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.

17 comments:

  1. 1

    My Dad Came to Work for Boeing in 1952

    He bought a home in N. Seattle, sold it in 1959 and bought 4000 sq foot Alderwood Manor home on a 1 acre lot for $20K in 1959. He sold that in 1986 and bought a very large house on a $160K farm in Snohomish with 5 acres, where he finished his retirement.

  2. 2

    Divorce would inflate this number.

  3. 3
    paul says:

    You only “own” a home when the mortgage is fully paid off.

  4. 4
    Blurtman says:

    Past life times as well?

  5. 5
    wreckingbull says:

    By paul @ 3:

    You only “own” a home when the mortgage is fully paid off.

    You still don’t own it. You will continue to pay your county each year for the right to live in it. For me, this is more each month than my principal + interest payment.

  6. 6

    RE: wreckingbull @ 5 – You own it. The bank has a security interest in it, until the mortgage has been paid. And of course you owe the government taxes on it. But you own it.

  7. 7
    UrbanDweller says:

    By Craig Blackmon @ 6:

    RE: wreckingbull @ 5 – You own it. The bank has a security interest in it, until the mortgage has been paid. And of course you owe the government taxes on it. But you own it.

    Assuming the house is paid for:
    If I choose to not pay my insurance on my property, I still get to keep it.
    If I choose to not keep up with the maintenance on my property, I still get to keep it.
    If I choose to not pay the taxes on my property, I don’t get to keep it.
    Begging the question, who really owns the property?
    If I am forced (in way of seizure) to pay taxes to keep the property then do I really own it?

    Please don’t say then you can sell it if you don’t like it because that doesn’t address the issue being presented.

  8. 8

    Almost all (all?) conveyances of property (chain of title) can be traced back to the government. They just reserved a right to tax it!

    But is anyone seriously claiming taxes really an issue as to ownership? The government can tax anything you own, realty or personalty. They can tax what you make. They can tax you if you don’t buy certain insurance. How does the fact that they can tax your real property in any way mean you don’t own the property?

    But hey, if someone has unencumbered property they want to convey to me, I’ll be happy to consider taking a deed, subject to being able to conduct a satisfactory environmental review for contaminants. ;-)

  9. 9
    Greg says:

    My in-laws buy homes about as often as the average American buys a new car. I’m sure the NAR is happy with them.

  10. 10
    Astelin says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 8

    Thank you. As an avid reader of this blog, I tend to avoid the comments specifically because these same libertarian arguments get brought up over and over again. We get it. Let’s move on and answer the poll in the spirit it was written.

  11. 11
    whatsmyname says:

    RE: UrbanDweller @ 7
    Here is a thought experiment for you:
    In some circumstances, failure to pay taxes will lead the government to seize your butt, and put it in jail.
    Knowing that is true, do you still own your butt?

  12. 12
    wreckingbull says:

    RE: Astelin @ 10 – OK, let’s steer the conversation back. My parents moved out of their Bellevue home of 35 years since taxes became unaffordable for their modest income. Taxes that increased at a rate much greater than inflation.

    Sort of puts the ‘payments remain the same®’ and ‘wonderful inflation hedge®’ arguments out to pasture.

  13. 13
    boater says:

    By wreckingbull @ 12:

    RE: Astelin @ 10 – OK, let’s steer the conversation back. My parents moved out of their Bellevue home of 35 years since taxes became unaffordable for their modest income. Taxes that increased at a rate much greater than inflation.

    Sort of puts the ‘payments remain the same®’ and ‘wonderful inflation hedge®’ arguments out to pasture.

    I’ve never understood why people seem to think they are entitled to live where they want, how they want and at a price they want all at the same time. It’s annoying when a 20 something complains they can’t find a great apartment in a popular neighborhood at their income that includes parking. It’s more annoying when a 65+ year old thinks the same way. They’ve had 45 more years to learn the lesson that we are all in a queen of hearts race. The minute you stop racing you’re losing. You can retire but you have to budget with the idea the race will go on without you. Plan accordingly.

  14. 14
    enatailurker says:

    RE: wreckingbull @ 12 – So it’s definitely true that housing can fail as an inflation hedge. You could live somewhere for 35 years and watch your tax bill climb while your home valuation grows below the rate of inflation. But Wrecking Bull’s parents owned a Bellevue home for 35 years. If they sold that anytime in the last decade (even at the bottom of the last crash), they should have walked away with a nice pile of cash. That’s the inflation hedge.

  15. 15
    Blurtman says:

    RE: boater @ 13 – Well said.

    “Well, in our country,” said Alice, still panting a little, “you’d generally get to somewhere else—if you run very fast for a long time, as we’ve been doing.”

    “A slow sort of country!” said the Queen. “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”

    The bar is always advanced. Your efforts to keep up are fuel for the machine.

  16. 16
    Voight-kampff says:

    My folks bought a 2200sqft home in phoenix in 1971 for 30k.
    5 years later they built a cabin on 5acres for 69k. Now they have 2 houses and land.
    One is a police officer, one is a nurse. They struggled REALLY hard to make it work, All while raising 4 boys.
    We seemed poor (to a selfish 12 year old… Me), but the houses and land are all now paid for now. And they coundnt be happier. I try to learn from thier example, but this market doesnt seem consistent enough to bank your endgame being a windfall? Hmmmm….

  17. 17

    By boater @ 13:

    I’ve never understood why people seem to think they are entitled to live where they want, how they want and at a price they want all at the same time. It’s annoying when a 20 something complains they can’t find a great apartment in a popular neighborhood at their income that includes parking. It’s more annoying when a 65+ year old thinks the same way. They’ve had 45 more years to learn the lesson that we are all in a queen of hearts race. The minute you stop racing you’re losing. You can retire but you have to budget with the idea the race will go on without you. Plan accordingly.

    I can see both sides of this, but as pointed out, they should have obtained a pretty significant gain in value during that time.

    Also on the tax issue, there are programs in place for lower income seniors to get tax breaks.

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