Mid-Week Open Thread (2012-12-05)

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Here is your open thread for the mid-week on December 5th, 2012. 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!

NOTICE: If you have comments to make about politics or economics that do not somehow directly relate to Seattle-area real estate, they may be posted in the current Politics & Economics Open Thread. If you post such comments here, they will be moved 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

    Interesting story on some local bank employees convicted of processing bad mortgages.


  2. 2
    Pegasus says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 1 – And the big fish are still swimming around free slamming $90.00 a shot tequila and smoking those Cubans…..but of course they never did anything illegal….wink, wink!

  3. 3
    Howard says:

    We have been researching trustee sales/hard money lenders and “Vestus type” agents.. This is the “CRAP” they are selling: (This is cut and pasted from the weekly hype sheet)

    o Our goal is to make investing in distressed real estate a painless,
    hands-off, and lucrative process. We’ll take care of you.

     We see “flipping” as a 3-step process: Buy, Fix, Sell.
    1. Buy – We do the necessary homework before purchasing
    at auction, allowing you to make an informed and clear
    buying decision. After purchasing, our efficient systems
    begin to legally and ethically vacate occupants, & begin
    2. Fix – We have licensed, bonded and insured general
    contractors on the xxx team. They are experienced in
    working with the costs and timeframes on the
    proformas, as well as following high-quality standards.
    These standards get the property fully ready for market.
    3. Sell – Our team of licensed brokers get the home listed
    immediately after renovations are complete. They are
    highly experienced in negotiations & transaction
    timing to work towards a smooth and quick closing
    according to the proforma.

    /rant on
    Flipping is an easy, get rich, hands off investment! We do all the work, you just sit back and collect your $$$…. It is such a sure thing, we won’t invest any of our money! We will take a commission on the purchase, do all the contracting and charge you for it and then sell it for a commission… What could go wrong?!?!?

    Seriously? There are still pie in the sky real estate hucksters out there.

  4. 4
    softwarengineer says:

    RE: Howard @ 3

    A Good Rule of Thumb

    Never buy into anything sight unseen, a good way to get burned.

  5. 5
    softwarengineer says:

    RE: Pegasus @ 2

    They Probably Have All Their Money in Private Safes or Over-seas Accounts Too

    Exempt from the fiscal cliff taxes coming soon.

  6. 6
    Chris says:

    There’s an interesting article in the Economist titled “The Big Long” about commercial investment in the SFH market. Notable quote from the article: “This is not easily done from a skyscraper in Manhattan. A property-management company is helping Blackstone buy some 100 houses a day in selected markets. ”


  7. 7

    RE: Howard @ 3
    When the market’s going good, there are plenty of real estate hucksters out there.
    After the market’s tanked, there are plenty of real estate hucksters out there.
    I’d compare them to lizards, but lizards are kind of cute. Reptilian, anyhow.

  8. 8
    Macro Investor says:

    By Chris @ 6:

    There’s an interesting article in the Economist titled “The Big Long” about commercial investment in the SFH market.

    Interesting indeed. Here are 2 quotes that stood out for me:

    “The risk is that even a small rise in interest rates will wipe out all the value. “You really have to believe interest rates are going to stay low for the foreseeable future,” says Gregory Perdon of Arbuthnot Latham, a bank.”

    “…a 7% yield is hardly the stuff of investment lore, even if greater profits may come. As sequels to blockbusters go, The Big Long is mercifully dull.”

    A 7% yield for all the money invested up front sounds crazy, especially since you have to maintain the property/management/taxes in a downturn. I think this shows just how scarce good investment ideas are right now. Have patience. Buy stocks or bonds only after the next huge mark down. There is always another one if you just bide your time.

  9. 9
    ricklind says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 7


    Fel Temp Reparatio.

  10. 10

    By Ira Sacharoff @ 7:

    RE: Howard @ 3
    When the market’s going good, there are plenty of real estate hucksters out there.
    After the market’s tanked, there are plenty of real estate hucksters out there.
    I’d compare them to lizards, but lizards are kind of cute. Reptilian, anyhow.

    I think they’re largely the same people, just finding different roles.

    Funny though that they’re viewed negatively all the time, no matter what they’re doing. Many if not most of the things they do are disgusting or ignorant. But were the equity skimmers in 2007 really hurting the sellers? How many of those sellers are much better off today because they either avoided a foreclosure or the loss of almost 50% of value on a small 1 bathroom house in Skyway? Arguably our state legislature and Governor hurt those people more when they stopped that activity at exactly the wrong time.

  11. 11
    softwarengineer says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 10

    I Saw Savvy Home Owners Selling in 2007 Too

    How many of them just sat on the cash and waited to buy later [the real savvy investors].

    I bet hardly any….so their savvy timing is a moot point.

  12. 12
    Blurtman says:

    RE: ricklind @ 9 – Latino!

  13. 13

    RE: softwarengineer @ 11 – Some probably did. In the right price range, and with sufficient equity in the old house, they could have pocketed quite a bit of cash. For some price ranges the best time out could have been really short.

  14. 14
    softwarengineer says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 13

    I Heard From Realitor Sources That the President of PEMCO Was Renting Before 2007

    I wonder if he still is?

  15. 15
    apartment boy says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 11
    Your post reminds me of Buffett’s reply when asked how he got rich…”I never bought at the bottom or sold at the top.”

  16. 16
    softwarengineer says:

    RE: apartment boy @ 15

    Buffet is a Great Example Too

    He still lives in his old cheap home, before he got super rich….he currently drives an old 2006 Cadillac too [he loves it BTW].

    That is how the rich got to be rich BTW.

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