Weekend Open Thread (2011-06-10)

Here is your open thread for the weekend beginning Friday June 10th, 2011. 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
    ChrisM says:

    A followup on yesterday’s extremely important news story: the marten was actually a mink:


    Glad they got that straightened out.

  2. 2
    Pegasus says:

    By ChrisM @ 1:

    A followup on yesterday’s extremely important news story: the marten was actually a mink:https://kxro.wordpress.com/2011/06/09/famous-assault-prop-not-a-marten/Glad they got that straigtened out.

    I have known some really nice minks in my life but never have met a nice weasel.

  3. 3
    deejayoh says:

    Now if he’d him ’em with a Honey Badger, that would have been something.


    Honey Badger don’t care

  4. 4

    SWE Made a “Buffoon Marten Prediction” on Seattle Bubble Years Ago

    He predicted that as the Baby Boomers retired [about now], there would be a huge increase in the Seattle SFH Inventory…..boy, did I get pie in the face.

    Don’t hand me the marten, hand me crow to eat…LOL


    “…Well, it turns out that working longer is indeed an option, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute latest study. The only problem is that the latest research shows that you’ll have to work much longer than you anticipated. In fact, many Americans will have to keep on working well into their 70s and 80s to afford retirement, according to the study, titled “The Impact of Deferring Retirement Age on Retirement Income Adequacy.” …”


    Ahhhhh, what the heck, before the 60s post WWII manufacturing boom, there generally was no such thing as guarenteed retirement either….LOL

  5. 5
    Blurtman says:

    Two hot biotech stock picks. Caveat emptor. Do not bet with money you cannot afford to lose. Don’t blast me if you lose your kid’s college fund.

    ELN – Rallying on growth of their therapeutic antibody for treating MS. I’ve been a long term holder. On the other hand, when I am tooling around SSF, I get unerved by the size of their campus.

    MITI – I know their technology, but don’t know squat about their management. Technology is hot. Medarex has a similar dual specificity antibody technology that they say works like gangbusters. Bristol Myers apparently thought so in their $2.4 billion acqusition of Medarex.

  6. 6
    Pegasus says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 5 – Real estate pumpers, stock touts…..what’s next here? Pro pimping?

  7. 7
    Scotsman says:

    Ouch- this hurts- the ultimate smack-down of politicians, and unfortunately, we the people who have allowed it:

    “I do like the implication from this morning’s Post story, though, that Weiner needs to stick around in Congress because he has no marketable job skills to make it in the real world. That’s a perfect microcosm of our political class these days — clammy, corrupt, removed from its subjects to the point that it couldn’t survive among them if it had to, and yet somehow entitled to govern them. What a unique skill set Weiner has, huh? He’s incapable of doing anything except (a) peppering liberal talking points with soundbite-worthy wisecracks and (b) crafting the laws everyone else has to live by. Oh, and (c) snapping photos of his bare ass and e-mailing them out. ”


  8. 8
    The Tim says:

    Wasn’t someone here just talking about this a few days ago?

    ‘Flopping’ scam enables fraudulent flipping in housing market

    Although reports of mortgage fraud nationally fell 41 percent in 2010 from 2009, the continuing downturn in the housing market has fostered new ways of perpetrating it, experts say.

    Consider “flopping” — the intentional misrepresentation of housing value for purposes of illegal flipping.

    Here’s how it works: A real-estate agent or broker identifies properties with severely depressed values. These could be properties with mortgages that exceed the present values or they could be short sales or foreclosures.

    A property is valued using a “broker price opinion.” The broker’s “opinion” is a lowball price, because his intention is to profit from a quick resale for a higher price.

    A lender, believing the broker’s assessment is legitimate and unaware of any scheming, agrees to the lower sales price.

    The broker buys it at the greatly reduced price, arranges for a “straw buyer” to purchase it, then flips it for a higher price than negotiated with the lender. The broker pockets the profits.

  9. 9

    RE: The Tim @ 8 – I think I brought that up in relation to an article by Ken Harney on criminal investigations.

    I read that article too, and what I didn’t understand is how the agent buying can be the same or even connected to the agent doing the BPO. If the bank relies on the listing agent for the BPO, then they are even more incompetent than your average bank.

  10. 10
    David Losh says:

    RE: The Tim @ 8

    The problem still remains with the buyer pool and continued default. Some one has to be left holding the bag and the goal is for the bank to be out the money.

    Unless a broker has an unlimited supply of ready, willing, and able buyers the scheme only works a few times. Brokers with a track record of bad faith estimates will be caught, or replaced. That’s why the article goes on to talk about a variety of frauds.

  11. 11
    FrustratedBuyer says:

    Having been looking for a small/modest detached home for about five months now, I continue to be disappointed with the brokerage industry. Of only two properties I’ve wanted to attempt purchasing, the first failed in large part due to my agent leaving town for the weekend without a back-up agent. The (recently remodeled and nearly flawless) home sat on the market for three of four days with me being unable to make an offer. The sale was recorded at less than I would have paid. I did have a back-up for the next trip, but it was with a Yahoo! email rather than the major brokerage I was using, which I thought was weird. I finally fired the agent after weeks of bad-mouthing the house no matter how much I said it was still first in my mind.

    I now find myself in a situation where I found a great home in the same neighborhood, saw it within a day of being listed and immediately had my agent contact the seller’s for a copy of the disclosure. I tried to make an offer the next day only to be told it was pending after several offers. I’m not complaining about not “getting” but it seems unethical for the seller’s agent to not alert known individuals that are seriously interested only hours before. I hope the seller got a big one as my granted first-in-line back-up opportunity is for full list. Given the market that I’ve experienced, these quickie mid-week sales are short-changing sellers. I’m fortunate in that I can pretty much get up from desk at work with no notice to get a look–and even then can’t give my money away.

    This a great site!

  12. 12
    Macro Investor says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 4

    Still wrong, so now you get the martin — or a boo bird :)

    What you didn’t foresee was those would-be retirees being so far under water they can’t sell. If they had the equity they hoped for, you’d likely see that inventory spike.

    Also, not much point in selling and moving if you’ve lost your stock market investments to 2 bubbles in 8 years. Plus inflation making their social security worth less. After this triple whammy, most will have to work much longer than their 65th birthday.

  13. 13
    karl says:

    flopping should also include dual closings.

  14. 14
    Scotsman says:

    RE: deejayoh @ 3

    I love that video, along with his other stuff- the “jesus lizard” is particularly good!

    Let your inner honey badger run free!

  15. 15
    Cheap South says:

    RE: deejayoh @ 3

    I have to say this guy has to send a demo tape to the folks of Nature at PBS. That narration keeps you at the edge of the seat.

  16. 16

    RE: deejayoh @ 3
    It’s the best thing I’ve seen in years. But the honey badger don’t care. He don’t give a ” chocolate”.

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