Monday Open Thread (2013-01-21)

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Here is your open thread for Monday January 21st, 2013. You may post random links and off-topic discussions here. Also, if you have an idea or a topic you’d like to see covered in an article, please make it known.

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About 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.

15 comments:

  1. 1

    By Howard @ 11:

    Someone is asleep at the wheel at NWMLS..

    If you use their mortgage calculator link the lowest interest rate is 4%… been a while since it was it was 4.0

    Try Karl’s Mortgage Calculator for Android. You might have to do a bit more math to deal with things like taxes, insurance and down payment, but those calculations are not hard.

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  2. 2

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 1

    That’s an Equation or Table Method They Should Have Taught Us All in Highschool

    But they never did.

    Its basic information to planning a life budget. But you’re right Kary, its hidden on some website instead….hades, our laptops should do it for us on Excel, perhaps they do.

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  3. 3

    RE: softwarengineer @ 2 – Back when I went to high school even a simple calculator was pretty expensive. I’m not even sure they had one with business functions back then, but they did have them when I went to college. Later, when Visual Basic came out I wrote a simple program to determine the 4th value if you knew any of the the other three values. Unfortunately I no longer have that program or the code.

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  4. 4

    The NWMLS’s Discover page is giving agents bad information on waterfront property! It says: “To qualify as a waterfront property, at least one parcel line must touch the waterfront.” For Lake Washington a lot of the waterfront parcels do not touch the water because the platting was done before they lowered Lake Washington, but the owners still own out to the water (and beyond). King County’s parcel viewer will show such lots touching the water, but the sidelines may be wrong. Realist will show the correct parcel lines. The deeds will typically mention second class shorelands, I believe.

    I wonder how far from the front door an agent would land after they tell someone they cannot list their Lake Washington property as waterfront because none of the parcel lines hit the water?

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  5. 5
    Howard says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 4:

    The NWMLS’s Discover page is giving agents bad information on waterfront property! It says: “To qualify as a waterfront property, at least one parcel line must touch the waterfront.” For Lake Washington a lot of the waterfront parcels do not touch the water because the platting was done before they lowered Lake Washington, but the owners still own out to the water (and beyond). King County’s parcel viewer will show such lots touching the water, but the sidelines may be wrong. Realist will show the correct parcel lines. The deeds will typically mention second class shorelands, I believe.

    I wonder how far from the front door an agent would land after they tell someone they cannot list their Lake Washington property as waterfront because none of the parcel lines hit the water?

    Or the property that I just had a feasibility study done on. It is a long narrow lot. There is a critical area buffer that eats up 40% of a .8 acre lot. That critical area buffer just happens to engulf the waterfront portion to 200′ upland. Any house built will have a small lake view and a silted over dock.

    Not nearly as much incentive to build you dream house when you will mostly be looking at your neighbors garages.

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  6. 6

    I just downloaded a copy of the complaint in that distressed property lawsuit discussed in the “Sour Note” thread. Among the allegations in the complaint are that the documents used to obtain the property included language purporting to waive the provisions of the distressed property law. If true, that is amazing! It would mean that these people didn’t just trip into a possible distressed property law transaction, but that they were purposefully trying to avoid it.

    Another interesting fact is that requested in the complaint is penalties of $100,000.00. I didn’t realize that Washington had raised this form of punitive damages to that level. That makes entering into these transactions much more risky, which is a good thing.

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  7. 7
    softwarengineer says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 3

    Its In Your Excel Kary

    Help from Excel [example]

    Data Description
    8% Annual interest rate
    10 Number of months of payments
    10000 Amount of loan
    Formula Description (Result)
    =PMT(A2/12, A3, A4) Monthly payment for a loan with the above terms (-1,037.03)
    =PMT(A2/12, A3, A4, 0, 1) Monthly payment for a loan with the above terms, except payments are due at the beginning of the period (-1,030.16)

    To make it easier Kary [Help rarely does],

    Open Excel
    select a mortgage calulator cell
    hit the formulas tab on Excel
    Select PMT

    The rest is self explanatory

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  8. 8

    RE: softwarengineer @ 7 – Cool, I’ll have to check that out. It could be really useful to send to clients.

    Back in my attorney days a lot of clients would send material that really should have been in a word processing format in Excel format. Hopefully it’s just as popular now as it was then.

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  9. 9
    Pegasus says:

    RE: Howard @ 5 – Howard, curious about how much that feasibility study cost and what it covered?

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  10. 10
    Howard says:

    By Pegasus @ 9:

    RE: Howard @ 5 – Howard, curious about how much that feasibility study cost and what it covered?

    Stream classification and general wetlands recon with a written report. Proposed lot subdivision with sqft calculations, zoning determinations, set backs, sensitive area recommendations, buffer areas, permit cost estimates, building footprint calculations, shoreline setbacks, LIDAR map with proposed short plat and their overall recommendations. Pulling of neighboring parcel permits (building, shoreline and hydrology permits, code violation history, tax records) and a few other items.

    Left to be done, and probably not going to get done because I don’t think the sellers will come down enough in price to reflect the conditions found in the feasibility study is a Tree retention plan and full survey, about $2,000 each. The wetlands report will need a peer review done by the City’s contractor to verify the stream classification. That would bring us to everything needed to present at a pre application meeting with the City land use staff. We would have most of our answers to the 98% certainty at that point.

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  11. 11
    softwarengineer says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 8

    I Hope So Too Kary

    But MSFT is currently cutting back 50% on Supplier Sales for its first generation tablet [users don’t like it compared to competition and its too expensive]….they’re working a future tablet that does everything the laptop did and this time the users may pay the extra to get a real business tool….the stumbling block is not new to MSFT, this time its Windows 8….

    http://www.slashgear.com/microsoft-surface-rt-tablet-orders-cut-in-half-says-supply-chain-source-29258898/

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  12. 12
    No Name Guy says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 7
    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 8

    A note on the “PMT” function in Excel:

    Another way to go about it is to just pick a cell and start typing the following to get into the payment function:

    =pmt(

    The first value it will want is the interest rate. Note that this is the interest rate PER PAYMENT PERIOD. So, if you’re calculating a house payment (monthly) be sure to divide the decimal value of the annual interest rate by 12. For example for 3.75% annual, for this part of the formula, type in 0.0375/12

    After entering the rate, type a comma to go on to the next value, which is the number of payments. Again, for a monthly payment on a 30 year, you want 12 * 30, or 360, so type 360 then type a comma to go on to the next value.

    For the next value, type in the principal the the closing parenthesis and the formula will return the monthly principal and interest to retire the loan for the stated conditions.

    Note that for positive values of the loan amount, the payment function will return a negative payment, and vice versa.

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  13. 13

    RE: No Name Guy @ 12 – I’m doing something wrong, because when I use +pmt(.5, 360, 100000) the result back is 50,000.

    Excel 2007 does though have a loan template which does work, and you don’t have to do the math.

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  14. 14
    The Tim says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 13 – the “.5″ part you entered means an interest rate of 50% that compounds every month. I don’t think that’s what you meant to enter.

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  15. 15

    RE: The Tim @ 14 – Thanks–I was thinking like my old BAII calculator.

    BTW, those with Windows 8 can download free Metro apps which make this all a lot easier, and returns a lot more information.

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