Your down payment could cost less than your latte

I got this in the mail earlier this week, and just had to share. Houses are still cheaper than latte’s, apparently…

STOP renting!

Renter's Myth

I clicked through to the site that the postcard directs you to. The “bonuses” are pretty significant relative to the starting prices, it seems to me.

Buyer Bonuses at Select Communities
For purchases on October 1, 2007 and beyond, get up to…

  • $25,000 at Autumn Woods in Spanaway (homes from the low $200s)
  • $20,000 at Berrywoods in Marysville (homes from the mid $200s)
  • $30,000 at Brookside in Bonney Lake (homes from the mid $200s)
  • $22,000 at Deschutes River Highlands in Olympia (homes from the mid $200s)
  • $30,000 at Fern Crest in Kent (homes from the low $300s)
  • $45,000 at Foxglove Meadow in Bothell (homes from the high $300s)
  • $30,000 at Kentlake Highlands in Lake Sawyer area (homes from the low $300s)
  • $30,000 at Northwest Landing in DuPont (homes from the mid $200s)
  • $15,000 at Pasadera in Lake Stevens (homes from the mid $200s)
  • $40,000 at Pasadera Heights in Lake Stevens (homes from the high $200s)
  • $18,000 at Ridge at McCormick Woods in Port Orchard area (homes from the mid $200s)
  • $17,000 at Skagit Highlands in Mount Vernon (homes from the high $100s)
  • $15,000 at Stendahl Ridge in Poulsbo (homes from the mid $200s)
  • $22,000 at Ridge at Suncrest in Tumwater (homes from the low $200s)
  • $20,000 at Tahoma Meadow in Yelm (homes from the high $100s)
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  1. 1
    Bellevue Ave says:

    oh for the love of god…

  2. 2
    Bellevue Ave says:

    second thought: the closest available home to seattle downtown is bothell? BOTHELL?

  3. 3
    disbelief says:

    Uh…….I’ll go for the latte

  4. 4
    george says:

    Question: Who spends more per year on propaganda? The National Rifle Association or the real estate industry?

    Good information is relegated to a few blogs, and a few honest reporters.

    You won’t see this mailing I’ll bet:

  5. 5
    Scott G. says:

    Anyone in the Auburn, Kent, or Tukwila area giving out a buyer bonus of a free kayak or canoe?

    Did you see this?

  6. 6
    MrRational says:

    Even if you were ready to buy I hope that it’s never a Quadrant Home. I’ve heard nothing but bad things about them.

  7. 7
    Pegasus says:


    That is a very un-American ad for renting. In a country built on fleecing almost everyone you have posted information that can not be tolerated in the mainstream. For posting this I suspect the real estate gremlins will soon be at your door demanding that you stop exposing their scam truths. Best hunker down and post signs around you declaring that you heart real estate agents. They will believe anything because of their low IQ’s.

  8. 8
    Mike2 says:

    You’d have to be nuts to buy in any of those areas now, even with the discounts. Gotta love those beautiful high voltage lines running through the development in Bothell.

  9. 9
    Scotsman says:

    Makes you wonder what Quadrant Homes has figured out that the general public hasn’t quite caught onto yet, eh?

  10. 10
    Orion says:

    I got this in the mail also, what a laugh. I love their little sleight of hand with the logic in their “Renter’s Myth”

    “Renting for another year will allow me to save money for a down payment on a home.”
    “Reality is you can buy now! Here’s how!”

    Ok, first of all, that first statement which they call a myth is not a myth, of course if you rent something within your budget you’ll be able to save money for a down payment (you might still spend the money, but you could save it). Whereas if you buy their overpriced and depreciating asset you won’t be saving jack except the homebuilder’s ass.

  11. 11

    I wonder how the appraisers adjust for the seller concessions on these homes? I mean, the home still has to appraise for the higher sales price, inflated to include the bonuses.

  12. 12
    MacAttack says:

    Those places are CHEAPER THAN PORTLAND!!!

    I would say Portland is about to lose its lunch.

  13. 13
    Jonny says:

    Portland is screwed.

  14. 14
    softwarengineer says:


    Jonny, we’re all in a big mess. Denial makes it worse.

    Imagine if we’d increased mortgage interest rates in 2002, stopped hot air blowing up the real estate bubble that popped horribly in 2006, because of our brainless denial?

    Australia did that and their currency makes ours look like pesos right now. Home loans are 8.5% in Aussie land right now and their economy is doing better than ours. [even Forbes has a few good news articles…lol]

    See the proof:

  15. 15
    Mark L says:

    Closest development in Bothell… and it is a stretch to even call it Bothell, in the traditional sense. It is a stones throw from Mill Creek and the southward extension of Snohomish. With congested paths to the freeways – and I-405 has its worst remaining stretch right in that area.

    This also shows the typical trends – the furthest commuter burbs (formerly too far to commute) will see the bloodbath first – they always do. Of course, this Quadrant thing still looks to be wishful thinking on their part – they are trolling for the last suckers. You’ve got to wonder what the outyling condo prices are doing. There are some in that same area – the southern extension of Snohomish – that are five miles from I-5. Not too desirable.

  16. 16
    just_checking says:

    By the way, if your RE agent is singing praises for quadrant homes, here is why ;)

  17. 17
    Jonny says:

    softwarengineer: What? Take away the punch bowl and drink water to make the hangover less bad? That’s crazy talk! Drink on!

  18. 18
    Tony1790 says:

    I toured the quadrant home site in Port Orchard, most of the homes are occupied and there are few open spaces currently (many more sections to open soon though). In addition to the $18,000 incentive, they are offering a $5,000 military incentive for $23,000 off. When I visited a few months ago, there were no incentives available.

    So for a brand new 2000 sqft home at $255k – $23k = $232k, what does that price tag do to all of the resale older homes that are in the $260k to $325 range?? I sold my 1900 sqft, 8 year old home for $292k last year, glad I did, I think the new owners lost about $60k, if not more!

  19. 19
    whats my name says:

    “Australia did that and their currency makes ours look like pesos right now.”

    And now a quote from your article:

    “The Australian dollar rose from 85.54 U.S. cents before the rate rise to 85.78 U.S. cents in Sydney by Wednesday’s close.”

    It’s about 88 cents today. Pesos indeed.

    Current median for homes in Sydney runs a little over $500,000 Australian superdollars.

    I know, Seattle is no Sydney.

  20. 20
    johnnybigspenda says:

    the Inventory of SFH in King County dropped below 10,000 units…. guess that’s still “seasonally high”.. on the other hand, nice to see that its not at 20,000. from all the doom and gloom around here it would seem like 20,000 is a possibility… hmmmm..

  21. 21
    uptown says:

    But I thought they said that we had run out of land??

    Reminds me of Chicago in the 70’s…when they started to build further out, past the reach of commuter railroad lines. The employers soon followed, moving further out into the new burbs. Even Sears mostly left the Sears Tower by the early 90’s, with the bulk of the headquarters going to Hoffman Estates, 30 miles outside Chicago.

    Just because Seattle is our center of the universe right now, doesn’t mean it will always be. A lot can happen in 30 years while you’re paying off that mortgage.

  22. 22
    deejayoh says:

    the Inventory of SFH in King County dropped below 10,000 units…. guess that’s still “seasonally high”.. on the other hand, nice to see that its not at 20,000. from all the doom and gloom around here it would seem like 20,000 is a possibility… hmmmm..

    You’re right. Now it’s only higher than any month from January 2000 through July 2007. (at a minumum, that’s all the records I have) That’s some season. hmmmm..

  23. 23
    george says:

    If there was a way to track how many sellers are pulling properties this month because they’re not selling, that would be an interesting statistic.

  24. 24
    MrRational says:

    “You’re right. Now it’s only higher than any month from January 2000 through July 2007. (at a minumum, that’s all the records I have) That’s some season. hmmmm..”

    Inventory may be higher now that in any month since January 2000 but isn’t the total housing stock also much higher? By looking at only an absolute inventory amount you’re not taking into account that there are also significantly more housing units (especially since the “bubble” began).

    I think it would be much more accurate to look at inventory as a % of total housing units.

  25. 25

    Jillayne, I was wondering the same thing…I’m betting that the credit is going towards upgrades. I understand those homes pretty much come as a plain box.

  26. 26
    johnnybigspenda says:

    You mean, this November is higher than any other November since 2007, right?

    Here’s what I’m getting at: When was the last real-estate correction? And the one before that? What were inventory levels in November and December like during those corrections?

    Obviously we’ve had a ‘sellers market’ for a number of years in a row. And its obviously a buyers market now. When you compare a sellers market inventory level to a buyers market inventory level, I’m pretty sure we can all agree what that’s going to look like.

    I’m interested to know more about the current correction vs. the last couple of corrections to see if we can predict some % losses and timing based on inventory levels.

    Every time the cycle corrects everyone is all shocked by it and starts claiming that the sky is falling. Then again… maybe ‘this correction is different’ and we really ARE in a bubble like we’ve never seen before?

    Wait a minute…didn’t people say that prices were so high because ‘things are different this time’? But but but…I thought that the bubbleheads said that things were NOT different and that’s why prices can’t stay at these levels? Hmm….

  27. 27
    johnnybigspenda says:

    I meant any November since 2000. (not 2007) … typed too fast

  28. 28
    mike2 says:

    JBS, you need to check out the seattlebubble spreadsheet. Inventory is higher now than at any time in the past 7 years – not just any November. It’s only lower now than it was at the beginning of the fall.

  29. 29
    deejayoh says:

    You mean, this November is higher than any other November since 2007, right?

    Nope, I meant any MONTH. Check it here.

    I would say there hasn’t been a correction since 1991. Tim’s spreadsheet has the 3 county totals back then, (not KingCo SFH) and they are roughly comparable to where we stand today.

  30. 30
    johnnybigspenda says:

    ok, I agree that inventory is up and it definitely shows that the party is over for sellers. I still am not convinced that we’ve not seen this before to some extent within the past 30 years. I don’t like looking at only the segment in time that shows the ‘run-up’ in prices without comparing it to what we know (historical data).

    it would be interesting to plot the fed rate as an overlay on that graph.

  31. 31
    johnnybigspenda says:

    it would also be interesting to see a chart of the condo numbers in King County. I foresee a bunch of those coming on the market over the next 12 months with all the new construction. It would be interesting to see it overlayed on the other graph as well… to see if it is divergent from the SFH data.

  32. 32
    rose-colored-coolaid says:

    Great post DJO.

    1) Of course you can buy for the cost of a latte…so long as you vary the frequency of your latte purchases accordingly.

    1 latte a month? Nope.
    1 latte a week? No again.
    1 latte a day? Nuh uh.
    1 latte per meal ($3*30*3=$270)? Well, no!
    1 latte per waking hour ($3*30*16=$1440)? We have a winner.

    Second, has anyone heard the radio commercial part of this add campaign? It takes place at a drive through, and it goes something like this.

    Lady: I’d like a double tall latte with foam.
    Teller: So that’s one 0 down mortgage on a quadrant home.
    Lady: No, I said a latte with no foam.
    Teller: Quadrant homes are … Please pull up to the window.
    Lady: I really don’t think I can afford a home right now!
    Teller: For the price of a latte you can buy a home right now. Please pull up to the window.

  33. 33
    Tony1790 says:

    I toured a 10 year old 1800 sqft home in Port Orchard, the owner had moved out and bought a Quadrant home nearby. He had already lowered his price, but was still $259k, well over the price of a brand new 2000 sqft home in his new neighborhood. I looked up his purchase price online…$129k, so I made a fair offer of $100 per sqft = $180,000. The realtor would not present it as it was too low, talk about not facing reality! The guy is paying 2 mortgages as well, I’m only making 30% off low ball offers, if I don’t get it now, I’ll get it later, until then I’m saving quite a bundle now that I’ve sold off my homes and am renting.

  34. 34
    db says:

    Is it legal (or ethical) to not present your offer? I would present it directly to the owner.

  35. 35
    Olaf says:

    The agent is required to present your offer — if you insist on it. He’ll try to persuade you not to, but if you fill out the paperwork, etc., then he’s got to pass it along. After all, he’s your AGENT. That means he speaks for you.

    Of course, that doesn’t mean you can trust him. It never hurts to follow up the offer with a phone call directly to the seller. “Just calling to say hi, and wondering if you got our offer.”

  36. 36


    So what? This phony runup in home prices caused “overbuilding” of inventory, someting Australia avoided more easily with higher interest rates [seeking alpha states in part]:

    “….Australian Home Building Slows, Lags Behind Demand, BIS Says (Bloomberg, July 23rd): “Australia’s construction industry is slowing as land shortages and rising costs deter home builders, according to BIS Shrapnel Pty, a Sydney-based forecaster. Housing starts will fall 1% to 148,000 in the year ending June 30, 2008… Housing starts probably will lag behind demand for a fourth consecutive year, BIS said. Housing affordability dropped to a record in Q1 as land prices, interest rates, labor and material costs rose, prompting more Australians to rent rather than buy.” …”

    The rest of the URL:

    Oh, I know, Seattle’s monster household incomes will bail real estate out. Not.

    See the proof:

    You’re all are gonna retire sooner or later, ya know how much money ya gotta save to get $2000/mo retirement interest income after taxes [more than most of us blogging on this panel will ever save in a lifetime, especially if we pour all our savings into an overpriced home]?

    Double the American interest rates to normal Australian levels, and you can half the retirement savings need. What’s wrong with that?

  37. 37
    CCG says:

    “Renting for another year will allow me to save money for a down payment on a home.”

    So I can compete with those who didn’t? No thanks.

  38. 38
    rose-colored-coolaid says:

    From softwareengineer’s post

    “Australia’s construction industry is slowing as land shortages…”

    Australia’s population density is about 21,000,000 and it’s nearly as large as the US. At 6.7/sq mi, it is less than 1/10th the US population density. It is more densely populated than only 6 other nations : Namibia, French Guiana, Mongolia, Western Sahara, Falkland Islands, and Greenland.

    So if Australia is out of land, no wonder we’re having problems here! We were out of land before 1920!

    For the record, the US population density is 144 out of about 230 nations, but if you don’t count Alaska we sky-rocket up to about 100th on the list.

  39. 39

    […] spotted the ad at right on the Seattle Times homepage yesterday. It’s not as patronizing as Quadrant Homes’ old “down payment latte” ad was, but the claim of buying for just $800 a month immediately jumped out at me as […]

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