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.

23 responses to “Poll: How many homes do you currently own?”

  1. David Losh

    The question should be how many properties do you own. Homes is like rental houses? or personal residence.

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  2. Ira Sacharoff

    If everybody’s being honest here in this poll, and the results stay the same as they are now, only 18% are renters( or homeless, or mooching off of friends/parents), but 36% own two or more houses. I always assumed that SB readers were a fairly well off demographic, but I would have thought we’d see a much higher percentage of people who don’t own a home, and a smaller percentage of people who owned two or more.

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  3. Erik

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 3
    This site attracts people that care about real estate prices. People that care most about real estate prices own multiple houses. I would expect most readers to own multiple houses.

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  4. chuck c

    Define ‘own’. Does having a mortgage count, or not?

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  5. One Eyed Man

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 3 -

    Perhaps there’s a social bias affecting who will answer the poll. Maybe the result is skewed by the social stigma attached to the “R” word. And perhaps by some arrogant pleasure found in professing that one is a part of the landed gentry.

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  6. Ira Sacharoff

    By One Eyed Man @ 5:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 3 -

    Perhaps there’s a social bias affecting who will answer the poll. Maybe the result is skewed by the social stigma attached to the “R” word. And perhaps by some arrogant pleasure found in professing that one is a part of the landed gentry.

    yeah, that’s what I think. A few years ago the vast majority of commenters here were renters, and not at all ashamed of it. Now I still think the there are as many renters reading Seattle Bubble as homeowners, but maybe it just gives pleasure saying you own three homes, even if you share space under the Fremont bridge with the troll.

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  7. David Losh

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 6

    I think more people are looking at selling rather than buying. The way the market has turned more people with property are wondering if now is the time to sell, so they come to bubble blogs to get a different perspective.

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  8. Ira Sacharoff

    By David Losh @ 7:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 6

    I think more people are looking at selling rather than buying. The way the market has turned more people with property are wondering if now is the time to sell, so they come to bubble blogs to get a different perspective.

    Okay, so you think the people who read and participate on Seattle Bubble are totally different than they were five years ago. It’s possible. But that there are more people here who own three or more houses than who rent? For real?

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  9. Blurtman

    Alternate question: How much of the home you own do you own, versus the bank?

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  10. Erik

    RE: Blurtman @ 9
    If you base it on what I think i could sell it for, about 60%. If you base it on the total loan I took out, about 10%.

    Your turn.

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  11. Blurtman

    RE: Erik @ 10 – So clearly you should sell, and buy six more equivalently priced units with 10% down.

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  12. Erik

    RE: Blurtman @ 11
    I would blurtman, trust me. I am willing to take lots of risk since the only repercussion is losing out on the 5% down. I think risk is exciting and eventually I will get lucky. This is a different approach than most people here have. Unfortunately for me, the system has restrictions to keep me from buying more. I short sold about a year ago, so my next move will either be to pay all cash, get the short sale removed from my record, or wait the year until i can buy again. .

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  13. Erik

    RE: Erik @ 12
    Or 10% down in your scenario i guess.

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  14. Blurtman

    RE: Erik @ 12 – Well, you are young, but I like the way you are thinking.

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  15. Erik

    RE: Blurtman @ 14
    I’m glad someone on here does. Most people on here want me to stabilize the market so they can continue making money off people just trying to get by like myself. I think the stabilization technique that even the tim buys into is what keeps poor people poor and rich people rich. I don’t subscribe to that technique. I would want stabilization if I owned many properties or had large investments. That’s not my situation.

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  16. David Losh

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 8

    I think that while the Real Estate market was hot in 2011 with a 1% drop in interest rates on mortgages there were a lot of people trying to decide if now was the time to buy.

    Now that the Real Estate market is showing some weakness more people are trying to decide if now is the time to sell.

    The fact is that the Real Estate market place was never meant to be this volatile. I think a lot of people who are heavily invested in Real Estate are beginning to question that “investment” strategy.

    A lot of people entered Real Estate with no knowledge or experience. Many of these people bought on speculation, and this last set of jitters in the market has them running for a strategy. My opinion is that strategy should be an exit from properties they don’t know enough about.

    So, I think more people who own properties are reading bubble blogs to get an idea of what is actually going on. redfin, Zillow, and Trulia are projecting continued price increases. Do you buy that?

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  17. cutienoua

    I voted zero!
    I do own free and clear a house and a condo in Europe.

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  18. Ira Sacharoff

    RE: David Losh @ 16
    Sure, but I’m just getting a sense that people are voting based on what they want, not what they have. For instance, cutienoua voted zero, but then goes on to state that they own a house and condo in Europe. How many others voted three or more based on how many houses they think they’ll own in ten years?

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  19. Blurtman

    RE: Erik @ 15 – If you are going to engage in potentially risky investments, don’t do it with your own money. Arrange it so you taste the upside, but have no downside exposure. That is how rich people do it. That is how Wall Street does it.

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  20. HappyRenter

    By Ira Sacharoff @ 8:

    By David Losh @ 7:
    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 6

    I think more people are looking at selling rather than buying. The way the market has turned more people with property are wondering if now is the time to sell, so they come to bubble blogs to get a different perspective.

    Okay, so you think the people who read and participate on Seattle Bubble are totally different than they were five years ago. It’s possible. But that there are more people here who own three or more houses than who rent? For real?

    Well, if you are a renter, SB is interesting to read as long as prices keep going down until they reach prices that you find fair. Unfortunately, they have gone up recently instead and I don’t consider the current prices fair. So, SB is not as interesting to read until prices start falling again. There isn’t much to buy in a seller’s market, so you better spend your time somewhere else.

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  21. David B.

    RE: HappyRenter @ 21 – “Well, if you are a renter, SB is interesting to read as long as prices keep going down until they reach prices that you find fair.”

    More precisely, it’s an interesting read if you’re considering buying, period. One of the main things that’s kept me from buying recently is the crappy inventory. That’s much more a factor for me than price. I’d rather pay a modestly higher price and get something I’m pleased with than settle for something I really don’t like. In fact, I’d rather rent than buy something I don’t like.

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  22. Seattle Mortgage Guru

    RE: David B. @ 22 – The Seattle market is definitely towards the high side, and as David b mentioned, inventory is scarce. I am headed onto purchase number 6 (current homes in windermere, northgate, greenlake, eastlake, lake forest park, and soon Fremont, and cap hill). i have purchased all within the last 14 months, and am only planning on selling the lake forest park home. I am paying a premium to buy in Fremont right now, but have learned when it comes to your primary, don’t skimp. In addition to my new primary I am trying to get number 7 under contract in cap hill.

    While there is validity to the argument that some may not want to admit they rent, or others vote based on what they want, i would suggest there is another important aspect to look at with regards to an increase in multi property ownership.

    Many people whom wished to sell and move were not able to in the past 5.5 years due to various factors including a reduction in property values. For this group many people
    that would not have considered being landlords but had to move or wanted to move kept their departing residence as a rental increasing the number of multiple property owners un naturally. In addition everyone seems to think they are a real estate investor (including myself) and have decided buying multiple properties is the thing to do.

    In the majority of my pre-qualification meetings with first time home buyers, they more often than not tell me that their strategy is buy cheaper now, then in a few years convert their home to a rental and buy another. On the other hand Many current home owners I am qualifying for a new purchase are keeping their departing residence as a rental, and very few are making offers contingent on selling and or closing concurrently.

    Either way there is a bubble and with rates rapidly moving higher we should see home values start to retract by year end, which means quasi investors like my self simply have to buy at bigger discounts to stay ahead of the game.

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