Archive for March, 2011

The banksters taking over our country enjoy extraordinarily nice lives of caviar and cigarettes. They're insatiable greed is only surpassed by their lack of accountability. In last weeks post on shadow inventory, I came across a February story on how bankers let each other squat. It really made me angry: Bankers allow each other to squat One of the most infuriating facts about shadow inventory is its epicenter: the New York MSA. Boneheads in New York think their market is immune as it is one of the few where properties still routinely trade at peak prices. Little do they know that this price stability is an illusion created by shadow inventory. Shadow inventory to push foreclosures to new heights by…[READ MORE]

Groundhog Day is one of my favorite movies. Every day is exactly the same. One of the reasons I enjoy Southern California so much is because I rarely change my outdoor plans due to the weather. Every day is beautiful. Yesterday was, and tomorrow will be as well. It will feel like groundhog day here over the next few years as we work through the inventory issues. I will offer the same advice: don't buy unless you plan a long-term hold. I will say that until the number of foreclosures gets down near zero, and the backlog of unprocessed bad loans is complete. I don't know how these bad loans will be resolved. I believe foreclosure will resolve most of…[READ MORE]

The need for shelter is basic as is the desire for community. In the United States, this translates into a desire to take on a very large mortgage to buy real estate. These basic human emotions drive much of the activity in real estate markets. Most people buy because it is the right time for them. Their career, age, family circumstances all come together to push people toward ownership at different times. Some are fortunate and buy at the bottom of the real estate cycle. Some are not so fortunate and buy at the peak. The most damaging aspect of our current system is the price volatility. It capriciously rewards some and destroys others. Home price volatility creates a culture…[READ MORE]

In the cleanup phase of the Great Housing Bubble, the lucky ones are those profiting from recycling the dead carcasses from yesteryear. I have been sifting through the debris in Las Vegas for about six months now. For a variety of reasons, I have been mum on my activities, but today I am going to share some anecdotes and lessons learned from my new adventure. The most important of these lessons relates to the topic of today's featured article. According to the US Census Bureau, there are 167,564 houses in Nevada. That's a lot of empty homes -- which is good if you want to survive as a flipper. Occupied homes are troubles magnified. Buying them is harmful to your…[READ MORE]

America was a frontier country. People flocked to America from Europe for the opportunity to own their land, something denied to most living in post-feudal Europe. The idea of having a piece of property with your own pink house is deeply woven into the American culture. it's part of our history, and to this day, many identify home ownership with being American. I wrote about our modern perversion of ownership in Money Rentership: Housing and the New American Dream. Questions of our concepts of financing and ownership are coming to surface in Washington as we take up debate on down payment requirements for the new qualified residential mortgage. Homeownership should not be part of the American Dream Posted by Nin-Hai…[READ MORE]

Back when real estate always went up -- or at least when that was a commonly accepted as fact -- the rent-versus-buy decision wasn't primarily financially or investment oriented. Most often people would chose to rent instead of own because they valued mobility, didn't want the liability and responsibility of home ownership and maintenance, or a variety of other reasons. Until the market crashed, renters did not consider losing their down payment and more if they need to sell unexpectedly. Much to the chagrin of realtors, potential buyers now know crashes are possible. Buy? Nah, Rent. Nah, Buy. Deciding used to be simple—buying a home always made sense. Then the bubble burst. By Alina Tugend -- Wednesday, March 16, 2011…[READ MORE]

Most people who bought houses during the 00s did so with dreams of riches. Those dreams materialized in laughter for some, tears and financial slaughter for others. Bricks and slaughter Property is widely seen as a safe asset. It is arguably the most dangerous of all, says Andrew Palmer Mar 3rd 2011 ... Why is property so dangerous? One obvious answer is the sheer size of the asset class. The aggregate value of property held by American households in the peak year of 2006 was $22.7 trillion, their biggest single asset by a wide margin (pension-fund reserves were next, at $12.8 trillion). Working out the figures in other countries involves much more guesswork. Back in 2002 this newspaper reckoned that…[READ MORE]

Timeshare or fractional ownership has been around since the 60s, but is was during the 90s this industry really took off. Wikipedia defines Timeshare as follows: A timeshare is a form of ownership or right to the use of a property, or the term used to describe such properties. These properties are typically resort condominium units, in which multiple parties hold rights to use the property, and each sharer is allotted a period of time (typically one week, and almost always the same time every year) in which they may use the property. Units may be on a part-ownership or lease/"right to use" basis, in which the sharer holds no claim to ownership of the property. Timeshares give people the…[READ MORE]

Really biased and misleading crap is common on realtor blogs, which is why nobody reads them. When realtors are allowed to post their bluster as news on the OC Register, many people take it as information rather than indoctrination. It soils the OC Register when they permit this. Published: March 7, 2011 Updated: 5:25 p.m. California had no real estate bubble MIKE COTTER [email protected] Nearly everyone accepts as fact the perception that California real estate prices "skyrocketed" into the stratosphere from the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s, creating a "bubble." But historical data easily disproves this. This guy has an interesting way of setting up his argument. He makes a bold and easily disprovable statement as if it were fact, and…[READ MORE]

People get caught up in their empathy with those losing their family homes to foreclosure. Its easy to get sucked in to the emotional stories of victimhood and believe that perhaps we should stop foreclosures. We all forget that the distressed debtor who rented money from the bank to occupy the house and appear on title will turn over the property to a new buyer who is not as indebted. This new buyer will be able to sustain ownership under stable, government-backed financing terms. Pain for Some Families Presents Possibilities for Others By Doug McKelway -- Published February 24, 2011 As much as the bursting of the real estate bubble devastated the economy, destroyed hopes, and caused untold pain, there…[READ MORE]

In Memoriam: Tony Bliss 1966-2012