Posted by: Timothy Ellis (The Tim)

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

73 responses to “Suzanne Researched This: Part 2”

  1. Alan

    That is really sad.

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  2. new_dude

    Went home shopping this evening, came back thinking should we stretch a little bit for that fancy one. Listened to this posting. Changed our minds. We are happy again.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  3. Ken

    OWN IT! OWN IT!

    hahaha, how funny, cause that don’t own it.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  4. Schaum

    Yahoo Finance has a nice little article this morning called “Anxious Builders Pile on Incentives” with the following excerpt:

    “In markets such as Denver and Seattle, builders are increasingly willing to pay agents substantially larger commissions — as much as 4% of the home’s sales price, up from 1.5% or less — to help unload inventory homes. In turn, some agents are returning some of that money to builders to lower the home price to help buyers qualify for the house.

    “Don’t be afraid to negotiate for as much as you can these days,” says Judy King, a Seattle-area Re/Max agent. “There’s a lot of flexibility in a market like this.””

    URL: http://finance.yahoo.com/real-estate/article/103373/Anxious-Builders-Pile-on-Incentives

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  5. patient

    I think this is yet another wake-up call for overextendend borrowers. Get rid of your financial and mental torture (home + mortgage ) as soon as you can and start rebuilding a healthy life. Do not try to hang on by risky re-financing it will most likely just extend the pain and delay the recovery to a more pleasant living within your means. The message to politicians and lenders should be to not facilitate extended pain by “bailout” type of actions. The drive to keep people in their homes will often equal to keep people in a very stressful situation and delay the journey to a healthy situation.

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  6. rose-colored-coolaid

    I agree. My gut reaction is ‘those poor people’, but my second reaction is ‘wouldn’t they actually be happier foreclosed on?’ Even better, if they can sell out for even 0% profit they will be happier.

    Seems like these kinds of stories fly in the face of cheerleader think that everyone is much happier borrowing their own home than paying rent. I couldn’t find the link, but there was a survey done recently in Great Britain that found people preferred affordable housing over owning. If someone knows this article and can link it, that would be great.

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  7. deejayoh

    Tim –
    I think you’re gonna become a housing bubble celebrity for capturing that little gem.

    I am sure you’ll hit HousingPanic soon

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  8. mike2

    It’s all fun and games until somebody loses an eye.

    All I’m taking from this story is that they should have bought a place that came with a pink pony. That is the foundation for a solid marriage.

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  9. Nude

    someone please explain “pink pony” to me

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  10. redmondjp

    Nude,
    See this post on the forum here.

    They are as good of an explanation for why housing prices are so high as any, as in “you bet this 1970s 3/2 rambler was worth $489K, because there are pink ponies in the back yard.”

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  11. Eleua

    Tim,

    That post is a work of art.

    Every indebted married couple in the nation should read this post. The divorce rate in this country is going to jump because of all the “Suzannes” out there.

    I’d like to put some snarky comment in here, but the reality is just too sad for the millions of “Ryan’s” out there.

    Great post, Tim. Great post.

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  12. Nude

    thanks redmondjp, it was beginning to keep me up at night

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  13. biliruben

    Everyone is/was susceptible.

    My wife (highly educated professional; probably more highly than is good for her) and I were discussing housing driving around near a 2000 sq ft house we put a bid on 3 years ago but didn’t win. The bid was a bit more than we could afford at the time as she was still in school, so I was actually relived. She turned to me with true concern on her face saying “I’m worried we’ll never be able to own a house that size now! We should have made that extra bid.”.

    Now I don’t usually discuss housing issues with her because she isn’t really interested, but I my jaw just dropped.

    I think I need to start talking housing with her!

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  14. deejayoh

    It’s all fun and games until somebody loses an eye.

    Then it’s one-eyed fun…

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  15. patient

    On sub-concious level the primal instincts are still alive. For women nesting is probably a stronger instinct than the ability to provide since they instinctively rely on their men to do that…it could explain why even the most intelligent women can sometimes act irriational in this area.

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  16. Greg Kirkos

    Great post. I’m sure there are many in this situation, or quickly getting to it.

    That YouTube bit is great. Poor guy.

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  17. Chris

    Nude, you know you are a true bubble-believer when thoughts of pink ponies keep you up at night.

    Soon enough the cheerleaders will be dreaming about them and wondering where they all went.

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  18. bill

    women are irrational. it’s the genes.

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  19. Re Max

    I wish somebody would post a video of the couple as the wife is confronted by the husband when he returns. A close up would be needed to the guy’s face when he goes: You made me buy a house we can’t afford. Where is Suzanne now, [censored]? What? What?

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  20. Ubersalad

    biliruben,

    3 years ago as in 2004? You could have easily sold it in 2006 and made substantial profit while avoiding capital gain.

    I think most of you are almost thinking that you should NEVER buy a house.

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  21. matthew

    Ubersalad,

    Biliruben does own a house. Not everyone here rents.

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  22. biliruben

    Yeah – we just bought a bit cheaper one that needed less work.

    We’ll get a bigger one when the market turns rational again. I’m targeting 2010.

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  23. Ubersalad

    my mistake for not keeping tab on everyone. it just sounded as if he didn’t buy any.

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  24. MacAttack

    NO,NOT everyone is susceptible. Though my first wife did browbeat me into debt, my second/final wife has a great head on her shoulders, and we are well on the way to OWNING it. I went through that once… believe me, you WON’T do it again. Your foot will go DOWN.

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  25. softwarengineer

    SORRY I CAN’T COMMENT ON YOU TUBE STUFF

    I’m not the techno geek type with encryption of the encryption to use today’s high speed internet (its all wireless and full of security holes, even DSL) somewhat safely.

    I’m in to security only, so use a dial up wire to my phone, but you can’t read my computer from blocks [or even miles] away because its signal is wireless.

    I don’t even use blackberries for the same reason and God Forbid you get on to one of those WIFI sites where possibly the guy in the back room server is getting all your passwords and credit card numbers….

    I do use CDs for downloading fast inside my computer, they’re safe.

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  26. crashcadia

    Thanks Tim,
    You made my day.

    Schadenfreude….. pure, crips, Schadenfreude.

    Economic Darwinism at its finest

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  27. whatsit2ya

    Bunch of sad individuals basking in other peoples’ misery…

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  28. tlw

    whatsit2ya,
    The misery just started or merely started in Seattle, but yeah, I’m feeling the joy.

    What is it to you? Not raking in the easy 6% any more, parasitic real-wh*re?

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  29. B

    I find the (thankfully, only really from one commenter) “women are irrational” response deeply ignorant and off-putting. (Someone’s been hanging around the wrong type of woman, I guess.) You have no idea how many women read, but don’t post to, this blog, and are patiently stockpiling a down payment to pick up a house cheap from some Suzanne’s train wreck.

    The nesting instinct is real, just as the urge to “own” some property is. They are essentially one and the same. Successful RE/mortgage sharks have learned how to lever that impulse into a “buy at all costs” behavior.

    Whatsit2ya:
    That’s why they call it an economy. One person makes an idiotic decision, resulting in having to sell underwater during a later correction. The one who buys after the decline is not malicious. It just means he understood math better than the first chump. It’s not cruelty, it’s reality. (However, I’d reserve my most pure contempt for flippers and RE agents, rather than the ignorant schmoes they targeted)

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  30. synthetik

    Tim,

    I’ve sent that to housingpanic.com as well as thehousingbubbleblog.com.

    Awesome post and sweet vindication for those of us who have been watching this for many years.

    Syn

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  31. hwy50ina49dodge

    You know, I’m just trying to visualizing that radio conversation…Dr. Laura and the caller, discussing the stress out of the husband…while they are both holding cups of Starbucks Latte’s in their hands.

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  32. mike2

    whatsit2ya
    Bunch of sad individuals basking in other peoples’ misery…

    No, this is watching people take huge risks and getting upset at the predictable consequences.

    Surely you had a buddy in highschool that was always looking for a thrill. In my case, it was a friend that liked to jump off high structures. When he inevitably screwed up a stunt and ended up with multiple compound fractures I could empathize with the pain of all those broken bones. But he, and everyone else knew that what he was doing was likely to have catastrophic consequences at some point.

    What this couple did is no different. Instead of a physical risk, the one they took was financial and emotional.

    Sure, it’s unfortunate that their marriage is falling apart, but this is an easily forseeable consequence of the decisions they made.

    Let’s not forget that this couple did get the benefit of living in their dream house for 2 full years – meanwhile, some other couple that was determined to live within their means didn’t get this opportunity.

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  33. wreckingbull

    whatsit2ya,

    Actually I am quite happy, not sad. I am happy that a home will again be a place to hang one’s hat, raise one’s family, and serve as a solid financial anchor. (not a lottery ticket)

    What is sad is the stupidity that has transpired in the last 5 years. I don’t feel sorry for those who lose their shirts in Las Vegas, nor do I feel sorry for those whose greed led them to purchase far more home than they could afford. Last I checked, one had to be an ADULT and of SOUND MIND in order to enter into a legal agreement.

    If you want sad, this world has plenty of examples of people getting victimized through no action of their own.

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  34. Unsympathetic

    They made a stupid decision, and now will have to suffer greatly for it. Blah blah “I want!” — enjoy foreclosure, self-centered impractical stupid girl.

    The only sad part of this is that the guy in this story will suffer twice – once because he wasn’t being supportive of her desires, and the second time because it’s obviously his fault alone that the house was foreclosed on.

    This is what happens when you don’t include “good with money” in deciding to upgrade the girl from dating to marrying status.

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  35. jcsc

    Neurological research has demonstrated that men and women are equally irrational. They make emotional decisions and then rationalize them after the fact. The research on this issue is fascinating.

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  36. are they crazy

    It’s not just women – I had the opposite problem – HE insisted we had to buy a house – it was his life’s dream (after 4 years together when he had never mentioned it). Then in 2005 when I said we better get out he wouldn’t do it and kept taking money out. Put house on market in June 06 and short sold it in May 07. And we’re middle aged no kids.

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  37. explorer

    “Let’s not forget that this couple did get the benefit of living in their dream house for 2 full years – meanwhile, some other couple that was determined to live within their means didn’t get this opportunity.”

    That also applies to those couples and singles of more modest/median incomes and first time buyers, who thought about a condo, but could never catch up. The REIC declaring condos “the new starter homes,” was a deliberate psych ploy, and the contribution to rising prices should not be discounted.

    The ability to run the basic financial numbers and accepting them, and allowing for contingencies, vs. the wishfull thinking that “it will work out eventually,” has been many a person’s financial downfall.

    Their are calculated risks, and there is denial of reality.

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  38. Diana

    “This is what happens when you don’t include “good with money” in deciding to upgrade the girl from dating to marrying status.”

    Unsympathetic,

    I apply that same standard to the men I date.

    Financial ignorance has nothing to do with gender.

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  39. DaveO

    “whatsit2ya said, on August 23rd, 2007 at 11:44 pm

    Bunch of sad individuals basking in other peoples’ misery…”

    Right, so it was ok when owners were gaining hundreds of thousands of dollars for doing practically nothing and then looking down on the lowly non-owners. Now the tide has turned. What goes around comes around. Ever heard of karma?

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  40. Ryan

    Funny and sad. Can’t wait for the headlines “Divorce rate spike due to foreclosures” If that doens’t begin the bleeding heart campaign in the government to bail out the Jones and save the moral fabric of America nothing will.

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  41. B

    This is a little overly cynical, but I have to bring up the possibility going to look at a ‘distressed sale’ house and leaving not only with a great deal on a house, but also hot date with the flipper’s ‘distressed’ ex-spouse?

    OK, that’s a little much.

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  42. Skip Smith

    “Own it! Own it!”

    “But Dr. Laura, isn’t that attitude what got us into trouble in the first place?”

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  43. dagg

    brace yourself folks, we are in for a big one.

    http://thecrashof2007.blogspot.com/

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  44. If I was God...

    nomarriage.com along with this post would be the standard disclosures every young man would have to read and initial before signing the dotted line and saying “I DO”.

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  45. winston smith

    get this all drones — marriage turns lovers into relatives and who in their right mind would have a kid in 07. if the subject isnt about overpopulation not worth discussing. the divorce rate which is now 60% plus- 35% are miserable and stay and 5% are cool .the new official divorce rate will go to 90%. this sham is over.ozzie and harriet left the building in 1958! what dont you get?? i guess its- stupid is stupid does.evidence in!

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  46. Colonel Angus

    B said,

    on August 26th, 2007 at 9:35 am

    This is a little overly cynical, but I have to bring up the possibility going to look at a ‘distressed sale’ house and leaving not only with a great deal on a house, but also hot date with the flipper’s ‘distressed’ ex-spouse?

    OK, that’s a little much.

    Awesome. It could be a new show on HGTV. How about they call it “Sell My House and Spouse” They can make upgrades to both properties to hook the buyer.

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  47. biliruben

    …hook the buyer?

    …buy the ho…

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  48. Chris G

    Shame on him for not having the nerve to say NO.

    A lot of people these days are so brainwashed that they feel like they should be entitled to everything and they have to keep up with the Joneses.

    They’ll spend themselves into oblivion in order to keep up with the Joneses. Meanwhile, the Smith’s who live at or below their means, spend money smartly, and appear to be average, probably have a bank account that would make their heads spin.

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  49. Jackson

    This is of course some of the bitter fruit of today’s Oprahist emasculation campaign.

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  50. carrie

    A few years ago we were to buy a home in the 1 mill + range on a stated income being pushed by realtors and new home sellers, well i sat in shock because i though we made that much and i started to not trust my husband and asked him where he is hiding all that income (lol), it caused a big fight and we never did buy that home, thank god because we are still renting at $2000 a month and that home is worth alot less now and going down. fighting is not always a bad thing, and honesty is always the best policy

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  51. Drew

    This tells how the prices were able to go throw the.
    roof.http://www.breakingbubble.com/

    As for the added stress and broken Marriages , Hear is some thing to think about for the scum bag Realtor and loan officer who pushed some couple in to an over priced home.

    As the loan reset and drive people in to the ground over a long time, some women just may turn away from this now unhappy marriage. After some time there will be some guys who has lost every thing over a year or two , his wife now takes off, the DA is now on his case for child support. And the house is now gone taken by the bank. I would bet that for some reason he just may not being doing that great of a job at work and is now fired.

    What is a guy to do?? I sure a few will pick up a bottle of booze and just might think back for where this mess all started. He may come to the realization that there is nothing els to losses since it has all been sucked out of him by a bunch Vampires And shoot them right in the face right in there office.

    Think about it.

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  52. feminist hater

    women are not only irrational, they are down right stupid and have no control of their emotions. Ony a MADMAN would marry in the USA today.

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  53. MG

    We will be hearing more of this as time goes by and resets occur.

    They bought more home than they could afford, she (Ryan) admits that she was the driver. She should go back to work and put the kids in care of a helpful relative or friend and accept that life will be different so they can stay current with the mortgage or at least improve their finances. Read Dave Ramsey’s books. It can be done. This couple can sell things; they can realistically price the house to sell to someone else.

    Men: stop choosing women based solely on their looks. Choose a partner based on how she handles money and debt she’s in BEFORE you get serious (like within the first month of the relationship).

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  54. Jennifer

    I’ve been reading housing bubble blogs since my husband and I moved to California three years ago. This is the first time I’ve posted in part because I find so many of these sites to be unfriendly (that’s putting it mildly) towards women. There is plenty of evidence on these sites that sexism is alive and well. A little less generalizing about women and men would be appreciated.

    By the way, both my husband and I made the decision to rent.

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  55. EasyHUD - Foreclosure Resources for Everybody» Blog Archive » More in Colorado forfeit houses ... and other foreclosure news!

    [...] Debt Leads To Marital Trouble (seattlebubble.com) [...]

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  56. Jennifer

    Tim, thanks for responding. I should clarify that I did not find the initial posting offensive. Certainly maintaining marital harmony is a great reason for living within one’s means. It was just some of the comments that followed that really made my stomach churn.

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  57. Art

    Per Suzanne I call the sneering lunge “The Venom Strike”. Captured using a special slow motion camera you can actually see fangs.

    http://img509.imageshack.us/img509/926/suzanneku8.jpg

    I guess I didn’t do things well; no McMansion for me.

    My wife and I are in our late 60’s and just yesterday we were discussing how things have changed in 40 years.

    The first home loan we had required a 20% down payment. We scrimped and saved for it but it became a reality in 5 years.

    Our lending institution wouldn’t allow us to obtain a mortgage for more then 3 years my take home pay. Since my wife didn’t work (she didn’t have a car as she stayed home with the children she loved) we felt it a huge step to go for a $36,000 mortgage. It’s a nice house, in a pretty nice neighborhood and though the mortgage was 30 years after 10 the payments seemed like peanuts. We never sweated making a house payment as it was small enough to be made with a proceeds of a part time job if required.

    We paid the house off when I was in my early 50’s. Life has been good. My adivce is to think simple. Examine each thing and determine if you really need it or not.

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  58. James

    Quite honestly, this housing bubble can’t unravel fast enough for me. The sooner prices fall to reasonable levels (as compared to rent), the sooner those of us who are young and starting out in life can get settled.

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  59. carrie

    feminist hater said,

    on September 4th, 2007 at 7:10 am

    women are not only irrational, they are down right stupid and have no control of their emotions. Ony a MADMAN would marry in the USA today.

    **********************************

    feminist hater you sound like a pissed off realtor that lost a deal because of a smart woman, or a man that simple cant get a woman because you are too stupid and have nothing to offer an woman on earth let alone the USA.

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  60. carrie

    amen to that james

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  61. carrie

    not all women are irrational, my husband was ready to buy me that overpriced home, but i stopped him and started to read up on those stated income loans, and this houseing bubble. This is the reason we are still renting for $2000 and not $7000. Now i will have that same house or one even nicer for a fraction of that price. Its just a matter of time folks, feels like a holiday!

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  62. carrie

    Oh I must clarify myself before the comments start to flow and I look like a weak female, my husband and I both decided to not buy that home, I cant help it if he wants to make me happy, and I like to treat him like my husband and not a room mate like some of you treat your spouses. if you all start to have respect for the differences in the opposite violent love instead of insulting character which seems common about each gender you might just give up the fight of change and accept each for who we are. have a nice day

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  63. blackjack21

    reap what you sow

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  64. Marin Real Estate

    I think I smell divorce.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  65. Steve

    I hated that commercial from the first time I saw it. Jebus, what a harpy.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  66. Seattle Bubble Glossary | Seattle Bubble — News & discussion about real estate & the housing bubble in the Seattle area.

    [...] A now-famous line uttered in a Century 21 commercial titled “The Debate” that has become the poster-child of the housing bubble. See the commercial on YouTube here. Also be sure to check out this related post. [...]

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  67. Merry Christmas from Seattle Bubble | Seattle Bubble — News & discussion about real estate & the housing bubble in the Seattle area.

    [...] A Visit from Hank Paulson ‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the land Not a creature was stirring, not even Suzanne; [...]

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  68. Friday Flashback: “Home prices will not go any lower.” • Seattle Bubble

    [...] words like research enough, maybe people will believe our total BS? I mean seriously guys, Suzanne reasearched this.In light of the current REALTOR-aided media panic blitz over today’s rising rates, I thought [...]

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  69. David

    Hi Tim,

    I am in the UK and we are currently going through an economic recession like most of the western world. I have already lost my permanent job, and I am in and out of temporary work at the moment. My wife’s job is potentially on the line because her employer is going through a “re-structuring” process. And guess what! We have just bought a new, bigger house.

    So we have gone from a small house that we owned completely with no mortgage, to a bigger house with a fairly substantial mortgage with unreliable income! All because she wanted a bigger house and could not wait any longer.

    Will we keep it? Who knows! Time will tell!

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  70. Rediscovered −All Time Classic Article − Patrick Killelea

    [...] divorce me if I don’t buy a house. FALSE. She will divorce you if you do buy a house and go bankrupt trying to pay the mortgage. She won’t divorce you if you rent a much nicer place than you can [...]

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  71. Eleua

    I’m not a big Dr. Laura fan, but this one is a home run. I totally forgot about “Suzanne,” but you can bet I will be entirely insufferable with this at every opportunity.

    What a joke of a time that was. Just think, the supposedly “most advanced” society in world history (cough, cough, ack, gasp, gag, barf, hurl, slit-my-writs, blow-my-head-off-with-1-10#-block-of-C4), thought it could become perpetually wealthy simply by living in homes.

    Even better? We think taking on more debt will solve the problem and that nobody has to take the loss. Good Lord Almighty, we are a stupid people.

    Our grandchildren will curse us.

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