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.

26 responses to “Real Actual Listing Photos: “Special Details” Edition”

  1. redmondjp

    Droopy ceiling fan blades are the result of: 1) using compressed sawdust to make the blades, combined with 2) a very high moisture level in the basement. Legions of black mold spores cannot be far away. RUN!!!!

    I’d say from looking at that picture that there is smoke and water damage from a fire.

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  2. softwarengineer

    How Out of Date

    Wood decks in Seattle….the ones with brains recently went concrete….it doesn’t rot quickly in the rain.

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  3. Erik

    RE: softwarengineer @ 2
    Do you have a picture of a pretty concrete deck in seattle? I have never seen one.

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  4. Peter Witting

    What a sad, sorry assortment of houses.

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  5. Mike

    The ceiling fan is drooping because that property is “hot, hot, hot!” it looks to be a “scorching” deal, put on your sirens and come quick before before your dreams are reduceds to ashes…

    Alternatively this may be the poster child for the theory that if arson fails to fix your non-permitted addition, there is always a short sale sucker out there somewhere….

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  6. mike

    RE: softwarengineer @ 2RE: softwarengineer @ 2
    Given the surface water management issues in Seattle, more concrete patios in residential areas aren’t the best option. My house has copious amounts of concrete laid back before people were concerned with getting water back into the ground. It’s ugly and makes managing surface runoff more difficult.

    Wood has it’s positives and negatives, but it’s permeable and doesn’t require a jackhamer to replace.

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  7. David Losh

    corndogs
    July 30, 2013 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    RE: David Losh @ 40 – Let’s get things back in perspective and recap the things that you’ve told me in the past. You owned a restaurant, you sold it for 35K. You have a cleaning business with a couple Latino women, one of which is your girlfriend. You run the business out of your house which you mortgaged to the point of being upside down. You spend a great deal of time posting to your blog that has never had a single comment by anyone, yet you continue to post your crazy thoughts like the fruitcake that you are. It’s only my guess, but I would be willing to bet that I am supplementing you and/or your girlfriends existence through public assistance, one way or another. I would also be willing to bet, that you do not have a 401K or pension since you’ve never really had a job, certainly your old lady does not.. Sooo…. I’m not seeing you as an expert on wealth creation… what I’m seeing is another aged Baby Boomer stumbling through life without a viable plan for retirement.

    This is way too good to pass up. It is what small minded people are made of; fear.

    Before this, corndogs made the remarkable discovery that if the price of his rentals go down in price he looses equity, and the wealth that he was hoping to build.

    I’m always happy to talk about owning a business as a viable option to building wealth. Owning, controlling, and managing property is just another business model.

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  8. Erik

    RE: David Losh @ 7
    Are Corndogs’ claims correct then in post 42? You were given a house that you sold too. What happened to that money?

    Corndogs said: Please explain how a ‘drop in the price of property’ affects cash flow. Don’t type 10 paragraphs, just simply explain that one sentence.

    Please answer the question sir. You didn’t answer the question. You restated that the price dropped.

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  9. Chris

    if you go under 80% LTV you could remove PMI which would effect cash flow, otherwise the home value would only effect the balance sheet.

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  10. wreckingbull

    Actually I sort of agree with SWE on this one. I don’t understand the fascination with decks. Those people built a deck one foot off the ground ?!? There are very good products that can be used for patios. (I would not choose concrete though) I am replacing all the decks at my place with stone patios. Gives a feeling of permanence. Even if you have a small budget, just look in the Mutual Materials catalog for what your options are. You’d be surprised.

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  11. Erik

    RE: wreckingbull @ 10
    All I saw in that catalog are pavers and patios. I still have not seen a nice looking concrete deck. Do you have a picture of a nice looking concrete deck Wreckingbull?

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  12. corndogs

    RE: Erik @ 11

    Stamped and colored concrete can look pretty golly good, like at the link below.

    http://www.aboutpatiodesigns.com/Patio-Material.html#.UfgFsHdqGfY

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  13. David Losh

    RE: corndogs @ 12

    I threw this little website together to show how easy the internet has become, it’s the second draft, that can be sent off to the woman who is doing my current websites.

    http://seattlepavers.com/

    The important thing is to establish the domain name on the internet search engines. The business itself can be passed on to whoever I choose. I currently have a couple of guys who are working out pretty well.

    I like pavers, and think it is a better business model than stamped concrete, we have done both.

    The cleaning business my wife, and I own is the fourth that I have started since 1999. It’s an offshoot of another of my businesses A Spring Cleaning which has specialized in preparing properties for sale. A Spring Cleaning was the cash flow for my Real Estate business so I didn’t need to rely solely on making commission sales.

    We cobbled together this current cleaning business at Seattle House Cleaning dot com from the other businesses. Seattle House Cleaning dot com dominates the Google search for House Cleaning in Seattle. It’s a pretty sweet piece of Real Estate.

    I paid $3,000 for my first website which was I think two or three pages in 1999. Today it costs me half that for all the bells, whistles, and mobile applications I can ask for.

    Owning your own business is the only way to create wealth. If you think your 401K will take care of you, you haven’t been paying attention.

    What the bears on Seattle Bubble, and elsewhere, have shown all of us, me included, is the safe bets we may have relied on in the past are just a vulnerable to losses as anything we can come up with on our own.

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  14. Erik

    RE: David Losh @ 13
    Please explain how a ‘drop in the price of property’ affects cash flow. Don’t type 10 paragraphs, just simply explain that one sentence.

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  15. ARDELL

    RE: Erik @ 14

    House as ATM machine. Big problem in CA where people are used to supplementing their income with cash out refinances.

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  16. David Losh

    RE: ARDELL @ 15RE: Erik @ 14

    Exactly. You can cash flow any property, but need to take it off the back end if you sell, or if you are simply managing a property for the benefit of the mortgage for fifteen years.

    It’s also called a lost opportunity of funds.

    BTW, some might take offense at your constant demands.

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  17. ARDELL

    RE: Erik @ 14

    The “American Dream” was never simply about owning a house. It basically worked like this.

    1) Get married right after high school or college. Sometimes HS for the woman and College for the man. (and stay married til death do you part)

    2) Buy a house before having your children.

    3) Build up enough equity through your payments (not necessarily appreciation) to pay for your son’s college education and your daughters’ weddings.

    4) Stay in the house and pay off the college and wedding borrowings by the time you retire.

    5) Stay in the paid off house until Dad dies, using Social Security and pension money to pay expenses without a mortgage or rent payment. When Dad dies, Mom goes to live with one of the children and has the money from the house to pay for her personal needs until she went to meet Dad in Heaven.

    It was never “The American Dream” to borrow from the house between the time you bought it and the time the children went to college or got married.

    It was never “The American Dream” to save enough money to live all by yourself when your spouse died.

    It was never “The American Dream” for most people to have two or more spouses in their lifetime.

    That was pretty much the only reason why home ownership was called “The American Dream”.

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  18. Peter Witting

    RE: ARDELL @ 17 – Exactly, Ardell. Thank you!

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  19. Diana

    RE: ARDELL @ 17 – Wow, I can’t believe you would say that about women:

    “Sometimes HS for the woman and College for the man!…Build up enough equity through your payments (not necessarily appreciation) to pay for your son’s college education and your daughters’ weddings”

    Is the United States of America becoming a third world country again? From your comment, US is like the Middle East where women don’t go to colleges! Shame on you! The real estate world is full of gender stereotypes and discrimination already, and you as a female Real Estate Broker wrote such a backward thinking comment on a blog.

    So the “American Dream” is for sons to go to colleges, and for daughters to marry well and be housewives! No wonder US is going downhill!

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  20. ARDELL

    RE: Diana @ 19

    What I am saying is it is no longer appropriate to call buying a house “The American Dream”. The house no longer serves the function it once did. I’m not sure what the answer is, but I’m pretty sure it is not using the house as a continual ATM card so that the debt continues to increase at the same pace as home prices, and causes complete chaos when home prices fall.

    I described what life was like when buying a house WAS “The American Dream”. Simply buying one was never the dream.

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  21. corndogs

    RE: David Losh @ 13 – Yes, businesses are a great way to establish wealth if you’re a smart motherfo with a big bag of tricks… unfortunately, all your tricks fit in a fannie pack…. To be successful in a service business you need to offer some services that are more sophisticated than what any illegal immigrant off the street can provide, this means investment in specialized equipment. Then you’d need to develop to the point of having 4 million dollars or more in sales to make it worthwhile in the end, otherwise, you’ve just bought yourself a job. Congratulations on your plethora of websites, however, those don’t pay the rent. When you get around 35 employees, a couple million dollars of equipment, an accounts receivable around 750K and a real business location that you own, come back and talk to Corndog about creating wealth via service business.

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  22. Peter Witting

    RE: Diana @ 19 – The so-called “American Dream” no longer exists; however, in the 1950′s, when the aspirational narrative was created, there were sexists elements to the story.

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  23. David Losh

    By corndogs @ 21:

    RE: David Losh @ 13 – Yes, businesses are a great way to establish wealth if you’re a smart motherfo with a big bag of tricks… unfortunately, all your tricks fit in a fannie pack…. To be successful in a service business you need to offer some services that are more sophisticated than what any illegal immigrant off the street can provide, this means investment in specialized equipment. Congratulations on your plethora of websites, however, those don’t pay the rent. When you get around 35 employees, a couple million dollars of equipment, an accounts receivable around 750K and a real business location that you own, come back and talk to Corndog about creating wealth via service business.

    The facts are that these other three cleaning businesses are owned, and operated by immigrants who came here with nothing, and now employee people. For them it’s some vacuums, vans, rags, and cleaning supplies.

    Let’s take the paver business however. It takes a dump truck. I can rent the dump truck for the day, and don’t need to store it. I can build a dump truck business, but that dilutes my efforts. All I really need to do is own the domain name, the website, and provide customer service.

    Now if the guys want to own a dump truck, I look at that as a rookie mistake, but hey, if that’s what they want to do, great. I’d rather finance it, than own it.

    For another business that needs customers to come in, yes, you need to buy a place, rather than rent. The business plan needs to be solid. The improvements to the property need to be factored in. There again, if I were a greedy son of a female dog in heat I could simply look at businesses, that own property, and insinuate myself into them. Many business owners aren’t very well prepared to own a place of business.

    I have spent a lot of time building internet presence. To me, it’s the present, and future of business. Some just call it marketing, but it’s much more of a cost effective tool, than any other equipment we could own.

    The internet does pay the rent, and much more. You pointed out that anyone can clean, which isn’t true, you need a skill set to clean well, but not everyone has our web presence. I don’t pay for web placement, I just do what I’m doing here, with you.

    Now for the shameless plug: we provide the highest quality service, and the most competitive prices, because we do keep our over head low, and don’t need to pay for a bunch of fancy stuff. We are the most cost effective home improvement, by keeping your home clean. You have more time, and cut down on the normal wear, and tear most home owners face when they go to sell.

    If you are even thinking of selling your home in the next three years, call us first. If you have questions about preparing your property for sale, e-mail me through our website at http://www.ASpringCleaning.com

    I am now curious about how you would give me some more old timey advice about how to operate a successful business. You set the bar pretty low there. It is kind of like your old timey Real Estate advice. It’s 2013 man, you should get up with the times, and economy.

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  24. corndogs

    RE: David Losh @ 23 – “You set the bar pretty low there.”

    But yet a bar which remains above your head. How’s life been treating you since your home refi ATM card got revoked?

    “I am now curious about how you would give me some more old timey advice about how to operate a successful business”

    When you quit pretending that you are wealthy, successful and intelligent, you might get some help. The first bit of advice would be to quit goofing around on the internet and go help your old lady clean some toilets.

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  25. Erik

    RE: Diana @ 19
    You are an idiot. Ardell was simply discussing the way things use to be and you are fighting as a feminist. Our world is changing from the fighting feminists of the 80′s and 90′s to an equal society. Stop fighting and be an equal… jesus! Your thinking is not progressive, it’s dated. You showed up to the feminist act 20 years late or you just never changed because you are mentally incapable.

    RE: David Losh @ 23
    You told me i need to listen more and comment less. You are right, i need to learn more because I don’t know very much. A worse situation is not knowing that you don’t know. That is your situation. Your comment about me spending less, working more, and paying down my mortgage faster is ridiculous. That was a little telling to me. Made zero sense. That mentality is how people stay poor.

    RE: ARDELL @ 20
    Quality comments as usual. Suzie Orman was saying this same thing in her book. I agree with both of you. There is a new american dream and it doesn’t include owning one home, staying put, and paying it off.

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  26. David Losh

    RE: corndogs @ 24RE: Erik @ 25

    You contradicted yourself, by seeing Ardell’s comment as the way things used to be, and yet refusing to pay off your own home.

    Corndogs comes here to brag about how smart he is, and how wealthy, then projects his comment onto me.

    It’s an interesting turn of events.

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