Reference RealEstate - Berkeley CSUA MOTD
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Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2021/12/03 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

2008/3/27-28 [Reference/RealEstate, Finance/Investment] UID:49585 Activity:nil
3/27    "Ten Days That Changed Capitalism"
2008/3/25-28 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:49567 Activity:nil
3/25    Oh shit, more housing bust!
        \_ Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will almost assuredly come to the
           rescue of all of those whose mortgage is resetting after '08.
2008/3/20-25 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:49518 Activity:nil
3/20    There's a correlation between home prices and interest rate right?
        As long as the government intends to buffer the housing crash,
        home prices shouldn't drop much right?
        \_ More money => inflation.  As long as money is cheap (i.e. interest
           rates are low) we'll have lots of money chasing houses.  However,
           with the foreclosures, there are houses being dumped, so prices are
           probably going down.
        \_ I don't know of any studies that have shown a correlation between
           interest rates and housing prices, in fact what little evidence
           there is tends to point the other way, since interest rates and
           home prices both tend to go down during a recession.
        \_ I assume you're one of the "should I or shouldn't I buy a house
           now?" people.  I'll tell you what my wife and I did, decide for
           yourself if it makes sense for your life: we both had good jobs at
           the time and could have bought a much larger house, instead we
           chose to get a house we could afford on either income (so a job
           loss wouldn't be extra devastating since I was at a startup then),
           given our $$$ range we then decided where we wanted to live
           starting with country and narrowing it down to the greater bay area
           taking into account transit/commute options, how 'nice' the area
           is, food, potential future of area, etc.  Once we chose an area
           (near BART, not too far from freeway, bad food but improving), we
           looked at houses in our range and a bit above and below.  Chose
           house.  Here's the key part:  we got a loan with no fees, points,
           or other BS.  Rates were quite a bit higher then so we took what we
           could get on the loan given the no-BS requirement.  As rates
           dropped we refi'd a few times.  Each time was no-fee-BS.  Our
           current payment is low enough that my wife no longer has to do the
           9-5 and we're doing great.  Buy something you can see yourself
           living in for *many* years and possibly until retirement.  If you
           intend to move around more often than once every 5 years or so then
           renting may be a better option for you.  Selling/buying a house has
           *very* high costs that will eat any potential increase in property
           value you may have obtained over a short time period.  YMMV.  Do not
           try to time the housing market.  If it was that easy then no one
           would ever lose money on real estate.  Best of luck in your house
           \_ This is the best financial advice I have seen on the motd.
2008/3/17-21 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:49472 Activity:moderate
        What does this ALL MEAN? Bear Stern + JP Morgan + government
        interventions. I mean, is the market going to crash or not?
        When will home prices be available? I have about $200K in CDs
        and I want to know WHEN is a good time to buy a home.
        \_ The way things are going, I would worry about my job and my
           health care before I'd worry about buying a home.
        \_ "The financial markets are as close to collapse as I've seen in my
           career" -Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo
           Mitsubishi (3/17/08)
           \_ Translation: my bonus is looking kind of thin this year, so
              I am begging for a government handout.
        \_ If you are trying to time the bottom of the housing market, give
           up, because that sort of thing is notoriously difficult. If you
           just want to play it safe, hold on until prices start to go back
           up again, which should be quite obvious. This might easily take
           five or six years, though, if the past is any indication. Are
           you ready to wait that long?
           \_ It took 7 years last time and that was with a run-up nothing
              like what occurred this time. I would guess it will be 10
              years at least.
              \_ So wait until the freefall stops, and then buy, so you don't go
                 underwater in the 1st year, which is quite depressing.
              \_ So wait until the freefall stops, and then buy, so you don't
                 go underwater in the 1st year, which is quite depressing.
                 \_ Buy when you can afford to and don't worry about paper
                    profits and losses. My neighbor bought her house in
                    the 1950s. She could care less that she can sell it
                    for 100X what she paid for it. It's still just her
                    house like it always was. People need to stop treating
                    their primary residence like investment property.
                    \_ How do you know when the end of the freefall is?
                    \_ In the 50s, people keep their jobs for a very long
                       time. In today's world, we don't stay in the same
                       job or location very long. The average length of
                       stay in a house in the US is ~7 years. I for one
                       have had to switch from the east bay to the
                       peninsula and back and finally ended up in Milpitas
                       throughout countless acquisitions, mergers, job
                       changes, and one lay-offs.
                       \_ No one is going to sell/buy a new house because their
                          \_ NO ONE? I know a few. Want to rephrase your
                             statement again? Crossing the bridge is a
                             total pain in the butt, but I suppose it's
                             still a lot better than any LA freeway.
                             \_ "No one who cares about their financial
                                health, because buying/selling a house every
                                year or two is very expensive if it is your
                                primary residence, therefore no one smart
                                would do such a thing, such a person, being
                                smart, would rent".  How is that?  I meet the
                                correct motd anal retentive standard?  I
                                commute to the peninsula from the far east bay
                                every day.  BFD.
                          job moved between the east bay and south bay or
                          peninsula.  The commute is not that hard.  If you
                          need to be that close to work and your work location
                          changes that quickly you should rent.
        \_ If we knew that we'd all be retired billionaires enjoying our
           islands, not posting on the motd.
           \_ The one is not contraindicitive of the other. If I was a retired
              billionaire with my own island, I might still post to the motd.
2008/3/14-17 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:49459 Activity:nil
3/14    sub-prime mortgage blues (oldie but goodie)
2008/3/14-17 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:49456 Activity:nil
3/14    Bay Area homes: "Spectacularly low sales counts"
        \_ but but but prices are stable!  only $2K drop from last year!
           and loans formerly known as jumbo are gonna become available any
           time now!!!1
           \_ Which model yacht(s) does your landlord own?  How many times have
              you gone sailing with your landlord?
              \_ LANDLORD WITH A YACHT!!!!!11!!
                 \_ My land didn't come with a yacht. I think we should have a
                    federal law requiring a yacht to be provided with every
                    land sale, to ensure the dream of ownership is properly
                    \_ BITTER RENTER!!!!!1!1 WITH A YACHT!!!11!!!
                    \_ Because you're one of those "I'm going to make a
                       zillion dollars renting out a second home and be a
                       land lord!" types.  Real land lords own multiple units,
                       don't have a day job, and own yachts with money they
                       got from the bitter ALL-CAPS!!!11!! renters.
                       \_ Yeah, they sure do when they're underwater on all
                          their mortages and the bank is about to foreclose.
                          Oh wait, you mean the entire US housing market
                          is confined to Noe Valley?
                       \_ My previous landlord owned the 50-unit building at
                          Dwight and Ellsworth, and his day job was being the
                          manager and the handyman.  He always seemed to be
                          fixing something.
                       \_ All the multi-millionaire landlords I know spend
                          all their time futzing with their properties.
                          \_ But how can they.  They're too busy with their
2008/3/11-13 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:49422 Activity:nil
        \_ Very funny! Is subprime a unique problem in the US? Or
           is it widespread to other countries?
              \_ Northern Rock did not underwrite sub-prime
                 loans. They ran out of cash when the short-term money
                 markets dried up. Giving people a loan w/o confirming
                 their income, and the investment banks'
                 securitization conduits w/o regard to underwriting
                 and risk were mostly Americans'
                 stupidity/genius. Those burned overseas bought our
                 mortgage bonds.
           \_ We "securitized" our subprime loans and sold it to anyone who
              would buy it.  Banks shoveled turds into a bag, got other banks
              to buy it and then said (Nelson laugh) "ha ha".
        \_ The British people are laughing at us, does that mean they
           don't have any subprime problem? How do they deal with it?
           \_ No, they bought a ton of our garbage loans.  They have a lot to
              be very somber about.
2008/3/10-11 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:49411 Activity:moderate
3/10    The Long Johns on the credit crisis
        \_ Very funny! Is subprime a unique problem in the US? Or
           is it widespread to other countries?
              \_ Northern Rock did not underwrite sub-prime
                 loans. They ran out of cash when the short-term money
                 markets dried up. Giving people a loan w/o confirming
                 their income, and the investment banks'
                 securitization conduits w/o regard to underwriting
                 and risk were mostly Americans'
                 stupidity/genius. Those burned overseas bought our
                 mortgage bonds.
              \_ Northern Rock did not underwrite sub-prime loans. They ran out of cash
                 when the short-term money markets dried up. Giving people a loan w/o
                 confirming their income, and the investment bank's securitization
                 conduits were/are mostly American stupid. Those burned overseas mostly
                 bought our mortgage bonds.
2008/3/7-11 [Finance/Banking, Reference/RealEstate] UID:49382 Activity:kinda low
        Conforming loan limits are now $729,750 for the San Jose-Sunnyvale-
        Santa Clara area.  Even more for a duplex.  Expiring end of 2008.
        \_ This only lasts till end of 2008 right? It's suppose to
           save the presidency or something.
        \_ How do I find out my area?
        \_ "housing, it only goes up!"
           "They aren't making any more land!"
           "Buy now, before you get priced out!"
           \_ I am glad I bought in 2002, before I got priced out...
              \_ Where would you have gotten priced out?
                 \_ San Francisco, specifically Noe Valley
                    \_ Just wait.  Given real value decreases I'm sure we'll
                       be back around 2002 prices fairly soon.
                       \_ You are sure that Noe Valley is in for 50% drop
                          in real prices soon? I am sure you are wrong.
                          Are you one of those bitter renters, perhaps?
                          \_ No.  By the way, "bitter renter" accusations are
                             essentially a Godwin equivalent at this point in
                             the housing mess.  The last thing that any
                             renter is right now is bitter.
                             \_ Nonsense.  The bitter renters have been harping
                                on the motd for years.  If they had bought
                                back then they'd still be above their purchase
                                price and would actually be on their way to
                                owning something instead of supporting their
                                landlord's yachting adventures.
                                \_ It is not really a yacht, just a 32 foot
                                   wooden sailboat...
                                \_ Does that Koolaid taste good?
                                \_ Nationally, home equity levels are the lowest
                                   ever. They'd be renting from the bank like
                                   the rest of America.
                                   \_ Up 50% after the all the drops.  It
                                      tastes *great*!  Thanks for asking.
                                      How is your landlord doing lately?
                                      Better than you I'd wager.
                                \_ Nationally, home equity levels are the
                                   lowest ever. They'd be renting from the
                                   bank like the rest of America.
                                   \_ Which has nothing to do with prices and
                                      everything to do with individuals taking
                                      money out of their equity to buy toys.
                                      That has nothing at all to do with the
                                      economy, housing, or anything.  Just
                                      people being dumb and greedy.  I did
                                      not take out anything when I refi'd and
                                      every month I own a bit more.
                             \_ So are you or aren't you predicting a real
                                drop in Noe Valley home prices of 50% "real
                                soon"? Can you define real soon a little more
                                precisely please?
                                \_ Hard to tell, but I'd expect within a time
                                   frame of 5 to 7 years.  Depends a lot on
                                   whether the dollar continues to become
                                   more worthless, which I think is a good bet.
                                   \_ Home prices have traditionally done
                                      okay in a period of high inflation.
                                      Not great, but not that bad, especially
                                      if you have a mortgage that is getting
                                      inflated away as well. Where would you
                                      \- yes you are paying with inflated
                                         dollars, but some of you house
                                         apprecaition is nominal appreciation.
                                      rather keep your assets? Gold? And even
                                      if your rather pessimistic prediction
                                      comes true, I will have lived in a place
                                      for 10 years for the cost of mortgage +
                                      taxes + maint - tax break, which is
                                      already less than rent for me.
                                      \_ I'm sure you'll be fine, given that
                                         you didn't buy in the truly inane
                                         bubble periods and you probably have
                                         a pretty sane loan.  And I'll be
                                         a perfectly happy "bitter renter"
                                         on the sidelines until I need to buy
                                         and prices are a little more
                                         realistic.  But this conforming
                                         limit change certainly does not
                                         mean "buy buy buy."  For more on the
                                         requirements for "jumbo conforming"
                                         see here:
                                         (calculated risk)
                                         The DTI, LTV, and re-fi requirements
                                         seem daunting to me.  Won't be
                                         surprised if these end up costing
                                         more than a traditional jumbo.
                                         \_ I would not buy today either. Or
                                            in 2005-2006, when things were
                                            crazy. To tell you the truth, I
                                            was kind of nervous buying even in
                                            2002. But I guess it all worked
                                            out, barring a huge deflationary
                                            period (that is when people with
                                            $1/2M loans really get screwed).
                                            \_ I was certain I was buying
                                               at the top in 2001 and boy
                                               was I wrong. It's hard to
                                               predict tops/bottoms so just
                                               buy when you can afford to.
                                   \_ Certainly home owners will do better
                                      than renters in an inflationary economy;
                                      mortgage payment relative to income will
                                      decrease, while rent will not.
           By the way, from what I can tell from the rules on these
           "jumbo conforming loans," the price savings in the end as compared
           to normal jumbos will be a wash.
           \_ Bitter renter?
              \_ Happy renter, but thanks for the generic troll.  By the way,
                 the DTI requirement on these new loans means they aren't gonna
                 change much of anything, at least not in the Bay.
                 \_ I say bitter renter because you cared enough to check.  If
                    you're so happy what's it matter what the requirements are
                    or what effect they will/wont have on prices?
                    \_ Curiousity, and a general fear that the economy is about
                       to go in the dumper.  There are other reasons to care
                       about this stuff than house envy.
                       \_ It doesn't matter what the economy is doing: so long
                          as you have skills and some cash on hand, you'll
                          be fine.
2008/3/6-7 [Finance/Banking, Reference/RealEstate] UID:49368 Activity:kinda low
3/6     Housing, Bank Troubles Deepen
        Foreclosures set record
        Aggregate equity drops to 47.9%
        "Housing, it always goes up!"
        "Buy now, before you get freezed out!"
        "They aren't making more land!"
        "We're special!"
        "... if you own something, you have a vital stake in the future of our
        country. The more ownership there is in America, the more vitality
        there is in America, and the more people have a vital stake in the
        future of this country."
         \_ So far anyway, this is actually true.
        "... if you own something, you have a vital stake in the future of our
        country. The more ownership there is in America, the more vitality
        there is in America, and the more people have a vital stake in the
        future of this country."
        future of this country." -Dubya
2008/3/5-7 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:49350 Activity:nil
3/5     Dear housing experts, what's the difference between a P.U.D.
        and Single Family Home? I went to a P.U.D. home today, and it
        is completely detached with its own land, backyard, etc, but
        it is not considered a SFH on the contract. Sure the backyard
        is pretty tiny but it still looks like a SFH. BTW this PUD
        home is a lot less expensive than SFHs nearby   -confused
        \_ A PUD has common areas like swimming pools and open space that are
           owned and maintained by everyone. You usually get a monthly bill
           for this and often restrictions as well. Think of them as
           master-planned communities. With a SFR you can usually tear
           down your house and build whatever you want. In a PUD you often
           don't have that freedom. You also have to deal with an HOA,
           which is not strictly a PUD thing but I'm pretty sure all PUDs
           have them.
2008/3/4-7 [Reference/RealEstate, Finance/Investment] UID:49335 Activity:kinda low 85%like:49333
3/4     Um, holy crap? (
        \_ (
           Insert theme from your favorite horror movie here.
           \_ Serious does this mean homes will be affordable
              again? Seriously? Man I can't wait  -bitter missed out guy
              \_ Affordable is relative.  The price of the home isn't nearly
                 as important as your monthly payment on it and how long you
                 have to pay that number.
                 \_ This makes absolute sense esp. for ppl with low IQs.
                    The rate at which home prices balloon or sink...
                    where do you take that into consideration? The
                    affordability index has been shrinking for the last
                    15 years, and given a historical cyclical market
                    isn't it prudent to wait for the other side of the
                    cycle? I mean, affordability is relative, but that
                    should not be the only factor used in such a
                    complex and expensive decision.
                 \_ And the final variable would be the interest rate. Thanks
                    for the math lesson. WTF are you trying to say?
                    \_ He's saying that if the interest rate doubles while
                       prices fall in half it doesn't make housing much more
                       affordable for people who are financing the purchase.
                       Maybe that's clear to you, but a lot of people seem
                       to overlook that the payment means more than the price
                       in many instances.
                       \_ People are supposed to save up a significant
                          downpayment, if banks are being responsible.
                          Prices should matter in the real world. In
                          fantasy bubble land where government saves the
                          day maybe it doesn't matter.
              \_ No.  This means that the shit that has been hitting the fan
                 for the last year is going to continue to hit the fan.
                 In fact, some of the shit that hit it already is going to
                 circle back for a few more wacks.
                 \_ If many homeowners are experiencing "shit hitting
                    the fan" doesn't it imply all the spectators will soon
                    be in a position to cherry pick shit soon?
                    \_ Not if the economy gets totally fucked by the housing
                       crisis.  Hence the horror movie soundtrack, etc...
                    \_ We won't hit bottom until people think real estate
                       is dead. As long as there are a lot of spectators
                       thinking they are going to cherry pick we won't get
                       there. Serious investors aren't worried about
                       predicting a bottom. They bought 20 years ago, 10
                       years ago, 5 years ago, 2 years ago, and last week
                       - but they bought what made sense to buy. Finding
                       bargains might be getting easier, but financing what
                       you find is tougher meaning that only the all-cash
                       guys (you know, the pros) can stay in.
                       \_ Yes, this is exactly true. However, SFH have been
                          mostly financed by fairy dust the last few years,
                          so they are going to have the furthest to fall. Not
                          to say that the credit crunch won't hit multi-famliy
                          and commercial real estate, I am sure it will, but
                          the valuations are not as out of whack.
        \_ I've paid my mortgage on time every month for years.  Who is going
           to 'fix' my loan so I don't have to pay so much anymore?
           \_ One word for you: SUCKER!
              \_ Obviously I should have defaulted then the gvt would have
                 rescued me from my own stupidity because clearly I would have
                 been a "victim" of a "predatory" loan.  sigh.  I need a nanny
                 state law passed to take care of me, too!
                 \_ Did you even read the article?
                    \_ Yes.  I read both links.  Did you?
                       \_ Yes. Where did you make the logical leap from a
                          voluntary agreement between a bank and a home owner
                          to a gvt bailout?
2008/3/4 [Reference/RealEstate, Finance/Investment] UID:49333 Activity:nil 85%like:49335
3/4     Um, holy crap?
2008/2/26-3/4 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:49269 Activity:nil
2/26    Rejoice renters and bitter comrades who missed out! Home price
        index drops 8.9%, the largest drop in 20 year history!
        \_ GLOBAL RECESSION IS HERE! Prepare to be laid off soon. As
           for savers... good for you!          -Recession Swami
        \_ And you'll still need two mortgages and a spotless credit rating
           to afford a house in the Bay Area.
           \_ But Bay Area offers unheard of opportunities to get super
              rich from the dot-com companies!
              \_ For some.  But really it is about base salaries here being
                 almost double most other places.  For anyone who bought a
                 reasonable house within their price range without some
                 weirdola non-standard mortgage (98% of people), none of this
                 housing stuff matters much, if at all.
           \_ You need spotless credit almost everywhere right now.
           \_ Two mortgages or two incomes???
              \_ i think he's talking about piggy-back mortgages (which are
                 becoming much less common now in favor of 20% hard cash)
                 \_ I wouldn't even think about buying unless I had 20%
                    saved as a down payment.
                    \_ It's that kind of thinking that kept a lot of people
                       out of the housing market when it was cheap. I thought
                       the same way and was busily trying to save $60K on
                       an entry-level salary and meanwhile the years
                       ticked by: 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000. Around that time
                       I got a clue and realized that I could get a loan
                       and afford a payment with the $25K I had so what the
                       hell was I waiting for? I bought in 2001. If I was
                       still saving I think I'd have $100K and it *still*
                       wouldn't be 20% and my mortgage would be higher.
                       wouldn't be 20% and my mortgage would be bigger.
                       Just buy when you can afford the payment and don't
                       worry about the price so much. It's a bad way to
                       buy a lot of things, but a good way to buy real estate.
                       I could have bought back in 1997, had a better
                       standard of living, saved more money on my house,
                       and been 4 years closer to paying it off had I not
                       been worried about that mystical 20% down.
                       \_ Yeah, but that is just because your "saving" period
                          was during a time when real estate prices happened
                          to be rapidly appreciating. If you had 10% down now,
                          you would probably be better off waiting until you
                          had 20% down. In general, it is a bad idea to buy
                          more than you can afford, but I agree if you can
                          get a bank to sign the paper work, can afford the
                          monthly payment, and have 6 months worth of expenses
                          in the bank, you can buy with even 0% down now. I
                          would not do it, though.
                          \_ My point is that if you can comfortably afford to
                             buy now (for all values of now) then do it.
                             Maybe you can buy cheaper later. Maybe you
                             won't. There's no time like the present. That
                             can't. There's no time like the present. That
                             20% is not magic and it's unrealistic in markets
                             like urban CA if you're a first-time homebuyer.
                             You will waste a lot of time trying to go
                             from 10% to 20% down for no good reason. If
                             you would rather wait to buy for other reasons
                             that's something else, but simply waiting to
                             buy until you gather 20% down is not a good reason.
                             buy until you gather 20% down is not a good
2008/2/25-26 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:49229 Activity:nil
2/25 (
        Foreclosed home purchased at auction came with skeleton of son of
        former owner
2021/12/03 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

2008/2/21-25 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:49210 Activity:low
2/21    Google for Las Vegas luxury condo meltdown. Luxury condos still
        doing well? Doubt it.
        \_ Is SF more like Las Vegas or Manhattan?
           You may wish to read:
        \_ How the hell do the "affordable unit" things work? Do you have to
           enter some kind of lottery to get below-market rates? What is the
           point anyway, seems to me like they should just build more units
           instead of subsidizing a few.
           \_ The incentive is for the developer to build more units. All
              new construction must contain some mandatory number of such
              units, often in exchange for some other concession like
              relaxed zoning. Just hoping a developer builds more units doesn't
              work so well.
           \_ Yeah it is some kind of lottery. There are set-asides for families
              making area median (~80k/yr) as well as 80% and 60%. You are
              required to sell the unit back to the agency that runs the
              thing when you are done, at a price equal to what you paid
           \_ Yeah it is some kind of lottery. There are set-asides for
              families making area median (~80k/yr) as well as 80% and 60%.
              You are required to sell the unit back to the agency that runs
              the thing when you are done, at a price equal to what you paid
              plus inflation, when you move. The reasoning goes that even
              if 3k more units were released to the market it would not
              lower prices that much, certainly not enough so that anyone
              making 80k/yr would be able to afford one.
        \_ key word: usually
2008/2/21-25 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:49205 Activity:kinda low
2/20    Suburbs, The Next Slum?
        \_ Well let me tell ya, city living SUCKS if you're having kids.
           The baby crying, the constant buying of baby/boy/girl things
           requiring lots of trips to/from the elevator, waiting for
           the elevator, people knocking your wall to shut your baby up,
           etc etc. As long as people have kids, there will be demand
           for suburbia.
           \_ I personally would rather live within walking distance of
              all my shopping than drive. Do you really think using the
              elevator is more inconvenient than having to strap your
              kid into a carseat, drive to the mall, find parking, etc?
              I have a kid in The City and I have had none of the problems
              you describe. Did you actually try it, or are you imagining
              what it might be like?
              \_ How do you take all of your stuff home with you when
                 you walk? When I lived in Berkeley I had to call a cab
                 to drive me home after I walked to the store. At that
                 point I may as well drive.
                 \_ It depends. Mostly we just shop every day, since there
                    is a produce store 1/2 block away and a butcher 1 block
                    away. Safeway is only three blocks away, and I have a
                    push cart that will hold 3 bags. Twice a month or so,
                    we go to Costco and take a car for that. I gotta tell
                    you having a 24 hour/day grocery store three blocks
                    away is very convenient.
        \_ Uh, no. As dollar devaluate, tons of wealthy foreigners will
           start buying up properties again. Remember when the Japs owned
           25% of NYC's buildings in the 80s? The rollercoaster goes up,
           and goes down, and up, and down...
        \_ Friend of Kunstler?
        \_ Seems like a good article, but a surplus of 22 million large
           lot homes? On what planet? Certainly not in urban CA. The
           article admits much of what it says applies to newly built
           suburbs on the fringes far from central cities. Is 40% of the
           housing stock really accounted for in such a way? I doubt it. What
           they call "lifestyle centers" in the article is really mixed
           use. It is popular now. Eventually it will go out of style and
           then be popular again. This is cyclical, not some long-term trend.
           \_ Mixed use has been how most cities have been arranged for most
              of history, actually.
              \_ Most wealthy people have been trying to get as
                 far from the noise and the filth of cities throughout
                 most of history, actually.
        \_ Ultimately growth will be financially driven. Right now urban
           developers have a tougher time selling and making new homes
           while suburban developers have reaped huge profits during the
           housing boom.
           \_ Developers react to the demands of the public or else they
              go out of business.
           \_ "Right now"? You mean a few years ago, right? Right now,
              suburban developers are facing massive write offs and are
              dumping inventory like mad in auctions. Some of them are
              even going out of business. Meanwhile, the luxury high-rise
              condo construction business in SF is booming.
              \_ Doubtful. Bust is bust, regardless of suburb or hi-rise.
                 Got URL to support your claim, or you're just talking
                 outa your ass?
                 \_ (PDF)
                    Note condo price per sq foot graph.
                    Or check out for more details.
                    \_ Note the rate of change of condo inventory over time
                       compared to that of SFR. It looks like the condo
                       curve is getting steeper.
                       \_ That is because literally thousands of new luxury
                          condos are coming onto the market. This has not
                          \_ And are not being sold judging by the rate of
                             change of inventory. Inventory doesn't mean
                             "units in existence". It means "units on the
                             market". With all of those units coming
                             online what do you think will happen to
                             \_ Are you familiar with the concept of
                                gentrification? I personally think that
                                prices will stay more or less steady.
                                SF is more like Manhattan than it is
                                like Las Vegas.
                                \_ 1. I think prices in Manhattan will
                                      fall short-term, too.
                                   2. SF is how many million people short
                                      of Manhattan?
                          lowered prices, either. Just drive through SOMA
                          sometime, they are building them like mad. I think
                          10k new units are projected to come onto the market
                          in the next three years. Will this crash the market?
                          I dunno, but it certainly has not yet...
                          \_ Do you think 10-20K new people are going to move
                             into SF and buy one of these units? They are
                             still building them like mad because the
                             projects have been in the works since the
                             market was hot. Remember when commercial was
                             hot in SF and how there was a lot of new
                             construction which led to vacant buildings
                             for years after that? And then <DEAD><DEAD>
                             happened and those places along Market and in
                             SOMA were finally leased? And then <DEAD><DEAD>
                             busted and they were vacant again? And now
                             they are building "lofts" in the same place
                             which were snapped up? What happens next in
                             this cycle?
                             \_ To answer your question, yes I remember and
                                I remember that home prices never really went
                                down, even during the bust. I do expect
                                10-20k people to move into SF to fill those
                                units. Why wouldn't they?
                                \_ Home prices didn't go down, but prices
                                   for commercial space went way down. Why
                                   do you expect the population of SF to
                                   increase so much in the next 3 years?
                                   The population is 33,000 smaller now than
                                   it was in 2000 according to the US Census.
                                   \_ SF lost a lot of people after the dot
                                      com bust. The population has been going
                                      up for the last three years. Remember
                                      1/4M commute into SF every day to work.
                                      It would not be surprising if 1/10th of
                                      them ditched the commute if given the
                                      \_ They will only do that if prices
                                         fall to a level they can afford
                                         or else those so inclined likely
                                         would have already.
2008/2/18-21 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:49175 Activity:high
2/16    So I have been holding off, waiting until real estate comes down
        enough to make investing make sense. Are there any areas in California
        where buying property makes sense from an investing persepctive, i.e.
        it is cash flow positive after paying mortgage, taxes and maintenance?
        \_ I just bought a cash positive rental unit in E. Oakland.  I know
           there are a lot more available.  Lots of condos being built so I'm
           sure that there will be a lot of push to clean up the neighborhoods.
           As soon as I get this one fixed up I'll be looking for another.
           Also, there is an estimated 10,000 new people moving into that area
           within the next few the value has no where to go but up.
           To tell you the truth its a great time to be a landlord.
           \_ Now this is what I am talking about. Which neighborhood did
              you buy in? Did you just buy one unit in a building or the
              whole building? -OP
        \_ Bakersfield, Stockton, Riverside, Fresno.
           I highly recommend the followings: Rancho Cucamonga, Chino,
           Corona, Upland, Fontana. Basically all the areas with a lot
           of poor people with lots of kids and SUVs and minivans and
           want to have a home but can't afford it.
           \_ Uh, right now those are the areas that are melting down.
              \_ ding ding ding you got it! that's why it's good to invest
               \_ Nope, you are better waiting for the freefall to end and
                  get in as things start to uptick.  Yes you will pay a bit
                  more than if you bought at the very bottom, but chances
                  are you are going to guess wrong.  (Hint, right now things
                  are still going to fall for a while, especially in those
                  \_ 1) You don't know that prices are going to continue
                        to fall.
                        \_ No I don't, but it sure has hell looks like they
                           haven't stopped falling.  And it is stupid to buy
                           now if you can wait a few months and pay 10% less.
                           Really, really stupid.  Even if you plan to hold
                           on for a long time.  For one thing that means you
                           rents will probably have to go down, and that will
                           mean you may no longer be cash positive.  Right now
                           is not a good time to get into the landlord game.
                           \_ Why would rents go down? Have they been going
                              down in those areas? I know they have been going
                              up in the Bay Area. I probably won't buy until
                              it looks like the market has stabilized, but
                              trying to time the bottom is a fool's game.
                              \_ Rents go down when housing prices go down
                                 because people who can't sell their houses
                                 rent them out, which causes an increase of
                                 rentable units, which lowers rents
                                 \_ And here I thought that rents went up
                                    when more people who couldn't afford to be
                                    home owners became renters, therefore
                                    increasing the demand for rental property.
                                    Have rents been going up or down in the
                                    Inland Empire?
                                    \_ I think it depends on what percentage
                                       of housing is bought as speculation.
                                       In some markets (like Vegas) it was
                                       something like 25% (insane).  Those
                                       people already own a residence ...
                     2) That's why I want a place that is cash flow positive.
                        If it makes me a decent rate of return, I don't really
                        care what the face value is. I would intend to hold
                        onto it for a long time in this case.
                  \_ Ever heard the phrase "catching a falling knife"?
                   \_ Yeah and unless you have a really good understanding
                      of the market and a high tolerance for risk it is a
                      stupid thing to do.  The OP doesn't seem to have either.
                      \_ What makes you think that I don't have a high
                         tolerance for risk? -OP
                         \_ Your list of requirements
                            \_ You actually have a point, but as scottyg
                               pointed out, it is not really an unreasonable
           \_ poor people make crappy tenants.
              \_ that may be true but poor ppl are the reason why
                 they're tenants. thank god for poor ppl or else landlords
                 will not benefit from them.
           \_ I don't think that is true in Riverside, at least not yet:
              That place rents for $1800 and would sell for about $400k
              right now, which just doesn't pencil out. It might make sense
              at $300k. Or are you referring to multi-family housing?
        \_ Santa Clara County
        \_ Fremont, excluding the Mission San Jose district.
        \_ Sure, if you find the right property. It can be anywhere if you
           look hard enough.
           \_ Find me one in SF, please. I doubt you can find anything that
              has a positive IRR that is less than 8 units.
              \_ What's my commission if I find you something and what's
                 your price range?
                 \_ You could have hot gay sex with me regardless of
                    your ugliness.
        \_ Even if you find a rentable property do you *really* want to deal
           with being a landlord?  Are you going to turn over daily management
           to some company that will eat whatever profits you might make or go
           over there yourself with wrench in hand every time there is a
           plumbing problem?  And how much do you lose if it takes a month to
           get new tenants in when the old ones leave?
           \_ Actually, I already am a landlord, since I own a two unit
              property in SF and live in one and rent out the other, so I
              have a pretty good idea of what is involved. All investments
              take some time and energy. You should calculate the vacancy
              rate (5% or so) into your total return. If you are a good
              landlord, it will probably be lower than that.
              \_ So much for Haight/Ashbury's free sex free drugs free
                 whatever socialist movements.
                 \_ Gas, grass or ass, no one rides for free.
           \_ I rented out my previous home in Fremont and got my real estate
              agent to also be the manager.  His cut is 10% of the rent.  It
              took us two months to find the first tenants, and they have been
              there ever since for 4.5 years.  So far I still have never met
              the tenant once, nor did I need to go to the house to check out
              or fix anything.  -- !OP
              \_ Just curious, are you still making a profit, even after
                 the 10% cut? Would you have done better selling the house
                 and putting the money in T-Bills?
2008/2/13-18 [Finance/Banking, Reference/RealEstate] UID:49135 Activity:kinda low
2/12    What is the profile of a person defaulting home loan? I mean,
        are these type of people under-educated? Risk takers? High
        school drop-outs who desperately want to own homes? And why
        are they in certain areas (Inland Empire, etc)?
        \_ They run the gamut. If the loan officers were all of a sudden willing to
           give them a loan, even though they previously didn't qualify, and they
           want a house, who are they to object. "I sign my name saying I'll pay it
           back. But if they give me the money, that must mean I can pay it back.
           Because otherwise the government would tell them not to give me the money."
        \_ They run the gamut. If the loan officers were all of a sudden
           willing to give them a loan, even though they previously didn't
           qualify, and they want a house, who are they to object. "I sign my
           name saying I'll pay it back. But if they give me the money, that
           must mean I can pay it back.  Because otherwise the government would
           tell them not to give me the money."
           \_ in another word people with lower than avg intelligence,
              who mostly congregate in SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA like our dimwit
              \_ There are fewer foreclosures in places like SF because
                 the market is stronger. That's all. Look at Sacramento
                 for NoCal "stupidity".
                 \_ SF markets did not go up as much as in LA, mostly because
                    people were not dumb enough to sign a bunch of loans they
                    couldn't afford, so the bubble wasn't as bad here. Only
                    in the NorCal burbs are people that stupid.
              \_ Southern California style left wing is not
                 MAINSTREAM AMERICA.
        \_ one oddity about california is foreclosure laws here make it hard for
           the lender to persue assets beyond the property on which the loan
           was taken out.  This takes a most of the risk out of defaulting on
           a loan for a 'underwater' property.
        \_ one oddity about california is foreclosure laws here make it hard
           for the lender to persue assets beyond the property on which the
           loan was taken out. This takes a most of the risk out of defaulting
           on a loan for a 'underwater' property.
           \_ unless you re-fi'd
        \_ They are San Jose engineers making $100K+ with a $740K mortgage
           \_ Yes, but being a state with trust deeds instead of mortgages
              mitigates that somewhat, as it is much easier to foreclose
              on a trust deed.
        \_ They are San Jose engineers making $100K+ with a $740K mortgage now
           who bought at $275K in 1995
           \_ "... when he refinanced his home in Northern California to take
              cash out to pay for his daughter's college tuition."
              Yeah, blame it on the daughter.  Stop playing good parent.  Did
              he pay $465K+ for his daughter's college tuition?  There's
              probably some European vacations and a BMW that he's not
              \_ People have an amazing ability to rationalize away their
                 mistakes and put the blame on someone else. Too bad, they
                 lose a chance to learn something when they do that.
        \_ I know someone who bought a house in Berkeley *knowing* she was
           going to lose the house.  5 figure salary, really bad credit, not
           a very convincing person.  Didn't matter.  They gave her a huge
           loan knowing she couldn't pay it and she knew she couldn't.  I just
           don't understand.
           \_ The market is broken because all parties involved are shielded
              from the consequences of their behavior by the government.
              \_ Tell that to JP Morgan and Citibank.  The mortgage securitization
                 conduits did not look at the paper they were packaging. Greenspan
                 turned a blind eye, and did not enforce what little mortgage
                 underwriting regulation there is. Or use FedRes' considerable influence
                 to stop the BS.
              \_ Tell that to JP Morgan and Citibank.  The mortgage
                 securitization conduits did not look at the paper
                 they were packaging. Greenspan turned a blind eye,
                 and did not enforce what little mortgage underwriting
                 regulation there is. Or use FedRes' considerable
                 influence to stop the BS.
                 \_ So what are the consequences? I haven't paid much attention
                    honestly but I haven't heard of any high profile people
                    getting fired or anything.
                    \_ Oh Jees. Something like a dozen CEOs have lost their
                       jobs in the last six months. But no one in the White
                       House, it is a "responsibilty-free zone."
                       \_ you mean they they found an excuse to take their
                          golden parachute early.
2008/2/11-14 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:49121 Activity:nil
2/11    So I have to say totally sucks. I put in my grandpa's
        house in Arcadia/Temple City and only got 40 points even though
        he's only 1-2 blocks away from Dim-sum, Chinese markets,
        noodle house, etc. None of these stores show up on
        Totally sucks.
        \_ as far as cares, if a business doesn't have any web
           references, it doesn't exist.  Hence the 'unwarranted' low score.
2008/2/8-11 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:49095 Activity:moderate
2/8     Theoretically how low could the Fed be allowed to lower the interest
        to? 2%? 1.5%? Anything over 0%? Is 0% actually possible?
        \_ Technically anything lower than current inflation rate is
           'free money.'
        \_ The BOJ pursued a Zero Interest Policy for many years.
        \_ The BOJ pursued a Zero Interest Rate Policy for many years.
           \_ What's the BOJ?
              \_ Bank of Japan.
        \_ Monetary policy become useless in a deflationary environment.
           Google for "deflationary trap" to see why.
           Google for "liquidity trap" to see why.
        \_ You will probably see 0.10% before 0%
           Anyway, lower rates these days is more about saving the banks than
           lowering mortgage rates.  Mortgage securitization is dead.  Mortgage
           rates for 30yr fixed didn't drop below 5% even when the Fed Funds
           Target was 1%: (imageshack)
2008/2/8-11 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:49094 Activity:kinda low
2/8     10- and 30-year treasuries take rocket shot
        Conforming mortgage limit to increase to $730K for Santa Clara pending
        Dubya's signature
        \_ Oh shit! I was hoping the economy and home prices would come
           crashing down, with with conforming mortgage limit going up
           crashing down, but with conforming mortgage limit going up
           and record low interest rates, maybe they won't be crashing
           down as hoped?       -guy who saved up for 5 years, still waiting
        \_ URL?
           \_ (AP)
2008/2/5-7 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:49071 Activity:low
2/5     Swami advice needed. Here is my situation: married, stable job,
        saved up a few hundred thousand dollars in CDs, kid popping out
        towards the end of the year, and wife screaming to buy a house.
        I understand the current volatile situation of the housing
        market as well as the oh-so-low interest rate. When is the nadir
        of the housing market in California? I need solid data to
        convince my wife to WAIT patiently.     -patient but whipped guy
        \_ I hate to say this but she has a better sense of timing than
           you. When people are screaming RECESSION, LAY-OFF, HOUSING
           KATRINA FLOOD, etc etc... that is the right time to buy.
           If you follow the crowd like a sheep you're already too late.
           \_ what are you buying now?
              \_ GOLD... vote Ron Paul!
              \_ I've done really well on energy in the past 2 years.
                 Energy discovery hasn't really kept up with demand and
                 it's a really deal even now.
        \_ you should probably be looking now to see if you can find a
           despereate seller or a good foreclosure deal.  Buying is generally
           a slow process, especially if you are in no hurry to do so,
           and you can have the time to find the deal you want. -NotSwami
        \_ you in Santa Clara?
           \_ no.                                       -op
              \_ if you don't plan to move for > 5 years then it might make
                 sense.  personally, I can't stand a mortgage larger than
                 $417K (total).  buy a townhouse and upgrade later.
                 $417K (total).  buy a nice townhouse and upgrade later.
        \_ What are you waiting for?  You really seriously expect the motd to
           accurately predict the future of the housing market for you so you
           can make your life's largest financial decision?  Based on motd
           advice?  This *has* to be a troll.  Please please please tell me
           it's a troll.
           \_ No. Swami has given me a lot of good directions in life.   -op
        \_ If you have a few hundred K in CDs you've already waited too long.
        \_ Swami already answered this question: your family tranquility
           is worth more than any minor gain you might make by timing the
           real estate market. If you can find a place you can afford and
           like right now, then buy it. The real estate market will most
           likely be stagnant for many years, longer than your marriage
           will last if you are not careful. -Great Swami
2008/2/5-7 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:49068 Activity:low
2/4     Need Housing Swami advice #2: Let's say a 30-year fixed mortgage
        is 6%, or $2500/month for this particular condo my wife is dying
        to get. Let's also say a 5-year interest only mortgage is 5%,
        or only $1600/month. Let's also say that I'm 90% sure we'll
        move again in 5-10 years as we'll probably need a bigger single
        family home for additional family members. Would it make sense
        to do the 5-year interest only mortgage? If I pay $2500/month
        on the interest only loan of $1600/month, or $900 extra/month,
        would I be paying more principle (1% more) and thus be in a
        better position than the 30 year fixed rate? Frankly, the
        5-year interest only mortgage is looking more and more
        attractive despite all the bad things people say about it.
        \_ that's a big, heavily leveraged gamble that you are making that
           the property will sell for the same or more when you move.  Is that
           a gamble you're willing to make?  Also have you compared the cost
           of renting an equivalent place?  Rent = no risk.  -- NOTSwami
           \_ Most entrepreneurs today would argue that not taking any
              risk is a losing proposition, especially when you have
              many years ahead of you.
              \_ ^entrepeneurs^real estate agents
        \_ what will fuck you over:
           - value of house #1 drops
           - you lose your job or there is a major medical expense (parents)
           - value of house #2 drops less or increases in value
           - you have no cash cushion
           what ist gut:
           - value of house #1 increases
           - you keep your job and there are no major medical expenses
           - value of house #2 increases less
           - you have significant cash cushion
        \_ Are you the same as the guy below? -GS
        \_ People who say bad things about interest-only mortgages are
           idiots. It's just a product. You can use it wisely or you can
           use it poorly. If you think you have the resolve to actually
           pay $2500/month then do it. However, what happens after 5 years
           with the mortgage you are looking at?
           \_ The op said there's a 90% chance of moving. What did you
              get on your SAT verbal? Your reading comprehension is weak.
              \_ Ergo, a 10% chance of not moving. I am curious what
                 happens to his loan in that instance. Does it reset to
                 fully amortized payments? If so, that's still only
                 ~$2500/month. Does the interest rate vary?
        \_ No one here can tell you if that's good or bad.  Everyone's
           situation is different.  But some things to consider: what happens
           if you don't move in 5 years?  What happens if you can't afford a
           house in 5 years because housing skyrockets again?  Will you really
           be able to afford to move?  OTOH, if prices collapse are you stuck
           with a ballooning rate in a house you can't sell and thus can't
           afford to take advantage of the low market?  The opposite points
           can be made for buying into the $2500/month in various market
           conditions.  When it comes to something important like having a
           roof over my head, I choose the safer route.  If it was a second
           place for income-only then I'd be more risky with it.  Let us know
           what you decide and why.
2008/2/2-7 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:49053 Activity:nil
2/2 (
        Buy a foreclosed house in San Diego before they run out!  Buyers of
        foreclosed homes accounted for 42% of sales in January!  Non-bank
        short sales accounted for another 12%!  Don't miss the boat while
        your GOOG shares go underwater!
        \_ By the time the shoeshine boy is giving stock tips on the motd,
           the time has passed for that investment.
2008/1/24-31 [Finance/Banking, Reference/RealEstate] UID:49003 Activity:nil
1/24    Yay!  Conforming loan limit to be raised to $625,500 for Santa Clara
        \_ What does this mean?         -not a homeowner, but want to learn
           \_ Housing loans under X amount get goverment funded loans that
              are at lower intrest rates.  A jumbo loan is a loan for over
              that amount and intrest is about 1 1/2 percent more.  By raising
              the cap they are basically making more expensive houses cheaper
              to buy (cause the intrest rate is less, and loans are easier to
              get.)  They are trying to reinflate the bubble.  Yay?
              \_ I see, so what prevents stupid people from getting exactly
                 $625,500 for the first loan and another $300,000 for
                 the second loan? And how do you look up the rate
                 limit for the area you live in? Thanks.        -pp
                 \_ Until recently the limit was country wide.  Don't know
                    how the look up works.  As to the second, you could
                    do that but because how second mortgages work they tend
                    to be even higher intrest rate.  (Basically if a house
                    forecloses and is sold the entire first mortgage is paid
                    off before the second mortgage gets a crack at it, I'm
                    not sure how liens work.)  Some people do manage to get
                    a cheaper deal by doing what you suggest, but it still
                    more expensive than not needing a jumbo loan.
                 \_ piggyback loands are done ALL THE TIME.  it's cheaper
                    than one huge jumbo.  of course, if you have the down
                    payment, then a single conforming is best of all.
                    the conforming limit is currently $417K countrywide
                    except hawaii and alaska (+50% higher).
                    the proposed plan says median price of the "metropolitan
                    area" + 25% should be the new cap.  however, the numbers
                    need to be made consistent between the house/senate
                    versions, looks like feb 15 is target sign date.
           \_ it's an experimental erectile dysfunction pill for the CA real
              estate market, FDA approval and short-/long-term effects TBD
              Santa Clara    = rock hard
              East Bay       = softening
              San Bernardino = flaccid
        \_ !swami says this is step one for a complete federal (i.e.
           taxpayer) bailout of the mortgage mess (i.e. banks).
           \_ !swami also says this is basically legalized theft.
2008/1/22-31 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:48989 Activity:nil
1/22    Dear swami, today's interest rate has gone low low low and my
        wife is whining to get a house. Is now a good time?
        \_ you in santa clara county?
        \_ Swami says that keeping your wife happy is more important than
           trying to buy at the bottom of the market. If you can find a
           home that you can afford with a 30 year fixed rate mortgage
           in a place you like and can imagine staying in for a long time,
           go ahead and buy now. -GS
2008/1/22-31 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:48988 Activity:nil
1/22    RIP Heath Ledger
        I wish I could quit you!
2008/1/4-5 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:48892 Activity:nil
1/4     Real estate books by former Chief Economist of Natl Assoc of Realtors
2007/12/31-2008/1/7 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:48878 Activity:nil
        Analysts project -6.1% drop in earnings growth for 4Q07 for S&P500
        (down from +11.5% estimate released on Oct 1)
        But no problem:  Analysts project +5.1% growth for 1Q08!
2007/12/30-2008/1/7 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:48867 Activity:nil
12/31   So I live in a condo without a backyard and I don't like to hike,
        camp, etc. For some reason I got a brand new mini 40 pound cast
        iron BBQ grill & set for Christmas. There's no way I can use it
        in my condo, and no way in hell am I getting my hands dirty on
        charcoal, dust, cleaning, etc. I sure ain't gonna go camping or
        the sort. Actually I'm just a bit pissed off at getting this piece
        of heavy iron that's has no meaning to me and taking up space in
        my little condo. What is the best way to dispose it? Salvation Army?
        \_ craigslist for 1/2 its new value will move it pretty quickly
           \_ thanks that's a good advice. I looked it up on ebay and
              the same (new) grill is selling for $50 plus $30-$40 S/H.
              the darn thing is so heavy, it cost almost the same as
              its value! lol
              \_ What city are you in?  What's the url for the BBQ?  I
                 might want it.
2007/12/26-2008/1/4 [Reference/RealEstate, Finance/Investment] UID:48860 Activity:moderate
12/25   Seriously dans. What is the age group of the people at your
        startup? 25? 26? Mostly unmarried and no mortgage I presume?
        \_ It's a wide range.  Yes, we have some folks who are 25 or younger,
           but we have several people who are in their early 40's and have
           families (including kids) and mortgages.  Actually, a surprising
           number of the folks under 30 own in SF. -dans
           \_ Born to money?
              \_ No, married, no kids, and both parties have near or above
                 six-figure incomes. -dans
                 \_ Did they really save $100k in five years on less than
                    $100k/yr salary? That is kind of amazing. Was this a
                    couple who bought or a single person? Even $100k/yr won't
                    get you close to the typical $1M SF home. Did they buy
                    a condo?
                    \_ 'both parties have near or above six-figure incomes'
                       So $1M is not uncommon in SF, but there are things that
                       go for less, I'd say $700K is more average, but I
                       haven't looked at prices in a while.  Some people
                       purchased condos, some people purchased in more
                       outlying districts where property values are less.
                       \_ That phrase can be interpreted in one of two ways:
                          1) two separate people each bought a home or
                          2) two people together bought a home
                          I thought you meant the latter, but I wasn't sure
                          so I clarified. $700k is average for all sales in
                          SF, condos included. SFH only is upwards of $1M,
                          but yes, you can get a place for much less in some
                          neighborhoods. I still wonder about the downpayment.
                          That is some mighty good saving, if they actually
                          did it on their own.
                   \_ I've saved more than $100K in less than 4 years, on a
                      single income of < $100K a year, with a wife and 2 kids,
                      in the Bay Area, ignoring 401K.  BWAHAHAHA!
                      \_ Congratulations. What does that mean, ignoring 401k?
                         Not including the 401k into the $100k? Even more
                         impressive! How much is your rent? Does your wife work?
                         \_ Yes, I didn't include my 401K in that total, and my
                            wife does not work.  I'm helped a lot by the fact
                            that my job is in a suburb, so I can get a 2 bed 1
                            bath duplex for $1150 a mo near my work.
        \_ Your presumption was incorrect.  Are you actually going to change
           your behavior or working set of assumptions based on this?  Or was
           this just a troll? -dans
2007/12/13-20 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:48794 Activity:nil
12/12   Buy a foreclosed house from Countrywide!  Mean price $328K for CA!
        \_ Yeah, the prices still aren't all that hot in my area.  Well,
           prices have dropped about $100K, but countrywide's prices are just
           barely in line with that.
           \_ They aren't going to let them go for less than market value.
              That's the misconception about REOs.
           \_ Where do you live? In The City, prices are staying steady,
              perhaps even going up a bit.
        \_ Location, location, location!
        \_ Prices on low end homes are plummeting in most of the state,
           why the hell would you try to buy now?
                \_ one of things that people don't seem to get is that
                you very rarely if ever get rich by posessing real estate.
                You get rich by buying it cheap and selling it at a higher
                price to some dumb shmuck. There are far more cases of people
                being stuck with land as the value plummets than the other way
                \_ It's not a question of getting rich.  It's a question
                   of not getting way less house than you could get if you
                   wait a year.  The difference between a semi-cruddy house
                   and a decent place is often only 15-25% more.  If you buy
                   the cruddy home now for the price of the nice house a
                   year from now you are going to be stuck with that
                   cruddy house for at least 3-4 years.  Is owning for 1 year
                   worth that?
                \_ Actually, possessing real estate is one of the easiest
                   ways to get rich. The problem lies when you buy it
                   without looking at the cash flows and instead hope for
                   quick appreciation. Anyone who bought a profitable
                   property probably still has a profitable property,
                   unless the economy tanks and then lots of businesses
                   get hurt.
2007/12/9-13 [Reference/RealEstate, Recreation/House] UID:48769 Activity:moderate
12/9    I live in a house with lots of windows.  The windows are all single
        pane, I don't feel very insulatled.  It's pretty cold in here.
        What are some things I can do?  Is there some sort of clear plastic
        sheeting I can buy that I can seal the windows with?
        \_ You rent/lease?
           \_ rent.  yes.  i rent.
        \_ Yes, there's shrink-wrap stuff you can get at a decent hardware
        \_ Turn on the heater? Hang some drapes? My house is the same way
           and unless you live in a very cold climate I wouldn't waste
           money "upgrading" my windows to dual pane anyway.
        \_ Wear warmer clothes while inside.  Its the cheapest/simplest way to
           solve the problem.  Seriously, if you live in California winter is
           relatively short and not really all that cold. -ERic
           \_ Agreed.  I upgraded my windows mostly because my wife wanted the
              better look.  -- yuen
              \_ Are you still getting laid?
        \_ I own my house.  Don't waste money upgrading to double-pane window
           if all you care is winter and your walls and celing are not
           well-insulated.  I upgraded mine to high-quality double-pane
           (Anlin).  They worked very well in summer in keeping the house not
           too hot by blocking the heat and only letting through light.
           However they did nothing in keeping the house warm in winter.  The
           windows them selves are fine, in that there is no condensation and
           they don't feel like a fridge comapred to the old windows.  But my
           windows themselves are fine, in that there is no condensation and
           they don't feel like a fridge compared to the old windows.  But my
           poorly-insulated walls and celing cover a much larger surface area,
           and they are the ones that lose heat to the outside.
           and they are the ones that lose heat to the outside.  (Both
           comparisons were done without using A/C or heater.)  -- yuen
        \_ I am in a similar situation. When I bought my house, I
           replaced everything to dual pane window, Milgard, including
           a sliding door to the backyard, for about 7k. In the summer
           my house is very cool (partly due to the window, partly due
           to the insulated metal roof), but in the winter it's cold.
           Not a lot of solar energy penetrating through the roof, and
           walls are not insulated and attic has only R13. You get the
           best hang for your buck adding insulation to the attic.
           Probably about 1.5k for a R30 blown-in, then the windows,
           and then the walls if you want your house to be more energy
           efficient. If you plan to be there for a while, then it is
           wise to do something about it. My city (Santa Clara) has a
           free energy audit, you may get something similar where the
           inspector can tell you what's the most bang for the buck
           for your house.
           \_ I guess Your Mileage May Vary, but my dual-pane windows
              seem to've cut at least 30% from the heating bill while
              allowing a few more degrees of heat to be kept in the
              house. Albuquerque, NM.
              \_ The rest of your house must be very well insulated. Even
                 dual pane glass filled with gas insulates poorly compared
                 to insulation in the walls and attic. One advantage of
                 dual pane is that it better blocks noise, but if you care
                 mostly about noise (and appearance, since dual pane looks
                 terrible) then go for insulated glass, which is what I
                 had installed. It is two sheets of glass stuck together
                 with a film between them (so still "dual pane" in that
                 sense). It blocks noise better and the glass is still
                 relatively thin so you don't have that ugly "dual pane"
                 look. They don't insulate as well as argon-filled
                 windows, but I didn't care about that much.
        \_ My wife got the dual pane argon filled windows and also had
           insulation blown into the ceiling. I don't think it was worth
           it in energy cost savings, but the heating bill is much lower,
           the house doesn't feel as cold (less draft from the windows) and
           most importantly, it is much quieter. The latter is important
           when you live in a city. It was worth the cost to me for the last
           improvement alone.
        \_ One of the reasons why I'll never live with my parents is
           they always want open windows regardless of how cold/hot it
           is. They think they'll suffocate and die. Ditto with A/C and
           heater in the car. I really don't enjoy being with my
           parents. How about you guys?                 -Chinese guy
           \_ My in-laws are not Chinese and they always open the windows
              to the house and the car, too. It drives me nuts. I
              especially hate the car window open with the wind blowing in my
              face, the smell of exhaust, and road noise.  Why do it when the
              car A/C works just fine?!
              \_ Are they from the "old" generation (pre-AC generation)
                 and are scared because friends/family members died from
                 carbon monoxide poisoning?             -ditto guy
              \_ My in-laws are the opposite.  They always keeps the windows
                 in the house shut.  They don't even like turning on the hood
                 when cooking (not that it'd do much with all the windows
                 shut, but still.)  They still don't open the windows when
                 they have cold or flu, so diseases always spread in the
                 house.  Drives me nuts.  -- Chinese with Chinese in-laws.
2007/12/7-13 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:48764 Activity:nil
        Who qualifies for the mortgage rate freeze plan?
        - Subprime ARM holders:  typically 1-3 years fixed, rates adjusting to
          8 to 12+% (Prime ARMs--typically 4+ years fixed or those with low
          adjusted rates--do not qualify)
        - FICO < 660
        - FICO score has not improved by 10% or more since start of mortgage
        - < 3% equity in house, based on appraised value at start of mortgage
        - You are currently living there, and not renting it
        - Mortgage can't be 90+ days past due (seriously delinquent)
        - You can't have 2 or more 60-day lates in the last 12 months
        - Mortgage originated between Jan/2005-Jul/2007
        - Mortgage adjusting between Jan/2008-Jul/2010
        - Mortgage was sold to investors, FNM/FRE, etc. via MBS pool
        The idea is if any of the above is not true, one or more of the
        following is likely:
        - You can pay for it anyway
        - You can refi to better terms by yourself
        - The loan is owned by a single bank so deal with them
        - You're just out of luck because you took a 2/28 loan in 2005, it
          already adjusted, and you can't refi
        The above are guidelines only.  Your mortgage servicer makes the final
        call, since they are obligated to maximize returns and may be sued by
        investors (MBS holders).  Otherwise, you got your 5-year freeze!
2007/12/2-6 [Finance/Banking, Reference/RealEstate] UID:48732 Activity:kinda low
12/2 (
        Old mortgage:
          2004-2007  4.97% interest-only on $352K
          2007-2009  7.97% to 11.97%, principal payments start
          2009-2034  11.97%
        New mortgage:
          2004-2007  4.97% interest-only on $352K
          2007-2010  5.25% interest-only
          2010-2034  5.25% principal payments start
        Countrywide is da b0mb!
        \_ Moral of the story: it doesn't pay to be fiscal responsible.
        \_ Lame.  "Oh we didn't understand the terms of our ARM.  We're too
           dumb to read the papers right in front of us.  We thought we were
           getting a free lunch because we're nice people.  Now, only because
           the rest of the mortgage industry is fucked, we get totally lucky
           and keep a super low rate forever".
           \_ Countrywide can tell them to go pound sand. It's the free
              market at work like it should be. What I have a problem with
              is the government attempting to legislate these discounts
              or, worse, making taxpayers pay the bill.
             \_ All the deficit spending is effectively a tax. We are getting
                taxed out the ass.
                \_ This is a non sequitur.
                  \_ Well, it's related to fiscal irresponsibility. Someone
                     always pays the bill in some way. Legislating discounts
                     for idiots passes the bill onto responsible people.
2007/10/26-29 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:48451 Activity:nil
10/25   Ben Stein loves LEH when he should have loved GS more
        Pundits discuss housing prices for 2007 back in Dec '06
2007/10/23-25 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:48417 Activity:moderate
10/22   Confused about my property tax bill. It says:
        Payment due: 11/01/07
        If not received or postmarked by 12/10/07, extra fee added.
        So, it's due on 11/01/07, but I really have till 12/10/07.
        What exactly is this saying?
        \ This sounds like my property tax bill for the past 5 yrs. I've
          always sent it in (via mail) by around 12/5/07 so it gets to the
          county by 12/10. Never got harassed. The same goes for your 2nd
          installment which is due by 04/10 (the following year), even though
          it says '03/01'.
        \_ Which county?  My Alameda County statement says the same thing.
           \_ I'm in S Cal and mine says pretty much the same thing. I
              believe ambiguous and confusing government forms has been
              pretty standardized.
        \_ It is saying "We prefer getting your money by 11/01/07 so that
           we can earn interest rate for a month. We'll be happy about it
           and Uncle Sam will be your friend. We'll accept your money by
           12/10/07 and if you don't pay up by then we'll get pissed off
           and charge you extra fees."
           Is this an accurate translation?
        \_ Yeah, they're all like that.  It's like there's an unspoken
           rule that prevents government offices from making sense.
           But seriously, everyone asks the same question.  The best I
           could come up with was: 1) As long as they have your money
           by "delinquent after" date, you're cool.  2) If the payment
           is not made by the "delinquent after" date, then the
           penalties/fees are calculated from the "due date."
        \_ How about you just pay your bill?
        \_ It means that it is due on 11/01/07. This is true of a car or
           a mortgage, too. The date you are assessed a late fee is not the
           "due date". My car payment is due the 1st. I usually pay around
           the 5th-7th. The late fee is assessed on the 11th or something.
           I never pay any late fees, but I am still late and my creditor
           considers me late. This is not limited to the government.
           BTW, the time between the due date and when a late fee is
           assessed is the "grace period". Grace periods are extremely
           common. The property tax one seems weird because it is so long
           and the late fee is so high.
           \_ Does anyone actually pay on time? One month of interest rate
              is not insignificant.
              \_ Neither is the fine for paying late if you miss.
              \_ Of course people pay on time, especially people who hire
                 others to handle their bills and who have fat bank
                 accounts. If you have $5M in the bank then you don't
                 sweat that one month interest on your $3K property tax
                 payment. At 5% it's like $12.
2007/10/22-24 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:48412 Activity:high
10/22   Beauty Queen vs. The Landlord. That blondie is HOT HOT HOT.
        What kind of accent does she have? AL? TX? TN?
        \_ Hey ausman do you think she's hot?
           \_ Not my type, but I can how someone might find her attractive. -a
           \_ Not my type, but I can seehow some would find her attractive.
           \_ Not my type, but I can see how some would find her attractive.
        \_ Hey dans do you think she's hot?
        \_ That blondie is hot?
           \_ Nice body, nice hair, nice face... hick accent but otherwise
              very wholesome. What is not hot about her?
2007/10/15-17 [Reference/Law/Court, Reference/RealEstate] UID:48317 Activity:kinda low
10/15   2 blocks of my neighborhood were completely blocked and there
        were police all over the apartment unit next to mine. They blocked
        everyone and they wouldn't even let residents nearby go in/out of
        the street! We were locked down for maybe 2.5 hours-- I was
        starving, and almost peed in my pants. Is the lock down even
        LEGAL??? Can I sue the police for creating disturbance? Anyways
        rumor has it that there were shootings and some people got killed.
        As I'm searching local news online I couldn't find any reported
        incidents. Are there other places to find crime data and details
        of the police report?           -just got a pepper spray
        \_ I hope you are trolling the motd for amusement.  In my heart
           I hope to G-d none of my fellow sodans are this dumb.
           I hope to God none of my fellow sodans are this dumb.
        \_ Do you live in Oakland?
        \_ You don't have a toilet in your apartment bathroom?
        \_ In order to sue, you'd have to prove that the police were not
           acting in accordance with their duty at the time. If there were
           shootings and people got killed, your odds of doing so are slim to
        \_ Great idea, sue the police for trying to stop shootings in your
        \_ There was a shooting and you bought... pepper spray.  Okey dokey!
           \_ You did't see the "Talk about bringing a gun to a knife fight:"
              article in that other thread above?  -- !OP
2007/10/8-11 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:48264 Activity:nil
        FDIC chair asks industry to forego rate increases on resetting ARMs for
        owners who live in their homes and are current in their payments
        \_ Bah!
        \_ You see?  Only risk-takers win!
2007/9/20-22 [Reference/RealEstate, Politics/Domestic/President/Bush] UID:48127 Activity:nil
9/20    Bush cites 'unsettling times' in housing market. Afterwards, he
        urges everyone to get more education.           -The Onion
2007/9/11-13 [Finance/Investment, Reference/RealEstate] UID:48011 Activity:nil
        "I'm leaving him," she said. "He's grouchy all the time. I want a
        guy who's rich and cheerful all day and all night. Why should I
        have to suffer because his business is bad?"
        Are any of you losing wives over the whole housing bubble popping?
        \_ Hi, I'm Ben Stein and watch me try and claim that the housing
           bubble is going to turn around any day now, but do so in a way
           that if it doesn't I can pretend I wasn't saying that.
           God damn that man is such a wanker.
           \- "I won the John Bates Clark Medal. You, sir, are
              a game show host." ... BEEN STEIN is not just a pud,
              but may actually be semi-insane. This is well worth reading:
           \_ Hi, I'm a motd troll.  Watch me make fun of an article I haven't
              read, poorly.  Did I fool you?
              \_ Dude, in that article he tries to play it both ways so bad
                 it isn't even funny.
                 \_ "Six years."
                 \_ Why do you take it so seriously? It's obviously not a
                   "here are my weighty predictions" article. It's just
                   some dumb fluff piece.
                   \_ Look, it's just a dumb fluff piece so I can take
                      both positions.  See, just a dumb fluff piece.
                      Of course after everything goes down I can
                      point to the parts that were right and forget all
                      the fluffyness.  If things go totally haywire and
                      neither X nor Y happen I can just shrug and say
                      it was a dumb fluff piece.  This is exactly why
                      I think The Daily Show shouldn't get a pass for
                      being on Comedy Central.
                      \_ Uh, when have people pointed to the Daily Show
                         in a serious way? I don't see how anyone could
                         point to this article here in a serious way
                         \- Jon Stewart doesnt claim to be a lawyer &&
                            economist && journalist && philosopher, seek
                            affiliation with think tanks which lobby to
                            change public policy etc. BSTEIN allegedly
                            was #1 in his class at yale law, so ostenisibly
                            he at some point was a smart guy. but he says
                            so many whack things, that why i think you need
                            some theory ot explain his brain snapping or
                            being disingenuous etc [like ann coulter clearly
                            says some things so she becomes a media story->
                            free advertising].
2007/8/27 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:47763 Activity:nil Entry has been invalidated. Access denied.
2007/8/21-23 [Finance/Investment, Reference/RealEstate] UID:47695 Activity:moderate
8/21    Still believe there is no housing bubble?
        "The entire Central Valley of California(and, in fact, the entire State,
        with a very few exceptions) is in the worst real estate downturn in
        my 30+ year career.
        THERE, I'VE SAID IT!"
        \_ And she doesn't have an agenda does she?
        \_ If there's anyone who doesn't believe there's a housing bubble,
           please post here and sign it so we can laugh at you. -dans
        \_ I believe this woman has pretty little credability.
           \_ While I agree with you on this point, I still think folks who
              believes there is no housing bubble should post their names on
              the motd so we can laugh at them. -dans
              \_ I never said there was no bubble, I just think this woman
                 is a moron who is trying to make money off of fear.
                 \_ I never claimed you did. -dans
              \_ I don't recall any sodan ever denying there was a housing
                 bubble - just ridicule about timing, poor logic, hyperbole,
              \_ What does "housing bubble" mean?  What are you predicting
                 as a result of this supposed housing bubble?
                 \_ did you have sexual relations with that woman, Ms.
        \_ Who here said there was no housing bubble?  Prices go up, prices
           go down.  Things change over time.  Sometimes they change fast.
           This is how the business cycle works.  And I still don't understand
           why you or anyone else would be hoping and praying or gloating over
           a potential fall in housing pricing.  All that means is the whole
           economy gets dragged down, interest rates rise, etc, and you still
           won't be able to buy a house.
2007/8/17-20 [Finance/Banking, Reference/RealEstate] UID:47636 Activity:low
8/17 (
        L.A. Times reports CFC bank web site slow, so customers crowded branch
        offices to transfer out money that exceeds FDIC coverage
        \_ Panic on the streets of London. Panic on the streets of
           Birmingham. I wonder to myself, could life ever be sane again?
           \_ Panic isn't insanity.
2007/8/16-20 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:47629 Activity:nil
8/16    Alright guys, this is it! The market will free-fall and the housing
        market will reach a new low starting November of this year. 1987
        all over again, just slow motion.               -swami #2 fan
        \_ Cool, then I can afford to sell my house and buy a new one.
2007/8/15-20 [Reference/History, Reference/RealEstate] UID:47619 Activity:nil
8/14    San Diego County NODs (three months past due in mortgage payments)
        and foreclosure sales, from 1991 to now (
        \_ What I see in this chart is that foreclosures are generally
           at some level around 400-600 except when the market starts to
           rise and then they, naturally, fall as it becomes easier to
           sell property that may go into default. I am actually a little
           bit surprised that the rate isn't much higher than typical,
           although the second derivative is a bit alarming.
2007/8/15-17 [Reference/RealEstate, Finance/Investment] UID:47616 Activity:nil
        Countrywide Financial selling 30-day bonds at 12.5%
        Overnight bonds at 6 to 6.5%
2007/8/8-13 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:47560 Activity:nil
8/7     House takes big step forward for lobby and ethics reform: (Common Cause)
2007/7/24-26 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:47413 Activity:low
7/24    It might blow up, but it won't go pop
        It might blow up, but it won't go pop
        IT MIGHT BLOW UP, BUT IT WON'T GO - *BANG*,0,5439657.story?coll=la-home-center
        \_ Whoa, time to panic, Countrywide only had $485 million in profit!
           Run for the hills!
           \_ So, your response is "La, la, la, la! I can't hear you!" ?
              \_ What response should there be to half a billion dollars in
                 profit for a mortgage company?  -tom
                 \_ Ummm, I think "the husing market is so screwed it's messing
                    up even secure finance" is important.  You don't?
                    \_ How is a $485 million profit "messed up"?  -tom
                       \_ Profit is evil.  We must all share the good and the
                          bad as a society.  Think of the children, you brute!
                          \_ The 66% drop in earnings isn't a big deal?
                             \_ No, not really.  The industry clearly has
                                slowed down, which was anticipated by everyone,
                                including Countrywide.  They're still making
                                gobs of money.  They might make smaller gobs
                                of money in the future.  They might even lose
                                some money.  So what?  This is a company with
                                an $18B market cap and $200B in assets.  They
                                are not going away due to a few mortgage
                                defaults.  -tom
                                   Foreclosurse notices at 11-year high in CA
                                   \_ yes, and?  It's a cyclical industry on
                                      a down cycle.  -tom
2007/7/23-26 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:47395 Activity:nil
7/23    Families staying in the cities, driving up home prices:
2007/7/19-21 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:47341 Activity:low
7/19    city of berkeley just inspected my heater and said it was
        pumping out carbon monoxide, that i was gonna die, and they
        disconnected it until i get it fixed.   they said it had
        probably been broken for several years.  moral of the
        i guess is get it inspected?
        \_ The City of Berkeley is a total dump and you should save
           yourself and move out ASAP.
           \_ How do you go from broken heater in one home to the city
              being a dump?
                \_ inspection thing started because berkeley passed law
                   mandating all heaters must be inspected after the Reddy
                   realty sex slave died from carbon monoxide poisoning
        \_ If you are renting, heating is one of the core requirements that
           need to be addressed by the landlord.  You can usually file
           for a deduction in monthly rent if the landlord takes too long
           for loss of service.  If you own, how old is the heater and when
           was the last time you had it inspected?  Anyone know if it's a
           requirement to get it inspected every few years?  My apartment
           just had PG&E inspect all units at once.
        \_ Yeah, inspections are key.  In addition, you can buy inexpensive
           carbon monoxide detectors that plug into low electrical outlets.
2007/7/2-4 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:47144 Activity:nil
7/2     Re: Aspen and "PECUNIARY EXTERNALITIES" ...
2007/6/26-28 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:47077 Activity:nil 90%like:47066
6/26    SF Condo conversion laws gone amuck (
        \_ Dude, she bought the place and it a part of the title report.
           The laws aren't amok in any way shape or form.  She should have
           read the damn title report.  SHE IS A LAWYER, HELLO!  Also her
           agent was unethical in not alerting her to the problem and probably
           can and will be sued, but it wasn't like this wasn't documented
           at the time of the sale.
           \_ Way I read it, she should never have been able to buy the place
              at all, and if she should have, it would have been at the
              'below market rate' low income buyer price.   She got swindled
              by the sellers. Boo hoo.  caveat emptor.
              \_ Well, the sellers and the Real Estate Agents.  And now she's
                 sueing everybody, which is actually the right thing to do in
                 this case.
2007/6/25-26 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:47066 Activity:kinda low 90%like:47077
6/26    SF Condo conversion laws gone amuck
        \_ Dude, she bought the place and it a part of the title report.
           The laws aren't amok in any way shape or form.  She should have read
           the damn title report.  SHE IS A LAWYER, HELLO!  Also her agent
           was unethical in not alerting her to the problem and probably
           can and will be sued, but it wasn't like this wasn't documented
           at the time of the sale.
           \_ Way I read it, she should never have been able to buy the place
              at all, and if she should have, it would have been at the
              'below market rate' low income buyer price.   She got swindled
              by the sellers. Boo hoo.  caveat emptor.
              \_ Well, the sellers and the Real Estate Agents.  And now she's
                 sueing everybody, which is actually the right thing to do in
                 this case.
2007/6/19-22 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:47017 Activity:nil
6/19    Economist's View: Suburban Sprawl
2007/5/30-6/1 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:46798 Activity:nil 92%like:46789
5/29 (
        "US housing prices decline for first time in 16 years."
        \_ Congrats!  You just discovered the 'Business Cycle'.
              \_ No one with half a brain ever said that.  The actual
                 statement is real estate will always go up *over time* and
                 is a good *long term* investment.  I hope it makes you feel
                 smart to completely misquote and misrepresent a view you
                 don't agree with and then bash it.  That's called a strawman
                 argument.  Rhetoric 1A.
        \_ You may kiss my feet now. -Great Swami
           \_ for being completely wrong?
2007/5/29-30 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:46789 Activity:kinda low 92%like:46798
        "US housing prices decline for first time in 16 years."
        \_ Congrats!  You just discovered the 'Business Cycle'.
        \_ You may kiss my feet now. -Great Swami
           \_ for being completely wrong?
2007/5/24 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:46740 Activity:nil
5/24 (
        I don't get it.  Why do they report sales increase month-to-month but
        median price change year-to-year?  I know they sales year-to-year is
        buried in there, but where's median price month-to-month?
2007/5/18-19 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:46680 Activity:nil
        \_ Guess there's more than one Sour Grapes Housing Guy
2007/4/24-27 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:46434 Activity:kinda low
4/24    The sign is here. Swami the Magnificent's prediction is
        coming true. November 2007 will be the nadir of Real Estate:
        \_ Swami was already wrong by at least a year on the peak, and
           real estate prices haven't gone down an appreciable amount.
           If they just start going up again in November 2007, Swami
           will have been 100% wrong.  -tom
           \_ Do you mean "Unless" instead of "If"? His prediction that
              the nadir is 11/07 would mean they would start rising in
              12/07, right? I think prices still have a long way to fall
              and will fall throughout 2008 as more and more neg ams cap
              out and ARMs expire.
              \_ His prediction was that the peak would be in 2005.  If
                 prices just stop going up for a while, and then start
                 going up again, there was no peak at all.  Personally, I
                 agree with you that we're likely to see prices flat or down
                 for a more extended time.  -tom
                    "...other cities have exhibited persistent monthly declines
                     since last spring, such as San Francisco and Boston
                     yielding negative monthly returns since May of last year."
                     \_ You can't look month over month; housing prices are
                        seasonal.  March numbers in California showed a
                        year-over-year rise of 3.2%; the Bay Area was up 5.6%.
                        Other places are down.  Overall it's going sideways
                        in terms of price, on lower volume.  -tom
           \_ When do you think the peak was Tom?
              \_ I think we've been on a plateau for the past 9 months or so.
                 It may eventually represent a peak, depending on what
                 happens in the next year.  -tom
2007/4/24-27 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:46429 Activity:moderate
4/24    Existing home sales drop 8.9% in March, largest since 1989.  Median
        home values drop 8th straight time.  Where's smug housing guy?
        \_ Ooh, another huge 0.3% year-over-year drop!  RUN FOR THE HILLS!
        \_ Super-inflated Santa Clara / SF is going to take a long effin' time
           to drop significantly in price.  Podunk-ville, I can see real drops.
           There are three major categories of people in America:
           - Median wage earners
           - Professionals
           - Professionals (the future wealthy) and the wealthy
           - Fucking-super-wealthy bastards
           I call it "three America's".
           I think that the latter two are doing much better in terms of growth
           in net worth than the first group, which is reflected in the real
           estate environment we see today.  It's not a stretch to say as
           housing slows down, we'll see this trend more clearly.
           I call it "three America's".
           estate environment we see today.  Translation:  Regions with lots of
           professionals and/or the super-wealthy will maintain values --
           professionals and/or the super-wealthy will maintain value --
           because they can afford it, and they can stretch.
           professionals and/or the wealthy will maintain value -- because they
           can afford it, and they can stretch.
           \_ I think the profressionals are going to do worse and worse every
           \_ I think the professionals are going to do worse and worse every
              generation from now on till they more or less don't exist
              \_ It's happening right now and has been for 20+ years.  Look at
                 doctors for a start.
                 \_ What about them...? I agree that over time professionals
                    are doing worse in ways that matter: hours worked,
                    vacation, benefits etc. Most doctors I see are doing very
                    well though. Maybe they suffer more getting started though.
                    \_ Their incomes have eroded and their work hours have
                       increased. My neighbor is a doctor and he said that
                       his life is much different than his father's was
                       (his father was also a doctor) and that he's not
                       recommending that his 17 year old son go to medical
                       school at all when the time comes. Yes, doctors
                       still do well, but the above states "worse and
                       worse" which is true. That's not even accounting
                       for "getting started" which involves (for many)
                       $200K in student loans.
        \_ When prices drop 8.9% *and* I'm trying to sell my house during that
           drop, let me know.  A co-worker was reading too many blogs and
           convinced himself that a 40% drop in prices was coming (due about
           6 months ago).  I'd love to see a 40% price drop.  Then I could
           afford to move to another house and buy a few more as investments.
           Or housing prices can stay where they are or keep going up.  Then
           when I sell my house I have a huge profit.  Either way, as a home
           owner I win big time.
           \_ I'm not saying there's going to be a 40% drop, but if there
              WAS a 40% drop here is how it would start.  Prices on houses
              drop a little.  The market gets a bit skittish.  People trying
              to sell their residences take places off the market/stay where
              they are for longer.  If this reduction in supply doesn't
              bring prices back people who have to sell or new construction
              has to drop because the owners are losing money if they don't
              sell.  Thus starts the death spiral.  Once again I'm not
              saying this is going to happen.
2007/4/18-20 [Reference/RealEstate, Finance/Investment] UID:46361 Activity:nil
4/18    Free advice sought from soda financial advisors.
        I'm a single guy making about $120k with no debt and about $150k
        saved.  What would be a ballpark estimate of how much house I can
        afford in the Bay Area.  Any other major variable to consider?
        \_ Um, STFW?  There are mortgage payment calculators on the web.
           Second, do you know your own budget?  How much of a payment
           can you afford?  And remember to figure in $250/mo for utils,
           and monthly payments for house insurance and property tax.
           Not to mention a monthly expense to "buy stuff" for your
           house, like furniture, and don't forget house maintenace.
           assumes 33% payment-to-income ratio for "aggressive".
           for san jose this comes out to a ~ $585K house.
           \- that calculator probably assumes dependents [children]. if you
              you are single, and not a cokehead, or driving "teutonic rolling
              stock", it's probably ok to shift toward the aggressive side,
              tempered by factors like job-relocation flexibility and what
              your beliefs are about the future of the mkt [i say beliefs,
              because you dont want to end up in an investment that causes
              you stress because it's at odds with your appetitie for risk].
              there are also difficult, person-specific choices like borrowing
              against 401k/403b etc [how common is that for 20-30somethings?
              different people have very different expectations of future
              income from salary increase reates, inheritance etc.].
              btw, i think the calcultor there has some other issues.
              the house price changes by exactly the same amount as
              the down payment. i.e. for a downpayment of $150k, the house
              price is exactly $150k more than $0 downpayment. but it's
              certainly reasonable for a ballpark [i.e. you can do better than
              a $350k house in the sticks but probably not a million dollar
              place in sf]. it's kinda funny that with those stats, buying
              a place in "90%" of the country is a non-issue [the land of
              <$350k houses]. if not sf, not palo alto, not nyc, not ...
        \_ Well *I* think you can go up to about $1M, but you probably
           can't get a bank to lend you that much. What are your current
           expenses? You should be able to do the math on what you can
           afford. People in the Bay Area have always spent more than
           33% on housing.
2007/4/17-19 [Finance/Banking, Reference/RealEstate] UID:46348 Activity:nil 92%like:46343
4/17    Foreclosures up 800% in California from a year ago (
           "On a loan-by-loan basis, mortgages statewide were least likely to
           go into default in Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara
           \_ Defaults are also up in these counties.
              \_ agreed, and at a significant rate from the previous quarter,
                 but my point is it might not be enough
2007/4/17 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:46343 Activity:high 92%like:46348
4/17    Foreclosures up 800% in California from a year ago,0,6881514,full.story?coll=la-home-business
        \_ "Los Angeles County, the largest housing market in the state, is
           surprisingly strong."  Santa Clara / SF probably "stronger".
           "On a loan-by-loan basis, mortgages statewide were least likely to
           go into default in Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara
           \_ Defaults are also up in these counties.
2007/4/13-16 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:46285 Activity:nil
4/12    josh@csua:
        Ways to spend money:
        -- Real estate agent Michael Murphy of Zephyr, holding an open house at\
26th and Florida a couple of Sundays ago, didn't have high hopes when a
        prospective buyer arrived at the house on a skateboard. But the shopper\
looked around, liked what he saw and paid $649,000 (without a
        mortgage) for the house, his first. His name is Josh MacDonald, he is 31\
 years old and he is an engineer at a successful Silicon Valley company.
        \_ Why would you pay cash? I don't think that's very smart, but
           then I guess I am not a Google millionaire either.
2007/3/28 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:46127 Activity:nil
        Bernanke:  "At this juncture ... the impact on the broader economy and
        financial markets of the problems in the subprime markets seems likely
        to be contained" ... Consumer spending likely to sustain "moderate"
        growth in economy.
2007/3/27-29 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:46119 Activity:moderate 80%like:46113
        \_ I see Sour Grapes Housing Guy has his account back
           \_ Oh come on, that page is funny as hell.
           \_ I see Humorless Married to His Mortgage Guy is still around, too
              \_ A mortgage is like free money.  You get some money off your
                 taxes and would have to pay rent otherwise and while living
                 a few years in the thing you own it goes up in value.  What
                 is wrong with having a mortgage?  What have you done with
                 the 'freedom' that renting provides?
                 \_ Unless, of course, you're in a depreciating market and/or
                    have an ARM and/or an "interest only" loan.  In which
                    case, a mortgage is a great way to convey what little
                    wealth you actually have/earn and give it to someone
2007/3/27-29 [Reference/RealEstate, Finance/Investment] UID:46105 Activity:nil
        \_ Yes.  It does.  Over time.  No one with a multi-decade investment
           time line ever lost money on real estate.  If you bought swamp
           \_ The same is true of the stock market.  Read a random walk down
              wall street.  Over any 20 year time span, including one where
              you invest on the eve of the great depression, the stock market
              has averaged at least 20% annual returns after inflation.  Read
              a random walk down wall street. -dans
              \_ 20% after inflation? I think not. Try more like 7%. -ausman
                 \_ mea culpa. -dans
           land, that's your problem.  Land ownership is the traditional
           way to wealth going back to the start of history.  The other way
           is military conquest of the world but I doubt you have a personal
           \_ Is that true?  I remember a time when Tokyo real estate
              bubbled to truly absurd values.  If you bought at the wrong
              time I think you may have failed to beat inflation over a
              30 year period.
              \_ Yes, it's true.  If you buy over priced swamp land you're
                 going to get burned.  Doesn't matter if the swamp land is in
                 Florida or Tokyo.  There's always more people, there's always
                 less land.
           \_ I'm pretty sure you've qualified that statement so much that an
              equivelent statement could be made for stocks.  "No one has ever
              lost money in a multi-decade investment in a well diversified
              portfolio."  Is that not true as well?
              \_ Not equivalent--key diff is "diversified".  You could easily
                 lose money in real estate in selected markets, even long term.
           \_ I think that land ownership has been the traditional way to
              store and transfer wealth. The traditional ways to create
              wealth have been trade and military conquest (which is just
              taking someone else's wealth).
              \_ I did mention conquest.  Trade is another way but requires
                 more effort and skill than sitting on land and waiting.
2007/3/26-29 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:46099 Activity:nil
        Commerce reports new-home sales down 18% Feb 06 - Feb 07, down 4%
        Jan 07 - Feb 07 (economists had forecast +13%).
2007/3/23-27 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:46070 Activity:nil
        Realtors report Feb 07 existing-home sales increase 3.9% from Jan 07.
        Fine print:  Feb 06 - Feb 07, 3.6% drop nationwide, West down 9.6%.
        Fine print 2:  Jan 07 was so bad it made Feb 07 look good.
        Fine print 3:  Raw numbers (not seasonally adjusted), Jan 07 - Feb 07
          saw a 6.5% drop for the West
2007/3/18-20 [Reference/RealEstate, Reference/Tax] UID:46006 Activity:high
3/18    I will soon be graduating after many years of grad school, with
        a job with a reasonable salary lined up. What strategy do you all
        in the "real world" take to save money? I'm planning on taking my
        monthly income, pay out rent/utilities, put a certain amount or
        percentage in my savings, and then keep the rest in my checking
        to play with. Is this reasonable? I know advice like this needs
        to be individualized but I just want to make sure I'm not way off.
        \_ Short GOOG!
        \_ Pay off any high interest debt first, then start maxing
           out your 401k now. Retirement seems like a long ways
           away now, but believe me, you will be happy in 10 years
           that you started saving for it now. Build up a three month
           emergency fund and put it in a short term CD or savings. Then
           figure out what you want next. Is it a home? If so, start
           saving a down payment and put it in something relatively safe,
           like a CD. When you have enough saved up, start thinking
           something with a little more return, like short term Munis.
           If you are looking more for an early retirement, open a brokerage
           account and start investing in the stock market. There are plenty
           of market junkies on soda who can give you advice on stock
           picks. -ausman
           \_ Good advice, but I am not sure I agree with 'maxing out your
              401k'. Yes, invest in your 401k. I don't think putting
              $15K/year into it is all that wise, though, unless you
              are making well over six figures. A 25 year old making $70K out
              of school should probably not be putting 20% of his gross into
              retirement with possible student loans and (as you say)
              saving for a house. I would put 'maxing your 401k' farther
              down the list of priorities. Put as much into your 401k as
              you need to in order to get all of your company's match, but
              I wouldn't start with more than that.
              \_ Owning a house is maybe a better retirement investment than
                 you may think.  Once you own your house your rent/mortgage
                 is gone and all you have is upkeep, tax, and utilities.
                 Once my house is paid off, my biggest single need for income
                 is gone and I can live with much less income.
                 \_ How do property taxes compare with rent?
                    \_ Depends, of course.  For me, property tax is
                       about 12% of the mortgage.
                       \_ Annually? Remaining mortgage or simply value of
                          your home? I pay $1k per month in rent; what value
                          house could I own that would cost me about the same
                          in property taxes?
                          \_ It's percentage of entire mortgage payment.
                             interest and principal.
                             Annually or monthly, what difference does it make?
                             I gave you a percentage.  You could own approx.
                             $1.2M of house and pay $1k/month here (not CA).
                          \_ In CA, property tax rises are capped (Prop 13),
                             so the amount you pay in property tax is
                             dependent on how long you've owned the house.
                             It's also dependent on where you live.  But
                             $1K/month is way, way more than most people
                             pay in property tax.  -tom
                             \_ Good to know. Thank you both.
                             \_ In CA, property tax is about 1% of the
                                purchase price (annually) and is capped
                                at 2% per year raises after that.
                 \_ Homes aren't really that great an investment, the last
                    decade or so notwithstanding. You would actually do
                    better to rent and put the savings in the stock market,
                    if all you want to do is make money. -ausman
                    \_ Only if you ignore the concept of leverage and the
                       tax advantages of real estate. Of course, leverage
                       is a two-edged sword and it can beat you up
                       something fierce in a down market.
                       \_ No, even including the tax advantages. Over the
                          long run, real estate goes up about 1% more than
                          inflation. Pretending that real estate is a risk
                          free investment is stupid. You can leverage your
                          investment in the stock market too, if you don't
                          care about risk. -ausman
                          \_ Tax advantages like $500K tax free, not
                             interest deductions. I never said real estate
                             is not risky as an investment. However, go
                             try to borrow $500K to invest in the stock
                             market with $0 down and see if a bank will
                             make that loan. However, in real estate it is
                             done all of the time.
                             \_ (Rueters)
                                "Countrywide Financial Corp., the largest U.S.
                                mortgage lender, on Friday told its brokers to
                                stop offering borrowers the option of
                                no-money-down home loans, according to a
                                document obtained by Reuters."
                                No one will be doing this for much longer.
           \_ Second that paying off high interest debt (i.e., credit cards &
              student loans that aren't deferable). If your loans are
              deferable, get ready for them by putting the money that would
              have paid towards paying them off in a CD so that you get the
              interest anyway. 401Ks are great, but consider a Roth IRA or
              other such that would allow you to contribute pre-tax and use
              for a house without penalties. Also, check and recheck your
              income tax wthholding; now that you're likely to owe taxes, it's
              a good idea to know what you're going to owe next April 15.
              Whether you feel like loaning the US Gov the amount in advance
              (i.e., max out your withholding) or owing on the date is up to
              you. Good luck. --erikred
              \_ I am kind of assuming that this person lives in the Bay Area,
                 where it can be ten years or more before they can afford
                 a home, so waiting to start saving until the first house
                 is bought would be a mistake. Also, I think you should grab
                 as much of the tax deduction from contribution to your
                 retirement as you can possibly afford. I am not actually
                 expecting this person to max out their 401k, but if they
                 did, that would really give them a leg up. A Roth IRA can
                 have slight tax advantages, but it depends on all sorts of
                 complexities like what your expected tax rate will be in
                 retirement and the difference from a 401k is really slight,
                 so I didn't want to get into that. -ausman
        \_ I also recommend max'ing out your 401K. Also, put 4/5K into a
           Roth IRA every year.  You may also wish to consider max'ing out
           any ESPP program you are eligible to participate in. Most ESPP
           programs give yout 15% below the lowest closing price of the
           opening/closing day price of the stock, so you make an easy 15%
           percent - tax by dumping the day of the purchase.
2007/3/14-17 [Finance/Banking, Reference/RealEstate] UID:45968 Activity:nil
3/14    NEW delisted so fast it doesn't show up on Yahoo! Finance anymore
        \_ Holy cow. I didn't know Google was doing a finance interface.  That
           is about the coolest thing I've ever seen.
           So what happened Feb 8? (Oh wait, they had to restate earnings)
2007/3/13-17 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:45957 Activity:nil
3/13    Looks like foreclosures are slowing. Is the housing slump coming to a
        soft landing?
        \_ don't worry, default notices will convert into foreclosures
        \_ if so, why is there so much distress in the subprime lenders
2007/3/12-14 [Health/Men, Reference/RealEstate, Health/Women] UID:45945 Activity:nil
3/12    Best wikipedia page ever:
        \_ Uh huh. -dans
2007/3/7 [Finance/Investment, Reference/RealEstate] UID:45903 Activity:nil 88%like:45906
3/7     The Myth of "Superstar Cities"
2007/2/27-3/3 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:45832 Activity:nil
2/27    Go Go Subprime Mortgage index!
        \_ What index is that / where did they get their data?
           \_ ABX-HE-BBB- 06-2
2007/2/21-22 [Recreation/Dating, Reference/RealEstate] UID:45786 Activity:kinda low 66%like:45783 Entry has been invalidated. Access denied.
2007/2/12-15 [Recreation/Dating, Reference/RealEstate] UID:45723 Activity:nil
        \_ What was so bad about my ' in SF' caption
           for this url?  sheesh.
        \_ ahh,, who ocassionally puts on parties at the porn
           palace. (And, I'm pretty sure, shoots scenes there, too.)
           I can see why mission hipsters are hating on them, though...
           \_ I don't think Mission hipsters care about this at all.
              Mexican immigrant families in the immediate area probably
              care.  They nearby neighborhood advocacy group opposed
              the last 4 or 5 development project ideas, so that's what
              they get!
2006/12/15-23 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:45454 Activity:kinda low
        Let history be a guide.
        \_ recent history has not seen the concentration of wealth we're seeing
           - maybe santa clara+l.a.+manhattan will stay rich, and avg locations
           eat it
           \_ Why the fascination with concentration of wealth?  It's captial
              that allows us to create companies, which create jobs.  It's not
              surprising that the more specialized we get, the more capital is
              used to create industry.
              \_ Through out Chinese hisotry, 9 out of 10 dynasties fell
                 not because of the ruler being brutal, but rather, over
                 concentration of wealth.  Over concentration of wealth will
                 eventually made into policies which denies opporunity for the
                 mass to get ahead, thus, re-enforce the wealth which they
                 have amassed.  The brightest would no longer have a chance
                 to go to school because it's too expensive.  The skilled
                 wouldn't have a chance to use it.  The offspring of the
                 super-wealthy would just sitting on their butt and complains
                 the mass is not working hard enough and don't deserve the
                 opportunity they demanded.
                 \_ You got the trees.  Here's the forest: "9 out of 10
                    dynasties" fell *because* they were dynastic and not
                    at all democratic and thus completely unresponsive to
                    the needs and wants of the people.
              \_ it's a balance.  no one likes communism, and no one likes
                 an aristocracy.  the problem is over the last five years
                 there has been a significant shift to the latter.  the impt
                 question is:  are we getting closer to or further away from
                 what's good for America?
                 \_ Both are government and economic entities.  As long as we
                    have a functional democracy, where's the problem?
                    \_ Big assumption.
                 \- without getting into a longer answer, there is also a
                    positive feedback loop. if i am so wealthy, all i need
                    the gov for is defense, then i'm willing to lobby for
                    lower taxes at the cost of say public education, social
                    safety insurance or medical social safety net [because
                    i can self-insure]. we havent totally gotten to the
                    point where people can opt for lower support for say
                    fire and police protection by self-insuring ... while
                    those haven't gone private, there are definitely class
                    shenanigans that area too [people of course talk about
                    gated communities with private security, but a more
                    sublte example might be something like piedmont "opting"
                    out of oakland ... i dont know the history of how
                    piedmont emerged, but my understading is piedmont has about
                    10 cops while the oakland police beat that surrounds it
                    is larger and has 2 cops. i bet if you were teleported
                    into a piedmont and the nearest oakland school, you could
                    guess with a high probability which one you had been sent
                    to in each teleportation trial. \P if there is no
                    cooperation/social contract via progressive taxation,
                    you are more likely to end up in a sub-pareto equillibrium
                    rather than adopting optimal outcome ... since optimal
                    outcome often has distributional consequences, so you can
                    only get their either via coercsion or enforced side
                    payments. in the context of a corporation, once the
                    trickle down to the rank and file goes below some
                    threshold, incentive based performance doesnt really
                    work any more ... if my marginal dollar of productivity
                    goes 99% to people 4 steps up from me in the org chart,
                    what's the point?
                    all liberals should be able to answer the question
                    "why should we have a progressive tax code".
                    i guess that was pretty long.
                    \_ yeah could you point to some wikipedia articles or
                       concise urls, i get asked this a lot by my
                       liberotarian friends and i really would like to
                       defend myself articulately.
                       \- dood, the internet is not the be all and end all
                          of learning. read "the procedural republic and he
                          unencumbered self". i dont know if it is avail
                          on the public WEEB. it is available via JSTOR.
                          this isnt the kind of thing to look for in a
                          wikipedia article.
                          if you are really interested, i probably have a
                          pdf i can dig up. the short version of the answer
                          is "when society makes investment, the rich
                          disproportionately reaps the rewards" sort of
                          like when up to $1m of mortage interest is
                          deductable that disporpropiratioantely benefits
                          people buying million dollar houses rather than
                          $200k houses. similar logic applies to NIH research
                          (an agency i dont remember hearing criticized as
                          as much as say the Dept of Educ). also many "xfers"
                          to the wealthy are not in the form of easy to see
                          cash xfers [welfare, food stamps] but more subtle
                          [nicer parks, faster police response time]. finally
                          there are some deeper criticisms of measuring
                          efficiency/risk/etc  in dollars terms, but hat is
                          beyond the scope of this motd post. if you are a
                          berkeley student, consider taking philosophy 115,
                          political philosophy. samuel scheffler would be a
                          good person to take this from. --psb
                          \- I'll add one thing: generally the way Lib'tarians
                             operationalize force/fraud is rather self-serving,
                             just like most countrys' notion of what
                             constitudes "free trade" or a resonable IP
                             regime is totally self serving. the world is a
                             complicated palce and all "one line" philosophies
                             are inadequate, whether it is Libertarianism
                             [force/fraud], Jebus and the Golden Rule,
                             Communism [each according to needs/means],
                             Original Intent/Plain meaning jurisprudence,
                             untilitariamsim etc.
                          \- BTW, I'd be interested if you could ask
                             your little liberatrian friends if they would
                             get rid of the SEC.
                    \_ Could you try to capitalize words on occasion or simply
                       point to the wiki article?
                       \_ Hey, don't restrict his form of expression with
                          your bourgeois grammer rules, you facist!
                                         \_ grammar
                                            \_ Same to you!
        \_ It turns out that an economists blog I read it talking about
        \_ It turns out that an economist's blog I read is talking about
           this very same subject right now -ausman
           "How Inequality of Wealth Destroys Liberty"
           \- JAMES AUSMAN ADVISORY: i assume you know this, but some
              of this may be the tail end of something that errupted a
              few mos ago:
              but of course for thoughtful people, this is a perennial issue.
              as your web site suggest, it was discussed a 100yrs ago.
              this is not a bad book:
2006/12/15-16 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:45453 Activity:nil
12/15   Own your own luxury condo on the sea for $25 mil! Lots of rich
        people out there I guess:
        \_ I'm sorry, $500000 a year HOA fee? Is that a typo?
        \_ Definitely not for country-living loving dim who loves to own
           SFHs with a huge ass backyard he rarely uses, situated out of
           nowhere, many miles away from the closest shopping mall,
           far from away from other people, isolated. Not for dim, your
           average American Joe, who love 0% down and interest only ARM.
           \_ Where do you get this stuff?
        \_ But I read on the motd that condos always lag SFH as investments...
           \_ They do. What do you think a SFH on the same site would cost?
2006/11/29-12/8 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:45393 Activity:nil
11/29   SF is the most bubble proof city. LA is #2. Swami sucks:
        \_ While the market may not crash, I don't believe it can continue
           its meteoric rise - I see it leveling out for a long time.
           The house price to median salary ratio is just ridiculous.
           \_ Hello bitter rental guy!
              \_ Hello bitter mortgage guy!
2006/11/28-12/8 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:45382 Activity:nil
        Home sales plummet in October.     -swami the magnificent #1 fan
2006/11/7-8 [Reference/RealEstate, Politics/Domestic] UID:45235 Activity:nil 76%like:45228
11/7 House GOP control now at ~ 10, Senate back to ~ 65.
        \_ What do these numbers mean?
           \_ basically 0 means people think it will not happen
              100 means people think it's guaranteed to happen
              \_ Does that mean that if I bet on GOP control of house, I get
                 back 10X what I bet if they win?
                 \_ if you buy at 12, and the GOP wins the House, then you get
                    88 x $0.10 = $8.80 profit for every contract (share) you
                    bought at 12.
                    let's say GOP loses the House (and you held onto your
                    contracts until the bitter end).  Then the contracts you
                    bought are worthless.  You're out what you paid for them,
                    12 * $0.10 = $1.20 per contract.
                    \_ Please excuse my denseness, but this site is blocked
                       at work, and I'm considering going home to bet.  I still
                       don't get it.  In your scenario, how much did each share
                       cost?  Did I pay 12 dollars and get back 12+ the 8.80,
                       or what?
                       \_ updated answer.  any more q's?
                          \_ I just don't understand what's going on.  Is each
                             share 0.1 dollars?  Then where does the 88 number
                             come from?  How does that relate to 12?
                             \_ Let's say the price is 12 right now.
                                This means 1 contract (share) costs $1.20.
                                You buy 1.
                                Let's say the GOP wins the House.
                                You can now automatically sell this for $10.
                                You make $8.80 profit for that 1 contract.
                                If you can find someone who's selling 100
                                If you find someone who's selling 100
                                contracts (shares) at 12, and your dream comes
                                true, then you make $880 profit.
                                Actually, I see someone offering 440 contracts
                                at 10.5, so you can get them even cheapter.
                                \_ Ok, I finally get it.  Thanks!
2006/11/6-7 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:45188 Activity:nil
11/6 (
        Bury a figurine of St. Joseph on your property, and the power of
        the Lord will help you sell your home
        \_ Sounds very feng shui
2006/11/1-2 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:45072 Activity:kinda low
        Evidence of a California Housing Bubble
        \_ Good analysis, but he's wasting his time. Of course there's
           a housing bubble. The question is what happens when it ends.
           His guess is it will be about 17 years to the next low. History
           says it will be about 7 years. Splitting the difference, let's
           say 12 years. Is that a big deal when most people stay in their
           homes for 7-10 years?
           \_ I don't think the question is what happens, but how it happens.
              A slow gradual decline to point X and date Y is no big deal
              while a quick snap to X on date Y is going to screw up all
              sorts of things.
              \_ It's always a slow, gradual decline with housing. His
                 charts show that and he explains why housing prices are
              \_ When prices drop people who can afford not to sell are much
                 less likely to sell thereby drying up the market, keeping
                 prices from falling too fast.
                 \_ Mostly I agree with this but there are enough locations
                    such as Las Vegas where prices dropped by very large
                    numbers almost over night to make it not entirely so.
                    \_ The thing about Las Vegas is that there is a ton of
                       almost undifferentiated housing.  The far suburbs of
                       the Bay Area are that way, too.  Undifferentiated
                       housing will always be more prone to lose value than
                       houses with more intrinsic value (good location,
                       charming/interesting appearance, good workmanship).
        \_ More like San Diego Housing Bubble
        \_ Isn't this like, a year old. Even the Great Swami was predicting
           a housing bubble by then.
2006/10/28-11/1 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:45023 Activity:nil
10/28   "If you control for inflation and quality...real home prices
        barely budged between the eighteen-nineties and the
        nineteen-nineties. The idea that housing prices have nowhere
        to go but up is, in other words, a statistical illusion."
        \_ How exactly do you control for 'quality'?  By that measure you
           could say medical care hasn't changed cost either because due to
           inflation and 'quality' prices are about the same.  Except they're
           not.  I need money to conduct and publish a bogus study.
           \_ At least one of the studies they cite (Shiller's) controlled
              for quality by tracking the prices of particular individual
              houses over a long period, rather than comparing this year's
              median (which includes spiffy new houses) with last year's.
              \_ Except the older houses probably had better quality.
2006/10/26-29 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:44993 Activity:nil
        New home price plunge worst since 70s
        \_ fyi, this is a Commerce Dept result, of only new homes; this is
           more forward-looking than existing homes, as article explains.
           the Natl Assoc of Realtors recorded a 2.2% drop in median price
           year-over-year of all types of homes sold - biggest drop ever.
           ob swami sux.
           if we took out incentives, it would a fuckin' rout.  of course,
           santa clara (and SF) remain strong.  ob swami sux.
           santa clara county (and SF) remain strong.  ob swami sux.
2006/10/24-26 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:44946 Activity:moderate
10/24   Dear $200K man. Don't buy a home unless you are seriously prepared
        for it. Sure there are countless good reasons for buying a home
        but you need to ask yourself whether the purchase will fit your
        lifestyle. It may be the right decision for many people out there
        but you need to evaluate YOUR own needs. Data point: We purchased a
        home last year when we were all hyped up by our friends, HGTV,
        Extreme Makeover shows, etc. Things were great for a few months.
        We were excited about our new home, new furnitures, and upgrades.
        When the honeymoon period was over reality started to hit.
        After paying property taxes, countless expensive trips to Home
        Depot, HOA, Adjusted Supplemental Tax, reassessment fees, and many
        unexpected and surprising $$$ maintenance work, we were basically
        burning through our life long savings within one year. This year,
        I'm totally stressed out because our entire savings account is
        approaching $0 and unless I get a 15% raise or get a nice bonus this
        year I may simply have to take out loans and find other means to
        extend my current lifestyle, which already means not going out to
        eat out, no vacations, no PS3, and no Christmas toys. Unless you buy
        a cheap home AND make over 1/3 of the total loan AND enjoy going
        to Home Depot every other weekend and pay unexpected costs associated
        with homes, I don't recommend buying one as an investment. Good luck
        and please tell us what you ended up doing!
        \_ I think you are right about this being a "lifestyle" choice.  I
           hate it with the typical rent vs. buy debate.  Most of the time
           people are comparing apple to orange.  It is like saying
           leasing a Kia is cheaper than buying a Lexsus because both are
           cars and get you from point A to B.  Renting an apartment is
           not the same as buying a house soley based on the fact that
           they provide shelter.  You buy a home because you want the
           benefits associated with it such as not sharing a wall with
           your loud and inconsiderate neighbor.  Housing is one of the
           \_ You can rent a home, you can buy a condo.
              \_ Yes, but most "debate" about rent vs. buy is about
                 renting something smaller and buying something bigger.
                 Either way, the OP didn't do his homework before jumping
                 into property owership.  Do you think his last landlord
                 only charged his PITI as rent and not included any
                 of the "unexpected" expense?
           few necassity in life where you could potentially "make"
           money from.  It is not totally an investment.
           money from.  It is not totally an investment nor is it
           just an expense.  So, if you don't want the hassle associated
           with ownership, by all means, go rent an apartment or a house.
           Just realize that, at the end of the month, all the same
           expense you have now, your landlord has it too.  You will
           ultimately pay the same thing thru rent.
        \_ op is exhibit one for "dumbass", but that doesn't mean that buying
           a home is necessarily a good investment.  You can easily spend more
           these days on the _non-principal_ parts of home ownership than you
           would (total) on rent.  Think about that.  The home is only remotely
           an investment when either:
           a) it's increasing in value
           b) you're putting money into the principal
           (a)'s not really true right now and if you're spending more money
           on not-(b) than you'd spend renting, you're better off renting and
           putting the difference into a good investment that _is_ increasing
           in value.  (Yes, yes, of course count interest and property tax as
           deductions before you come up with your final numbers.)
           \_ Pray tell, what are you doing to spend that much money on
              "non-principal parts of home ownership"?
              \_ I think he means maintenance and repairs. I probably
                 spend more each year on that sort of stuff than I would
                 to rent a cheap studio apartment somewhere. An apartment
                 would cover trash and water, too.
              \_ OP mentioned new furnitures.  -- !PP
              \_ Mortgage interest, points, PMI, Property Tax, Utilities that
                 might be otherwise included in rent, maintenance, repairs,
                 homeowners insurance... --pp
                 \_ If you didn't include intrest, points (one time fee that)
                    PMI (there's a reason you should always do 20% down)
                    property tax and insurance into account when you bought,
                    well, you were a moron.  And I'm amazed your mortgage
                    broker didn't point those all out to you before you bought.
                    \_ I never said these were surprise fees; I was just listing
                       possible sources of non-principal expenditures related
                       to owning a home.  Nice strawman, though.
                    \_ I never said these were surprise fees; I was just
                       listing possible sources of non-principal expenditures
                       related to owning a home.  Nice strawman, though.
                       \_ sorry, I thought you were the person complaining
                          about unexpected costs.
                 \_ Plus homeowners association fees.
                    \_ I just want to point out that if I have to pay some
                       motherfucker money for the privelage of having them
                       tell my to cut my lawn, paint my house in a certain way,
                       and generally buy into their little cult, I don't really
                       consider that ownership.  Paying taxes to the local
                       government which will put the fire out if your house
                       catches on fire is one thing, but once some fucking
                       corporation starts asking for money and enforcing rules,
                       you're taking one step backwards towards serfdom.  I'd
                       rather own a little bunker outright in a piece of remote
                       swampland than be a fucking serf in your suburb no matter
                       how much square footage I get.  Some day you bastards
                       realize you are on the path to slavery.  Until then
                       good luck.
                       swampland than be a fucking serf in your suburb no
                       matter how much square footage I get.  Some day you
                       bastards realize you are on the path to slavery.  Until
                       then good luck.
                       \_ You're confused.  My HOA fees are $80 month.  That
                          covers them hiring people to take care of my front
                          lawn and a bunch of other stuff.  You're thinking
                          condo associations.  If you *really* want a purple
                          and orange house with a glowing green door I didn't
                          want you as a neighbor anyway.  Short of that and
                          your pig farm, HOAs are reasonably harmless.
                          \_ Why would a purple and orange house bother
                             you to that extent? Shouldn't people be free
                             to paint heir houses other than the same
                             shade of beige as every other house in the
                             \_ Because it's tasteless and drives down prices.
                                They should be free to do whatever they want
                                as long as it doesn't screw other people.  It
                                isn't for everyone.  Don't do it if you don't
                                want it just don't whine when your neighbor
                                sets up a pig farm or has chickens and there's
                                nothing you can do about it.  Those roosters
                                get really loud at sun-up.
                                \_ Zoning laws address whether one can
                                   raise chickens or hogs. As for whether
                                   it's tasteless to paint your house some
                                   color other than beige, that's just
                                   your opinion. Lots of victorians look
                                        \_ It is the opinion of most home
                                           buyers which is what counts.
                                           \_ It is the opinion of HOA
                                              Nazis, not most home buyers.
                                   great in purple. It also doesn't drive
                                        \_ Seen a victorian in the bay area
                                           \_ Yes, in this small little
                                              town called San Francisco
                                              for one.
                                   down prices. Prices are determined
                                   mostly by the size of the house and the
                                   location (comparables). Color isn't an
                                   issue, because it's easily changed. Why
                                        \_ Sure it is.  If my neighbor is
                                           raising pigs and has 8 cars in
                                           front on blocks in their purple,
                                           orange and green house, then my
                                           home price will drop.  I can not
                                           easily change their color.
                                           \_ Again, zoning addresses the
                                              issue of raising animals
                                              and usually the number of
                                              cars one can have. The color
                                              of a house is not significant in
                                              any way, because a new buyer
                                              can change it. How much less
                                              do you think a purple house
                                              is going to fetch relative
                                              to the beige one next to it?
                                              $2K? Oh my God! Your house
                                              is now worth only $710K
                                              instead of $712K. That's really
                                              worth being a Nazi over. You
                                              people who love HOAs
                                              (instead of just tolerate
                                              them) make me sick. I hope
                                              a kid falls down on your HOA
                                              sidewalk and sues the HOA
                                              for millions and you get to
                                              cough up your share. Then
                                              you will appreciate HOAs more.
                                   must you be a Nazi about what color
                                   someone paints his/her house?
                                        \_ See above.
                       \_ Plenty of condos are like 2-6 units, and the "HOA"
                          is really just a few people who meet every now and
                          to figure out how to handle what issues have popped
                          up.  Not all condos are 200 unit monstorsities.
                          \_ I don't think he's upset about condo HOAs,
                             but did you realize that if the HOA gets sued
                             (e.g. someone hurts himself on a cracked
                             sidewalk) then all owners share in the pain?
                             \_funny you should mention that, as our HOA
                               got sued by one of the members, who was upset
                               that they couldn't get an expansion approved.
                       \_ Absolutely. Luckily, HOAs aren't all that common
                          is much of CA, since they tend to be associated
                          with new development.
                          \_  New development--in other words the problem is
                              getting worse.  My problem with this is not that
                              I'm afraid I will have trouble buying a home
                              with no HOA, it's the value system represented
                              by people who think that's ok.
                              \_ I still think you don't know what HOAs are
                                 about but whatever.
                                 \_ HOAs are about people foreclosing on
                                    your house because your grass is too
                                    \_ No, but ok.  Whatever.  Go find a cabin
                                       in the woods.  Just don't send people
                                       \_ Yes, they can. If the HOA fines
                                          you because your lawn is too
                                          long and you don't pay that fine
                                          (or you dispute it) then after 12
                                          months they can foreclose on you.
                                          A new law made it such that they
                                          can only foreclose if the amount
                                          owed is > $1800, but before that
                                          it could be any amount and $1800
                                          isn't all that much to lose
                                          one's house over. People have
                                          lost their houses over $120 fines,
                                          which spawned the legislation. I
                                          don't think most HOA members
                                          realize what deep sh*t they are in.
                                          \_ Uh, cut your lawn.  In my case,
                                             my $80 covers that so if my lawn
                                             isn't cut I am the one with the
                                             complaint, not them.  The sky is
                                             falling!!!!  People have been
                                             hit by meteors but no one with a
                                             tinfoil hat has ever been hit by
                                             one.  Fact.
                                             \_ Go fuck yourself.  I'll bet
                                                anything you also supported
                                                Bush's suspension of habeus
                                                corpus, as well as torture.
                                                Why? Because people like
                                                you hate freedom.  You want to
                                                live as a corporate serf with
                                                fucks like you for neigbors?
                                                Fine.  But if I catch you
                                                and your fascist budies
                                                trespassing on my swamp, I'll
                                                shoot you right
                                                between the eyes.
                                             \_ I see. So it's perfectly
                                                okay that if you are on
                                                vacation in Europe for
                                                a month and your lawn
                                                gets long that the HOA
                                                can foreclose on your
                                                house? You don't see a
                                                problem with that? Did you
                                                ever read your CC&Rs?
2006/10/23-25 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:44929 Activity:high
10/23   I have like ~$200k sitting around that I've been ignoring because I'm
        incredibly lazy and money management is boring. What should I do with
        it? I guess I should buy a house? Or dump it in an index fund? It's
        been sitting in... a checking account. Go me.
        \_ I'm lazy and risk-averse, so I keep most of my money in CDs
           (currently earning 5.94%).  Not optimal, but it's really easy
           and safe.  If I were less lazy, I'd use multiple banks or
           joint accounts to get FDIC insurance for the whole amount.
           \_ Where do you get that 5.94 at?
              \_ Cal State 9 Credit Union, with 5-year $5000 variable-rate CDs.
        \_ Wow, I don't think checking accounts are even FDIC insured
           above 100K.  Anyway, how long term?  Very long term an index
           fund is probably the best idea.  Short term, CDs or ING.
           \_ Yeah, long term I guess. The only reason I'd use this cash is
              for real estate or maybe starting my hot new business idea but
              I've no plans for those atm...
           \_ They're insured at $100K per account holder.  If you get a
              joint account, it's therefore insured at up to $200K.  The
              money also could be spread across multiple accounts.
        \_ As the above says, they're not insured above 100k (for all that's
           worth anyway).  Are you married?  Do you have a girlfriend?  If not,
           go into a bank office run by some hottie bank manager and explain
           your situation to her.  You are guaranteed to get very very personal
           attention and she'll help you manager your money better, too.
           \_ op didn't say "in one account"  I have a similar situation, I
              just divide it amongst more than one acct (at different banks).
              \_ um, yeah it's in one account right now... yeah... -op
                 OK i'll do this first. Too bad ING direct doesn't have
                 offices with hotties helping you. Or does it?
                 Actually screw ING, emigrantdirect has better rates.
                 \_ That's the problem with electronic transactions: you lose
                    out on the personal touch and you may want that in both
                    senses.  You'll get the same advice no matter where you go
                    so pick a place where you'll get hottie service.
                    5.26% from Principal Bank vs. 5.05% at ED
                    ED also has the hokiest website once you actually start
                    digging into it
                    \_ Well now I found 5.75% CDs at I can't find
                       5.94 like the guy above though. Maybe an "intro" rate
                 \_ The B of A branch at 909 E. Hillsdale Blvd, Foster City,
                    does have many hotties at the counter and the cust srv
                    desks in the morning shift.  The problem is that there are
                    also one or two fat ones, so there's a small chance you end
                    up with one of those.  I did when I went last time. :-(
        \_ Any money manager will tell you to diversify.  Take at least half of
           that and split it into socks, bonds, commoddieites, etc.  Go to any
           investment company and ask for help.  Or better yet, ask anyone you
           know who does manage his money better for a recommendation of
        \_ My investment plan is to buy a house.  No it isn't optimal, but it's
           a decent investment (if you don't have one already) and it is
           an investment you are going to make every damn month, no slipping
           up and forgetting to invest.
           Lots of mutual funds let you auto invest once a month.  Do a bit
           of reading, pick a few mutual funds, set them up to auto invest
           some amount that is reasonable and forget about them for a year.
           You won't do worse than bank account intrest, that's for sure.
           \_ well, buying a house now is like buying socks in early 2000.
              On margin!  Be careful what you invest in.
              \_ A house that you live in is a home, not an 'investment'.
                 Don't confuse the two. However, if you are renting right
                 now and can afford the mortgage on a house, then what
                 are you waiting for? You are throwing money away by
                 \_ A home that gains in value.  Maybe not at the insane
                    rates that it has the last few years, but still, it's
                    an investment.  Consider person A who lets his money
                    sit around getting 1% intrest in a checking account
                    and who pays rent vs person B who gets a home, pays
                    his mortgage, etc.  5 years later if B sells his place
                    (and the housing market hasn't tanked like some people
                    think it will) then person B will have significantly more
                    money than A.  If A invests intelligently that is much
                    less of a given, but the OP already admitted he isn't
                    a good investor.
                    \_ No, it's not an investment if it's your primary
                       residence. It's a cost. However, it's still a good idea
                       because you are fixing the cost of one of your
                       biggest expenses over the next 30 years.
                       \_ What makes it different?
                          \_ For one, when you sell it (or if you lose it)
                             then you are homeless.
                             \_ When I sell it I'm in the exact same place
                                that the renter is at.  It isn't a very
                                liquid investment, but I still think of
                                it as an investment.
                                \_ If you buy it at $700K and it falls to
                                   $400K then you are not where the renter
                                   is at and you can't sell it either.
                                   So why buy it? Because even at $400K it
                                   has value as a home. Most people buy
                                   another house when they sell one, so
                                   it's not really money they have invested.
                                   The government agrees, hence the cap
                                   gains exclusion for the first $500K.
                                   Two good questions gleaned from the WWW:
                                   1. What if it's a good investment but
                                      doesn't work out as a home? Would you
                                      stay there anyway, or sell for less
                                      than you'd get by waiting?
                                   2. Suppose it's a good home but turns into
                                      a lousy investment? Would you cut your
                                      losses and move? Or would you take the
                                      financial hit and stay?
                                   \_ 1. You can lose money on any investment.
                                      Houses do have a bit of risk because you
                                      are buying on margine, but it's very
                                      rare for a housing market to drop for a
                                      significant amount of time. (Yes, I know
                                      about Tokyo.)  I'm not saying there
                                      isn't a bubble right now, but I don't
                                      think prices are going to fall much
                                      further if at all in some areas.
                                      2. As to the questions you asked, you
                                      can always rent your place if you want
                                      to move (I know people who own, rent
                                      their house, and themselves live in a
                                      rented apartment, for just the reasons
                                      you gave.)  The second question you ask
                                      is valid, but I don't think that makes
                                      it not an investment.  It just makes it
                                      a bit more complicated of an investment.
                                      \_ Can you write it off as a loss if
                                         you lose money when you sell? What if
                                         you rent it for less than the
                                         mortgage? With investment property,
                                         you can write it off a loss. With
                                         your primary residence, you can't.
                                         You might treat it like an investment,
                                         but it's not. It's an asset, but
                                         so is a car or a dishwasher. Those
                                         aren't investments either. To
                                         treat your primary residence like
                                         an investment is folly.
                                         \_ You're splitting hairs.  The
                                            dictionary definition of
                                            "investement" is "that with which
                                            one is invested."  It's obvious
                                            that a home is an investment by
                                            that definition.  A home has
                                            different characteristics than
                                            other investments, but you're
                                            still invested in it and expecting
                                            a positive return on the money
                                            you put into it.  -tom
                                            \_ No, you should not be expecting
                                               a positive return. You should
                                               be expecting a place to live.
                                               You are invested in it only
                                               to the extent that you're
                                               invested in that new stereo
                                               that you bought. Historically,
                                               return on houses is about
                                               the rate of inflation (i.e. 0).
                                               Even if your house does go
                                               up in value, what good does
                                               it do when you can't sell w/o
                                               being homeless?
                                               \_ So you're claiming that a
                                                  renter is better off in the
                                                  long term financially than
                                                  a home owner?  They get a
                                                  place to live, don't pay for
                                                  repairs, can leave any time
                                                  with only moving costs, and
                                                  can choose to pay less/month
                                                  than a home owner.  Sounds
                                                  like home owning is moronic
                                                  and renting is a brilliant
                                                  path to financial success.
                                                  Except we know that isn't
                                                  \_ I am not claiming a
                                                     renter is better off
                                                     financially. I said
                                                     that fixing the cost
                                                     of housing is a smart
                                                     thing. However, that
                                                     doesn't make it an
                                                     \_ Making money by reducing
                                                        costs is somehow
                                                        different than making
                                                        money by increasing
                                                        income?  A penny saved
                                                        is a penny earned.
                                                        There are two sides to
                                                        the cash flow equation.
                                                        \_ Not reducing costs.
                                                           Fixing costs.
                                                           If you move
                                                           from a $1600
                                                           apartment to a
                                                           $1200 apartment
                                                           does that mean
                                                           you are investing
                                                           $400 month? Not
                                                           if you are keeping
                                                           that $400 under your
                                                           mattress you aren't.
                                               \_ If the total value of a
                                                  leveraged investment
                                                  increases at the rate of
                                                  inflation, your investment
                                                  increases at greater than
                                                  the rate of inflation.
                                                  Also, zero return is a lot
                                                  better than what you get
                                                  on rent money.  -tom
                                                  \_ For sake of argument,
                                                     assume you are not
                                                     leveraged. I, like
                                                     you and most other
                                                     people who bought a
                                                     house more than 3
                                                     years ago, have a lot
                                                     of equity on paper.
                                                     However, it does me
                                                     no good, because if I
                                                     use it (say for law
                                                     school or to start a
                                                     business or to buy a
                                                     Ferrari) then I am
                                                     homeless. I am not
                                                     saying not to buy a
                                                     home. I am saying
                                                     that a home is not an
                                                     investment - not even
                                                     an illiquid investment.
                                                     It's a cost. Fixing that
                                                     cost over 30 years is a
                                                     good thing, but it's
                                                     still a cost. An
                                                     investor expects to
                                                     make cash on cash,
                                                     not fork over $4K each
                                                     month for 30 years with
                                                     no return.
                                                     \_ Why would you assume
                                                        I am not leveraged,
                                                        when practically every
                                                        home is leveraged?
                                                        You can sell the home
                                                        at any time; you won't
                                                        be homeless, you'll
                                                        just be renting, which
                                                        is the alternative
                                                        to owning a home.
                                                        It may make sense to
                                                        rent in some
                                                        situations, but there
                                                        is no investment which
                                                        has returned anything
                                                        close to what my home
                                                        has in the past 7
                                                        years (something like
                                                        1000% return on
                                                        investment).  -tom
                                                        \_ Right, so when
                                                           are you selling
                                                           and quitting
                                                           your job to
                                                           live on your
                                                           \_ How is that
                                                              relevant?  I
                                                              certainly could
                                                              sell if I wanted
                                                              to get the cash
                                                              out and go back
                                                              to renting.  -tom
                                                              \_ That's not
                                                                 really an
                                                                 option for
                                                                 I wouldn't
                                                                 do it and
                                                                 would you.
                                                        If I had reason to do
                                                        so--if my home were
                                                        no longer a good
                                                        investment--I would
                                                        definitely sell it.
                                                        I am almost certain to
                                                        sell it at some point
                                                        in my life.  And again,
                                                        whether I would sell it
                                                        or not is not what
                                                        qualifies it as an
                                                        investment.  I
                                                        have stocks I wouldn't
                                                        sell unless there's
                                                        a fundamental change
                                                        in the marketplace;
                                                        same with my house.
                                                        \_ I assume your
                                                           stocks are producing
                                                           dividends. If
                                                           not, you'd be a
                                                           fool to hold
                                                           them forever.
                                                           As for your
                                                           home not being
                                                           a good investment,
                                                           I don't buy it.
                                                           It will probably
                                                           go down in value
                                                           next year. You
                                                           gonna sell? You
                                                           would if it was
                                                           a stock.
                                        You are now bordering on being not
                                        worth responding to.  Point 1: Only
                                        an idiot would sell a stock just
                                        because it went down.  I sell my stocks
                                        either because I need money (rarely),
                                        or because the fundamentals of the
                                        business have changed.  Do I think,
                                        long-term, that a home near Piedmont
                                        Avenue in Oakland is going to lose
                                        value?  No, so it would be foolish
                                        to sell, especially in a down market.
                                        Point 2: Stocks are not the only
                                        kind of investment, and not all
                                        investments behave like stocks.
                                        You will not see anywhere in any
                                        definition of the term "investment"
                                        that the object invested in must
                                        be bought and sold regularly.  In
                                        fact, that's closer to the antithesis
                                        of investing than it is to the
                                        definition.   -tom
                                        \_ Point 1: If I told you with 100%
                                           certainty that your house would
                                           drop 15% next year would you
                                           sell it? What if I told you with
                                           100% certainty that a particular
                                           stock would drop 15% next year?
                                           Point 2: I never said stocks were
                                           the only kind of investment. Red
                                           herring. Houses certainly can be.
                                           Just not your primary residence,
                                           unless you like being homeless.
                                           The vast majority of homeowners
                                           would not go back to renting, even
                                           when sitting on huge gains. Most
                                           investments return cash on cash.
                                           Your primary residence, with you
                                           living in it, say, 30 years isn't
                                           returning anything to you. I realize
                                           the average person sells after 7
                                           years, but they also turn around
                                           and buy another house with the
                                           proceeds. At what point does one
                                           profit from that? When you die and
                                           your heirs sell it off?
                                           \_ Warren Buffett buys companies
                                              all the time, with no intention
                                              of selling them.  Is he not
                                              an investor?  Your understanding
                                              of the word "investment" is
                                              completely wrong.  -tom
                                              \_ So Buffet isn't making
                                                 any profit from these
                                                 companies? He just buys
                                                 them with no intention of
                                                 selling and considers the
                                                 money he put into them
                                                 lost forever? My idea of
                                                 investing involves a
                                                 return, often called a
                                                 profit. Buying a house
                                                 and sitting on $700K in
                                                 paper money while paying
                                                 $4K/month until one dies is
                                                 not a great way to profit and
                                                 not a very good investment.
                                                 \_ Yes, Buffett buys companies
                                                    with no intention of doing
                                                    anything other than
                                                    holding them.  Just
                                                    because you haven't sold
                                                    something doesn't mean
                                                    you haven't gotten a
                                                    return on it.  -tom
                      I know two different people who sold -/
                      a place in the last couple of years
                      and went back to renting.  In both cases
                      they felt the market was due for a downturn and
                      they weren't happy with where they lived at the time.
                      The sold their places, are renting for a few years
                      and may buy again if they think the market has
                      corrected.  Taxwise they got hit a bit hard, but
                      it was a choice they both made.  Take it as you will.
                      \_ It's not very common. Did they have a lot of
                         gains? Are they happy renting? How long did they
                         own? Most homeowners value their houses as homes
                         first and foremost. Any possible gains are
                         secondary and almost incidental. You could have
                         made a lot of money buying in South Central
                         over the last 2 years. You gonna live there to
                         profit from it? I know a lot of real estate
                         investors and they have all said that one's
                         primary residence should be paid off so that that
                         cash flow (going into the mortgage) can be put to
                         good use and never to touch the main house after
                         that. Buy 10 houses in Watts if you want, but the
                         primary residence isn't even part of the
                         portfolio. It's an expense to be paid as quickly
                         as possible and a place to retreat to to lick
                         your wounds when/if things go bad.
                         \_ One person did very well (San Diego, crummy
                            nieghborhood, got in and out at the perfect time)
                            The other had a very low intrest loan (teacher)
                            and did fairly well.  I'm amused how you deny that
                            you can go back to renting if you want to cash
                            out of your house on the premise that most people
                            won't want to.  If you don't want to sell your
                            house it is because it is worth more to you than
                            the money could get out of it.  If your house is
                            worth more than what you could get out of it
                            (with a bit of fudge for pain in the ass factor,
                            but people have already admitted a house isn't
                            the most liquid investment) than isn't that good
                            way to invest your money?  A house isn't like
                            a car or a stero or most material goods that
                            make your life better because unlike most of
                            those a house goes up in value (maybe not much,
                            but up) rather than down like almost everything
                            else.  And if you are the kind of person who
                            doesn't like investing money and can't be bothered
                            to stop letting your money lose value by sitting
                            around in a checking account doing nothing a
                            house is a very good way to invest money AND
                            improve your life.  (Stupid buyers who buy more
                            than they can afford as a few threads above not
                                                  \_ Not to mention a lot
                                                     better than what you
                                                     get on money sitting in
                                                     your checking account.
                                                     And let's not forget all
                                                     the mortgage deduction
                                                     tax law issues as well.
                                                  \_ There's a pretty
                                                     simple calculation
                                                     you can do to tell if
                                                     renting or buying is
                                                     better in a given
                                                     market.  Of course,
                                                     it ignores
                                                     significant changes
                                                     in home value.
                                                     \_ I rent therefore
                                                        renters are smarter and
                                                        home owners are all
                                                        evil for pricing me out
                                                        of the market.
        \_ If you contact me, I will put you in touch with my broker. -ausman
2006/10/19-23 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:44870 Activity:nil
10/19 (
        Bay Area home prices fall on a year-over-year basis for the first time
        in four years (dot-com bust era).  Notice houses (not condos) in Santa
        Clara and SF make strong gains in exception to Bay Area trend.  Notice
        also that when considered separately, both houses and condos increased
        in price (fun with statistics).  For a real housing hard landing see
        San Diego County, year-over-year loss of 4.4% for Sep.  ob Swami sux.
        \_ Is 4.4% really that hard after all the up of recent years?
           \_ i guess if you bought at the high with a neg am.  also, SD has
              been pretty steady for two years (since 3Q04).
              CA mortgage default notices now 45% of 1996 Q1 peak
              \_ Were they still doing the super crazy loans at the peak?
                 I know 3-7 years ago they were doing all sorts of wild
                 stuff but I thought that slowed down a lot in the last 2-3
                 \_ Credit has been looser than ever over the last 2-3
                    years. You are out of it.
                    \_ ob yermom joke
2006/10/12-14 [Reference/RealEstate, Politics/Foreign/Europe, Politics/Foreign/Asia/Japan] UID:44788 Activity:kinda low
10/12   Why do numbers in some street addresses have so many digits?  There are
        only ten houses on the one-block dead-end street in Fremont that I live
        on, but the numbers start at 34000.  On the other hand, street numbers
        in the Bay Farm area in Alameda only have two or three digits.
        \_ IIRC, numbers don't repeat in a given "line", so if you find the
           next street before/after that cul-de-sac that's roughly in a line
           w/ it, the numbers will continue that way.  I have a similar deal.
           I'm on a relatively long st. w/ a 4 digit address, but the 10 house
           cul-de-sac around the corner is 5-digit, because it points the
           direction of the rest of the (fairly long) city.
        \_ some address numbering trivia.  There are a number of long streets
           running through Orange County which go through multiple cities,
           each with their own numbering scheme.  Usually, it's not a source
           of much confusion since most cities cooperate.  But there are/were
           small stretches (like < 6 blocks) in unincorporated areas of the
           county which are on the county numbering scheme -- usually 5 digits
           instead of the 4 digits that most cities use/used.  Yeah, that's
           fun trying to find an address -- 3340 3350 3360 27400 27420 3520 ...
           \_ In Florence (Italy), numbers run in disjoint blue (residential)
              and red (commercial) sequences.  So you can have 1 2 3 4 1 5
              6 2 7 3 4 8 and so on.  -tom
              \_ disjoint is not really the right word.
              \_ How do you tell which sequence it is from the address on an
                 envelop?  Are people required to write/print with red and blue
                 \_ Dunno, maybe they just do "R15" or something.  -tom
                    \- on an envelope or otherwise you write ###r if it is
                       "rosso". Stendahl's famous novel "The Red and the Black"
                       is about a fight between people with red and blue/black
                       addresses in Florence, which he wrote after having a
                       breakdown there trying to find the right address.
                       YMWTG(stendahl syndrome, florence).
           \_ All I gotta say is "Japanese Addressing Schemes" particularly
              say in Tokyo or Kyoto.  Street numbers are picked on totally
              an arbitrary basis many times -- family tradition, good luck,
              numerology, whatever.
2006/10/11-12 [Politics/Domestic/911, Reference/RealEstate] UID:44772 Activity:moderate
10/11   Holy shit, Bin-Ladin decided to strike a month later!
        \_ New York Yankee pitcher Cory Lidle was apparently piloting the
           airplane and died in the crash.  Wow.  Who knew that Al-Qaeda had
           infiltrated the Yankees and Major League Baseball!?!
           \_ See?  Yet another failure of the Bush administration to indentify
              the spread of terrorism into our turfs before they strike.  The
              CIA should have taken action when Lidle met with bin Laden at the
              Afghan cave last year.
        \_ Osama Bin Laden flys a small single engine plane into a luxury
           condo because... he thinks Bush resides there? October Surprise!
           \_ Isn't Bill Clinton's place up that way?  Maybe Osama was trying
              to get back at him.  -tom
              \_ Get back at him for what?
        \_ fyi, comparing overhead images with photos of the scene, I would say
           it was intentional (revenge, suicide, terrorism, whatever).  It's a
           straight shot into the center mass of the north face of one of the
           taller condo complexes, with other directions blocked by other tall
           bldgs, and the river nearby if they really wanted to ditch.
           I also understand it was very foggy, so it's possible pilot was a
           \_ i bet it's a domestic thing. i bet the guy was seeking revenge
              for a BITCH that used him to do her b-school cs9x projects and
              then tossed him away
        \_ Rent/own a piece of fine Manhattan real estate!
           \_ I need to boost my salary five-fold to be able to afford these.
           numbnut.  I also think "524 e 72nd st" is the wrong address.
              \_ Which?  If you could boost your salary five-fold and afford
                 the second, I'd still be impressed with your current salary.
        \_ Apparently the plane was flown by The Yankees pitcher Lidle:
           \_ Why do the Yankees hate America?
              \_ Hey, the man couldn't pitch them into the playoffs, so he
                 did the honorable thing. Odds are that was a Mets fan's
           Murphy's law.  You tell the NY Times a month before about only 1% of
           pilots ever experiencing an engine failure, and those that do safely
           landing the plane most of the time, and a parachute that can be
           deployed for the whole plane, and then you crash into a condo.
        \_ If ARod had been piloting, they would've missed the building.
2006/10/9-10 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:44741 Activity:moderate
        Swami the Magnificent warned you!
        \_ I like how the Bay Area barely grazes that list.
           \_ I'm sure people are very freaked out about a possible 3-10%
              housing 'crash'. By the way, I think that Moody's is being
              optimistic. Prices are going to come down a lot more when/if
              rates rise and credit tightens.
              \_ My house has already dropped about 10%.  Shrug.  Only buyers,
                 sellers, and creditors who stupidly gave out highly risky
                 credit need to care about this stuff.
                 \_ We bought in late 2002.  Since then our house peaked up
                    51% in late '05, now has lost ~3% since that peak, and is
                    now up ~ 47% from when we bought.
                    51% in late '05, and is now up ~ 47% from when we bought
                    (all according to
                    \_ I dropped 10% from peak but it doesn't matter either
2006/10/9-10 [Finance/Banking, Reference/RealEstate] UID:44739 Activity:nil
10/9    Swami says if you have ARM, you're FUCKED!
        \_ The Great Swami does not use coarse language -TGS
2006/10/6-9 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:44708 Activity:kinda low
10/6    Mmmmmm... housing idiot:
        Young 20-something buys 8 homes in 8 months seeking fabulous fortune.
        \_ What parade of idiots gave him credit for this real estate spree?
           \_ The article says he got a lot of stated income loans and
              lied on the applications.
               \_ And they didn't check??
                  \_ "Stated income" means "stated income". If they checked
                     then it wouldn't be "stated income".
        \_ Kind of a neat idea: When young, make some really big financial
           gambles by taking out huge loans.  If you win, great.  If you lose,
           declare bankruptcy and be free and clear in several years.
           \_ Free and clear?  I think it's worse than that.  This little shit
              has been promoting his sob story all over both the MSM and the
              housing bubble blogs now for quite a while.  I predict that
              his book deal will make way more money than he ends up losing.
           \_ Not with the new bankruptcy laws it isn't.
              \_ can't you circumvent the new laws by living with your parents
                 and studying for your next job for a couple years, maybe
                 go get an advanced degree?
              \_ With a less-than-median income and massive debt, you are
                 fine to BK even with the new law.
                 \_ There's still a lot more to it.  And he'd have to go
                    many months without a job.  Not to mention credit
                    counciling that might tell him he could get that 200k debt,
                    suck it up, get a web job and pay it off in 30 years.
                    \_ Credit counseling required under Chapter 7 is a joke.
                       In any case, he can easily declare for Chapter 13.
          \_ Bad credit or not, he might be prosecuted if he lied on the
             application forms.
2006/10/4-6 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:44670 Activity:nil
10/4    I got my mortgage for 6.25% and my payment is about $2500. My
        mortgage lender just called me saying they can get me 6.00%
        which will be about $2400, for "0 point 0 fee." Having an extra
        more or less $100/month payment isn't going to make or break me
        as I'm pretty comfortable either way, and I'm wondering if there's
        anything weird I should know besides the "0 point 0 fee" deal?
        \_ Good to double check, but there needn't be.  I refied from
           6.75 -> 5.75+6.375 -> 5.25 all no point/no fee.  $100/month of free
           money is $100 you don't have to scrimp on your phone/power bills.
        \_ I assume the motivation is to get the homeowner to stay with the
           original lender before they jump to another lender who may have a
           slightly lower 0 point/0 fee rate.  what do people think?
           \_ Yes. Make sure they aren't rolling costs into the new
              mortgage, though.
           \_ I did all of my 0/0 refis w/ different lenders.  Get yourself
              a good mortgage broker.
2006/10/3-5 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:44650 Activity:nil
10/3    Let's say I just bought a new home. I heard that you can minimize
        capital gains tax by keeping track of home improvements. Does that
        mean I can use all of my Lowes and Home Depot receipts this year
        and subtract them from my income?
        \_ No, but you can add them to the cost basis of your house, which
           could have an effect on the capital gains when you sell it.
           (Well, to be accurate, you can add items which are part of
           renovations to the cost basis, but not items which are part of
           maintenance.  So if you replace a broken toilet, you can't add
           that to your cost basis, but if you remodel your bathroom, you
           can add that).  There is a fairly large exemption on capital
           gains on the sale of a home, anyway, so unless the house has
           appreciated more than $250K ($500K if married) at the time you
           sell it, your Lowe's recepits won't come into play.  -tom
           sell it, your Lowe's receipts won't come into play.  -tom
        \_ As Tom says, you can't. Wouldn't that be nice, though? Save them
           to use when/if you sell the house, though. I never thought I'd
           need that stuff, since the capital gains exemption is so high,
           but then the real estate market went crazy and I'm glad I saved
           that stuff.
2006/9/26-27 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:44539 Activity:kinda low 66%like:44537
9/26    Housing prices falling? (
        \_ Business cycle.
        \_ "The conclusion that I'm drawing is that we're very close to the
           bottom of the housing market ... By the first quarter of next year,
           we'll start to see a rebound."
           -Economic Outlook Group executive director
           \_ Are you sure this isn't David Lereah?
2006/9/26 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:44537 Activity:nil 66%like:44539
9/26    Housing prices falling?
2006/9/25-27 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:44526 Activity:nil
9/25    "This is the price correction we've been expecting - with sales
        stabilizing, we should go back to positive price growth early next
        year" -NAR Chief Economist, (
2006/9/19-10/13 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:44456 Activity:nil
        Swami the fucking Housing Magnificent predicted this long time ago.
        Swami is great.
        \_ How many other times has Swami predicted this?
           \_ Swami only made one prediction, and so far it's been right
              \_ Swami predicted that housing prices would peak in Q3 2005,
                 which did not happen.  In fact, it's still not clear whether
                 housing prices have peaked, and Q3 2006 starts Friday.
                 Edit to add: He also predicted a nadir in November 2007,
                 which is even stupider than his first prediction.  Once
                 this market cools off, it is likely to go down or sideways
                 for several years at least.  -tom
                 \_ "Extended is deliberately left undefined because I have
                    no idea how long it will go down. Even the Magnificent
                    no idea how long it will go down. Even the fucking Magnificent
                    Swami has his limits. Certainly more than two quaters."
                    -The Magnificent Swami (in June 2005)
                 \_ San Diego County went negative year-over-year June '06,
                    with a negative trend starting Q4 '05.
                    Swami would have been done much better to issue a
                    prediction for the Bay Area or SoCal, instead of leaving
                    it open to intepretation, but then again the guy calls
                    prediction for the fucking Bay Area or SoCal, instead of leaving
                    it open to intepretation, but then again the fucking guy calls
                    himself "Swami" ...
           ( chart)
                    FYI, you can also see a plateau between Q3 '04 through now
                    for San Diego County.
                    \_ I also hear that prices went down in Baghdad.
                       If the best you can come up with is "well, in one
                       If the fucking best you can come up with is "well, in one
                       specific area, that Swami didn't mention, he was
                       only wrong by 9 months," you really shouldn't waste
                       your time.  -tom
                       \_ I'm not supporting Swami, but I guess that wasn't
                          clear.  I will, however, waste my time posting
                          real data in addition to our obvious criticisms of
                \_ Swami was talking about month to month appreciation.
                   And he was right -Swami
        \_ My Swami-style prediction is: oil will go > $100/barrel
           \_ Ah, but Swami the magnificent said WHEN.  What will Oil got
           \_ Ah, but Swami the fucking magnificent said WHEN.  What will Oil got
              to 100$/barrel?
              \_ Oh, sorry, forgot that part.  Like Swami, I will repeatedly
                 change my prediction as it is wrong, so let's say: next year.
2006/8/28-31 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:44177 Activity:low
8/28    When will the housing sector hit its bottom?  -patient investor
        \_ Fuck you, asshole.   If it weren't for parasitic fucks like you
           who buy houses they don't plan to live in as "investments", there
           would be no housing bubble, many many more people would be
           living in their own homes, and the coming crash would not happen.
           I have an idea, why don't you go find a sector of the economy to
           invest in that has growth based on real productivity instead of
           some ludicrous bubble and the victimization of ordinary working
           \_ So what you're really saying is no one should own more than 1
              house.  That there should be no rental market for houses.  Or
              that house rentals should only be through corporations.  Ok.
              Ordinary working people can rent an apartment for less than the
              monthly on a house.  If you think these people are making money
              off their recently purchased second homes as rentals you're
              terribly confused.  They're taking a huge risk that they'll be
              able to sell higher than they bought, they are subsidising some
              one's rent who is likely not even covering the monthly and they
              are supporting the housing industry so there is more supply which
              drives prices down, not up.  There are so many things wrong with
              your rant I'm going to have to stop there before the motd runs
              out of bits.
           \_ Same thing can be said about stocks / gold / frozen concentraded
              oragne juice / ...
              \_ Yeah, but housing affordability can translate directly into
                 commute time.
              \_ and oil.  google the word "contango"
        \_ If you honestly believe you can get an answer to a question like
           that you're not an investor.
        \_ Swami the Magnificent says Nov 17, 2007.
2006/8/25-28 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:44150 Activity:nil
        Yeah it's about time!!!  -bitter young grad, born and graduated
                in the "wrong" era and missed out on dot-com and
                housing boom.
        \_ I think a correction to cool things down is a healthy thing.
           --- '93 grad who didn't profit from the dot-com or housing boom,
           didn't have rich parents, and own one home and one rental
        \_ I think it's a good thing.  --- old grad who didn't profit from the
           dot-com era, didn't have rich parents, and own one home and one
        \_ Bad news is that rents are on the way up.
           \_ Awesome.  Now we renters can be smug on the motd.  RENTS WILL
              NEVER GO DOWN!!!!11!!! --smug renter
2006/8/23-25 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:44115 Activity:nil
8/23 (
        5-bdrm existing house in Virginia appraised for $1.1mill Sep 05, sold
        for $530K Aug 06.  Chart at bottom also shows year-over-year declines
        in median home prices for select areas.
        \_ Why bother?  Posting to the motd about the real estate bubble is
           like posting to a creationist message board about the latest
           in evolutionary biology--you can't argue with True Believers.
           \_ I'm posting important facts, which helps future discussion,
              since accompanied with the trolls, there is also an objective
           \_ I'm posting important facts which I think should reduce trolling
              (or at least reduce the boring trolls)
           \_ The same could be said for most of the motd's other regular
              topics.  BTW, nice attempt at trolling there with the bizarro
              comparison to creationists vs. evolutionists.  Maybe next time.
        \_ You're aware that Virginia had a Las Vegas style bubble that makes
           everything going on in CA look tame, right?  That's hardly the
           typical region.  Obviously the housing market has cooled off, which
           I think is a healthy thing, but this is not a useful example of
           what is going on.
           \_ dang, I knew I should have disclaimed "ob example is outlier"
              but all you need is one sodan to assume other sodans are stupid
              even though I thought it was obvious
              (even if I thought it was obvious)
              \_ When it's 50% of your post it isn't obvious you knew it.
                 \_ well, i concede my intent wasn't entirely troll-free ...
2006/8/17-24 [Reference/RealEstate, Politics/Domestic/California] UID:44044 Activity:low
8/17    For the sake of posterity, San Diego County had its first year-over-
        year decline in median home price in June 2006 (for the current cycle).
        L.A. and the Bay Area have not gone negative year-over-year, yet.
        Also, if you look at month-to-month, I believe San Diego County
        went negative Jan 2006, but not certain about that. (
        \_ Keep dreaming if you think the real estate markets in L.A. and
           the Bay Area are going to crash.  Maybe there will be a slight
           market correction and a 10 percent price dip, but if you ride
           out the dip over the next couple of years, your home price will
           be fine.  To all you renters out there, you are still screwed.
           \_ All renters are screwed, huh?  By "renter", you mean anyone
              who wants to live and work in california, but who does not
              already own a home.  In other words, any recent college,
              highschool or professional school graduate, any immigrant,
              or anyone from out of state--i.e. the workforce that would
              be required to grow or even continue the california economy
              at its current levels.  When one of you California homeowners
              retires, who's going to replace you?  When you want to grow
              your business, who are you going to hire?  You'll only be able
              to get so many suckers to spend 10 times their annual salary on a
              home, which means that when there are no more suckers, the
              california economy will shrink hard and fast.  It's already
              happening, as business leave your state in droves to Texas
              and other parts of the southwest to escape your la-la-land
              prices.  And as the economy continues to shrink, the number of
              people willing to pay your prices will continue to drop.  Do
              you really think that in the face of a rapidly shrinking economy,
              these prices will be sustainable?  Or perhaps you think there
              will always be another sucker willing to move to california to
              either be a serf to the landowning class forever or pay 10 times
              their yearly salary for a home?
              \_ Try to come up with a convincing argument.  Your entry just
                 says that you think houses prices will crash because: (1) CA
                 homewoners will retire someday, (2) people are going to get
                 tired of over-paying for homes, and (3) CA business are going
                 to move to Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico.  Now, it may be
                 true that CA residential real estate prices drop, but it won't
                 be because of CA homeowners retiring, people suddenly becoming
                 smart about home prices, or because of this supposed future
                 max exodus of CA business to dust bowl crappy states like
                 Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico.  The truth is that because
                 there are so many more professionals and people in general in
                 California, that has increased the demand for homes, as there
                 is a limited amount of space here.  And unfortunately, people
                 don't all of a sudden realize that they should correct market
                 prices.  People are stupid.  And trust me, no one in CA is
                 worried about the "threat" of its neighboring crappy states.
                 The SF Bay Area, which is the financial and technology center
                 of the West, and Los Angeles, which is the entertainment capital
                 of the world, aren't worried about New Mexico.  Believe me.  But
                 anyway, in the meantime, have fun in your 750 square foot studio.
                 \_ Your summary of those reasons is generally correct; the crash
                    or whatever you wish to call it will happen for basic economic
                    reasons.  When most homes are bought for speculation, an
                    increase of value of say, >10% is needed to cover the various
                    fees for the sale, any upgrades you added, and the cost of
                    of the house itself (assuming this is a 2nd home).
                    Without such growth, the speculators lose money.  When most
                    of the GDP growth, increase in jobs, etc. is from the real
                    estate boom, a pause in real estate is sufficient to gut the
                    economy.  Which, of course, will go back to house prices.
                    Oh, and DQ News reports 30-40% decline in sales volume for the
                    BA.  Pull up a chair, pop a beer, and wait for the fun.
                 of the West, and Los Angeles, which is the entertainment
                 capital of the world, aren't worried about New Mexico.
                 Believe me.  But anyway, in the meantime, have fun in
                 your 750 square foot studio.
                 \_ Your summary of those reasons is generally correct;
                    the crash or whatever you wish to call it will happen
                    for basic economic reasons.  When most homes are bought
                    for speculation, an increase of value of say, >10%
                    is needed to cover the various fees for the sale, any
                    upgrades you added, and the cost of of the house itself
                    (assuming this is a 2nd home).  Without such growth, the
                    speculators lose money.  When most of the GDP growth,
                    increase in jobs, etc. is from the real estate boom, a
                    pause in real estate is sufficient to gut the economy.
                    Which, of course, will go back to house prices.  Oh,
                    and DQ News reports 30-40% decline in sales volume
                    for the BA.  Pull up a chair, pop a beer, and wait for
                    the fun.
                    \_ As a home owner for several years I don't care *at all*
                       what happens to housing pricing.  The only time the
                       prices matter to me is when I'm trying to sell my
                       current home to buy a new one.  I tried to explain this
                       to a renter-wannabe-home-owner at work several times
                       but he keeps gloating as prices in the area slowly
                       decline.  I'd love to see housing prices crash to the
                       price of a cup of coffee so I could easily sell my home
                       in 5 minutes and buy anything I wanted much closer to
                       work where homes are nicer and going for over a million.
                       Housing prices going up and down is normal and healthy
                       and good for home owners overall.  As a home owner I am
                       not losing money when prices drop since I choose when
                       I sell and since I want a more expensive house than I
                       have now prices compressing downwards saves me money
                       when I move to a nicer place even though my house has
                       also dropped in price.  It will not have dropped as
                       much as the place I want.  --someone else
                       \_ Exactly. So your house is worth $700K and drops
                          20% to $550K. The house you want is worth $1M
                          and drops to $800K. The gap is now $50K less.
                          If you bought your place for, say, $350K then
                          this can be a boon depending on rates. If
                          housing prices drop then it's a buying opportunity,
                          if you can afford it. If they don't drop, then
                          you've lost nothing. That said, I certainly
                          wouldn't buy now if I didn't already own.
           \_ I am a homeowner in LA and also studying to be a real estate
              broker. I think a 10% decline is optimistic. We will see
              perhaps as much as a 30% decline. However, so what, unless
              you're sitting on a huge pile of cash?
              \_ If you think a million-dollar home will suddenly
                 depreciate in value to 700K in the span of 1 year or 2
                 years, and if you think starter homes in middle-class
                 neighborhoods currently at about 600K will suddenly drop
                 to about 400K, you are living in fantasyland.
                 \_ I don't know what the span of time will be, but I
                    think that this will happen as long as interest rates
                    continue to rise. It's happened before. However, like I
                    said, so what?\
                    \_ The last time it happened was the early '90s when the
                       drop in prices was due to a serious national economic
                       recession, high unemployment rates, and increased
                       taxes (thank you George Bush Sr.).  Somehow, we have
                             \_I'm glad you truthfully wrote that Mitchell
                               pushed for this as Senate Majority leader.
                                \_ "Read my lips.  No new taxes."
                                        -George H. Bush, Sr.
                       been able to avoid a recession, significant rises in
                       the unemployment rate, and any tax hikes.  If that
                       stuff DOES all happen in the near future, housing
                       prices will be the least of all our worries.
                       \_ I think that all of this is possible, but the
                          driver will be rising interest rates. As for how
                          important this is to "you", that is your own
                          list of priorities.
                                \_ Dude, anything is "possible."  But the
                                   reason for rising interest rates is to
                                   put a damper on inflation.  Rising
                                   interest rates do not lead by themselves
                                   to a recession, increased unemployment,
                                   or added taxes.
2006/8/16-18 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:44036 Activity:nil
        Housing sector is FUCKED.
        \_ We need to lower taxes further to stimulate the economy!    -GOP
        \_ Well, Swami is still on target, any yes Tom, prices are lower
           (here) than they were at the same time last year.
           \_ Target?  Did Swami predict anything more specific than "something
              bad in the housing market" happening "sometime in the future"?
              \_ Home prices will start to fall in Q4 of 2005 and reach
                 a nadir on Nov 17, 2007. -Swami the Magnificent (on 3/22/05)
                 \_ So does Swami want to predict how many more months he
                    will continue to be wrong?  -tom
                    \_ Swami may be right (or at least early by one quarter)
                       *if* you use San Diego County as the metric and you are
                       assuming month-to-month, as the original prediction
                       seems to be be worded.
                       on "prices start to fall" *if* you use San Diego County
                       as the metric; and if you are assuming month-to-month,
                       as the original prediction seems to be be worded.
                       \_ gee, I didn't realize it was still 2005.  -tom
           \_ uh, no they're not, unless "here" is Cleveland or somewhere
              like that.
              "Meanwhile, the median price paid for a home in the
              state last month hit $475,000, an increase of 5.3
              percent from the same period last year."
              "The median price paid in July for a Northern California
              home was $627,000, an increase of 3.5 percent from the
              previous year."
              \_ 'median' only works when you have a goodly amount of sales
                 happening.  Once people stop buying and inventory piles up
                 (like is happening) the median price will still rise if the
                 only real volume is in higher-end properties.  Oh.. wait...
                 has this thread happened already?  I'll get my coat...
                 \_ Do you have any evidence to back up your implication?
           For the six-county SoCal region, prices rose 4.9% comparing July '06
           to July '05.  However, the number of homes sold July '06 dropped 27%
           compared to July '05, and is also the fewest number of sales in a
           July since 1997.
2006/7/12-17 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:43644 Activity:nil
        The next real estate boom-- dense settlements, not sprawling ranch
        suburbian style houses, are the future.
        \_ only 150 people in the settlement?
2006/7/11 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:43626 Activity:nil
7/11    Holy shit, Paper Clip dude bought a house:
2006/7/6-7 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:43582 Activity:nil
7/6     Finally, apartments under 300 grand in SF!
        \_ How Manhattanesque.
        \_ keywords: loft condo 300k manhattan SF real estate crash
2006/6/16-19 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:43420 Activity:nil
6/15    any tips for finding housing in UCSD? (med school) thnks
        \_ housing near ucsd is expensive. grad housing is relatively
           cheap, but the wait lists can get absurd. get on the grad
           housing waitlist asap at you can also try
           the housing listings at, although
           that is mostly used by undergrads. beyond those two
           options, it's pretty much the usual... check craigslist,
           pick up copies of the free "apartment guide" at news
           stands, etc. email me if you have more specific questions.
           \_ I have lived in both UCSD owned "Single Graduate Apt" and
              "La Jolla Del Sol Apt".  "Single Grad" is on campus, you
              have your own room, but share the rest with 3 other grad
              students.  "La Jolla Del Sol" is off-campus, somewhat
              expansive, and feels like any other apartment.
              expensive, and feels like any other apartment.
              \_ Curious, not trying to nitpick: expansive or expensive?
                 \_ Fixed.  Expensive ($$$)
2006/6/14-19 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:43384 Activity:nil
        How to get richer and richer! By the finance guru Kiyosaki
2006/6/9-13 [Reference/RealEstate, Science/GlobalWarming] UID:43332 Activity:nil
6/9     I REALLY need to reduce neighbor sound in my place. How much does
        it cost to add sound insulation for a 300 sqft room? Thanks.
        \_ If you're in an apartment or townhome with shared surfaces (wall/
           floor/ceiling), the only things you can do to fix the problem are
           1) get your neighbor to be quiet, 2) get your neighbor to move out,
           3) move out yourself.  No amount of sound insulation will prevent
           sound from coming through support structures unless you make a
           floating structure inside your room, kind of like a room in a room.
           You can try to make truce with an agreement like "no noise between
           10pm and 7am" or something like that.  My previous neighbor was a
           drug addict or something.  There was no choice other than moving
           \_ I have no choice, I have a condo. Hip-hop penetrates
              through everything.                              -pp
              \_ Put your speakers right up to the wall and blast country.
                 \_ Err, why not just knock on their door and ask them to
                    turn down the base?
           \_ While this might be technically true, you can certainly do things
              to reduce the amount of sound coming through. Adding insulation,
              rugs, an extra layer of sheet rock all help. If you really
              want to reduce it you need to add a lot of extra mass to absorb
              the energy or isolate the studs, which are both expensive. -ausman
        \_ I recently checked out pricing on foamy stuff to reduce noise for
           my computer case.  It was shockingly expensive.  Try an audiophile
           shop online, maybe it's cheaper for bulk rate stuff for your walls.
2006/5/26-28 [Finance/Banking, Reference/RealEstate] UID:43195 Activity:nil
        More signs of a housing bubble. If you still have variable rate
        mortgage, you're fucked.
        \_ I thought more people bought houses, and GDP increased 5.3% during
           the first quarter
        \_ I've heard this statistic before (foreclosures up 72% over same
           time last year) but I also know that foreclosures have been
           very low for the last 5 years.  So is the current rate higher
           than average?
        \_ Having an ARM and being fucked has *nothing* to do with any
           housing bubble, real or not.  It has to do with rising interest
           rates which have been pushed up each time the Fed has met over
           the last 2-3 years.  If housing prices dropped 90%, an ARM buyer
           would be in the same position as 30 year standard loan buyers so
           long as rates didn't rise.  This is pretty basic stuff.
           \_ Not quite.  The ARM buyer will want to get into a fixed loan and
              can't, because he'll get really shitty rates b/c he has no equity
              \_ Why would the ARM buyer want to get into a fixed loan if the
                 rates weren't going up?
                 \_ The hypothetical given didn't exclude rates going up.
                    \_ Did it include rates going up?  Since it was my
                       hypothetical I'm pretty sure I know what I meant since
                       I said "so long as rates didn't rise".
2006/5/16-18 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:43072 Activity:nil
        SoCal home prices "only" increase by 9% from April '05 to April '06.
        Sales down 21% during that period.
2006/5/15-18 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:43058 Activity:nil
        Real estate cools down, prices in the first quarter fell 3%
        though are still up more than 10% from a year ago. Gosh, I can
        hardly wait.            -bitter young guy who missed the dot-com boat
                                 and didn't get a chance to buy 3 investment
                                 homes like everyone else
2006/5/12-17 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:43038 Activity:nil
5/12    A tiny little city I live in is going through a major redevelopment
        process. In 2008, they're going to tear down a huge plaza that was
        built in the 70s, along with with all the mom&pop stores and
        replace them with a super mega parking structure, hi-end shops
        by the marina, an art gallery, etc. At the same time they're going
        to tear down a mostly empty parking lot to build a 300+ apartment
        building with lots of mixed use retail/office space on the first
        floor. My property is 0.5 mile from the land. Is the construction
        going to devaluate my property?
        \_ Not unless the new construction is blocking your view or something.
           Sounds like the changes will put you in a more desirable area in
           general.  (Assuming you actually live in a currently desirable/
           in-demand area.  If there's no demand, and this construction doesn't
           create it, and it raises your property taxes, then yes, your property
           value could go down)
        \_ No, expect your value to go anywhere from up to way way up.  Even
           if you lost a view, the rest should more than make up for it.
           The only downside is if the new mega mall fails and ends up
           dormant.  Just curious, what city is this?
           \_ Marina del Rey. The mom&pop stores are in Fisherman's Village.
              The massive apartments&condos&mixed use buildings are along
              Via Marina. The construction could take several years so
              I'm a bit concerned with noise, traffic, and pollution.
              \_ Marina del Rey?! That's not exactly what I think of as
                 a "tiny little city". I am not sure the megamall is going
                 to make a blip compared to what's already around there
                 (a tiny little city called "Los Angeles"). The real
                 question is whether the new development will be perceived
                 as an improvement, which it probably will. I doubt it
                 will impact property values much, though, as MdR is
                 already sky-high.
                 \_ According to it is 0.9 sq mile.
                    \_ Thank you master of the obvious. The point being
                       that a suburb of LA cannot in all honesty be
                       evaluated as a "tiny little city" even if it really
                       is a "tiny little city". In this case the size of
                       the city isn't a factor like it would be if, say,
                       that megamall is the only one around for miles. MdR
                       is going to be desirable no matter what based on
                       location, not because of (or in spite of) some
                       development unless the development, say, blocks all
                       access to the marina or something. My opinion is
                       that high-end retail will do very well in MdR and
                       will probably be a boon. An exception is if these
                       condos/apartments aren't "luxury" apartments.
                       \_ You forgot to mention tsunami and huricane which
                          will render coastal cities completely worthless
                       \_ Very good Mr. Expert. Who are you and what is your
                          credential wrt Los Angeles?
        \_ You're looking at an investment. If you try to sell while construction
           is just beginning or looks unlikely to complete, then yes, you may lose
           value. Stick it out, though, and your property should improve in value
           nicely. Sorry to hear about the mom&pop shops, but the mixed-use sounds
           like good urban planning.
2006/5/4-9 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:42940 Activity:nil
        Swami the Magnificant predicted correctly. Spring 2006 begins
        the fall of housing.                    -Swami Stud's #1 Fan
        \_ ObAccusationOfBitterness
        \_ Can the Swami guy like, produce an Excel chart for me showing the
           mean price of a 3-bdrm standalone house in San Jose with $ on the
           y-axis and time on the x-axis through the next ~ 5 years (use error
           bars because nothing's definite).  Tnx, then I'll know exactly
           when to buy!
        \_ uh, Swami predicted Q4 2005, and prices are still going up in
           Q2 2006.  -tom
           \_ Not according to They say that prices in SF and
              Alameda County peaked in Nov 2005.
             \_ that's not seasonally adjusted, and Zillow is not any kind of
                authority, anyway.
                Update: Bay Area home prices rose by 10% in March.
       (  -tom
                \_ I'm not sure if the guy meant "They" meant, but:
                   "... firm DataQuick. The peak price of $656,000 [considering
                   single-family homes only] came in November"
                   Here in SoCal we had a bounce from a depression around
                   Feb 06 to a new peak Apr 06, so it could happen for Bay
                   Area ...
                   Here in SoCal we had a bounce from a low spot around
                   Feb 06 to a new peak Apr 06, so it could happen for Bay Area
                   \_ month-to-month prices are not meaningful; you need to
                      compare with previous-year numbers for each month.  -tom
                      \_ What is the inflection point for the following series
                         of prices? To me it is Nov 2005. For you it is
                         Apr 2006, I guess. -ausman
                        Apr 2005 $100
                        May 2005 $100
                        June 2005 $100
                        July 2005 $101
                        Aug 2005 $102
                        Sep 2005 $103
                        Oct 2005 $104
                        Nov 2005 $105
                        Dec 2005 $104
                        Jan 2006 $103
                        Feb 2006 $102
                        Mar 2006 $101
                        Apr 2006 $100
                        May 2006 $99
                        \_ You can't look at prices in isolation.  Houses
                           are known to have seasonal variation in price;
                           houses purchased in January are, all else being
                           equal, less expensive than houses purchased in
                           May.  -tom
2006/5/4-7 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:42939 Activity:nil
        "As painful as it will be for many people, the looming correction
        may turn out to be welcome news for house-hungry Americans. Young
        couples now priced out of the market will once again be able to
        buy a ranch or colonial without forking over half their income
        for mortgage payments. Growing families will be able to trade up
        for more living space without raiding the kids' college funds."
        Thank God for the housing crash. Fuck you all existing homeowners.
                -bitter young guy who is disillusioned that wealth is
                 created by those who happened to be at the right place at
                 the right time. In another word luck plays a bigger role
                 than anything else
                 \- without arguing what has the "biggest" role,
                    in addition to luck, wealthy people have
                    more control over their fates and circumstances
                    which means 1. the can lobby to change some of
                    the rules of the game 2. the can adapt better
                    to the exiting rules of the game. take an
                    investment banker who can structure his income
                    to reduce taxes, incorporate himself etc.
                 \_ Isn't most wealth inherited?
2006/4/27-29 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:42848 Activity:nil
4/27    Spanish Socialist party wants to give human rights to apes
        It's a mad-house! A MAD-HOUSE!!!
        \_ more votes for ... well someone.
           \_ Smearing poo on the ballot is a obvious vote for the
              Socialist party!  Voter intent!
2006/4/25-29 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:42828 Activity:nil 80%like:42825
4/24    Ranting better than buying, part #1023:
        \_ does renting make you bitter like this guy?
        \_ What I love about this guy (and this new stuff hasn't changed it)
           is that AFAICT he assumes that:
           a) home prices will not go up (net) in the next 30 years
           b) rental costs will not go up in the next 30 years
           Both assumptions favor renting over buying.. and are completely
           ridiculous.  Renting certainly has been a win over buying for the
           last year or two... but you don't need these faulty assumptions to
           make it so.
           \_ Tend to agree with you there. --op
           \_ I can't see where he assumes a and b for the next 30 years.
              I haven't read the whole thing (it's pretty long) but he
              never seems to suggest that.  He does suggest it's bad to
              buy right now, but you aren't argueing with that... (He does
              seem to be playing the conspiracy card pretty hard though.)
        \_ Granted this guy's rant makes lots of observations about current
           market conditions, and assumes they will persist for a long time.
           They wont, but the bubble conditions certainly do make a good
           short-term argument for renting.
           An interesting thing about this is that the crash is one of those
           things that won't happen unless lots of people buy the line and
           participate, like a run on a bank.  I can't help but wonder if this
           guy is a bitter landlord.
           \_ I think he's a bitter renter who could have bought a house
              back in 1999, but thought houses were too expensive then.
              He's probably been playing this "Houses are Overvalued" song
              for five years now, and is increasingly angry at the
              opportunity he's missed.  -tom
              \_ followup: a great find!
                 ba.housing posting from Patrick Killelea, September 1998,
                 "couple looking for a house to rent at or under $1900/month."
              \_ Tom, I'm a renter who couldn't afford to buy in '99, and
                 who is only marginally in a position to buy right now, but I
                 agree with him that it is not now a good time to buy a
                 house. --erikred
                 \_ If he were merely saying "now is not a good time to buy
                    a house," I might agree.  But he's making all sorts of
                    fatalistic predictions based on little more than his
                    own conjecture, and mis-reading of statistics and news
                    articles.  -tom
                    \_ Clarification: I agree with him that now is not the
                       time to buy. The rest is suspect. --erikred
                 \_ The funny thing is most could afford to buy in '99.
                    After all, the market has shot up while the interest
                    rates dropped. So probably, in hindsight, most renters
                    with a job could have bought (with interest-only and/or
                    nothing down loans if need be).
                    \_ which is a large part of why there is a dearth of
                       renters right now, and why rents are so low.
        \_ So I'm not sure _exactly_ how long he's been saying this, but let's
           see: I bought in 2002.  After a few refis, my mtg payment is now
           < rent for a comparable house.  When you subtract
           mtg int deduction but add taxes but subtract tax deduction but add
           upkeep, yadda yadda it's a bit more, but not much.  But add to that
           that I have a whopping loan at 5.25%, and at the rate things are
           going I'll be beating that with casual investments in a year or two,
           and things look pretty good.
2006/4/25 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:42825 Activity:moderate 80%like:42828
4/24    Renting better than buying, part #1023:
        \_ does renting make you bitter like this guy?
        \_ What I love about this guy (and this new stuff hasn't changed it)
           is that AFAICT he assumes that:
           a) home prices will not go up (net) in the next 30 years
           b) rental costs will not go up in the next 30 years
           Both assumptions favor renting over buying.. and are completely
           ridiculous.  Renting certainly has been a win over buying for the
           last year or two... but you don't need these faulty assumptions to
           make it so.
           \_ Tend to agree with you there. --op
           \_ I can't see where he assumes a and b for the next 30 years.
              I haven't read the whole thing (it's pretty long) but he
              never seems to suggest that.  He does suggest it's bad to
              buy right now, but you aren't argueing with that... (He does
              seem to be playing the conspiracy card pretty hard though.)
        \_ Granted this guy's rant makes lots of observations about current
           market conditions, and assumes they will persist for a long time.
           They wont, but the bubble conditions certainly do make a good
           short-term argument for renting.
           An interesting thing about this is that the crash is one of those
           things that won't happen unless lots of people buy the line and
           participate, like a run on a bank.  I can't help but wonder if this
           guy is a bitter landlord.
           \_ I can't see where he assumes these market conditions will
              continue.  I haven't read the whole thing (it's pretty long)
              but he never seems to suggest that.  He does suggest it's
              bad to buy right now, but you aren't argueing with that...
              (He does seem to be playing the conspiracy card pretty hard
           \_ I think he's a bitter renter who could have bought a house
              back in 1999, but thought houses were too expensive then.
              He's probably been playing this "Houses are Overvalued" song
              for five years now, and is increasingly angry at the
              opportunity he's missed.  -tom
              \_ followup: a great find!
                 ba.housing posting from Patrick Killelea, September 1998,
                 "couple looking for a house to rent at or under $1900/month."
              \_ Tom, I'm a renter who couldn't afford to buy in '99, and
                 who is only marginally in a position to buy right now, but I
                 agree with him that it is not now a good time to buy a
                 house. --erikred
                 \_ If he were merely saying "now is not a good time to buy
                    a house," I might agree.  But he's making all sorts of
                    fatalistic predictions based on little more than his
                    own conjecture, and mis-reading of statistics and news
                    articles.  -tom
                 \_ The funny thing is most could afford to buy in '99.
                    After all, the market has shot up while the interest
                    rates dropped. So probably, in hindsight, most renters
                    with a job could have bought (with interest-only and/or
                    nothing down loans if need be).
        \_ So I'm not sure _exactly_ how long he's been saying this, but let's
           see: I bought in 2002.  After a few refis, my mtg payment is now
           < what I could rent for for a comparable house.  When you subtract
           < rent for a comparable house.  When you subtract
           mtg int deduction but add taxes but subtract tax deduction but add
           upkeep, yadda yadda it's a bit more, but not much.  But add to that
           that I have a whopping loan at 5.25%, and at the rate things are
           going I'll be beating that with casual investments in a year or two,
           and things look pretty good.
2006/4/21-23 [Recreation/Food, Reference/RealEstate] UID:42796 Activity:nil
4/21    the Vice guide to Russia - danh
        \_ heh, it makes me want to go back to rediscover my russian roots.
           - Zhirinovsky's #1 fan.
2006/4/18-20 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:42782 Activity:nil
        Buy your 830 sq ft dream house in Redwood City for only $729K!
        Silicon Valley rules.
2006/4/6-7 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:42701 Activity:nil
4/6     I *THINK* I know how to calculate "time value of money." and I
        know how to convert APR to "real interest."  But I don't know
        how to calculate mortgage payment. The part that I don't understand
        is for monthly payment, there is a certain percentage of it goes
        toward principle.  But the percentage (of total monthly payment)
        is different from payment to payment.  Where can I find the
        math/formula on how to calculate this percentage?  Thanks.
        \_ Look for "amortization".
        \_ Look up "amortization".
2006/4/5-7 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:42679 Activity:nil
4/5     Has anyone lived through Japan's winter? Is insulation there
        as bad as what people say it is (walls have the R value
        equivanlent of wet papers)?
        \_ Outside of Hokkaido, the insulation is terrible. I often used
           to wake up in the morning to an apartment so cold I could see my
           breath-- and I lived in the south, where it was supposed to be
        \_ Yes.  My girlfriend spent 3 months there (Feb-Apr) and was
           freezing most of the time.  I was there in Mar/Apr (Tokyo and
           surroundings & Kyoto) and it was still pretty chilly, although
           not terribly so.  -John
        \_ No. No one has lived through Japan's winter.
           \_ Those wily japanese folks must breed like rabbits...
2006/4/3-4 [Recreation/Dating, Reference/RealEstate] UID:42625 Activity:kinda low
4/3     Where is the "no links without personal comment intended to start
        conversation" brigade?  Look at all those links without trollish
        comments attached!  When will the madness end?
        \_ In my case, hanging with my GF, cooking and eating tasty food, and
           generally enjoying life. -dans
           \_ It's great to date a 19 year old isn't it? She's hornier
           \_ It's great to date a 17 year old isn't it? She's hornier
              than the old hags and you don't have to think about marriage,
              kids, minivan, and a downpay for a Bay Area home that you
              can't even afford. Ah, it is so wonderful to date a young
              girl. I remember how life was so carefree when I was dating
              this young girl. Enjoy your life while you can. Write about
              it in your journal. Some day, you may need to read it
              again to remind yourself how life used to be so great.
              Hopefully, that day will never come, but you never know  -bog
              \_ How old is old?  I have many friends in their mid-30s and a
                 a handful in their mid-40s who seem to enjoy their lives very
                 much.  Some have houses, marriages, etc, and still live happy
                 lives. -dans
                 \_ Some have houses, marriages, etc, and are happy *because*
                    of that, not despite that.
                    \_ Yup, I would consider those things to be sources of
                       happiness, the poster I responded to implied that those
                       things caused him stress or disappointment. -dans
                       \_ You don't think making mortgage payments on my
                          4000 sq foot house in the suburbs causes me stress?
                          How about my four hour commute each day? How about
                          the fact that after I am done slaving away for my
                          family, I come home at 9PM to a cold dinner and
                          children in bed? Enjoy it while you can padawan...
                          \_ Why did you buy a house of that size if the
                             mortgage payments cause you such stress?  Why are
                             you working a job that requires a four hour
                             commute (to pay your mortgage?)?  Where you are
                             in life is a combination of the choices you make
                             and dumb luck.  If unlucky breaks or previous bad
                             choices led you to a place in life where you're
                             unhappy, there may be alternatives to hating life
                             and trying to drag the rest of the world down
                             into your hole.  I'm not suggesting you try to
                             smile through the pain and pretend that lame
                             things are anything but.  That said, a serious
                             examination of where you are, the choices that
                             got you there, and where you want to be, often
                             yields options you might not have known about.
                             These options are rarely easy, true change
                             usually isn't, but they offer hope.  You sound
                             pretty bitter.  I hope you find this helpful.
           \_ Sex and food. Just like monkeys.
2006/3/24-25 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:42412 Activity:nil
3/24    Housing bubble bursting!  Go Swami!
        New home sales fell by 10.5% in US.  In the West, it fell
        by 29.4%.  Median price fell by 2.9% from Feb, following
        a 1.6% drop from Jan to Feb.
        \_ Hi Bitter Renter-Guy.  I'm curious, what size/location/age house
           would you like and how much would you think is a fair price for
           your first home?
2006/3/22-23 [Reference/History/WW2/Japan, Reference/RealEstate] UID:42371 Activity:moderate
        "The winter I spent in Seoul was the most comfortable winter of my
        life," reports an English friend. "With life in Korea, as in Japan,
        lived mainly on the floor, the ondol was very cozy, even when it
        was minus 20 degrees outside."
        jrleek, is this true?
        \_ The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.
        \_ Why wouldn't it be?  Even in the US, radiant floor heating is
           generally considered the most comfortable.
        \_ Traditional ondol has one spot that's *really* hot(too
           uncomfortable for my taste) and it gradually cools as further
           from the heat source it gets.  Traditionally, the elders got the
           hotspot.  The bad thing is that most homes with ondol are heated
           by a charcoal like thing, and if there's any crack in the pipe that
           runs under the floor, people can die from carbon monoxide poisoning.
           Carbon monoxide poisoning was actually quite common in the 70s and
           \_ You can buy carbon monoxide detectors for about $20.  In
              fact, everyone with a gas heater should consider buying some.
           \_ When were you last in Korea that most homes with ondol were
              heated by charcoal?  That's extremely rare these days, even
              in the countryside. -jrleek
        \_ Sure, heated floors are pretty great.  I think Koreans tend to
           turn it up too high, but that's personal taste.  It's
           pretty efficent too. In modern times it's usually done by
           piping hot water through the floor from the hot water heater.
           This is done in states too, but isn't as common.  It has the
           This is done in the US too, but isn't as common.  It has the
           disadvantage of being really expensive to fix, and only
           lasting about 30 years.  This is ok in Korea as they tear
           everything down within 30 years anyhow. -jrleek
           \_ On a moderately-related note, this is also done for driveways
              and walkways in cold places. Several Tahoe-area ski resorts
              have heated pavement in one place or another. I always wonder
              what the energy and maintenence costs for something like this
              \_ I suspect the answer is "cheaper than getting them cleared
                 with a snowplow, snowblower, or shovel frequently enough to
                 keep them useable."
        \_ here is a crazy idea:
           - implement "wet installation" for the pipes, burry them in a
             relatively large concrete slap.
           - route those pipe to Solar panels, using Sun to heat the water
           - use concrete floor's heat capacity to store the heat
           this way, one can have a relatively warm house in the evenings
           without flip the heater on, no?
        \_ i'll ondol YOUR floor
           \_ eww.  Well at least let me put down some newspaper first.
2006/3/21-25 [Science/Disaster, Reference/RealEstate] UID:42370 Activity:low
3/21    Yet Another Useless Motd Poll: .
        I own property in California and I:
        Have earthquake insurance: ..
                                    \_ My parents own, but I pay the
                                       earthquake insurance in lieu
                                       of rent.
        Dont have quake insurance: ...
        \_ Insurance is always a ripoff if you can survive without it.  And
           as most of the value is in the land anyway around here...
           \_ If you own a $600,000 home (low for the bay area) and get hit
              with $200k in damages, how are you going to survive it?  What
              if it was a total loss and your house is condemned and red
              \_ Earthquake insurance deductible is huge (15% of house value
                 when I last asked).  So for your hypothetical $600k house,
                 the deductible would be $90K.  So it's also a question of
                 your chances of the getting hit with >$90K or <$90K damage.
                 In the worst case, of course insurance makes sense.  But you
                 really have to look at the potential range of damage to make
                 a logical decision.
                 \_ This begs the question: Is the deductible based on property
                    value or structure value?  And if the former, is it
                    possible to get a policy/deductible for just the structure?
                    \_ Structure.  pp's didn't account for that.
                 \_ Who said the deductible is 15%?  Mine is $30k on ~$850k
                    house insured for $600k.
                    \_ let me get this right. You own a home in the Bay Area
                       that is almost 1 million dollars? Most likely it's
                       not near the mansion type you see in Texas. Why do
                       you guys even want to live in the Bay Area to buy
                       tiny little old beat up home for near 1 mil when
                       you can live in the life of luxury elsewhere? What
                       is so attractive about the Bay Area? -tired of Berkeley
                       \_ What's attractive is that if/when he decides to
                          leave, he can buy that mansion in Texas if he
                          wants to. The person in Texas doesn't have the
                          option of buying even a small house in the Bay
                          Area if he wants to and probably can't buy the
                          Texas mansion either. It's about freedom and
                          about making money somewhere with a high cost of
                          living to (later) spend somewhere else, if one
                          so chooses. It's the same reason people immigrate
                          to the USA and then go retire in their home
                       \_ Correct.  I live in a 'nothing special' home pretty
                          close to work that I own a large chunk of.  When it's
                          time, I'm going to sell it, make a bundle, buy a huge
                          house in a beautiful place elsewhere and still have
                          tons of cash and retire.  My counterpart in Texas is
                          going to work until he drops.
                       \_ I don't find having a huge house particularly
                          appealing.  Here I have nice weather, I'm close to
                          interesting shops and restaurants and good jobs.
                          Should I trade that to live in a huge tasteless house
                          out in the suburbs?
                          \_ Who said you should?  You should do what makes you
                             happy but don't expect anyone else to support you
                             in your old age.  I never said I had a huge house
                             in the suburbs.  I am close to my great job.  No,
                             I'm not in walking distance of interesting shops
                             but I'm not a consumer either so that doesn't mean
                             anything to me.  Go live on the beach if you want.
                             It's your life.  We all live with the consequences
                             of our earlier choices and actions.  No one has
                             told you to do otherwise.
                             \_ You don't consume?
                    \_ "Every offer of earthquake insurance must provide
                       coverage for your dwelling, for your personal property
                       (not less than $5,000 or 10% of the covered dwelling
                       loss)... CIC Section 10089(b) states that the maximum
                       deductible that can be charged is 15% of the policy
                       dwelling limit.  It is common for the deductible to be
                       the maximum 15%."
              \_ Note the "if you can survive without it" part.  We bought
                 a few years back and could survive an extra 200-300k tacked
                 onto the mortgage.  It would be hard, but we'd survive.  And
                 in the mean time, we've got $10k more in the bank from not
                 paying earthquake insurance.  And, as other posters pointed
                 out, the deductible _is_ generally huge.  -pp
2006/3/21-25 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:42353 Activity:nil
3/21    Does anyone know what inflation value is used as a deflator on
        nominal GDP to get real GDP? It is pretty clear that the CPI
        has been understated, since it strips out housing costs (since 1983).
        Does this mean that real GDP has also been overstated? -ausman
        \- ausman advisory: the three commonly used prices indexes are:
           CPI, Producer Price Index and "the GDP deflator". The GDP deflator
           CPI, Produce Price Index and "the GDP deflator". The GDP deflator
           is based on a very wide set of goods and this bundle changes
           over years as the production weights change in the economy ...
           in contrast to the CPI which measures a fixed bundle of goods
           and services considered to be representative of an (urban) end
           user (although of course this bundle is recalibrated over time,
           and of course price may not capture quality improvements, but that
           is understood to be a limitation of GDP measurements). The other
           major difference between the CPI and GDP deflator is CPI would
           include some imported items which the end users demand, while
           the GDP deflator only includes domestically produced stuff.
           PPI is similar to CPI except the bundle is one representative
           of retailers and producers so the CPI lags the PPI. finally,
           of retailerrs and producers so the CPI lags the PPI. finally,
           CPI and PPI are announced monthy, while GDP deflator is a quarterly
           estimate. note also CPI can be used to do real GDP calculations
           in some contexts ... in sophisticated settings, which deflator is
           used and the index year is advertised (are you interested in
           cost of living, or physical growth of the economy). these numbers
           are often restated in retrospect as better data becomes avail.
           i believe the estimates for the underground economy not captured
           is supposed to be in the 3-8% range but i am not sure if these
           error bars have increased over the last 10yrs say. for a more
           sophisticated discussion about fixed vs weighted indexes you may
           enjoy googling for "PAASCHE and LASPEYRES". consumer substitution
           leads to systemic biases between the CPI and GDP deflator. --psb
           leads to systemic basies between the CPI and GDP deflator. --psb
        \_ Not answering your question, but providing more information on your
           underlying assumption.  You might want to look at
           Table 11 (on page 61).  Comparing rents computed from CPI and actual
           survey of rents, the CPI is found to underestimate the price of
           rental by 0.33% from 1995-2003.  The table also shows an improve-
           ment of the accuracy of CPI (compared to actual rents) over the last
           40ish years.  The sky may be falling, but it's actually been falling
           more slowly.
        \_ OBTW, the CPI doesn't strip out housing costs so much as it
           separates the owner occupied housing costs into 2 values, one for
           the house as investment (which is not part of the CPI computation)
           and one for for the house as a residence (which is part of the
           CPI computation).
           enjoy googling for "PAASCHE and LASPEYRES". consumer
           substitution leads to systemic basies between the CPI and GDP
           deflator. --psb
2006/3/20-21 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:42342 Activity:kinda low
        SCC2 is the Second Annual World's Smallest, Coolest Apartment Contest.
        The guy who lives in a 75sqft apartment in Manhattan is going
        to be the judge. To be eligible, your apartment must be less than
        650sqft. Function, form, comfort will be taken into consideration
        in the contest.
        \_ 650 sq. ft. is small?
           \_ Yes, very.
              \_ It's all relative. 650sqft is big for a student who's used
                 to the dorms, but is tiny to Mr. Dim Wit who loves
                 to live in McMansions even though they're wasteful and
                 located in inconvenient places that require driving 15
                 minutes just to get grocery.
2006/3/20-22 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:42330 Activity:nil
3/20    Bought a new property last year. As a preemptive measure I sent out
        a lot of opt-out letters to opt myself out of mailing list. However,
        I'm still getting an enormous amounts of junk mail, and opting out
        is not working. It did in my apartment. Any advice? Thanks.
        \_ More evidence that "preemptive" strike does not work!
        \_ you need to write letter to direct marketing association of
           america and put yourself onto "do not mail" and "do not call"
           list.  This would stop a lot stuff from larger direct marketing
2006/3/18-20 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:42303 Activity:nil
3/18    Flipping a house? Buying something old and crappy, fixing it up, then
        selling it for a big profit? Screw that. Flip an entire town!
2006/3/7-9 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:42131 Activity:nil
3/7     Good renters of yesterday bought homes with 0% down interest only
        mortgages, leaving renters today "cream of the crap"
        \_ Believe me, the current crop of landlords is nothing to brag about.
2006/3/7-9 [Reference/RealEstate, Finance] UID:42127 Activity:nil 61%like:42133
3/7     Ok, long term interest rates finally went up.  We know housing is
        in trouble, but what will that do to the overall economy?  Will that
        help control inflation, or is inflation now determined by factors
        \_ Recent inflation was 9% annual and the Fed is printing money like
           crazy.  It has also stopped publishing the M3 number, I wonder why?
           \_ What's the M3 number? -dans, finance weenie
              \_ M1, M2, M3, L are different measures of the money supply
                 at different levels of liquidity. You may wish to google
                 for M3 :-) --psb
2006/3/3-6 [Reference/RealEstate, Finance/Investment] UID:42094 Activity:nil
3/3     ARMS and Subprime mortages increasing to record levels.
              %ARMS %subprime
        2003    28%      9.9%
        2004    48%     22.2%
        2005    47%     24.3% (wsj)
        In same link, greenback will fall 20% if OPEC switches crude
        currency to basket (US$, EURO, Yen, pound).
        \_ I guess we'll have to take your word for it since the link
           is behind a pay wall.
        \_ sweet! come on housing bubble!!
2006/3/3-5 [Reference/RealEstate, Politics/Domestic/President/Bush] UID:42082 Activity:nil
        "... total sales of homes costing $1 million or more reached $55.9
        billion, up 24 percent, compared with $45.1 billion in 2004."
        Yeah the Bush economy is working!!! Go George W Bush!!!
2006/3/3-5 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:42081 Activity:nil
3/2     NYT chart showing housing price trends over the years:
        Also, article about how a downtrend in prices can actually
        help homeowners trade up (like I was talking about the other day):
          \_thanks for the link, I'm trying to convince my wife we should
            move she is reluctant, I sent her there link.  This may be even
            more apt around here where some cheaper neighborhoods actually
            have not been declining, but nicer areas like rockridge have.
2006/3/1-2 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:42051 Activity:nil
3/1     Swami is a fraud!
        \_ Those are Jan 1 - Dec 31 stats.  What about Dec 1 to Feb 28?
           \_ I hear prices dropped 50% on Feb 2.
              \_ It was 150%
2006/2/28-3/1 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:42034 Activity:nil
        So why would a SoCal house that zillow thinks is worth $800K sell for
        $1.41 million in March 2005?
        I mean, it sold for $452K in 2002 and $480K in 2003, the house was last
        updated in 1941, and it's only 1,072 sq ft.
        \_ Someone really wanted it.
        \- Vaughn JONES lived there. zillow needs to use the HOMFLY polynomial.
        \_ Maybe it was owned by a Congressman.
        \_ Tell me why this home, that sold for $710k in 2003, is "worth"\
           $1.4M now?
        \_ Tell me why this home, that sold for $710k in 2003, is "worth"
           $1.4M now?
           Ans: zillow is only a rough estimate.
           \_ Things are "worth" what someone will pay for them... shrug.
2006/2/27-3/1 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:42015 Activity:high
        Now officially begins the housing bubble pop. Swami the Magnificent
        was right all along.
        \_ He will only be right if there's actually a pop. This is still
           just a slowdown (oh no 6% appreciation? they'll be ruined!)
           \_ Actually yeah.  Given the interest rates and taxes, around
              here you have to be appreciating at something like 12% to
              actually make any money.  (Assuming you bought the house
              right now and certain load characteristics)
              \_ Well not making money isn't the same as being in trouble.
                 Also that article is about nationwide numbers. Regionally
                 the market could be different. --not a homeowner
              \_ There's a difference between a primary home and an investment.
                 I dont' have to *make* a penny on my primary.  I don't care
                 *at all* what the market does.  I have to live somewhere and
                 paying a mortgage to own something is better than paying rent
                 to make someone else rich in my book.  My mortgage never goes
                 up.  I don't have a landlord or share a wall with my neighbors
                 and I take the mortgage interest off my taxes.  By the time
                 my 30 years is up my mortgage will be a fraction of someone's
                 typical rent.  My grandmother's mortgage was $200/month when
                         \_ what about property tax?
                            \_ prop 13.  Based on the original sub-100k price,
                               it was peanuts.
                 she died.  I was paying $1250 for an apartment in a bad area
                 at the that time.  I do have to pay for maintenance on the
                 house of course but I get to choose what I pay for and when
                 and how much I'm willing to put in it.  I expect to sell in
                 about 10-15 years, take my profit and roll it into a nicer
                 place closer to work and have that entirely paid off within
                 another 5-10 years, live there til I retire then go buy some
                 huge gorgeous place in some other part of the country and
                 have a zillion bucks in the bank and no worries.  The ups and
                 downs of the market day to day or even year to year don't
                 concern me in the least right now.  It all runs in cycles and
                 I can easily afford to wait to sell until a higher point.  I
                 don't think I'll get the top of a cycle, I think trying to
                 time that is impossible but housing moves slow enough that
                 it's always clear if things are generally up/down/hot/cold.
                 \_ Are condos bad then? You're buying something and still
                    have to *eeeck* SHARE walls.

                    \_ IMO: house>>>condo>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>renting.
                 \_ If your time frame is 10-15 years before a move, then
                    you're in much better shape than the average CA homebuyer.
                    If your time frame is 0-~10 years (which you're not of
                    course) and you recently bought a house in CA, there is a
                    very real chance you may be paying more in interest,
                    property tax, and other non-principal costs compared to
                    living in an apartment, and may also lose equity in your
                    0-~10 year time frame.
                    \_ No hurry.  I live 15 mins from work, reverse commute.
                       Eventually I'll be 2 mins from work, streets only but
                       if that never happened, whatever.  I don't see buying
                       a house with a <5 years time frame so much as a primary
                       residence as much as a mid term investment/speculation
                       event for most people.  This is a general statement of
                       course.  When I was a kid, we moved every 1-4 years and
                       my parents always bought a house and never lost money
                       on one but that was a weird work thing.  I suspect most
                       people aren't in that mobile a situation.
                       \_ The average homeowner sells a house after 7
                          years. Coincidentally, housing markets usually
                          go in cycles >= 7 years. So if you get supremely
                          unlucky and buy at the very top you might have
                          to wait ~14 years to sell for more than you
                          paid, which is ~7 years more than you wanted to.
                          to wait ~14 years to sell at the peak again,
                          which is ~7 years more than you wanted to.
                          In reality, though, talking to people who were
                          in that situation they just took a 'loss' on the
                          property since they had paid enough of the
                          mortgage down to afford to take a loss. I say
                          'loss' in quotes, because they all traded into
                          bigger houses in better areas and when the market
                          (eventually) turned around they were much better off
                          than if they had stayed and waited it out. If
                          your house falls in price so usually does the one you
                          want to trade into, so qualifying for the mortgage
                          is easier. Many of my coworkers bought houses now
                          valued at $1M+ by selling for a loss in a
                          down market. They don't worry about the (say)
                          $100K they lost when their (new) $600K house doubled
                          to $1.2M and their $300K house (which they sold
                          for $200K) is now worth $600K, since they made
                          that money back and then some through the magic
                          of leveraging. I don't know anyone who bought
                          a house that didn't eventually make money. It's
                          like the stock market in that way. The general
                          trend is up.
                       \_ I lived 2 minutes from work and church when
                          I rented.  Now I bought my own place and it's
                          a 20 minute commute, which kind of sucks.
                          The consolation was that there are lots of
                          shops on the way home so it's convenient to
                          pick up stuff when going home.
        \_ It doesn't take a genius to predict 20% year-over-year won't
           last forever. However, it's difficult to predict the bottom
           as well as the top. I would've told you 2 years ago housing
           was overvalued and yet it kept rising. So now if it falls when
           do you buy? Stop trying to time the market and buy something
           you can afford when you can afford it. I did, despite fears
           of a 'bubble' in 2001, and now I don't worry over it. I have
           a house with payments I can afford and it would take a 50%+
           drop just to go back to what I paid. In short, even if swami
           is right, he's still an idiot.
           \_ Not all of us were in the housing market in 2001.
              \_ Yes, but if you were you might have called it 'overheated' and
                 'overvalued' then, too. Who knew it would keep rising?
                 I mean, I knew in 1996 that the <DEAD><DEAD> bubble would
                 burst, but it rose higher and took longer than I thought.
                 That's another way of saying I was (at least partially)
                 wrong. Same with this guy. He's been saying the housing
                 market will crash and has thus predicted 7 of the last
                 2 housing crashes, so to speak.
                 \_ Has he?  I only started seeing "Swami the Magnificent"
                    stuff about a year ago.
                    \_ I don't know how long, but , again, it doesn't take
                       a genius to point out we're near a top after the
                       run we've had. The market was frenetic 5 years ago
                       so to predict the housing bubble will eventually
                       burst is no great feat. The questions are: When?
                       How far down? For how long? Markets are cyclical.
                       I can predict now that the market will fall, rise,
                       fall, rise, fall, and then rise again with close to
                       100% accuracy and yet so what? That in itself is
                       obvious (and useless) information.
                       \_ Well, here's his first "Swami" prediction.
                          Here in Livermore, prices did begin to fall in
                          4Q 2005.  I'm not saying you're wrong, but as
                          the "Swami" he made a prediction, and so far
                          for my area, he's right.  Of course it was just
                          a silly shot in the dark, but you can't really
                          accuse him of predicting 7 of the last 2 housing
                          crashes, so to speak.
                          \_ Prices fell year-over-year?  Link, please.  -tom
                             \_ Re-read above and try again tom.
                                \_ The yahoo link says that prices were up
                                   4% from December, which means they are
                                   probably up 20% from last year.   -tom
                                   \_ yea but it is still below the all
                                      time high set in october, which
                                      means Swami's prediction that housing
                                      will start falling in 4Q 2005 is so
                                      far so good.
                                      \_ only if you're a complete moron.
                                         Median sale prices go down in 4Q
                                         *every year*.  -tom
                                         \_ how do you make sense of this
                                            then, genius?:
                                            \_ Uh, December 03 was
                                               lower than November 03,
                                               and December 04 was
                                               flat from November 04.
                                               It's called seasonal
                                               variation.  That's why
                                               you compare to the same
                                               month (or quarter) one year
                                               ago.  -tom
                                               \_ I am sure you understand
                                                  the difference between
                                                  a quarter and a month.
                                                  Are you admitting that
                                                  your statement "Median
                                                  sale price go down in 4Q
                                                  *every year*." is ....
                                                  wrong?  (I don't expect
                                                  tom to admit he's the
                                                  moron, so I will let the
                                                  that pass.  Let's see
                                                  how tom will continue
                                                  to try to wriggle.)
                                                  \_ If you want to define by
                                                     quarter, prices did not
                                                     start to fall in Q4 2005;
                                                     they hit an all-time high,
                                                     and were up from Q3 2005
                                                     and significantly up from
                                                     Q4 2004.  As for your
                                                     other "point," don't be
                                                     pedantic; I am saying
                                                     that the fact that sales
                                                     prices dropped in
                                                     December is neither
                                                     surprising nor meaningful.
                                                     If it would help you
                                                     masturbate better, I
                                                     will admit that home
                                                     prices do not drop
                                                     "every" December.  -tom
                                                     \_ No, I was defining by
                                                        month and using what
                                                        the original article
                                                        says (october peak).
                                                        You were the one who
                                                        started talking about
                                                        quarters, with idiotic
                                                        proclaimations like
                                                        "Median sale price go
                                                        down in 4Q *every year*".
                                                        Yes, exposing you as
                                                        the "complete moron"
                                                        (you started the name
                                                        calling) was kind of
                                                        \_ I am not the one
                                                           who brought up 4Q
                                                           2005; read the
                                                           thread, twink.  -tom
                                                           \_ I was talking
                                                              about peaking
                                                              in "october", which
                                                              is in the 4th
                                                              quarter of 2005,
                                                              which is very
                                                              clear from the
                                                              thread above.
                                                              You first tried
                                                              to claim that its
                                                              a yearly seasonal
                                                              trend, which was
                                                              exposed as a load
                                                              of crap.  Next you
                                                              tried to say that
                                                              I am wrong if I
                                                              am using the
                                                              quarter as the
                                                              time unit for the
                                                              peak, but it's
                                                              obvious from the
                                                              above that I am
                                                              using the month.
                                                              I am sorry, but the
                                                              only "twink" here
                                                              is your honor.
                                Your claim is akin to predicting that
                                global warming will stop in the Northern
                                Hemisphere in Q4 2005, and then claiming
                                you're correct after Q4 hits temperature
                                records, because November and December were
                                cooler than October.  It's completely asinine.
                                                     \_ Are you predicting that
                                                        home prices will go up
                                                        this spring, then? Do
                                                        you think Q1 2006 wil
                                                        be higher than Q4 2005?
                                                        \_ I think Q1 2006 will
                                                           be higher than Q1
                                                           2005, which is the
                                                           relevant comparison.
                                                           But I'm not really
                                                           in the predicting
                                                           business.  -tom
                So, if home prices go down from Nov to
                Dec, then go down again from Q4 to Q1,
                you will still not call that a "top"?
                When exactly would you admit that home
                prices had started falling and when that
                happens, when would you put that date?
                \_ Homes are not commodities; the fluctuation in prices
                   over the course of the year has more to do with what
                   homes are going on the market than what current prices
                   are.  (You don't have an open house on your perfect 3/2
                   move-in-ready, good school district, nice neighberhood,
                   on Christmas).  I would say that home prices have started
                   to fall when three or four consecutive months show
                   declines from the comparable months the year before.  -tom
2006/2/24-27 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:41986 Activity:nil
2/24    $70K/yr income could qualify you for housing assistance in FL: (
        \_ Damn.. Median house price is $339k and they do this?  SFBA is
        \_ It's higher in most of the bay area.
           \_ sourceP
              \_ personal experience; 70K income was the cutoff to
                 qualify for "below market rate" condos. (.3M$ instead
                 of .6M$ market.) No idea about 'higher' though.
2006/2/23-27 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:41976 Activity:nil
2/23    What's the difference between stone, granite, limestone,
        sandstone, travertine(sp?), marble, etc?
        \_ For.... floors? countertops? sculpture? bathroom wall tile?
           \_ I'm the op. I just bought a condo with flat looking
              travertine floor. It looks flat and I really want to make
              it shine. I hired this dude who used the floor stripper,
              and then a no name brand urethane floor sealer to seal it
              three times to make it look shiny. I'm thinking about
              doing the same thing on my marble countertops and marble
              bathroom, but the dude said that's not necessary because
              they're shiny already. So my question really is, what's
              the best way to clean both marbles and travertine, and
              what's the best way to seal them, and how often do I
              have to strip the urethane and reseal it?
        \_ Travertine is a river rock and has a lot of holes in it.  It's
           usually honed and filled and used for a low-sheen flooring.
           Some people think of it as a shallow-earth equivalent of
           marble, which is usually found deeper in the earth.  Granite
           is a countertop material.   Stone surfaces need to be
           periodically re-sealed.  If you have small critters (cats,
           dogs, small children) at home, I'd stick with porcelain tile,
           which is lower maintenance and not as sensitive to urine
           as natural stone.
           \_ Granite isn't just for countertops. Likewise, countertops
              are often made from marble and other stones, especially in
              bathrooms. Granite is used as flooring and on walls, too.
              I'm not really sure WTF the OP is asking, though. He needs
              to be more specific or use Google (or both).
2006/2/23 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:41972 Activity:high
2/23 (

        Americans are buying monster condos as second and third
        vacation homes at a rate never been seen. Dare to say
        Bushconomy isn't working?
        \_ it's working for rich dudes
           \_ So what is wrong with that? The rich got richer through
              Reagon's new tax cut initiatives in the 80s. Money trickled
              down to the poor, stimulating an economic boom never been
              seen in the history of US. Unfortunately the Clinton
              administration unfairly took credit for it all. Why do
              you hate rich people? Are you a communist?
           "Real wages in the US are falling at their fastest rate in 14 years"
           \_ Interesting.  For 2005, real wages were flat to a decline of 0.1
              percent.  This article was posted in May 2005.  Note that more
              recent numbers show real wages increasing.
              \_ where do you get flat to -0.1%, and is that for the time
                 period of Jan 1 2005 to Jan 1 2006?
                 \_ That would be Shelby TN and Greene MO.
                 \_ I heard "flat to -0.1%" on a radio financial show.  I
                    haven't found a URL to support it.
                    \_ "real compensation for 2005 was essentially unchanged--
                       down 0.2% and the worst year on record" according
                       to the link below.  radio guy was probably
                       talking about real compensation, not real wages.
              \_ Table B.
                 (Year/change in real hourly compenasation for business)
                 1996/0.8       1999/2.7        2002/1.8        2005/1.7
                 1997/1.1       2000/3.5        2003/1.6
                 1998/4.6       2001/1.4        2004/1.9
                 Manufacturing swings much more wildly, and this excludes
                 government compensations, which is probably more stable.
                 Since none of the above sources quote actual bls references,
                 I have no idea how they derived their claims.  However,
                 unfortunately as per norm, the doomsayers are more grand
                 verbiage and bad statistics than truth.
                 \_ compensation != wages
                    unfortunately as per norm, the dubya-lovers are more
                    grand verbiage and bad statistics than truth.
                    \_ Yes, compensation > wages.  And it's pretty shifty
                       to draw conclusions based on 2 hand picked quarters.
                       Consider the graph on [bls]
                       for a better quarterly compensation (not real,
                       seasonally compensated) picture.
                       \_ what are the beginning and ending quarters you are
                          talking about?
                          \_ Epi compares 2004q4 to 2005q4.
                             \_ you mean the most recent annual data, or is
                                that beginning of Q4 to beginning of Q4, and
                                perhaps government fiscal quarters?
                                \_ One year hardly a pattern forms.
2006/2/22-24 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:41964 Activity:nil
2/22    Is there somewhere I can search to find out property developments
        (size, residential/commercial, estimated construction time, etc)?
        The huge plot of land across my condo used to have Kinkos,
        Marie Calendar, etc. Within a month, they all moved somewhere
        else and the whole place is vacated. I'm wondering what they're
        planning to do, and for how long. Thanks.
        \_ Try your local city hall.  Likely in the basement, mind the
        \_ Look through the planning division website of your city.  Some city
           have site with enough information so you don't have to actually
           go to city hall.
2006/2/20-23 [Reference/RealEstate, Computer/SW/Unix] UID:41930 Activity:nil
2/20    Has anyone bought a place in the Bay Area and gotten a one year home
        warranty. If so, who did you use? Email, website, ph # ?
        \_ We did.  American Home Warranty, I think.  Totally worthless (not
           that we paid for it (directly))  Took forever to respond, didn't
           cover the stuff hat actually broke, didn't replace stuff, just
           (sort of) repaired it.
        \_ I got a warranty from First American
           ( from our real estate agent who
           wrote that into the bid.  Took advantage of it for the central
           heating system, drainage problems, and dryer.  Response times
           were reasonable.  I can't remember exactly, but the deductible
           was $40-$45 per claim.
        \_ In my case, the seller did pay for 1-year home warranty through
           American Home Warranty (it was around $450/yr). I negotiated w/
           the seller's agent in order to get this, so it's not by default.
           I didn't renew it after it expired since *knock on woods* my
           appliances are still relatively new and the past owner was very
           anal-retentive about keeping them pristine. (we got lucky). YMMV,
           if you feel your appliances may be at their last leg when you
           inherit them, might want to look into renewing it. (or do a math
           comparison vs. buying a new one)
           \_ You can get the home warranty from the seller/seller's agent
              written into the bid, but if the market is competitive, you
              may lose the property to someone else who has offered about
              the same amount with no/fewer contingencies.  The housing
              market seems to have cooled down a bit now, though.
2006/2/14-15 [Reference/RealEstate, Politics/Domestic/President/Bush] UID:41831 Activity:moderate
2/13    Rather than paying hotels and other expensive social programs
        that people always need, why doesn't the government simply give
        raw materials to the Katrina victims to build their own homes?
        Doing so will promote self-reliance, free-market, small
        government, and fiscal rectitude. I'm sick and tired of
        giving my tax dollars to lazy bums and immigrants.
        \_ That is what I don't understand neither.  We are dumping
           billions of dollars into this, can't we just divide those
           billions of dollars to the number of victims and ask them to
           relocate to somewhere else and prohibits flood zone to be developed?
           Each of the victims will have close to a million dollars for it,
           and I think that is good enough for most of them to get back on their
           and I think that is good enough for most of them to get back on
           their feet!
        \_ Your fucking "Do everything yourself" cowboy gunho Republican
           ideology doesn't work well for population that is either too
           sick, too old, and too young. Go fuck yourself.
           \_ It was a troll.  YHBT.  Go take a pill and relax.
        \- how about we given them weapons and transport to conquor
           another country.
        \_ how about they give supplies and a no-bid emergency reconstruction
           contract to Bechtel and Halliburton, and other politically
           connected contractors?
        \_ That will bypass the labor unions, good.  But then most residents
           don't have the skills to build a house that can survive a hurricane,
           let alone following all the local codes and regulations, bad.
           \_ Hell, I don't have the skills to build a house.
        \_ Why are we still building houses from scratch in NOLA?  Given the
           scale of the rebuilding and the government funding, they should
           just put up pre-fab houses that are pre-approved for hurricane
           conditions.  Pre-fab houses are cheaper and quicker to assemble,
           more environment friendly, and I am guessing less prone to cost
           inflation from corruption.
           \_ There's no such thing as a broken-dam safe house when you're
              down stream.  Anyway, why would we put any houses up in an
              area that is just going to get wiped out again anyway?
              \_ Agreed.  But given that we're putting up houses anyway,
                 why not do it in an efficient manner? -pp
                 \_ Because this isn't a command economy?
                    \_ Of course people can build whatever they wish.  But
                       the government can have separate application processes
                       for pre-fab and bespoke houses, and the process for
                       pre-approved, pre-inspected, pre-negotiated, pre-fab
                       houses can quite reasonably be simpler.
                       \_ Are you kidding me? Your solution is *more*
                          government 'processes'?
                          \_ Do you get whiplash when your knee jerks that
                             \_ Think about your 'solution' realistically.
                                \_ Oh, I do.  It's clear I'm too subtle for
                                \_ It's ok.  I understand you don't understand.
                                   \_ Bureaucracy never solved anything. Are
                                      you Chinese by any chance?
                                      \_ Again the knee jerk.  Now consider
                                         your previous question
                                         "why would we put any houses up?".
                                         Perhaps my solution is one that
                                         yields a favorable outcome whether
                                         it achieves its stated goal or not.
                                         \_ My last comment was "why would we".
                                            Anyway, to your question: because
                                            a solution that doesn't achieve
                                            its stated goal is a failure?  How
                                            about restating your goal to be,
                                            "create more government jobs and
                                            raise taxes"?  Then your solution
                                            and outcome would match.
2006/2/8-10 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:41769 Activity:kinda low
2/8     Satellite view of your neighborhood with price estimates for ALL
        neighboring houses.  By the founder of
        (works on IE for me, doesn't work with FF + flashblock,
        also, if you click on details for a property, you can get a graph
        of its estimated value over the last 1/5/10 years - christ, what
        happened in Jan '04?)
        \_ Bush said he would try to make everyone a homeowner. Greenspan
           acted by 1) lowering interest rate even further and 2) saying
           in public to the effect that anyone who paid off his/her home
           isn't investing wisely. But rather than getting everyone a home,
           those who already had a few decided to get even more, and started
           the arms race to own more homes.
        \_ How are the prices estimated?  It says my home in Fremont doubled
           its value since Jan '04!  Well, I don't think so.
           \_ (
              "Zillow would pore over county records and other government data
              on 60 million homes nationwide. It then would use proprietary
              computer analysis to determine current values ...
              Providing a home's history, including all past sales
              transactions, tax assessments and other details ..."
              (yes, it does have current property tax and past sales dates, at
              least through '96 for my previous home)
        \_ Works fine in FF + Flashblock if you add to the
           Flashblock whitelist.  --dbushong
           \_ still having trouble with moz/ff with whitelist.
        \_ Bush said he would try to make everyone a homeowner. Greenspan
           acted by 1) lowering interest rate even further and 2) saying
           in public to the effect that anyone who paid off his/her home
           isn't investing wisely. But rather than getting everyone a home,
           those who already had a few decided to get even more, and started
           the arms race to own more homes.
           \_ queueing lafe who may have something to say about the current
              state of economy that seems to put those who have little
              (lafe) at a much greater disadvantage for buying homes.
           \_ url on Greenspan item 2?
              I know real estate agents have lots of fun saying that:
           \_ Sour grape.
           \_ A country with a planned economy won't have this problem.
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