Homebuying Platitudes vs. Reality

This is a post that I originally wrote for the highly-recommended personal finance blog Get Rich Slowly. As such, the style of writing is more geared toward the audience of that site. However, I felt that the post would be of interest to the readers here as well, so I am re-posting it in its […]


Robert Shiller: Fundamentals No, Psychology Yes

For those of you that are interested in more lengthy reading, a new paper by Robert Shiller (as in Case-Shiller) was released this weekend: Understanding Recent Trends in House Prices and Home Ownership (pdf). Here are a couple of money quotes: It does not appear possible to explain the boom in terms of fundamentals such […]

The Mythical Equity Locust

There are many arguments to be had between the Seattle Bubble housing bulls and bears, but one belief that seems to be commonly shared is that one of the primary drivers of demand and pricing in our market is a steady stream of rich Californians moving up and driving prices up. The bulls argue that […]

Get on the equity escalator and trade up later!

I am hoping someone here will be able to clear this one up for me. One of the frequently-repeated arguments that real estate salesmen use to try to convince the renter-serfs to buy a home is that once you buy a home, your costs are fixed. While that’s not entirely true (taxes, insurance, and maintenance […]

Urban Growth Boundary Malarkey

A common argument about housing prices that I’ve personally noticed popping up frequently in the last few weeks is that they are as high as they are here in King County thanks in very large part to the Growth Management Act (GMA). Specifically, the argument claims that the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) has so limited […]