Fundraising Drive Day 5: Looking Forward

Please Support Seattle Bubble

Time for another update on the fundraising drive. So far 39 people have donated a total of $885, putting us over 1/3 of the way to the goal. Thank you for your generosity!

If just 65 more people were to donate $25 each, the goal would be reached. Please consider making a donation if you have not already. If you have—thank you again.

Someone left the following comment on the previous fundraising post:

I’ve wondered how you monetize your detailed, quantitative knowledge of the real estate market once the local market passes its bottom. Seattle Bubble, by the nature of its title is a bit time limited.

That’s a great question, and it’s something I’ve definitely been thinking about. When Seattle Bubble launched in late 2005, the purpose of the site was to explore the housing bubble and how it related to the local real estate market. Since then, I feel like the site has grown into much more than that, and become more of a general news and analysis source for the local residential real estate market.

I think this is a service that has a place even after the housing bubble has played itself out, and as I have said, I intend to continue growing the site and making it an even better resource to that end. That being said, I am interested in more feedback regarding the name of the site. Technically speaking, it would be a piece of cake to re-name the site and automatically redirect visitors to a new domain, but is that really necessary? Does the name of the site really matter if the content is quality? What’s a “Zillow” or a “Redfin”?

I’d like to hear your thoughts on the “branding” of the site, keeping in mind the goal of where I’d like to bring the site over the next few years (which I described in the initial fundraising post).  If you have any good name ideas, feel free to list them here as well.  Thanks!

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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. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.

132 comments:

  1. 1
    Jim says:

    I think that Seattle Bubble is a fine name. One thing that I like about the name.. thinking into the future.. would be that it is a reminder of what happened in the past and how people dealt with it. Some people waited and bought after the peak had subsided and some people plowed in blindly at the peak.

    An interesting topic that you might consider including would be following specific houses through the runnup and decline to come.

    I had listened to the Big Pool of Money you posted.. I believe it was a This American Life special.. and thought about how the CDO managers view the spreadsheet and see people struggling through with their mortgages. If you could capture some of this struggle that would be great.

    I would expect anything personal with people but maybe house prices in different areas. I use Redfin and you can see the different sale prices in the past and then the asking price drops that are going on right now. It would be great to carry this out with posts about specific properties as the drop continues.

  2. 2
    Jim says:

    I would not expect anything personal I should have said.

  3. 3
    Adam says:

    SeattleBoomBust.com? SeattleBoomOrBust.com?

  4. 4
    NostraDamnUs says:

    “Since then, I feel like the site has grown into much more than that, and become more of a general news and analysis source for the local residential real estate market.”

    The only thing this site has grown into is a place for the 40 or so constant whiny a-holes that reinforce your delusions of grandeur to waste their time and prove your ridiculous point of view about a market “bubble”, or as I’d like to call it, decreased demand due to 1) corporate greed/irresponsibility and 2) people (homeowners) who bit off more than they can chew.

    Fortunately, I read somewhere that Seattle is one of the most literate cities in the world, which means (most) people here can do simple algebra, and those you don’t see on your useless little blog whining or complaining about the RE market – they either buy or don’t – depending on the current context.

    What you are doing – Timster – is self-promotion. You know people are bound to look up what you do once they stumble upon your whine-blog, and those looking for “answers” (that they already know, I might add) will think – “Gee-what an honest guy – he _complains_ like the rest of us on his blog – he must be like us! Let’s give him some business/funds”

    Your entire tone/mood of this website started off on the wrong foot – e.g. pessimistic. No one likes a pessimist, even when they are right. And for a while there, you were right. But you are also stupid. Why? Because you can not undo the “SeattleBubble” once the market picks up. And then, just like a bunch of other miserable, fat f**ks like yourself (e.g. fu*kedcompany.com is another example of a site that was briefly popular), you will go down in history as someone who was right… for once in his life… or like a broken analog clock – which is right twice a day….

    You dug your own grave by calling your own website “SeattleBubble”. Now you want to REASON your way out of it. And I gotta tell you – it ain’t working on me. And I am hoping it won’t work on most people.

    G’day Bruce!

  5. 5
    TJ_98370 says:

    I think Nostra would vote to change the title of the website.

  6. 6
    NostraDamnUs says:

    And just to show you I’m a good sport – if I were you, I would allow the SeattleBubble.com registration to expire, and when you do bring up the new website, make sure you choose a different name – one more neutral, or not indicative of anything regarding the cyclical nature of the market.

    I’m also willing to bet that if you actually change the name to something more neutral & meaningless with regards to the nature of the market or people’s mood about the market, you will most likely lose interest in maintaining the website, because you can’t be right about what you are saying anymore….

    And from my long experience of dealing with people – people (e.g. you) would rather be right than be happy or productive… People are prepared to cling to their point of view like their life dependend on it – and it doesn’t. The cost of doing just that – perpetuating your own point of view, is permanent dissatisfaction with yourself/others.

    Good luck!

  7. 7
    Everett_Tom says:

    Thanks NostraDamnUs ,

    I realized that without this site I wouldn’t get to giggle at your comments. In light of that I’ve donated another $10, so you’ve got somewhere to post your anger. Think of it as being in your name :).

  8. 8
    patient says:

    The TIm, it’s good to think proactively but also be careful not to meddle with success to early. This site and it’s name obviously stirs up emotions (see Nostra’s comment) and are now a known name among the re-industry. I say keep it. If you need later on you can just expand the bubble meaning from a price bubble to a sphere that encirles Seattle and what goes on here. It’s a good name.

  9. 9
    NostraDamnUs says:

    Tim – use that $10 dollars Everett_Tom gave you to register a new domain name at http://google.com/a.

    Thanks Tom.

  10. 10
    NostraDamnUs says:

    Tim – I’d use that $10 from Tom to register the new domain name…

    Thanks Tom.

  11. 11
    Everett_Tom says:

    Your Welcome NostraDamnUs.

  12. 12
    NostraDamnUs says:

    patient – he can keep it at his own peril.

  13. 13
    b says:

    Still haven’t sold your house, NostraDamnUs?

  14. 14
    NostraDamnUs says:

    b – good one man :). My house is more than half paid off. I’m in my 30’s. And this is our 3rd home – I’ve made money on all prior sales – including when the market here in Seattle was shitty. But thanks for asking.

  15. 15
    b says:

    Why do you read this blog? And whats with the angry rants? You either are lying about your house, need to get laid, or both.

  16. 16
    Ray Pepper says:

    Good Lord! NostraDamnUs Ouch! Do you like the name 500 Realty? I hope so!

  17. 17
    deejayoh says:

    And from my long experience of dealing with people – people (e.g. you) would rather be right than be happy or productive…

    Ironic, considering the source.

  18. 18
    NostraDamnUs says:

    Ray – any name that doesn’t imply a particular point of view is good enough for a website like what Tim originally wanted to start.

    Problem with Tim is, by calling his website “SeattleBubble” – he shot himself in the foot. His intentions might be ‘good’ (besides self-serving) – but as we all know, the road to hell is paved with such good intentions.

    And in his good intention to inform by perpetuating a solitary point of view, he painted himself into a corner… and now he wants to back out of it without making a mess.

    Not so easy to do that, huh, Tim? You’re going to turn into a regular full-time slick-talking politician now between today and the time you actually register that new domain.

    I might add, try to conceal your identity on the new website – or maybe submit a court-ordered name change, so people can’t relate to you as the “Bubble” guy once the market recovers… (just kidding about this last proposal – but a nice SORRY I WAS WRONG ABOUT THE BUBBLE, when the time comes, would be nice… hell, I might even donate toward the new website if you do that).

  19. 19
    NostraDamnUs says:

    Deejayoh – right.. attack the messenger. I’ve maintained people should not consider “the market” or this idiotic blog as a gauge for whether to buy a home. Timing the market is an idiotic proposition. And let’s suppose you are to time it, then it might do you good to buy something when all hell breaks loose, as it did a year and a half ago, or soon thereafter, rather than wait until 2009 when Hillary’s going to be in office….

    Again – you don’t have to believe an ounce of what I say – you can “follow your own instincts” (or this blog’s destructive advice)

  20. 20
    Tsuru says:

    I’ll donate $10 for a webcam for NostraDamnUs because I would get a good laugh out of watching his face turn red and seeing the spittle fly as he angrily mashes out his diatribes from his Windermere cubicle.

  21. 21
    NostraDamnUs says:

    Tsuru – you can just swing by my office, I’ll do it for you for free.

  22. 22
    The Tim says:

    Wow, who pissed in NDU’s coffee today? I do appreciate the comic relief though.

  23. 23
    Tsuru says:

    Sure thing, NostraDamnUs – just post where your office is at.

  24. 24
    Chris says:

    Nostra,

    Given that I’ve stuffed Tim into a locker, I can assure you he is not fat.

  25. 25
    NostraDamnUs says:

    Ok Chris – maybe I was overreacting a little bit – so I’m sorry for labeling him as fat.

    Either way – I think he gets me, inspite of me being the “last comic standing” here…

    And I do think Tim will come around. I’ll donate then.

  26. 26
    Fripp says:

    If house prices go down and then recover in the future how was the Tim wrong about there being a bubble? I don’t think he’s ever said house prices will never appreciate again.

    Count me in for $25 in NostraDamnUs’s name as well.

  27. 27
    NostraDamnUs says:

    Tim – I don’t know who pissed in my coffee, Mr Electrical-Engineer-from-a-shitty-University-turned-Real-Estate-expert…..

    But I can definitely attest to who pissed in his own coffee over the last 2 years.

    It’s fun being right, isn’t it? Except when you’re not.

  28. 28
    The Tim says:

    Wow, it really tears me up inside when an anonymous stranger on the internet starts calling me names. Boo-hoo, woe is me.

    Heh.

    I think you’re trying to be antagonistic, but I just can’t help but laugh at pretty much everything you post. You’re a parody of yourself, dude.

  29. 29
    deejayoh says:

    attack the messenger

    Like this?

    “place for the 40 or so constant whiny a-holes”

    “a bunch of other miserable, fat f**ks like yourself ”

    “you are also stupid”

  30. 30
    NostraDamnUs says:

    Fripp – he’s never said they won’t ever appreciate again, but he’s also never put what he has been claiming for the last 2 years in perspective – which is that prices will inevitably rebound again, and that most people looking to buy a home would’ve been BEST OFF buying it while he was telling them NOT TO BUY, at prices that have hit all time lows!

    Again – you don’t have to believe me. You can believe the self-absorbed “Mr. Electrical-Engineer-turned-RE-expert Tim” with a whole lot of free time on his hands!

  31. 31
    NostraDamnUs says:

    deejay – yeah… that’s my shortcoming. Being colorful.. Oh well. Sorry if that offends your sensibilities.

  32. 32
    NostraDamnUs says:

    “I think you’re trying to be antagonistic, but I just can’t help but laugh at pretty much everything you post. You’re a parody of yourself, dude.”

    That’s very telling of you. But it ain’t me who’s backpeddaling on his own pet project – SeattleBubble.com.

  33. 33
    NostraDamnUs says:

    “Why do you read this blog?”

    b – because it amuses me to see the Pavlovian reflexes in people.

  34. 34
    Fripp says:

    Just out of curiosity, what is your educational background NostraDamnUs?

  35. 35
    NostraDamnUs says:

    The Tim – you should stick to what you do best – and that’s definitely not RE market analysis, or human analysis or any kind of analysis that has to do with anything that you can find on Mr Google that you are trying to map onto the world with your limited experience, and I might add, limited intellect too.

    Try electrical engineering… this isn’t worth your time.

    Just friendly advice.

  36. 36
    NostraDamnUs says:

    Fripp – computer science.

  37. 37
    Tsuru says:

    NostraDamnUs // May 23, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    Fripp – computer science.

    a.k.a. DeVry

  38. 38
    NostraDamnUs says:

    Fripp – and unlike Tim, I’ve own a home now, and have owned several homes in the past… and continue to invest (as well as my parents, whom also have a successfull real estate business) in real estate, as there’s nothing better/safer to invest in anyway, if you’re in it for the long run. If not, then stick to something else – because this isn’t get-rich-quick type of scheme either.

    My problem with Tim is he is clueless and is giving advice based on his intuition, gut feelings, FUD, etc. He needs to do everyone a favor and cease this blog asap.

  39. 39
    NostraDamnUs says:

    Tsuru – you’re right. DeVry it is.

  40. 40
    EconE says:

    “(as well as my parents, whom also have a successfull real estate business) ”

    so the truth comes out. Looks like your fat ass parents will have to deal with their ramen diet.

    toodles loser!

  41. 41
    b says:

    NostraDamnUs –

    Can you point us to some hard metrics that prove Tim’s thesis about the seattle market is incorrect? All of the numbers I have seen bear out that we have a bubble and it is correcting. What set of statistics are you drawing your wisdom from? Or is it just from your “intuition”. Earlier you said you were in your 30’s, so its no wonder you believe that real estate is the best and safest investment ever. People older than you or those who have lived in areas outside of Seattle might beg to differ.

  42. 42
    NostraDamnUs says:

    Tim – here’s a challenge – if you cease this blog/domain, I’ll send you a money order for $100. That’s probably more than any one has given you individually (be honest now).

    Try me if you think I’m bullshitting you.

  43. 43
    NostraDamnUs says:

    b – if I have to “educate you” on what’s my “thesis” (which I don’t have) based on, it’ll take far more than a post, and we’d have to get into stuff like psychology, classical conditioning (e.g. “learned helplessnes”), etc. It goes a “little bit” beyond market analysis – and it involves putting things into perspective, rather than clinging to a single point of view for over 2 years just because you want to be right about something, or trying to get notoriety by bringing up sites lke this…

    I’m not trying to patronize you – but most of what you see Tim do is an example of what a neophyte, or a wannabe whose concern isn’t for other people but for himself.

  44. 44
    deejayoh says:

    Here’s a blast from the past:

    Is Seattle Bubble Proof? November 2, 2006

    Best I can tell so far, the answer to that question is a resounding YES, Seattle IS bubble proof, at least in the $300,000 and under market.

    Tim’s post that day was about decreasing affordability.

    Interesting juxtaposition

  45. 45
    b says:

    NostraDamnUs –

    That was a lot of words to not answer my question. I am not asking for you to delve into psychology, I am asking you what data you are using to interpret that 1) Real estate is the safest and best investment you can make in the long term and 2) There is no bubble in Seattle’s market.

    I am also a computer scientist (although I hope you were kidding about DeVry, if not it might explain some things). I would assume you have at least gathered and looked at some relevant statistics and metrics in order to derive your conclusions. If not then all of those years of math theory really went to waste on you, didn’t they?

  46. 46
    cheapseats says:

    I think NostraDamnUs is an alter ego for The Tim, I believe he single handedly drove donations up today

  47. 47
    Ray Pepper says:

    Wow, I’m happy I took the weekend off and decided to stay home.

    I think you all need:

    A “little quiet time” including—

    a 5.00 Lil Caesar Pizza–Cheese

    a classic movie like Napoleon Dynamite

    and of course a 500 Realty T- shirt.

    When my days are blue it always works for me!

  48. 48
    EconE says:

    Nostradominatrix said…

    “Tim – here’s a challenge – if you cease this blog/domain, I’ll send you a money order for $100. That’s probably more than any one has given you individually (be honest now).”

    Nostra…

    How about you and I both give matching donations to Tim?

    Can you handle that?

    and as you said…

    Try me if you think I’m bullshitting you.

  49. 49
    NostraDamnUs says:

    b – I don’t think you are listening to what I said – therefore you continue upon the same path as before, insisting on metrics and statistics as an indicator of predicting the future.

    For as long as you keep doing that, you’re not going to be any better off than Tim here and his shiny little pet blog, at either proving or disproving both of your points.

    Statistics/metrics are like little white lies when used to predict anything of value. Human behavior is a much more reliable pattern that one can bank on and has been banked on by those who knew what it took to get there, and are now enjoying the fruits of those efforts they made long time ago, when they listened to someone other than the likes of Tim.

    Most computer scientists, electrical engineers, and people who aren’t exposed to other “regular” (e.g. non-techie) people on a daily basis are devoid of these notions I am trying to tell you here, that unless you STOP AND LISTEN, are going to continue to try to map onto statistical/mathematical models.

    Fortunately, I actually _listen_ to other people who aren’t Google-addicts or SeattleBubble.org addicts.

    b – rather than fencing with mathematical models or statistics that prove of no value to either one of you – ASK me a _specific_ question that you are confronted with, and I’ll answer it to the best of my knowledge.

    No, my degree is from UCF.

  50. 50
    NostraDamnUs says:

    EconE – I will match your donation onlly if your donation is used to cease this blog. And it doesn’t exceed $100.

  51. 51
    NostraDamnUs says:

    cheapseats – you believe that, don’t you?

  52. 52
    Ray Pepper says:

    For those interested………..I graduated BCC…………………………………With honors!

  53. 53
    b says:

    NostraDamnUs –

    So your investment acumen is based on intuition, gut feelings, FUD, etc. Its good to know you are at least admitting to being a hypocrite.

    Long term investing that is based on such stupidity works great if you happen to have some dumb luck. Like a grandma investing in Apple because she thought it was the orchards out in eastern Washington. Buying real estate over the last 15 years has provided you with 3 chances to have dumb luck, so its no surprise you think its somehow due to your investing brilliance. If you had lived in SoCal during that time you’d have been bankrupt long ago. People who make real money use statistics and metrics to make decisions on how markets are valued and if they should buy or not. They don’t print P/E just for the fuck of it.

    Human behavior should tell you flat out there is a bubble and prices were fueled by speculative mania. You only need to turn on HGTV over the last 4 years to realize that. The fact that you are blind to both statistics and your own “human behavior” analysis is pretty obvious. If you don’t like SeattleBubble there are plenty of other places to read up on this same exact stuff, I suggest bloomberg.com, economist.com and ftalphaville.ft.com for starters. Pay careful attention to news about CDOs, its much more important that a home being located in Ballard or having great granite countertops in understanding the Seattle market.

  54. 54
    EconE says:

    Anything over $100 too rich for your blood Nostra?

    C’mon…how hard would it be to match a donation from a poor bitter renter such as myself?

  55. 55
    Ray Pepper says:

    I also once won an award for 2nd Place in Dodgeball at the YMCA.

  56. 56
    NostraDamnUs says:

    EconE – shut up, you’re not bitter. You can probably afford something, you’re just not willing to put the money forth.

    Anyway – call your donation, let me see what you think getting rid of this blog’s worth – I will consider matching it, ‘kay?

  57. 57
    NostraDamnUs says:

    b-why the hell do you think I’m here? I follow all that and then some. And again, I don’t use THAT alone as a predictor for the future.

    But to each his own – you seem to have a handle on it much better than I do. Carry on.

  58. 58

    To put things in perspective, buying a house has historically been a good thing to do over the long haul. The value would go up little by little as the mortgage was being paid off, or you could buy a home and rent it out so the tenant would pay off the mortgage and the value of the rental increased little by little. Around 2001, things seemed to change. Prices started escalating rapidly every year, and there was talk of a new paradigm where prices could never go down again.
    That’s where I see Seattle Bubble filling a need. I don’t see the Tim as a cheerleader for renting forever, or hoping that home prices always go down.. In fact, I’m going to predict that the Tim becomes a homeowner within five years.
    There’s been a lot of BS from the real estate industry and a counter to that is nice.
    Yes, I’ve read crazy rants on this blog from folks I’ve vehemently disagreed with, but I also regularly see a variety of opinions…
    About a name change…not yet, not until we’ve really hit bottom and the course is starting to reverse. Then I’d like to see ” Nowisagreattimetobuy.com”

  59. 59
    Everett_Tom says:

    For What it’s worth:

    I’m about the same age as NostraDamnUs. I also bought a home.. in CA, near Santa Cruz. I bought back in later 2003, as a home.. AND as a investment. I put money down, I spend time and money working on it, etc. I lived on a shoestring budget. We chose a house in a good neighborhood, at the top end of what we could afford. Good schools, and all those RE talking points…

    In mid 2007 I got a job offer up here, for a better paying job (in a state with no income tax). I took it. had I sold at the peak of the market (less then a 1 – 1 1/2 years before), I would have made about $100K in profit and sold in less the 3 weeks (we saw similar homes in our area have bidding wars in the first day).

    Unfortunately(for me), I missed the peak. After several months of price drops, we managed to sell at a profit of $12K(after RE fees, etc). That $12 made it so we were a little less then break even due to the upgrades we’d done. (note the $12K “profit” doesn’t take into account items like inflation, extra cost such property tax, etc… )

    I guess I just don’t quite agree with your idea of Real Estate being so safe. a few more months and I’ve been paying to get rid of it. (oh, we looked at renting it out.. we would have had to take a loss of > $500 / month to do that… not very appealing)

  60. 60
    EconE says:

    Nuestrodiablo…

    I have no intentions of trying to shut the blog down with donations.

    I support what Tim does. We obviously have different feelings about the site.

    I’m not posting any $ amounts here but will be glad to use S-crow as our escrow service just so Tim doesn’t have to look at your angry face.

    And no…I don’t donate online. Tim already knows that.

  61. 61
    EconE says:

    Oh…and Ira…if you’re referring to my crazy rants…most are just for shits and giggles. I actually think you are cool as hell and would buy you a beer any day.

  62. 62

    Thanks EconoE,
    I never actually thought of your rants as especially wackshit, and I mostly agree with your viewpoint. And you’re right again: I am cool as hell.

  63. 63
    S-Crow says:

    1) Since this thread is all over the place, did anyone catch (via tv) the whole Manchester United vs. Chelsea match in Moscow? I saw the ESPN replay of the last 10 minutes and into penalty’s. Chelsea probably should have won it on penalties. I didn’t really care who won, but what a way to win/lose a championship.

    Speaking of championships, my son lost his baseball tourney last weekend on a coin toss. And they had the best record. Nutty. But it will help him build character.

    2) HEY RAY @ 500 REALTY. …….STILL WAITING FOR MY T-SHIRT!

    I WANT TO WEAR IT AROUND JUST TO SEE IF ANYONE THROWS A TOMATO AT ME AT THE STORE.

    3) ECONE- LOL! We have to figure out a escrow fee structure for $100.00 bets between you and Nostradamus! What happens if there is a dispute? Our instructions are pretty clear that we’ll have to turn it over to the courts, just like earnest money disputes. Now you have me thinking about my other project of commercial escrow: would really like to tap into aviation sales/escrow. Pretty cool stuff.

  64. 64
    Alan says:

    Everett_Tom,

    I’m in my mid-30’s. I’ve owned two homes. First in NC. Second in TX. I basically broke even on the two (I think I was up $10k on one and $2k on the other.

    It is not an uncommon story.

  65. 65
    TJ_98370 says:

    Ira – reference post # 58 (if it doesn’t change) ;

    Nice summary of the situation.

  66. 66
    Mikal says:

    I want to see a post from the Kool aide guy about donating. That be extremely appropriate.

  67. 67
    AmazedRenter says:

    What amazes me most is that NostraDamnus is still denying there ever was a bubble. How do you do that looking at the overwhelming evidence?

    I’d like a puff of what he’s smoking…yet I’m not interested in further reasoning. “Myopic” is not strong enough a word.

  68. 68
    rent for now says:

    SeattleBubble to me represents an independent voice. Not necessarily a bull or bear view, but a realistic view. As long as the site maintains its stance as a place for folks to get some hard data to use in decision making, and to counterbalance the RE shills if needed, then it will have a long life.

  69. 69
    Mikal says:

    It’s not quite that independent as it relies on rubes to DONATE money to see their views in print. Keep the dollars flowing as there is plenty of KOOL AIDE.

  70. 70
    EconE says:

    “It’s not quite that independent as it relies on rubes to DONATE money to see their views in print.”

    kinda like the NAR?

  71. 71
    Ray Pepper says:

    S Crow I will have Betsy (our secretary) Drop 2 Shirts in the mail tomorrow. I have promised so many people these shirts I tend to forget. I will have her send one to Tim as well.

    People WILL ask you what does it mean ” Your Only True Friend in Real Estate.” Be ready to educate the masses. However, They are not near as controversial as my P E T A shirt I bought at the Reno Rib Cook-off. It states: People for the Eating of Tasty Animals–and on the Back it says ” I like Cats they taste like Chicken.” It seems everytime I wear it someone comes up to me pissed and says ” Dogs taste Good too” I always reply …”Yes , I know”….

    Ray Pepper
    http://www.500Realty.net

  72. 72
    NostraDamnUs says:

    AmazedRenter – thus your nickname. Show me where I claimed there was no bubble.

  73. 73
    Rentersarelosers says:

    EconE
    And no…I don’t donate online.
    ……………………..

    Nice out …..cheapskate.

  74. 74
    The Tim says:

    I can assure you he is no cheapskate.

  75. 75
    matthew says:

    Nostradumbass,

    Why would you want to cease this blog? Is the truth hurting too much? Do you think if Seattlebubble no longer exists that the housing bubble with disappear and RAL will be able to sell his crappy overpriced house?

  76. 76
    Garth says:

    b,

    The use of psychology over metrics NostraDamnUs is talking about is basically quoting Charlie Munger’s philosophies and Jon Galbraith’s A Short History of Financial Euphoria.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0140238565/ref=dp_olp_2

    There is a great speech Munger gave at Harvard they lays out a lot of details:
    http://www.loschmanagement.com/Berkshire%20Hathaway/Charlie%20munger/The%20Psychology%20of%20Human%20Misjudgement.htm

  77. 77
    matthew says:

    I’ve been posting on this site for a few years now. Here is what I’ve noticed on this site regarding your average Seattlelite bubble denier. Here is a timeline:

    1. There is no bubble you “bubbleheads” are smoking crack.

    2. Real estate is local, only Nevada, California, and Florida are bubble areas are experiencing declines, Seattle won’t be affected.

    3. Most of the U.S. is experiencing a massive price correction, easy lending is starting to tighten, but Seattle is different! Home appreciation in Seattle was based on jobs and massive population increases, not easy lending.

    4. Seattle is starting to see a correction, but it won’t last. We are different. We may see a slight correction and then flat prices, but you are dreaming if you think you are going to see 25% or more price corrections in Seattle!

    5. (future) crickets chirping.

    I’ve also noticed that the older wave of dissenters (Kalateen, Meshugy) used to actually post some data regarding inventory and prices in the area. The new wave of dissenters (RAL and Nostradumbass) just post nonsensical garbage aimed at pissing people off.

    Could it be that there is no more data to support a rebound in the Seattle housing market and all that’s left for the bitter owners is to come to the front lines and vent their frustrations?

  78. 78
    Lake Hills Renter says:

    I find the rants pretty amusing. Matthew is correct, there hasn’t been a troll since the Meshugy days that’s presented anything but vitrol and insults. And here we have all the current trolls accounted for in this very thread, contributing — as usual — nothing of value. But at least they supply a source of amusement, even if it is not quite at the target they intended. And I was reminded to donate. Thanks!

  79. 79
    EconE says:

    It’s pretty funny.

    I love all these sooooper successful homeowners.

    $100 bucks to shut down the blog?

    LOL…You loanowners are a bunch of pu$$ies!

    p.s. Let’s do lunch sometime Tim…I’ll make a donation you can actually spend ;^)

  80. 80
    Affluent Bitter Renter says:

    But it’s just so nice of the trolls to take the time to educate us bubble idiots, given that they could be rolling around naked on the huge piles of money they’ve made from all those sweet, sweet real estate deals.

  81. 81
    Rentersarelosers says:

    Affluent Bitter Renter you are a condescending twerp.
    …………………………………………

    Why its smarter to buy than rent

    Yup, the clich is true: Buying a home is one of the smartest financial decisions most people will ever make.

    Dont take my word for it. Take the Federal Reserves. Its Survey of Consumer Finances has consistently found a huge gap between the wealth piled up by homeowners and that accumulated by renters.

    Average net worth of homeowners vs. renters
    Annual income Owners Renters
    $80,000 and up $451,200 $87,400

    Surely all you affluent Bubblehead renters make more than 80k per year so I won’t post the rest of the Federal Reserve Boards findings, but just in case you are in a lower bracket (EconE thats you), click here to read the rest of the article:

    http://moneycentral.msn.com/content/Banking/Homebuyingguide/P72655.asp

  82. 82
    Rentersarelosers says:

    Those who own their homes typically have about 20 to 40 times more net wealth than those who rent.

    “The distribution of wealth in the United States is more highly skewed than the distribution of income. Nowhere is this clearer than in the case of homeowners and renters. Those who own their homes typically have about 20 to 40 times more net wealth than those who rent. ; Although home equity plays a role in this growing disparity, it does not fully explain why renters hold fewer assets than homeowners. Even excluding home equity, renters are more than twice as likely to be asset-poor as are homeowners. Renters also hold a smaller range of assets than owners, suggesting that homeownership “implies more than home equity, and is associated with the ownership of a wide range of financial assets”.

    http://ideas.repec.org/p/fip/fedfcw/2007-02.html

  83. 83
    Rentersarelosers says:

    Harvard study says the median net wealth of homeowners is 34 times greater than that of renters.

    “Homeownership is the primary component in the creation of wealth for many Americans. Data from Harvard University’s Joint Center of Housing Studies illustrate not only that the median net wealth of homeowners is 34 times greater than that of renters, but also that over half of that wealth is generated from home equity. As you pay down your loan amount each month, you accumulate equity, a growing ownership interest in your property. If you need funds, you can borrow against this equity in the form of a home equity loan. Further, interest on a portion of home equity is tax-deductible.

    Most homes appreciate in value over time and can be a source of income for you, especially if you’ve lived in your house for many years. When you retire, you can sell your home if you need the funds or make use of a home equity conversion mortgage.

    Finally, don’t forget about the significant tax advantages of owning your home. Interest on a home mortgage and property taxes are deductible. For most of us, mortgage interest provides the largest tax deduction. Also, a home is the single most important factor that determines whether you will be able to file a return which takes advantage of the wide range of allowable itemized deductions. ”

    Are Renters Losers?

  84. 84
    Affluent Bitter Renter says:

    “Affluent Bitter Renter you are a condescending twerp.”

    That’s Mister Condescending Twerp to you. (grin)

    Interesting stuff regarding net worth and homeownership – but it avoids the main point, which is is it a good idea to buy a house in Seattle in the summer of 2006. Whether it makes sense to buy a home in a nonbubble market is a different decision.

    Also, a piece of advice – Harvard University’s Joint Center of Housing Studies is supported by donations by the RE industry, and has long functioned as a shill for the RE industry. I know it is a shocking discovery that academics can be bought, but they don’t exactly have a lot of credibility.

  85. 85
    Affluent Bitter Renter says:

    ” is it a good idea to buy a house in Seattle in the summer of 2006″

    An interesting issue – but I meant summer of 2008.

  86. 86
    Alan says:

    I’ve been renting for two years and I don’t think I’m any worse off for it.

  87. 87
    matthew says:

    RAL,

    The only argument that you will hear on this blog is that buying during the last 3 or so years was a bad idea, not buying in general. So what is your point?

    Oh that’s right, you usually don’t have one.

    I plan on buying sometime soon, but why buy now when I can buy the same piece of property was considerably less in the near future? I’m not married, have no kids, and I live downtown. Why does buying make sense for me right now? I’ve saved a 20% down payment by renting the last couple of years and by shorting the stock market this year. I’m renting a condo for $1200/month, if I bought the condo I’m renting, my monthly payments would be over 2000k/month. The 800-1000k I’m saving has been going directly into savings and investments. Why pay full price to buy something when I can continue to save and pick something up in the near future at a large discount? Buy low sell high.

  88. 88
    NotaBull says:

    “The only argument that you will hear on this blog is that buying during the last 3 or so years was a bad idea, not buying in general. So what is your point?”

    Exactly. Morons like RAL miss the point entirely. They think there are two possible options:

    1) Buy now. Immediately. Call a realtor NOW. Buy NOW!!!!
    2) Never buy. Rent forever. Die poor and alone.

    In the minds of these idiots, people that currently rent have picked option (2). They are therefore stupid, naive and should be mocked.

    However, there is a third option:

    3) Rent for now, save money for down payment, and buy when you are comfortable that prices are at a point where any decline you experience is acceptable to you for the timeline during which you reasonably expect to hold the property.

    Simpletons like RAL and Nostrawhatever don’t seem to be able to grasp this simple and obvious third option.

  89. 89
    James says:

    The third option is a good one as long as the you’re actually investing or saving the difference between rent and a mortgage. The deduction for home ownership isn’t as much if your payments are double and you have mortgage insurance. Also, the maintenance of owning is more. Good advise Notabull!

  90. 90
    deejayoh says:

    I’ve been renting for 18 months and have a) avoided losing $30k in principal on the townhome I had under contract (according to Zillow) and b) saved about $500 a month by renting an equivalent place in nicer part of capitol hill and c) earned a decent return on what would have been my down payment.

    All told, I think I’m about $40-45k ahead of where I would have been had I bought.

    Oh, and I can still buy if I want to. But I think there’s more money on the table.

  91. 91
    Ray Pepper says:

    Quite honestly I think your all wrong…The time to buy is when you find a deal (GEM) and can financially do it. Tomorrow, next month, next year. I don’t care if you are going to live in it or rent it. The Gems are popping up everyday and I suspect this will go on for another few years. Target your area. Go to Foreclosure auctions if thats your game. I personally work the NWMLS and my TGT areas for my personal purchases.

    I just bought 2 additional properties as rentals and plan on Buying a home back in Gig Harbor in the next 90 days for my family. I will rent our Brick Tudor in North Tacoma. MLS # 25032497. Purchased it the day it hit the NWMLS in May 2005 for 300k. It is a GEM! Thats the joy of being a Buyer and not a builder. I have the option to rent mine. I do not have to sell. Why would I even attempt it now? It appraised last year for 480k. Most likely worth 430k now. Actually I think it would still sell for 450k. Before I bought that I sold MLS# 25016735 in Gig Harbor for 469k. Bought it in 10/2001 for 283k. The home sat for 8 months before I bought it. Another GEM! None of this is rocket science. It just takes EFFORT!

    Anyway, I may stretch the purchase to 120 days to let the New Construction Builder bleed some more. But, its a gamble, it could get SOLD. As I have found over the years there are many people looking for the same GEMS as I.

    Bubblers keep looking but always be ready to the pull the trigger. Educate yourself !! If a simple RN from the military can do it any of you can!! Be happy that we are in a time now that GEMS may sit for longer then they used to, and the sellers are scared as hell.

    Ray Pepper
    http://www.500Realty.net

  92. 92

    Like many things, the truth is somewhere in the middle. On the one hand, we have a few folks here who say that home prices are going to dive 80%, that this country is going to go through extended economic calamity, and that it’ll be a long time before home buying makes sense. Then we have a few folks who claim that renters are poor and stupid and live amongst cockroaches, and that only homebuying will make you rich.
    The fact is that most homes in the Seattle area cost a lot more than renting a comparable home, that prices are dropping, and we don’t exactly know where the bottom is. So from that perspective it’s a good idea to sit on the sidelines for now
    But there is an emotional component to home buying, and it’s not to supposed to make you rich, it’s supposed to free you from the mercies of landlords.
    And Ray is right also…For whatever reasons there are homes to be had at discounted prices( I won’t say gem, that’s a Pepper trademark), homes that are selling for significantly less than comparables. If you can afford the payments, and intend on owning it for 7+ years, it might not be a bad thing to do even right now.
    But overall, it makes less sense to buy right now that it has in the past. That doesn’t mean that it’s going to doom you if you do it.

  93. 93
    redmondjp says:

    Ray,

    You make it all sound so easy! Sure, buy these great deals and rent them out. But the reality is that being a landlord can be a major pain in the a$$, and having a property management company to avoid most of the pain ends up siphoning off much of your potential profits.

    My dad owned four duplexes for 25 years and I grew up fixing toilet flappers, replacing switches and outlets, and cleaning out clogged shower and kitchen sink drains (What? You can’t pour cooking grease down the drain????). The main advantage that we had is that three of the duplexes were on our block, so they were within a 5-minute walk. Easy to grab tools, walk over, and walk back to grab the tools you forgot. But we knew other out-of-town landlords for other duplexes on our block, and they would drive hundreds of miles and stay a week or two (using their vacation time) to fix up the place in-between tenants–now who wants to spend their vacation time painting and cleaning?

    And let’s not even begin to discuss the potential tenant issues (drug useage, unemployed, violent temper leads to holes in walls, divorcing, etc etc) that one may run into from time to time.

    All I am saying is that being a landlord can be a wonderful experience if you have good renters (most of our best renters ended up moving out and buying their own place eventually), or a freaking nightmare where you have to deal with sewer backups in the middle of the night, or go to court to evict your tenants after the water and electricity have been shut off and they are still living there anyways (BTDT) until the sheriff comes to force them to move. Ugh.

  94. 94
    Ben says:

    RentersAreLosers,

    You should read up on correlation vs causality:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlation_does_not_imply_causation

    I have no doubt that people who own houses are richer than those who don’t. But you seem to be implying that buying the houses made them rich.

    I put it to you that they got rich, and therefore they can afford a house. This makes far more sense.

    BTW – I don’t rent. But I don’t think that my townhome purchase 5 years ago was a ticket to a magic carpet ride that made me rich.

  95. 95
    Rentersarelosers says:

    I put it to you that they got rich, and therefore they can afford a house. This makes far more sense.

    Ben,

    You didn’t click on my link to view the net worth income breakdown, tsk.. tsk…
    Since you commented without viewing the research I provided, I will post the entire Fed’s table.

    While it might make more sense the Feds stats don’t show it. In every income group the average net worth of homeowners far exceeds renters. Perhaps it’s a mindset of homeowners, perhaps renters will justify why they shouldn’t buy because they can make/save more money elsewhere. I do believe that the majority of renters DON’T follow their “savy” savings program, which enevitably puts them at a disadvantage in net worth longer term. The Fed’s numbers prove this.

    Average net worth of homeowners vs. renters
    Annual income Owners Renters
    $80,000 and up $451,200 $87,400
    $50,000 to $79,999 $194,610 $25,000
    $30,000 to $49,999 $126,500 $10,600
    $16,000 to $29,999 $112,600 $4,240
    Under $16,000 $73,000 $500

  96. 96
    Rentersarelosers says:

    Redmondjp,

    And let’s not even begin to discuss the potential tenant issues (drug useage, unemployed, violent temper leads to holes in walls, divorcing, etc etc) that one may run into from time to time.

    All I am saying is that being a landlord can be a wonderful experience if you have good renters (most of our best renters ended up moving out and buying their own place eventually),
    …………………………………………….

    I am glad you described your experience with renters (and not me :-))

    My Dad was a landlord as well (duplexes, apartments and commercial) and know very well of what you speak. I can also confirm that our best renters moved on quickly and purchased their own home.

  97. 97
    Affluent Bitter Renter says:

    “I do believe that the majority of renters DON’T follow their “savy” savings program, which enevitably puts them at a disadvantage in net worth longer term.”

    Arrrrgh!!! I have to agree with RAL!!! That is the major problem with the high income/renter strategy – you have to create a forced savings strategy equivalent to making a mortgage payment. Most people, whatever their good intentions, aren’t going to save enough if they have to make a monthly decision whether to save or not – you need to max out your 401K payment; take advantage of deferred comp, or whatever other savings avenues your employer offers; and arrange for a monthly automatic deduction from your checking account to invest in stocks and mutual funds. Then, you just live within the remainder of the money, and have a high savings rate without having to make any monthly decisions – this can be done, but it requires a bit of effort to set it up.

    However (returning to criticism) – the studies you cite look at data from the peak of the greatest housing bubble in history – it will be interesting to look at the data in 2010 (of course, many of today’s homeowners will be renters then – so RAL can then castigate them for being shiftless renters).

    Also, of course, anyone in a interest-only or negative-am mortgage isn’t actually doing any saving – they are merely servicing the interest on a huge leveraged debt. In a bubble, leverage is wonderful on the way up, and allows you to boast about how stupid the non-leveraged people are for not being leveraged; on the way down leverage murders you financially, as we are seeing across the country. One should really distinguish between saving (good), and taking on a huge leveraged obligation (works great when it works, and bankrupts you when it doesn’t).

  98. 98
    Everett_Tom says:

    Oh OK RAL, I can see your in the mood to play with links.

    So I DID read your links.. here’s what stuck out to me

    (from http://moneycentral.msn.com/content/Banking/Homebuyingguide/P72655.asp)

    even Bach acknowledges buying a home isnt always the best choice. Sometimes youre smarter to hold off and rent, postponing the day when you graduate to the ranks of homeowner.

    and

    When I bought my first house, for example, Southern California was experiencing its worst-ever real-estate slump. The property, purchased with two friends, lost about 10% of its value in my initial years of ownership, then recovered to post a 20% price gain.

    Not bad, huh? Except after considering all my outlays for maintenance, repairs and insurance, and factoring in the tax benefits, I determined that I had barely broken even when compared with the rent I would have paid during those six years.

    Had I invested my down payment in an index fund that matched the Standard & Poors 500 instead, I could have tripled my money in the same period.

    and

    many Buy vs. Rent calculations — and most discussions of home ownership benefits in general — exaggerate the potential tax benefit.

    Heres a dose of reality:

    At least half of the nations homeowners get no tax break. Some own their homes outright, but many dont pay enough mortgage interest and/or property tax to be able to itemize.

    If you do get a tax break, its probably less than you think. What matters isn’t the total amount you pay in interest but whether all your deductions added together exceed the standard deduction amount.

    Hmmm, so if you read more then the the title, it certainly seems to support the position of most of the people on this blog, Rent now..wait, and buy when the time is right.. You probably should read more then the headline and the flashy chart.

    ok, now for your 2nd link (http://www.frbsf.org/publications/community/wpapers/2007/wp07-02.pdf)

    again, here’s what stood out:

    The evaluation includes a six-year series of annual interviews with a panel of CAP borrowers. In an attempt to isolate the effects of homeownership, we also fielded a panel of renters. Because of considerable differences in income and demographic composition, we cannot make meaningful comparisons between our owner and renter panels;

    and

    Given the disparities between the owners and renters panels (which we control for in the logistic regression), it makes little sense to compare the asset and debt holdings of CAP owners and renters.

    and

    because much of the descriptive literature on wealth finds a significant difference in the asset
    holdings of owners and renters (Boehm and Schlottman 2004; Caner and Wolff 2004; Haveman and Wolff
    2001, 2004);9

    Which sounds pretty good for you, until you read note 9

    This result is repeated in numerous studies of tenure choice. In most, the association is thought to result because higherwealth
    individuals self-select into homeownership. See Henderson and Ioannides (1983) for a model of the economic incentives
    related to tenure choice.

    Note that this study was pretty small, about 850 renters and 850 owners, and that this is a paper aimed at keeping the government from stopping low income home owners programs. It’s by no means the ringing endorsement of ownership you keep touting it as.

    Please, if your going to use sources to refute an idea.. read them, and make sure they don’t back the claims of the person your arguing with. It’s more fun that way.

  99. 99
    Everett_Tom says:

    Oh OK RAL, I can see your in the mood to play with links.

    So I DID read your links.. here’s what stuck out to me

    (from http://moneycentral.msn.com/content/Banking/Homebuyingguide/P72655.asp)

    even Bach acknowledges buying a home isnt always the best choice. Sometimes youre smarter to hold off and rent, postponing the day when you graduate to the ranks of homeowner.

    and

    When I bought my first house, for example, Southern California was experiencing its worst-ever real-estate slump. The property, purchased with two friends, lost about 10% of its value in my initial years of ownership, then recovered to post a 20% price gain.

    Not bad, huh? Except after considering all my outlays for maintenance, repairs and insurance, and factoring in the tax benefits, I determined that I had barely broken even when compared with the rent I would have paid during those six years.

    Had I invested my down payment in an index fund that matched the Standard & Poors 500 instead, I could have tripled my money in the same period.

    and

    many Buy vs. Rent calculations — and most discussions of home ownership benefits in general — exaggerate the potential tax benefit.

    Heres a dose of reality:

    At least half of the nations homeowners get no tax break. Some own their homes outright, but many dont pay enough mortgage interest and/or property tax to be able to itemize.

    If you do get a tax break, its probably less than you think. What matters isn’t the total amount you pay in interest but whether all your deductions added together exceed the standard deduction amount.

    Hmmm, so if you read more then the the title, it certainly seems to support the position of most of the people on this blog, Rent now..wait, and buy when the time is right.. You probably should read more then the headline and the flashy chart.

  100. 100
    Everett_Tom says:

    ok, now for your 2nd link (http://www.frbsf.org/publications/community/wpapers/2007/wp07-02.pdf)

    again, here’s what stood out:

    The evaluation includes a six-year series of annual interviews with a panel of CAP borrowers. In an attempt to isolate the effects of homeownership, we also fielded a panel of renters. Because of considerable differences in income and demographic composition, we cannot make meaningful comparisons between our owner and renter panels;

    and

    Given the disparities between the owners and renters panels (which we control for in the logistic regression), it makes little sense to compare the asset and debt holdings of CAP owners and renters.

    and

    because much of the descriptive literature on wealth finds a significant difference in the asset
    holdings of owners and renters (Boehm and Schlottman 2004; Caner and Wolff 2004; Haveman and Wolff
    2001, 2004);9

    Which sounds pretty good for you, until you read note 9

    This result is repeated in numerous studies of tenure choice. In most, the association is thought to result because higherwealth
    individuals self-select into homeownership. See Henderson and Ioannides (1983) for a model of the economic incentives
    related to tenure choice.

    Note that this study was pretty small, about 850 renters and 850 owners, and that this is a paper aimed at keeping the government from stopping low income home owners programs. It’s by no means the ringing endorsement of ownership you keep touting it as.

    Please, if your going to use sources to refute an idea.. read them, and make sure they don’t back the claims of the person your arguing with. It’s more fun that way.

  101. 101
    Rentersarelosers says:

    >Arrrrgh!!! I have to agree with RAL!!! That is the major problem with the high income/renter strategy – you have to create a forced savings strategy equivalent to making a mortgage payment. Most people, whatever their good intentions, aren’t going to save enough if they have to make a monthly decision whether to save or notHowever (returning to criticism) – the studies you cite look at data from the peak of the greatest housing bubble in history – it will be interesting to look at the data in 2010Also, of course, anyone in a interest-only or negative-am mortgage isn’t actually doing any saving – they are merely servicing the interest on a huge leveraged debt<

    This is a blog frequented by intelligent renters. Let’s not insult their intelligence by citing examples of idiots who bought without 20% down using ARMS and interest only mortgages when 30 year fixed mortgages were and are at historical lows. C’mon I don’t think any of these savy renters here just fell off a turnip truck.
    What better deal can you find than a 30 year FIXED payment for your accomadations? Do the calculation on your current rental rate and average increases, what will you be paying in rent in 30 years?

  102. 102
    Ray Pepper says:

    Redmond I think we will both agree that nothing is easy. However, I will tell you I currently own 27 properties in Washington, Oregon, and Nv. 1/3 are commercial. I manage them all myself, have 3 kids, and Broker a Real Estate company. With the advent of Craigslist, very structured leases that offer rent to own incentives, offering incentives to neighbors to keep an eye on things, and Companies like Evict a Rat its far easier to be a landlord.

    Like anything else it just takes education and effort. I spend less then 5 hours a month on my rentals. The tenants service all repair issues due to my leases and/or I compensate all tenants 15.00 an hour to repair problems. But, I cannot stress this enough……..Always buy in highly desirable neighborhoods close to jobs, universities, and shopping. All my rentals rent before the old tenant moves out. I CraigsList the ad, have all tenants place a For Rent Sign on top of the garage when they serve notice, and have the current tenant do the showings. Its all streamlined but the homeowner must be organized in detail with their leases and tenant obligations.

    It goes without saying that one should only Buy GEMS as well. I find people that have problems with rentals are people who bought in the wrong areas and have poor organizational skills. Drugs, damage, can happen but it just rarely happens to me. With High Damage deposits, a Strict NO Pet/ No Smoking Policy, I seemed to have avoid all those issues. I have never purchased Multi-family because the tenants are too mobile. I mostly seek commercial but buy Residential Gems when I see them.

    I have a vacancy coming up in Albany Oregon. The tenants were having a home built and its completed. They will be moving out June 11. You can see the ad I run on CraigsList Albany Oregon. 1200 a month. Rent to Own. I think it says Best In Albany. I don’t believe it is difficult. Like anything else, only if you make it so.

    Ray Pepper
    http://www.500Realty.net

  103. 103
    Ben says:

    RentersAreLosers,

    I already conceded that I believe the statistics. I believe you, so no need for me to click the link.

    What I was pointing out was, there is no way to know how these people made their money. You believe that they made it through real estate. I think that is crazy – I think that you have to make it to be able to afford real estate.

    Neither of us has the proof to show that we are right. All that I ask is that you take notice of that and stop acting like your assumption is a proof.

  104. 104
    Civil Servant says:

    I am late to the table but want to make a point that there may also be opportunity costs to buying a house. In late 2004/early 2005 I was sitting on a pile of money that could have served as a down payment. But I opted to leave town to go to grad school instead (scholarship money offset most of my tuition; I paid living expenses). I came back last summer with, yeah, a smaller pile of money but also with credentials and experience that helped me get a better paying and more secure job than I’d had before, with much greater potential for advancement. If I’d bought the house back then, part-time school and full-time job and the standard allotment of homeowner concerns probably would have fried me, even assuming I could have gotten the same financial package here to make that feasible. Also, for what I wanted to do, local programs just aren’t that good, so I’m not sure I would have been as competitive an applicant coming out of them, and I know I wouldn’t have had to work as hard or learned as much. Bottom line: if I’d bought a house when I could, I would not be in the good position I am now with respect to work, with returns that will compound for the rest of my career.

  105. 105
    Rentersarelosers says:

    Civil Servant,

    Completely irrelevent comments.
    One does not choose between education or buying house.
    Education come first, always.

  106. 106
    matthew says:

    RAL,

    interesting how you ignore any “relevant” data and only respond where you see fit. Typical antics of a troll.

  107. 107
    Civil Servant says:

    Excuse me, RAL, but that’s a lousy thing to say — I don’t know who you think you are that you get to decide I have nothing to contribute. You’ve been rude to and dismissive of those whose opinions and choices you don’t agree with; here I’ve done something you seem to agree was the right thing and you treat me the same way. Where I’m from we have a word for people like that.

    (Tim, when is it enough already?)

  108. 108
    Mikal says:

    Matthew, you respond the same way, troll.

  109. 109
    Mikal says:

    There are some very intelligent people here, Deejayoh, Ray, David Losh to name a few, and some very bitter unhappy people here, Matthew, Civil Servant ,Economist come to mind. You aren’t going to go through life with people agreeing with you all the time.

  110. 110
    Rentersarelosers says:

    Civil Servant,

    This is the Seattle Bubble blog where the advantages, disadvantages, and timing to buying vs renting is being discussed (not should I go to school or travel the world instead of buying a home)

    Just trying to keep things “on topic”

    By the way, do you always run to Mama (Tim) when someone points out something that displeases you? Yes, Tim could ban me and this board could revert back to the “Group Hug” fashion, but doesn’t different points of view provide for discussion?

  111. 111
    Rentersarelosers says:

    interesting how you ignore any “relevant” data and only respond where you see fit. Typical antics of a troll.
    ………………….

    Matthew,
    I am sorry, did I miss some relevent data that you posted on this thread?
    I looked again but didn’t find any. Kindly point it out.

  112. 112
    Everett_Tom says:

    Rentersarelosers,

    I’m pretty sure what Matthew was saying is that I went, and I read you links. I found that they did not support what you were trying to say with them. You decided not to comment.

    I’d content after reading the two links that the first support the premise of this website (i.e. buy at the right time for you, not BUY NOW)

    The 2nd is a small study which in the opening clearly states that no conclusion about the differences between renters and buyers can be made due to the small sample size. It is aimed at allowing policy makers to improve their low income home lending programs. Most of the conclusions focuses on items such as keeping people from taking out HELOCs, and requiring more finical education for borrowers.

  113. 113
    Matthew says:

    Ding, Ding, Ding… Everett_Tom is dead on. I have also seen you called out at least half a dozen other times and you conveniently cherry pick your which posts you respond to. People have already explained to you that they are renting while they wait out the popping of the bubble, and then intent to buy a home, but yet you keep on bringing up the “buyers are wealthier than renters” line. Get over it, find something new to bring to the table.

    TROLL.

  114. 114
    NostraDamnUs says:

    matthew:
    > Why would you want to cease this blog? Is the truth hurting too
    > much?

    Yes, it hurts me so much that I made money while laying on my back while I lived in 3 homes so far. It hurts me so bad, you have no idea.

  115. 115
    NostraDamnUs says:

    Everett_Tom – thank you for being honest. Now I shall reward you with some honesty instead of bullshit like some wannabe-economists spout off…

    I also lived in SoCal for about 5 years. The guy I bought the townhome from there made 120k off me (December, 2001). When I sold it, at the tail end of the peak, I made 195k off it (in December 2004). My neighbors who live there are telling me it just sold again recently about 4-5 months ago, with about 30-40k profit this time around. My house on Seattle’s Eastside sold with 110k profit (in December 2007 – while shit was still breaking loose all over – including this dipshit blog). The guy next to me sold with 200k profit about 10+ months earlier in Nov-Dec 2006, but had I waited longer when I wanted to sell, I would not have gotten even 110k. I also kept it high on purpose because our brand new CamWest home wasn’t finished yet, and I didn’t want us to double-move. In retrospect, I should have double-moved and made more money, but I didn’t know what was coming in 2007, so I stayed…

    So I suppose you could call me “lucky” (or not, depending on the vantage point), that I “lucked out” when I did – but I can tell you that across all sales and purchases of homes, greed was not a motivating factor for me, and I also bought homes which I know could re-sell very easily if I wanted to – e.g. I choose a great location, not out in the boondocks, but in areas relatively close (25-30 min commute) to major employement areas/cities (e.g. bellevue, seattle, renton).

    In this home we’ll probably stay at least 5 years – which is more than plenty of time for the kind of a-holes that inhabit this blog that think they know their ass from a hole in the ground when it comes to RE investing, to snap out of their ‘learned helplessnes’ when it comes to the conditions of the RE market, and by then, this blog will go by the way of fu*kedcompany.com….

    And I will have made 10% year on year on average in the house that I currently live, which is over half paid off.

    The _motivating_ factor when purchasing/selling, again wasn’t greed – but something that touched, moved and inspired me as far as a quality home/neighborhood/location goes, and when you use that selection criteria, it will beat all the short-term market analysis and wannabe economists (with engineering backgrounds)…

    Again – some people won’t listen to what I just said here and will continue to insist doomsday is upon us, and you are free to choose whom you listen to for RE advice….

    And if you ever reach that honored and englightened level of uncertainty as to what or where to buy and whether it will pay off for you 2-5 years down the road, I know at least 2-3 realtors with over 30+ years of experience in the Seattle Metro area that will handpick a property for you which will guarantee you will win in the end (provided you aren’t motivated by greed), whether you choose to sell or retain your home…. You will enjoy living in it as well as enjoy making some money off it when you do choose to sell it.

  116. 116
    Rachel says:

    Hey, we’d like to donate but don’t want to make a Google account. Can we just send a check to the Thatch Mound PO Box?

    You should respond soon – cuz we’re thinking of donating MILLIONS*!!

    *by MILLIONS, I mean…about $25.00

  117. 117
    The Tim says:

    You can donate via PayPal using the “DONATE” link at the top of the page, or yes, a check sent to the PO box works as well.

  118. 118
    NostraDamnUs says:

    Ray Pepper – people here don’t want gems. They want a free ride. Or a place to vent when they aren’t doing anything useful.

    Those who own and come here, come for the sheer entertainment factor. Possibly thinking of selling – but not until they see a completely negative blog like this die down and extinguish, at which point it might be too late to sell :), because a whole cycle might pass them by…

    Those who don’t own, have wet dreams of home ownership, and are 1) waiting to get rich first, to then 2) buy the home of their dreams, at 3) a ridiculous price or free of charge, for “pennies on the dollar” as they claim you could in those late night infomercials that a lot of these night-owls watch between surfing their porn and this blog (this applies particularly to the engineering types who always want a mathematical model of understanding human behavioral patterns).

    But it’s nice of you to try to talk some sense into people… a bold attempt.

  119. 119
    Everett_Tom says:

    NostraDamnUs,

    Thanks for sharing your story as well, I can see why you’d feel that housing is such a safe bet after that kind of buying/selling history.

    Overall, I’d call your profits lucky, but let’s not focus on that. As it’d be just as impossible for me to prove myself right as it would be you, and then we’d just be back to name calling.. which gets old quick.

    What I’d be more interested to hear about is why you don’t just invest in real estate and retire (or setup to retire in the next 5 – 15 years). As you said:

    And if you ever reach that honored and englightened level of uncertainty as to what or where to buy and whether it will pay off for you 2-5 years down the road, I know at least 2-3 realtors with over 30+ years of experience in the Seattle Metro area that will handpick a property for you which will guarantee you will win in the end (provided you aren’t motivated by greed), whether you choose to sell or retain your home…. You will enjoy living in it as well as enjoy making some money off it when you do choose to sell it.

    combine that with your 10% comments above that.. why not leverage yourself, get as many home as possibly and make a killing 2 -5 years down the road? Not because you’d be “greedy”, but to enable you to retire.. and not have to deal with this blog, or work, or anything else besides whatever it is that you do for fun?

    If I had that level of certainty, it’d be what exactly what I’d be doing. (esp. now with the low interest rates).

  120. 120
    Matthew says:

    Nostradumbass,

    Remind us again why you post on this blog? If anyone is an “ahole” on here its you. Housing downturn got you a little perturbed?

  121. 121
    The Tim says:

    I think NDU has made it its purpose here clear. It is a selfless angel, come here to rescue the deluded masses from the vicious deceptions of the lying liar “The Tim,” who propagates nothing but bile and spews forth hatred day and night against all that is right and good.

  122. 122
    Matthew says:

    BTW, I’m calling bullshit on any of your supposed housing sales unless you post some transaction info. Talk is cheap.

  123. 123
    Alan says:

    It is easy to confuse success with luck. Had I streched and purchased a nicer house in a different location in NC, I might have made $150k profit instead of $10k. Then I might have taken that to TX and bought in a nicer neighborhood (because I could afford it) and earned another $150k-200k. Then I would have moved here and thought all you bubblers were crazy and that RE was a great investment and look how smart I am and aren’t you all just dumb whiners. And I would have bought a $600k house with my $350k of equity. And today I would be absolutely flumaxed about why my house value had dropped 15% from last summer and maybe it is the fault of the media and bloggers and if only these potential buyers would listen to me and understand how great RE is as an investment then everything would just be peachy and we could all become wealthy (except for those loser renters).

    But that didn’t happen. Why didn’t I buy houses that appreciated more?
    – Inexperience – I bought my first house just a year out of undergrad.
    – I was looking for “a deal” which means I bought more house for less money in less desirable neighborhood.

  124. 124
    deejayoh says:

    Matthew and Tom –
    According to Case Shiller, home prices went up 75% in Seattle, 72% in San Diego, and 110% in LA. between 2001 and 2007. There’s no reason to call BS on NDU’s story or to position it as “lucky”. If anything, it sounds like a pretty mediocre return in light of how crazy the market was. I rode the market up as well, and I’m not complaining.

    Now, taking those returns and projecting them forward – that’s a whole ‘nother topic. I don’t expect past performance to be any predictor of the future. Others do….

  125. 125
    deejayoh says:

    Alan – you owned in two of the worst performing markets in the country. While I wouldn’t call NDU “lucky” I’d certainly say you were unlucky!

    And you need a gravatar!

  126. 126
    Alan says:

    And yet even in those poorly performing areas there were properties where I could have gotten those returns. My main point is that had I been lucky in choosing properties with limited skill and experience, I doubt I would have chalked it up to luck.

    Real estate is not the biggest lucky opportunity I’ve missed. I joined a startup after undergrad that became walking dead. A guy I went to school with joined a different startup and was worth $250M at one point. He is retired on his own farm and raises horses now. Why someone would choose to stop working with computers just because he is rich is beyond me, but I guess some people just prefer horse maintenance. He joined that startup because it was a natural fit with his senior project — a project I started working on him with but then left early to do an AI related project.

    But that is life, right? It wouldn’t be very interesting if everything was orderly and perfect.

  127. 127
    Everett_Tom says:

    Fair enough deejayoh,

    But I’d still say that buying something (like.. say.. oh.. a House), holding it for a few years, and walking away with huge profits is lucky.. less lucky then the lotto, but stick lucky. Especially when those profits depend on price appreciation.

    especially since if I wanted to do the same now, in the same markets I’d probably end up take it in the shorts… :)

  128. 128
    Matthew says:

    BSC puts would have cashed you out at a huge gain, but until someone posts trade logs, I don’t believe that they were positioned short.

    Talk is cheap on here. Particularly with someone with so much venom he obviously has an axe to grind. If he really was up a few hundred thousand and had his Seattle house half paid off, why is the guy so pissed off and posting on this blog so much? Either the guy is a pathetic loser with no life but to come on a bubble blog and post anti bubble rhetoric, or he is really underwater right now and pissed off at the realization that he is stuck living in a crappy craftsman for the next decade in order to break even. Take your pick on that one. The guy is like someone that goes on a Seahawks forum and spends all day talking about how much he hates the Seahawks just to piss people off.

    Something doesn’t add up here and I’m calling BS.

  129. 129
    deejayoh says:

    Alan – I have plenty of those stories. Like the time I had a chance to join a startup early on that became a um, major fiber provider.. Next time I see the founder, he’s on the cover of Forbes. Hey, I know that guy! Now, at the end of the day – it turns out he was pretty much a criminal – but he never went to jail for it, and AFAIK he’s still fabulously wealthy.

    And I get the point about lucky. Most people, faced with a choice between attributing their success to luck or intelligence, decide they’re pretty darn smart.

    And the reason NDU posts here is probably exactly what you say Matthew. Typical approach is “dont feed the _____”

  130. 130
    Alan says:

    I’ve found that most people with any sort of experience have a similar story to tell.

  131. 131
    Alan says:

    My wife knows someone who got a job out of high school (never went to college) helping set up cell phone towers. He learned how the business worked and set up his own shop. He is retired now in his early thirties.

    He was lucky to be in the right place at the right time. He also took a lot of initiative. I am sure he also worked his ass off.

    There are plenty of high school graduates who work their asses off their whole lives and never make it into the middle class.

  132. 132
    Rachel says:

    Wow – I know absolutely nothing about real estate but still love reading some of these blogs. If for no other reason than to chuckle inwardly at the ridiculously heated debate that is so far from the topic of this post it’s amazing!

    *Please don’t hate on me – I’m just making an observation*

    The Tim – We’ll be sending a check. My husband won’t use Paypal as a matter of principle. :)

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