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.

83 responses to “2012: The Year of Crappy Housing Selection”

  1. robotslave

    I don’t think it will be such a bad year to be a home buyer, if you’re looking for something lower-priced to keep your potential losses down, and you’re willing to compromise a bit on location, so long as the floors are shiny and kitchen has new everything and attractive recessed lighting.

    It’s always a good time to flip!

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  2. Scotsman

    Harsh. No spring bounce? Realtors have Christmas bills to pay. . .

    If you subtract the inventory gains south of I-90 I bet the picture is really gloomy. ;-) But if you just bought a house, or are thinking of buying a house, your 2012 capital losses may not be as bad as originally thought.

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  3. Kary L. Krismer

    I’m not sure what the change in new listings graph is, but starting last year you no longer got a shinny new model year listing number by cancelling (or expiring) and re-listing.

    So before a 26XXXX listing number meant it was listing in 2006, and a 27XXXX listing number meant 2007. Now it just goes sequentially higher, so there’s no advantage in listing number by cancelling and re-listing.

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  4. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 3 – I just looked it up, and what I think was the first listing in 2010 was filed on 1/1/2010 at 12:00:08 a.m. Hell of a way to celebrate the new year!

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  5. JH Gailey

    Yes, I’ve been looking for anything decent on the East side on one story (can’t do stairs) since December, and there have literally been two listings even worth looking at. Crap crap and more crap – esp in the under 400K price range…

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  6. Partial View

    By JH Gailey @ 5:

    Crap crap and more crap – esp in the under 400K price range…

    I’ve seen mostly three sorts of houses under 400k in my choice neighborhoods… overpriced bungalows, houses bought by flippers as soon as they hit the market, and houses so wrecked even flippers don’t want them. Not a fun market.

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  7. Peter Witting

    RE: Partial View @ 6 -What neighborhoods are those?

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  8. corncob

    Even at higher brackets its crap. We are looking up to 600k around the Redmond/Sammamish area and its either good and goes quick or sits on the market forever. We are struggling to find even one new house to look at each week, nothing is coming on the market.

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  9. Mars

    Agree with corncob. Very few desirable properties come to the market. If anything is “fairly” priced, it will be quickly grabbed. Rest of the crap sits forever with no takers for them. Flips are plenty too, but most of them suck as well!

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  10. David Losh

    The flippers are sucking big time. It is really scary out there.

    I’m just going to give my usual pitch on this subject of owning Real Estate.

    You are going to have to trade up in an unorthodox way. You should buy well below what you can afford, get the most 30 year mortgage you can get, at the lowest interest rate, and begin paying it off immediately. Make principal payments until the thing is amortizing like gang busters.

    After a couple of years start improving the property slowly, but judiciously with your eye on selling. If you want to rent the place out, and go on to the next one, great.

    The point is to beat the bank, get free, and clear, as soon as possible, then buy for cash as you trade up, again, or use your “house” cash to amortize your way into what you want.

    You are going to have to play the game in this market to get ahead. Sorry.

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  11. patient

    Many would be sellers are either under water or have delusions of a sudden return to what they perceive as fair prices, i.e bubble prices. Forced sales will become an ever bigger part of the sales in this environment which should logically speed up the journey to the bottom. It doesn’t mean we are anywhere close to it in time or percentage just that it should come sooner than if all owners were able to happily sell as they are in an upmarket.

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  12. Scotsman

    RE: patient @ 11

    “Forced sales will become an ever bigger part of the sales in this environment which should logically speed up the journey to the bottom.”

    Lots of projection, not a lot of clear logic? Seems to me as inventory goes away so does the incentive to cut price. We talk a lot here about locked up (upside down) and shadow inventory, but not a lot about pent up demand. Price movements tell the real story of the balance between sucky inventory and demand. Too many tend to assume constantly falling demand as economic awareness grows. Yet the comments are filled with posts from people who are actively looking for something that fits changing needs. Last year prices fell as demand dropped faster than supply. But 2012 may be different

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  13. robotslave

    RE: Scotsman @ 12

    “Yet the comments are filled with posts from people who are actively looking for something that fits changing needs.”

    Comments are full of people who need (or want) the sort of house they’re looking for to drop into their price range before they’ll put in an offer. Yes, there’s interest, but I’m not sure “pent up demand” is the right way to characterize it; you could just as easily call it “patient buyers.”

    We’ll see. If some of the super-stale inventory out there starts to move, I might start to believe the market is picking up for realsies.

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  14. Ray Pepper

    RE: Scotsman @ 12

    “2012 maybe different” Not in YOUR lifetime Scotsman! Homeowners should remain ecstatic if property values hold EVEN over the next decade. This will NOT be the case. Sure Fed Stimulus will curb a low % of the foreclosures but once again they will remain bandaides on SEVERE arterial wounds. In the end they will ALL COME BACK!

    They will return to the market via short sale, deed in lieu, foreclosure, and conventional sales priced at their ever increasing lower market value. Millions will look back and wished they “let it go” in 2006-10. Those that hold will question their decision month after month for many many years when they make their mortgage payment. All the Loan Modifiers that did NOT get a drop in principle to current value and got their 3-5 year plan will surely revisit their WALKAWAY option they get again in 2013-17 because people will only remain STUPID for so long.

    I’ll stick with Schiller: http://www.distressedvolatility.com/2011/06/robert-shiller-home-price-slide-could.html and this old 2008 article stating it will take decades to recover: http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/housing/2008-12-12-homeprices_N.htm

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  15. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: Mars @ 9RE: corncob @ 8 – In a way this market is like the peak, where you had to be looking constantly and act quickly to get a good property. It took a lot of work, and perhaps even some luck, to get the right property then too.

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  16. Kary L. Krismer

    By robotslave @ 13:

    RE: Scotsman @ 12

    “Yet the comments are filled with posts from people who are actively looking for something that fits changing needs.”

    Comments are full of people who need (or want) the sort of house they’re looking for to drop into their price range before they’ll put in an offer. Yes, there’s interest, but I’m not sure “pent up demand” is the right way to characterize it; you could just as easily call it “patient buyers.”

    There’s another group out there which is okay with the current price, okay with possible future prices, but simply not comfortable in their own economic security. Perhaps their company is not solid and considering layoffs or even a shut down, or perhaps they’re just concerned due to the state of the economy in general. What those people are waiting for is the economy to improve, or at least the perception of that happening.

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  17. Macro Investor

    RE: Scotsman @ 12

    “Lots of projection, not a lot of clear logic? Seems to me as inventory goes away so does the incentive to cut price. We talk a lot here about locked up (upside down) and shadow inventory, but not a lot about pent up demand.”

    This is really fascinating. We have a former skeptic, who now sounds like like he just got a real estate license. We need a few of those funny video compilations where a politician argues with himself. Scotsman vs Scotsman… hilarious.

    The fact that you’re being snarky on a blog proves one thing. You know deep down your position is a losing one and you need to justify it to yourself. Cognitive dissonance is a b1tch… the Scotsman vs Scotman video inside your head plays on.

    You’ve tried your “pent up demand” gambit a few times before. It fell flat because it’s just plain wrong. I’ll repeat it now since you have your ears closed. Pent up demand applies to toasters and chewing gum. Not to a major purchase which requires CREDIT AVAILABILITY. Got that. Just because someone wants a house doesn’t mean they can buy one, even if the inventory is up, down, crappy or good.

    Also, you forget pent up supply. Below average inventory suggests lots of debt slaves waiting to sell. If bubble credit ever came back, sellers would come out in droves.

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  18. Macro Investor

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 16

    That’s true. It’s the classic mismatch of maturities. A job lasts 3-7 years on average. A mortgage is 30 years. That was less of a worry when prices were appreciating, because you could sell or refinance your way out of harms way.

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  19. Ira Sacharoff

    RE: Macro Investor @ 17
    It’s true. Scotsman used to be one of the biggest bears on this site. Now I’m suspecting not that he got a real estate license, but that John L Scott sent his goons with their tire irons and did their job on Ol’ Scotsman.

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  20. patient

    RE: Scotsman @ 12

    Falling demand is likely more directly related to the ever increasing pool of would be move up buyers that are stuck in their homes than macro economics. Supply is equally impacted of this market sickness. It causes low inventory and low sales numbers of non distressed properties. And as long as prices keep falling this pool keeps growing and i would guess far exceeds the growth of the pool of able and willing buyers. Able and willing buyers will likely keep chasing deals among distressed properties. I currently can’t see any “clear logic” in assuming a bullish outlook, sorry. The Tim at least holds to his affordability angle and has changed his tune accordingly. However unreliable I think it is in the current scenario as shown by many other markets where affordability is through the roof but still there is no bottom at least he’s somewhat consistent.

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  21. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: patient @ 20 – That could be especially true of condo owners. Condos were thought of as starter units, with the idea being they would be sold in 3 years and then the owner would buy a house.

    There was a lot of talk of the first time buyer tax credits stealing future demand. That’s hard to see, but the sale of condos during the peak period did steal a lot of future demand.

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  22. whatsmyname

    By Macro Investor @ 17:

    RE: Scotsman @ 12

    You’ve tried your “pent up demand” gambit a few times before. It fell flat because it’s just plain wrong. I’ll repeat it now since you have your ears closed. Pent up demand applies to toasters and chewing gum. Not to a major purchase which requires CREDIT AVAILABILITY. Got that. Just because someone wants a house doesn’t mean they can buy one, even if the inventory is up, down, crappy or good.

    Also, you forget pent up supply. Below average inventory suggests lots of debt slaves waiting to sell. If bubble credit ever came back, sellers would come out in droves.

    This illustrates what Scotsman means by “not a lot of clear logic”: Pent up demand does not apply to housing, but pent up supply does…. because they’re both reliant on credit availability.

    Here’s a projection: People who have been wanting to buy since 2004 thinking that people who have been wanting to sell since 2009 must be getting very sick of waiting.

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  23. Kary L. Krismer

    By whatsmyname @ 22:

    This illustrates what Scotsman means by “not a lot of clear logic”: Pent up demand does not apply to housing, but pent up supply does…. because they’re both reliant on credit availability.

    Could you explain that better? I’m not following the point you’re trying to make.

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  24. patient

    RE: whatsmyname @ 22

    It’s got to be very painful for sellers waiting for prices to “recover” but for buyers it’s a lot easier since the wait is continously rewarded with lower prices and larger savings.

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  25. whatsmyname

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 23
    I am paraphrasing his argument. He says that people wanting to buy housing cannot be “pent up demand” because that would rely on availability of credit. In the next sentence, he asserts that there is “pent up supply” because people would want to sell if the credit were available. These two definitions of “pent up” contradict each other.

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  26. whatsmyname

    By patient @ 24:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 22

    It’s got to be very painful for sellers waiting for prices to “recover” but for buyers it’s a lot easier since the wait is continously rewarded with lower prices and larger savings.

    For some, this is undoubtably true. But as you state in an earlier post, most of the “pent up” market is people who have moved off of the move-up chain. They are in a place they chose, and able to do the kinds of things that probably motivated them to buy in the first place, at a cost that is likely equivalent to rent or less.

    And there are very few people who believe that “real estate always goes down”.

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  27. John Bailo

    I’d wait until 2014 at least.

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  28. Scotsman

    Couple of points.

    I haven’t turned into a bull regarding housing or the national economy. I do think we’ve entered what may be a 5-7 year period of relative stability, especially here in the Seattle area. The local economy is holding its own in difficult times. And if we look at sales volume prior to the bubble you could say we aren’t that far off historical norms.

    Is financing really an issue? Yes, compared to the mirror fogging standards of 2006-7. But in shopping around for financing I’ve found 5% down conventional loans, FHA is still available for an even smaller down, and rates are indeed at record lows. It was mentioned to me that 85/15, a variation of the old 80/20 financing trick is available now. Not quite zero down, but not the total credit lock up many are talking about. On the financing side it isn’t so much the lack of availavle credit, it’s the lack of past stupid credit standards and consumers preferring to pay down existing debt over taking on new debt.

    We’re 5 years past the peak in what many thought would be a 7 year correction. Things change. Thought processes have to change too. I’d suspect many who were the last to get on the “housing is falling” bus will be the last to get off.

    What happens after 5-7 years? I’m betting on continued low rates, mild inflation, (yes, negative real rates) slowly improving employment, relative stability. The alternative is it all blows up as the government goes “poof.” And if that happens, who cares about home prices- there won’t be a functional market.

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  29. David Losh

    I had some time today to look at the NWMLS to see how crappy the market is. It’s really bad.

    Everything, or most things below $350K are short sales. I picked Seattle, Ballard, and some of the other side of I-5. At $500K, or there abouts there are some houses for sale, but it looks like about half are reviewing offers, at some given date.

    It’s insane.

    I looked at Everett, and below for anything decent in the lower price range, and was extremely disappointed, so then I looked south of Seattle to Burien.

    There is no way that any one buying a property today is going to come out of this with anything but a loss from the original list price. When you go to sell you will sell for less than what you paid. Forget the 10% selling costs, because that is a given as a pure loss.

    The market hasn’t changed or stabilized, it’s the same market we had in 2006, 2007. Now the people who bought then are stuck or walking away. When they walk away, which looks like a lot, then those properties sell for what may be called less than peak, but they are exactly the properties that should have never sold for twice the price to begin with.

    The market never corrected. How is it possible that any one can look at what prices are today, and think this is how dad did it? Your dad bought into an appreciating market that had room to grow. Where would any one see growth in residential Real Estate today?

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  30. StillRenting

    Have any of you seen a good analysis of how the baby boom generation’s transition into retirement is going to affect the housing market in the next decade or so? Do you all think it will have any impact, or is the boomer generation not as disproportionately large as we think it is? My husband talks about the huge numbers of employees at his current employer who on the brink of retirement, and I’ve also heard similar things in other fields. All the talk about people leaving the move-up ladder due to the inability to sell their current house got me thinking about what’s going to happen when the boomers start moving into retirement homes or simply pass on. They or their heirs won’t have as much choice to wait it out until prices rise again.

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  31. Scotsman

    RE: David Losh @ 29

    “The market never corrected. How is it possible that any one can look at what prices are today, and think this is how dad did it? Your dad bought into an appreciating market”

    Never corrected? Many homes today can be had for half of what they sold for, or would have sold for, in 2006-7. You must be part of that group looking for more free sh*t.

    How dad did it? Homes are now more affordable for the median income borrower than they have been in decades.

    Bought into an appreciating market . . Ah, there’s the rub. Housing isn’t an asset in your portfolio, it isn’t an investment, it isn’t your retirement account. It’s an expense, just like it has been for most of human history, the last 40 years of government orchestrated “growth” excepted. What a shocker.

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  32. Scotsman

    RE: StillRenting @ 30

    Boomer retirements will have some impact on housing, but probably not in the way most people think- they won’t be causing a sudden crash in prices. The first thing to remember is that while they are a bubble in normal population trends, the size of that bubble is small, a variation in the norm of less than 12%. And they won’t all be retiring at once, but over 20-25 years.

    The smaller baby boom of the 1980s-90s is now coming of home buying age. so while the boomers are selling, the “excess” inventory will in part be absorbed by their grandchildren.

    Of greater consequence is the fact that people are living longer. And all those folks will need housing. Boomers having an impact? Yup, but with a number of counter trends in play the impact probably won’t be as large, at least on housing, as originally thought.

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  33. David Losh

    RE: Scotsman @ 31

    I took the “half of what was paid” into account.

    “When they walk away, which looks like a lot, then those properties sell for what may be called less than peak, but they are exactly the properties that should have never sold for twice the price to begin with.”

    Massive price run ups were for what sold. Lower end properties that could be had in 2001 for $125K were selling for over $200K at peak. Those are now 50% off, which would be normal.

    When you get over $350K to $600K it’s the same crap for the same price as it was in 2004, at the beginning of the run up. That’s where you get the 30% off.

    I’m going to challenge the affordability with the same argument about an appreciating market. I don’t think many people are looking at that. No matter what you say, from WWII to 1998, we had a market place that rose with inflation. We don’t have that now. Even if we have stagnating prices we have real losses in wages.

    The unemployment figures should be your first indication. Your second indication is that companies no longer hire from cradle to grave. Many people work on a contract basis that will end in 5 to 7 years. There is no pension plan, stock option, long term committment to employment.

    So even though you can point to a higher wage base, here in Seattle, it’s another snap shot in time, that is coupled with low interest rates.

    The affordablity isn’t giving you any indication of value.

    More to my point is that I have never seen so many short sales, and REOs. It’s hard to imagine those won’t impact future values, or people’s perception of value. A person paying $500K today, is stuck with it. How do you pay off $500K? with $500K. It’s just another debt trap.

    We haven’t had that before. We have had a pretty sure bet on that 4% inflation to cover the sales costs in three or four years. Now we just have debt, and losses.

    It’s never been this way before. You have no historical data to say that what we have is the way it has always been.

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  34. Kary L. Krismer

    By David Losh @ 29:

    I had some time today to look at the NWMLS to see how crappy the market is. It’s really bad.

    Everything, or most things below $350K are short sales. I picked Seattle, Ballard, and some of the other side of I-5

    Less than a third of the active listings (SFR) with Seattle addresses below 350k are short sale listings. North of I-90 it’s about 1/3rd.

    Percentages from NWMLS sources, but not complied by or guaranteed by the NWMLS.

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  35. Peter Witting

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 19 – And he’ll change his name to “Scott’sman”

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  36. David Losh

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 34

    Check your figures again, I’m using Ballard.

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  37. Scotsman

    RE: Peter Witting @ 35RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 19

    Ouch. Tough crowd.

    When I first came to this site as part of the 10% who were bears everyone said I was wrong. Ray was buying GEMS he’s now given back, Ardell was buying her dream house and getting ready to live large (since back to the bank), Seattle was truly special and going against national trends (ah, the famous lag issue) and Suzanne was busy doing research that showed how wrong guys like me were. I did my reading, crunched the numbers, tried to piece together a most likely outcome for then current events. I’ve been pretty much right all along with the exception of calling for interest rates to rise (they won’t- they can’t, or the government goes bankrupt). Now everybody is on the “housing disaster” bus and riding happily along. Total crowd mentality.

    I’m off the bus, at least for the near future, and catching flak from the riders. I’m not saying prices are headed back up anytime soon. But for lower priced properties, those at close to 3 times median income, the worst is over (using median income for the area you’re looking in).

    Don’t hate me ’cause I might live . . . south of I-90.

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  38. patient

    RE: Scotsman @ 37

    No worries Scotsman, you and I have agreed on most things economy and housing over the years even if politically and socially we are very far a part. You were just more into an apocalyptic outcome with need to buy ammo build a bunker and grow your own food which I didn’t subscribe to. When I first started reading the bubble in 2005 it felt like around 80% were bears and now it feels more like 50/50 so I think the crowd mentaility has actually decreased to a more balanced crowd. I still think you and I have a similar outlook on the economy but no longer about housing. It’s ok and I wish you good luck with your purchase even if I will come by here now and then and dispute your imo pretty weak stability arguments. Foreign investors swooping in and save the day and all :)

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  39. Ira Sacharoff

    RE: Scotsman @ 37
    For the record, I agree with you. I still think higher priced properties in those “special” areas are overpriced and will still drop some more, but for those us who are willing to suffer the indignity of living south of I-90, the large numbers of short sales and foreclosures have pushed down the prices of pretty decent houses 50% from their peak, making them cheaper to buy than to rent. It doesn’t strike me that they’re about to skyrocket in value. In fact I expect flatness for at least a few years. But I’m seeing much nicer homes for the same price now than was on the market a few years ago, at least in the low tier, and I just can’t see them going much lower. But Dave Losh is also right. Those highly sought after 1920’s Craftsmen in Sunset Hill or Ravenna have barely budged from the peak, maybe a 10 or 15% decline? I think Ardell might say that it points to the strength and stability of the neighborhood, and that those neighborhoods are pretty much immune from big price declines. I still think that there aren’t enough people around who can afford them, and they’re cruisin for a bruisin.

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  40. ARDELL

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 39

    I think sometimes it is just the agents not daring to give the market the benefit of the doubt. As you know I listed a property recently South of I-90. Other agents were thinking, as you seem to be, that the price should be influenced by nearby distressed property sales. I did not. The first person in offered close to asking, which was 25% higher than the neighborhood agents suggested it be listed for. Clearly it would have sold for 25% less, if that is as much as the agent dares to hope for.

    I think the market is influenced by agents who need a quick sale.

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  41. Ira Sacharoff

    RE: ARDELL @ 40
    Maybe the listing agent deserves some credit for that one.

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  42. Ray Pepper

    RE: Scotsman @ 37

    lets clarify ! WE NEVER GAVE BACK ANY…We make the banks take them back and PAY US when WE decide we no longer want the property. We decided there were about 6 but by the time its all over it will be 10-12. Since the “give back” we replaced the 6 with 4 and to be quite honest the Crash was the BEST thing that could have EVER happened to all of us. Again, we can only play the hand we are dealt to the best of our ability.

    We continue to BUY Gems and if the market dictates we will dump those as well. Holding onto non-performing assets is INSANE. For YOU or ANYONE to suggest we are at or anywhere near a bottom based on all the information we have is incompetent. As I said before I’m sure you are making a great purchase and you are not as BrainDead in denial as Millionnaire Mike so I hope you enjoy your home. But, don’t try and PUMP up this crowd with your silly stats of low inventory and strong demand demographics.

    Keep looking back while flagellating and patting yourself on the back for waiting but don’t think you made the correct decision to buy now. The real money continues to sit on all these homes bought 5 years ago while forcing the hands to cash you out. You will hear all about it in due time and the anger will continue to fester among the millions who continue to pay when they truly hear what is going on out there and what REAL people are getting..

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  43. Scotsman

    RE: Ray Pepper @ 42

    My apologies, Ray, for not giving you full credit for the excellent job you and your “investors” did of screwing the banks out of their money. For not giving you full credit for your awesome ability to dupe others into paying for your impatience and stupidity while passing off any and all personal responsibility. And for not giving you full credit for being one of the skankiest people on this site.

    Please consider credit given where credit is due.

    Do I get a 500 Realty T shirt now, or are you down to pens and sticky note pads?

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  44. Ray Pepper

    RE: Scotsman @ 43

    Still waiting on the shirts order and SOLD OUT of pens and note pads..We give those out to freely! I got you down for a 500 hat in May.

    Skanky? Pretty Harsh..screwing Banks out of THEIR money? Scotsman appears you know NOTHING of what occurred and whose money it was and where it is now. It was NEVER the banks money then, NOR is it now…Educate yourself first before you speak anymore because we smell what your cooking. Macro has you nailed and if only MichaelB could come around to knock some sense into you maybe you will see the light going forward!

    But, again I do think your purchase will be better then Millionnaire Mike. Those type of buffoons who can drop a mill, lie, and stay in denial don’t come around too often.. Your morally righteous people who JUDGE and DICTATE what others SHOULD DO with THEIR families future while raising their familes are the most dangerous type of people out there for so many reasons. Anyone check your cookies lately? What would we find? Hmmm?

    You see Scotsman we all give back in our own way. One thing we all have in common is we want whats best for the family unit. Those who seek to destroy it, like Wall Street did to so many millions for a generation, must be stopped. This is done through education and the power that homeowners posess in their upside down home. The banks do NOT want to realize these losses even more then the homeowner..These homes continue to wreak havoc on the families and destroy marriages thereby affecting the children which we cannot accept.

    If there is anyone “duping” anyone its narcissistic people like you advising others to continue to pay because of moralistic reasons that you somehow justify in your own mind as the common good. Wall Street drew first blood and its up to the familes to now fight and get EDUCATED and not listen to idiots like you who tell them “we are nearing a bottom” “things are getting better” all in an attempt to make you feel better about what you are doing in YOUR personal life and giving false hope…

    (hope I wasn’t too harsh..its late. I suffered two nasty losses in my Metro Parks Hot Peppers undefeated teams today and my daughter got a bloody lip so all day long I had to pacify her in an attempt to keep her spirits up)

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  45. Scotsman

    RE: Ray Pepper @ 44

    “Those who seek to destroy it, like Wall Street . . . ”

    Sorry Ray- didn’t know the evil bankers had been holding a gun to your head and forcing you to sign those papers. My apologies.

    “advising others to continue to pay because of moralistic reasons that you somehow justify”

    Ya know Ray, I’ll easily forgive a homeowner, maybe not the best educated or informed, who bails on their single home purchase. But a big deal investor, like you, sending a dozen or so back to the bank (ah, sorry- “forcing the bank to take them all back”) is a very different story. I don’t care how you spin it- my alleged moral deficiencies fall well short of your glorious efforts to deceive and deny mostly yourself.

    I know, I know- it’s all about the children, the village, blah, blah, blah.

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  46. Ray Pepper

    RE: Scotsman @ 45

    Again Scotsman…you don’t know all the facts and you Judge AGAIN. Your a real piece of work.

    There are 12 of us in 3 LLC’s..This is not including wives and children. If you add them all up probably 30+ people..So by your logic you will forgive 1 homeowner who may not be as competent as we are. Well, I’m here to tell you that many of the people involved put their money in (as I did) and some were not near as “competent.” We chose our option of not letting the portfolio suffer losses and at first we were concerned but in fact they turned out to produce VERY large gains to this very day! Furthermore we engage in every Loan Modification that WAS and IS offered to homeowners by the investors to give the investors a chance for an offer we find see acceptable. However, we set the terms NEVER the investor.

    You see Scotsman if you had just a bit of intelligence of what is going on you would know the major banks are just the servicers and the money is long since gone. But, alas your intelligence is very limited in this arena and you continue to judge and perhaps be saddened by your lack of understanding of what is going on today and what has occurred. You continue to bang on your drum of your retail investment as being good timing and so proud of waiting that you are a bigger joke then Millionnaire Mike who I think finally realizes he is upside down 1.2 mill not to mention his Condo…

    Lastly, Scotsman..”Big Deal Investor”…I already mentioned numerous times that the count is most likely going to be about 10 properties over 6 years or longer if we so choose. Your continued opinion of us being BIG TIME is comical. We are VERY small time investors who are perfectly happy flipping properties and turning 30k-100k a year individually while holding our own personal investments as well.

    Please know ALL the facts before you engage. You seem to just run-off at the mouth like you did with the 1.3 mill purchase without digging first. Take the time Scotsman. One day you just may bring something to the table that could be of use here for a person or family in need.

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  47. Kary L. Krismer

    By David Losh @ 36:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 34

    Check your figures again, I’m using Ballard.

    If you’re going to be throwing data figures out, you need to be clear, accurate and make a disclaimer.

    What you said was: “I picked Seattle, Ballard, and some of the other side of I-5.” That’s hardly clear, so that’s why I used the areas I mentioned. If you just want to include Ballard, as in listing is for Area 705 and the community is listed as Ballard, then it’s well below 1/3rd. If you want to do some map limitation that no one else can duplicate, it’s still unlikely to be true, or even over the 1/3rd I mentioned.

    Data from NWMLS sources, but not compiled or guaranteed by the NWMLS.

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  48. Kary L. Krismer

    By Scotsman @ 43:

    RE: Ray Pepper @ 42

    My apologies, Ray, for not giving you full credit for the excellent job you and your “investors” did of screwing the banks out of their money. For not giving you full credit for your awesome ability to dupe others into paying for your impatience and stupidity while passing off any and all personal responsibility. And for not giving you full credit for being one of the skankiest people on this site.

    Let’s not forget, posting evidence of what he did on the Internet for the authorities to see, and possibly use as evidence!

    I don’t have enough information on what Ray is doing to assess it, but the information he’s been giving out makes it questionable at the very least.

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  49. Kary L. Krismer

    By Ray Pepper @ 44:

    Skanky? Pretty Harsh..screwing Banks out of THEIR money? Scotsman appears you know NOTHING of what occurred and whose money it was and where it is now. It was NEVER the banks money then, NOR is it now…

    Ray, you really need to keep in mind that these are likely federally insured entities, and messing with federally insured entities can get you in very hot water. So publicly expressing an attitude where you don’t care what losses you cost them could very well come back to haunt you. Seriously, think before you post.

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  50. Kary L. Krismer

    By ARDELL @ 40:

    I think sometimes it is just the agents not daring to give the market the benefit of the doubt. As you know I listed a property recently South of I-90. Other agents were thinking, as you seem to be, that the price should be influenced by nearby distressed property sales. I did not. .

    I can understand why people outside the industry would think that–they read newspapers to get their information. But I don’t understand why agents would think that, absent an extreme neighborhood or complex situation.

    It’s possible they are taught that though. I remember one agent suggesting pricing properties by looking at the median price in the NWMLS area when the house last sold and then the current median price in that area to calculate the price (e.g. if the median was down 25% in area 705 price the house at 75% of the last sale price). I don’t know where they learned that nonsense, but they actually thought that made sense.

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  51. David Losh

    RE: Scotsman @ 37

    Sooo, does this mean we can count on your vote for Obama?

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  52. David Losh

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 34

    Is it only 1/3? Wow!

    This is a very crappy, and screwed up market place.

    I see the Real Estate agents revving up the affordability bus so that Scotsman can get a free ride to a massive amount of debt, that he doesn’t care about. He thinks it’s normal to take on $500K of debt with a sure loss, or what? 10%, on top of a 10% loss if he wants, or needs to sell. Banks deserve 20% down for the gift of generating a mortgage note to be sold in another Mortgage Backed Securities bundle.

    The problem is that after the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center were destroyed by terrorists we were all stunned. I personally came out of my quiet little life to help “rebuild” the American spirit. It’s a war, and a battle cry that the United states would bounce back!

    The construction industry is the cheapest, and easiest thing to promote that kick started our economy. Billions, and Trillions of dollars were pumped into our economy, and the global economy. We were told that we were doing our part to rebuild America, with prosperity, through home ownership. It was a patriotic thing to do, and our economy was strong enough to handle it.

    Look at the growth in China! Look at the global economy! We were economically strong, and resilient! It was all a load of carp, dumped onto the debt wagon.

    Here we are eleven years later with millions of housing units. Millions of housing units are still on the books to be built out. Count the cranes in down town Seattle, that ought to be good for about a thousand housing units.

    We are then selling off inventory in foreclosure, and short sale, with the government next promising to wholesale huge blocks of inventory to hedge funds.

    Does any of that sound like a normal, healthy market place? Does home ownership sound attractive, other than no one wants to deal with the land lord, who is stuck with his, or her load of crap. Housing is a dead deal, for decades to come, and yes Scotsman people will be begging you to take over the task of maintaining a property.

    So housing is never free, but we do have more than enough to go around.

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  53. David Losh

    RE: ARDELL @ 40

    Sounds a lot like a sales pitch for Ardell Real Estate services.

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  54. Ray Pepper

    “Ray, you really need to keep in mind that these are likely federally insured entities, and messing with federally insured entities can get you in very hot water. So publicly expressing an attitude where you don’t care what losses you cost them could very well come back to haunt you. Seriously, think before you post. ”

    Again, a VERY incompetent post. Everything I stated and WE did with our investments is without question LEGAL in every aspect of the term. Please advise me SPECIFICALLY what you you feel is ILLEGAL and cite the LAWS you reference so I can review.

    Its very easy to say this to anyone Kary: “I don’t have enough information on what Ray is doing to assess it, but the information he’s been giving out makes it questionable at the very least.” Please site what you would QUESTION and what you BELIEVE is ILLEGAL.

    I will try to put these investments in simple language for YOU and ANYONE who desire to understand:

    Bought, Investments Decreased in Value, Attempt Loan Mods to make what WE consider performing assets, utilize Counsel when we deem necessary( we never chase GOOD money after bad ), then 3+ years later we tend to make the decision on OUR terms how WE want to proceed. Throughout the process we utilize the Federal Tenants Rights of Foreclosure Laws to protect ourselves and our inhabitants while we attempt to MEDIATE our investments which are ALWAYS conducted in GOOD FAITH. When WE decide WE cannot come to an agreement with the investor then we take appropriate action based on OUR terms. These have resulted in CASH INCENTIVES from the investor to release the property and in 1 instance the PRINCIPLE REDUCTION or MORTGAGE CRAMDOWN if you will was amazing enough from the Regional Lender that we accepted it…..

    Again, knowledge is very powerful as it always has been. But, in these years going forward, when choosing to put money into depreciating assets, one must elevate their level of scrutiny and DD.

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  55. Ray Pepper

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 49

    and please Kary do not cite to me ANYTHING on Chapter 61.34 RCW . That would AGAIN be very incompetent. We know every ASPECT of these RCW’s and so does our Counsel when we choose to utilize.

    Please bring SOMETHING to the table based on your VAST legal expertise that “could come back to Haunt us.” You have anything?? Or just more “blanket” warnings ?

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  56. Kary L. Krismer

    By David Losh @ 52:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 34

    Is it only 1/3? Wow!

    This is a very crappy, and screwed up market placed.

    You don’t understand real estate. Short sale listings don’t tend to sell, so it’s not surprising that 1/3rd of particular listings are short sales.

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  57. Kary L. Krismer

    By Ray Pepper @ 55:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 49
    nd please Kary do not cite to me ANYTHING on Chapter 61.34 RCW . That would AGAIN be very incompetent.

    You’re right, that would be very incompetent since I’m referring to possible violation of federal criminal statutes. That’s why I referenced federally insured entities.

    Do you think that none of the people in jail for white collar crimes had access to counsel?

    But hey, just trying to give you a warning. Ignore it at your own peril.

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  58. David Losh

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 56

    I do understand that for forty years, that I know of, short sales have been few, and far between. Most were handled in house by Loss Mitigation departments, and a few Real Estate agents, very few.

    The fact you are quoting, or correcting me with a 1/3 of lower tier properties are short sales is extremely significant. I’ve also noticed more than a couple bankruptcy listings.

    Let’s see, bankruptcy listings, short sales, and REOs as a segment of the market place, a significant segment of the Real Estate market place, looks bad to me.

    If this looks stable to you, if this looks like healing to you, then I’d suggest you don’t understand Real Estate as a business.

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  59. Sweet Pea

    By ARDELL @ 40:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 39

    I think sometimes it is just the agents not daring to give the market the benefit of the doubt. As you know I listed a property recently South of I-90. Other agents were thinking, as you seem to be, that the price should be influenced by nearby distressed property sales. I did not. The first person in offered close to asking, which was 25% higher than the neighborhood agents suggested it be listed for. Clearly it would have sold for 25% less, if that is as much as the agent dares to hope for.

    I think the market is influenced by agents who need a quick sale.

    Personally, I think the people falling all over themselves to get an offer in on a non-distressed property as soon as it comes on the market should have their heads examined. That is the same herd mentality we had in the bubble, and I want no part of that kind of market. There is no reason to be so “desperate” to buy something. Unless it’s life-saving medication. I suppose with such low inventory, there’s enough to go around for the foolhardy.

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  60. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: David Losh @ 58 – By David Losh @ 29:

    I had some time today to look at the NWMLS to see how crappy the market is. It’s really bad.

    Everything, or most things below $350K are short sales. I picked Seattle, Ballard, and some of the other side of I-5.

    Just trying to correct what you said for those without access to the NWMLS system, not claim the market is great. The quoted statement is not true or even close to true.

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  61. One Eyed Man

    RE: Ray Pepper @ 55RE: Ray Pepper @ 54RE: Ray Pepper @ 46

    Assuming you, the LLC’s and your LLC members aren’t judgment proof, this is why you might want to show a little concern and perhaps exercise a little discretion as to what you say in a public forum.

    Did you and you’re LLC’s do you’re investment purchases with the individuals signing on the notes personally or with only the LLC’s signing on the notes. If only the LLC’s signed on the notes, were the lender’s foolish enough not to require a personal guarantee? Obviously if they didn’t the LLC members have no personal liability. But if the lenders let LLC’s buy without a guarantee, they’re fools. I never saw bankers that foolish but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. If there are personal guarantee’s the lender should pursue the guarantors and perhaps the LLC’s in a judicial foreclosure, assuming there are significant assets available for execution .

    If that’s outside the banks comfort zone (which it usually is) perhaps a hard money investor should do a little research on your LLC’s and offer to buy some of the underwater loans for the purpose of pursing the LLC and the guarantors, assuming the LLC and the guarantors have assets available for execution. Although there are important legal differences, the economic analysis for pursuing the guarantors is similar enough to pursuing note signatories that the analysis below is probably sufficient for purposes of this forum.

    If the members signed as personally liable on the notes for the property purchases or as guarantors of a note made by the LLC, the bank should probably pursue a judicial foreclosure given the income and assets you claim.

    If you claim that the banks won’t pursue you due to the cost of a judicial foreclosure and because they aren’t geared up to due non-judicial foreclosures much less judicial foreclosures, perhaps some entreprenurial attorney, like the guys at Walaw or Mr. Krismer should do a little further due diligence on you and your investors to determine if there are assets available for execution. If any of you really have a pot to pee in, perhaps they or a hard money investor (I’m sure Kary could shop the hard money guys with an informational packet if your group really has assets) should buy some of your outstanding paper at a discounted price just above what the banks figure they would net in a non-judicial foreclosure and then opt to go judicial.

    If the banks are writing off 25% on the loans you walk away from and the individuals liable on the note have assets available for execution to cover the 25% plus attorney’s fees, the investor could potentially make a return of about 20%/yr by buying the paper and going judicial assuming a 2 yr time line to sue and collect. Even considering that they’re buying a lawsuit, that might be enough of a return to interest hard money investors these days.

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  62. David Losh

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 60

    The only thing in your comment that’s worth repeating is that those people without access to the NWMLS are getting a very shallow look at the market place.

    The search functions of redfin, or Zillow are specific to a property. They don’t show broad market at all.

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  63. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 61 – Again not enough detail of exactly what is being done, but I would question whether the guarantor would still be liable even after a non-judicial foreclosure. I wasn’t going that direction though, and don’t think that what Ray says here would affect the banks going after such liability.

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  64. Scotsman

    RE: David Losh @ 51

    Ah, I see you’ve discovered Purple Fantasy with the crystaled tops. Did you find it on Craigslist, or at a local dispensary? I hear a lot of dems are smoking it.

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  65. David Losh

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 61

    Boy it’s getting thick in here. I was just over working with the http://www.occupywallstreet.com people the past couple of days, at Kary’s insistence, and have noticed these absolutely whacky comments.

    First Scotsman is making noises about buying a property. The house he rents must have completed the foreclosure process. Then we have the attacks on the Raymundo empire, and Ray’s defense.

    Ardell stops by to make a sales pitch, and thankfully Sweet Pea interjects some sanity into this comment thread.

    More to the point, about judicial, and non judicial foreclosure, that part is over, there is no shopping Notes.

    What Ray should be concerned about is criminal activity. Posting comments about how to rob a bank, isn’t wise. If a crime was committed, then there is a level of concern. As long as you keep hammering on civil case law, there’s nothing in the Raymundo empire to go after.

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  66. David Losh

    RE: Scotsman @ 64

    Is that a yes? I’m just checking to see who might be posting under the Scotsman gravatar.

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  67. One Eyed Man

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 63

    Banks won’t, but hard money people might if the risk reward looks good enough. I’ve had private lender clients buy notes from banks before. Ray says he’s making money on some deals and walking away from liability on others because the banks won’t pursue him or his LLC’s judicially. The only judicial I ever say was by a private lender client. They’ll do the things that are outside the commercial banks comfort zone. If you advertise that the banks are leaving raw meat on the table, the big bad wolf might start sniffing around.

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  68. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 67 – I was focusing on the loan possibly being considered commercial and the anti-deficiency provisions not being applicable to guarantors. So a non-judicial followed by a suit against guarantors.

    I’ve never looked into that issue carefully, however, so I don’t know what the limitations of that provision are.

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  69. Scotsman

    RE: David Losh @ 65

    Nice post. Did you get a lot done with the OWS folks, or are they still too busy running around trying to find themselves, or at least some one to hook up with?

    How do you tell the real OWS follks from the paid shills?

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  70. David Losh

    RE: Scotsman @ 69

    That is getting to be tough. I think when the Black Bloc crowd, the anarchists, were shopping for corporate sponsors they lost a lot of credibility.

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  71. Ray Pepper

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 61

    Finally a competent post…Let me ease your concerns with this statement: “were the lender’s foolish enough not to require a personal guarantee?”

    On the properties in question we had the option on each and every purchase to pay additional fees at close and rate to NOT have personal guarantees on the loans. None are commercial. The rest of what you stated was immaterial and we are EACH individually garnish proof based on the ways the LLC’s were established per our Counsel.

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  72. robotslave

    RE: Ray Pepper @ 71

    Ahh, I thought so.

    Reading through all this, I’ve been thinking to myself, “there’s no way in hell Ray’s hayseed empire is backed by a bank bigger than a breadbox”.

    The question of who holds the paper and how is a big piece of the puzzle, and from the sound of it, he’s got someone in the hinky two-bit banking game in on the racket, and if that hustler’s got any sense, they’re using the paper as packing material for a more respectable product, then turning it right around and dumping into someone else’s lap. Or someone else’s bank’s lap, from the sound of it.

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  73. Kary L. Krismer

    By Ray Pepper @ 71:

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 61

    Finally a competent post…Let me ease your concerns with this statement: “were the lenderâ��s foolish enough not to require a personal guarantee?”

    On the properties in question we had the option on each and every purchase to pay additional fees at close and rate to NOT have personal guarantees on the loans. None are commercial. The rest of what you stated was immaterial and we are EACH individually garnish proof based on the ways the LLC’s were established per our Counsel.

    If an LLC is getting the loan, it’s commercial.

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  74. eric

    This is totally true in the area I’m looking. no inventory. and if you’re a flipper. screw off. stop messing up the market for families who can do some work themeselves, and better. go speculate on oil or something else – not housing. Didn’t you idiots get burned bad enough? do you have to learn that lesson all over again? I think Banks will dump a bunch of inventory later this year, but they are holding right now to firm up prices

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  75. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: eric @ 74 – The best flippers didn’t get burned, because they picked the right houses and fixed them in relatively fast time. They fix up houses far better than your typical remodel, although perhaps not as well as a dedicated owner who knows what they are doing.

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  76. Ira Sacharoff

    RE: David Losh @ 51
    The odds of Scotsman voting for Obama are about the same as me dying my hair blonde, putting on mascara ,blue eye shadow a polka dotted dress, and clown shoes, and showing houses to clients dressed like that. It’s theoretically possible, and maybe it would increase sales…Hmmm…Does this dress make me look fat?

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  77. Scotsman

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 76

    Not bad- you clean up well. I’m glad you shaved, otherwise it would have been quite disturbing:

    http://ts3.mm.bing.net/images/thumbnail.aspx?q=1610517913946&id=cf4bb8e0e48346f73074604ea2371a9c&url=http%3a%2f%2fwww.betsyrosscostumes.com%2ffiles%2f2881556%2fuploaded%2fFranco%2520019.jpg

    And no- even though you do dress up in women’s clothing, I’m still not voting for Obama.

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  78. deejayoh

    By Scotsman @ 37:

    RE: Peter Witting @ 35RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 19

    Ouch. Tough crowd.

    When I first came to this site as part of the 10% who were bears everyone said I was wrong. Ray was buying GEMS he’s now given back, Ardell was buying her dream house and getting ready to live large (since back to the bank), Seattle was truly special and going against national trends (ah, the famous lag issue) and Suzanne was busy doing research that showed how wrong guys like me were. I did my reading, crunched the numbers, tried to piece together a most likely outcome for then current events. I’ve been pretty much right all along with the exception of calling for interest rates to rise (they won’t- they can’t, or the government goes bankrupt). Now everybody is on the “housing disaster” bus and riding happily along. Total crowd mentality.

    I’m off the bus, at least for the near future, and catching flak from the riders. I’m not saying prices are headed back up anytime soon. But for lower priced properties, those at close to 3 times median income, the worst is over (using median income for the area you’re looking in).

    Don’t hate me ’cause I might live . . . south of I-90.

    OMG. Scotsman falls.

    FWIW, I think when you came to the blog it was 90% bears and 10% @sshat flamers. But you held out on bearishness longer than many (e.g. The Tim and myself). I had you figured for the long haul. But then when I heard you sent your kids to top notch universities – I realized you couldn’t possibly be as eternally pessimistic as you come off in your posts ;-)

    Economy may be crap, but it’s not all about housing any longer.

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  79. deejayoh

    By robotslave @ 72:

    “there’s no way in hell Ray’s hayseed empire is backed by a bank bigger than a breadbox”.

    nominated

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  80. Scotsman

    RE: deejayoh @ 78

    It’s the math. Rent or buy cheap with a 5 year timeline and other non-financial considerations and buying wins. Still waiting for retirement and a much nicer house- at a reduced price.

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  81. deejayoh

    By Scotsman @ 80:

    RE: deejayoh @ 78

    It’s the math. Rent or buy cheap with a 5 year timeline and other non-financial considerations and buying wins. Still waiting for retirement and a much nicer house- at a reduced price.

    Maybe you can pick up one of Ray’s “turn backs” and hire David Losh to clean it out for you!

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  82. Seattle Bubble • February Stats Preview: Surprise Sales Spike Edition?

    [...] Continuing the unusual trend began last month, inventory continued to drop during a time of year that it usually is trending up. 2012 is still living up to its title of the year of crappy selection. [...]

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  83. Seattle Bubble • Reporting Roundup: Unique Greedy Frenzy Edition

    [...] was indeed the year of crappy selection, start to [...]

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

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