1. 1
    Lake Hills Renter says:

    Absolutely beautiful spring weather today. I guess if RE is flat this month they say the weather was too nice!

  2. 2
  3. 3
    MisterBubble says:

    Yeah, David Learah had convinced me to buy, but I got disoriented in the sunshine and went to the park instead.

    Elizabeth Rhodes can quote me on that.

  4. 4
    SLTO says:

    More homes will sell this weekend than any other weekend the last 3 months…

    We hit bottom last weekend…

    Everyboy stop renting and BUY…

    if you wait next week you’ll be paying a few grand more…

    I have 10 years of education, 6 mos of experience… believe me I know what I’m talking about…


  5. 5
    Jillayne says:

    Hi Seattle Bubble,

    I had a chance to interact with some of the Seattle Bubble bloggers over on raincityguide.com last night and today. Eleua invited me to comment over here. Thanks for the invite.

    One of the things I learned after trying to get a hold on all the different opinions, was that bubble bloggers are tapping into an undercurrent that goes beyond just data analysis.

    I sense a deep disgust (? is that the right word? Pls correct me if I’ve got it wrong) with the real estate industry in general.

    I’m wondering if this has to do with corporate profits/greed that you believe is driving the cost of housing up, recklessly, without regard to folks who might be purchasing now, when prices correct.

    I do believe we will see a correction, and I do not believe Seattle is immune.

    Thanks for inviting me to stop by!

  6. 6
    B-hamster says:

    Jillayne –

    I feel most of the people posting here are grounded in reality.

    Market fundamentals in no way justify the RE prices right now in many parts of the country – Seattle included. Exorbitant price increases over the past few years have primarily driven this market hysteria (okay, and excess credit due to the country’s fiscal recklessness).

    I do not see any negativity or cynicism here – just fact-based observations. The MSM (as it increasingly has in many of the issues facing our country and world) has neglected to address the issue at hand. For this they are paying a gross disservice to those to whom they are responsible. And that is a shame.

    I have never posted here, but do so on other blogs. This discussion seems to be the voice of reason and logic. There is a mania occurring right now in this country, driven by Real Estate. So far, many things predicted by these bloggers – Tim, Ben Jones, et al. – seem to be coming to fruition.

  7. 7
    Peckhammer says:

    I’m wondering if this has to do with corporate profits/greed that you believe is driving the cost of housing up, recklessly, without regard to folks who might be purchasing now, when prices correct.

    I am a potential beneficiary of this ridiculous run-up in prices. I bought a condo unit in 1998, and if recent appraisals for units of similar size in my building in any way resemble market “reality,” the sale of my unit today would mean a 165% gross increase from my original purchase price. However, if I were to be a buyer, I would never pay that much for this dump. I would rent instead.

    So why don’t I sell and rent? Because it only costs $300/month to live here — a cost shared between my wife and me. Do I care about folks who might be purchasing now? No. do I have an opinion? Yes.

    Nothing justifies paying 165% more than what I paid for this dump. If anyone is stupid enough to fork over that kind of cash, they deserve whatever they get. However, if the market takes a nose dive and people start walking away from their financial obligations, that affects all of the people who made sound financial decisions and do not live beyond their means. And that really pisses me off. Buying in this market is not a victimless crime.

  8. 8
    SLTO says:


    I will admit I have some disgust for the way the market is which colors my opinion. I personally have several relatives that bought over their heads, option ARM and the works. They do have equity and may not go upside down, but they bought bigger homes than they need because realtors convinced them that appreciation is endless… and since it did seem like that from 2001-2006 they bit…

    Now these folks are about to suffer and lose a portion of their retirement… if the market so much as slows down… (not even negative)… I know it’s their fault, but guess who gave them the spreadsheets and facts to help them make their decision…

    I also am disgusted that I went to 10+ years of higher education and make 3x median income but still barely can afford the home that I deserve… meanwhile the salesman down the street is living in a bigger house worth twice as much and wants 100K for sitting on his house a year… and is smug about it… But I’m not bitter… he’s asking for appreciation that I know I will make every year for the next 20 years by working my 9-5. I actually pity these folks as they try to live beyond their means oblivious to the fact that the well is about to dry up and he’s about to get a hangover…

    Bsically the current fundamentals allow median income folks to live in half million dollar homes and since that is current reality, my opinions are not based on these fundamentals.

    Thanks for stopping by… I hope you become a regular contributor as I can tell you’re open to honest discussion of facts and opinions.

  9. 9
    T,V & Mr.B says:

    What I am particularly happy to see, is a lot of new bloggers here. I am seeing a lot more traffic on the Bubble sights, which I guess is a good thing that more and more people are waking up. the meme is spreading, even if the MSM barley mentions the realities of the market.

  10. 10
    Vickie says:

    OK, now things are starting to get scary. People are always talking about that one thing that will cause a catalyst for the downslide. what the heck is happening with this flu thing. Are we going to be the starting point for the deadly flu virus? I guess that sounds a bit alarmist, but dang, 3 kids already.

  11. 11
    Eastside RE Shopper says:

    Interesting article about property market in Sydney:


    I can see this happening here – property on the Eastside is desirable, but Renton is not. I can see drops in some places and rises in others.

  12. 12
    deepcgi says:

    I would add to your critique that people (like myself) not only recognize hysteria when they see it, but also good old fashioned ridiculous prices. There is no way I’m going to pay 400,000 for a garbage shack starter home. It’s just too much debt. I’d rather rent forever – even high rent.

  13. 13
    deepcgi says:


    The real estate bubble was clearly worldwide. Keep your eyes on California. Where California goes, the rest of the world will follow. San Diego is a prime example. Beautiful properties, perfect weather, prime locations close to the city and the coast. But growth is zero right now, there. Yes, there will always be places that are more desirable than others, but the number of people that believe real estate is a good short-term investment is dropping rapidly – everywhere in the world

  14. 14
    synthetik says:

    >was that bubble bloggers are tapping into an undercurrent that goes beyond just data analysis.

    >I’m wondering if this has to do with corporate profits/greed that you believe is driving the cost of housing up

    Greed is certainly a big part of the problem. I would actually place more blame with consumers rather than commissioned salespeople: Mortgage Brokers, Realtors + other people who sell RE but for some reason dont’ like to be called a Realtor.

    Auto, Recruiting, Realty, Mortgage, Vacuum Cleaners — they do it on commission. They don’t make a dime unless they close the sale and most of them will do WHATEVER it takes to make that sale. Some are incredibly skillful at making you believe they really do have your best interest in mind. Most do not.

    That’s the nature of our system so how can you blame them?

    Who is guilty?

    NAR / REIC
    Mortgage Brokers

    They are all part of a pyramid scheme designed to extract $$ from consumers and they’re very good at it.

    Someone commented that “they deserve” to own a home. Really?

    DeBeers has everyone believing that we should pay 2+ months worth of salary for a clear piece of gravel that is NOT scarce.

    The internet makes this type of information available to everyone, opening eyes and saving people from themselves. If you don’t have the ability to do a little research I have no pity for you.

  15. 15
    ab says:

    I had no idea that Realtors had such mind control powers. I had no idea they could telepathically force people to come into their offices and make them over pay for properties they didn’t want or need.

    Give me a break this is the biggest bunch of whiner posts I have read. People need to take some personal reasonability here.

    When I read a quote like this it makes me puke

    Slto says

    “I also am disgusted that I went to 10+ years of higher education and make 3x median income but still barely can afford the home that I deserve…”

    “You deserve” what does that mean? I never knew homes were allocated to special people. You deserve what you can afford. Those 10 years of education didnt you put you on a special home buying list. “Deserve” give me a break. It sounds to me like you better get yourself a better paying job or look in a different neighborhood.

    I came over here to look for facts about the housing bubble but all im finding is a bunch of people whining that they don’t make enough money to purchase the homes they want.

  16. 16
    Matthew says:


    If you spent more than 10 minutes on this blog you would realize that there are in fact, people that aren’t just “whining because they can’t afford a house”. In fact, there are plenty of home owners that participate on this blog, as well as people with massive amounts of cash on reserve that could buy at anytime.

  17. 17
    SourMash says:

    I also am disgusted that I went to 10+ years of higher education and make 3x median income but still barely can afford the home that I deserve…

    I have to agree with ab that this odd sense of entitlement is one of the undercurrents on this blog that I really don’t get. (I’ve been reading since late 2005.)

    There is no law that says that people have a right to own property. There are many neighborhoods in this country where lots of upper middle class people cannot afford to own homes. That was true long before this 10-year runup in residential real estate.

    My attitude is, get over it. Rent, move, or work harder to save enough to buy what you want.

    But don’t say you “deserve” a house. That’s just absurd.

  18. 18
    T,V & Mr.B says:

    Ab and Sourmash. Maybe the word “deserve” might not be appropriate. Of course no-one is entitled to a home. We all have to work hard etc.. But what people don’t deserve is an industry that self perpetuates itself into unreasonableness with with tactics such as buy now or be priced out forever bullshit. We don’t desrve an industry that lies to us on a constant basis just so they can make a buck. what we dont deserve is irrisponsible lending practices to set us up for misery and despair.

    AB, really, if you did just pop in to pop back out, you are doing yourself a diservice. yeah, there is some whining but that is because at the moment, maybe they don’t have anything else to say. but you will find more information here than just about anywhere else, and you don’t have a bunch of alterior motives here.

  19. 19
    witzend says:


    no, you came over here because you wanted to see what all the fuss was about yesterday and today at your regular industry insider blog, I bet.

    Your defensiveness to the critique here as regards realtors gives people a pretty good bet about you and your “angle”

    People are mislead every day in all manner of financial transactions. Sometimes by people that are “complicit”, other times by people who are not as competent as they would like to believe.

    The fact that you emphasize no one should expect to be able to afford a home, while responding to someone who has stated they make 3x the average income seems delusional to me.

    Yes, “deserving” might be a different matter. Who deserves what? Who the hell knows. It’s not the topic here. Even markets driven by fundementals have nothing to do with “deserving” but only with financial means.

  20. 20
    MisterBubble says:

    AB is a troll. I’ve been reading this site for quite a while, and this is the first time that I’ve seen anyone refer to home ownership as a right.

    That said, I am sympathetic to anyone who makes 3 times the median income and can’t afford a first home on a non-suicidal mortgage in a decent Seattle neighborhood. In my experience, the people who seem to take the most satisfaction in arguing that home ownership is not a “right” are often the same smug pricks who think they “deserve” $100,000 appreciation for installing granite countertops.

  21. 21
    witzend says:

    Oh, and by the way,

    Regarding the exchange on the “rain city” blog:

    I checked in this afternoon to see what was being said, and I count the bout this way:

    the “rain city” folks got their proverbial “ass” handed to them.

    I am impressed with many of the bubble bloggers arguments earlier today, and would single out eleua as the “MVP”.

    A man of many talents apparently, and I believe, would also make a hell of a lawyer!


  22. 22
    ab says:

    Mr. Bubble

    I was not the one that said home ownership was a right that was a quote from an earlier post. As far as a troll I am not that either.

    I saw this quote from Tim on Inman.
    “The easiest way to spot a housing bubble is to compare home purchase costs with rental costs. If you are looking for a quantifiable definition: If it is more than 1.5 times more expensive to purchase as it is to rent a comparable home, I would say that is a bubble.”
    I found this interesting that someone would compare rental rates to a housing bubble. As someone whom has a vested interest in rental properties I can tell you for sure that because of the absorption of renters turning into homeowners that alone has kept the rental pricing down. If it wasn’t for the number of renters turned homeowners in the Seattle area I guarantee you the rental rates would be substantially higher and in more proportion with housing expenses.

    This is why I stopped by this blog. However as I started reading this blog all that jumped out at me was the comments “poor me I cant afford to buy a house”.

    When someone says they make 3X the median 62,000 a year (which is 186,000 a year) and they say they cant afford a home I have to say something is drastically wrong here. So this person making $186,000 (15,500 a month) a year cant afford a home hmmmm. A 650,000 home with 5% down ($32,500) would have a mortgage payment of $3,572. That is 20% of their monthly income. Most homeowners spend between 30 – 40% of their monthly income on housing. So I don’t feel to sorry for Slto.

  23. 23
    synthetik says:

    hah, they turned off the comments on RCG.

    Reason “Jon: Ok everyone, Im’ headed out of town so I’m turning off the comments”

    If type in http://www.raincityguide.com and simply browse the site you are unable to click on “comments” – you get an error message.

    If I were Ardell I wouldn’t want anyone reading my responses either.

  24. 24
    synthetik says:

    maybe that wasn’t clear… i wouldnt’ want anyone to see me misstating the facts and being incredibly condescending.

  25. 25
    Alan says:

    I haven’t been following the blogs this weekend so I do not really know what is going on.

    However, the RCG did not remove the comments — they just changed the link to something invalid. You can still read them all.

  26. 26
    SLTO says:

    I apologize if the word “deserve” is inappropriate… it’s probably politically incorrect… sorry… I just can’t think of a better term for what I feel…


    my household income is 200K/year and I bought a house under 400K…

    I could have bought a million dollar house and qualified, but I wanted my cars, boats and other toys too… and trips

    so yes I feel should be able to buy a big home with a big garage for all my toys and still have the toys… but because of the crazy real estate I am too scared of losing money on a million dollar house that I can’t sleep well in it…

    so I bought cheap and am happy… I just wish the market would stabilize already so I can move into my dream house at a reasonable price… knowing absolutely that it will hold its value…

    Afford is a relative term… spending 2 years salary on a house is affordable in my book, anything else is mortgage prison…

  27. 27
    SLTO says:


    by the way I don’t need anybody being sorry for me… I’m fine where I am… I really don’t need a McMansion I just feel I should be able to afford one (not deserve) if I wanted one…

    If the market loses 50% and my current home loses 200K I’ll be fine… at least that million dollar McMansion will be 500K then….

    I blog not for pity or for external confirmation… I blog to put my opinion out and my disgust for the way thing are… things will eventually normalize… I just hope everybody will get out unscathed and have a home to live and die in and enjoy instead of flipping…

    And the reason I didn’t buy that million dollar home is because of the Tim… I found this blog and my knees buckled… so I decided I’ll play it safe for now… again when I see the million dollar homes lose their value, the Tim will be my hero… I don’t need appreciation or equity, I make enough already as it is…

  28. 28
    SLTO says:

    SLTO = Seattle Long Term Owner

  29. 29
    rubyfan says:

    ab: in general I wouldn’t characterize most of the posts at the various housing-bubble-blogs as whining and entitled. Instead I would say that from what I’ve read here and on many other similar blogs is more of a disgust with those who have played fast & loose with the rules of economics. And those players range from the Federal Reserve on down to the guy who just bought way more house than he can afford by using some sort of exotic, interest-only ARM.

    The people who frequent these types of blogs and post on them (and I’m one of ’em) are financially conservative so it offends our sensibilities when we see people who think they’ve gotten ahead by cutting corners. Myself, I have a house that I bought in 1990 and paid off in 2000. I still drive the same car I’ve driven for the last 20 years (why not? it still works fine and gets better mileage than a lot of new cars). I am on of those very rare Americans who has no debt. When I hear people say that you should borrow as much money as you can so you can play stocks (surprisingly common) I think 1929 (or even 1999).

    Also, when we see all those real estate agents who have made a huge amount of money over the last few years and then realize that most of them only had about six months of education to get a RE License (is it even that long?) it does really make us wonder what’s going on when the people who actually contribute the the economy by making things or inventing ideas or even teaching the next generation can’t afford to buy a home anymore – and yet these RE agents are making big bucks on every overpriced sale. And then there’s the mortgage industry and all the corruption there…

    I say this as a homeowner: I really think that we need a 20 to 30% correction in home prices to return sanity to the housing market so that people who do buy aren’t forced to eat rice & beans because they can barely afford to pay their mortgage. I think that we are now in the beginning of that correction and we’ll see it continue for at least a couple of years. While it will hurt a lot of folks who bought in the last few years, it’s got to happen for the sake of the next generation that’s getting into their 20’s – they won’t be able to buy homes otherwise.

  30. 30
    MisterBubble says:


    I know that you weren’t the person who implied that homebuying is a right. If anything, you sound more like one of the second type of people whom I mentioned.

    In any case, I agree with Matthew: if you’d spent more than ten minutes reading this blog before judging everyone, you’d know that most of us have different opinions about home ownership. Your rush to characterize us as “whiners” based on one comment is hallmark troll behavior.

    And by the way? The median household income in King County is somewhere around $55,000, not $62,000. So your example is closer to 40% of median monthly income (after taxes). But, whatever. I wasn’t defending slto, so much as I was shouting under the bridge.

  31. 31
    Alan says:

    650k buys you a 1500 sqft starter home in Bellevue. Someone making $180k is well within the top 1.5% of wage earners. He should be able to afford a home in the top 5% of the market. 650k is not too far above the median for a SFH (although now I am wondering what percentile it is in).

    Tim, you should take Ardell up on her offer. Maybe you will gain an understanding of why Ardell thinks prices will remain strong. And maybe she will gain an understanding of why you think they will drop. There is surely a great blog post in there either way.

    I do not know why Ardell started talking about prices in reponse to your point about volume. Maybe when you said “sales dropped” she read “sales prices dropped” and jammed off a quick blogger-style reply. I’m inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt that her intentions were good and not malicious obsfucation.

  32. 32
    Lake Hills Renter says:

    Reason “Jon: Ok everyone, Im’ headed out of town so I’m turning off the comments”

    How odd. Since when does going out of town mean you have to turn off blog comments? Sounds like shutting down the discussion to me.

  33. 33
    MisterBubble says:

    Rubyfan’s post expresses my feelings almost exactly. Except, I’d add on to the part where s/he said:

    “The people who frequent these types of blogs…are financially conservative so it offends our sensibilities when we see people who think they’ve gotten ahead by cutting corners.”

    I agree completely, but I would add the following: people could offend my sensibilities all day long, and you still wouldn’t hear me complaining. Live and let live. I only get pissed off when other people’s speculation hurts my livelihood. And frankly, we’re well beyond that point.

    Even if the housing market doesn’t crash (bringing down the economy with it), these idiot speculators are costing me real money. They make it more expensive to live in Seattle on real dollars, because they’re out there spending money that they don’t have.

  34. 34
    jpsfranks says:

    Wow, look at all them fireworks at RCG.

    Are you for real? You are disgusted because you can’t afford the home that you “deserve” in addition to “cars, boats and other toys too… and trips”.

    Surely if you decided to buy then you could go more than 2x gross. If, on the other hand, you thought prices were inflated (I do), then why buy at all? You say that this blog scared you into buying halfway? That doesn’t make much sense to me.

    Forgive me if I’m wrong, but I can’t help but suspect trollishness.

  35. 35
    SLTO says:

    I’ve been on this blog since last summer… so I’m no troll

    My wife didn’t want to rent and risk being evicted by a flipper landlord… so when we moved to this state last summer we compromised with a smaller home that we’ll stay in for 5 years or so until the market stabilizes… and build up cash reserves while we’re at it…

    The reason I bought halfway is so that if the market crashes, I can still walk away unscathed… as I said if my house lost 20% that would be 40K vs 80 to 100 otherwise.. plus luxury homes always get a bigger hit so I could easily lose a year’s income whereas this way it’s just a few months at most…

    Again I take back the word deserve… but I know I’ll be taken up on it over and over again… wrong choice of words, but same sentiment…

    It’s interesting how people keep suggesting you should mortgage to the hilt to be a homeowner and forego life’s pleasures to live in a 650K starter home… not me…

    I have my priorities, unfortunately housing is just a roof over my head… I would’ve rented a condo and be just as happy… my sentiments is that the median income should buy a median home… not a top wage earner be the median home buyer… that’s just not fundamentally sound…

    I am an extreme financial conservative… I probably lose out on my 401K because I play it safe… I’ve been conservative all my life and that’s how I got to where I am… when the housing bubble started I didn’t buy as I knew I would move in a few years… in retrospect I could’ve made a few bucks if I did, but then again that wasn’t the point… I actually don’t enjoy spending money I don’t earn… free stuff just doesn’t give me the same satisfaction as stuff I know I paid for because of my years of hardwork… I’m a strange kind of guy that way… obviously not anywhere near being the average person both financially and in principles…

  36. 36
    SLTO says:

    oh just to make a point… I frequently shop at walmart… and won’t hesitate to use a coupon if one is mailed to me…

    I’ve purchased my cars below invoice and will bought at a boatshow coz it’s cheaper…

    I have no airs and if you see me I will blend in with the crowd most of the time… No designer clothes for me… not my thing…

    Sorry going way off topic here… but this is an open blog and I’m just trying to make people see where I’m coming from and why I’m disgusted…

    Not a scrooge as I do splurge, I just don’t have the same priorities as everyone (we all are different anyway)… and this bubble like mentioned above is costing me real dollars…

  37. 37
    MisterBubble says:

    A comment regarding Ardell and the RCG fracas:

    I’ve never understood why people are so cordial to Ardell. I mean, sure, she tries her damndest to present herself as the sincere, soccer-mom Realtor with nothing but sweet thoughts and sunshine, but her posts frequently have an undercurrent of condescension. Her interaction with Tim on RCG is just a bit more extreme than usual.

    Perhaps I have an especially sensitive bullshit detector, or just a huge lack of patience for insincerity; Ardell’s “aww, shucks” demeanor and tendency to play dumb with facts has always struck me as more than a bit phony.

    That said, I think you should meet her for coffee, Tim. You’ll probably get a great post out of it, and Ardell won’t be able to insinuate that you’re avoiding exposure to her Top-Secret, Mind-Altering, Realtor(tm) Statistical Analysis Super-Skills.

  38. 38
    beta says:

    Jillayne tries to maintain a discussion, which I respect. Plus, she’s beautiful, which I also respect, because I’m quite shallow.

    Ardell just tries to sidestep the issue by whining that Tim won’t meet her for coffee. I’m guessing she doesn’t get a lot of dates.

    Tim, you should make the date but stand her up. Then watch the vitriol fly. Meeeow!

  39. 39
    biliruben says:

    I guess I’m not in the norm here. I’m not at all financially (or otherwise) conservative, I play the stock market and like to take risks.

    The key here is getting return that is commensurate with risk, which I don’t think is the case.

    I’ve been researching and writing about the a housing and credit bubble since 2003 on here, as well as other forums and my own blog.

    I bought a house in 2004, but a smaller house than I could afford, because I like to diversify my risk.

    The vast majority of people I talk with, mainly highly educated people, think there is no risk of a home declining in value. This just astounds me, and provides a clue as to one of the factors that have driven prices so high in recent years.

    This perception of no risk is perpetuated by those in the industry, and this is completely irresponsible.

    When I hear brokers and Realtors talk about guaranteed future appreciation, tempting consumers to extend themselves with thoughts of profits and rescue refis down the line, it makes me sick to my stomach.

    That sort of talk has been largely silenced since we’ve started seeing actual declines in some markets, but it was pretty common when I was shopping for a house.

    I was thinking that I bought at the top, but I was wrong. I bought fully expecting to lose my 20% down, and I still might. This has gone on much longer than I could ever imagine. The next 3 years are going to be a painful one for our society. I don’t expect those responsible to feel any remorse, but they should.

  40. 40
    SLTO says:

    When I hear brokers and Realtors talk about guaranteed future appreciation, tempting consumers to extend themselves with thoughts of profits and rescue refis down the line, it makes me sick to my stomach.

    I totally agree with this statement… as I mentioned a few relatives went down this path because of the realtor convincing them it was better… always focusing on the monthly payment, not the value…

    Yes a lot of Realtors, are like car salesmen… and they’ve made a lot of people think they can afford more than they really do…

    Even my realtor when I bought kept pointing out how I qualified for more… it was mind boggling for him why I didn’t buy bigger… (remember in summer 06 the market was HOT)

  41. 41
    DebtFree says:

    I think you would find that most realtors and mortgage brokers are not risk averse and are very comfortable with a lot of debt, both for themselves and their customers.

    The relaxation of lending standards has brought money into the market from people that wouldn’t have been able to get a loan ten years ago, or people borrowing more than they can afford, or allowing speculators to buy multiple homes.

    But regardles of whether realtors and mortgage brokers are guilty of greed, negligence or stupidity, they will all pay as this runnup flattens out or nosedives.

    The hares have had their run, now the time of the tortoises is approaching.

  42. 42
    rubyfan says:

    When I hear brokers and Realtors talk about guaranteed future appreciation, tempting consumers to extend themselves with thoughts of profits

    Of course, the big problem is that somewhere back in about 2002 people quit thinking of their house as a place to live and started thinking of it as more of an “investment”. This happens periodically as previous housing bubbles have shown. The psychology switches for some reason. However, I think we need to deconstruct this idea of a home being primarily an “investment”. The problem, of course, comes when you have to move and you realize that all the houses have gone up due to this psychology. What have you gained, really? You’ve got to have some place to live, so you’ll buy again and basically be even.

    The only way to really pocket any money is to sell your house on the West Coast and move to Iowa (or some similar place in the MidWest) and buy a “cheap” house there [It should be noted, that while the Iowa house would be cheap for you, it’s not cheap for the Iowans]. Of course, the other way to pocket some money is to sell, pocket the money and then rent, but most people don’t want to do that. My point is that gains on your home’s price are mostly just paper gains.

    My house, for example, is worth about 3X what I bought it for in 1990 (I don’t live in the Seattle area, btw, I live in Oregon). On the surface I could say “whoopee! I’ve made a lot of money!”. But in reality, if I sell and move to another house I’ll pretty much break even (except I’ll be behind due to realtor fees, closing costs, moving costs etc.) The other thing to consider is that my property taxes are now so much higher due to the increase in property values, so from that angle appreciation is a pain.

  43. 43
    synthetik says:

    slto said: “I frequently shop at walmart…”

    *shudder* augh.

    >I’ve purchased my cars below invoice

    Being financially conservative doesn’t mean you go out and buy new cars below invoice, it means you buy a late model car or a newer car that’s 2-3 years old and drive it for 10+ years.

    I smell a troll too.

    Mister Bubble, I totally agree with you about Ardell. Personally, I have no idea why everyone is kissing her ass. Maybe they are afraid she’ll write a 10,000 word essay on it and they won’t have time to read it all. God knows when that woman has any time to sell real estate – or do anything else for that matter.

    It’s sad.

  44. 44
    Eastside RE Shopper says:

    One reason that RCG might have closed down comments is that they want to be able to moderate, and Jon cannot do that when he is away.

    However, the loss of good will in looking like you are shutting down discussion is nontrivial. How many times have they shut down commenting before? Have they ever done it? Seems odd that he did it a few posts after mine pointing out that the title of the post was inaccurate.

    SLTO – whether or not you deserve a nice house, the fact is that if you cannot afford one at your income, then hardly anybody can.

    Think about affordability this way. Take your average Eastside home for sale. What is the income required to buy it? Minimum of $150000. How many people make that kind of money, even on the Eastside? Not many. So what happens? Sales are going down.

    If you don’t have a 20-30 year old house sitting on education hill, but instead have something newer and nicer (like MLS #27024415) then you will probably go to inspection in less than a week, if you price it right. Why? Because you will have barely any competition.

  45. 45
    SLTO Troll says:


    I’m not going to defend myself or why I do things… that’s just the way they are…

    For me driving the car I want, doing the things I want to do within my means is my priority…

    Being financially conservative does not mean pretending to be poor… it means maximizing the purchase power of my dollar without risking losing that dollar in high yield, high risk investments…

    each to his own opinion…

    Driving a beat up car, watching tv on a 27inch tube is not conservative it’s being a miser… which I’m not…

    If everybody thinks I’m a troll so be it… I’ll troll, doesn’t change anything for me… I’ll even change my name to SLTO Troll if that makes people happy…

    Enjoy the nice Seattle weather everyone… I’m off to have fun…

    Again I apologize for any inappropriate comments I’ve made, I was merely responding to Jillayne’s question with my own personal opinion and situation and one thing led to another… and I seem to have scared her off and started a different kind of fireworks instead… looking forward to a different debate tomorrow…

  46. 46
    SeattleMoose says:

    deepcgi said….”The real estate bubble was clearly worldwide. Keep your eyes on California. Where California goes, the rest of the world will follow.”

    There is a reason that over on Ben’s Blog the last post of the day draws the most replys….it always seems to be CA related. And everyone knows the CA is the poster child for the bubble.

    As far as the bubble being worldwide….right again. I have a sister in AUS (a flipper) and my wife’s family lives in POL. Both places have had bubbles. AUS is in the process of popping and POL is like Seattle…in denial phase…but pregnant and just waiting to plop.

    Then you hear about England, Spain, Ukraine, and it just goes on and on.

    It is almost like banks all around the world are running the printing presses 24/7 to eliminate the value of money, debt, pensions, SS, etc. But salaries (non CEO) have not gone up,…so something has got to give or we’ll be back to…”the peasants are revolting”

  47. 47
    Jillayne says:

    Hi Slto troll,

    I’m still here and have read every comment.

    Hi beta,

    Thanks for your compliment and admitting your shallowness. LOL :)

    I believe that if residential real estate agents AND mortgage lenders continue to ignore bubble blogs, they’re missing an opportunity to really LISTEN to what consumers are saying.

    BTW, the comments on RCG are available. If anyone wants to spend 25 minutes reading through them all, after the DOH! page comes up, click on the link that shows up on the DOH! page.

    Happy Sunday.

  48. 48
    Tom says:

    i see a lot of flips in the market. if buyers are little smart and just don’t buy from flippers, market will come to a reasonable level.
    i know this is a wishful thinking because not all the buyers even agree that we are in a bubble market.

  49. 49
    Matt says:

    in my line of work, the MOST bankruptcy’s I see on credit reports are from loan officers! hahaha, unbelievable. It’s just amazing that people who deal with this amount of money can’t keep their own finances in good standing. How can someone who cannot control their own situation give sound advice to anyone else?

  50. 50
    Puget Sounder says:

    Overpriced Seattle starter home of the week:


    MLS: 27014745 if the link doesn’t work.

    Here are the details:

    Beds: 2
    Baths: 1
    Sq. Ft.*: 790


    Last sold for 165k on 12/31/1998.

    That is $506/sq feet people. In Magnolia. For the privilege of not sharing a wall with someone.

    Much rather have this condo: MLS # 26200695, which is actually in my price range. However, I think nearly 300k is a still a bit much considering the proximity to Interbay and the quality of the neighborhood.

  51. 51
    wreckingbull says:

    I find common real estate vernacular quite amusing.

    The most overused one here in Seattle:

    Craphole = Cape Cod

  52. 52
    kiwi77 says:

    We sold everything and moved to New Zealand where I am just about done with my wine making degree. We will be returning to the States early next year and probably be settling in the Seattle area, at least for a while. Any suggestions re housing? Rent, prices, etc? We have about $300k cash right now and will have an income of about $120k. I’ve owned in Seattle and Lake Forest Park, but am not sure what is going to happen and when re prices. Thoughts?

  53. 53
    kpom says:


    Rent. Wait a year after you get back (let all those ARMs reset and panic sets in). Then buy if you want – but don’t do it with the expectation that it will provide an excellent return on investment.

    A good clue for buying waiting for the point when your neighbor, coworker, and random person in the supermarket thinks that buying real estate is a really stupid investment – that is the time to move! (grin)

  54. 54
    Erik says:

    Puget Sounder:

    I’m with you, that’s crazy. But here’s an even an worse listing. 790sf in Magnolia at $339K sounds downright reasonable to me next to $309K for 760sf just across the city lines from White Center.

    Check out MLS # 27005818. What the hell? I’m hoping that the seller had to drop the price a lot or provide major incentives. The last couple of ~700sf houses that sold in this neighborhood went for $265K and $270K after sitting on the market for months and getting new windows, etc. I thought those were bad buys. How can this be a rational purchase?

  55. 55
    Ardell DellaLoggia says:

    LOL I am quite old enough to be Tim’s Mother. I am exacty twice his age. My Broker Partner is my “man”. My assist was for “Jon” getting ready to go to Maui, where he is right now. He is a bit inexperienced and didn’t realize he shouldn’t start a high comment post and then leave town :)

    Sorry for the inconvenience to anyone. I couldn’t take it on from Jon’s perspective and he was OOP. Did the best we could with it, and then he shut it down when he was leaving.

    I’ve seen comments shut down once before. Galen did it on another post that become off track and messy.

  56. 56
    MisterBubble says:

    “My assist was for “Jon” getting ready to go to Maui, where he is right now. He is a bit inexperienced and didn’t realize he shouldn’t start a high comment post and then leave town :)”

    Yeah, that Jon…he’s such a goof! He should’ve known better than to make a post where you would create an army of straw men for intelligent people to knock down, and in the process, make RCG look like a hangout for a bunch of huckster used-car (err…sorry: “real-estate”) salesmen.

    Silly Jon! Such inexperience!

    :) :-) ;-) :-D

    (Smileys just make everything OK, don’t they, Ardell?)

  57. 57
    B says:

    Reversion to the mean is a b*tch.

    I’m not very old. But I remember in the time when I was growing up, it wasn’t “normal” for people in their early 20s to be taking many multiples of their annual salary in mortgage debt.

    The folks who are taking on large promises against their future earnings to get in bidding wars with each other on cosmetic fixers are fouling it up for those here who try to play by the rules, keep PITI underneath 32% of monthly earnings, and generally otherwise act responsibly.

    So I can see where some of the aggravation comes from.

    On the other hand, thinking that someone “deserves” anything (used houses, used cars, etc) is crazy. It’s way more about how much you’re willing to pay/indebt yourself, not your social status or earnings. How is this unclear to people after half a decade of easy-sleazy credit?

  58. 58
    synthetik says:


    Is it possible for an american to get NZ citizenship?

    I’ve only heard great things about NZ and it’s on my short list of places to own a second home and/or safe haven.

    it’s good to have options…

  59. 59
    kiwi77 says:

    Sure, and American can get NZ citizenship, but it’s not easy. Basically, you go through a selection process and have a score generated for you. Depending on the score, a resident visa is issued. Things such as age, education, language, savings, whether you have a job lined up, etc. determine your score and the score determines whether you can get a visa. I am in the fortunate position of having dual citizenship, as I was born in NZ with an American father and a New Zealand (obviously) mother; I have both passports and can easily travel back and forth. Having said all that, if you are fairly young and have a college degree it is probably no problem getting a visa. Living here is amazingly low key, taxes are actually less than the US when you figure in SS and sales taxes and state income tax and medicare, etc. People here are more rational, more connected, and saner. I live in Napier and am a wine maker, which is quite a sweet career, although NZ opportunities are not huge for a head wine makers position, which is why I will probably be heading back to the US for a bit. Come and visit, travel around, and see for yourself. You can work at some jobs down here and stay for six months. What the hell, give it a try.

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