Monday Open Thread (2009-04-27)

Here is your open thread for Monday April 27h, 2009. You may post random links and off-topic discussions here. Also, if you have an idea or a topic you’d like to see covered in an article, please make it known.

Be sure to also check out the forums, and get your word in the user-driven discussions there!

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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.


  1. 1
    Scotsman says:

    Unbelievable. While I’ve been away from my computer for the last four days the whole world has gone to hell. I come home to discover I’m most likely going to die from swine flu in my foreclosed Seattle home while Boeing loads up the last vans before moving out.

    You guys are lucky I’m typically more of a home-body. ;-)

  2. 2
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 1
    World going to hell? Based upon the events you list I think any remaining members of the Lesser Seattle Movement might beg to differ. Maybe I’ll be able to afford a water front place when I retire after all.

  3. 3
    seattlerenter says:

    So are people getting worried about this pandemic, my sons school called to ask about a runny nose, never happened before. Could this be the blackswan people have been refering to?

  4. 4
    Acerun says:

    Lets all make some $ off of this mess.

    Coming soon to a casino, errrr, investment account near you!

    Leveraged funds based on the Case-Shiller index.

  5. 5
    Hugh Dominic says:

    RE: seattlerenter @ 3
    I certainly would put any major transaction on hold until I figured out whether this was a minor outbreak of a new type of flu or the beggining of a major pandemic….time will tell.

    I do think that if it is a major pandemic, in addition to the human suffering (deaths, illness etc.) there could be severe economic repercussions as travel and trade grind to a halt.

    Not a pretty scenario, and not one I would buy a house in.

    For the record I am hoping that it is a minor outbreak – hoping for house prices to fall is not the same as hoping for a pandemic to make house prices fall faster – they are falling fast enough….

  6. 6
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    By Hugh Dominic @ 5:

    RE: seattlerenter @ 3 – For the record I am hoping that it is a minor outbreak – hoping for house prices to fall is not the same as hoping for a pandemic to make house prices fall faster – they are falling fast enough….

    The way things are going, with housing getting hit by what’s almost a perfect storm, it almost seems inevitable that this will be a major event. I saw on MSNBC, I think, that there were actually three such events in the 20th Century, the last being 1957, and the worst being 1913 or some such thing.

    BTW, besides housing and travel, I think a lot of things would be affected. Cars would be very hard hit with large population losses, especially if those losses hit the wage earning years. The thing interesting about these events is different influenzas hit different age groups, and so far this does seem to be one that hits middle aged people.

  7. 7
    Scotsman says:

    SoCal banks destroying foreclosed homes to control costs. It can’t happen here though- Seattle is special…

  8. 8
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 7

    I certainly wouldn’t argue that Seattle is special Scotsman, but I might be tempted to argue that SoCal is. They’ve always done a lot of crap there that I couldn’t believe. And the camera shot made it look like such a garden spot too. Whose loan committee approved the money to build there? What do you name a development like that? Maybe Bleached Bones Vista, or Dead Snake Estates? Of course there was a view of the mountains in the back ground. I wonder if that’s where you had to go to get your water. What a mess. i wonder if they even allowed anyone to come in and salvage all the salvagable materials like windows and fixtures. I doubt anyone would have paid for the rights, but it would have been a nice thing to do maybe give the stuff to Habitat for Humanity or something.

  9. 9
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 7 – I didn’t watch the Youtube thing (my computer doesn’t have speakers), but I just did a piece over in P-I land about damaged property–in this case freeze damage leading to water damage and likely mold. Anyway, I can easily see many situations where a property would have negative value. You used to see that years ago with environmental contamination. But mold could do it, and if you had an area with very low values, just about anything could do it.

  10. 10
    TJ_98370 says:

    Ben Jones Housing Bubble Blog quotes Seattle PI about Robert Schiller’s visit to SPU and other articles pertaining to the Pacific Northwest. The comments to this posting are worth reading also IMO.
    Contagions of Excitement

  11. 11
    Joel says:

    It used to be that if you compared the housing bubble to the internet bubble you were dismissed by “Houses aren’t stocks. Home values can’t go to zero because they have a utility.” Turns out that not only can they go to zero, they can go negative.

  12. 12
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    RE: Joel @ 11 – Well again, that’s nothing new. Environmental issues go bask to at least the 80s. Mold at least the 90s. Crack manufacturing at least this decade.

    And beyond that, when I lived on First Hill there were what at one day were probably upscale houses built in the early 1900s that didn’t get saved.

  13. 13
    Joel says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 12 – Yeah, you know it’s nothing new, I know it’s nothing new, but there are a lot of people that didn’t, and still don’t, understand that.

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