Monday Open Thread (2010-12-06)

Here is your open thread for Monday December 6th, 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.

16 comments:

  1. 1
    ChrisM says:

    Fascinating comments about short sale flipping here:

    http://www.bubbleinfo.com/2010/12/02/short-sale-fraud/#comments

    I presume this would fly in NWMLS, too?

  2. 2

    RE: ChrisM @ 1 – We’ve talked about that before. If you’re dealing with a federally insured bank, chances are it’s criminal.

    I’m not sure why you think it has anything to do with the NWMLS. If the bank doesn’t know about it, how would the NWMLS?

  3. 3
    Ben says:

    That Altos price chart on Tim’s main page is not a pretty sight from July forward. I’m starting to get more than a bit concerned about this next leg down. We are in a self reinforcing downward spiral – how much will strategic defaults increase over the next year, making the foreclosure problem even worse?

  4. 4
    ChrisM says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 2 – My question was about the ethics aspect from the point of view of the agent. According the comments, the bank & buyer received proper disclosure. My question is was the agent acting in the best interest of the seller, and are they actually obligated to do that in the first place? I was under the impression various regional MLS rules differed. If this action is allowed in CA, are they also allowed in WA?

  5. 5

    RE: Ben @ 3

    Oh Stop Your Worrying

    Bernanke said today the chronic unemployment should fix itself in only 4-5 years. LOL

  6. 6

    Apparently this property wasn’t more valuable doe to the owner being (in)famous. ;-)

    http://www.realtor.org/RMODaily.nsf/pages/News2010120606?OpenDocument

  7. 7

    By ChrisM @ 4:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 2 – My question was about the ethics aspect from the point of view of the agent. According the comments, the bank & buyer received proper disclosure. My question is was the agent acting in the best interest of the seller, and are they actually obligated to do that in the first place? I was under the impression various regional MLS rules differed. If this action is allowed in CA, are they also allowed in WA?

    I’m not sure I follow you. The agent’s duties would be dependent on state law, not MLS rules. As the agent for the seller presumably they have to try to protect the seller’s interests in both states. From the seller’s point of view the duty could depend on whether or not the bank is waiving the balance owing. If the bank is, then the seller might not care. I would, however, still be concerned that the listing agent knowing of such a deal could lead to the seller being sued for the acts of their agent!

    I think criminal exposure is the bigger concern though. As far as I know, if the seller doesn’t know of the flip, they wouldn’t have any significant criminal exposure. The agent would if they knew.

  8. 8
    Scotsman says:

    I’ve spent 5 hours trying to put in an upgraded kitchen sink, and nothing works. Who were the idiots that decided to pass on the standardization of fittings, etc. and go for the big free-for-all? Sure, this house is 40 years old, but just how quickly can plumbing fittings evolve? I’m off on my 5th trip to Home Depot, in a very foul mood, ready to kill. It isn’t even my house, who knows who the “landlord” is, or how long I’ll even get to enjoy this “upgrade,” if I ever can enjoy it after all this. And my mom wants a new dishwasher put in, I’m sure that will go well. . . Forget it. Call a plumber.

  9. 9
    redmondjp says:

    Scotsman,

    Part of the problem may be the (lack of) selection at the store you are shopping at (they are what they are, I shop there a lot BTW for certain easy-to-find things). Been there, done that, by the way as fas as plumbing nightmares go. McLendon’s is usually better, and there are a few old-school hardware and plumbing supply places in Seattle that probably have the “best” selections as far as stores that are still in business.

    While working out in Monroe, I found that the local hardware store just outside of the prison was even better than McLendon’s, but (wouldn’t you know it) when the Lowe’s opened out there last year, combined with the down economy, it was the ol’ 1-2 punch and they closed, permanently (and crap, I didn’t even know else I would have been out there shopping the going out of business sale as I like to keep stock of certain items on-hand for my sunday-nite-at-11pm garage fixit sessions).

    But see, the REAL problem is you aren’t supposed to be working on a 40-year-old faucet in the first place. Homedebter is supposed to rip everything out every 20 years or so and have contractors put in new, didn’t you get that memo?

    Tonight I let my wife’s coworker borrow my 25-year-old can of 20W oil for small electric motors – her house boiler blower (only a few years old) fan bearings went dry, and she tried FIVE different hardware stores and none of them even carry this oil any longer, even though it’s still called out in the service manual for normal maintenance. What gives? They used to sell these little cans of oil for motors, but no longer. Furnace blowers still need oil now and then, even today . . . so I feel your pain.

  10. 10

    RE: Scotsman @ 8 – I had a house built in the 50s where the size of the supply connection under the sink was very rare and hard to find. Replacing all the plumbing cast iron pipe with copper out to the street solved that problem! :-D

  11. 11
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 10RE: redmondjp @ 9

    Sink is in, but very much cobbled together. The main problem, aside from the drain being too high in the wall for the new deeper sink was an odd/unusual size fitting for the hot water supply line. I ended up having to splice two lines together. I forgot about McLendons- they are much better.

  12. 12
    David S says:

    We’d like to find a property to get stupid on somewhere in the south and east side of King County. We’d like to find a property to get stupid on for about a year now and we just haven’t found one. Where the heck did they all go? Is anyone else having this smart block impeding their home search success? Seattlebubble is not helping in this regard.

  13. 13

    RE: Scotsman @ 8

    LOL Scotsman

    I’ll pass on some of my plumbing lumps on the head words of wisdom when I made my self “quasi-head contractor” remodeling an entire house: when a plumbing fitting gives you trouble [like leaks], don’t buy the same item [it will leak too]….go to a completely different store and buy a completely different brand.

    Good luck!

  14. 14
    David S says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 13 – My recent plumbing experience is: accepted offer returns to active with whole house plumbed in polybutylene. No thanks, you can keep trying to short sell it until the banks decide how to split it up then one of them can enjoy their PB piped home.

    There were so many other things that failed inspection but that is another story. And the search goes on.

  15. 15
    Timmcb says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 11

    Apparently you don’t have to be a homeowner to enjoy the perks of home maintenance ;) I hope you kept the receipt(s) for reimbursement.
    Truth be told though we had plumbing emergency a few weeks ago. We updated a wallmount faucet in our circa 1930’s home. The nipples that the faucet we heavily rusted but I figured it could last a few more years. Days was more like it and after day three of small drips from the cold faucet I decided to go back in. Big mistake, which lead to us having to shut off the water to the whole house (no shutoff in these old homes). The wife wasn’t happy (no toliet, shower) but in the end the plumber saved the day, he swapped out the cast iron nipples with brass and all was well again. Best of luck Scotsman with the sink, but keep an eye on it for a few days to make sure its all kosher.

  16. 16

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