September 10, 2007

Dropping Prices Are Driving The Improvement

The Recordnet reports from California. “When Louise Wohl bought her one-bedroom, one-bath Lodi condo in August 2005 for $180,000, she was delighted with her first home purchase. Then in July, she got a letter from the lender saying her adjustable-rate loan was jumping after the initial two-year set rate to the going rate of about 8.25 percent.”

“This, she said, was news to her, and bad news at that, because she can’t afford the $200 jump in the monthly payment.”

“She contacted her lender to try to work out a deal that would allow her to stay in her home. ‘I talked to three different people, and none of them could help me,’ she said. ‘One was very interested and helpful but said there was nothing he could do because the value of the home was less than the amount owed. He said, sorry, institutionally he couldn’t do it.’”

“Another said, well, just try to hang in there. ‘I was like, OK, I guess I could make the payments if I don’t buy gas and eat.’”

“She isn’t sure what will happen now. ‘I wish I had never bought,’ she said. ‘I would have been better off renting.’”

From Inman News. “Kossandra Knight said she would like to keep her home that she bought six years ago in the Santa Cruz, Calif., area. But that is just wishful thinking. Knight has worked to sell off several investment properties at a loss and is working with a real estate agent to complete a short sale on her primary residence. Job troubles and high monthly payments have put her into a foreclosure process.”

“‘What are your choices?’ she said. ‘The first thing you try to do when you start to go south is to use your credit cards to pay for things.’”

“Knight, who has filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, said she ended up with a negative-amortization loan on her home and the payments quickly got out of control. She was drawn in by a ‘teaser’ rate, she said, and a job loss wiped out her reserve.”

“‘This was my very first purchase — my very first house…When you have to do a refi to save your butt, there’s no butt to save — my equity of $175,000 is gone now because of the market,’ she said.”

“Wendy Shapiro, a resident in Roseville, Calif., said she purchased multiple investment properties after selling her home in San Francisco and moving out to the Sacramento area.”

“But her real estate investments have become a money pit. ‘Unfortunately, I put all my eggs in one basket. Now my daughter is going to college and I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep her there,’ Shapiro said.”

“Shapiro said she had planned to gradually sell off the properties for a profit, but now she is faced with a decision on which properties to ‘walk away from,’ she said.”

“Rental prices have dropped substantially in areas where she owns property, Shapiro said, as many investment properties are competing for rental income.”

“‘Rents have dropped everywhere because people who couldn’t sell houses are now trying to rent them. I can’t even sell one house,’ she said.”

“‘It’s just hell. Will I be able to sleep at night knowing I just walked away from $400,000 to $500,000 … and all my time?’ she said.”

The Daily News. “Through the end of June, Lancaster and Palmdale recorded 749 foreclosures, compared with 274 in all of 2006, according to the Greater Antelope Valley Economic Alliance.”

“A total of 2,353 notices of default were issued to Antelope Valley homeowners through June, compared to 2,394 in all of 2006, GAVEA statistics show.”

“‘People got in over their heads and got in adjustable mortgage rates that are low for maybe three to five years and then they go up. It’s like negative amortization adding interest onto the end of the loan,’ GAVEA president Mel Layne said.”

“‘Most people thought, ‘Get into it, house prices are going up fast, if I get in trouble I’ll be able to sell,’ Layne said. ‘Well, not so. They got into trouble and there were no buyers.’”

“Layne said the Antelope Valley experienced a similar housing slump in the early 1990s. ‘This is a normal real estate cycle where house prices go too high, mortgage companies make too lenient loans, and there’s a correction,’ Layne said. ‘It’s not an uncommon thing.’”

The Los Angeles Business Journal. “The expanding mortgage crisis and credit crunch slammed the Los Angeles housing market in August, with home sales plunging 50 percent from the same month last year and 25 percent from July.”

“Similar carnage took place in the condo market with year-over-year sales plummeting 40 percent to 1,168 units. Sales were off 27 percent from July’s 1,601 units.”

“‘These numbers are the first to show the beginning of the impact of the credit crunch that materialized in the last couple months,’ said Robert Kleinhenz, deputy chief economist with the California Association of Realtors.”

“‘Everything was great until about a month ago. Then, on one day – Thursday, Aug. 9 – everything changed as lenders shot up rates on jumbo loans to 9 percent and further tightened guidelines,’ said Syd Leibovitch, owner of Beverly Hills-based Rodeo Realty. ‘It became almost impossible to find a jumbo loan.’”

“The HomeData figures show that the four Palmdale ZIP codes experienced a whopping 70 percent decline in home sales last month from August 2006 levels. Prices were off 6 percent to almost 15 percent. In three Compton ZIP codes, volume was off 62 percent to 75 percent, with price declines reaching almost 14 percent.”

The Orange County Register. “Recent financial turmoil has slashed the number of shoppers willing to enter contracts to buy O.C. homes from their owners by 33% in just four weeks.”

“New inventory stats from Steve Thomas at Re/Max Real Estate Services show 1,206 deals in the works as of last week, down 600 from four weeks ago, before nervous traders in financial markets made it hard to get riskier mortgages and far more expensive to get big-dollar home loans.”

“By Thomas’ math…it would take 14.73 months for buyers to gobble up all homes listed for sale at the current pace of deals vs. 12.12 months two weeks earlier and vs. 7.12 months a year ago. Market time in Santa Ana, for example, is now FOUR YEARS!”

“And Thomas notes: ‘Many loan programs have all but evaporated. So, in the interim, demand in Orange County is taking a hit.’”

The Record Searchlight. “Housing starts in Redding in August practically came to a screeching halt. The city’s building department reported that nine permits were issued last month for homes valued at $1.9 million. It’s the smallest one-month total since the city started keeping electronic records in 1997, Permit Supervisor Wayne Gungl said.”

“‘It was a pretty slim month, let’s be honest,’ said Gungl, who’s been with city for 27 years. ‘For sure, it’s the weakest summer that I can ever remember in housing.’”

“The lethargic pace of building mirrors the rate of home sales in the area. In Shasta County, July home sales, August statistics have not been released, reached their lowest point in 12 years.”

“Greg Moss, president of Moss Lumber Co, supplies homebuilders in Fresno, where he says his business has declined 70 percent from its peak of two years ago, when an average of seven Moss Lumber trucks a day would travel from Redding to Fresno.”

“‘Today, it’s one truck a day,’ Moss said.”

The Fresno Bee. “Cheer up, Valley homeowners. Tumbling house values mean a payback for some is coming next year — in the form of lower property taxes.”

“After next year’s valuations are completed in January, homeowners who bought at the highest end of the market will likely see their taxes drop automatically by hundreds of dollars, said Fresno County Assessor Bob Werner. Others may have to file appeals to the assessor’s office to benefit from the declining values.”

“‘I think we will see a significant increase in appeals once the bills go out,’ Werner said.”

“Tim Hauschel of Clovis bought his home 18 months ago for $368,000. A similar home a block away is being sold for $315,000, and it had a pool. Hauschel’s house does not have a pool.”

“‘My wife called because we have seen the price of houses drop,’ he said. ‘We were thinking about selling just to break even.’”

“About a mile away, Mike Kerr bought a home for $420,000. Based on other sales in the neighborhood, his home is now valued at about $330,000.”

“‘So far, however, Kings County Assessor Ken Baird’s office is not seeing the price drops. ‘They are offering homes at a discount, but the problem is they are not selling,’ Baird said.”

“Buying a home in Fresno County just got a little easier, according to the California Association of Realtors. In Fresno County, 44% can afford a home, up from 39% a year ago.”

“Dropping prices are driving the improvement, said Leslie Appleton-Young, the association’s chief economist. ‘Prices are going down,’ she said. ‘Fresno is one of the highest in the state in terms of being a place first-time home buyers can get in.’”

“The slowing market is helping, said Elaine Colett, a Guarantee Real broker. ‘There are 7,000 listings in [Fresno and Madera counties] and very few buyers,’ she said. ‘Right now you can get a nice, decent home for $200,000,’ she said.”

“And many are buying without down payments, Colett said. Buyers with a 10% or 20% down payment are now the exception, not the rule, she said.”

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Comment by txchick57
2007-09-10 15:22:59

All this whining about “equity” gone, savings gone, credit gone, etc.

They were all trying to make money off the backs of people who simply wanted a place to live.

No sympathy.

Comment by emcee
2007-09-10 15:35:49

Looks like we’re about to discover the true size of the speculative demand of the past couple of years.

Comment by unknownpoltroon
2007-09-10 15:54:37

Dont knock it. Im hoping to do the same thing in a year or two.

Comment by Professor Bear
2007-09-10 15:57:08

“…trying to make money off the backs of people who simply wanted a place to live.”

I hope you catch a falling knife.

Comment by Bill in Carolina
2007-09-10 16:29:16

I agree, no sympathy.

But Professor Bear’s comment puzzled me. Should no one be allowed to take a risk, and if they’re successful, make a profit?

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Comment by Neil
2007-09-10 16:31:18

Nothing wrong with taking a risk if you can foresee and accept the consequences. These Zero down leeches deserved to be sliced and salted.

Got popcorn?

Comment by Professor Bear
2007-09-10 16:48:37

“Should no one be allowed to take a risk, and if they’re successful, make a profit?”

So long as nobody asks me to bail them out, I am happy for anyone to take whatever risk they please.

Comment by ex-nnvmtgbrkr
2007-09-10 17:37:42

It’s just that if you take that risk in the next two years you’re a damn fool. The Great Unraveling has just begun. It hasn’t even started getting fun yet.

Comment by Ol'Bubba
2007-09-10 17:42:43

I’m curious about your view of the timing, ex-nnvmtgbrkr. When do you estimate it will start getting fun again? Thanks.

Comment by ex-nnvmtgbrkr
2007-09-10 17:52:31

Sorry, I should’ve put fun in quotes. But if by “fun” you’re asking when it will be good to buy again, then I say I don’t really know. We’re off the map on this one, where monsters abound. What I do know is the next two years will only see an increase in downward momentum. Best advice is to simplify and get in survival mode.

Comment by Wine Country Dude
2007-09-10 17:57:17

C’mon, folks. Be honest. The original comment about “making money off the backs of” was not tied with, or qualified by, the ability to perform an adequate risk assessment before investing. And I suspect there are some “no-down leeches” who have perfectly adequate reserves, who chose not to make down payments, and who are not now begging for attention.

Comment by pos_dude
2007-09-10 18:36:47

I have an idea for all of the older people here who have large equity and little or no morgage.

Last week I locked in a 30 year fixed rate conforming loan for 5.75% (refinanced a ARM). I borrowed $400,000 against my house (equity loan) with nothing good to buy so I put this money into a CD paying me 6.00%.

I figured that the bank with the money believes that it is safer to loan me money at 5.75% than it would be to loan this money to the credit union that pays me 6%. I divided the money into different CD accounts to be qualified for the Government insurance (

Comment by tcm_guy
2007-09-10 19:39:56

But are you willing to wait years for the gobmint to give you your insured money without any interest if the credit union fails?

Got 10% down?

Comment by PeterC
2007-09-10 19:44:01

2007-09-10 17:47:12
I’ve been trading in the stock market for 30 years and one thing I learn and I learned well is never catch a falling knife. This is not going to be a V bottom. The market is going to stay in the bottom for 2 years at least. So it is stupid now to try and time the bottom. Everyone and his brother will know the bottom has been reached because for 2 years the prices would not be going further down or up. They’ll just be wobbling in the bottom. That may not start happening till 2010 however.

So don’t try timing the bottom and catching a falling knife. Let prices continue to fall and after a year has passed that prices are not falling any further you would know the bottom has been reached.

And BTW, even after the bottom is reached don’t expect to make money again in real estate for at least another 20 years IMO. Because I expect even after the bottom is clear, house prices will rise but will NOT rise more than the inflation rate. And that in any terms still means a LOSS.

Comment by Rowan
2007-09-10 19:45:46

I would be interested to find out the terms of those CD’s. I work in the industry, and havn’t seen any CD’s at 6% that are worth buying (longer than 6 months).

Also, you are betting that you can get CD’s that beat 5.75% for the next 30 years… Interesting.

CD income is also taxed….

Good luck.

Comment by Wickedheart
2007-09-10 20:12:29

Seems like a lot of trouble for a quarter of a percent return at best. More than likely you are losing money.

Comment by pismoclam
2007-09-10 20:19:27

Buying a house today is the same as buying a CALL option. It’s up to the buyer to determine the time and profit he wants to make. If prices go down you lose your money. By the way, does anyone want to bail me out of my losses of three weeks ago in the stock market? Do you think I can sob and get on TV or in the paper? Maybe Bernanke will flip me a dime.IMO we need higher interest rates to protect the dollar.

Comment by pos_dude
2007-09-11 15:34:04

To answer some questions about my taking out a 5.75% loan against my house and putting it into a 6.00% CD.

1. The credit union was Technology credit union. They could be weeks away from going bankrupt, I don’t know. But they are federally insured, I asked them this question 6 times.

2. I have a positive 0.25% spread in the interest rates. Today I am earning about $80/month which is small. But I am betting that interest rates will go higher in 2008 - 2012.

If the CD rates drop too low I can pay off my loan and call it quits. I can do this quickly without any money loss. I also have the choice to refinance if the interest rate of the loans drop.

If CD rates go up it is easy money.

The downside risks are small, the upside is likely.

I remember the Jimmy Carter years when CD were earning 20%. Some say the inflation and high interest rates were created from the cost of paying for the Vietnam War. Mr. Bush is borrowing money faster than any house flipper and the time will come when the government will once again use inflation to pay the bills.

I see it as, (1) the downside, my risks are small, I can alway pay back my loan. (2) the upside Bush and inflation will enable 12% and higher CD rates.

Comment by Rowan
2007-09-11 20:28:36

I just don’t see any 6% rates… anywhere. Here is TechCU
(best rate on a ‘Special CD’ 271 days (9 months) 5.460% 5.500%)

Making $80.00 a month (taxable income), with a $400k investment - and sweating it out that, in 271 days, I will have to find at least 5 CD’s (to cover Fed Insurance) in diff banks/accounts over 6%. Not fun.

Who here thinks the fed is going to raise rates? Anyone… anyone…?

Comment by Rowan
2007-09-11 20:31:39

And, even if you are counting on inflation pushing the CD rates higher, you MUST factor the inflation rate into the return on your investment.

In 1981, the CD rate was almost 16% and in which year the tax rate and inflation rate were 66% and 9%. All of these factors have kept the net rate of return on CD as 3.5%. During the year 1986, the gross rate of interest was only 6.6%. However the tax rate and inflation rate were comparatively low which were only 52% and 1.1% respectively. Therefore there would not be more deductions from rate of return on CDs resulting in the net rate as 2.02%.

Comment by pos_dude
2007-09-12 09:43:08

I found a link to the 6% rate. I know it was 6% that I got, it is not that hard to remember because I got it only last week. I heard Country Wide was offering high interest, not quite 6% but close.

I calculated my risk as zero, the CD matures in 6 months and if I cannot find somewhere safe and returns at least 5.75% I will pay back my loan.

Comment by pos_dude
2007-09-12 09:50:52

Also, Taxes and inflation.

The interest money that I can make is not using my money. I borrowed $400,000 of someone elses money at 5.75% and put it in a bank paying 6%. If inflation hits 0% or hits 1000% I don’t care, it is not my money that I am playing with. I am just skimming off from the interest spread.

If the spread goes negative I quit and take the money out of the CD and pay back my loan. I already calculate the loan costs. I have a PHD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford, I think my math is correct.

Comment by pos_dude
2007-09-12 10:21:15

If you live in Pennsylvania another 6% CD is available

I know these are 6.00% APY rates advertised, the actual rate is closer to 5.9 %.

Comment by Rowan
2007-09-12 11:28:54

I wasn’t doubting your math. Nor did I really question the past ability to get a 6% CD. It just seemed like a ton of work, for very little gain. The fact that you are an E.E. makes soooo much sense now. Mind you, I graduated top of the class from B.U. in ComSci - but I am married to an E.E., and you guys/gals are cut from a different cloth than the rest of us. I believe it is not the $80 ($60 after taxes is probably less than your hourly salary) you like getting each month, just the pleasure you reap from getting it by ‘beating the system’.

Comment by DarthRealtor
2007-09-11 09:06:38

I think Pos Dude did the smart thing. In fact, I’ve done the same thing. If the int you collect is equal, greater than or even close to the int you pay, you have the advantage of being liquid. Even with a long term CD you can borrow against it. In fact, I refi’d my house, 30 yr fixed in 2005 at it’s peak value. The timing was pure luck. I didn’t think prices could have gone where they did in 2004, never mind 2005. My house has depreciated like everyone elses, except I now have that phantom equity in cash and I have no problem making the payment. My interest rates just about offset each other.

I’m with most of you on this issue of “people who wanted a place to live” getting the shaft. In reality they are no differant than the pure speculator. And no smarter either.

I have no sympathy for all these, I’m a victim, blah blah, like MS “Can’t pay the addtional $200 per month mentioned above,

I maintain if the market hadn’t crashed thay would be refi ing with ARMs at teaser rates and sucking all the equity out of the house, figuring like they did 2 years ago, “I’ll just refi in two years”. There was an element of greed when all these FB’s bought. Would they have bought if they knew that they could have refi’d ? I think not.

Survival of the fittest. In this market the fittest are the smartest and those who can actually do the math.

I remember the news story about the group of golfers who ran for cover under the nearest tree when a sudden rain storn appeared. Lightening struck the tree, and most of them were killed. What did your mother tell you about lightening? Don’t stand under a tree, especially the only tree in the middle of a golf course.

This is a classic example of natural selection. Get the “dumb ass” gene out of the gene pool. The same thing applies to the RE market. Survival of the fittest. Let the weak die.

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Comment by Backstage
2007-09-10 16:22:15

Don’t these people do a simple risk/reward study or look at cashflow scenarios? How can you be so damn close to the edge that a $200/month increase would prevent you from buying food or driving your car?

It’s predatory lending, alright. Lenders were preying on the uber-stupid, and they stood there looking dumb while the lenders pounced. There’s no law against being stupid, but there should be no reward, either. Reward = bail out.

I suppose these stories are meant to pull on the heart strings, but they just make me angry.

Comment by speedingpullet
2007-09-10 17:34:02

“This, she said, was news to her, and bad news at that, because she can’t afford the $200 jump in the monthly payment.”

Wow - $50 bucks a week more and you can’t ‘eat or buy gas’?
What percentage of your monthly budget goes to housing?

Comment by Gwynster
2007-09-10 18:53:27

that was my thinking! $200 is bag lunches and loosing a cell phone.

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Comment by Rintoul
2007-09-10 21:41:31

…or “losing” a cell phone…

Comment by pos_dude
2007-09-10 18:53:07

I think that the $200 increase would prevent you from buying food or driving your car is a bullshit phrase intended to get sympathy. More likely is the $200 increas would prevent the big HBO, Cinimax, and internet cable subscription. And gifts for my children.

Comment by bozonian
2007-09-11 00:08:06

She might have to sacrifice a trip to the hairdresser or maybe she can get more cash from her alimony payments from the poor sucker she’s leeching off.

Comment by rentor
2007-09-10 18:38:36

I have sympathy for them but unfortunately they still have to pay a price. They are probably nice people who don’t have Larry or Jim’s ear to tell the rest of us how badly they have been injured.

Comment by aladinsane
2007-09-10 18:50:08


Comment by mrktMaven FL
2007-09-10 18:51:22

The Hives, Walk Idiot Walk

Well is it true what they say about it?
You oughta do what I do and doubt it
Ain’t it sad?
And if you don’t wanna feel like a putz
Collect the clues and connect the dots
You see the pattern that is bursting your bubble
And it’s bad!

Comment by BobR
2007-09-10 19:19:24

You guys won’t believe this one….yesterday I went to an open house here in Honolulu….the realtor asked me what my rent was, and I told him. He started talking about how if I bought this condo with an INTEREST ONLY LOAN, the payments would be the same as my rent. Do these guys learn nothing?

Comment by BuyerWillEPB
2007-09-10 22:14:48

It almost makes it appear that buying a home with an interest only loan is the SAME as renting.

What a coincidence. :)

Comment by Rental Watch
2007-09-11 08:53:59

If it’s a “real” interest rate (fixed for a long time, and not a teaser rate), AND the condo is of the same quality as your rental (size, location), AND you feel that you can live in your condo for a long time, AND HOA dues and maintenance fees are minimal, AND you feel that the rent that you are paying is a fair market rent, and based on history is unlikely to go down, the broker may have a point.

All else being equal, with all those provisos, you after-tax cost would be less than renting, and presumably with those savings, you could pay down the mortgage (even have an amortizing loan). Additionally, if it makes sense for you financially, then another buyer could convince themselves the same way sometime in the future–the price of the condo might actually be supported by (gasp!) fundamentals.

You’d need to be psychologically prepared for the value to drop in the near term though, and REALLY, REALLY like the place enough to live there for a while.

I suspect though that the I/O the broker is suggesting is a teaser rate, and the HOA dues are significant, and the place is smaller than your rental, worse part of town, and in worse shape than your rental.

Comment by crispy&cole
2007-09-10 15:23:11

All these sad stories make me want to cry…does anyone have a tissue? LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comment by crispy&cole
2007-09-10 15:24:25

No bailouts - FB’s can choke on their speculation!

Comment by txchick57
2007-09-10 15:25:09

and can you believe someone would let their house go because they couldn’t “afford” $200 a month more? WTF? You could make that working 20 hours a week at Burger King!

Comment by crispy&cole
Comment by Darrell_in _PHX
2007-09-10 15:30:29

lots o’ luck collecting.

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Comment by oknish
2007-09-10 15:31:06

Is he crisp enough to stick a fork in now?

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Comment by ylekiot1
2007-09-10 16:04:22

Crisp AS coal

Comment by Gwynster
2007-09-10 15:46:13

Is Crisp still hiding in that bank in the UK?

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Comment by crispy&cole
2007-09-10 15:48:40


Comment by IUnknown
2007-09-10 15:30:47

I was thinking the same thing… she lost her home over $200 a month! Something is seriously wrong there.

Comment by Sammy Schadenfreude
2007-09-10 15:48:15

You people are just unreasonable. How do you expect this poor woman to live without her Lexus SUV, Ann Taylor shopping binges, weekly manicures and spa dates, expensive vacations, eating out 4-5 times a week, the obligatory tummy tuck and boob job - have you no heart?!!! She was ENTITLED to all those things! Where was that $200 supposed to come from - THIFTINESS? Does the word “quality of life” mean anything at all to you people?! Have you no heart?!!!!

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Comment by Backstage
2007-09-10 16:40:24

You know, Sammy, I’ll bet that she does not even have/do those things. But even getting rid of the cell phone & cable TV, plus some thrifty shopping could cover well over 2/3 of the shortfall.

Here’s my thinking: If she’s living so close the edge, she should not buy. Bad stuff happens. People get sick, cars break, jobs get lost, taxes increase. If you don’t have the ability to absorb those things, you should not (or will not) be the owner of the house.

It’s a lot of money and a long term commitment! Why not take some time and figure out if it’s the right thing to do!

We bought a ‘fridge a few years back. My wife and I spent more time figuring out what and where to buy than these Bozos do when buying a house.

Comment by SFer
2007-09-10 16:43:55

Living close to the edge in California usually means barely living in luxury. I know a lot of folks who say money is tight, but they have a $200/month wine and/or restaurant habit. Want to save $200/month? Cancel cable/internet and cell phone. Done.

Comment by Zack
2007-09-10 17:37:08

Skip the $4/day Starbucks low-fat latte and she’s 60% there.

Comment by jim A
2007-09-11 04:43:16

BackStage. YEP. I’m not a big believer that a buyer should have a month (or two is you listen to some) worth of living expenses in the bank. After all, any money that you didn’t use for your downpayment is money that you’re effectively borrowing from the mortgage company. But part of your “can I afford it?” calculation should be saving ~$150 a month or more for a rainy day fund. Within two years or so you really need to have enough to replace any major appliance that goes bad.

Comment by jrutt17
2007-09-11 07:00:24

1 Month? You should really have at least 6 months to a year’s worth of expenses put away.

That’s exactly why this carousel will continue to spin. None of these buyers put anything away!!

Comment by aladinsane
2007-09-10 15:52:03

One word:


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Comment by bayparkwatcher
2007-09-10 17:14:34

Agreed. Ain’t no Ann Taylor in Lodi. “Oh, Lord, stuck in Lodi again.”

Comment by Darrell_in _PHX
2007-09-10 15:32:15

But, why pay $200 a month more when you are already paying $500 a month more than rent, and you have no hope of ever breaking even by selling.

More good money after bad? Or just walk away?

Comment by GPBlank
2007-09-10 16:32:15

Right, and there will be many more to follow in her footsteps.

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Comment by Neil
2007-09-10 16:38:48


I too am amazed that someone would walk for $200/month. That is 40% of the mad money I do not have to account to the wife how I spend it. If your not keeping some extra cash for sanity… uh oh…

My wife asked me “how do the people losing their homes feel?” Apparently, judging by her reaction, “stupid” was not the correct response.

Got popcorn?

Comment by are they crazy
2007-09-10 16:49:42

That’s an article/book/movie I’d like to see - interviews with all these FBs. How they felt with their windfalls, what they spent, and how they feel now. Pretty sure it would be a dramady.

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Comment by michael
2007-09-10 17:38:30
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Comment by Neil
2007-09-10 18:58:10

Ok, someone needs to explain to me how you can embed that gif into my signature! ;)


Comment by Big Bob Slob
2007-09-11 01:32:04

I think you would need to have the blog programmers insert the symbol when a certain combination of characters are entered. Could be done but it would require the blog programmers to do it. ;)

Comment by anon
2007-09-11 21:51:14


Comment by dolby_down
2007-09-10 16:52:48

I wonder if those mortgage models that the banks and hedge funds used to appropriately price risk for no-down stated income jumbo loans took into account that people will walk over $200/month…

I’m guessing… no.

Hard to find somebody to feel sorry for in this whole mess. Except, of course, for the people who just shook their head and avoided the whole scam, but will likely be asked to pick up the check for the whole mess… hey, where’s the article about my sad story?

Comment by Chrisusc
2007-09-10 18:29:10

“You could make that working 20 hours a week at Burger King! ”

And therein lies the difference between the current American and the past American. Up until about 20 years ago, people would have done whatever it took to feed their families and handle their business. Now people just look for an easy way out and whine. This FB would never be caught dead working in BK, what would her friends think? LOL

Comment by mrincomestream
2007-09-10 20:37:20

When I first started posting on this blog, and used to write thesis’s here, I debated a guy about that. In my mind there is no excuse to lose your home for $200.00 a month or a $1000.00 a month for that matter. There are way too many fast food joints, janitorial services et al for that. Before I lost my house for that amount of money every illegal in this state would be starving and running for the border to get back home, because there would be absolutely no jobs to be had. If someone didn’t want to hire me because they wanted illegals I would be on the phone to I.C.E. every single minute, of every single hour, of every single day reporting establishments that harbored illegals. There would be no cable, no internet, no cell phone, no nothing… no fluff period. Americans need to pull their heads out, take their country back, and get back to work. They are making the mistake of thinking that they will be able to get back in the saddle again after a few months and get another house based on the mortgage industries willingness to pass out loans to everybody, those days are over. Combine that with 1099’s from the I.R.S. and the new bankruptcy laws. I would have to be further underwater than $200.00-$1,000.00 to take on that kind of back riding monkey.

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Comment by jim A
2007-09-11 04:47:56

That’s because it’s not really about $200/month. If they really wanted to they’d find a way. It’s about the fact that they’re 20-50K underwater.

Comment by rentor
2007-09-10 18:42:20

Starting is 8$/hr. 200/8 is 25 hrs assuming no taxes.

Comment by Chip
2007-09-10 20:28:58

Yes, but you probably get free burgers, so your food bill goes way down. Want cheese on that, chubby?

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Comment by Gwynster
2007-09-10 22:00:31

You are standing and moving the whole time you are working so they are buring calories. If you are starving and proteins are too expensive for your budget, working food service makes sense.

Comment by hd74man
2007-09-10 17:22:51

The MSM has finally woken up.

ABC is runnin’ a weeklong series called “the Mortgage Mess”

Comment by Gwynster
2007-09-10 18:56:51

what times and/or shows?

Comment by mrincomestream
2007-09-10 19:26:59

I caught a glimpse of that and got disgusted and turned, had some lady blaming her broker because she thought she had 1.35% for 5 years. Not buying it. Between her and that Conn. AG I wanted to puke.

Comment by hllnwlz
2007-09-10 19:34:22

Total BS. Just watched it and Gibson said, and I quote, “Lenders put people into houses they can’t afford.”

Um, excuse me, Mr. Gibson, I’m sure you have an assistant dedicated to your personal real estate transactions, but generally, this is how it works: FIRST, the buyer finds a house. THEN, he asks someone to finance it. I mean, just in case you were wondering.

Then, they had the typical sob story: 53 year old minority (black woman) saying, “They LIED about my income.” Really? REALLY? Are you admitting to committing fraud on national television? YOU signed the papers, IDIOT.

Then the wife who had a disabled husband in my home state, Cali. “She swore it was fixed!” Well, it was, you dolt, 1% for a month, then 7.8% for five years.

Man, not that I love lawyers, but really, it should be mandatory that you have a lawyer look over your paperwork and explain it to you and then you sign a release that states that you understand the terms of your mortgage before you’re allowed to sign the docs.

Then again, this probably wouldn’t help these suicidal maniacs. They’d probably find a way to fake those docs too.

I am a Mexican female. My dad is in construction. My mom stayed at home. Not to mention the fact that this woman has 25 years on me. You’d think she’d have half a brain, from experience alone.

THIS is why I read this blog religiously. Y’all appear to be the only carbon-based life forms on the planet with brains.

:::Sniff::: I love you guys.

Comment by mrincomestream
2007-09-10 20:22:34

The lady with the disabled husband was a real piece of work. I had the distinct impression she was a liar.

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Comment by alta
2007-09-10 21:59:56

ABC just keeps quality to IQ of their audience. I guess, they make most money with commercials for subprime loans.

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Comment by AZ-IT
2007-09-11 00:49:12

Here’s what I told them in their “response” section on line - we all really ought to start holding them to the fire when\where given the chance…
I didn’t ATM my house. We actually read the documents when we signed. We had them go over our life with a microscope… we lived on what we made - and now I’m supposed to not only feel sorry for these people but you’re going to suggest they kill what tiny interest rate is left for the almost undetectable fraction of us who still save? And spend a bunch more bailing them all out?

Why don’t you all in the media ever tell the whole story. Yes, prosecute the cheats and the liars – you can start with the one’s who fudged numbers on their loan documents so they could get that *0*!! down, 100% financed - and, most likely, a cash back kicker on top of it. 90% of these people threw a party, and continued on in such manner for the last four years. If you don’t believe that all you have to do is look at the climbing mountain of debt (and not just mortgage debt either) as “consumers” spent our way into you know were. I didn’t have a party – we worked our tails off - and actually paid things off. I am sorry, your going to have a heck of a time making many of us feel sorry for these people.

Have we gone so far astray that we don’t accept any responsibility at all for our actions? Is this the “American Spirit” we’ve been selling the world?

Stop trying to make everyone feel sorry – this mess is going to tank half the country, and there are very few “innocent” participants…

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Comment by Jas Jain
2007-09-10 15:29:30

“Dropping prices are driving the improvement, said Leslie Appleton-Young, the association’s chief economist. ‘Prices are going down,’ she said. ‘Fresno is one of the highest in the state in terms of being a place first-time home buyers can get in.’”

44% affordability is something to brag about? Wait until it gets above 100, my dear woman. I wonder if you would be dancing silly in the streets to attarct buyers when that happens.

Fresno is overbuilt like hell.


Comment by Professor Bear
2007-09-10 15:50:53

Fresno is overbuilt like hell.

Comment by ex-nnvmtgbrkr
2007-09-10 16:18:13

Amen. I’d rather run my balls across a cheese grader than spend a hour in that hell-hole.

Comment by Gwynster
2007-09-10 16:38:47

bahahaha ! thanks for the visual.

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Comment by NYCityBoy
2007-09-10 17:18:30

Remind me never to eat any cheese at ex-nnvmtgbrkr’s house.

Comment by ex-nnvmtgbrkr
2007-09-10 17:54:25

Or sausage from my meat-grinder.

Comment by M.B.A.
2007-09-10 19:38:25

haha :lol:

Comment by Professor Bear
2007-09-10 16:50:00

How would an hour in Fresno compare to a back-slid Joshua tree?

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Comment by Neil
2007-09-10 17:01:13


Comment by ex-nnvmtgbrkr
2007-09-10 17:39:27

Now there’s a topic!

Comment by Central Valley Guy
2007-09-10 18:02:51

Speaking from vast years of experience, Neil and Professor Bear are right. I think it’s been over 100 degrees since May.

Comment by Neil
2007-09-10 19:01:36

Hey, we have a Sunday weekend topic. ;)

Comment by Wine Country Dude
2007-09-10 17:48:40

I see a small, balding man in a white lab coat, with a checkboard in hand, studiously making notes as he walks through the Kraft factory.
I wonder how a cheese grader would feel having ex-nnvmtgbrkr’s balls run over him.

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Comment by cargo
2007-09-10 19:37:46

Fayetteville, Arkansas is overbuilt, extremely overvalued and just like many parts of this country, poised for market correction!

Comment by Backstage
2007-09-10 16:49:12

That’s 44% AFTER the CAR changed the formula for determining affordability, having them based on ARMs, not fixed, mortgages.

Comment by chilidoggg
2007-09-10 22:02:27

what are they going to report when the new index exceeds 100%?

Comment by Big V
2007-09-10 15:31:06

There will be an SF Bay area HBB party at Arguello Park in Belmont, California on September 15th at noon.

We’ll make it a potluck. I’ll bring potato salad. Please post here what you will bring and I will keep track and post the menu so everyone knows what/how much to bring. I’ll bring my frisbee.

Afterwards, we will migrate to a drinking establishment for those who are drunkards (like me). Open to suggestions on where to drink.

-Big V

Comment by Arizona Slim
2007-09-10 15:47:39

I say that we have more HBB parties in more places. Any fellow Tucsonans up for having one here? We’ll meet under the “It’s Different Here” sign.

Comment by Chrisusc
2007-09-10 18:31:16

How far is it from Scottsdale?

Comment by mrincomestream
2007-09-10 19:06:46

2 hours

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Comment by AZ-IT
2007-09-11 01:16:57

Yep, might be worth a trip. Haven’t been down south in a few years.

Comment by salinasron
2007-09-10 16:58:38

“There will be an SF Bay area HBB party at Arguello Park in Belmont, California on September 15th at noon.”

Sounds like fun but it’s my wife’s weekend to take care of her dad down in Bakersfield.

Comment by RoundSparrow
2007-09-10 15:31:28

The Friday PBS NewsHOur special on Hemet, California is now up for live view:

There is a “Streaming Video” link that supports Real or Windows video. The streaming link is right of the red “Help-U-Sell” picture if you don’t see it.

Comment by Jas Jain
2007-09-10 16:33:35

“JEFFREY KAYE: Many Hemet businesspeople are optimistic, saying the current downturn is one of many periodic cycles that will soon run its course.”

Soon run its course?


Comment by aladinsane
2007-09-10 18:24:00

Old bumper sticker: “Pray for me, I drive in Hemet”

New bumper sticker: “Pray for me, I bought in Hemet”

Comment by jtie
2007-09-11 03:18:07

Thank you for that link.

Comment by Sobay
2007-09-10 15:34:06

“‘It’s just hell. Will I be able to sleep at night knowing I just walked away from $400,000 to $500,000 … and all my time?’ she said.

- Honey, that money was an ‘illusion’ created by your short sightedness. The media seduced you into believing the dream.

Comment by Gwynster
2007-09-10 15:52:01

Someone correct me if I’m off but doesn’t non-recourse in CA only apply to a primary residence? What I’m not sure of is she can walk away from any of it piecemeal and still retain the primary. If she refied in any way on the primary, the lender can go after everything.

Comment by Annata
2007-09-10 16:28:41

Actually, if I read the story correctly, that was real money. She sold her place in SF and had $500k in the bank.

If she had not been greedy, she could have easily paid for her daughter’s college education and used the rest of it to improve her quality of life (for example, buy a cheap house, don’t worry about money and find a career she really loved). But somehow half a million dollars of free money was not enough for her …

Comment by Gwynster
2007-09-10 17:09:35

Even back then, she couldn’t have bought 5 homes plus her primary on 500k. Financing was definately involved.

Comment by Zack
2007-09-10 17:47:09

if she absolutley had to have an investment property she could have put enough down to ensure she was cash flow positive and still had enough in the bank to weather rough times and pay for her daughter’s college. You just know she was very highly leveraged in any number of properties and will now lose everything. she would probably never in a million years consider buying stock on margin cause it’s just too risky…and yet she was willing to spend all her money as small down payments on god knows how many properties and borrow the rest of it. yikes. in roseville of all places. a suburb of sac for those not from the area.

Comment by Jen Bones
2007-09-10 15:35:37

Low-hanging fruit:

“Another said, well, just try to hang in there. ‘I was like, OK, I guess I could make the payments if I don’t buy gas and eat.’”

And he’s like, “Don’t go all Nicole Ritchie on us.” And I’m all, “No way, she’s gross.” And then he’s all, “But Lindsay Lohan’s hot.” And I’m like, “Perv; what are you, like, 40? So can I keep my house, or what?”

Comment by Premature Curmudgeon
2007-09-10 16:30:46

Um, like, gag me with a tomato peeler!

Comment by Pen
2007-09-10 16:43:00

Then: If they attack the car, save the radio!

Now: If they attack the Hummer, save the 22s!

Anyone remember the movie?


Comment by Rally Mitigation Team Member Bob
2007-09-10 19:02:02

Yes, but I will never admit in public to having watched Valley Girl. Oops… ;-)

Comment by sm_landlord
2007-09-10 20:08:58

OK, you asked for it:


Valley Girl
She’s a Valley Girl
Valley Girl
She’s a Valley Girl
Okay, fine
Fer sure, fer sure
She’s a Valley Girl
In a depot store
Okay, fine…
Fer sure, fer sure
She’s a Valley Girl
In a ‘provement store

Like, OH MY GOD! (Valley Girl)
Like - TOTALLY (Valley Girl)
This Granite is like SO BITCHEN (Valley Girl)
This is like the Galleria (Valley Girl)
And like all these like really great tile stores
I love going into like building stores and stuff
I like buy the neatest upgrades and stuff
It s like so BITCHEN cuz like everybody’s like
Super-super nice
It’s like so BITCHEN

On Ventura, there she goes
She just bought some cool windows
Tosses her head ‘n flips her hair
She got a whole bunch of nothin in there

Anyway, he goes are you into S and M?
I go, oh RIGHT .
Could you like just picture me in like a
Yeah right, HURT ME, HURT ME…
I’m sure! NO WAY!
He was like freaking me out…
He called me a BEASTIE…
That’s cuz like he was totally BLITZED
He goes like BAG YOUR FACE!
I’m sure!

Valley Girl
She’s a Valley Girl
Valley Girl
She’s a Valley Girl
Okay, fine…
Fer sure, fer sure
She’s a Valley Girl
So sweet ‘n pure
Okay, fine
Fer sure, fer sure
She’s a Valley Girl
So sweet ‘n pure
It’s really sad (Valley Girl)
Like my Real Estate teacher
He’s like (Valley Girl)
He’s like Mr. BU-FU (Valley Girl)
We’re talking Lord God King BU-FU (Valley Girl)
He’s like so GROSS

He like sits there and like plays with his murse
And he like flirts with all the guys in the class
It’s like totally disgusting
I’m like so sure It’s like BARF ME OUT…
Gag me with a spoon!

Last idea to cross her mind
Had something to do with where to find
A mortgage loan to fit her house
And where to get her hair de-loused

So like I go into this like mortgage place, y’know
And I wanted like to get my re-fi done
And the lady like goes, oh my God, your mortgage
Is like so GRODY
It was like really embarrassing
I’m like sure…
She goes, uh, I don’t know if I can handle this,
I was like really embarrassed.. .

Valley Girl
She’s a Valley Girl
Valley Girl
She’s a Valley Girl
Okay, fine
Fer sure, fer sure
She’s a Valley Girl
And there is no cure
Okay, fine
Fer sure, fer sure
She’s a Valley Girl
And there is no cure

Like my mother is like a total space cadet (Valley Girl)
She like makes me mow the lawn and (Valley Girl)
CLEAN the cat box (Valley Girl)
I am sure
That’s like GROSS (Valley Girl)
BARF OUT! (Valley Girl)
OH MY GOD (Valley Girl

Uh-huh (Valley Girl)
My name?
My name is Ondrya Wolfson (Valley Girl)
Uh -huh
That’s right, Ondrya (Valley Girl)
Uh -huh…
I know (Valley Girl)
It’s like…
I do not talk funny…
I’m sure (Valley Girl)
Whatsa matter with the way I talk? (Valley Girl)
I am a VAL, I know
But I own in like in a really good part of Encino so
it’s okay (Valley Girl)
So like, I don’t know
I’m like freaking out totally
Oh my God!

Hi - I have to go to the appraiser
I’m getting my loan re-fied, y’know
But I have to take out a second
That’s going to be really like a total bummer
I’m freaking out
Like those things that like stick in your toilet
They’re so gross…
You like get cruft all over them
But like, I don’t know, it’s going to be cool, y’know
So you can see my tile
It’ll be like really cool
Except my like my rooms are like too small
It’s like TUBULAR, y’know
Well, my house is not like really ugly or anything
It’s just like
I don’t know
You know me, I’m like into like the clean stuff
Like Flipping and like, I don’t know
Like my mother like makes me mow the lawn
It’s like so GROSS. . .
Like all the stuff like sticks to the shears
And its like, it’s like somebody elses food, y’know
It’s like GRODY…
I’m sure
It’s like really nauseating

Comment by OC_Stomp
2007-09-10 20:30:02


Comment by IUnknown
2007-09-10 15:36:03

“Wendy Shapiro, a resident in Roseville, Calif., said she purchased multiple investment properties after selling her home in San Francisco and moving out to the Sacramento area.”

“But her real estate investments have become a money pit. ‘Unfortunately, I put all my eggs in one basket. Now my daughter is going to college and I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep her there,’ Shapiro said.”

I… I just don’t know what to say.

For anyone not from CA… this is a snapshot view into the greedy, self-centered, me-first mindset that prevails over this state. How many parents do you know go and risk their child’s college education over a chance for a quick buck?

Comment by Groundhogday
2007-09-10 15:48:15

Actually, my guess is that this woman never saved a dime for her daughter’s college education but thought she could make a quick buck flipping real estate and use that money to pay tuition, etc…

Comment by mrincomestream
2007-09-10 16:08:43

Give this person a cigar…

Comment by ex-nnvmtgbrkr
2007-09-10 16:21:25

A cash-out refi got the daughter in, the flip was going to finish the deal.

Comment by mrincomestream
2007-09-10 16:24:11


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Comment by Arizona Slim
2007-09-10 16:52:28

In addition to saving up money on my behalf, I seem to recall both of my parents working when I was in college. This was back in the Pleistocene Era of the 1970s.

My working-outside-the-home mom caused quite a scandal in the neighborhood. The neighbor ladies thought that working outside the home was lower class. And my mom had the nerve to be a teacher. In a public school.

Well, my mom just ignored the neighbors and kept on working. My dad, an engineer, was thrilled to see my mom go to work. Didn’t ever occur to him to oppose the idea.

Thanks to my industrious parents, I graduated debt-free.

Comment by edgewaterjohn
2007-09-10 19:12:41

That’s a great story Slim. My mom started working as an accountant in the late 1940s and between 3 kids pieced together a 35 year full time career.

She now recounts how during the 1950s and 1960s it was a big scandal for her too amongst the neighbors. The neighborhood wives would snicker at her from their porches when she came home at dinner time.

This thread’s probably dead, but I’m gonna tip a cold one tonight for all the hardworking ladies out there - the one’s that do for themselves - and never bought into Madison Ave.’s great sham.

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Comment by M.B.A.
2007-09-10 20:04:38


Comment by Tulipsalloveragain
2007-09-10 17:56:17

I agree, I think most people played the game because they needed a huge profit just to survive.

Comment by michael
2007-09-10 15:52:39

I spoke to our kids’ music teacher several years ago and she had several stories about the tech bubble collapse. One of her student’s dad had gambled on the tech bubble with her college money and lost it. I can imagine how his wife and daughter felt about it.

Comment by Groundhogday
2007-09-10 16:01:46

My father-in-law gambled away his house by day trading during the tech bubble. Refinanced and pulled everything out, then started trading. A year later it was all gone. Of course he got in at the top of the market and learned everything he knew about the market from cable television…

Basically, he had a nice comforable retirement: owned his Bay Area house outright, leased out his business with a good monthly income. But he had a lot of pride, wanted to be a “big shot”, and screwed up.

Comment by ex-nnvmtgbrkr
2007-09-10 16:22:45


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Comment by Groundhogday
2007-09-10 16:55:25

Actually, not really greed. He absolutely LOVES to give money away. And I’m not just talking about token public donations for attention. Church, relatives, taking people out to dinner. Some people just want the money, others want the money for the relationships they think it can buy. Of the 7 deadly sins, I’d say it was Pride more than Greed.

Comment by ex-nnvmtgbrkr
2007-09-10 17:45:04

Ah, the pharisaical philanthropist. Even worse…..

Comment by Gwynster
2007-09-10 17:50:09

emotional blackmail- nasty

Comment by Backstage
2007-09-10 17:49:34

I’ve got nothing against people who roll the dice and win, or roll & lose. Big risks = big rewards or big failure.

But if you bet with money that affects the way you live, affects your family, or kills your future, don’t whine about it. Just take your lumps (and the second job to pay for college).

“When you’re slapped [by the markets], you’ll take it and like it.”

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Comment by Big V
2007-09-10 15:55:06

Personally, I’ve known a few. I even met this one lady who made a perfectly good income (and so did her husband), but she bragged that she was not saving for her children’s education because she was too selfish. She just said it point blank “I’m too selfish”.

My friends and I felt sorry for her kids.

Comment by Darrell_in _PHX
2007-09-10 15:57:14

My parents did not pay for my education, nor did my wife’s parents pay for hers!

What it this crud of parents paying for kid’s education?

Comment by az_owner
2007-09-10 17:06:45

Exactly Darrell.

When you pay for your education yourself, you’re a lot less likely to screw around. Knowing that mommy and daddy will pay for everything makes switching majors and being a 6th year senior while trying to “find yourself” in various underwater basket weaving classes a much easier proposition.

I paid for (and borrowed for) my education, and it was the best investment I ever made.

These stupid speculator’s kids will be better off getting as far away financially from their parents as they can.

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Comment by jim A
2007-09-11 05:02:31

Just to point out that it is more difficult today than, say 25 years ago. Tuition has risen much faster than CPI or wages. A smaller portion of most State Universitys funding is provided by state taxes and a larger percentage is paid by tuition that used to be the case.

Comment by Tulipsalloveragain
2007-09-10 17:59:04

Did you buy diapers and food for your child? An education is a basic requirement at this point. If you cannot afford to pay for your child’s education, do not have any.

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Comment by Graspeer
2007-09-10 18:30:43

When they are 18 they are no longer children.

Comment by crisrose
2007-09-10 19:37:01

Yes - as soon as they turn 18 - turn them out! They want an education - let them pay for it themselves! That’s what student loans and starvation are for. And if they have to attend a third-rate rip off substandard state school, so be it. Though upon graduation, their stunning lack of education will only qualify them for a position as a salesperson, receptionist, customer service rep - at least they’ll have that degree.

After all, parents have more important things to spend their money on - dinners, expensive cars, trips…

Comment by Silverback1011
2007-09-10 20:30:02

My family ALL attended “third-rate rip off substandard state school ” (s), and there’s not a receptionist, salesperson, or customer service rep amongst ‘em (striking forehead in dramatic gesture of relief ). Try physician, teacher, teacher, chemist, full professor at McGill University, teacher, teacher, professional pilot, engineer, engineer, technical writer, nationally-known quilting author and designer, 2 veterinarians, architect. Buncha dummies, we state school graduates be. Yup. Crisrose, you’re really fooling yourself if you think that all state schools are third-rate & ripoffs. Frankly, I think that most private schools are a crock, and with a few notable exceptions, have brainwashed sheep such as yourself into believing that graduating from their gold-plated doors is an automatic guarantee to the good life. But, your syntax and spelling leave something to be desired, and your brainwashing shows that you’re probably a product of their hallowed and expensive halls. The aroma that wafts from most of those campuses is not that of rose petals and success; you need hipwaders just to walk campus sidewalks under ye Olde Oake Trees. Good luck to ya….I’ll take my nice, relatively cheap state schools any day….as long as we encourage and provide our children with a good-quality education, it shouldn’t matter whether they go public or private, you ignorant snob.

Comment by Backstage
2007-09-10 20:42:48

Yep, I gotta agree with Silverback. You get out of what you put into it. Sure, those at Southwest Missouri State do not have the access to the same caliber or professor or networking in the upper crust as Harvard or Yale, but one can get a good education and not spend a fortune. That’s why they were created.

If the choice is Slippery Rock State or no degree, work your a$$ of at Slippery Rock.


Land Grant University Graduate

Comment by jerry from richardson
2007-09-10 22:11:05

If you want to talk about rip-off schools, then try the private colleges that charge $100K/yr tuition so your children can get a degree in liberal arts, Women’s Studies or English. I’d rather work my way through State U with the wretched masses

Comment by AZ-IT
2007-09-11 01:31:23

Make that a few of us. I graduated from a state school, as did my wife. Attorney for her networking guru for me. Either of us could have gone to any school we wished. We went exactly there. I hated Harvard & Yale – in fact couldn’t wait to get the heck away from all those snobs on the East when we got transplanted there as a kid. 99% of the kids in my public high school went for Ivy League – they had never even heard of the school I went to. Loved every minute I was there. Funny how I’m the one that gets searched out when people want advice (philosophy major – and I make a damn nice living), even though I don’t have what you would apparently consider the right education for such.

Keep buying into the hype – education in America has assuredly become part of it – especially the idea that you need spend a quarter mil to think you know something…

Comment by CA renter
2007-09-11 03:53:25

My mother, father and I all attended state colleges & universities. We all put ourselves through school.

Took me almost 8 years to graduate because I had to take semesters off here & there to work more hours & pay off debt.

Best experience I’ve ever had. Not one of us regrets having to do it the “difficult” way.

We will pay for books and tuition for our kids will go to junior colleges & transfer to state universities. They will live and eat at home for free. That’s only if they deserve it.

No wonder we have all these entitled whiners out there…

Comment by Dani W
2007-09-11 10:07:16

I worked my way through undergrad and I came to really love my school, Cal Poly, Pomona, and discovered it was really underrated and a great experience. However, if I ever have kids, I will make certain I can afford to put my child through college.

I don’t know anyone else in my personal experience that was able to put themselves through college and graduate on time , much less live up to their potential. I was able to graduate and go on to vet school and now I am a veterinarian, but I saw too many talented people drop out of school or compromise their education to think this is a good thing for society to demand of its future workers. I also wonder what I could have accomplished if I didn’t have to work and go to school at the same time.

Comment by OCMetro
2007-09-10 16:17:18

Agreed, I would make the kids take out student loans and I would only help them afterward if they successfully complete school and we have the financial means to comfortably help them. I knew of far too many kids who squandered their parents money and didn’t value it because they didn’t have any stake in it.

I once heard someone say regarding college that if their kids weren’t smart enough to get a scholarship to cover it, resourceful enough to get a job and pay for it, or dedicated enough to take loans to pay for school, why would they want to pay for it. I’ve never forgot that statement.

Comment by michael
2007-09-10 16:37:09

When I went to college, it was $3,200 for a private school. A part-time job, small loan and a grant got me easily through the first year. Today, that same school is $43,000 a year. I’ve set aside $250K for his education and another $250K for his sister’s. He knows how much effort it has taken to make the money and he’s working way harder than I did when I was in school.

I offered him the job of managing a million but he turned me down as he’s afraid of losing it. Healthy fear is a good start.

If you have kids, it’s your job to pay for them.

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Comment by Ben
2007-09-10 17:16:05

it must be nice having rich parents, I paid my own way since I graduated hight school

I have seen so many kids at college just blowing there parents money, party

Comment by Ben
2007-09-10 17:17:43

wow my bad two grammar errors in one post

Comment by michael
2007-09-10 18:04:10

I paid for one year and a few companies paid for the rest of my undergraduate and graduate degrees. The good old days when corporations paid higher education benefits. I grew up in a single-parent minority household with a bunch of other kids and I was pretty skinny as there wasn’t always food on the table.

If you looked at how we live today, you’d think that we were lower-middle class. 8-year-old car, 1200 sq ft home and t-shirts and jeans at work. The money came in the last 10 years thanks to the stock market. I’m sure that there are a ton of rags to riches stories here as the people that frequent this site are the type that have better habits. In some cases, it takes timing, luck and hard work to cash in on those better habits.

I spoke to a guy at work (wife is on the school board) and he’s told me about these kids. They blow $20 to $45 thousand on partying and the parents read them the riot act. Our son talks about these kids from time to time as he runs into them. He had a class two years ago where he was getting a hard time from a few of the kids for not drinking, not partying. He just started college full-time and is taking a few junior-level courses and ran into one of these guys in two of his classes. He remarked to me that this guy is a lot more mature than he was two years ago. My guess is that either ROTC or his parents read him the riot act.

So kids can and do party but they can clean up their act too.

Getting back to being nearly on topic - one thing that I’ve noticed this year is that the public college our son is attending is packed in terms of the dorms and general ed courses. It wasn’t like this the last two years so it appears to me that more kids are going to public colleges and universities as the housing bubble takes some air out of college funds. My anecdotal evidence is in MA where there are hard times in some cities due to the popping of the bubble.

Comment by OCMetro
2007-09-10 19:06:31

Michael, it would be FAR better to invest the money the whole time they were in school and pay off the student loan at the completion of their education. Student loan money is some of the cheapest money you will ever get and half the time there are interest subsidies. By the time they are finished, you could pay off half the loan with the interest that you earned while they were in school. Alternatively, student loan debt does count against you in many circumstances when tallying other loan products. You would be better served to have them take loans, and give them the money for something like a home or a retirement account rather than blowing the whole wad on school, especially since it is unlikely that you will be able to get such cheap money so easily again.

That is what my wife and I are planning for our kids. They will take loans and after completion, we will either help them pay it off, put it in retirement accounts for them, or use it to help them finance a home purchase. This is a much better use of the money in our opinion. However, to each their own.

Comment by michael
2007-09-10 19:58:08

When I went to school, loans were 2 percent. They’re a lot higher right now. I just read that rates are from 6.5% to 8% for student loans as of July 1. We applied to college way late and had to go the transfer route and there was little scholarship available at the time. I had to deal with legal and medical problems and a heavy work schedule and
didn’t get to the school app stuff until mid-spring.

My guess is that noone in the building where I work is elegible for any kind of federal aid outside of loans at market rates. I’ve talked to many parents that laughed at me when I asked them about aid.

We have been debt free for almost ten years now and I like the feeling. I don’t see how the interest thing works out with short-term money paying around 5% and student loans at 6.5%+. Interest
accrues while you are in school. There is a type
of loan where it doesn’t but we don’t come anywhere near the FAFSA requirements on income.

As an aside, when doing certain kinds of aid applications, it can be beneficial to load up on a big house and mortgage to be elegible for more aid. Perhaps this contributed to the housing bubble. Some of the schools, though, do include your house in their calculations.

Another approach that we used that incidentally
saved money was taking college courses part-time
at community colleges and universities while in the
high-school years. Community college credits are
some of the best values around, assuming that you
can verify course quality.

Comment by AZ-IT
2007-09-11 01:38:07


It doesn’t always work that way - my daughter is not eligible and as I am working on my masters (to teach – some one needs to have a clue…) we are paying out of pocket. But for her there a definitely rules and expectations…

My father helped with my undergrad – I paid the last year by myself and about half of the two before that. He had expectations and rules to – first and for most was “screw it up and you pay me back every dime I put in”. I knew my dad, and I knew that was no idle threat. I slaved for my parents every summer to help say thanks for the gift. That is a lot of what is missing today – gratitude for what one has.

Comment by jmunnie
2007-09-11 08:21:50

I have to chime in here, too, even though this blog post is probably dead.

I, too, got scholarships, loans, and worked fulltime while going to school (a fancy private school at that). I saw a number of my fellow students partying their parents’ money away. What I learned by doing it myself has helped me throughout life — and has taught me to sensible (pay off debt as soon as possible, live w/in my means, have 6 mos. of savings, etc.) and helped me ignore the hype of the “buy now or be priced out forever.” Everyone I know who had their parents foot their school bill still lives it up — on their trust funds, credit cards, or hapless spouses.

BTW I’m also paying my way (yes, with scholarship money as well) through grad school — a nonfancy (and well-regarded) state school.

Comment by Bill in Carolina
2007-09-10 16:38:14

Wow! Looks like it’s not just the lady Big V talked about who’s selfish.

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Comment by are they crazy
2007-09-10 16:44:41

I went the other route - my kid was very smart, but very shy and prone to get overstimulated even by a mall when she was young. I decided to invest in her education by putting her in private school with the hope that she would get a scholarship for college. I chose to live simpler life, not get involved in 18 million orgs, extra education and social events so I could provide a calm secure home for her. She worked her butt off in highschool and received $30K for scholarship for the year. Got everyone in family to help with the rest and off she went. She got herself a job on campus to provide what we used to call pin money. I provide the transportation and bookstore charges. It’s my goal to haver her graduate college (seeing as the whole world told her college is just the next step after high school and you’ll have no life without it) without starting her adult life in debt with loans. Her job is to work hard and learn - my job is to help her start her adult life without being in debt. But how sad is it how expensive college is now. And NO - she’s not at an Ivy - she’s at a very unique liberal arts school that educates using the great books throughout history.

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Comment by speedingpullet
2007-09-10 17:44:47

My college education was free.

In fact, being in a Science/Engineering degree course- they gave me an even bigger grant to attend….

Gotta love the UK, for all sorts of reasons ;-)

Comment by dude
2007-09-10 18:00:13

I’ve told my daughter that thier job #1 until they graduate from college is to get good grades. I’m on the hook to pay for that until they either flunk out, get married, or graduate.

They know and understand these rules and I think it’s served them well as they’ve all be very good students so far.

Comment by Anon In DC
2007-09-10 18:02:23

Is it St John’s ? Lucky girl. I would love to go to that school. Maybe when I retire.

Comment by are they crazy
2007-09-10 18:27:18

Yes - I’m a proud Johnnie parent and so envious of her. She had her heart set on an Ivy until I said NO - I would not allow her to live the life she would have to live in order to get into one. One of her instructors was a St. John’s alum and suggested it. When we looked at their website - we knew the college is made for her. She just started Soph year. I can’t wait to get back there for parents weekend and attend seminar and waltz party along with the great food, architecture and cute navy guys.

Comment by aladinsane
2007-09-10 18:27:52

I traveled the world on my Dime and saw and did much…

My college education, of sorts

Comment by technovelist
2007-09-10 20:10:49

That sounds a lot like my alma mater, Shimer College. I’ll be the first to admit I didn’t spend as much time as I should have studying, but I did make more friends there than ever before or since. And I think that’s important too.

Comment by dutchtrader14
2007-09-10 21:32:41

Job…. 65 hours a week
Night school…. 18 semester units local community college

Paying your own way at 19, priceless.

Just remember it doesn’t matter what school you go to, but what the individuals work ethic is.

I don’t care if people want to cut there kids slack, that is great. My parents may have not given me a chunk of money to go to school, but they spent there time on me. I wouldn’t have traded that for a free ride.

Comment by Chip
2007-09-10 20:41:01

I saw an interesting TV documentary within the past couple of years about just that — people who have no sense of guilt. They put small kids in a room with toys and a rabbit in a cage — told the kids the rabbit is very hungry and there is food somewhere in the room, then left the kids alone for 20-30 minutes. Most of the kids spent the entire time trying to find the food to give to the rabbit — but a few played with the toys and couldn’t have given a s— about Bugs. This woman is one of those. It is a personality type/trait. Too bad it really sucks and harms other people in one way or another.

Comment by JQ
2007-09-10 23:39:14

Self-centered greed. I’m a native Californian, and you hit the nail right on the head. The good thing is that these people will lose everything and get the heck out of our state!

Comment by dude
2007-09-10 15:36:06

I’ve closed out my NOD stat for August in the Plamdale 93552 zip. 123 fore the month, that’s up from 103 for July and up 879% YOY.
There were only 27 sales in that zip last month, so if August falls off as expected we may be looking at 5X sales in NOD. WOW!

Comment by Jas Jain
2007-09-10 15:44:42

Holy pig!

September would be worse than August. I hear that lot of people want to move out due to crime problems in schools, etc. But they can’t because they can’t sell their homes.


Comment by dude
2007-09-10 15:56:16

Funny thing is that while I don’t have monthly numbers to prove it, all indications are that the westside of Palmdale is getting creamed harder than the eastside due to more rampant speculation.

I spoke with a friend yesterday who is obviously drinking the kool-aide. He thinks that the new med center and associated professional offices being built on the westside will keep values up in the area. I didn’t have the heart to break the news to him. There are 10-20 new foreclosures every day on the 93551 (westside zip) When we were looking for our current rental we found the choices almost dumbfounding. There is so much vacant inventory it’s hard to believe.

Without a doubt this crash will be harder than ‘91 in the AV.

Comment by pismoclam
2007-09-10 20:31:55

Early 80’s Palmdale was a third world country. 3-5 yr glut of inventory. First time I saw squatters moving in. Turn on utilities and water. Cook meth in the garage or kitchen. K&B took it up the — big time, but that was OPM (wWall Street). See it coming again.

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Comment by aNYCdj
2007-09-10 16:03:08

Interesting question:

If crime is such a problem, and people want to sell, why aren’t the parents marching, picketing ,making noise and starting Neighborhood watch programs, after school stuff, and just demanding better security in the schools and neighborhood? Being a safe area will help sell houses quicker. But then if it becomes really safe, they might just stay put.

Comment by Sammy Schadenfreude
2007-09-10 16:21:41

Because that would entail getting off their asses and DOING something.

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Comment by mrincomestream
2007-09-10 16:25:47

Sammy for president…

Comment by Sammy Schadenfreude
2007-09-10 16:26:44

I’ve wrapped up the single mom vote!

Comment by mrincomestream
2007-09-10 16:49:37

LOL…that you have, I really enjoyed that thread.

Comment by Brian in Chicago
2007-09-10 16:56:52

Neighborhood watch is worthless. It’s nice to think your neighbors are watching, but after the first few months…

When I was a teen, my friends and I decided it would be ironic to steal the neighborhood watch signs. So we did. And no one noticed. We were secretly hoping for an article in the paper so we could send it in to Leno. A month later we put the signs back up, upside down. It was nearly 3 months before the signs we fixed.

Neighborhood watch is a feelgood thing. Makes you feel safer. But nobody comes home and looks out the window. They watch TV, surf the internet, etc.

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Comment by Arizona Slim
2007-09-10 16:59:11

Don’t be my neighbor, Brian. Not only do I come home, I also look out the window. And I’m not at all hesitant to report things-that-are-amiss.

Comment by Brian in Chicago
2007-09-10 17:16:51

Don’t be my neighbor, Brian

LOL, I suspect you’d like me as a neighbor now ;)

The management office people know me quite well…

Comment by Anon In DC
2007-09-10 18:07:15

I watch too. I bet I call the police 4 -6 times a year.

Comment by Gwynster
2007-09-10 18:47:21

I stopped a burglary once just by walking outside to check on a noise. It was Xmas eve and someone thought it would be a good time to break into my neighbor’s house. Bless and treasure your noisy neighbors >; )

Comment by Arizona Slim
2007-09-10 16:57:51

NYC, you’ve described my area to a tee. People whine, whine, WHINE about the condition of the neighborhood. But do we ever see them at the neighborhood association meetings? Nope.

And how about the National Night Out Against Crime last month? We had a big wing-ding at the park. One of the two associations in this area started on forming its own Neighborhood Watch, which, IMHO, is badly needed. (My association has one that’s informal, but quite effective.)

And were the whiners at National Night Out? Uh-uh.

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Comment by CA renter
2007-09-11 04:06:11

Back in our old neighborhood, I co-ran the Neighborhood Watch group. After the first 1 or 2 meetings, it was like pulling teeth trying to get people to come out. The mayor even attended on occasion and there was almost always at least one councilmember there from the city (give them a lot of credit for that). You’d think all the whiners would want to meet with the city officials and discuss various problems and solutions?

At times, we’d only have a handful of attendees. Quite frankly, it was embarassing.

Comment by ex-nnvmtgbrkr
2007-09-10 16:24:53

holy pig?

Comment by Jas Jain
2007-09-10 16:43:28

Cows are holy, but pigs are not.


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Comment by aladinsane
2007-09-10 18:30:43

Depends if you are in Arkansas, or not…

Comment by Sammy Schadenfreude
2007-09-10 15:40:14

Well, this is just rich. All the idiots who overpaid with money they didn’t have in 2005 - further perpetuating the housing bubble and driving housing out of reach of more prudent buyers - are now reaping their just desserts. This has been a long time coming. There’s something deeply satisfying about all these “investors” agonizing over which properties to walk away from, while I sit happily and patiently in my nice, owner-subsidized rental house, each day’s headlines bringing further vindication after the years (2004-2006) I spent feeling like the proverbial voice in the wilderness.

Comment by Jas Jain
2007-09-10 15:40:54

“The HomeData figures show that the four Palmdale ZIP codes experienced a whopping 70 percent decline in home sales last month from August 2006 levels. Prices were off 6 percent to almost 15 percent. In three Compton ZIP codes, volume was off 62 percent to 75 percent, with price declines reaching almost 14 percent.”

Just the beginning. I would be surprised if these areas are not in recession.


Comment by dude
2007-09-10 15:58:40

I commented on this over the weekend. I was in Sam’s club at 11:00am on Saturday morning and it was a ghost town. 3 checkout lines open, only one customer. I think there may be some folks out there with a cash flow problem.

Comment by Neil
2007-09-10 16:50:00

Cosco on Mondays is still hell.

If Cosco on a Monday ever becomes light, I will be scared to death; the economy will be worse than yours truly thought it could get.

However, I’ve been in a few Sam’s clubs where staff outnumbered customers. Maybe it has to do with how LOUD the music was?!?


Comment by SanFranciscoBayAreaGal
2007-09-10 17:18:56

That’s why you go to Costco on a Friday evening. Wow, do I have an exciting life ;)

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Comment by Neil
2007-09-10 19:00:10


I hope you’re stocking up on alcohol and party food on Friday nights… ;)


Comment by Gwynster
2007-09-10 19:47:02

In Sacramento, you go early Sunday morning to beat the jeebus traffic.

Comment by hllnwlz
2007-09-10 19:45:12

Brand new Home Depot Saturday and Sunday in Lake Forest (hubby and I are helping the ‘rents remodel):

Body count: 12. More employees than customers.

More impressive: NO LINE for returns.

Bottom line: when HD is empty all weekend, Orange County is done, even if the soccer moms don’t know it yet.

Comment by Chip
2007-09-10 20:48:50

Which Lake Forest? (state/county)

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Comment by AKron
2007-09-10 22:19:55

“Which Lake Forest? ”

The one with neither a lake nor a forest. In OC (formerly known as El Toro, CA, which was a much cooler name).

Comment by cereal
2007-09-10 17:24:14

so compton sales are used as palmdale comps?

there’s an irony in here somewhere

Comment by dude
2007-09-10 18:06:32

It’s probably because many of the FBs that bought in Palmdale over the last couple years have been from south central. The city ran an ad campaign to attract them.

Three of the four most serious lookers at our house in ‘05 were from the hood. We sold to a fry cook from Van Nuys.

Comment by Backstage
2007-09-10 20:58:38

Which city ran the ads? Compton or Palmdale?

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Comment by dude
2007-09-10 23:17:14

Palmdale ran ads in socentral.

I had an interesting argument with a guy who works as a senior administrator in city hall. He denied that the city was running ads targeting the inner city hoods. A week later the city council voted publicly to continue funding said ads.

Comment by CA renter
2007-09-11 04:09:15

Problems in Palmdale/Lancaster began during the last RE run-up. All the inner-city folks were moving away from the crime of the inner city.

Too bad the crime of the inner city was sitting in the backseats of their cars.

Totally ruined a simple desert community.

Comment by Central Valley Guy
2007-09-10 15:41:36

The wife and I went looking on Sunday in West L.A. / Mar Vista / Palms area. We had such a great time. One house on McLaughlin that is virtually a tear-down (I wouldn’t live in it if you paid me since it smelled like a long-time smoker had DIED there), was asking $949K. It’s a 3/2 and that’s being charitable given the size of the closets, errr, bedrooms. My wife, god bless her, walked in the front door, looked at the one-sheet, and burst out laughing at the poor realtor. She of course half-heartedly apologized but then asked the realtor what the seller was smoking. The poor guy ashamedly admitted that they had been desperately working with the seller to lower the price but had not had any luck so far.

He then asked the usual question about our price range. I said “417K and not a penny more.” He hung his head and said “Yeah, that’s what everyone has been saying to me since mid-August. I don’t know how we’re ever going to sell this.”

Comment by jjinla
2007-09-10 16:12:53

CV Guy,

Have you noticed the proliferation of “For Sale or Lease” signs in the area lately?

They are basically resigned to the idea that nobody is going to pay their prices anymore. Although, most of them want so much rent that they aren’t going to be able to go that route, either. People in WLA are still smoking crack. They are still selling $2M homes, literally, 50 feet from the SM Airport runway!

Comment by Central Valley Guy
2007-09-10 18:09:38

“They are still selling $2M homes, literally, 50 feet from the SM Airport runway!”

Tell me about it! We walked into one that was listed for $850K. This was a very modest 2+2 SFR near the SM airport. We were inspecting one of the rooms when the whole freakin’ house started to shake and a large jet flew so close overhead you could see the pilot’s nose hairs. I ran out the front door and yelled “No F***ING WAY!” to the realtors and a couple who were also in there. My wife was laughing (I have a fear that a fusillage will land in my bedroom ever since seeing “Donnie Darko.”)

Comment by sm_landlord
2007-09-10 20:39:00

You would *love* Playa Del Rey!

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Comment by Sammy Schadenfreude
2007-09-10 16:13:16

I’m still hitting open houses for $600K+ properties in Colorado Spring’s prestigious Old North Side. I’ve mastered the art of going through the houses, carefully inspecting everything, then, when the realtor asks what I think (as I’m exiting), I just shrug and say, “It’s way overpriced. I’m not paying 2005 prices in a tanking market. There’s no upside potential, and a huge downside risk given the mortgage meltdown and credit crunch, so I’d be crazy to buy right now.” I figure if realtors start hearing that enough, it might give them more incentive to refuse to indulge greedy sellers and their wish prices.

Comment by Leighsong
2007-09-10 16:39:37

Hi Sam,

Assigned to Academy in 81-85. They were overbuilding then!!!

Love the Springs, hopefully industry is still going strong.


Comment by In Colorado
2007-09-10 16:41:10

600K in Colo Springs? That has to be in the upper tenth percentile (or higher) of that market.

Comment by mrincomestream
2007-09-10 16:15:20

Did the Realtor happen to tell you what the rational was for the seller not dropping his price?

Secondly at 417k you may have been catching a falling knife for that area.

Comment by Central Valley Guy
2007-09-10 20:20:10

Probably not, considering that’s well over 50% haircut. The land, and maybe the copper piping, should be worth that much. But again, this is all idle talk until people are truly desperate to sell.

Comment by mrincomestream
2007-09-10 22:27:33

> We’ll agree to disagree. The demographics in that area no longer command prime pricing. I remember when it was a 200-300k area. The demographics were a lot different then and Section 8 tenants were unheard of in the apartment complexes that populate the area. Section 8 is a common theme now. So we will see. If it doesn’t go below 417k I’ll buy you a beer. The same thing that is happening there now is the same thing that happened in the area south of Pico and La Cienega during the last downturn. The slide won’t be good for that area.

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Comment by cereal
2007-09-10 17:26:44

and mclaughlin/barrington is a major loud thoroughfare. the old section of that street that is decent is north of palms.

940k my a$$. try 400k

Comment by bottomfisher
2007-09-10 17:50:28

You should have upped your offer to 417k plus a pack of pack of Camels……then he could say ‘DEAL…cough it up partner!’

Comment by bozonian
2007-09-11 00:14:32

417k! Please. Those dumps were selling for 150k 10 years ago and are going to revert to that. Plus you better put iron bars on your doors and windows to keep the burglars out.

Comment by bozonian
2007-09-11 00:17:23

Los Angeles, especially the West Side is the most insane market you have ever seen. It’s a bunch of 20 somethings who were given access to millions and spent it on “trendy” dumps that weren’t worth over 150k 10 years ago.

I’d be surprised if there was anything left of this area except a crater within the next 10 years. When that bubble busts it’s going to take down Los Angeles and probably the entire state.

Comment by crispy&cole
2007-09-10 15:41:52

Realtor pain:

The largest Coldwell Banker franchisee in my area has closed 5 of their once 7 offices. All of the desk fees, advertising and insurance costs have really hurt a lot of the agents.

It’s actually kinda weird (the fallout) as I’m seeing the word “removed” behind agent names more frequently in MLS. This means that they are no longer in business. I’m on our MLS committee and our membership has dropped more than 30% since 1 year ago. There are quite a few brokers and agents who are past due with their MLS fees. We normally will let it slide for a month or two but we are seeing delinquencies up to 6-9 months!

Comment by Jas Jain
2007-09-10 16:19:19

Where? Are you in Florida?



Comment by crispy&cole
2007-09-10 16:35:14

No - I am in Bakersfield, the link for the post is from a realtor in the South.

Comment by crispy&cole
2007-09-10 16:36:06

Have you been asleep in class again? We have talked several times since you are in Tehachapi… UGh!!!!

Comment by jetson_boy
2007-09-10 15:42:50

I just spent the weekend in the Sacramento area. I wish I’d brought my camera because the scene there is ridiculous. Every other billboard was for some Mcmansion housing development with the same kinds of messaging:” 21 NEW neighborhoods from the low 500’s!”

It seemed like way too many people were out and about with their toy haulers, 4-wheelers, Harley Davidsons, and Huge Honkin’ trucks to pull them. Excess galore.

On Friday Harley Davidson mentioned that their profit forecasts will be down for the year due to ” difficulties in the housing market” I guess before long, many of us could potentially get great deals on used toy haulers and bikes.

Comment by Arizona Slim
2007-09-10 15:50:59

Since when is a motorcycle a form of housing?

Comment by jetson_boy
2007-09-10 16:40:49

My point was that the sea of Harleys and other toys seemed inextricably tied to the housing bubble madness around me. The Mcmansions… the huge SUVs and wanna-Be C-Class luxury cars… the Harleys.

When companies that provide useless luxury items like Harley start to slide, it’s yet one more indicator of the widespread collapse of the economy via the implosion of the housing market.

Comment by In Colorado
2007-09-10 16:45:19

And to think that it wasn’t all that long ago when Harley’s were just motorcycles, and not all that desireable at that.

Some bozos built a huge Harley dealership off of I25 between Loveland and Fort Collins. As add “touch” they also built a Hooters right next door.

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Comment by Brian in Chicago
2007-09-10 17:06:45

And to think that it wasn’t all that long ago when Harley’s were just motorcycles, and not all that desireable at that.

They were never just motorcycles, they were motorcycles for degenerates and gang members.

Comment by hd74man
2007-09-10 17:31:55

RE: They were never just motorcycles, they were motorcycles for degenerates and gang members.

LMAO…Sure didn’t have an impact on the stock issuance.

$10k in the IPO of ‘86 now worth $1.1million with splits and reinvested dividends.

Best stock I ever owned.

Comment by skrook
2007-09-10 20:19:22

It helped a lot that the Feds slapped a huge import tax on ?Japanese motorcycles in the 80’s/90’s to keep them from going belly up. I remember going to a Harley dealer in the late 80’s and they put cardboard under them so the oil dripping from them wouldn’t make a mess on the floor.

Comment by Hold out in LA
2007-09-10 17:26:43

What did you think J6P did with his $185,000 HELOC? Run out to buy box seats for the opera season?
He bought a Harley, Speed Boat, JetSki, and a giant Camper/Toy tralier to carry it all around twice a year.
Speking of season seats, the professional leagues are going to have a hell of a time selling seats next year. If you sold some 24inch DUBS to a pro baller make sure to get paid before next season.

Comment by aladinsane
2007-09-10 19:17:12

I’d like pro athletes salaries to get down to where they were in the early 1970’s…

Say $75k for a boring .239 hitting, 2nd baseman

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Comment by CA renter
2007-09-11 04:20:52


Comment by tarred and feathered
2007-09-10 23:47:07

I wonder if the Sacramento Kings will continue to sell out?

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Comment by Anon In DC
2007-09-10 18:18:08

AZ, That’s funny :)

Comment by Sammy Schadenfreude
2007-09-10 16:01:00

This guy is “getting ready to refinance” and needs to reduce his debt, and so is parting with his cherished 2005 Toyota Tacoma. I’m looking to pick up one of these, but will wait until Oct/Nov when the distress selling begins in earnest.

Comment by mrincomestream
2007-09-10 16:22:27

A few days ago I got a call from another Broker wanting to sell his BMW since he had heard I was a nut about them. It was a 5 Series and wasn’t quite cheap enough, so I passed.

Comment by pismoclam
2007-09-10 20:44:50

A month ago there was over 4000 BMWs for sale or trade in the ‘bay’ area. Ought to check again.

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Comment by mrincomestream
2007-09-10 21:54:23

I doubt I’d find a deal even though I want another one my offers tend to make pawn brokers blush.

Comment by Pen
2007-09-10 17:11:33

Hmm..maybe this is why a local Harleyship is up for sale..not a common occurence in these parts.

Comment by hd74man
2007-09-10 17:42:01

RE: Hmm..maybe this is why a local Harleyship is up for sale..not a common occurence in these parts.

Hey Penn~

Who’s up for sale?

I’m pretty sure Boston HD just changed hands.

I bought my first HD outta a converted cow barn in 1976.

These dudes who put up these dealership Taj Mahal’s have done nothing more than capitalize on the middle-age crisis of johnny-come-lately losers lookin’ for an identity.

Talk about watering down the trademark. Ugh…

Comment by Pen
2007-09-10 18:04:18

Hey HD,

Not sure which dealership it is. The ad that I saw only made the following reference, “Boston area Harley Davidson dealership”.

I’m not into bikes, but I agree with your assessment.

Any thoughts on the North Shore housing market? How far down from here in Rowley, G-town, Boxford, Ipswich, etc.?

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Comment by michael
2007-09-10 19:00:07

Who wants a Harley in New England. The riding season is so short. I couldn’t believe it when they put one in NH (there are probably a few by now).

We had two pretty bad car-motorcycle accidents in my neighborhood a few weeks ago. One was right outside a McDonalds. I think that the car came out of McDs and didn’t see the bike. The other case was a car that took a left turn right in front of a motorcycle. Motorcyclist was thrown 25 feet but survived. The driver was cited for failure to yield. And a friend of mine was hit by a soccor mom in a minivan a few years ago. It was a very slow motion crash so he wasn’t injured but he sold the bike shortly thereafter. When you have so many driver on cell phones or in huge vehicles with some not paying attention, it makes riding a motorcycle pretty risky.

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Comment by cereal
2007-09-10 17:30:19

sportster low-rider for me please. i need the larger tank and cushy seat. the orange and black color scheme is quite bitchen, thank you

Comment by Gwynster
2007-09-10 21:50:11

I had an illict affair at a bay area bike show with a 03′ speedmaster. I was heart broken; he never writes, he never calls.

Comment by Big V
2007-09-10 15:47:39

I just got some very sad news regarding some side effects of the housing bubble.

A friend of my husband’s just got temporary custody of his daughter because it appears that her mother has been abusing her. The mom works as a loan processor and has been laid off 4 times over the past year. She is in the process of applying for welfare and food stamps.

While said friend was in court waiting for his turn, he was preceded by the following case: An ex-wife was in there suing for full custody because her ex-husband was convicted of beating the living shee-ot out of his new fiancee right in front of his kid (nice guy). The excuse he gave was that he was stressed out over the fact that his mortgage payment had doubled, and there was no way he could afford the new payment. Strangely, the judge disagreed that financial hardship is a good reason to beat up women and terrorize children, so the ex-wife got the custody.

While I was expecting stories of suicides (which are not encouraged, of course), I am caught off guard by reports of defenseless innocents being forced to bear this burden.

Comment by TimeTraveler
2007-09-10 15:51:39

Oh, domestic violence correlates incredibly to economic factors.

Comment by wageslaveboy
2007-09-10 15:58:19

True, true…I get the feeling we’ll be seeing a LOT more of these kinds of stories:

Comment by Sammy Schadenfreude
2007-09-10 16:19:22

Rent the 1993 Michael Douglas movie FALLING DOWN - sadly, I think life is about to imitate art. Men’s self-worth is intrinsically and deeply intertwined with their economic viability. Many, many of them are going to be pushed over the edge during the coming hard times.

Comment by Bill in Carolina
2007-09-10 16:45:01

Wow, and there are FAR more FBs about to lose their homes than there were laid-off aerospace workers. Scary.

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Comment by AZ-IT
2007-09-10 16:38:16

Used to work for Juvy Probation - get used to it, gonna be bad. It’s always those who can’t defend themselves that take the brunt of the anger from those who are loosing everything…

Comment by are they crazy
2007-09-10 17:00:34

This was a question I posed a while back - what about all these kids that are the ONLY innocent victims in the whole housing mess. Even without abuse - job losses, midnight moving, etc.

Comment by michael
2007-09-10 18:55:01

Saw that in the late 80s/early 90s housing bust. It’s not pretty. It could have been us too. Our place dropped way below the loan value and the bank could have foreclosed. We bought on the way down. 50% of the way down as it turned out. Talk about catching a falling knife.

Comment by janna
2007-09-11 08:37:31

The bank can foreclose if you house value falls below your loan value?

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Comment by tarred and feathered
2007-09-10 23:53:01

My friend works as a counselor for children in San Joaquin county. He is seeing many cases of acting out behaviors by children due to parebts having to move due to losing their home to foreclosure.

Comment by wmbz
2007-09-10 15:48:17

“‘It’s just hell. Will I be able to sleep at night knowing I just walked away from $400,000 to $500,000 … and all my time?’ she said.”

Right, I’ll bet that not to many months ago visions of sugar plumbs danced in your head! Reality is a bitch ain’t it!

Comment by Arizona Slim
2007-09-10 15:52:01

But, but, but you can still make money in real estate, can’t you?

Comment by Sammy Schadenfreude
2007-09-10 15:54:25

“‘What are your choices?’ she said. ‘The first thing you try to do when you start to go south is to use your credit cards to pay for things.’”

Um, yeah. And how many of those “things” were absolutely essential in the first place? There’s another school of thought, outdated I’ll admit, that says the first thing you do is CUT BACK before putting expenses on credit cards.

Comment by michael
2007-09-10 16:45:28

A study released recently by Nellie Mae, a company based in Braintree, Mass., that provides education financing for college students, found that more than nine in 10 graduate students had at least one credit card in the 2006-07 academic year. Their average outstanding balance was $8,612, up 10 percent from the $7,831 average balance when the study last was done in 2003.

Jumping from bubble to bubble.

Comment by sm_landlord
2007-09-10 20:47:18

Yes, out it on the cards, only if you have never been through a rough period before. Been there, done that, when I was young. Rough periods are when you just stop spending money. It’s amazing how little you can spend and still remain comfortable, especially if you have set a pattern of living within your means, but spending on things that last in the good times.

Comment by CA renter
2007-09-11 04:28:08

One of the easiest ways to live within your means, though, is to have very low housing costs.

The main thing that got me through college was living with a number of roommates in rented apartments, houses, etc.

IMHO, if the lenders lose on their bets (lending money to people who have no hopes of paying off the loans), no sympathy there, either.

The sooner lenders learn they will not be bailed out of THEIR poor decisions, the sooner we’ll see housing costs fall to where they are truly affordable (affordable via low price, not “funky” mortgage payment)

Comment by Professor Bear
2007-09-10 15:54:37

“The expanding mortgage crisis and credit crunch slammed the Los Angeles housing market in August, with home sales plunging 50 percent from the same month last year and 25 percent from July.”

“Similar carnage took place in the condo market with year-over-year sales plummeting 40 percent to 1,168 units. Sales were off 27 percent from July’s 1,601 units.”

Those 25 / 27 percent 1-month drops in sales for LA (SFR / condo) look utterly ginormous. Have comparable-sized drops in sales come out for any other locales?

Comment by cereal
2007-09-10 17:34:50

hey don’t look at me. you’re supposed to be crashing down there in sandy eggo first.

Comment by Chip
2007-09-10 21:02:35

News tonight here in Orlando had some bad stats, but I don’t remember the exact percentages. Not as bad as LA, though. At least, I don’t think they were or I’d have paid more attention to the clip and less to what was cooking.

Comment by Darrell_in _PHX
2007-09-10 15:55:13

Fresno is haivng a clearance sale because median price is ONLY 76% higher than 4 years ago?

Prices go up 100%, then dirft down 10%…. and that is a clearance sale?????


Comment by aladinsane
2007-09-10 15:55:56

Educate thyself, 1st…

“But her real estate investments have become a money pit. ‘Unfortunately, I put all my eggs in one basket. Now my daughter is going to college and I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep her there,’ Shapiro said.”

Comment by ylekiot1
2007-09-10 16:18:13

She can become a realtor!

Comment by Sammy Schadenfreude
2007-09-10 16:25:47

Shapiro’s daughter is in the process of getting a much better, though harder, education than she’ll ever get at college.

Comment by palmetto
2007-09-10 15:57:51

San Francisco FBs, help is on the way! Your mayor plans on turning SF into a “sanctuary city”, so there will be plenty of illegals signing up for services after they receive their “city card” from SF. And then they’ll have ID, so they’ll be eligible to take those overpriced homes off your hands. Four, five families to a home, but what the heck, at least you can walk away.

Comment by rentor
2007-09-10 18:52:04

They have to make sanctuary cities illegal. Once again the elite haven’t a clue about the romantic illegal lunatic who might rape your wife or daughter. I say illegal felons should attack people in the top 0.01% of the payscale/wealth.

Comment by spike66
2007-09-10 20:01:36

For the record, Guiliani made NYC a sanctuary city…though he’s backtracking wildly now. Bloomberg, sad to say, has done nothing to change the situation. This is where you have city governments just deciding to ignore laws because they feel like it. Funny to note that Republicans used to have “Law and Order” as one of their mantras back in the day.

Comment by Gwynster
2007-09-10 22:18:57

Yes but pols like Lungren are exploring the idea of repealing the 14th Amendment. This means no more automatic citizenship to babies from non-citizens.

Hell, I’d vote republican **shudder** if I had to to get that through.

Comment by A Texan in Bavaria
2007-09-11 06:22:56

Appealing as it sounds in theory, the reality is UGLY.

Come check Germany out sometime - I assure you that integration problems are worse when loads of people are born into a country but not as citizens. The US-born children of illegal immigrants to the US, generally speaking, do not seem to be quite as interested in terrorism.

Germans have eased up their citizenship laws to the point of sane - that is, people not born of German parents have a realistic possibility of becoming German citizens.

On the other hand, Bavaria is looking into pulling schoolkids who don’t speak German very well out of regular classes and into remedial courses. I keep explaining (in my own cruddy German) that this, generally speaking, does not improve matters - it’ll just mean a bunch of Turkish-speaking kids all in the same class, with even less immediate motivation to learn German.

Comment by Leighsong
2007-09-10 16:03:45

“The slowing market is helping, said Elaine Colett, a Guarantee Real broker. ‘There are 7,000 listings in [Fresno and Madera counties] and very few buyers,’ she said. ‘Right now you can get a nice, decent home for $200,000,’ she said.”

“And many are buying without down payments, Colett said. Buyers with a 10% or 20% down payment are now the exception, not the rule, she said.”

WTF. OK. Admittedly I do not live in CA. (Love to shop there back in the day!)

Did I just read that correctly or do I need to get off the computer and drink some stiff spirits? Anyone? ef the aspirin.

Comment by Darrell_in _PHX
2007-09-10 16:07:22

You can buy without a down if it happens to appraise for more than the agreed sell price. Good luck on that with the real lenders picking the appraisers.

Comment by ylekiot1
2007-09-10 16:17:20

Something with your comment jumped out at me, the agreed (A GREED) sale price

Comment by Leighsong
2007-09-10 16:24:36

Thanks Darrell. The problem is “if it happens to appraise” and the lenders picking the appsaisers (say a prayer…LOL).

I try to remain light-hearted, because it is sad that so many are affected. The aspirin reference is the head-ache of the country I have served for 21ys. I feel like a fool.

Doing the right thing seems to be to my detriment, yet I still believe in honest people. Luckily, I’m a magnet to those, if even with my rose colored glasses.

Funny and sad…popcorn and aspirin…it’s so serreal.

Rant off…Leigh

Comment by pismoclam
2007-09-10 20:49:24

There are plenty of Buyers, sellers just have to lower their prices! hehehehehehe

Comment by desmo
2007-09-10 16:13:15

“Greg Moss, president of Moss Lumber Co, supplies homebuilders in Fresno, where he says his business has declined 70 percent from its peak of two years ago, when an average of seven Moss Lumber trucks a day would travel from Redding to Fresno.”

“‘Today, it’s one truck a day,’ Moss said.”

Now it really is “moss” lumber.

Comment by Neil
2007-09-10 17:05:58

I actually feel sorry for the hard working folks who were blindsided by this bubble. I’m sure Moss lumber has had major layoffs. Greg Moss probably built up his own business through hard work and sweat. Yes, the last few years probably made it into a money machine, but that’s ok too. (My mom made a good nickel during the dotcom boom doing accounting. Nothing wrong with getting well paid for hard work.)

So I feel for the truck drivers who lost their jobs. I feel for the guys working in the granite counter top factories, Viking stove factories (in Mississippi), and others.

But I think the flippers should have to explain to these unemployed why they are no longer needed.


Comment by Lisa
2007-09-10 16:20:40

“When Louise Wohl bought her one-bedroom, one-bath Lodi condo in August 2005 for $180,000, she was delighted with her first home purchase. Then in July, she got a letter from the lender saying her adjustable-rate loan was jumping after the initial two-year set rate to the going rate of about 8.25 percent.”

“This, she said, was news to her, and bad news at that, because she can’t afford the $200 jump in the monthly payment.”

Okay, I have a feeling that Louise didn’t buy at 3x gross income if $200 is make it or break it for her.

Comment by hllnwlz
2007-09-10 16:25:31

Maybe OT, but let me know what you think. I’m a high school English teacher in OC. Some very interesting things are afoot in Anaheim public schools.

The AP in charge of scheduling says our freshmen enrollment is down 100 kids, about 5% off normal. We’ve been reading about decreasing enrollment coming through the elementary schools, but didn’t expect it to hit us so quickly.

In five classes, I SHOULD have 100-110 kids.

I have 71. Any of you familiar with OC public schools knows how low that number is.

Also, I’ve got many, many more white and asian students than ever before. I *think* what’s happening is that many of those families have downsized into our lower-middle class neighborhood.

On top of that, the recently immigrated Mexican kids seem to have *poof* vanished. (Note: I have no knowledge of their status, illegal or legal.) ALL my students, for the first time in my career, have insisted that I eschew their given names and use an anglicized version (e.g. Mary for Maricruz, Judy for Yuridia, Tommy for Tomas, etc.) instead. No one is speaking Spanish inside or outside the classroom.

This leads me to believe either (a) all the enforcement ICE has been doing is scaring the crap out of the (legal and illegal) immigrant community and/or b) people are ditching Cali for greener pastures.

My money’s on b.


My dad, a roofing contractor in the OC, says there is zero work for anybody but the most skilled low-wage labor in the county; day labor waiting areas are virtually deserted. The average contractor’s crew has decreased radically .

Per my father, there is NO high end work happening in Newport, Laguna, Corona Del Mar, Irvine, Shady Canyon, etc. This weekend he told me, “People aren’t willing to do anything to their houses. They’re afraid to put any money into them, knowing they’re hanging onto a depreciating asset.”

I’m perusing homes in the $700-800K range, thinking that they’ll be affordable for my husband (@about $350-400K) when this thing shakes out. Of course, I’m being optimistic. But with people flying out of the state like this, I’m not so sure I’m very far off-base.

Comment by Darrell_in _PHX
2007-09-10 16:41:10

They aren’t coming to AZ, that is for sure. Our new law that goes into effect Jan 1 says a business will lose their business license for knowingly hiring illegals. Business that can get work are scrambling to line up legals… to start Jan 1 of course. No sense paying more before they HAVE to.

It will be a couple more months before we get enrollment datam but that should be very interesting. Numbers hit Oct 1, so it will be a full year+ before we see the REAL effects on the numbers.

Comment by Arizona Slim
2007-09-10 17:05:08

And, BTW, that new law has overwhelming public support.

Comment by AZ-IT
2007-09-10 18:34:00

Yes it does - but the way off the feild left is challenging it with two court cases… guess will know after those if there is any hope or sanity left in the Government at all…

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Comment by mrincomestream
2007-09-10 19:17:33

Tactics like that should be disallowed when a bill has that kind of public support. Last I checked majority ruled, but I guess this is the new America.

Comment by krazy bill
2007-09-10 20:01:49

At least one of the suits against the bill was filed by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, hardly lefties.

Comment by Darrell_in_PHX
2007-09-10 20:10:30

Laws still have to conform to the Constitution of the U.S. Or, at least pretend to closely enough that a panel of judges can squeeze it in.

It is being challenged on 4th amendment AND 5th amendment grounds. It is unreasonable search to require employers check the status of employees? It is self-incriminzation to make them report their employees?

I think the INCREADIBLY weak grounds that these challenges are based on shows they have a VERY good chance of failing.

Waste of money to challenge, and waste to force govt to defend against the challenges. Now we need a boycott against the companies that are funding the challenges.

Comment by foreclose_me
2007-09-10 21:15:07

It is possible to impeach judges. We have made the mistake of letting them forget that.

Comment by AKron
2007-09-10 22:50:19

“It is being challenged on 4th amendment AND 5th amendment grounds. It is unreasonable search to require employers check the status of employees? It is self-incriminzation to make them report their employees?”

The funniest thing about this dumb challenge (by the Chamber of Commerce) is that, if successful, it might also incidentally prevent the employer from asking potential employees ANYTHING about previous convictions- why would illegal immigration be the only ‘protected’ criminal activity under their legal ‘logic’?

Comment by AZ-IT
2007-09-11 01:59:01

I worked for the Gov – the courts in fact. You better believe they lean left, what ever they say during elections. Can’t imagine the “chamber” is any different – they certainly aren’t there representing the unemployed residents – they are there to help the businesses make $’s – and around here that means save 2 or 3 bucks an hour by hiring from down south…

Had this talk in my grad class – none of them could see the underlying social rot that breeds as a result.

Comment by michael
2007-09-10 16:41:50

I read that Warren Buffet’s home cost about $31K. I still think that $350K is a ton of money to pay for a house. Do you guys have the income to qualify under traditional ratios?

One place to look would be the U-Haul numbers (I don’t know where to get them) indicating movement from and to.

Comment by Pen
2007-09-10 16:52:48

I think Buffet bought his house in 1974 or so, but I am not sure. Also, I think he lives in Nebraska.

Comment by NYCityBoy
2007-09-10 19:44:21

I sure hope the “Oracle of Omaha” lives in Nebraska.

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Comment by TimeTraveler
2007-09-10 18:10:47

Don’t need their numbers. Just get quotes both ways. Florida to N. Carolina is about $2000, N. Carolina to Florida is about $200.

Comment by hllnwlz
2007-09-10 19:22:58

Oh, we qualify. My husband is a post-production editor and, last time I checked, AUHSD is the highest-paying district in the county and I’m all the way in the last column (highest earnings for those of you unfamiliar with gov. pay scales).

I’d MUCH rather pay between $200-300K, and that may happen. We’re waiting to shop until probably tax time 2010.

But hell, if things still look like they’re tanking, we’re going going to keep on renting and saving. Who knows? When this thing shakes out, we may be paying cash.

Comment by In Colorado
2007-09-10 16:50:47

Seems like a filter is blocking me out because I make references to individuals point of origin.

Comment by In Colorado
2007-09-10 16:51:39

Yup, lets see what happens if I mispell the magic word:


Comment by In Colorado
2007-09-10 16:52:10

How about that!

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Comment by Arizona Slim
2007-09-10 17:05:58

Why not try ill eagle?

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Comment by Hold out in LA
2007-09-10 17:49:28

Also never utter the name of Von Daul

Comment by Big V
2007-09-10 17:28:47

Same thing happened to me when I tried to talk about the Jooish. That’s why I keep spelling it wrong now, and everyone keeps getting all mad because they think I’m doing it just to be mean. Oh well.

Comment by are they crazy
2007-09-10 18:32:52

It’s not how you spell it - it’s the offensive content. What does one’s religious affiliation have to do with the housing bubble discussion?

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Comment by Big V
2007-09-10 19:23:06

A couple days ago, there was a discussion about Osama Bin Laden’s videotape on which he urged Americans to convert to I slam. This advice was given in the context that Americans were burdened with debt. Under I slam, lending at interest is forbidden. It was then pointed out that lending at interest is also forbidden in Kristianity. However, I wanted to mention that the practice is acceptable in Joodaism, and that’s probably what Osama really meant. I didn’t mean to be offensive.

Comment by Big V
2007-09-10 19:23:46


Comment by are they crazy
2007-09-10 19:53:02

How great - Now I understand what you meant. I’m relieved - I was pretty sure this blog was above that sort of anti semitism.

Comment by Big V
2007-09-10 17:25:30

They’ve taken our dollars back to Mexico, thereby counteracting the new Fed-inforced inflation law. These guys just keep messing things up for our govmnt. Ha ha!

Comment by Hold out in LA
2007-09-10 17:55:20

The actual amount of US money wired back home to Mex has fallen off by a significant amount recently. They are not enjoying this recession either. When the US gets a cold Mexico will get pneumonia.

Comment by cassiopeia
2007-09-10 18:33:16

Nice post, hllnwlz. I’m getting that vibe too. The unskilled construction labor has been feeling the pinch for some time. Those people are going to be in big trouble soon. Fasten your seatbelts.

Comment by dwkunkel
2007-09-11 10:24:55

A person who advertises herself as an English teacher should put a bit more effort into the writing quality of her posts.

Comment by CA renter
2007-09-12 01:40:15

It’s a blog. Her writing style was just fine and her point was well-made. Looks like the majority of people who responded to her post agreed with her points.

Comment by PU
2007-09-10 16:39:49

“Knight, who has filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, said she ended up with a negative-amortization loan on her home and the payments quickly got out of control.”

Wow - who “ends up” with a loan for several hundreds of thousands of dollars?! I’ve never seen greed transform so easily and quickly to victimhood.

Comment by Pen
2007-09-10 17:02:27

“who “ends up” with a loan for several hundreds of thousands of dollars?”

it happens all the time…especially when a banker in the three piece suit with a top hat and tails and a silly handlebar mustache comes to house, puts a gun to your child’s head and a pen in your hand and makes you take out a neg. amortization, teaser rate, interest only loan. He then drives off in his Dusenburg, laughing evilly as he heads to the orphanage looking for child to eat.

Comment by awaiting wipeout
2007-09-10 16:48:29

“‘Everything was great until about a month ago. Then, on one day – Thursday, Aug. 9 – everything changed as lenders shot up rates on jumbo loans to 9 percent and further tightened guidelines,’ said Syd Leibovitch, owner of Beverly Hills-based Rodeo Realty. ‘It became almost impossible to find a jumbo loan.’”

I know Syd, and I scrape my shoes off, when I run into him.

Comment by Bill in Carolina
2007-09-10 16:58:13

You’re lucky it’s not so deep that you have to wear boots.

Comment by awaiting wipeout
2007-09-10 17:08:27

That was funny. I needed that. Actually with the heatwave that just passed in So Ca, strapy sandals were the shoe of the month, when I ran into Syd. Otherwise your comment is food for thought come fall. You can hose off leather.

Comment by Pen
2007-09-10 17:05:44

Dumbo loans for White Elephant houses.

Comment by Zeb Montaloma
2007-09-10 16:56:34

I love my kids but I would fund my retirement first before I save for their college education. My kids can borrow money for education, but I might not be able to borrow money to live if I can no longer work.

Comment by CA renter
2007-09-11 04:37:14

Very true & very wise, Zeb.

Not to mention…they can WORK!! (mine will work, or no help from us)

Comment by Zeb Montaloma
2007-09-10 16:56:36

I love my kids but I would fund my retirement first before I save for their college education. My kids can borrow money for education, but I might not be able to borrow money to live if I can no longer work.

Comment by Pen
2007-09-10 17:04:30

I wish we could have a nation-wide boycott on higher learning institutions to make the tuitions come down. I know that is a nutty statement, but $45Gs a year is pretty nuts, too.

Comment by Hold out in LA
2007-09-10 18:04:12

Tuitions will fall as even fewer and fewer “middle class” folks get squeezed by the recession.
Let’s be honest, there is as big an oversupply of colleges as homes. “Party Schools” like ASU, UNLV will shrink like earthworms on pavement. The better schools will be chock full of F-1 students from other countries who will be able to afford a first class american education when the dollar index hits the low 40’s.

Comment by Gwynster
2007-09-10 21:56:18

Foreign students are what keep the UC system going.

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Comment by edgewaterjohn
2007-09-10 19:51:31

Schools charge what they can get. Many years ago I remember reading about a study in the NE in which they polled parents as to which school they should send their kiddies. The highest priced schools were always rated the best.

As long as there are people who think paying $45k a year for a liberal arts degree is a sound idea - some school is gonna try charging them $50k - and in many cases will get it. Educators are very effective self-promoters of this system.

Comment by AKron
2007-09-10 22:58:52

“Schools charge what they can get.”

Don’t even get me STARTED on the subject of college textbook prices. I think they have been escalating 10 percent or more per year (and coincidentally, the number of companies has shrunk to just 5 major players, due to mergers, etc.).

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Comment by jim A
2007-09-11 05:30:10

The Journals in the libraries are worse.

Comment by CA renter
2007-09-11 04:40:42

Think tuition costs are going up because all these “selfless” parents are paying through the nose for Buffy & Biff’s educations, instead of making the kids work their way through?

Imagine, if you will…if students were footing their own bills (or had limited parental help), how high would tuitions be????

Kinda like the housing bubble. Prices will rise to levels that buyers are willing to pay. BUYERS (read: parents of college students) determine price.

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Comment by mattR
2007-09-11 05:27:48

Look, state schools used to have a limited number of applicants: people in their late teens and early twentys who could afford to go to college.

In the last ten years there is this “racket” known as the school loan program. You get money for free with very little in qualifications.

So the states can raise tuition 25% a year without affecting the pool of potential applicants, because the applicants will continue to borrow.

It’s the housing bubble all over again.

Comment by OscarDeLaJolla
2007-09-11 08:10:45

A girl who works for me just graduated from Ohio State. She had scholarships to cover tuition, room, and board, but still took out the maximum student loans possible, at 2-3% with no payments until graduation. She took the money and put it all in CDs at 5%, and then paid off everything in full upon graduation. Pretty clever.

Comment by Blano
2007-09-11 10:03:36

She obviously got advice from someone in Michigan.

Comment by OscarDeLaJolla
2007-09-11 11:05:06

No, I think her two financial planners went to Appalachian State and Oregon.

Comment by chilidoggg
2007-09-10 22:33:57

just email your congressman or state representative and tell them you don’t want your tax dollars going to subsidized education loans. Hey, Harvard probably has an endowment for a kid who wants to read Shakespeare all day. If Cal State Long Beach doesn’t have a similar endowment, they can get rid of that class.

Comment by crispy&cole
2007-09-10 16:57:35


Comment by mrktMaven FL
2007-09-10 19:22:44


Comment by Neil
2007-09-10 20:08:03

Do keep us informed!

Alas, they need a team of two thousand FBI agents to even make a scratch in the fraud.

Got popcorn?

Comment by lefantome
2007-09-10 17:19:00

“Tim Hauschel of Clovis bought his home 18 months ago for $368,000. A similar home a block away is being sold for $315,000, and it had a pool. Hauschel’s house does not have a pool. “‘My wife called because we have seen the price of houses drop,’ he said. ‘We were thinking about selling just to break even.’”

Okay…. 315k-40k(pool)-368k = -93k from the purchase price of the Hauschel estate. To break even, Tim must have been making pretty aggressive principle payments for the last 18 months.

I heard Tim has a credit card balance of 20k too, and is thinking about sending in a check for $500 to pay it off and also get that nagging debt behind him as well…..

Comment by Neil
2007-09-10 20:09:58

Its the new math. Just “carry the nine” and it works out fine. ;)

Sadly, I know of at least five friends in this sort of situation. (However, with $1M plus homes.)

Got popcorn?

Comment by Tom
2007-09-10 17:38:04
Comment by Pen
2007-09-10 18:14:29

Good for you..

Comment by Gwynster
2007-09-10 20:01:18

congrats. I’m glad to see the anti-bailout platform get some airtime.

Comment by Chip
2007-09-10 21:17:00

Tom — major kudos. I hope the piece gets wide exposure. If you get more than 1M signatures, hopefully they’ll revisit the topic and interview you for big-time MSM coverage.

Comment by Big V
2007-09-10 23:28:42

Fess up. You work for the AP, don’t you?

Comment by Tom
2007-09-11 08:21:57

LOL no.

Comment by CA renter
2007-09-11 04:47:01

Congratulations, Tom!!!! :)

Thanks for starting that petition (we both signed).

Comment by aeyra
2007-09-10 17:38:15

“Wendy Shapiro, a resident in Roseville, Calif., said she purchased multiple investment properties after selling her home in San Francisco and moving out to the Sacramento area.”

“But her real estate investments have become a money pit. ‘Unfortunately, I put all my eggs in one basket. Now my daughter is going to college and I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep her there,’ Shapiro said.”

“Shapiro said she had planned to gradually sell off the properties for a profit, but now she is faced with a decision on which properties to ‘walk away from,’ she said.”

“Rental prices have dropped substantially in areas where she owns property, Shapiro said, as many investment properties are competing for rental income.”

“‘Rents have dropped everywhere because people who couldn’t sell houses are now trying to rent them. I can’t even sell one house,’ she said.”

“‘It’s just hell. Will I be able to sleep at night knowing I just walked away from $400,000 to $500,000 … and all my time?’ she said.”

Good God are people really that stupid? It was obvious from the beginning that buying 5,6,7,8 or more houses to flip wasn’t viable. Are Amuricans really that stupid to think that houses will cost $3 million on average in 2020? Minimum wage might be $20 per hour if you’re lucky.

And who would give $180K for a condo?

Comment by Stars End
2007-09-10 18:21:20

Er,…Sheeple paid over $300,000 for my condo. :)

Comment by sm_landlord
2007-09-10 20:59:47

So, was Star’s End really Trantor? Inquiring minds want to know.

Comment by OscarDeLaJolla
2007-09-11 08:13:03

over $500k here

I’m sure it seemed like a good idea at the time

Comment by edgewaterjohn
2007-09-10 20:06:58

“And who would give $180K for a condo?”

You would be surprised how many - I am - every single day.

Comment by Chip
2007-09-10 21:19:13

“And who would give $180K for a condo?”

In Florida, lots and lots and lots of people. Granted, though, most are retirees or nearly retired.

Comment by Tulipsalloveragain
2007-09-10 17:39:11

“I guess I could make the payments if I don’t buy gas and eat.”

A small price to pay to live the Dream in Lodi. Seriously, has anybody looked at Lodi on Google Earth. Tons of land to develop.

Comment by pismoclam
2007-09-10 21:12:01

Call Creedence for help in Lodi.

Comment by Andy
2007-09-10 18:03:36

The crazy things that Realtors do…

A Realtor in Simi Valley, California named Tania Eadie circulated a flyer in our neighborhood to market her services today that had this headline:

“Are you on FIRE about life?”

Along with the flyer which was left at the foot of our front doors was a “BUTANE LIGHTER” with a small white label including her name, phone and website.




Comment by mrincomestream
2007-09-10 18:13:53

Yea, that was pretty stupid…the last thing that area needs is another lighter.

Comment by mrincomestream
2007-09-10 18:15:28
Comment by aladinsane
2007-09-10 18:38:36

I’ve lived in the Golden State for all of my life (so far) and i’ve never seen it as bone dry as it has been this summer, shocking…

Comment by walt526
2007-09-10 19:31:51

It would be a hoot if banks started sending out lighters with NODs…

Although somehow I’d doubt State Farm would get the joke.

Comment by sm_landlord
2007-09-10 21:17:51

I’m actually surprised that we haven’t seen more insurance fires… Yet.

Comment by MSTBoston
2007-09-11 09:57:05

Maybe she was hoping folks would take the hint and help “reduce the housing stock” so she could sell the ones she actually represents.

Comment by crisrose
2007-09-10 18:05:57

“Plus, she faces another adjustable-rate mortgage boost in six months, said Wohl - who asked that she not be identified by her real name because she would be mortified if others knew of her financial straits.”

Wohl would mortified if those she ridiculed for renting and bragged to of being a ‘homeowner’ were to find out she’s a debt-ridden poser.

Comment by walt526
2007-09-10 18:21:03

She can’t figure out how to come up with $200 extra a month???

Minimum wage in CA is $7.50/hour. To be super-conservative, figure 60% of gross is take-home pay (actual percentage is probably quite a bit higher)… so she has to work 45 hours extra month to come up with that $200. That’s 10-15 hours a week.

Would it suck? Yes. But is it doable? Absolutely. If she really wanted to save her condo, she could.

Although that POS probably isn’t worth much more than $80k… but that’s a whole other matter.

Comment by tcm_guy
2007-09-10 19:13:13

“She isn’t sure what will happen now. ‘I wish I had never bought,’ she said. ‘I would have been better off renting.’”


Got 10% down?

Comment by edgewaterjohn
2007-09-10 19:59:11

Repeat that a few hundred thousand more times and we might be on to something. It’s gonna be a mighty long and cold winter, and there’s no use even holding the bag for next spring by the looks of things.

Comment by Talon
2007-09-10 19:23:11

“The first thing you try to do when you start to go south is to use your credit cards to pay for things”

No, the first thing you do is withdraw money from your savings to meet your expen… oh, right, I forgot.

Comment by Tom
2007-09-10 20:07:53

Jim Cramer just said, you people out there might think it is ok if some hedge fund guy or investment broker loses his job. But these are the people who provide cash to the system.

Uhhh Jim, I am sorry, I need to correct you. The FED provides the cash that these guys borrow. They decided to loan the money to deadbeats, so should the Fed bail them out?

Jim Cramer resorts to name calling. He calls them “nerds”.

This guy Jim Cramer is an idiot.

Comment by Darrell_in_PHX
2007-09-10 20:15:59

He is a clown…. He was filling in for Mark Hanes this morning. Crybabing for a rate cut. Erin Burnet is paying devil’s advocate saying maybe staying steady has some benifit for the dollar.

He starts going off… then let’s raise the rates by a point! Give Poole what he wants and kill the economy…. Total tantrum…..

No credibility.

Let the hedge fund managers fry!!!!!

Comment by johnbanner
2007-09-10 20:16:45

Higher education is really one of the biggest scams out there. The University establishment does a great job of self promotion. Dont get me wrong, a college degree is a worthwhile pursuit and there are some really good professors. However, the system as a whole is broken.

Thinking about how expensive education made me realize how similiar it is to the housing bubble. Both receive a tremendous amount of help from the federal government. Think taxes. All this does is create higher prices. Ultimately the middle class is priced out.

Comment by crisrose
2007-09-10 22:13:26

“Higher education is really one of the biggest scams out there.”

Only because most ‘universities’ are in reality third rate institutions that 50 years ago would have been high schools. It’s why I receive resumes from college grads who can’t spell, write a coherent sentence, form a rational thought, think for themselves…

Americans are trained (like monkeys) - they are not educated in any sense of the word.

Makes it that much easier to swindle and con them, and prey on their basest emotion - GREED - because all they are is a pack of monkeys looking for their next banana.

Comment by yogurt
2007-09-10 23:54:04

The problem is that way, way too many people in the US go to university. Universities were originally only for really smart people. When every Dick and Jane (or their parents) think they have to go to university, it has to be dumbed down for people of average intelligence.

Another result of this is due to the huge number of university grads, employers can demand a degree for just about any decent job, when 50 years ago a high school diploma was good enough. And that just keeps the cycle going.

And it keeps the unemployment rate down, since you have a huge number of students and professors who otherwise would have to look for real work. Sort of like prisons, which are the counterpart of higher education for the underclass.

Comment by CA renter
2007-09-11 04:53:22

Forcing everyone to get a college education is another way of lowering our QOL.

Someday, we’ll grow a brain again and realize that not everyone can (or should be) a hedgefund manager or techie. We also need plumbers, machinists, janitors, painters, farmers and tradespeople of all sorts. These people are the backbone of an economy and are the true producers. High time we give them the respect they deserve instead of resorting to snotty comments about how “stupid” they are.

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Comment by jim A
2007-09-11 05:39:12

First there was the GI Bill. The idea was that putting the WWII veterans in school for 4 years would be better than adding them to the unemployment rolls. Then we had college deferments during the Vietnam War. Four years of tuition seemed to many like a reasonable price to avoid an all-paid tour of scenic southeast Asia.

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Comment by JQ
2007-09-11 09:22:28

“Americans are trained (like monkeys) - they are not educated in any sense of the word.”

Hmmm.. Just a little extreme. Most educated people are not swinging from trees or throwing their feces at each another…

Comment by jbunniii
2007-09-10 22:46:11

“‘It’s just hell. Will I be able to sleep at night knowing I just walked away from $400,000 to $500,000 … and all my time?’ she said.”

What an incredibly selfish cow! She’s about to screw her lenders out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, and all she can do is complain about HER losses?

I love the casual mention in the same article that rents are dropping substantially. So much for the laughable theory that rents would be driven UP as people lost their houses to foreclosure.

Comment by crispy&cole
2007-09-10 23:59:46

“I am a victim…I had no idea what Crisp & Cole or Tower Lending were doing. I trusted David and Carl.”

Comment by funkychicken3
2007-09-11 12:37:26

I have to agree with darthrealtor and speedingpullet on this one. She can’t “afford” $200 more a month for her mortgage? She didn’t know she had an adjustable loan? And the other woman–bought her residence 6 years ago and then went on a RE buying binge in California? Good grief people….

I’d bet these folks also would tell us all they can’t “afford” health insurance either…but have awesome flat panel home theaters and iphones.

Comment by LPorter
2007-09-11 15:46:29

Getting back to the housing situation, I can understand why some people are frustrated with talk of bailing out people who foolishly bought homes or refinanced with loans with ridiculously unfavorable terms. However, I don’t think enough blame is being placed on the people who are really responsible for this situation–the mortgage brokers and lenders. I don’t think people understand how aggressive and downright fraudulent some of these people were. To tell my story, about a year and a half ago, I received a cold call from someone trolling for a mortgage broker offering a refinance on my house which I have a fixed rate mortgage on and which I have substantial equity in. I told them I wasn’t interested since at the time didn’t have a job. I was this was okay and that someone would call me back. Sure enough a broker called back and offered me various loans–negative amortization, interest only etc.–which I rejected after investigating. I almost agreed to one interest only one but refused to sign the papers when the notary came to my house after reading the loan papers and discovering the terms were different than the ones offered by the broker on the phone. Throughout this process, the broker and presumably the lenders knew I had no job, they constantly lied about the terms of loans they were offering, and they tacked on outrageous fees to loans they were offering. After I declined their loan, the broker became enraged, declaring “I did a lot of work for you, and I don’t work for free now you owe me $500″ (this from a person who cold called me). I reported him and his brokerage to the state real estate office. (By the way I STILL get calls and letters from these people!)

My point in telling this story is that I can totally see how some people could be taken in and or intimidated by some of these brokers/lenders. If there is to be a bail out it shouldn’t be of them but only of owner occupiers exploited by fraudulent lying criminal mortgage brokers. As for banks, lenders, speculators they deserve whatever comes to them!

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