The Tim’s Top Ten of Twenty-Eleven

Here’s the last post in the “Top 10 of 2011” series: Tim’s Ten Favorite Posts of 2011 (in no particular order).

Friday Flashback: Why Second-Guess Forbes & Moody’s? – As you can probably guess, I love pretty much the entire Friday Flashback series. It’s a near-endless supply of amusement to me to look back at the over-confident nonsense spewed by real estate professionals before the bubble burst, despite all of the obvious signs that were practically screaming that prices were headed for a crash.

Real Actual Listing Photos: Mega Mountain Edition – Again, I’m a big fan of the entire Real Actual Listing Photos series. Seriously, I can’t believe people pay agents 3% for this crap.

Terrible at Math, You Poor, Filthy Renter? YOU CAN OWN! – Polygon Homes’ new home ad claiming that “if your rent is $800 or more, YOU CAN OWN” wins the prize for most grossly misleading real estate advertising of the year.

Proposal: Replace the Mortgage Interest Deduction with a Flat Homeowner Deduction – Also, the follow-up: Running the Numbers on the Flat Homeowner Deduction. Personally, I’d favor eliminating the homeowner mortgage interest deduction entirely, but that’s clearly not politically feasible, so I proposed this as the next-best option.

Fast, Good, Cheap: Pick Any Two – I liked this one so much I wrote a national version for my favorite personal finance blog, Get Rich Slowly, which included a sweet Venn Diagram, because Venn Diagrams are awesome.

Fly the Real Estate Cheerleading Skies with Alaska Air – It’s like 2008 all over again on the Seattle-based airline’s planes, with such classic lines as “I don’t think there has ever been a better time” and “I don’t think you can beat this moment.”

There is no such thing as “a great time to buy.” – “If home prices are at rock-bottom, interest rates are at one percent, the economy is booming, is it a great time to buy? Not if you’ve got a hundred thousand dollars of school debt and you’re working part-time at the Sizzler, it isn’t!”

Big Picture Week 2011 – I like taking a step back and looking at a variety of local real estate charts spread back over the last two decades to get an idea of where we’re at today. Probably the biggest surprise this year was affordability, which thanks to ridiculously low interest rates, soared to a 30+year high in 2011.

On the Radio: Walk Aways and Puyallup Condos – I’m generally a fan of Dave Ramsey’s anti-debt schtick, but in this segment he ended up advising a caller with a condo in Puyallup to “let this market recover” and “sell the condo in one year.” Um, news flash Dave. The real estate market—especially for condos in Puyallup—is not going to “recover” in any substantive way in just a year. Actually that segment was back in February, so we’re now just a month away from Dave’s predicted recovery. Good luck with that.

Even More Delightful NAR Propaganda – Actually pretty much everything the National Ass. of REALTORS® publishes is comedy gold. I also quite enjoyed their 2011 Voting Guide, and watching their ads over the last five years back to back is a riot.

Well, that’s it for my 2011 list. What were your favorite posts?

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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.