   the early 1990s the dip was more
                                   pronounced than "like 5%". In 1993, 43%
                                   of *ALL* home sales (no matter when the
                                   house was bought) were for a loss. The
                                   median loss was $23K on a $200K house.
                                   Median prices for La Crescenta, CA:
                                   1990: $290K, 1995: $212K, 2000: $310K
                                   2002: $382K, 2004: $537K
                                   Median prices for Newport Beach, CA:
                                   1990: $457K, 1995: $390K, 2000: $675K
                                   2002: $800K, 2004: $1090K
                                   \_  Probably lucky to purchase a house in
                                       a city where the job are.  And the
                                       real estate growth probably will
                                       continue since Google is there.  The
                                       price of a Mountain View (94043) house
                                       in '89 was $260k,  $350k in '95,  and
                                       $500k in '89 and now close to $650k.
                                       Sadly, this is not the best part of
                                       Mountain View and the schools are
                                       average to good.
              \_ My parent's house that I lived at for 15 years got foreclosed
                 on because of that.  Too much leveraging.  I still say there
                 won't be a crash; too many people with money these days, and
                 SoCal and NoCal will remain hot for yuppies looking for a new
                 home and speculators. -"eh, whatevah" person
                 \_ There are just too many millionaires out there in the
                    bay area.  If google goes IPO, there will be hundreds more.
           \_ If this another "housing market crash is coming!!!!!" article?
              Please save the rest of us from following another content free
              link description.
        \_ like the internet boom and bust, the hottest regions will
           have it the worst during the bust, just like your hot internet
           stocks.
           \_ No, because the most desirable locations will hold their
              value better. San Marino was one of the best places to own
              real estate during the last 'crash'.
           \_ I really, really doubt it.  How much did Internet stocks
              inflate as a percentage over how many years (let's take YHOO)?
              Then compare that to real estate.  This is just a dumbass test;
              I'm sure there are more fundamental differences.
        \_ Not likely because: 1) land is scarce. 2) population growth.
           3) house ownership is an American way of life.
2004/8/5 [Reference/RealEstate, Reference/Tax] UID:32716 Activity:high
8/5     Berkeley homeowners:  what are the bad things about owning
        in Berkeley?            -brain
        \_ I have some friendss whose property splits thhe oakland/berkeley
           border, which made them happy because they could get a number of
           permits cheaper in oakland. --scotsman
           \_ your friends should be happy, nay, *proud*, to pay the higher
              berkeley fees because those fees support the community.
        \_ Socialism.
        \_ You can't rent it out without dealing with the
           city rent control board.
        \_ Anyone live near the N. Berkeley BART station? How do you like
           your neighborhood? We're thinking of buying there, within a few
           blocks (walking distance). Thoughts?
           \_ n berkeley is great, by n berkeley bart
           \_ Used to rent a few blocks east of there.  Nice neighborhood but
              busses and emergency vehicles favor taking MLK to I wouldn't
              want to buy a place on MLK or Sacramento.
        \_ Property taxes are thousands more per year than neighboring cities.
           \_ 1.8%/year, versus 1.2% in many other cities.  This adds $50/month
              This is based on the figure that mortgage,taxes, insurance and
              maintainance run you about $750/mo/100k
              per $100,000 your house costs over neighboring cities.  So a
              house in Berkeley is about 7% more expensive to own than a
              house that has the same price but is in a different city.
              \_ A $500,000 house will cost $3000 more per year in
                 property tax. This is significant. What do you get for
                 the extra money?
                 \_ Probably the biggest thing is public schools; Berkeley's
                    one of the better districts in the state, Oakland's one
                    of the worst.
                 \_ wildly inflated profits when your house appreciates? - danh
                    \_ does berkeley house prices appreciate faster than
                       the surrounding cities?
                 \_ A cable-access show where a bunch of hippie retards do
                    naked interprative dance and show off their wrinkles.
                    \_ I could do without http://www.eroplay.com
                       too. - danh
                 \_ What's your point?  If you can afford a half million
                    dollar house, you shouldn't complain about paying extra
                    $3k in property tax.  We should have a graduated property
                    tax schedule so that expensive houses pay a higher rate
                    of property tax.
                    \_ not necessarily, some people might have come across
                       a large wad of cash (inheritance for instance) but
                       do not have a high income.
                       \_ The homebuyer should know how much property tax
                          is owed for the house and should plan according.
                          If he spends his windfall in one wad and does not
                          plan for taxes, insurance, and other fees, then
                          he's an idiot.
                                \_ Hey asshole: maybe the homeowner did
                                   plan for taxes. The question was what
                                   sucks about Berkeley. Paying more taxes
                                   sucks. STFU.
                                   \_ If you planned for the higher tax, then
                                      you shouldn't complain you can't afford
                                      to pay it.  Buy a cheaper house, or buy
                                      it in another city than Berkeley, if you
                                      can't afford the tax here.
                          \_ This is the most stupid reply I've seen,
                             I mean really, STFU. -!op.
                             \_ I take it you're another selfish property
                                owner who doesn't want to pay his fair share?
                                But you'll vote Kerry and go to bed at night
                                with a clear conscience  because you've done
                                your share for democracy.  You make me sick.
                                \_ I agree.  Vote Bush!
                                \_ Ermm.   what does Kerry have to do with
                                   local property taxes?
                     \_ The point is that its $3K less in the city next
                        door. What am I getting for that extra money? By
                        the way, why the hell should more expensive houses
                        pay a higher % of property tax? Property tax is
                        beautiful in that it is FLAT. People pay more if
                        they buy a more expensive place. Why raise the RATE?
                        \_ Because it would be *fair*, the same way the
                           regular income tax is graduated, despite what some
                           Republican zealots would like to do otherwise.
                           Those who have more money, who can afford the big
                           expensive houses, should pay their fair share to
                           maintain the community.  Instead of making the
                           poor family who can barely pay the mortgage for a
                           broken down house in marginal neighborhood pay
                           more taxes, why not make the fat cat who can
                           afford it pay more?  Sounds reasonable to me.
                                \_ Fair share? The most fair system is
                                   the same tax rate, be it the income
                                   tax or the property tax. With
                                   income tax, people who makes more
                                   have the luxury (most of the time)
                                   to pay a slightly higher tax rate.
                                   With property tax, most home owners
                                   in the bay area do not have the
                                   luxury to pay a higher property tax
                                   rate. Ask most working family in
                                   the bay area, do they have extra
                                   10k to burn on property tax each
                                   year? This has nothing to do with
                                   fairness. I worked hard to save up
                                   the money to buy the house while at
                                   the same time paying my share of
                                   taxes. With income tax, we are
                                   talking about the top 1%, with
                                   property tax, you are talking about
                                   50% of the home owners (higher than
                                   the medium price). With income tax,
                                   you only pay when you make money,
                                   with property tax, you pay no
                                   matter what. Do you think it's fair
                                   that older people who have worked
                                   all their life has to move out of
                                   their homes into a dirty shit area
                                   because now they cannot pay the
                                   higher property tax rate you
                                   proposed? And what does this have to
                                   do with Kerry or Bush you troll?
                        \_ Actually, in CA property tax is largely regressive.
                           Because of Prop 13 the peopel who bought their
                           houses earlier are paying tax on a price far below
                           market value.  They are paying a lower tax rate
                           even though they have seen more appreciation and
                           have more equity than a recent buyer.  There are
                           legitimate public-policy reasons for progressive
                           taxation, and instituting it in property taxes would
                           not necessarily raise the average rate, though it
                           *would* raise it for people with more expensive
                           houses.
                           poor family who can barely pay the mortgage for a
                           broken down house in marginal neighborhood pay
                           more taxes, why not make the fat cat who can
                           afford it pay more?  Sounds reasonable to me.
                           \_ Even better, how about we do this?  Keep the
                              property tax rate as it is for houses under
                              some kind of state or regional median price.
                              Have a graduated property tax schedule for
                              houses more expensive than the median, and
                              use the additional tax revenue to fund schools
                              and other projects in poorer neighborboods.
                              \_ You obviously are not a home owner.
                                 Keep dreaming.
                                 \_ I am obviously not a selfish hypocrit.
                                    \_ Have you ever lived in a poor
                                       neighborhood? Do you think more money
                                       is the solution? I for one have lived
                                       in one and a bullet is a much better
                                       solution for some of those fuckers.
                           \_ I don't like the idea of a high property tax
                              at all.  It discourages savings.  It
                              discourages home ownership.  It forces people
                              to work forever.  For instance, I have a
                              good job and is earning big bucks, and
                              already bought a nice home.  Now I want to
                              devote the last 5 years of my working life
                              to charity work, but can't because I want
                              to keep my house but charity work job pays
                              very little and high property tax would be
                              a big hit.  High property tax is also bad
                              for older people and retirees who labored
                              all their life and should now enjoy the
                              fruits of their labor in the form of a
                              nice house.  A home is important part of
                              one's life and highly illiquid in that one
                              can't just move on a whim; but life circum-
                              stances changes, and a high property tax
                              (a recurring cost) would force people to move
                              when they suffer a bad break.  I don't mind
                              a graduated income tax and inheritance tax,
                              but property tax should be low (we are
                              already taxing rent income).
                              \_ You have no right to save money.  You have
                                 no right to live in a nice house.  You have
                                 no right to stop working when you can't
                                 afford to.
                              \_ Very well said, thank you!
                              \_ I don't think it's a good idea to just tax
                                 income and leave assets (like a house)
                                 un-taxable.  Your house needs police and fire
                                 protection whether or not you are retired, and
                                 I think you'd still like schools to run and
                                 roads to be repaired irrespective of how many
                                 of the homeowners are working.  For people
                                 who are retired or in your situation, there is
                                 something called a "reverse mortgage".  In any
                                 case, you still need money for food and
                                 clothes, so you should just budget for your
                                 property taxes too.
                           \_ I don't think housing price necessarily
                              reflects the income level. If you really
                              want the fat cats to pay more, then
                              increase income tax on the rich people.
                              Housing price reflects more than just the
                              income level, it reflects years of hard
                              working, saving up, sacrifice, family
                              contribution, etc. People should not be
                              punished for that. If you and I make the
                              same amount but I saved more than you do
                              and I bought a more expensive house, then
                              why should I cover your share? Home is not
                              a luxury, it is a necessarily.
                              \_ A house is a necessity, but a $750k house is
                                 a luxury.
                              \_ Your 1500 sq. foot half million dollar house
                                 in Berkeley is certainly a luxury and not a
                                 necessity.  Come back to me with that
                                 necessity line when you're in a 10' x 10' hut.

                                 \_ WTF? Can you find ANY DECENT HOUSE under
                                    half a million now a days? shut the fuck up!
        \_ Berkeley Hills homes are very nice.  You just have to worry about
           hill fire.
2004/7/30-31 [Reference/RealEstate, Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:32601 Activity:very high
7/30    How do you try to save money?
        \_ The big things are obvious.  It's the little things that add up
           real fast.  My big pet peeve is credit cards and debt in general.
           I have never had a CC that had any sort of monthly/yearly/etc fees
           associated with simply holding it unused.  I pay off my entire
           bill every month so I don't pay interest.  I things I need.  I buy
           very little crap that I merely want.  A new ipod, cell phone, mega
           digital camera, faster computer, etc doesn't bring happiness.  And
           lastly, the first thing my wife and I did after getting jobs was to
           immediately put all extra cash into paying off school loans and now
           we try to put extra cash against the mortgage which is our only
           remaining debt.
        \_ Eat out less!  Including lunch.  That's the biggest one for me.
           Get a copy of quicken or something and really keep a budget for
           a month or two.  It sucks, but stick at it.  Really look at what
           you are spending.  Then you can try to devise a budget that trims
           some stuff that is excessive.  If you are a gadget freak think about
           cutting down on your gadget budget, or having a gadget budget
           if you currently just sort of buy when you like.  Oh and yeah,
           get a fixed amount from the bank every few days and try to pay
           for things in cash.  It really does make you pay attention to
           how much you are spending on crap.
        \_ fuck money!  money's a tool of the Man to keep us tied down to
           jobs we hate and toys we don't really need!  we should tear down
           the banks and credit card agencies and revert to direct trade of
           goods and services.
           \_ Hi Paolo!
              \_  hey!  that was me!  -sax
        \_ Calculate your monthly expenses. Autodeposit this to your checking.
           Autodeposit some other amount into a Mutual Fund/Brokerage account
           where you don't see it and won't spend it. The rest is yours to spend
        \_ Make most purchases with cash, withdraw a fixed amount from the
           ATM once a week.  Have to make the cash last the week.
           \_ sounds like it worked for you.  did you have to cut back
              on expenses?  what did you cut?
              \_ Eat out less at expensive places.  When I get the craving, I
                 cook something really nice for myself.  Also, fewer impulse
                 purchases and you start to thing of the credit card as only
                 for major purchases so you don't just whip it out for some
                 new shiny toy.
                 Oh, and stay off online shopping sites, especially eBay.
        \_ direct deposit some money to a special account.
        \_ housing is ~1/2-1/3 of your salary. Once you've figured out how to
           reduce that cost, you've saved a lot.
           \_ The motd has previously established that owning real estate is
              A Good Thing; although you shouldn't buy more space than you need
              \_ just wait till the bubble pops...
                 \_ Then what? I'll have a fixed rent I can afford and a
                    house that falls all the way back down in value to what
                    I paid for it - except my interest rate is lower now
                    than it was then. How scary is that?
                    \_ Uh, there's a thing called "property tax" that's
                       based on the worth of the house, moron. People
                       keep forgetting to factor the cost of that in.
                       \_ Right....so when the bubble pops, you get a
                          reappraisal and your prop. tax goes down...
                          \_ Don't try to argue with the bitter renters.
                             \_ Hey, if it makes you feel better about your
                                shitty investments to think that all renters
                                are bitter, then hey!  Go for it!
                       \_ You think you're reminding a homeowner about
                          property tax? Writing those massive checks twice
                          per year is a pretty good reminder, I think.
        \_ Don't have family, don't have a car, share your appartment/house
           with other roommates.
           \_ that worked 1 year after we graduated. But then my roomate got
              a gf. She told him to move out, and move out he did. Then they
              got married. Bought a house. Had a kid. Doesn't play computer
              games and doesn't hang out with his buddies. Does laundry and
              lawn and backyard work every weekend. Me? I'm still paying a
              shitload of rent in my apartment. At least no one bosses me
              around. Oh well.                          -getting old
              \_ Why don't you get a new roomate?
                \_ I went through a few, but they either moved out, got a gf,
                   or both. Getting old.        -getting old, 30 something
                   \_ On average, how much of your time does it take to get a
                      new roomate?  And on average how much money do they end
                      up paying you before they move out?  How much is your
                      time really worth?  You must 'make' hundreds per hour
                      when looking for a roomate!
                        \_ But you can't run around naked when you have a
                           roommate!  And when having sex on the kitchen
                           counter you gotta always keep one ear on the
                           front door.
                           \_ that's why it's good to have your roommate be
                              the person you have sex with on the kitchen
                              counter.  then you can save money *and* listen
                              to motorhead while having sex on the kitchen
                              counter.
        \_ A car should last 10 years easily.  Buy a 2-3 year old car, take
           good care of it and drive it into the ground.  You only need a new
           car if your job depends on your image, and if you're a Sodan it
           probably doesn't.
           \_ I don't think that has much to do with sodans -- I think that's
              just generally true.  CSUA is a surpisingly diverse crowd -- it's
              too bad that, as a group, we've all allowed the 9-5 suit types
              and ex-fratboys to define our self-image.  I'm not sure what's
              worse: that we've bought into the stereotype of computer
              tech people as overweight, socially clueless, stinky people - or
              the type of people that we're bought into that image from.
              \_ The peole who's jobs depend on having a new car are people
              \_ The peole whose jobs depend on having a new car are people
                 like car dealers, real estate agents and plastic surgeons.
                 \_ you left out drug dealers, pimps, and lawyers.
              \_ I get lots of h0t aZn ch1x with my new car.
                 \_ You get Ac-ur-Uh Integ-rah hah?!!!!1!
              \_ Why do you let other people define you?  Either you're a
                 smelly geek with no social skills or you're not.  If you are
                 then someone else calling you that is just the truth.  Deal.
                 If you're not, then who gives a shit what they say?
        \_ Maxing out my 401(k) and ESPP.  Making extra payments to my mortgage
           principal when my bank account has a high balance.
           \_ don't make extra mortgage payments if your interest rate is
              low.  You could make more income with your extra money.
              \_ yea, after tax deductions a 30-year 6% interest becomes
                 like 4%.  Not that hard to beat it by investing.
        \_ Just play the stock market and earn big bucks like me.
        \_ Get married.  It worked for me.
           \- you know i think prior to everything else is to "profile"
              your spending. if you spend $50/week on drinks in bars, that's
              better place to optimize than "dont buy the da vinci code,
              get it at the library" if you amazon budget is $300/yr --psb
2004/7/29 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:32564 Activity:very high
7/29    http://www.economist.com/displayStory.cfm?story_id=1794913
        A house in Tokyo now costs less than half what it did in 1991, after
        a now legendary property-price bubble in the late 1980s.
        They also include a chart which indicates that home prices have fallen
        20% in Japan and 13% in Germany in real terms, from 1995-2002.
        Prices fell in Tokyo 32% during that period.
        Most of the world, of course, rose in the period, some of it very
        sharply.
        \_ Does it still take three generations to pay off the mortgage of a
           house in Japan?
        \_ Is that chart ferreal?  Average home price is lower in Japan than
           in the U.S.?  (I suppose the house sizes are different.)
           \_ You can't compare markets like that.  You can't get most
              American houses with associated land in Japan at any price any
              normal person could earn in a lifetime.  It doesn't even
              work from place to place in the US or even within the same
              county or town many times.
              \_ Work with me here:  Let's compare a U.S. home priced at the
                 average, and a house in Japan priced at the average.  Now,
                 average, and a house in Japan priced at the average.  First,
                 let's identify what these are, and then talk about how they're
                 different.
2004/7/27 [Reference/RealEstate, Politics/Domestic/President/Bush, Politics/Foreign/MiddleEast/Iraq] UID:32515 Activity:very high
7/27    So was the home-buying thread intentionally to hijack the motd?
        \_ housing prices as a topic are currently the #1 most reliable
           troll topic, where reliable means "guaranteed to produce maximum
           verbiage, maximum flameage, and minimum knowledge."  Politics
           have become too obvious.
           \_ hey, fuck off.  that doesn't make it a troll.  housing is an
              extremely important issue to absolutely everyone.
           \_ I got trolled  :(
           \_ You missed the Bush lied/did not lie flame war.
              \_ Well, he didn't lie, nor did the CIA "trick" him -- I don't
                 know who came up with that one. -liberal
2004/7/27 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:32507 Activity:very high
7/27    Buying a house in today's market: a totally insane thing to do, or
        what?  We're still thinking very broadly: considering both the SFBA
        and the LA area, looking for a "buy and hold" house (we'd like to
        stay there for a while), wanting to get a straightforward 30-year-
        mortgage (now doesn't seem like the time to get an ARM).  Should we
        just suck it up and go through with it now, or wait around to see
        whether gradually rising interest rates finally start deflating the
        California housing bubble?
        \_ there's a lot of good info below but he's the short answer:  if
           you live in an expensive place like the SFBA and plan to stay here
           for many years then buying a house is the smartest thing to do
           *over the long run*.  Rents will continue to rise but your loan
           rate is locked in.  By the time you make that 360th payment it'll
           cost you more to buy a cup of coffee but your rent will still be the
           equiv. of whatever it is in the future in today's dollars.  HOWEVER!
           If you live in a place where rents are dirt cheap and likelt to stay
           that way then owning is possibly a financial loss over time because
           you'll be paying out in time for maintenance, etc.  On the higher
           priced home the maintenance costs will get sucked up by the rising
           value of your home.  That won't happen so easily on your low priced
           home in a low priced area with slower price increases.  The idea
           that housing prices are going to take some dramatic dip soon is
           foolish.  I waited an extra year 5 years ago and it cost me $100k
           up front.  Since then my house has gone up another $260k and
           continues to rise.  Do the math.
           \_ locking in the rate is overrated.  you may change to a bigger
              house, move to a different city in the bay area, or move to
              a different region of the country, etc.  average american move
              once like every 7 years, so your 360th payment would likely never
              happen.  If Bay Area rent over price ratio is good, at least
              you have the option of keeping the place and renting it out
              (you get tax savings for first two houses).  Unfortunately,
              rent over price ratio sucks in the Bay Area.
              \_ Don't so quickly dismiss the ability to borrow $3/4M at
                 5.25%.
                 \_ are you talking about a home equity loan?
                    \_ No, just look at what payments would be if you
                       end up borrowing the same exact amount at 8%,
                       the historical average for mortgages. Home prices
                       would have to fall a lot to make it equal.
              \_ You can do all right with a duplex or triplex. Agreed
                 with a single family home.
        \_ school choice and vouchers would go a long way towards rationalizing
           the real estate market.
        \_ You'd be an idiot to buy right now.  Why buy when you can rent for
           half of the cost?
           \_ renting is just throwing money away. buy now and build
           principle
              \_ why do people keep saying this?  for a typical loan,
                 the amount that goes to the principle for the first
                 the amount that goes to the principal for the first
                 5 years is very minimal.
                 \_ ARG! It's called equity, not principle! Second, the
                 \_ ARG! It's called equity, not principal! Second, the
                    interest is tax deductible.
                    \_ nah, it's principal.  you don't pay equity,
                       equity fluctuates with the market.
                 \_ I have owned my house for 30 months. I paid the loan
                    down $10K in that time. Is that minimal? I am now
                    paying myself about $400/month in principle. As a
                    renter, I pay myself $0.
                    \_ the more important questions are, how much
                       interest are you paying per month, and how does
                       that compare with rental cost.
                       \_ How will it compare with the rental cost in 20
                          years when I have paid off the loan? The truth
                          is that I am paying myself money if the property
                          value remains level over 20 years and I am
                          making more money if it goes up. Renters are
                          deluding themselves. How many renters are
                          dumping $1K/month into stocks for the next 20
                          years? For those that are, what will they buy
                          with that money at that time? A house!?
                          \_ You have a point.  If instead of paying for
                             the house, one would just spend the money
                             on entertainment, etc., or if one is a
                             very bad investor, then throwing all your
                             money at a house may not be such a bad idea.
                             it's a nice little forced savings plan for
                             the weak-minded and the investment-challenged
                             (or just conservative investors).
                       \_ Bingo!  Although to that I'd say you should add
                          property taxes but deduct income taxed saved from
                          deducting the interest payments.  If
                          CASH_TO_INTEREST+TAX-TAX_SAVING < RENT then you
                          should buy.
                          \_ if
                                (
                                + estimated monthly investment income
                                  from downpayment
                                + monthly interest
                                + property tax
                                + association fee
                                - interest and property tax tax savings
                                )
                                <
                                monthly rent
                             then
                                buy
                             \_ You forgot that the property value will also
                                change.  So you should really add:
                                - monthly_increase_in_property_value
                                \_ or decrease.  also, add the "enjoyment"
                                   factor of living in a nicer home of
                                   your own, but also add the negative
                                   factors of having to mow your own
                                   lawn, and various repair costs, and
                                   likely higher utility costs.
                                   \_ Well, obviously it could be a negative
                                      number, but in the long view (which the
                                      OP wanted) it will probably increase.
                                      Trying to quantify all the intangibles is
                                      beyond the scope of this document.
                                      \_ you are right.  I do calculations
                                         for my modest townhouse using a
                                         2% annual increase.  Am I too
                                         pessimistic?
                                         \_ Knowing nothing else: probably.
                                            \_
                                The part of the equation you added,
                                "monthly_increase_in_property_value",
                                seems to be THE big question everyone
                                is now concerned with.  The rest are
                                more predictable.
        \_ Higher interest rates may bring prices down, but they'd also
           increase your costs.  If you're interested in buying, you might
           as well start.  -tom
           \_ all things being equal, you would rather have high rate and
              low cost than low rate and high cost.  reason is, you can
              refinance if rate later goes down.  of course, if you need
              a house, you need a house.
              \_ Also, per chance you come across a large wad of cash,
                 you can pay off a larger percentage of the loan.
        \_ dunno, if you got cash then go arm and wait, if not
        prices won't fall that much but interest rates will rise by a point
        if you wait too long
        \_ Bay Area is pathological.  SoCal still has bargains.  Live in
           Carson, or along the 10/60 freeway east of downtown, watch real
           estate values go up.  Don't buy the $700K 40-year-old 3-bdrm home
           in West L.A. on a busy street.
           \_ how much is an average 2 bdrm townhouse in LA these days?
              what about 3 bdrm?  What about Bay Area?      - chicago sodan
              \_ This guy is kidding if he thinks he can touch anything
                 in West LA for $700K. Irvine is $700K these days. The
                 average house is around $500K (same as Bay Area), but
                 LA is a big place. Where? Covina? Riverside? Torrance? OC?
                 \_ say Torrance, Hacienda Heights and OC.  What the price
                    for townhouses there?
                    \_ I just did a lookup and a 2bdrm condo in torrance will
                        run you 300-400k. +100k if you want a 2bdrm townhome.
                        Try http://themls.com if you want to look at West LA. you can
                        find homes for $700k. my buddy just bought a 1700 sf
                        home in Inglewood for $450k (nice home, quiet area,
                        but about 90% African American).
                        \_ wow.  I used to hang out around Torrance a lot
                           when I lived for a while with my uncle up on
                           Rolling Hills Estates.  His city-facing home
                           used to be around 300+K (1996).  Wonder how
                           much his 4 bedroom single family home (with
                           nice front and backyard) is worth now.
                        \_ The *lowest* house there is $610K and is 2/1.
                           By the way, http://www.dqnews.com has prices by
                           city and by zip code.
                           \_ Wrong, all in West LA:
                               http://csua.org/u/8cr 3/2 $620k
                               http://csua.org/u/8cs 2/1 $540k
                               Why do all these people in the motd
                               talk out their ass all the time???
                               \_ Beautiful Exposition Boulevard is what I
                                  think of when you say "West LA". Get a
                                  clue. $700K in West LA buys you nothing
                                  in the way of SFRs. All those houses are
                                  near the freeway. It's like saying you
                                  can buy a house for $350K in the Bay
                                  Area. Yeah, in Oakland. Technically
                                  correct, but not really true.
                                  \_ Yeah, they are sucky spots of West LA
                                     that is why they are cheap. Hey, don't
                                     be knocking Oakland! I just saw a
                                     beautiful craftsman 2/1 for $429k there.
                 \_ I don't understand your first sentence.
                 \_ In the Bay Area, even the $500k houses seem pretty shitty
                    to me. There are some older townhomes in that range.
           \_ I've been advised to look in either Valencia or Simi Valley.
              Are those reasonable choices?
              \_ You can find a house in Valencia for maybe < $500K but
                 the real question is: Where are you commuting to?!
        \_ too many unpredictable factors.  I would say, if you need a house
           buy it.  if not, save aggressively and wait a little while.
           also, don't stretch your finances and leave a little margin, if
           it is at all possible given the high property prices.
           \_ so you are saying you think the housing market will cool down,
              but if it doesn't, at least you'll have saved money for the
              down payment?
              \_ more or less.  saving and investing wisely.
                 \_ what about buying a condo as an in-between home?
                    \_ it's a consideration, and a way to not put everything
                       in one basket, spreading your bets and hedging
                       against further price increases.  What I would want
                       to find out would be how well the condo would appreciate,
                       how easy they can be sold, etc.  I did something
                       similar, but it's a townhouse since I am in
                       a cheaper area (chicago).  Chicago does have a
                       more reasonable rent to price ratio ($1200 rent
                       for a $200k townhouse) so renting out is an option
                       if I move to a larger place.  It should cover the
                       monthly mortgage ++ cost.  Tougher in the Bay Area.
                       But hey, Bay Area is so much nicer than Chicago!
                    \_ Condo's give you more house for your money and their
                       rent/buy price ratio makes them more sensible to buy.
        \_ http://csua.org/u/8ce .  Somewhat reasonable set of to buy or not
           analysis from the Chron.
        \_ Something a real estate agent told me that made a lot of sense:
           The people paying $500-600K for cute 2-bedrooms in the SFBA are the
           people most likely to be screwed.  They will have their 2.1 children
           and need to buy a bigger house.  Meanwhile, for $700-800K they could
           have bought a 3-4 bedroom or a duplex and rented some of it out.
           The fact that very few people can qualify for a loan to carry a
           7-800K house keeps these properties cheap relative to the much
           smaller 5-600K places.
           \_ The trick is to rent out 1/3 of your house, or put up with a
              duplex, while still maintaining privacy and dealing with various
              maintenance requests.  Nevertheless, the point from the real
              estate agent is valid, but the money to buy a $700-800K place
              could instead be coming from your parents or similar avenues.
2004/6/17 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:30859 Activity:insanely high
6/17    There's a car rental place near my house that has a sign:
                TULOY
                PO
                KAYO
        (spelling might be wrong, just going off of memory).  What does
        this mean, and in what language?
        \_ Formal Tagalog for "Please come in." -elizp
          \_ why are Flip girls so hot? I met one in dance class and she
             had the most perfect butt and the cutest face.
2004/6/11 [Reference/BayArea, Reference/RealEstate] UID:30747 Activity:high
6/11    Is there still rent control in Berkeley and Oakland?  Thanks.
        \_ Yes and no.  There's rent control as long as the unit is being
           rented, but when the unit becomes vacant or the "original tennant"
           leaves, they can reset the rent however they like.
           \_ Yes in Berkeley and no in Oakland?
              \_ The above rules apply to both places.
                 \_ In Oakland there is an exemption from rent control
                    for 3 unit buildings or smaller that are owner
                    occupied. There are probably some other exemptions,
                    like for new construction, as well.
                    \_ Berkeley has some similar exemptions too.
        \_ Oakland Rent Board: http://csua.org/u/7pv
           Berkeley Rent Board: http://csua.org/u/7pw
2004/5/31-6/1 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:30505 Activity:high
5/31    Occasionally I can feel drum beat in my apartment. I can't find
        the source but I can feel it, what is the best way to deal with this
        problem? Should I blast back, tell the manager (already tried once
        but she didn't seem to care), or what?
        \_ play electric guitar really loud, when a drummer comes
           and knockks and wants to start a band, kill him.
           \_ Won't work.  Anyone can play guitar, but drummers are in demand.
        \_ is it at 3 in the morning?  'cause otherwise, just deal.  You
           live in an apartment.  One of the disadvantages of sharing walls
           with others is that you can occasionaly hear them. Jeesh.
           (you will live a longer and healthier life if you learn not to
           let stuff like this slide.  Also, people will like you more.)
           \_ yea... there's MANY things worse you could be hearing through
              the walls....
        \_ Keep trying to track it--you'll find it eventually.  Then, ask
           nicely.  Then, ask nastily.  Then, move.
           \_ If a little thumping bugs him so much, it's hopeless.  It's
              a part of apartment life.  He can't even locate it.  How bad
              can it be?  Of course the manager ignored him.
        \_ I once heard my neighbors having sex. She was a blonde, cute
           ex-cheerleader. He was a balding, geeky English teacher. Never
           since have I experienced something so sexy and revolting at the same
           time.
           \_ Well, I hope she at least got an A.
              \_ Or at least an 'O'.
           \_ Sexy, revolting and strangely appealing as it gave hope to you.
        \_ Get 2 microphones feeding into different channels of a stereo
           connector and feed it into your computer.  Set up the 2 mics maybe
           10 feet apart.  Then when he's drumming record the feed into your
           computer.  If you view the wave, you can see a drum beat arrive at
           one mic a little sooner than the other one by comparing the two
           stereo channels in a sound editor.  By varying the position of the
           mics, arrange them to maximize the difference in sound arrival time.
           The line between the 2 mics will point at the drummer.  If you
           move the whole setup and repeat the process you can triangulate his
           position.
           \_ What if he's above/below you?  -John
           \_ Let me correct myself.  You can actually get the most accurate
              directional measurement by rotating the mics so that the sound
              arrives at them at the same time.  This won't tell you what side
              of the arrangement the sound comes from, but with 44kHz recording
              you can resolve about 1/3" of distance difference, and with mics
              a yard apart, that can resolve the angle of origin to within
              about 1% of a radian.
              \_ Why go to all that trouble?  Get a gun, let your neighbors
                 know you have a gun and that you're pissed off at the asshole
                 with the drum, and you just might shoot him in the head.
                 \_ Excellent idea! You probably won't be hearing drumbeats
                    in your jail cell.
2004/5/6 [Science/Space, Reference/RealEstate] UID:30053 Activity:very high
5/6     After moving into an apartment in BA, I began to notice that sticky and
        pinkish (lighter than rust color) stuff over areas on the bathtub and
        sinks in the kitchen and bathroom.  Although it seeps mostly next to
        faucets housing where water usually seeps out, it also builds up along
        the edge of bathtub.  What is it and does it come from the water,
        the water pipes, or the faucet?
        \_ The pink stuff is microbial growth - either bacterial or mildew
           resulting from a bathroom with poor ventilation and no fan. My wife
           and clean this every couple of months with a toohbrush and very mild
           bleach solution. It takes no more than about five minutes.
        \_ It's alive. Growing.  Not mineral.
        \_ Quite possibly a mix of soap scum and mineral buildup.
           \_ Why is it sticky (almost like grease)?  It's not where I pour
              soap.
              \_ Soap scum is generally from accumulation of splashed soapy
                 water.  Just clean you bathroom.
              \_ Have you ever felt moss on a tree or ground, very slimy/
                 slippery, same thing, mildew, mold of that
                 type tends to be like that.
        \_ bleach, cleanser, lime scale remover, repeat.
        \_ Speaking of cleaning, how do you clean the bathtub bottom?
           You know, the area that's anti-slippery but also traps
           dirt.  It looks a little darkish and I can't seem to clean it
           out but scrubbing.
           \_ blee-och!
           \_ softscub + scotchbrite
2004/5/4-5 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:30012 Activity:insanely high
5/4     I am living in a house with a large garden around it. What's
        a good but cheap way to make sure that the ants don't venture
        into the house during summer?
        \_ when my roommates and i threw out the piles of rotting food, the
           ants left.
           \_ what about the maggots? WHAT ABOUT THE MAGGOTS?
              \_ FLYPAPER!!!!!!
        \_ Leave a trail of sugar from your garden to your house.
                \_ did you mean to say "from your how to your garden" (so
                   that the ants leave the house)?
        \_ Put ant baits at the windows and doors.
        \_ water your lawn before sun rise helps.  and, periodically
           check the seal between your house's fundation and the wooden
           walls.  The concret-like seal tend to break easily, and ants find
           its way in from there.
        \_ buy some chiton based pest control. it shreds the little buggers
           and doesnt poison the earth.
        \_ Dig a 3 foot trench around your house, fill with oil, light.  Refill
           as needed.
           \_ Ah, the Boys from Brazil are back.
        \_ "Grant's Ant Stakes". They work great when put around your house.
           I used to live in SoCal, where ants can be a big problem.
2004/5/3-4 [Reference/RealEstate, Reference/BayArea] UID:29962 Activity:moderate
5/3     I'll be working at the Powerbar building this summer and I need
        housing from late June to late September. If you have a place to
        sublet or have a room to rent near the Berkeley/Oakland/Walnut Creek
        please email me, thanks                         -kchang
                                                         \_ wtf?
        \_ and just to authenticate myself, here:
{soda}/home/apollo/kchang/bin> last kchang
kchang           ttyAX    131.179.224.88   Mon May  3 11:15   still logged in
Name:    http://Samoa.CS.UCLA.EDU
Address:  131.179.224.88
        \_ Craisglist must be chock-full of summer sublets right about now...
2004/4/29 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:13462 Activity:nil
4/29    What do you think of an engineering themed / hacker house?
        http://www.livejournal.com/users/nibot/175102.html
        --tobin
        \_ Doesn't Cloyne already qualify?
2004/4/28 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:13431 Activity:high
4/28    What's a good excuse to kick out a roommate without pissing her
        off? She's just a mean bitch and a nice sodan's home is no place
        for such a bitch. --landlord
        \_ Try and sleep with her. She'll leave of her own accord.
        \_ In Berkeley, these are the "good cause" reasons for eviction:
           http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/rent/geninfo/guide/guide4-6.htm
           Pick which ever one applies and is least adversarial.
           \_ I just don't like her, and I have to live with her under the
              same roof. Can I just say something like:
              - I make enough $$$ now, no need to rent out rooms
              - I am renting out the whole house
              - I am making large repairs
              - my parents would like to live-in for a while?
              \_ "Renting out the whole house" and "My parents..." probably
                 both count as an OMI eviction, which would require you to
                 not rent to other people for >= 36 months.  If it's a single
                 family home, the rules might be different though.  You can
                 call the rent board and they might be able to answer your
                 questions better than I can.
              \_ Sorry, no such luck.  Either make a pass at her (as noted
                 above), or take some cues from that movie Pacific Heights.
2004/4/23 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:13357 Activity:nil
4/23    I'm currently renting an apartment in Berkeley on a month-to-month
        basis.  If I'm going to give 30 days notice on moving out, do I have
        to pay for a whole months rent, or can I say give notice on 5/15 and
        pay a pro-rated rent for 6/1-6/15?
        \_ It's pro-rated.  See http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/rent for this
           and lots of other useful information.
           \_ Thanks
        \_ Are you renting from your cute roommate or geting rent deduction
           based on your service?  I wonder how you could do it since neither
           of you will go very far on *that* basis.
2004/4/20 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:13296 Activity:nil
4/20    I am a relatively recent California homebuyer, so I have
        tended to poo-poo these talks of a real estate bubble.
        But this factoid makes me nervous: 64% of new home buyers
        in the Bay Area now use ARMs. What are they thinking?
        http://www.dqnews.com/RRCA1203.shtm
        \_ "I can't get 10% down. Prices have continued to go up despite the
            bubble talk. Everyone else is doing well in real estate. Land is
            is a better investment than the stock market."
            \_ "I have been talking about a housing bubble since 1998, and
                now I'm pissed that I've missed out on 80-100% gains in
                value."
        \_ Why wouldn't you use an ARM if it is your first "starter" home and
           you plan on moving within 5-7 years? On a separate note, if you put
           10% down and your home price drops 25%, when does it make sense to
           let the bank foreclose and not lose 150% on your original investment?
2004/4/13 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:13168 Activity:high
4/13    What's your favorite cliche about real estate?
        \_ Location, location, location!
           \_ Price, condition, location:  choose two.
           \_ This is more true in non-Bay Area places where housing is more
              available.  I live in the burbs and the real estate agents are
              going door to door looking for sellers.  I'm in a terrible
              location yet prices keep going up due to zero supply.
              \_ when the market is going up and up, of course there
                 will be zero supply.  supply will become plentiful
                 when the market is going down and down.  it's a
                 speculator market now.
        \_ "The Bay Area housing market will never collapse."
           \_ It hasn't yet.
              \_ Although it does make some noticeable readjustments every
                 once in a while.
        \_ It has gone down once in my lifetime. And after that
           it recovered. Oops, that's not a cliche! I've been trolled!
           \_ Learn how to indent your posts properly.
        \_ I can't afford a home here.
           \_ You can afford a lot more than you think.  Talked to a mortgage
              broker yet?
                 \_ Well, a comparable rent is probable closer to $1200, but
                    still...  With taxes, interest and insurance, the cost
                    of a $100k is about $750/mo.
              \_ Why would I want to buy a condo at $350k when I can rent
                 something comparable for $900/month?
                 \_ A 350k condo would probably have a comparable rental for
                    $1200, but your point remains valid.  100k of purchease
                    price carries about $750/mo in mortgage, taxes and
                    insurance, so the condo would cost you $2626/mo.
                    \_ Keep in mind all that interest is tax-deductible
                 \_ here in chicago burbs, I just bought a condo at a good,
                    easily rentable location for $150k.  current tenant
                    is paying $985/month.  I am quite worried price of condo
                    may fall but then mortgage and extras is like $200 per
                    month lower than my current rented apartment after tax
                    savings, so as long as I am not forced to sell, I guess
                    it's ok.   OTOH, $350k sounds like a risky bet that
                    property will appreciate especially if you can only
                    get $900-1200 rent for it.
              \_ You squished some people's changes.  Please consider motdedit.
        \_ Why rent?
        \_ Bay Area homes are overprices.
           \_ how do you know?  People were saying that in 1998, back when
              my house was worth half what it is worth now.
              \_ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthquake
                 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loma_Prieta_earthquake
                 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Francisco_earthquake_of_1906
                 \_ single-family wooden homes are about the safest structure
                    in an earthquake.
                    \_ 'safest' is a relative term.
                       \_ Hmm. I'd like to see a URL on this, if you don't
                          mind. I'm not structural, but the statement you are
                          maybe-ing is exactly consistent with what I got in my
                          seismic exam. Cross-bracing helps, certainly, but
                          wooden frame houses are pretty good regardless and
                          much better than most of the alternatives or so we
                          were told in class.
                           -- ulysses (P.E.)
                    \_ Maybe.  But only if it has good cross-bracing.
        \_ No money down!
           \_ Works on contingency?  No, money down.  --Lionel Hutz
2004/4/11-12 [Reference/RealEstate, Finance/Investment] UID:13135 Activity:nil
4/11    Housing Bubble about to burst?
        http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2004/0404.wallace-wells.html
        \_ I can hardly see how it wouldn't burst, sometime.  I had the
           same kind a quesy feeling in the 2 years preceeding the
           dor-crash.  Everyone says that housing prices never crash, they
           just stagnate, but... what, are they gonna stagnate for the
           next 30 years?  That's just a protracted crash.
           \_ The market crashed about 15 years ago. It didn't stay down
              very long. If it falls then I am going to buy a second home.
              Don't let Chicken Little keep you from your goals. I know
              people who have bought high and low both - and in all cases
              they came out way, way ahead in the long term. In a place
              like CA this will always be the case.
        \_ Crash?  No.  It's called an economic cycle but overall in the mid
           and long term no one has ever lost money on real estate.
2004/3/24 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:12833 Activity:nil
3/24    When are Bay Area home prices going to drop again?
        http://www.dataquick.com/articleitem.asp?industry=2&item=196
        \_ When interest rates go up, home prices will drop.
        \_ never any significant amount.  prices drift up and down a bit but
           it's a game of 5 steps up, 1 step down.  repeat until priced out
           of market.
        \_ After the "Big One" destroys most of the region's infrastructure
           causing the local economy to collapse, forcing the feds to bailout
           big insurance companies despite the fact that most homeowners didn't
           buy earthquake insurance and are taking a total wash on their red
           tagged homes, the prices will dip for land. However it will be
           impossible to build a home to replace it during the next five years.
2017/10/23 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
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