Monday Open Thread (2010-08-09)

Here is your open thread for Monday August 9th, 2010. 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.

60 comments:

  1. 1
    Herman says:

    I had wondered where the money goes from sales under the existing Real Estate system. The existing system invites many 3rd parties who profit from the transaction:

    – The brokerages (2, listing & selling)
    – The agents (2, listing & selling)
    – The escrow agent
    – The mortgage broker
    – The mortgage lender
    – King county (excise tax)
    – A courier (there’s a fee that seems to get slapped onto most mortgages)
    – The federal government (all parties pay tax on their earnings)
    – The E&O insurance agency (gets paid by the agents and brokers)
    – An inspector or two
    – Sometimes, a staging expert
    – Sometimes, various cleaners and handymen

    All these people are dipping into the value of the transaction in one way or another. Only a few of them actually add value to the home. Most are just there to help the transaction along, and help themselves to a piece of it in the process.

    Agents and brokers in particular are of dubious value. They spend a lot of time and money to find you (think of all the lame calendars you get from Windermere). Their participation in the transaction makes them liable, so they pay to insure themselves against your lawsuits. They have to pay tax on their cut of the transaction, so the Federal Government gets a share. They have to pay fees to the NWMLS and State of WA.

    In other words, inviting brokers and agents into a transaction brings along a whole host of other parties and expenses behind their commission. None of which are adding any value to the house – the actual asset that is the subject of the whole thing.

    In this day and age, there is simply no reason for a system that supports so many middlemen and bystanders.

  2. 2
    David S says:

    This is exactly what I was thinking too. And I think it is especially important to consider this when determining how much a house is worth. Most people assume that their equity is:

    Equity = What home is worth – What is owed.

    I beg to differ. I believe it to be flawed thinking. When I want to know how much equity I have I use:

    Net Equity = What home is worth – What is owed – What it costs to sell.

    This is considered an asset liquidation fee and I have actually been told by realtors that I can’t use this as a basis for what I should be paying for a home purchase. I shouldn’t buy the property to make money on it in two years, I should buy the property because I want to live in it. I can’t expect to have a selling price reduced 10% or even split the difference at 5% to manage my asset liquidation expense at the time of purchase.

    When buying a house one of the first items that puts us in negative equity territory are these liquidation costs. This is a non recoverable cost that may not come back to us or that we won’t get ahead of for many years.

    So, I ask, when everyone else makes their money RIGHT NOW when I sign on the bottom line, why should I be forced to wait for so many years before I the buyer have any chance to make money on it?

    I believe there are expenses and services that must be paid for in a house transaction but these asset liquidation fees are pushing 10%! That just seems too darn high, like Barrett Jackson auto auction fee high.

    RE: Herman @ 1

  3. 3

    RE: David S @ 2

    It Reminds Me of Using Retirement Assets Equal to Cash in Bank in Divorce Lawsuits

    What a joke, retirement assets don’t buy ya hamburgers or pay the rent/mortgage. Hades, most are dead before they cash in their retirement loot anyway. Same scenario with home purchase assets [assuming the house even goes up in value after selling expenses, LOL].

    Depending on your age, “pie in the sky” money, to be collected when we’re old get’s more and more unlikely the younger we are. I think retirement assets are worth approx 25 cents on the dollar to cash at age 40, maybe 50 cents on the dollar at age 50…..but tell a divorce judge or a “pink pony real estate enthusiast” that….LOL

  4. 4

    Inflation or Deflation Coming Soon at a Theater near You?

    Stagflation, the worst possible economy for any American [worse that the Great Depression, at least food/energy went way down with wages] is when wages contract, unemployment expands, home prices collapse and energy/food prices sky-rocket.

    My crystal ball is as foggy as anyones, but stagflation as described above, is my guess at what we’re heading in to lately.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/inflation-or-deflation-%22yes%22-says-chris-martenson-who-sees-'stagflation'-coming-535305.html?tickers=tip,tlt,tbt,udn,uup,spy,%5Edji&sec=topStories&pos=9&asset=&ccode=

  5. 5

    RE: Herman @ 1 – You forgot the appraiser.

    As to your analysis, you seem to recognize the cost does not signify value when it suits your needs (e.g. the cost of NWMLS to agents doesn’t add to value), but then jump to the conclusion that somehow cost should signify value. Cost never signifies value–of anything. It’s just that if things cost less than their ultimate value, they are less likely to exist.

    As to the value of an individual agent on an individual transaction can vary, but again has no necessary correlation to price. For example, to the extent the buyer’s agent helps negotiate a lower price, the agent actually gets less money. But the agent could have steered the buyer away from another house that could have had expensive issues far exceeding the value of the commission.

    I’m not really sure why you expect cost to indicate value. Attorneys tend to charge by the hour. Do you think every 6 minutes that they spend on a project has as much value to the client as every other six minute period? Do you think that because the bill comes in at $21,000 that there’s $21,000 or more of value to the client? If not, should people quit using attorneys?

  6. 6
    Hugh Dominic says:

    Deleted.

  7. 7
    Hugh Dominic says:

    RE: David S @ 2 – yes, I agree. For some reason people understand that you lose 10% of a cars value “the minute you drive it off the lot”, but they are not aware that you lose 10% of the value of your house on the day you close.

  8. 8
    deejayoh says:

    RE: Herman @ 1 – Federal government doesn’t get much out of the transaction. Gains from the vast majority of residential transactions are tax free if they’re for for your primary residence. Perhaps you were talking about some other type of earnings.

    but I agree with your premise. waaaaay to many middlemen, too much ridiculous paperwork, very little efficiency.

  9. 9

    RE: deejayoh @ 8 – The paperwork is really not that bad–if you exclude the paperwork related to the loan. The loan paperwork is absurd.

  10. 10
    Sniglet says:

    Does anyone know where to get data showing the default rates for 2009 vintage loans? In particular, I would love to see how the default rates from 2009 mortgages compare to the default rates of loans issued in other years, and particularly how the default rates compared 3, 6, 9, and 12 months after issuance.

    Basically, I am curious to see if lending has become much more prudent post-financial panic.

  11. 11
    Sam says:

    Would love some advice from people who know more than me:

    My situation. 30 years old. Married one year. Renting a small house in Bellevue. Have saved ~$150K for a down payment to buy a home. No debt. Income to support a decent sized mortgage.

    The house we want:
    Built in the last 20 years. Updated (so that we don’t have to remodel upon moving in).
    Not a mansion: probably 2,750 sq. ft. max.
    Good school district (Bellevue or Issaquah)
    A yard (none of these 5,000 sq. ft patches of dirt)

    The problem: It’s almost impossible to find a house that meets this criteria. All the recent houses are giant 3,000 sq. ft+ houses on 5,000 sq ft of land. It seems like this is particularly a problem in Bellevue and Issaquah. We’re not ready to acquiesce and try Renton, where we know we could find this, but the neighborhoods/schools just aren’t as good.

    Am I missing something?
    Is there something I’m overlooking?
    Should we try new construction?

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  12. 12
    pdxdave says:

    By David S @ 2:

    So, I ask, when everyone else makes their money RIGHT NOW when I sign on the bottom line, why should I be forced to wait for so many years before I the buyer have any chance to make money on it?

    I shouldn’t buy the property to make money on it in two years, I should buy the property because I want to live in it.

    RE: Herman @ 1

    I reversed the order of your statements.. and it appears quite clearly you answered your question before even asking it. Your agent was right.. houses are NOT meant to be cash machines. This type of thinking started the whole RE mess.

    What makes you think you should be able to step into a house and make money instantly.. just by signing a few papers ?? You’re not doing any work, the only people doing work are the agents, the inspectors, appraisers, escrow lawyers.. in fact just about eveyone involved in the process except for you. They need and deserve to be paid for their work ! I do agree agents are paid too high, but that doesn’t mean they should work for free either.

    I’ve bought my first house recently and can honestly say I love everything about it, being able to do what I want with it, having a permanent establishment, not having to deal with landlord.. and down.. WAY down, at the bottom of the list of things I like about it, yes there is the potential benefit of future profit, but until I actually sell it, that number is meaningless.

  13. 13
    David Losh says:

    RE: Hugh Dominic @ 6RE: Herman @ 1

    I’m sorry comment #6 got deleted, it was more to the point. The Real Estate industry is changing back to what it was, in my opinion. Smaller, more boutique companies are forming all the time. Discount Brokerages, desk fee offices, are growing. Individual agents are coming more to the fore front looking for ways to generate business.

    The industry does need to change to be more professional, more profit motivated.

    In my opinion you’ll see many more people in the business of property management, maintenance, repair, and negotiating contracts. You’ll be dealing more with Real Estate wholesalers who are looking at getting a return on investment. A lot of individual owners will get knocked around by agents who just don’t have time for them.

    As the number of agents grew, fewer will be able to hold on without other avenues for generating that income. Property management companies that can’t perform, or don’t have the staffing to perform, will also go away. The large companies, in my opinion, the ones who over burdened themselves with offices, and agents will go away also.

    John L Scott closed the North Seattle office of 7,000 sq ft and the Broker went to Keller Williams with a bunch of agents.

    The industry is shifting.

    Now, it is common knowledge that you need to hold a property for three years in order to get the selling costs out. Real Estate appreciates at about 3% per year, or the rate of inflation. That’s a basic rule of buying property. I only buy what I can sell the same day for a profit. Exit strategy should be the number one thing your agent talks with you about.

    What gets me is that with all of this transparency, or information on the web, that the principles of buying, selling, owning, and controlling Real Estate seem to be as much of a mystery today as it was forty years ago. Data, is one thing, but knowing is another. You have to interpret data, and that takes experience in the field.

    So, I think people will be paying more to keep, maintain, and prepare properties for sale, because they have to. My hope is that people will become more aware of what they own.

  14. 14

    RE: Sam @ 11 – Searching by city rather than school district, you are seemingly correct. I’m only county about 20 houses with less than 2750 sf, 8000+ sf lot built after 1989. That’s a surprisingly small number.

  15. 15

    RE: Sam @ 11

    Let Me Try to Help

    First off, congratulations on saving $150K, and I assume it’s all in ready cash outside of a 401K or 5 yr CD or treasury.

    My advice is real simple, keep renting, unless you want a $200K+ loan noose around your young neck in this anomalous employment environment.

    But, if you have to buy, consider learning P/T carpentry skills to buy cheap fixer uppers. I’m sure there’s training classes around. Look for an older fixer upper fore closed unit on a larger lot for around $250K. Fix it up immaculant by yourself or hire capenters to work for you, then sell it and buy a newer home on a large lot with new plumbing, electrical and without the plethora of hidden defects building inspectors and your team of workers too can likely miss in old real estate [they or you can’t use x-ray machines].

    This may keep your loan down to $100K, and based on your saving history, that noose isn’t too bad for you. At the very worst, you’ll be able to sell it for your loan principle, even if it all goes to hades in a hen basket.

  16. 16

    I started reading the San Jose Mercury News and read that California apparently had a 10K buyer tax credit. It didn’t say much about it, but that could help explain why CA has been in recovery. I can’t believe CA thinks they can do that without being able to borrow money.

  17. 17
    David Losh says:

    RE: Sam @ 11RE: pdxdave @ 12

    I didn’t look at this situation the same way. The only reason you buy property is as an investment in your future. It’s building an estate. We got into this mess because people didn’t follow the basic principles of buying, selling, and controlling an estate.

    I’ve said this a million times, that everything you see on late night TV is true. Idiots, absolute morons, make millions of dollars every year by buying, selling, and controlling Real Estate. It didn’t happen for every one, but it sure did for a select few.

    There again, most people didn’t get advised. They hired the wrong people, or they made choices other than the purpose of building an estate.

    Let’s take Sam at comment #11. He, or she, wants good schools, or 2700 sq ft. The family has $150K saved, and wants something, for the good of the children, I’m sure. How about with $150K you buy two small properties, with X amount down, and pay them off? how about looking at that foreclosure list? how about auction, bank owned, distressed, or something some one is giving away. How about taking over the payments, catching up payments, or even, heaven forbid buy something for cash in, heaven forbid, and area like Renton that has appreciation potential. How about continue renting, and buy an apartment building, or fourplex, duplex, or investment property.

    You see, people want what they want, and most people, residential buyers, don’t buy equity. Most residential buyers want something for the family other than wealth, or an estate.

    Having quality family is a good thing, but I’m saying it’s a different mind set.

  18. 18

    RE: softwarengineer @ 15 – Not everyone is going to want to learn building skills and/or move twice. A better option might be to save part of the money that would otherwise be downpayment and buy a house that needs to be remodeled, and do it before moving in. Contractors are hungry right now. Alternatively you could do a rehab loan, although the interest on those is I think about a half point higher, and you probably will have at least $1,000 of additional loan costs.

  19. 19
    David S says:

    “Your agent was right”.. houses are NOT meant to be cash machines. This type of thinking started the whole RE mess.”

    But they are cash machines for everyone involved with the transaction except for the people held responsible for paying the loan. Every time the crank turns, more professionals are paid.

    “What makes you think you should be able to step into a house and make money instantly.. just by signing a few papers ?? You’re not doing any work, the only people doing work are the agents, the inspectors, appraisers, escrow lawyers.. in fact just about eveyone involved in the process except for you. They need and deserve to be paid for their work ! I do agree agents are paid too high, but that doesn’t mean they should work for free either.”

    Sure, the workers get paid and the risk taker takes it in the shorts. At best I hope for neutral net equity upon closing.

    “I’ve bought my first house recently and can honestly say I love everything about it, being able to do what I want with it, having a permanent establishment, not having to deal with landlord.. and down.. ”

    You are blessed that you are satisfied with your transaction, congratulations. :)

  20. 20
    willcasp says:

    RE: David S @ 2

    I agree with this concept, but found that many realtors do not. When I was looking at a FSBO property, I told my realtor to figure out what the property was worth, and then offer 3% less than that. My assumption was that the costs of the sale were factored in to the price of the house. This is true for any other product that I purchase, so I assumed that it should be true for real estate as well.

    My realtor tried to explain to me, unsuccessfully, that the cost of selling a home was not factored into the price.

    I told him that was not a good way to price product, and moved on.

  21. 21
    Scotsman says:

    “Rasmussen: Mass mortgage forgiveness deeply unpopular”

    Well then, I guess we can expect to see more of it. After all, it benefits the working people who got screwed by the banking elite: /sarc

    http://hotair.com/archives/2010/08/09/rasmussen-mass-mortgage-forgiveness-deeply-unpopular/

  22. 22

    RE: Sam @ 11
    A couple of ideas:

    You might find the home you want but it might be older and nicely remodeled. Maybe don’t entirely rule out 20+ year old homes. Those homes tend to have larger lots. The stuff built more recently tends to be huge, crappily built but nice looking, and on tiny lots.

    If you slightly expand the geographical search, there are Renton addresses in the Issaquah school district, and some of Newcastle is also in the Issaquah district. There are some nice houses on larger lots in both of these places. The part of Renton in the Issaquah district doesn’t have a Renton “feel”., it just has a Renton mailing address.
    Newcastle is close to some of the best hiking trails in these parts, and is close to Issaquah, Bellevue, and Renton.

  23. 23

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 22 – I don’t typically trust agents to list school districts property, but doing the same search as above by school district, the results are about 65 properties.

  24. 24

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 18

    True Kary

    And if you’re married, it would be 100s of times harder to do it the most cost effective way I suggested….make sure to marry a carpenter gal or guy….LOL

  25. 25

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 23 – I forgot to exclude it to residential, and that limits it more to something like 35.

  26. 26
    Sniglet says:

    RE: David S @ 19

    At best I hope for neutral net equity upon closing.

    I think this is wishful thinking. No one hopes to maintain neutral equity the day they sign the papers for a new car and I don’t see why anyone should hope to maintain, or gain, equity in a home. The last 50 years have just been anomolous with home ownership, leading people to have unrealistic expectations of appreciation for housing. When you look at homes over the LONG term (i.e. hundreds of years), the best you can hope for is no average gain or loss, but with periods of 20 to 50 years of continual gains or continual losses.

    When everyone starts thinking of buying a house in the same way they do buying a car (i.e. with the full expectation of LOSING money), then we will be in a healthier place.

  27. 27
    Sam says:

    I appreciate the thoughts everyone.

    Ira – We’ve definitely seen some potential in the Newcastle area. Maybe that’s where we should zero-in on.
    Kary – you now feel my pain.

    Is the general perception that everything built after 2005 is crap? What about these Lozier and Burnstead homes?

  28. 28

    RE: Sam @ 27

    Exterior Crap Can Be Sealed at the Bottom Where it Rots

    It’s too bad they didn’t build houses with “newer subpar wood products the last 30 years” 12″ to the ground….I noticed some commercial structures use cement foundations 2 feet off the ground before they use glue board, and the roofs are all mostly metal with large over-hangs….they’re ugly, but functional.

    As far as the plumbing, dry wall and electrical in new homes….let’s put it this way, find a home the contractor had built for himself and buy that one….LOL

    Seriously, the custom homes will have more problems IMO than a home built on frame tooling in a factory [indoors]. Most people don’t like modular, but tolerance problems are avoided and weathering of materials during construction from rain outdoors is too. They take larger earthquakes than cement foundations that crack and collapse too [ask any building inspector]. Brick is really bad in earthquakes.

    Another modular advantage practically no one in Seattle will admit, instead of totally remodeling the house every 20-25 years, just sell it used [or have it removed free in trade], have it wheeled out and wheel in a brand new one…LOL

  29. 29
    Scotsman says:

    Looks like Medicare has a few more problems than we were told about. You know it’s bad when the number one guy working the numbers wants to bail:

    ” One cannot rescue an entitlement by expanding it, which is exactly what ObamaCare proposes to do.”

    http://hotair.com/archives/2010/08/09/video-medicares-chief-actuary-explains-why-system-has-no-future/

  30. 30
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 29:

    Looks like Medicare has a few more problems than we were told about. You know it’s bad when the number one guy working the numbers wants to bail:

    ” One cannot rescue an entitlement by expanding it, which is exactly what ObamaCare proposes to do.”

    http://hotair.com/archives/2010/08/09/video-medicares-chief-actuary-explains-why-system-has-no-future/

    medicare is not that hard to save. it’s not a huge problem.

    “” One cannot rescue an entitlement by expanding it, which is exactly what ObamaCare proposes to do.”

    yes it does. it bends the cost curve. healthcare is the most deficit reducing piece of legislation passed in a long time no matter what your erroneous links say.

    Bending The Curve
    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/05/bending-the-curve/

  31. 31
    David Losh says:

    RE: pfft @ 30RE: Scotsman @ 29

    Don’t we have a forum some place for this?

    You’ve both have bad links with disinformation that makes absolutely no points what so ever.

  32. 32
    pfft says:

    By David Losh @ 31:

    RE: pfft @ 30RE: Scotsman @ 29

    Don’t we have a forum some place for this?

    You’ve both have bad links with disinformation that makes absolutely no points what so ever.

    prove I posted disinformation. I posted a blog post from a nobel prize winning and well-respected(except for those in the partisan and/or anti-intellectual crowd) economist. krugman’s source is the CBO. I’ll take that over just about any link anyone else has.

  33. 33
    hoary says:

    RE: Sam @ 11

    Nice work bro!

    Are you a commuter? If so, what city do you work in? I’d also add that as a consideration. If you commute, avoid 405 like the plague is all I can say.

  34. 34
    deejayoh says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 9:

    RE: deejayoh @ 8 – The paperwork is really not that bad–if you exclude the paperwork related to the loan. The loan paperwork is absurd.

    yeah, what I was thinking. You sign the loan document. then you sign the document that tells you about the loan. and then you sign the document that says you got the document the tells you about the loan.

  35. 35
  36. 36
    karl says:

    Have any of the realtors here seen many sellers going through the HAFA program to pre-qualifiy their short sales? Or is this just another abyss they have created?

  37. 37
    Herman says:

    By deejayoh @ 8:

    RE: Herman @ 1 – Federal government doesn’t get much out of the transaction.

    The federal govt gets paid by the middlemen. i.e. you pay your agent 1.5%, then that agent has to pay federal taxes on what you paid him.

    I figured that out fast when I started getting my RE license. I assumed I could save 3% off the purchase price of my next home by simply keeping the commission. Then I realized that I was going to have to report my commission as earnings which was going to send 1/3 of it off to the government in taxes. Then I was like, “WTF? I could have just worked with Redfin and kept 1/2 of the commission anyway, without all the hassle and cost of the license.”

    That’s because a commission REBATE to a consumer is not taxable as earnings, but your commission as an agent (now known as Broker) is taxable.

    Now I’m trying to figure out what techniques agents have come up with to launder their 3% in some other form so that they don’t turn up as taxable earnings. (Special price concessions in exchange for zero-commission or something)

  38. 38

    RE: Scotsman @ 29

    Part of the Ghost Unemployed Army [not counted] Are Retiring Early on SS to Eat

    “…It is one of the most striking fallouts from the bad economy: Social Security is facing a rare shortfall this year as a wave of people like Skidmore opt to collect payments before their full retirement age. Adding to the strain on the trust are reduced tax collections sapped by the country’s historic unemployment — still at 9.5 percent.

    More people filed for Social Security in 2009 — 2.74 million — than any year in history, and there was a marked increase in the number receiving reduced benefits because they filed ahead of their full retirement age. The increase came as the full Social Security retirement age rose last year from 65 to 66….”

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Forced-to-retire-some-take-apf-2191994302.html?x=0

    But the economy is improving…LOL. Imagine the poor ghost unemployed souls that aren’t old enough to get SS…..welcome to tent city.

  39. 39
    Scotsman says:

    Personal income (2009) fell in the majority of MSAs, inflation was near zero, and some still think recovery is happening and home values will go up? I don’t see anything that has reversed this trend.

    http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/regional/mpi/2010/pdf/mpi0810.pdf

  40. 40
    pfft says:

    By softwarengineer @ 38:

    RE: Scotsman @ 29

    Part of the Ghost Unemployed Army [not counted]

    yes they are counted, just not in the unemployment rate. it’s not some conspiracy, anyone can look at the numbers and the methodology. this isn’t some new thing cooked up during the crisis.

  41. 41
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 39:

    Personal income (2009) fell in the majority of MSAs, inflation was near zero, and some still think recovery is happening and home values will go up?

    http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/regional/mpi/2010/pdf/mpi0810.pdf

    what has personal income done. in 2010? it’s rising but you only pointed out 2009 when it was falling. now it’s rising instead of falling. we don’t have to think home values are going up, home values are going up.

  42. 42
    Scotsman says:

    RE: pfft @ 41

    We have no idea what it’s doing, as what ever they claim is consistently revised downward when the subsequent quarter’s numbers come out. Home values up? Spring bounce! They sure aren’t going up in my neighborhood- you can have your choice of half a dozen formerly $million homes for $600K or less. None of them are selling. Heck, even the cute little $169K numbers aren’t selling. Come on, less than $700/month with 20% down and a 25 minute commute to downtown Seattle?

    http://seattle.craigslist.org/est/reb/1886533690.html

  43. 43
    The Tim says:

    By Scotsman @ 42:

    Heck, even the cute little $169K numbers aren’t selling. Come on, less than $700/month with 20% down and a 25 minute commute to downtown Seattle?

    http://seattle.craigslist.org/est/reb/1886533690.html

    Weird example. That CL posting was just listed on Saturday, but the house has been pending since May 20 according to Redfin. The pending status is “back-up offer requested” though, so I guess the buyer offered well under list and the seller is hoping/wishing/praying that some other sucker will come along and offer more.

  44. 44
    Trigger says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 39 – Scotsman – Look the Fed will increase supply of money again. It can do it once per year. Until the recovery takes place.

    What is there that could stop the Fed from enacting new stimulus package?

    I think we will print and then print some more and then relax on a hike. We have unlimited supply of money.

  45. 45
    Scotsman says:

    RE: The Tim @ 43

    Yup, keeps popping up, then they take it down, must be bank owned? There are several similar homes in the same area that are also in forclosure although few of them have papers filed yet.

    Here’s a straight sale (?) about 5 minutes away:

    http://www.johnlscott.com/propertydetail.aspx?IS=1&ListingID=300555510

  46. 46

    By The Tim @ 43:

    By Scotsman @ 42:

    Heck, even the cute little $169K numbers aren’t selling. Come on, less than $700/month with 20% down and a 25 minute commute to downtown Seattle?

    http://seattle.craigslist.org/est/reb/1886533690.html

    Weird example. That CL posting was just listed on Saturday, but the house has been pending since May 20 according to Redfin. The pending status is “back-up offer requested” though, so I guess the buyer offered well under list and the seller is hoping/wishing/praying that some other sucker will come along and offer more.

    I’m not going to look at the facts of that particular listing, or comment on it, but just because someone comes and offers more that does not typically mean that the seller can accept the new offer as anything but a backup offer. There are some exceptions to that, like short sales.

    Anyway, I almost always used to take my listings Pending BU until the day the NWMLS declared that was the proper status to take short sales. Why not seek a backup offer? But now I don’t do that because if my main deal flips I don’t want agents thinking my sale is a short sale due to the prior status. I will though, advise my clients to take a backup offer if one materializes.

  47. 47
    The Tim says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 46:

    I’m not going to look at the facts of that particular listing, or comment on it, but just because someone comes and offers more that does not typically mean that the seller can accept the new offer as anything but a backup offer. There are some exceptions to that, like short sales.

    And what do you know, the listing in question just happens to be a short sale. :^)

  48. 48

    RE: The Tim @ 47 – The point of my post was more complaining about the NWMLS effectively taking away my ability to use Pending BU status. They’ve tainted that status by associating it with short sales. They should have just created a Pending SS status at the same time they created Form 22SS. And if they’d done that, and kept Pending SS out of the Pendings reports each month, you’d probably be happy too!

  49. 49
    Willy Nilly says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 45

    Redfin lists that as a short sale.

    Just imagine if buying a burger or a pair of pants, or a laptop was like buying a short sale.

    MMM yum!

  50. 50
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Willy Nilly @ 49

    You’re on to something- I see Americans losing weight like never before!

    Do short sales ever close, or do they just linger for ever?

  51. 51

    By Willy Nilly @ 49:

    RE: Scotsman @ 45

    Redfin lists that as a short sale.

    Just imagine if buying a burger or a pair of pants, or a laptop was like buying a short sale.

    MMM yum!

    If buying a burger was like buying a short sale, that thing would get awfully moldy by the time it became yours. That could be true for the house too.

  52. 52
    pfft says:

    By Trigger @ 44:

    RE: Scotsman @ 39 – Scotsman – Look the Fed will increase supply of money again. It can do it once per year. Until the recovery takes place.

    What is there that could stop the Fed from enacting new stimulus package?

    I think we will print and then print some more and then relax on a hike. We have unlimited supply of money.

    we aren’t printing we’re borrowing, remember?

    ” Until the recovery takes place.”

    the recovery was started well over a year ago. the recession ended a year ago this month.

  53. 53
    pfft says:

    In asia and specifically Korea they are cheering their stimulus efforts. they already saw IMF-style austerity in action in the late 1990s and don’t want any part of it.

    Keynes In Asia
    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/24/keynes-in-asia/

  54. 54
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 42:

    RE: pfft @ 41

    We have no idea what it’s doing, as what ever they claim is consistently revised downward when the subsequent quarter’s numbers come out. Home values up? Spring bounce! They sure aren’t going up in my neighborhood- you can have your choice of half a dozen formerly $million homes for $600K or less. None of them are selling. Heck, even the cute little $169K numbers aren’t selling. Come on, less than $700/month with 20% down and a 25 minute commute to downtown Seattle?

    http://seattle.craigslist.org/est/reb/1886533690.html

    um the comp 10 and 20 have already bottomed. home prices are going up. san diego, one of the first decliners, has already gone positive.

    https://seattlebubble.com/blog/2010/07/27/case-shiller-real-estate-is-local-free-cash-is-national/

  55. 55
    Scotsman says:

    Did you know if you google “Paul Krugman is an idiot” you get well over 110,000 hits? Google “Pfft is an idiot” and you only get 97,000 hits. “Scotsman is an idiot” only brings up 87,000 hits.

    Obviously, I’m the brightest. But I knew that.

  56. 56
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 55:

    Did you know if you google “Paul Krugman is an idiot” you get well over 110,000 hits? Google “Pfft is an idiot” and you only get 97,000 hits. “Scotsman is an idiot” only brings up 87,000 hits.

    Obviously, I’m the brightest. But I knew that.

    did you know that he links to another article? I bet you didn’t. krugman’s been a lot more right than you have. he also predicted the housing crisis that a lot of others get much more credit for.

  57. 57
    pfft says:

    here is a different person’s take. basically the stimulus worked in many parts of the world.

    How do stimulus size and economic growth compare internationally?
    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/06/research_desk_responds_how_do.html

    even if you think the stimulus hurts or doesn’t work you can’t find it in the data.

    with the exception of Spain, which lost economic ground, the correlation is solidly positive here.

    the stimulus certainly hasn’t held back the US.

  58. 58
  59. 59
  60. 60
    Scotsman says:

    RE: pfft @ 59

    Of course you don’t. You read the one guy you agree with. That’s why you’re so wrong about just about everything.

    I still read Krugman, Karl, source papers, etc., then use my education and experience to sort through it all and come to my own conclusions. That’s why, more often than not, I’m correct.

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