Weekend Open Thread (2013-02-01)

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Here is your open thread for the weekend beginning Friday February 1st, 2013. 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.

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.


  1. 1

    At least the Obama administration won’t allow players in really important industries to become too big to fail.


    That would be a crisis!

  2. 2
    wreckingbull says:

    You are out of your mind if you are trying to buy in an environment like this.


    Seriously people, ask yourself something. If you are having to make heartfelt, handwritten pleas to buy a home, the market is not operating efficiently. Public policy has created another bubble.

  3. 3
    David Losh says:

    RE: wreckingbull @ 2

    You’d be surprised how effecient this approach is.

    This is what Real Estate agents do to get the listings that go on the Multiple. Agents scout neighborhoods, and buyers can do the same. You never know what a sellers motivation is until you ask.

    Many sellers are tired of Real Estate agents as some of the comments will tell you. A buyer, with good financing, or cash in place, is much more appealing if they approach in a professional manner.

    Writing the heart felt letters isn’t professional, a simple statement of fact, that you are a buyer, frustrated with today’s Real Estate market is much more to the point.

    In Ballard I would look for older homes that are well maintained by owners who are past retirement. Maybe five letters a week is enough, you never know what will hit.

  4. 4
    wreckingbull says:

    RE: David Losh @ 3 – efficient market != efficient transaction process. Two completely different concepts.

  5. 5

    RE: wreckingbull @ 2
    Perhaps Its Like the Yahoo Cribbage Bogus High Scores I See

    They get phony bids [phony Cribbage wins against their other own computer] from buddies to make it look hot. I heard of this Ponzi Scheme at auctions too [friends of the seller bidding phony bids]. How do we know?.

  6. 6

    Here’s some legislation designed to deal with the MERS issues in Washington state. I don’t know if there is other legislation, but I don’t see this as really doing much for anyone.


    It is almost comical, however, in that it requires phone numbers to be recorded as part of the real property records.

  7. 7

    Cheery Seattle Economic News from SPEEA to the Seattle Bubbleheads

    “…The Professional and Technical Bargaining Unit Councils of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), IFPTE Local 2001, voted Thursday to include the strike authorization vote. The recommendation has been to reject the contract….”


  8. 8
    David Losh says:

    RE: wreckingbull @ 4

    In Ballard this approach by buyers has been going on for decades. Some people will offer life estates to sellers with a cash out, maybe below market, maybe not.

    One agent did offer a life estate when the woman was 82, and she lived to 95. They became good freinds, and yes the property was worth a bunch more money, but the seller got to enjoy the proceeds of the sale.

    Ballard is another “special” market place.

    Effecient is as effecient does. The goal is to get a property of your choosing. You can have an attorney write up an agreement, there are several good attorneys in Ballard, or ask an agent to help.

  9. 9
  10. 10
    Haybaler says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 6
    That six month abatement on foreclosure Penalty for failure to record an beneficial interest in the county office w/in 20 days looks like a reasonable slap on the wrist for those institutions doing last minute paper fixing.

  11. 11

    RE: Haybaler @ 10 – First, you’re assuming there’s something wrong with not recording in the first place. As of this point in time, there is nothing that requires recording, but this act would change that going forward.

    Second, you’re assuming that it’s in the consumer’s interest to delay a foreclosure for six months. That very well could mean that the consumer has to pay $300 in condo dues for six more months, or that they have a foreclosure pushed into a year when the Mortgage Debt Relief Act has expired, and perhaps owe $30,000 in non-dischargeable taxes.

    The problem I have with this legislation is that it’s seemingly written by a blogger who doesn’t have a clue what the real problems are. Note that it doesn’t require prior assignments to have been recorded, nor does it make recorded documents effective over other non-recorded documents. So you don’t have any assurance at all that the recorded document is in fact “in the chain of title.” You could still have a situation where the wrong entity forecloses, and there’s no relief in this legislation for the consumer when that happens.

  12. 12
    Blurtman says:

    Treasury yields heading up.

  13. 13

    RE: Haybaler @ 10 – One more point. People record deeds and deeds of trust because if they don’t they may lose out entirely to a subsequent assignee of the same grantor. That’s the whole point of recording statutes–to provide a notice of the assignee’s interest and a system where they are only protected if they record. So if I gave three people a deed to a piece of property, where none knew of the other two, the first to record would own my property and the other two would have a worthless piece of paper.

    This doesn’t do that at all. Recording doesn’t protect the assignee, and those who don’t record are at no increased risk of loosing out to a subsequent assignee. Because of that, there’s not that great of an incentive for them actually to record. So in addition to not helping the consumer, and possibly even hurting them, it doesn’t to much to protect or harm the assignees of deeds of trust.

  14. 14
    kalius says:

    I’m looking for suggestions on how to approach our buying situation and maybe tips to find a good agent for us..

    After years of renting we are interested in looking for purchasing a house in the area .
    We are very flexible about location, 20 minute commute to my work without incidents is from south of northgate (where we are) to burien, and probably a decent chunk of the east side as well(anything close to I 90).

    Most of the resources and Realtors we have looked at like to specialize in an neighborhood and a lot of the information is concentrated about the top schools (that we can’t afford the area they cover).

    We’ll like 3 bedrooms $275,000 or under, safe neighborhood, save school with average rating or better, some park/ nice green area close by.

  15. 15
    Blurtman says:

    Mark Kelly, Gabby Giffords hubby, stated that he defended our second ammendment in Iraq.

    Are military members really subjected to brainwashing by the DOD?

    Or were those dastardly Iraqis really trying to overturn the US consitution?

    What is wrong with these people?

  16. 16

    RE: Blurtman @ 15 – It took me a while to get your point, but yes, that is absurd.

    Con law in general has become absurd. Maybe I don’t know my history all that well, but I would assume the Bill of Rights was pushed through by the those considered to be liberals at the time. I know later champions of the Bill of Rights, such as Washington state’s own Justice William O. Douglas were considered liberal. But now we have liberals attacking the Bill of Rights and conservatives trying to uphold it. It really is a scary time for the Constitution.

  17. 17
    Blurtman says:

    Jeep – Proudly exploiting the plight of returning soldiers to sell cars. Bravo! Impeccable moral standards!

    Does no one have any shame anymore?

  18. 18
    Haybaler says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 13RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 11

    Yes, Kary. It is my opinion that every deed, mortgage, assignment…whatever, should be recorded and there is something wrong with not recording a document.

    The harm to the assignee is done when the ownership of the note transfers and that info isn’t readily available. A Personal experience comes to mind. I wanted to purchase some derelict 4 plexes in Lakewood. I visited the county auditor for title info. Armed with the public record I called the legal owner listed. He told me that he sold the property 20 years before to another person and that new owner had died. Fortunately he had a contact info for the heirs located in Alaska. It took a month by dogsled to reach them and another to receive a reply from the attorney handling the estate. The attorney didn’t know the estate owned the property…why would he?, there was no recording of an interest to be found in a search.

    I suspect that it is more often in the interest of a property owner to delay a foreclosure 6 months than it is in the best interest of a note holder to mark time waiting in a penalty box for 6 months for failure to abide by the rules….granted that based on the industry wide delays that have occurred over the past couple years the industry might not care about any additional penalty.

    According to the proposed law Sec 3 Para 1 line 9 only recorded instruments are effective.

  19. 19

    By Haybaler @ 18:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 13RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 11

    Yes, Kary. It is my opinion that every deed, mortgage, assignment…whatever, should be recorded and there is something wrong with not recording a document.

    The harm to the assignee is done when the ownership of the note transfers and that info isn’t readily available.

    Recording an assignment of a deed of trust doesn’t give you the information you need to assess who owns the loan. So it’s pointless to require recording.

    Too many bloggers and too many news stories have mislead people about this issue because they don’t understand the law.

    The situation you described is different because it’s dealing with who owns the real property. There the recording is very important, mainly because the statute dealing with recording real property interests says more than “every transaction needs to be recorded.”

    If I had to guess, the situation you described probably involved the old-style real estate contract that I mentioned in another thread where I brought up Freeborn v. Seattle Trust to Jillayne. Those can be problematic even with recording, because they contemplate a deed being executed when the contract is paid off. If the deed was not held by someone in escrow, getting a deed 20 years later can be difficult/impossible.

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