Foreclosures Benefit a Neighborhood, Not Hurt It

Many articles, papers, and opinion pieces have been written about the detrimental effects that foreclosures can have on a neighborhood. For example, foreclosures in your neighborhood allegedly lower home values, increase crime, and make refinancing harder for homeowners who live nearby. While these studies and stories may be technically accurate, their focus is too narrow […]

Are Obama & Romney Avoiding Housing to Avoid Talking About Killing the Mortgage Interest Deduction?

There is one major political topic that has been mysteriously absent from both major presidential campaigns during this year’s presidential election season… housing. Nick Timiraos noted this in the Wall Street Journal in early September. Here we are in late October, four debates later, and nothing has really changed. Barely a peep about housing from […]

Dear Marketers: I Don’t Care About Your Press Release

Fair warning, this post doesn’t have anything to do with Seattle real estate, it’s just a random rant tangentially related to the work I do on this site. Dear marketers, Congratulations. You’ve located a popular, well-read site with frequently updated content and an engaged user base. Unfortunately, while you have demonstrated a basic proficiency in […]

Washington State Budget Woes: Where’s the Beef?

This is fairly off-topic (although we have covered this subject occasionally in the past), but with all the teeth-gnashing I’ve been reading about lately regarding the latest round of supposedly major cuts required to keep state spending in line with revenues, I thought it might be interesting to look at a couple of charts on […]

What Does “Affordable” Mean to You?

Good comment from Jonness on this week’s poll: Personally, I would not feel comfortable leveraging into a $360K loan on a $100K income at a time where a significant risk of price declines exists. But, apparently many people have no problem with this. From what I’ve read, many people actually consider 28% of gross annual […]

Obama “Can’t Wait” to Screw with the Market Even More

Okay, as long as we’re talking politics this week, let’s just dive in head first. I’d like to discuss the latest federal “relief” plan that made news this week. Here’s an AP story from Monday: Obama Offers Mortgage Relief on Western Trip LAS VEGAS — President Barack Obama offered mortgage relief on Monday to hundreds […]

Running the Numbers on the Flat Homeowner Deduction

[Read Part 1: Proposal: Replace the Mortgage Interest Deduction with a Flat Homeowner Deduction] In the comments on the proposal I made yesterday, Doug asked a reasonable question: Have you figured out what the deduction would be if you did this, and made it deficit neutral? That would be an interesting exercise. Good question. Let’s […]