Seattle Bubble scaring away buyers, sellers and refinance consumers?
I’m really not convinced Marlow Harris of Coldwell Banker Bain feels that Seattle Bubble is all about fear mongering and scaring the public away from buying a home. I know she mentioned it, but I don’t believe it. Marlow and many other agents and loan officers have not had a chance yet to meet several of the commentator’s and readers as I have. I think most agents and brokers would find that the readership at Seattle Bubble and those active in looking to buy, sell or refinance are very similar to, well, any other client they’ve ever had—pretty well rounded in housing issues.
You see, I have tangible evidence to the contrary that Seattle Bubble is fear mongering. In fact, I have referred numerous Seattle Bubble readers to loan officers and agents. Some have worked out, some have not. When is the last time an agent or loan officer generated business from title and escrow referrals? They do at Legacy Escrow Service. As I recall, we even had one transaction where a referred Seattle Bubble reader obtained financing from Rain City Guide’s Rhonda Porter, who was gracious to turn around and have our office close the transaction. This is what goes on behind the scenes. One client who bought a home remarked on the way out of my office that he really enjoyed the discussions at Seattle Bubble, but felt it was the right time for his family to purchase. You can’t argue with that. It is a very personal decision to buy.
Why does Seattle Bubble inherently rub the real estate community the wrong way?
- Gives a counterpoint to claims by NAR and others in the real estate community both nationally and locally.
- Provides open data, opinions and …open for criticism.
- From time to time points out miscues, miscalls, and gaffs from local professionals and economists.
- An amateur citizen is providing data in a meaningful manner, more comprehensive than much of what I’ve ever read by agents and local brokerages.
- Key: Tim Ellis was sounding the alarm, among other minions, myself included that we were in a Bubble. When 2/3rd of your purchase business was financed 100%, it was pretty obvious to me. For example, many in the real estate business remarked that Seattle was not in a real estate bubble. We keep hearing, for example, that all real estate is local. We’ll, tell that to the several thousand local WaMu employees that will lose their jobs by year’s end. Where were most of WaMu’s loan’s originated? Outside of Washington State.
- Blogging was not around during the last major correction. Information is now instantly available for dissemination.
How has Seattle Bubble helped consumers?
- Tim Ellis has built his community where consumers are residing. And it’s growing as he evolves the blog.
- This blog has, at minimum, given consumers pause prior to entering into a purchase. For some, it may have saved them tens of thousands in possible financial losses if they are buying with a short ownership horizon or were to suddenly have to move for whatever reason. In a declining market, you can’t put a price tag on that.
- Likewise, the blog has warned sellers, to their benefit, that they should not sell if they don’t have to—this has to be a tremendous gift to the local real estate establishment in keeping inventory somewhat stable. We’ll see how inventory goes after the Holidays are over.
- Earlier this year I warned about the advantage of reduced interest rates. It helped several save money by refinancing. A few even sent me thank you’s. One even sent me a gift certificate (thanks Angie!)
There are probably countless examples from the readership where Seattle Bubble has been helpful. We are all rascals at Seattle Bubble, myself included, but my commentary and others here and at Rain City Guide is never intended to hinder the real estate community, put off sellers who believe the website is hurting their chances at selling, but to shine a light on what goes on in the business in a public way, so that professionals in the business can become better agents, better loan officers and better escrow owners. Much of this is to help build a foundation on solid ground as opposed to the dry-rot we have now discovered was under our feet.
Those frustrated at this blog, the market or their listing agent, should direct their frustrations at those who perpetrated fraudulent transactions that impact communities across the country. Perhaps they should look in the mirror themselves. They should direct their frustration at those loan officers and lenders who engaged in putting people into toxic loans, many times because the yield spread premiums “were so good.” Direct your frustration at the ratings agencies, Freddie and Fannie and their corrupt leadership in recent past years or the excessive greed that had a choke hold of CEO’s souls.
Nobody wanted this result, but collectively, we are all responsible for this mess. A frank conversation I had with a very long standing managing Sno. Co. real estate Broker this past Friday was almost therapeutic for me and the Broker—the Broker spoke of the real estate market correction as a “crash.” That Broker get’s it.
Nothing discourages me more than seeing the financially destructive (self inflicted or not) nature of this correction destroy families and marraiges of those whom we have worked with over the past 5 yrs. It really sucks…and I’m constantly trying to think of ways to get title and escrow people back to work, even part-time. Perhaps I’m naïve.