April 10, 2008

Buyers Pay What A Home Is Worth, But Not A Penny More

Seacoast Online reports on Maine. “After more than 20 years in business, Downeast Mortgage has closed all but one of its offices in Maine, including its York Branch. According to William Lund, superintendent of Maine’s Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection, Downeast Mortgage’s demise reflects a statewide crisis that began last year. ‘It’s very reflective of what’s been happening the last 12 months,’ Lund said. ‘Nearly every week, we’ve been in conference calls with regulators in other states to deal with other mortgage companies in other states.’”

“‘A decade ago, there were 150 lenders and brokers who were licensed in Maine,’ Lund said. ‘Last year, we had over 1,000. This past year, the number of lenders is down 20 percent, so we’re down to 800. Obviously, there’s been a severe contraction in the business.’”

“Lund said there are no easy solutions to the mortgage predicament, and cited the secondary market, in which lenders sell mortgages to investors, as the culprit.”

“‘There was a growing reluctance of investors to get involved,’ he said. ‘When the investors looked at the quality of subprime loans, they saw they were not as advertised. This sentiment spilled over and trickled down.’”

“Not even Jeffrey Turcotte, who opened the York branch in 2005 and resigned this past February, saw it coming. ‘I had a feeling something wasn’t right, but I did not know it would close its doors within two months,’ said Turcotte, who has since moved on to First Horizon Home Loans.”

“Turcotte does believe, however, some good can come from what has transpired in the past year within the mortgage industry. ‘I think a lot of the loan officers and companies that took advantage of loose underwriting and consumers are gone,’ he said.”

Vermont Public Radio. “Vermont has avoided the most serious problems in the housing and credit markets. But a new report shows that real estate sales and prices have both declined over the winter.”

“‘Median prices of single-family primary homes are not rising anymore. In fact for this one four-month period we looked at, they had dropped 2.6 compared to the same four-month period a year earlier,’ (said) Phil Dodd who publishes the Vermont Property Owners Report.”

“‘Over the last four or five, six years, people saw their house as a giant ATM machine. And as it went up in value 6, 7, 8, 10 percent per year, on a $150,000-$200,000 house, you’re talking about significant increases in the value of that house … And people were spending based on their increased wealth,’ said economist Art Woolf.”

“Woolf believes it will get worse - and prices will continue to decline into next year. (Woolf) ‘I think that it’s going to be quite a long time before housing prices start increasing at any significant rate of growth. And that harkens back to the 1990s. From about 1990 until about 1997, the average price house in Vermont didn’t change at all.’”

The Telegraph from New Hampshire. “Foreclosures in Hillsborough County accelerated during the first quarter of the year compared to last year’s level, which was very high.”

“According to the Hillsborough County Registry of Deeds, 224 foreclosures were completed between Jan. 1 and March 31 this year, compared to 96 in the same period in 2007 – an increase of more than 130 percent.”

“The jump was particularly sharp in Nashua, Hudson and Merrimack, all of which saw foreclosures triple during the first quarter, compared to the first quarter of 2007. Last year, Hillsborough County had 629 foreclosures, more than twice as many as the year before and six times the tally of 2005.”

“(In) Nashua, foreclosures are…growing quickly enough to attract the Foreclosure Express – a whirlwind Saturday tour of about 10 bank-owned properties…the first of its kind in New Hampshire.”

“Prices started at $95,000 for a condo with severe water damage, averaged in the mid to upper $100s or low to mid $200s for single-family homes, and capped out at $419,900 for the standout – a brand new home in Hudson that went into foreclosure while the builder still owned it.”

“‘We liked the brand new one, of course,’ said Mary Clawson, 24, of Nashua. ‘Other than that, most of these are too much work.’”

The Standard Times from Massachusetts. “The developer in the transit-related apartment and condo complex near the Middleboro/Lakeville commuter rail station is seeking to build all market-rate condominiums due to the housing slump.”

“Developer Jonathan White said the project can no longer secure financing if the condos are not all built at market-rate prices. There also is the possibility that more units would be used as apartments rather than condos.”

“‘If I don’t get this sort of relief, I may not be able to build this complex,’ Mr. White told the selectmen.”

“Mr. White said, the condos would level off at a lower price due to the elimination of the affordable units. He said condos would sell for less than $200,000.”

The Boston Channel from Massachusetts. “NewsCenter 5’s Gail Huff reported that there are concerns about arson fires becoming a problem around the state as more and more properties are abandonded and become vacant.”

“Back in the early 1990s, when the real estate market tanket, many properties succumbed to arson and officials don’t want history repeating itself. In Brockton, at least six houses burned down over the winter and state Fire Marshal Stephen Coan fears there will be a similar surge if something isn’t done proactively to address the foreclosure crisis.”

The Hartford Courant from Connecticut. “Connecticut’s declining housing market showed no signs of improvement in February, with the median sales price of single-family homes dropping by $15,000 compared to a year ago — the third month in a row that prices have fallen.”

“Sales of single-family houses also plunged in February, the sixth month in a row that the number of home sales in Connecticut dropped by double-digit percentages, according to The Warren Group.”

“Local observers of the real estate market said that it will probably get worse before it gets better.”

“‘I think it’s really going to be a slow market for housing in Connecticut. This is not the kind of thing that is going to turn on a dime and start to improve,’ said Steven P. Lanza, executive editor of the University of Connecticut’s economic publication. ‘It’s a weak market and it is going to take time to work our way out of it. We’re just not seeing signs that the market is even beginning to work its way out.’”

“‘Whether or not your house sells depends purely on the improvements in the house. If it’s nice and shows well, there are people still out there who will pay a premium for that,’ said Charlie Kaylor, an agent in West Hartford. ‘People don’t want fixer-uppers, even at a reduced price. Sellers know that they…can’t just put it on the market and hope they get a buyer like they could three years ago. It just won’t happen.’”

The Litchfield County Times from Connecticut. “David Bain of Bain Real Estate in Kent feels that the Connecticut market has remained healthy despite the national market’s doldrums.”

“‘Buyers are being very cautious right now,’ Mr. Bain said. ‘They’re expecting sellers to come down [on price], and sellers know they don’t have to, because they know that buyers’ mentality is because of bad press. It’s a great time for someone to buy a house. These prices are going to be ones that you will be dreaming about six months from now.’”

“‘I think we are really in a separate market than the national, and we continue to be,’ Mr. Bain continued. ‘Once it’s perceived that you’ve hit the bottom, these prices won’t be available. The sellers will dig their heels in all the more.’”

The Journal News from New York. “The median price for a single-family home in Rockland fell 5.2 percent during the first three months of the year to $455,000 compared with $480,000 in the same period a year ago, according to figures from the Greater Hudson Valley MLS.”

“Calling the figures ‘disappointing,’ said Ann Garti, CEO at Greater Hudson Valley MLS., ‘There’s been a significant change in the number of units sold.’”

“During the first three months of the year, 216 single-family homes changed hands in Rockland County, more than a third fewer than last year when 329 units found new owners. At the current pace, it would take about a year and a half to sell all of the single-family homes currently for sale in Rockland County, according to calculations by The Journal News.”

“The same phenomena that afflicted Rockland homes - far fewer transactions - occurred in Orange, with sales falling by nearly half to 383 during the quarter, compared with 563 last year.”

“Pricing aggressively is a good strategy, said Matt Rand, managing partner at Prudential Rand Realty, which has offices throughout Westchester, Putnam, Rockland and other Hudson Valley counties.”

“Buyers want to pay what a home is worth, he said, but not a penny more.”

“With the spring selling season under way, April could be a key month for those looking to sell, Rand said, noting that his firm planned about 145 open houses in Rockland alone this weekend.”

“‘We have demand out there,’ Rand said. ‘What we need is some new inventory that’s priced well.’”

AHN News on New York. “The MLS of Long Island’s Website showed a list with almost a thousand homes with price ranging from $1 million to $1.5 million on its roster. The units are located mostly in Nassau and Suffolk.”

“But it would likely take time to sell these pricey properties since purchasing one involves more than just paying a $250,000 to $500,000 downpayment. New owners would also need to shoulder the mansion tax, equivalent to 1 percent of the home’s price tag.”

“Peter Elkowitz, CEO of the Long Island Housing Partnership, pointed out these large houses would require a job that pays $400,000 yearly, although most of their buyers source their down payment from the sale of their current unit.”

“Homeowners, from large ones to smaller ones, have been struggling with keeping up with their monthly amortizations. On the last quarter of 2007, delinquency rates rose to 5.82 percent, a 23-year high.”

The Press of Atlantic City from New Jersey. “The United States is in a recession, according to the Economic Cycle Research Institute. And southern New Jersey’s economic activity is receding, too, losing jobs and falling behind the rest of the state for the first time in years.”

“‘Everybody and your mother knows it’s a recession, except for President Bush and Bernanke,’ said Lakshman Achuthan, managing director of ECRI. ‘They know in private, but it’s their role to be cheerleaders for the economy.’”

“The region’s recession is clearer in the construction segment, said Richard Perniciaro, dean of administration at Atlantic Cape Community College and director of its Center for Regional and Business Research. Building permits in the two-county market have fallen from 2,432 in 2005 to 1,070 last year, a level not seen since the last recession.”

“The loss of jobs has been led by the area’s dominant casino industry, which shed 500 jobs in the past year, he said.”

“‘We continue to attract retirees with a fair amount of money, but we’re not attracting the working families because there is no job growth going on,’ Perniciaro said.”

The Courier Post from New Jersey. “A Pennsylvania company has withdrawn as redeveloper for a controversial project along Big Timber Creek here, officials said Wednesday.”

“Fieldstone Associates said the weak housing market doomed its $50 million project, which had called for 253 condominiums and 15,000 square feet of retail space.”

“Wednesday’s announcement, which was welcomed by the project’s critics, was the second big redevelopment project to fall through in South Jersey in recent weeks. Cherokee Investment Partners of North Carolina also cited the housing slump when it dropped plans last week for a $1 billion makeover of Pennsauken’s Delaware River waterfront, including Petty’s Island.”

“‘The Westville project is a victim of the national recession and a depressed housing market,’ said Art Corsini, a principal in the Doylestown firm.”

“The project sparked opposition because 27 property owners would have had to make way for planned construction. Critics feared some landowners would be forced to sell their property by eminent domain.”

“‘I’m glad if it eliminates the threat of eminent domain,’ said Paul Demier, a resident who lives just outside the redevelopment zone. ‘Maybe this could be a new starting point, where we could improve Westville without hurting anybody.’”




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80 Comments »

Comment by jasper
2008-04-10 07:34:33

It’s a GREAT time for someone to buy a house. These prices are going to be ones that you will be dreaming about six months from now.’”

“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means” Inigo Montoya, Princess Bride

Comment by Tim
2008-04-10 07:52:49

Technically the statement is in fact 100% true. He was speaking to a crowd of masochists and nightmares are in fact dreams.

 
Comment by GH
2008-04-10 08:34:05

It is all because of bad press anyway. Pay no attention to the mountain of foreclosures, the tightening credit standards, weakening economy or rapidly falling prices …

 
Comment by sevenofnine
2008-04-10 09:07:59

Resistance is futile.

 
Comment by Al
2008-04-10 09:18:06

‘Once it’s perceived that you’ve hit the bottom, these prices won’t be available. The sellers will dig their heels in all the more.’”

So you go buy the foreclosure next door.

Comment by Suffolk_Them
2008-04-10 09:26:56

Bottoms have trap doors.

 
 
Comment by bink
2008-04-10 09:42:38

“Stop saying that!”
– Count Rugen

Comment by Joe Rentor
2008-04-10 12:21:06

“You Killed by equity. Prepare to die!”

 
Comment by Joe Rentor
2008-04-10 12:23:54

“You killed my equity. Prepare to die.”

 
 
Comment by In Colorado
2008-04-10 10:43:09

“It’s a GREAT time for someone to buy a house. These prices are going to be ones that you will be dreaming about six months from now.’”

Yeah, sellers will be dreaming about these prices six months from now.

 
 
Comment by WT Economist
2008-04-10 07:42:56

Connecticut is one place where I think the 1980s bubble was actually worse. Funny how many people seemed to have forgotten about it until recently.

Comment by scdave
2008-04-10 08:06:27

1980s bubble ??

I have not forgotten…Completely blindsided by what Volker did…I almost lost everything…I know many, many people who NEVER recovered from that period…

Comment by GH
2008-04-10 08:38:32

Today, such action would push the economy over a precipice.

Comment by scdave
2008-04-10 08:50:25

Exactly…In many ways the early 80’s are very simular to what we have today with one glaring difference….Interest rates…Then; prime rate @ 18%….Today; prime rate @ 5.25%….

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Comment by OCDan
2008-04-10 10:38:22

My take is that we don’t even need a full-blown Volcker. What is needed is slightly higher interest rates and a complete turnoff of the money spigot. Raise rates to say 7-9% for prime and halt the printing presses. Restore faith in our dollar while making savings attractive. Okay so consumerism will wither, hopefully it will produce innovation at all different industries.

The problem is that debt has fueled much of this nonsense. However, with such low rates, banksters have been able to gamble against foreign currencies and foreign investment opportunities. It should not be this way. We should have investment in this country and in industry here.

We have turned a once-great economy upside down in our quest for massive riches, infinite growth, and shop till ya drop consumerism.

In return we have a shrinking and desperate middle class, a nation broke and in debt at every level, a decrepit infrastructure, lifeless institutions, stressed out people, and shallow loveless lives.

Without getting too religious, I think this is why the rise in spiritual issues of late. Sure, some are hucksters, but I think for the majority of laity, they have no meaning in their life, so they turn to some spiritual guru to give it to them.

I say, instead of shopping and getting the nails done, go down to the soupline or the local mission and help out. Don’t just mail in the check and feel that you have done the good deed for the year. Get involved in a worthy cause. Focus on others, instead of yourselves.

Oh well another massive and greater depression will probably bring many together. Then again, if it is like Katrina, mob rules!

 
Comment by aqius
2008-04-10 11:02:05

good post, OCDan.

 
Comment by scdave
2008-04-10 11:02:59

Well said OC….

 
Comment by SaladSD
2008-04-10 11:28:35

Here, here OCDan! The era of navel-gazing is officially over.

 
Comment by GH
2008-04-10 11:56:14

Well said. The only thing I might change is the interest rates. High rates do not turn off easy money. What is needed is tight credit standards.

 
 
 
Comment by Laurel, md
2008-04-10 09:48:36

We lost our house then. However we did recover.

 
Comment by holytrainwreck
2008-04-10 10:18:26

Bernanke, do the Volcker!

 
 
 
Comment by wmbz
2008-04-10 07:45:23

“‘I think we are really in a separate market than the national, and we continue to be,’ Mr. Bain continued.

Boy this clown is pissing directly into the wind!

Comment by Al
2008-04-10 09:21:54

I was starting to miss the eternal optimism based on nothing coming from RE types. The quasi acceptance of reality that is starting to take hold is alot less amusing. Good to know there are still some Mr. Bains out there to let us know “we’re different here.”

 
Comment by Sobay
2008-04-10 09:26:56

“‘Buyers are being very cautious right now,’ Mr. Bain said. ‘They’re expecting sellers to come down [on price], and sellers know they don’t have to, because they know that buyers’ mentality is because of bad press. It’s a great time for someone to buy a house. These prices are going to be ones that you will be dreaming about six months from now.’”

- Mr Bain is still in the first stage of grieving for the dead market.
Stage -1. Denial and Isolation (We’re different)

Sadly, he will next move to Stage 2 - Anger.
This will be in about 6 more months.

 
 
Comment by wmbz
2008-04-10 07:49:53

“‘The Westville project is a victim of the national recession and a depressed housing market,’ said Art Corsini, a principal in the Doylestown firm.”

Just last week a building was a ‘victim’ Now a whole project is a ‘victim’… Wow this whole victim/crisis thing is spreading like a ‘virus’.

Comment by DinOR
2008-04-10 09:10:45

wmbz,

I’m absolutely aghast at how quickly we went from “We’re going to list our home” to “It’s a really ‘tough’ economy out there”? Just amazing. How did we get to the point where the lack of immediate access to endless home equity = ‘tough’ economy?

Wow, and these are people that just benefitted from the best decade in real estate in history? What a transformation huh?

Comment by wmbz
2008-04-10 10:04:14

‘Just amazing. How did we get to the point where the lack of immediate access to endless home equity = ‘tough’ economy’ ?

I was talking to a friend of mine not long ago about this, and we both agreed that credit starting on the track to becoming really lose in the late 80’s early 90’s. In prior times the vast majority of people would never touch their equity unless it was an emergency. As the saying goes ‘people buying things they don’t need, with money they don’t have’ What got people to thinking that credit was ready money to spend? The gotta have it now mentality that has been fostered on us for years through Government and advertising, is one way.

Comment by DinOR
2008-04-10 10:40:52

wmbz,

If by “fostered” you mean the tax code? Then definitely. Surprising how much that “sculpts” people’s actions! No you’re absolutely right, by the late 80’s it didn’t make sense to carry c/c + auto loan int. on your 1040 so the gov. basically created the market for 2nd. mortgages. Prior to that telling somone you had a 2nd. meant someone in your family was probably very ill. Even rogue start-up guys weren’t tapping their equity in the late 80’s/early 90’s. Truthfully, there wasn’t all that much TO tap.

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Comment by Tulkinghorn
2008-04-10 11:52:27

Anybody remember wraparound mortgages? Bare seconds were for reckless bankers only back then.

 
 
Comment by OCDan
2008-04-10 10:41:11

Thank Madison Ave. for that. Sure, people used credit in emergencies or for convenience. However, many were reprogrammed to believe that we did indeed deserve the Benz, the 4K sq. ft. home, the private education that was waaaaaay to expensive, the exotic vacation every year, all the toys, and filet mignon and lobster 3x daily.

Saving and frugality is so passe.

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Comment by In Colorado
2008-04-10 10:47:00

Yup. I read an article somewhere (cnn.money.com?) about how since “consumers” have lost home equity they aren’t willing to spend. Spend money thy don’t have I would say.

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Comment by spike66
2008-04-10 07:55:06

“These prices are going to be ones that you will be dreaming about six months from now.’”

Indeed. The sellers will be dreaming about today’s prices as they walk the market down. Litchfield County is so dependent on NYC metro economy; even trust funds are not invulnerable to a downturn.

 
Comment by exeter
2008-04-10 08:04:20

‘I think that it’s going to be quite a long time before housing prices start increasing at any significant rate of growth. And that harkens back to the 1990s. From about 1990 until about 1997, the average price house in Vermont didn’t change at all.’”

No. They declined 45% in real dollars.

Comment by GH
2008-04-10 08:44:25

I am going out on a limb with my more or less worthless opinion on this one, but I would venture to say based on what I am seeing today a reversion to 2000 prices in real dollars when all is said and done. No matter how many times prices increased over the 2000 - 2006 timeframe.

Comment by Lost in Utah
2008-04-10 09:00:16

“reversion to 2000 prices in real dollars …”

Would that mean in dollars as valued then, or as valued now?

Does that Q. make sense? Taking inflation and the decline of the dollar’s value into the equation, what kind of prices would we see?

Comment by GH
2008-04-10 09:39:47

I am contemplating $200K in 2000 - $200K in 2010, or close to the mark. we are probably approaching the steepest part of the price downturn over the next year, but there is just scant support in the market for high prices today and we do not even have a tech bubble to shore things up.

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Comment by DinOR
2008-04-10 10:10:14

GH,

I’ll take that you’re applying that to median price? If so, I absolutely agree. Any “appreciation” (tax engineered or otherwise) between 2000-2006 will be meaningless. And to take it a step further, even having home prices return to the normal, historic curve of appreciation will be something of a minor miracle. By the time we’d be in any position for some kind of a “major run-up” most of us that post here will be too old for it to matter.

 
 
 
Comment by exeter
2008-04-10 10:13:50

I think you’re onto something GH but the year doesn’t matter. Pick your year and add 3%/yr for inflation and you’ll get your price.

 
 
 
Comment by jag
2008-04-10 08:52:51

I went through Kent CT last weekend…..every half mile a “For Sale” sign. Bain, the RE agent, is blowing so much smoke it isn’t even funny.

Comment by AUA
2008-04-10 09:09:02

Trying to create Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt is probably the business model that made him so successful in 2003 . . . if it worked before, it’ll work again, right? Right? Guys? Where are you going? Don’t you want to buy this “fixer upper”? You’ll be sorry!

 
Comment by exeter
2008-04-10 10:04:02

“I went through Kent CT last weekend”

And the men in white coats and a butterfly net didn’t apprehend you?

 
 
Comment by DinOR
2008-04-10 09:00:16

Even though the quotes from Turcotte and Lund regarding the Maine mortgage market were… reasonably accurate I can’t believe anyone in the MSM is STILL interviewing knuckleheads ‘from’ the mortgage industry ‘about’ the industry?

As myself and others have noted, for all the billions and billions of dollars in subprime loans out there, I’ll be DAMNED if I can find ONE mortgage broker that actually did them!

That aside, for these people to even have the ear of the media or the public at this point is beyond ridiculous. It’s like interviewing Vin Diesel (from the movie “Boiler Room”) about the things they “might” change to stay in business or “get the good times rolling again”. It’s simply laughable. That they somehow feel they should have the slightest “input” where regulatory changes might be implemented is like trying to get input on auto-theft from a car-jacker?

You know, helpful tips like, not resisting when being confronted by an armed or even agitated attacker so your car sustains the least damage! Having those debit cards within plain sight to make sure your jacker doesn’t have to rummage through the glovebox? In turn the car-jacker promises not to harm any children that may have been in the backseat and leave your car “ditched” where the cops have a decent chance of finding it before it’s stripped. You know, helpful stuff like that.

Comment by az_owner
2008-04-10 10:40:31

That they somehow feel they should have the slightest “input” where regulatory changes might be implemented is like trying to get input on auto-theft from a car-jacker?

————

Or getting input on immigration law from illegal aliens.

Comment by DinOR
2008-04-10 10:48:17

az_owner,

Well exactly. These are the guys that CREATED this mess to begin with! Now we’re somehow supposed to allow them input into coming up with “solutions”!? I don’t think so.

When the Securities Industry went through a major overhaul in the wake of Enron and WorldCon they had basically NO say in what or how new regs. were formed. You had your chance to self-regulate and totally screwed it up. There’s the end of the line.

For any of these mortgage brokers to be saying “What we really need…” is just fantastic to me.

Yes, we should actively solicit the opinions of those that are about to be deported as to how high our fence should be. Absolutely.

 
 
 
Comment by mgnyc99
2008-04-10 10:19:29

this quote pretty much tells you this game is over

But it would likely take time to sell these pricey properties since purchasing one involves more than just paying a $250,000 to $500,000 downpayment. New owners would also need to shoulder the mansion tax, equivalent to 1 percent of the home’s price tag.”

“Peter Elkowitz, CEO of the Long Island Housing Partnership, pointed out these large houses would require a job that pays $400,000 yearly, although most of their buyers source their down payment from the sale of their current unit.”

no 1st timers no move ups no 400k jobs being offered these days
game over

Comment by OCDan
2008-04-10 10:46:04

You pretty much beat me to it. I thought the same. Who in their right mind will pay all that? On top of that LI is a tax collectors wet dream come true. They have a tax for everything, but oxygen. If I made 400K, I would live in Oil City, PA and just commute in and rent a hotel room cheap somewhere.
Heck, 400K means you are bringing in 20K a month. You could rent a decent room for 1-2K a month. Food and other stuff shouldn’t be more than another 1-2K. Heck, the flying in on weekends would stink, but then again if you make that kind of money, you probably get Fridays off, so flying in all the time isn’t that bad.

Comment by Bill in Carolina
2008-04-10 11:34:12

Oil City? Isn’t that in NW PA?

Comment by Lost in Utah
2008-04-10 12:43:50

Oil City is getting more and more famous. They’re going to have a huge upturn in visitors and not have a clue why. Maybe the Econ Development Director or the Chamber Director will get raises for jobs well done. They won’t even know what they did, but they’ll keep their mouths shut. We’ll start seeing vehicles with signs on them, “Oil City or Bust.”

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Comment by stewie
2008-04-10 13:26:28

Wonder if ByeFl will be getting tourism royalties?

 
 
 
 
 
Comment by aqius
2008-04-10 10:23:31

dinor

hearty laugh & agreement w/yer posting. and adding a few of my own comments:
(prior comment in news article)
“Turcotte does believe, however, some good can come from what has transpired in the past year within the mortgage industry. ‘I think a lot of the loan officers and companies that took advantage of loose underwriting and consumers are gone,’ he said.”

Of COURSE this mort broker wont include himself in the pack of liars. No No Nooooooo he was totally innocent. Not involved. Clean books, moral dealings, never wrote a shady deal for the lucrative fees, .. not for him. Yeah, right! Possible, but unlikely.

Always amused at the disconnect people throw up to exclude themselves from any participation at all in events, like . . .

” my goodness look at how bad the traffic is today” while they are adding to the mess by being IN THE TRAFFIC.

” this used to be such a nice, uncrowded place” as they somehow expect time to stop in it’s tracks once THEY move somewhere, no one else is allowed to come later.

“the schools are getting so bad” while their little Hunter & Tiffany run amok in the halls as the teachers DARE not discipline little Yuppie Jrs for fear of a scathing phone call from snotty parents that THEIR little treasures would NEVER act up. Or same homeowners complain about the non-english speaker kids swamping their schools WHILE THEY PICK UP CHEAP LABORERS ON THE CORNER FOR THEIR PROJECTS. Duhh, gee, if there was no demand for cheap workers there wouldnt be the massive influx of illegals w/kids. You can’t have it both ways, you dipshits. But again joe & jill middle class always justify with “oh, pshaw, my little landscaping project doesnt really add to the overall illegal problem. wink wink)

And on it goes- the social disconnect/denial/opt out from any personal responsibility/involvement at all if things go sour.
I’ve railed for years about how none of the politicians will take public transport but always urge more ” consumers” to “take advantage of our mass transport system”. Hey, after you, Ms. Mayor. You first, Mr. Legislator. Hmmm, seems they always have a ready excuse of how “valuable” their time is … but of course, like the special window for attorneys-only at the courthouse, the public’s time isnt as valuable.
Lead by example, you hypocrites. Even ONE DAY A WEEK of public transport a week would impress me. Just ONE day! Or HEY, Mr. San Juan School District Superintendant Grand Poobah Enoch, pulling in a quarter-mil a year salary, how ’bout taking a modest paycut to show some solidarity for the laid-off front line instructors? How many admins are going to get the axe? Oh yeah, of course, he-who-writes-the rules keep their jobs while the front-line teachers go first.

(on a side note, last week I just recieved only a verbal warning instead of a written ticket over a burnt-out license plate light when pulled over, because the officer was amazed I actually said “ah damn, I shoulda caught that, yep, my fault”, instead of the usual bullshit attempt or whining sob story. I was surprised also, but just mention it to support my comment)

Ok, I wandered around a bit but send some Prozac to help stop that.
that is all. for now

Comment by Arizona Slim
2008-04-10 10:49:05

My mother taught public school for 22 years. Although she still stays in touch with many of her fellow teachers, do not get her started on the parents of her students. Just don’t. You have been warned.

Reason: What you said about the parents insisting that their little treasures never act up was right on the money.

Comment by Hailey
2008-04-10 11:44:51

Been there, done that… parents are worse than the monsters they raise! That’s why I’m not even having kids… don’t want to subject any more humans to this garbage society.

 
 
Comment by OCDan
2008-04-10 10:50:53

Don’t even get me started on this Aqius. Sure, the Al Gores of the world want us to conserve, but live in and own several ginormous McMansions while flying around in private jets. And it isn’t just him. Look at Shrubbery. He has taken more vacation days than any president before him. What a joke.

The hypocrisy is amazing. However, what do you expect in this entitlement country?

Belt tightening? That is so Great Depression.

I have a right to drive a S(tupid) U(Seless) V(ehicle) while complaining about all the soccer moms talking on the cell phone in THEIR oversized vehicles that they cannot even afford.

Comment by hd74man
2008-04-10 12:30:36

RE: I have a right to drive a S(tupid) U(Seless) V(ehicle) while complaining about all the soccer moms talking on the cell phone in THEIR oversized vehicles that they cannot even afford.

Hey!

I’m reporting that comment to the HBB Sexist Police!

Where’s OlympiaGal and her rubber baton when you need her?

Comment by Lost in Utah
2008-04-10 12:48:52

I dunno where she is, but Lost is here… :)

But I find the concept of soccer moms a bit much for even my poor brain… and I own an SUV, but I use it for that which God intended it, driving on old beat-up rocky weed-grown abandoned mining and prospecting roads…

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Comment by lmd
2008-04-10 13:34:58

Totally OT

Hey Lost, I am a novice rockhound - rubbed off from my ex who was a geologist. My son is only 11 months old but the Pebble Pups book on your site sounds like a wonderful way for me to introduce rockhounding to him when he is a bit older.

 
Comment by Lost in Utah
2008-04-10 14:04:31

It’s an awesome book, you’d love it. The artist’s father won a Pulitzer prize… it will be out in hardbound one of these days…

If you start reading it to him now, he will become a famous geologist someday, probably discover a new mineral and make you all very wealthy… but make sure you watch my Gallery slideshow called Quicksand before you venture out in the wilds - LOL. Thanks for the note!

 
Comment by KenWPA
2008-04-10 14:51:42

Just wanted to say your website is really cool. And that property deal, that you were talking about earlier today, sounds like a pretty good deal. I don’t know if mineral rights are a big deal out there or not, but if they come with the property it sounds even better.

 
Comment by Lost in Utah
2008-04-10 16:22:43

Thanks a lot for the kind words. Mineral rights are included…

 
 
 
 
Comment by DinOR
2008-04-10 11:02:35

aqius,

Not at all. Oh btw when you discuss “all the traffic” and “stopping time in it’s tracks” you’ve just described Oregon to a “t”. I think it’s safe to say that the “disconnect” that you describe is a major factor in this entire bubble.

Look at how many people “bought” their new dream house before even getting an offer on their “old” (built in 2003) house? Then when it sat and sat mumbled about all the inventory in their neighborhood! And look at how many people in the course of completing that transaction didn’t see a thing in the world wrong with it?

Yeah, the disconnect thing can account for a lot more than just the bubble.

 
 
Comment by jetson_boy
2008-04-10 10:28:11

The East coast and New England are screwed. I bet half of those selling are doing so in order to move out of the state/area. $4 a gallon heating oil means more will do the same before long.

Comment by exeter
2008-04-10 10:41:11

Jetson, One of my ironworkers told me yesterday he’s averaged paying $800/month for fuel oil since November last year. I thought my hair was gonna fall until I realized I don’t have any.

Comment by Lost in Utah
2008-04-10 12:52:44

LOL, Ex.

My landlady declared bankruptcy and added the propane bill her to the list of things she wants to default on. $1200 to date.

 
 
Comment by hd74man
2008-04-10 12:39:55

RE: The East coast and New England are screwed.

No, no…Patrick Duval is going save everyone here in Mazzland with a massive bond issue, to repair all the billions of dollars in deferred maintenance of the roads and bridges which the DOT & Mazzport hacks never fixed on their watch because they were too busy figuring out how to game the pension system.

However, at the moment the good burghers of Mazzland are carrying the highest per capita public debt load in America.

So with the SUV and 3/4 ton PU crowd screaming at the news camera every night about high gaz prices-the good governor wishes to hike the gaz tax 11 cents to pay for it all.

The “For Sale” signs are sprouting like spring dandilions.

Comment by KenWPA
2008-04-10 15:15:26

At this point, I think it is pretty tough to find any area of the country(other than Oil City, PA) that has it’s act together.

It seems to me that I used to spend as much in the South to heat and Cool a house as what I do up in PA. The big difference is that down there I paid it all in June, July, August and November, December, January and February. Here I pay it all in November, December, Jan, Feb and March. In the end if you have a decent place it all works out the same dollar wise without the huge A/C bills in the North and few huge heating bills in the south(NC). I don’t have A/C, and the fans in the summertime don’t add much at all to the Electric bill.
Parts of California have perfect weather year-round, but at what cost?

Florida, AZ, NM, NV….Forget it.

 
 
 
Comment by Englishman in NJ
2008-04-10 10:31:26

Phew, that’s a relief. A couple of financial geniuses have confirmed that all our problems are nearly over.

I don’t know about you, but it’s a real weight off my mind.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=arcbGmwLkGSI&refer=home

 
Comment by NoSingleOne
2008-04-10 10:38:41

““Turcotte does believe, however, some good can come from what has transpired in the past year within the mortgage industry. ‘I think a lot of the loan officers and companies that took advantage of loose underwriting and consumers are gone,’ he said.”

Last year I got prequalified for a mortgage, and in the course of shopping around I found an outfit run by a lady who told me she ’specialized’ in subprime mortgages and had been doing so for *45 years*. She told me that although her work was mainly HELOCs and second mortgages, she would be willing to work with me as a first time homebuyer.

Because of my following blogs, WSJ and other sources…I ran screaming in the other direction when I heard the word “subprime”. Now I’m comfy waiting a few years to buy a home so definitely not in a rush to be prequalified. I drove by her company the other day and noticed that she had gone out of business. I feel sad to see someone lose their income, but I think seeing people like her going the way of the dodo is not a bad thing for our society.

Comment by FreedomLover
2008-04-10 11:31:32

Subprime… Submoron…. Similar eh?

 
 
Comment by CarrieAnn
2008-04-10 10:58:30

“Back in the early 1990s, when the real estate market tanket, many properties succumbed to arson and officials don’t want history repeating itself.

Actually the 90s were a repeat. I’ll never forget in ‘81/82 when I was in college us Portsmouth, NH girls along w/my Watertown, MA roommate dubbed Channel 5 (WCVB) the Boston Fire News. The opening 10 minutes of the nightly news was almost always a litany of the many fires in the area. I remember Hampton Bch, NH businesses experiencing some similar problems w/fire later that year. (Nudge, nudge, wink, wink)

 
Comment by Charliegator in Gainesville, Florida
2008-04-10 11:02:45

Test

 
Comment by Charliegator in Gainesville, Florida
2008-04-10 11:04:22

Testing, 1..2..3…

 
Comment by FreedomLover
2008-04-10 11:28:28

RE agents have to keep up the false optimist front because it’s defacto part of their business/survival. They have to keep feeding the kool-aid to as many potential knife-catchers as possible just to put food on the table. RE agents have families too!

Comment by SaladSD
2008-04-10 11:40:17

Our economy, and our government, depends on Cheerleading! Thank god ‘lil Bush was a cheerleader in college, without this leadership skill our country would go to pot.

Comment by FreedomLover
2008-04-10 14:17:10

Admittedly while I voted for Bush, his mindless cheerleading always rankled me. Never could just tell people how things are. I guess it’s the Jimmy Carter syndrome. No President wants to give a malaise speech.

Comment by NoSingleOne
2008-04-10 15:12:02

Mindless voters don’t like to hear bad news. Just vote how the man tells you and everything will be alright.

Think too much before pulling that lever, and the terrorists win.

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Comment by FreedomLover
2008-04-10 11:32:43

Big question about ghost town McMansion subdivisions:

Are they being policed to prevent arson/looting/squatters?

 
Comment by JoJo
2008-04-10 14:17:30

“The Boston Channel from Massachusetts. “NewsCenter 5’s Gail Huff reported that there are concerns about arson fires becoming a problem around the state as more and more properties are abandonded and become vacant.”

“Back in the early 1990s, when the real estate market tanket, many properties succumbed to arson and officials don’t want history repeating itself. In Brockton, at least six houses burned down over the winter and state Fire Marshal Stephen Coan fears there will be a similar surge if something isn’t done proactively to address the foreclosure crisis.””

Anybody else think that some of the recent fires in California were set by homedebtors trying to ‘burn away’ their stucco albatross?

 
Comment by NotInMontana
2008-04-10 14:35:23

“Fieldstone Associates said the weak housing market doomed its $50 million project, which had called for 253 condominiums and 15,000 square feet of retail space.”

Why are these builders always putting up more retail? We’ve got properties here that were built up and never leased and it’s been years now. And whenever a builder talks to the city about doing some affordable housing, they insist they put retail on the first floor because it’s neat and old-timey and like mom and pop had downtown in the olden days. Then they can’t lease it, or it goes to one candlemaking business after another.

The whole model is hosed IMO.

Comment by FreedomLover
2008-04-10 16:29:02

How many custom candles do we need anyway?

 
 
Comment by edhopper
2008-04-10 15:31:57

““Peter Elkowitz, CEO of the Long Island Housing Partnership, pointed out these large houses would require a job that pays $400,000 yearly, although most of their buyers source their down payment from the sale of their current unit.”

Are there even a thousand people with that kind of income looking for a house in the whole NYC area?
That’s a lot of inventory. And don’t think Mansion when you see that price. In good neighborhoods, that can be a ranch.
http://newyork.craigslist.org/lgi/rfs/633299152.html

 
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