October 25, 2007

HousingPANIC Stupid Question of the Day


How crappy was the construction of the illegal-immigrant built, pump-em-out-as-fast-as-you-can stucco and wood crapboxes built 2003 - 2007?

1) They'll tear them down within 20 years

2) If they don't tear them down they may just fall apart

3) Who needs block and cement when you can fool the suckers into buying 2 x 4 construction


4) We throw everything else away why not throw our houses away too


5) One word: Lawsuits

6) All of the above

84 comments:

Tangelo Mozilo said...

The fourth little pig built his house out of stucco and green lumber. The walls weren't even quite square . . .

Anonymous said...

.
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.
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They will not outlast the time period for the mortgage repayment!!! Hell, they will be lucky to outlast the low teaser interest rate time period!!

Johnny said...

"Crappy" being the operative word. Here in the South East, the Shotgun McMansion set cut major corners on site prep and septic, with some systems having to be replaced in less than 5 years.

Joeblow said...

Hey new is better!

I stayed very far away from new construction when looking the last few years. A lot of the "new construction" out there was poorly made. With many corners cuts, I hate to see the amount of lawsuits that will come from this.

Anonymous said...

I am seeing water intrusion in new homes now.

Condo conversions are the worst. The newer they are the worse the construction is.

Junk in 6-8 years.

Who is the crappiest builder?

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't buy a new house or condo (built in the last few years) if you threatened me. The second post from anon is probably true. These new constructions won't last as long as the mortgage will.

Anonymous said...

To johnny and the anonymous gentleman at 12:38pm, please know there are some good builders out there. My husband and I, and our business partner are on our 5th house, $300's-$800's range; granted, we're a very small outfit, but our partner is out at the site every day, making sure the work is done right. We exceed code and we try to give our customers value.

Having started the company in Dec of 04, though, I guess you could say our timing isn't the greatest..

enjoy the housing panic blog and follow it daily.

Anonymous said...

Having looked at a lot of homes recently I would agree new home construction quality is in a ditch. Mainly large builders though the smaller semi custom local builders are building better product. Same with cars do you want an econobox or a quality vehicle.

sequoia512

Anonymous said...

They tried again to pass an amnesty bill yesterday. aka. Dream Act. Luckily, it failed in the senate.

Great timing with the CA fire going on. The public nice a distracted. Sure most people did not notice the underhanded situation going on...

Natural Eyebrows said...

Anon at 1:29 p.m., the small builder, is an example of what business people are before the MBA's take over the company.

The financial types are always looking for a way to squeeze another nickel out of the cost structure, to gain the benefit of the multiplier effect and raise the stock price. Or, better yet if they're into the company at an earler stage, to boost the return on investment so that they can take the company public at a higher price per share.

Cheapening the product and squeezing the employees to enhance the stock price is killing America.

golfer_X said...

Construction quality varies wildly even within the same company. Some tracts can be good others by the same company can be steamin piles. K&B are probably the worst overall. They try to knock the houses out in 90 days and want contractors that will meet schedule. So they just bang the shite up as quick as they can. I've seen some amazingily bad work on K&B. But they are not alone. Every builder has bad tracts. They've been building homes from sticks and stucco in Cali for well over 100 years. Most are still standing and believe me some of the crap built in the 40's and 50's is not any better put together than today's. I'de much rather have a newer home with decent pipes, insulation and wiring that's not going to burst into flames. You have to inspect any home even a new one these days. ALWAYS get a home inspection!

Anonymous said...

HS friend of mine whose been in construction for decades was talking to me awhile back. He says he switched from being a residential sub-contractor to a commercial/fed-state-local gov't sub-contractor because residential was putting a huge cost squeeze on his operations because he was union and using labor from the local union halls, quality materials and he did not have a high volume. He was always losing bids to operations that used low quality materials and illegal labor. Even when he "won" contracts he would always lose, because the general contractor would weasel out on the last installment or would declare bankruptcy or would start make price cut demands due to contrived changes in conditions.

He hit upon the market for quality construction when he bid on and won a stone cutting contract for the federal gov't. Turns out uncle sam requires union labor and pays on time. Since then he focuses on federal/state/local construction contracts or deep pocketed corporations that have specialty construction requirements. He still has some lawsuits from the good ol' days when he was "winning" residential construction contracts, but he calls residential construction "modern American $h!t construction" and says to stay away from it complete except for small local builders who have a reputation to protect because its the only market they are in and they cannot afford the hit or the lawsuits. Even then, he recommends you watch them like a hawk and hire an inspector who will monitor the constuction of your home at all stages, as it will be money well spent. Also if you want certain things like specific appliance suites, granite countertops, quality cabinets or real hardwood floors (not this tongue and groove pre-fab jigsaw puzzle cr@p that just has a huge mark up for being "hardwood")then your better off getting discounts for the builder NOT to do this work and hire your own specialty contractor and/or buy your own materials for installation. The developers make huge profits on this because the use cheap low quality materials and/or get volume discounts but then charge you retail pricing or MORE!!

Anonymous said...

I'm not a troll rather an HP fan and long time visitor. I have to post anon as I'm in the business.

Structurally new homes are the best ever. With new codes being introduced every two or three years the costs have risen but, so has the energy efficiency, electrical, and mechanical integrity, safety, and building strength.

Houses I have recently built went thru a 6.5 earthquake with minor stucco a drywall cracks. And by the way stucco (concrete) always cracks even without earth movements. I assume that is why everyone calls them "stucco shitboxes".

It is a matter of supervision and experience that makes or breaks your product. From what I have seen most big builders use college grads to run their site work however many of these youngsters lack the experience level necessary.

The areas where corners are cut usually occur in the finish stages. These cosmetic flaws are what most common folks see and complain about. It'a matter of staying within budget for the targeted buyer in most cases.

Tangelo Mozilo said...

Anonypussy 1:29 said . . .

"My husband and I, and our business partner are on our 5th house, $300's-$800's range; granted, we're a very small outfit, but our partner is out at the site every day, making sure the work is done right. We exceed code and we try to give our customers value."
-----------------------------------

I think the construction quality problems come mainly from large builders whose preferred business pattern is to buy a farmer's field or clearcut a forest, and then fill as much of the barren waste as possible with cookie-cutter spec homes. Theirs is a volume business, whereas yours seems to rely more on quality and customer service. (An advantage of building spec homes is that you don't have to do anything special for your principal, or deal with change orders.)

My parents had their current home custom built in 1995-96 by a rather small builder. They were very happy with the quality of construction, and the few problems they did have, the builder fixed with no hassel. It was like night and day from the new construction development house that they bought in 1985, where the construction quality was mediocre at best, and the builder was difficult to deal with.

Hang in there. This crash may flush some of the high volume developers out of the market so smaller operations like yours have some room to breathe.

borkafatty said...

Keith you were wrong, wrong, wrong...it is a new day

HAHAHAHAH!!!!! More spin...I think ill refi right now....oh wait, there is no lenders...and the Employees were all let go...Oh well back to my Aroma Theripy.

http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idUKN2449857420071025?rpc=44

westwest888 said...

I live in (and rent) a $750,000 peak bubble townhouse now fetching mid-$600s. It was built in 2005. It's three stories.

To be honest, I think the construction itself is OK in terms of framing. I think the cheap crap from China is what's falling apart. Faucets, pieces of the fridge, cabinet inserts, garbage disposal, etc. If I custom build a house, I want all the interior finishings to be MADE IN USA. Otherwise you're going to replace them every 5 years or less.

{venting} said...

PLANNED OBSOLESENCE

Learn what it means.

Google it.

Read a book.

Since The Ford Model T (which nearly bankrupted Ford because it lasted longer than a Maytag washer), companies realized that in order to get people to buy more of their product, they need to make it wear out faster.

If every car manufacturer was to put five bucks worth of nickel (Ni - the metal), cars would NEVER rust. So what would be the incentive to buy a new one... when you could just pay 5K and replace the motor.

Have you ever tried to buy a leather belt? Check again - it's a VERY thin layer of leather on the surface with a whole bunch of crap glued together underneath. Real leather belts last over 50 years.

Ever wonder why the most critical parts in a blender or other kitchen item is made of plastic instead of steel? How long does plastic last compared to steel? What would the price difference be to use steel - 5, 10 cents?

Today - houses are DESIGNED to be smelly, rotting, fungus infested crap boxes after 15-20 years so that they can either be bulldozed to build a new appartment building, or you have to put down serious cash for repairs (or you sell it to the next sucker.)

How many builders have been around for more than 20 years? How many have disappeared? Coincidence?

Compare this to Europe where people are still living in homes which are over 800 years old.

Every car takes over a thousand barrels of oil worth of energy to produce. How much could we have saved had we gone to a model of replacing engines instead of the whole cars?

The beauty is - today these same companies make 'hybrid' cars and everyone is lauding their efforts to be "environmentally friendly". The whole time these firms knew that the cars are going to be rust buckets in 10 years.

And everyone goes happily on their way to oblivion.

{/venting}

Anonymous said...

I rent (thank GOD!) a Toll Bro. house in NoVA

Had the Direct TV guy up on the roof installing the dish.

He came down to tell us that in his line of work, he has been on hundreds of roofs.

He thought he was going to damn near break & fall through ours, it is so flimsy. He said " If you don't have any issues with that roof now, you soon will". (uh, NO, we won't, our fliplord will!)

House was built in 2003 - GLAD I DON'T OWN IT !! :)

Anonymous said...

The townhouse I rent was built in 2000, the walls are all wavy and paper thin with apparently no insulation. The windows are so bad that you can hear the buzz of the highway, which is quite a ways away. The thing I cannot believe is that people are (were) paying between 500K-600K for these places.

Anonymous said...

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/money/expired/shoddy-home-construction-104/overview/index.htm

Housewrecked
Serious hidden defects plague many newer homes. Here's how to avoid trouble.


A CR investigation involving extensive interviews with home buyers, building-industry representatives, inspectors, and others has found that thousands of consumers, faced with serious defects in their new or young homes, have spent millions on repairs. The fast pace of construction during today's building boom is a cause, experts say.

• Fifteen percent of new homes have serious problems, some inspectors say. That's 150,000 new homes a year. Many only show up months or years after moving day.

• Your best defense: Hire a real-estate lawyer and a building-inspection engineer. A few key clauses in your contract and inspections during construction can save grief later.
• For information on what to do should you discover problems, see How to prevent trouble and If you think you have a problem.



Last year, consumers bought more than 1 million new homes in the U.S., a near record. Average sale price: $250,000. But a CR investigation has found that increasingly, buyers are discovering that their new dream home has serious defects and that they have more consumer protections for a fickle $20 toaster than for a flawed investment-of-a-lifetime.

In Oregon, a family built a semicustom home for $66,000 on a lot they owned only to discover mold in the walls four months later. Home buyers in Newark, N.J., found crumbling concrete, falling bricks, and flooded basements within months of moving into a recently built condominium complex. An Oklahoma couple says they face $60,000 in foundation and roof repairs for a house they bought new three years ago for $127,000.

And it’s not just new-home buyers who are getting stuck. One Upper Saddle River, N.J., couple is paying $375,000 to repair water damage to a five-year-old home that they bought for $1.4 million

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, and since I have been here over the last year, pipes have burst in 3 other units.

Anonymous said...

NINE WARNING SIGNS

Serious defects often present themselves in telltale ways. If you see one or more of the following problems in your home, hire an engineer to investigate. (See If you think you have a problem.)

1. Deep cracks in the foundation or basement walls. They can be signs that the foundation was laid on a poorly compacted base or poorly graded soil.

2. Sagging floors or leaning walls. A shifting foundation or structural problems with support beams could be to blame.

3. Windows and doors that never sit well in frames or close properly. House-framing problems may be at issue. If the beams, studs, and joists weren’t correctly sized or assembled, the whole house may not hang together well.

4. Cracks in interior walls. Wide cracks could signal a foundation problem. Generally, though, fine cracks are cosmetic, the result of normal aging.

5. Water damage. Warning signs include mold, rot, and insect infestation in exterior walls; staining, swelling and discoloration on interior walls; and a musty odor. Possible causes: improperly installed roofing, no flashing around penetrations and joints, no moisture barrier in a climate that requires it, lack of a drainage space behind brick or siding, poorly installed windows and doors, holes in siding, and trapped water-vapor condensation from heating and air conditioning.

6. Flooding, sewer and drain backups, and switched hot and cold water. Flooding and backups may result from poorly graded land or faulty sewer and water-main connections. Switched spigots may signal improperly installed plumbing.

7. Excessive heating or cooling bills. Rooms that don’t get warm or cool enough can be another signal that air ducts may be leaky or improperly connected.

8. Shorting or dead outlets. The electrical system may be installed incorrectly.

9. Lack of required permits. This indicates that building authorities have not performed the required inspections.

Why the problems? Many experts point to the country’s 10-year housing and real-estate boom. The top 100 U.S. home builders together sold an estimated 1,000 new homes a day in 2002, or one-third of all new-home sales.

That pace strained production

Anonymous said...

Structurally new homes are the best ever. With new codes being introduced every two or three years the costs have risen but, so has the energy efficiency, electrical, and mechanical integrity, safety, and building strength.

This is true. I had a 1900 house I was fixing up and thankfully sold at the local peak in 2005. That house was a piece of crap. We get all misty about how great those old houses are, but I'll take structural plywood over T&G fir, which splits, cracks and is softer than hell any day.

First there's all the dodgy things they did to build it because they didn't have code and the materials, then there's all the decidedly dodgy things 100 years worth of owners did. Forget it, a modern house, maybe not built up to the best of modern standards is way better.

Anonymous said...

Wake up and smelll the coffee! MSM and housing industry are just manipulating numbers!! They did it again with New home sales numbers! They have changed a 10% drop into 4%gain!

http://housingdepression.blogspot.com/2007/10/new-home-sales-turning-ugly-numbers.html

Anonymous said...

Wake up and smelll the coffee! MSM and housing industry are just manipulating numbers!! They did it again with New home sales numbers! They have changed a 10% drop into 4%gain!

http://housingdepression.blogspot.com/2007/10/new-home-sales-turning-ugly-numbers.html

Anonymous said...

Wake up and smelll the coffee! MSM and housing industry are just manipulating numbers!! They did it again with New home sales numbers! They have changed a 10% drop into 4%gain!

http://housingdepression.blogspot.com/2007/10/new-home-sales-turning-ugly-numbers.html

Anonymous said...

What do you make of this?


New home sales rise
By Mark Felsenthal


The pace of new home sales rose in September from a weaker August number... according to data released on Thursday that showed a slow-growing economy.

Stocks rose after the home sales data, released in midmorning, suggested that the stumbling housing market was no worse than feared, while the dollar remained lower and U.S. Treasury bond prices flipped into negative territory.

The Commerce Department said new single-family home sales rose 4.8 percent to an annual rate of 770,000 units, from a downwardly revised August pace of 735,000. The August figure was previously reported at 795,000.

Anonymous said...

New housing sales up 5%. Keep renting everyone. Keep voting for Democrats. Keep investing in 4% CDs.

evildoc said...

---Every car takes over a thousand barrels of oil worth of energy to produce. How much could we have saved had we gone to a model of replacing engines instead of the whole cars?----

Really? Oil is at what, 90 USD/barrel? So each car takes $90k in oil energy to produce? My new $25k Accord seems such the bargain now ;-)

george said...

true,I live near woodland hills, CA and they are building condos real fast, one month they are barely getting started and and 3 months down the road they are almost done.it is very scary how fast they are building this condos here given the fact that we have big earthquakes every 20 or so years.

P.S. hey Keith, why don't you start a poll about predicting what the next bubble will be?

Anonymous said...

I say all of the above

My sister bought a house built by illegals and it split right down the middle from foundation to roof. Luckily she sold it right before it fell apart.

Tangelo Mozilo said...

One more thing that my parents' custom home builder told them in 1994:

"You have $350k to spend. I can use that to build a large, high-quality house, or a huge low-quality house. The choice is yours . . ."

A LOT of buyers unknowingly opt for the latter.

k.w. - southern ca. said...

As someone who personally knows a building construction supervisor who worked on many of the newer residential properties in HB (i.e. SeaCliff Estates, ect..), the materials used were very cheap.

In fact, many of these newer houses are already experiencing cracks in the foundation and walls, as well as problems with the insulation surrounding the windows.

Most of these places will require major repair in the next 5-10 years.

Anonymous said...

People have probably been saying "They don't build them like they used to" for the past 100 years.

Overall, new home quality is fine.

Edgar said...

An Oklahoma couple says they face $60,000 in foundation and roof repairs for a house they bought new three years ago for $127,000.

You ain't seen nothin' yet. Some houses will crack right down the middle, five feet deep. Mark my words.

k.w. - southern ca. said...

We built for quantity in the US, and not quality ... and that's why there will be much bigger problems with these poorly built houses for years to come.

Everyone from the geologists who survey a track of land prior to building, knew that the frenzy for buying would override buyers knowledge and interest in the quality of the house they would be buying into.

Now house debters have the reality of dealing with a poorly built house, as well as increasing mortgage payments and taxes on a depreciating asset.

Stuck in So Pa said...

1) They'll tear them down within 20 years

They won't last twenty years.

2) If they don't tear them down they may just fall apart

See #1

3) Who needs block and cement when you can fool the suckers into buying 2 x 4 construction

Costs less too! When I put up my last addition, I told the contractor that the
walls would be 10 inch (original house has 10 inch walls). He had a fit. You don't NEED
Ten-inch walls, he said. Apparently my "unnecessary" building requirements we causing
delays in his tight schedule. He didn't last long.

4) We throw everything else away why not throw our houses away too

Back when I was in college, a bunch of us would go out (with developers permission)
and strip old homes slated for demolition for old woodwork, trim, built in furniture,
hardwood flooring, old electrical fixtures (old milk glass light globes are the rage on Ebay now)
and wiring. Just about everything that could be sold to the salvage yard, antique dealers,
home remodelers, and some goodies we would keep just for ourselves because they
were "cool" (dating myself there). Nowadays, for liability issues, that is no longer allowed.
A large, 150 year old farmhouse near town is slated for demo by a major "gas and sandwich"
chain to put in a quik-stop. I called the zoning officer to see if I could get in there to
look around. I was told to "forget it, there's about thirty people ahead of you, asking the
same question. The company has their own demo section, that will tear down the house."

We Americans are so wasteful. That beautiful old relic will be leveled to the ground with
no attempt to save anything. In the name of progress, we are truly the "throw-away" society.

5) One word: Lawsuits

Of course. Bought stupid, GET A SLIMEBALL! Didn't read the contract, GET A SLIMEBALL!
Rape/murder a busload of nuns, GET A SLIMEBALL! Whatever! It's either God's will or somebody else's
fault, BUT IT"S NOT YOUR FAULT! (Oh I forgot, it was the Twinkies!)

6) All of the above

No Doubt!

Anonymous said...

I have seen some of the saddest, most slapped together, P.O.S. luxury homes during the bubble than I have ever seen. The unfortunate part is these aren't in the 500-1m range. They are in the 1.5-3m range and look like they were slapped together by blind illegals.

Cow_tipping said...

The 2X4 construction and so called thrown together cheaply will last, but, you will have to bust your ass keeping it up. I did on mine, and my house is the best house in my street and in the top 5 in my 186 home neighborhood. The clowns that would let peeling siding stay peeling or fall off, the ones that didn't care for their shingles falling off and the ones that had gutters clog up and over flow, are all now dealing with mold, dry rot and roof leaks etc. My next house will not be one that needs much maintenance. As soon as I sell this one, I start bottom feeding for land etc.
Cool.
Cow_tipping.

Veronica Lodge said...

RE: How crappy was the construction of the illegal-immigrant built, pump-em-out-as-fast-as-you-can stucco and wood crapboxes built 2003 - 2007?

The overpriced, unaffordable, crappy xurb boom towns, which were pasted and stapled together during the last few years, will be the ghost towns of the near future.

The total lack of construction quality will be of little consequence, since nobody will be living in these crumbling stucco palaces anyway.

V.L.

Frank@Scottsdale-Sucks.com said...

Haven't you learned anything from happy homedebtor yet? "Owning" one of these crapboxes makes you better than everyone else.

I remember living in a 3000 sq ft house in North Scottsdale from 2000-2002 and it was only 3 years old and full of cracks in the walls and ceilings, and the electric was so botched you'd turn on a light switch in one room and the lights would come on in another ... lol

Those crapboxes which sold for around $180k at the time were up around $800k at the peak ... suckers.

Frank@Scottsdale-Sucks.com said...

---Every car takes over a thousand barrels of oil worth of energy to produce. How much could we have saved had we gone to a model of replacing engines instead of the whole cars?----

Really? Oil is at what, 90 USD/barrel? So each car takes $90k in oil energy to produce? My new $25k Accord seems such the bargain now ;-)


I love how the environmental lobby comes up with wacko exaggerated numbers like this and no facts to back it up!

What's even funnier (or sad) is that they knee-jerk blamed the CA wildfires on global warming, and now Barbara Boxer and a few other extremists are blaming the fires on IRAQ!!!!

Oh but I forgot. Everything is Bush's fault. I have no personal responsibility. Just blame everything on Bush and it will be ok.

LisaK said...

More units may have been purchased, but at what price?

In our area, we had very agressive discounting -- even auctions -- of brand new homes in an attempt to dump inventory.

Ryland Homes "auctioned" off it's homes at an average of 44% BELOW list price. They had a great "sales" month as far as units sold are concerned, but probably at break-even dollars-wise.

Khov homes also reduced prices by nearly $100k on many mid-range homes, in fact, any home that was close to $500 k is now in the mid 300's or low 400's.

It's possible these types of things were going on everywhere, higher volume sold, but at next to no profit margin.

Anonymous said...

er... you don´t use bricks and concrete to build houses in the US?! Wooden frame houses? no wonder why a hurricane is able to raze an entire residential area...
Don´t you employ stone masons?

naildriver said...

After 30+ years in the building trades, (union) I can say this. America is built on the lowest bid.

And by the way, unions are falling all over themselves signing up illegals and have been for many years. I could never understand how my boss could be low bidder and then sub out the work to union illegal aliens......

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
New housing sales up 5%. Keep renting everyone. Keep voting for Democrats. Keep investing in 4% CDs.

October 25, 2007 4:23 PM
-------
The trolls will never stop with their disinformation campaigns. New home sales are up 5% from August's radically downwardly revised guessimate to its reality post cancellation number. Guess what this guesstimate for September will be revised downwardly soon TOO!! and a DROP for M-O-M #s. And of course were not even going to discuss the old Y-O-Y vs M-O-M #s because they are of course down DOUBLE DIGITS, but lord knows a troll would never look at Y-O-Y #s in this market climate.

DUMB@$$

Anonymous said...

Frank lived in Scottsdale? Get the fuck out. I never knew that. You should mention it more often.

redboots said...

Keith,

I'm sure you'll conveniently moderate this post as you do many of my others, but the racism and sexism that are prevalent on this blog are disturbing.

You imply that, somehow, workers have any control over the materials (and building policies) their employers choose to use in construction. Surely you're not implying that these illegal immigrants, who you take great pains to paint as being 100% worthless and uneducated, somehow have the power to make purchasing and building decisions?

(Also, the irony of an expat questioning the immigration status of ANYONE is laughable. You love this country enough to rant against the evil illegals you claim are destroying it....but you don't love this country enough to live here? Ha!)

Of course, this is a post that is aimed at placing the blame for the housing/mortgage mess squarely on the illegal immigrants. No mention of Suzanne and all the evil women who you blamed for the crisis a few weeks back. (Remember that post? About all the evil harpies who forced their poor, gutless husbands into a life of indentured servitude?) The reason you left the women of of this post, of course, is that it doesn't play into your sad little attempts at "journalism".

Granted, you do about as "good" of a job of "reporting" as the MSM, but still. They're not holding themselves up as arbiters of truth in a sea of lies, Keith. You are.

To reiterate a point that I've made many times here (and that has, to date, never been published): you discredit yourself and HP with these types of posts, Keith.

When I began visiting HP, I found it refreshing. Many of your posts were insightful, as were the comments of your readership.

Unfortunately, what your blog has become is a collection of end of the world rhetoric (the stock market will crash THIS WEEK, and I just can't wait! Eeeee!), arrogance and outright hubris (I was the only one smart enough to see the mess we were in for and the only one brave enough to write about it [NOT TRUE, by the way], nyaa nyaaaa nyaaa), all disguised as truth telling.

You regurgitate articles and statistics in snippets instead of taking the time to write an actual post or well-considered argument about what you're "covering." Every post here is written in gonzo style - sensationalist, salacious and silly - and yet you wonder why people consider you the chicken little contingency?

Start showing the intelligence you claim to possess in spades, Keith. Have the guts to tackle a pressing global disaster with intelligence and insight worthy of such important issues.

HP was NOT the first to notice the idiocy in the housing and mortgage markets. HP is NOT the only place "brave" enough to discuss these issues. HPers are NOT the only people smart enough to get what is going on here.

Many of us have been well aware of the problems facing our economy for quite some time. You probably wouldn't know it though, since many of us don't feel the need to wear our "Smartest Guy in the Room" badge, and many of us don't feel the need to rub our supposed intellectual/moral superiority into the face of others. All you're doing is pointing out the obvious, Keith. It doesn't take a member of Mensa to do that.

And, of course, because I don't agree with your views (and don't consider you to be inordinately prescient, intelligent or brave), you'll either moderate my post or accuse me of being an uber liberal or a bitter f*kced borrower.

Trust that I am neither. My husband and I are business owners in our very early 30's. Both sets of grandparents were depression babies and taught their lessons well. Our net worth is in the low seven figures at this point, and that includes stocks, cash, gold and other assets.

We bought our home a couple of years ago and put 50% down. (15 year mortgage @ 6.25%). We intend to raise our children here, so while the housing crisis concerns us, it doesn't change the fact that we love our home, our neighborhood and the community we are a part of.

Yes, there are many in my neighborhood who have fallen into the cult of materialism that should disgust all thinking people. People who work a combined 160 hours a week so that they can buy all the best for the children they never spend time with. Couples who could live off of one income if they chose to give up the luxury vehicle, the weekly spa treatments and the big screen tv's. What a soulless and sad way to live.

Throwing stones from glass houses is also a soulless and sad way to live, Keith. You and many of your posters are more than happy to recount tales of how you gallantly inform those of inferior intellect that YOU were smarter than they were. How is this any difference than the glee with which those hated f'd borrowers rubbed their supposed real estate genius in YOUR face?

Anyway, to make a long story longer: HP is becoming tired. I'd suggest that you start attempting to create intelligent dialogue rather than the sensationalist drivel you pass off as information here.

I doubt that will happen, though. You see, Keith, I see the real you. You're the man behind the curtain at OZ - it would take actual intellect to create and maintain actual discourse here - and you'd rather distract with the big, booming voice than the reality. I've peeked behind the curtain and I see that the man pulling the levers at HP is not nearly as intelligent, gutsy, patriotic, honest or decent as he'd have you believe.

He's a racist and a sexist who uses his economic "knowledge" to disguise what would otherwise come off as complete racist, sexist vitriol.

Karen said...

I can't speak for all new homes, but I'm really disturbed by what I see in my hometown, which has several very large subdivisions built post-2000. The majority of these houses were built by Richmond, KB Home, Centex, & DR Horton, and there are a few smaller builders mixed in.

I'm currently renting a brand-new house built by one of the aforementioned companies. I like the floorplan, so when my husband and I started looking to purchase, we targeted neighborhoods that included this particular house. After a few weeks, we gave up in disillusionment. While our one-year-old rental looks fine, the slightly older (3-5 years) houses looked terrible, with peeling paint, deteriorating roofing (I was shocked by the number of roof replacements!), spalled concrete driveways, cracks in the drywall, and nail pops all over the place.

At this point, we have no idea what to do as we like the area, but our builder choices are limited, and there just aren't many older homes available in the exurbs.

Anonymous said...

We have virtually zero illegal immigrant population here (in Hawaii) but we do have these Cracker Jack box houses.

It'd be nice if we didn't have to have posts stuck in que for hours at a time so that we could have some active real-time discussion.

MassBubbleGirl said...

Hey Keith,

This guy, John Alfred Rund, has been arrested for starting the 22,000 acres San Diego fire...just curious, how could you find out if he is a speculator who is facing foreclosure. He's a 48 white male on a motorcylce who was going around setting fires...very curious and the investigators are at a loss for why he would do this...can you do some kind of registry of deeds investigation to see if his name comes up?
just a thought...

Anonymous said...

"
dream house" forcouple built in our area (40 mi east of StLouis) w/toxicamounts of mold. They tried to live in it & wound up in hospital ER. Story goes builder had similar problem w/other stuff he built. Of course, they can dissolve corporation and walk away.

Anonymous said...

New housing sales up 5%. Keep renting everyone. Keep voting for Democrats. Keep investing in 4% CDs.

And how are those house prices doing? And along with my 5 (not 4) percent CDs, can I also enjoy my 15% returns on equities and my 500-600% return on my PUTs against CFC, IMB and BZH?

And yes, I will keep renting. And you can continue to buy overpriced housing, be a debt slave and vote in Republicans that send our young men and woman overseas to die over a war based on false pretense.

Lost Cause said...

The irony is that if you want a handcrafted thick walled expertly plastered home with atristic ceramic tile throughout, you have to go to Mexico to buy one.

anon666 said...

George said..

'P.S. hey Keith, why don't you start a poll about predicting what the next bubble will be?'

My vote would be for toilet paper. Imagine if a toilet paper shortage could be engineered. People would start hoarding and prices would skyrocket. True panic would set in, things could get real ugly. I'm on my way to Costco to start stocking up--- suckers.

Anonymous said...

LOL. okay, i wasn't LOL when i was in the middle of the lawsuit but our builder, a local coke head that passed himself off as a builder of executive homes built such a shot box that we had to sue him over construction defects. at first, it was less than $100K in repairs but he balked at it. we did more and more destructive testing and found defect after defect. after several years in the court system, they settled on the courthouse steps. bought the house back from us for today's current market value of $1.5 million, plus damages, fixed up the house (yeah, right) and sold it for $1.2 million. so they must have lost nearly $1M. i feel sorry for the poor, stupid soul that bought that house but i don't feel sorry for this reckless builder.

Out at the peak said...

I've seen all ages of middle-class houses erode and have errors in inception. In general, newer is better with an exception. I would stay away from 2002-2007 houses unless they can pass full inspections. Hopefully going forward, newer will be better again.

Happy Homedebtor said...

Frank's just bitter that he tried to pigeon-hole me and failed miserably - everyone give him a hug.

Stucco is a western thing...they don't do that east-coast really.

Our electrical...yeah, really sucks. Our friend who was an electrician almost peed himself when he looked through the house he was so impressed at everything. Oh, I think 1 socket is looser than ...well, it's loose...yeah, that's the ticket, whole house must suck 'cuz of a loose socket! :D

Cracks? Got a couple in a small area in 1 room so far, no others visible yet 7 months later. 17 more months left on the "bumper to bumper" warranty, and 96 more after that on the structural.

Frank...with all that $$ you cashed out with from real estate, perhaps a few hookers would make you more jovial and less bitter?

Love Always,
HH

Anonymous said...

Well, the truth is most all post WW2 era housing was built by young unskilled labor. Well, housing for the wealthy with custom built homes was built by craftsmen but the average house about 1950ish to present was not.

Only the color of the laborers has changed from white to brown. I read somewhere that over 60% of framers and nearly 70% of drywall men are hispanic in the US these days.

The labor is not a factor but I'd say the material is a HUGE factor. All of the plumbling, electrical, and HVAC in modern homes is built in China at the lowest cost with the most inferor materials. The pre 1980s homes all pretty much have made in the USA breaker boxes, pipes, and climate controls. I once changed a light fixture in my dad's house and found a made in the USA with a union label sticker on the inside of it. The thing worked flawlessly from 1958-2006 when it was still working but he wanted to put in a fan instead of having just a light there.

The hardware is inferior in all homes from the 1980s-present but very inferior in mid 1990s-present.
Made in Taiwan fixtures seem like Lexus quality compared to the Made in China kiss of death.

area 51 said...

The dudes from This Old House have said, "They don't build them like they used to.....and that's a good thing..."

Newer homes are *generally* (not *every* single house made, for you DOPES, DOLTS and 1000 Word Douches) better.....especially if you hire a reputable builder and can monitor the work.

Not to say there isn't a lot of new crap out there.

And what about eichlers? Built in the nostalgic 50s. Now THOSE are unparalleled POS!

What about all the homes from the 70's? Not one inch of insulation..... GREAT construction (yeah right)....but your winter bill is $1000/mo.

Anonymous said...

I am a union skilled craftsman who is building my own home. With so much advancement in building technology, there should be no reason to not build a high quality home. 2x6 construction should be the minimum along with reflective barrier attic, low voltage control lighting, tankless water heater, housewrap, low e windows, cellulose insulation or better, etc.

There are several websites that provide excellent info on homebuilding such as ownerbuilder.com.

Panalized construction is the wave of the future for homebuilding which is premanufactered walls shipped to construction site and pieced together wall by wall. These walls are cut perfect and the house is built faster with less waste on the jobsite.

As for most of todays builders, the materials are cheap and most workers are not trained properly. I witnessed mold growing on several newly built tract homes which costed $800,000+ and did not include any of suggestions I listed.

Anonymous said...

This guy, John Alfred Rund, has been arrested for starting the 22,000 acres San Diego fire...just curious, how could you find out if he is a speculator who is facing foreclosure. He's a 48 white male on a motorcylce who was going around setting fires...

....but Harry Reid and the Democrats said it was global warming that caused the fires. That means Mr Rund is innocent and should be freed immediately

Anonymous said...

the Section 8 dwellers will tear that shit up! Ugh!

Anonymous said...

Hey red boots,

WTF was that all about? Was there a point to that rubbish? 100% guarantee that you are a woman.

"What you just said was one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response, did you even come close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone here is now dumber having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."

devestment said...

The happiest day of my life, I sold a mobile home in Bullhead City, AZ. Today is the second happiest day of my life, I just sold my boat. What a relif to have worthless dollars on the eve of recession and 5$ gas.

Anonymous said...

redboots,

Your hot!

Anonymous said...

Just imagine how Toll Bros., etc. cut corners at an ever-increasing pace as top executives saw the peak and sold their stock. Yet another fraud!

Lawyers: can't live with 'em, but don't you DARE live without 'em. I say this as a non-lawyer who has won and lost a couple of suits.

Anonymous said...

Compare this to Europe where people are still living in homes which are over 800 years old.

Every car takes over a thousand barrels of oil worth of energy to produce. How much could we have saved had we gone to a model of replacing engines instead of the whole cars?

The beauty is - today these same companies make 'hybrid' cars and everyone is lauding their efforts to be "environmentally friendly". The whole time these firms knew that the cars are going to be rust buckets in 10 years.

And everyone goes happily on their way to oblivion.

-------------------------------------

Yep, and Duracell knows how to make a battery that lasts forever but they don't make it because they did they would go out of business...


dude, I think you have a little difficulty with numbers. a thousand barrels of oil to make a car? do the math!

How many 800 year old commoner houses are still standing today? You gots to compare apples to apples. I bet the white house is still standing in a couple of centuries but I wouldn't compare it to my house.

Frank@Scottsdale-Sucks.com said...

Frank...with all that $$ you cashed out with from real estate, perhaps a few hookers would make you more jovial and less bitter?

When did I ever say I made a bunch of $$ in real estate?

What I've said over and over again is that people with brains make big $$ in business. Idiots who don't have the intelligence to make it in the real business world become fliptards who try to make $$ on real estate.

If you want to know where I make my big $$ then consult the bestseller shelf in your local bookstore or the $10,000+ speakers with your local speakers bureau....

Anonymous said...

This guy, John Alfred Rund, has been arrested for starting the 22,000 acres San Diego fire...just curious, how could you find out if he is a speculator who is facing foreclosure. He's a 48 white male on a motorcylce who was going around setting fires...

Per Zabasearch John A Rund has 3 addresses in the Pomona and Montclair area (an area where values are certainly dropping like a rock). The D.O.B. for this John A Rund is 1959 making him 48.

Per Zillow...these 3 houses were last purchased before the dates listed on the Zabasearch record.

Maybe he was a renter at those places. I don't know why the news said he was from Hesperia as I didn't see his name or any J Rund for Hesparia listed on Zabasearch.

Why would he have started the fires where he did? It's not all that far from where his homes are. Maybe a builder was firesaling homes out there in that area?

Who knows really.

It's a crazy world

Anonymous said...

Redboots said, "Anyway, to make a long story longer: HP is becoming tired."

Perhaps tired for you. Not for me.

wc said...

It depends who built it - and I'm not sure how a buyer could know who built their house unless they picked the builder themselves and knew something about them. To me it seems, houses built before 1950 are holding up better than houses built after 1970. Houses built in the 20s and 30s appear to be better still.

VanGuy said...

Redboots...Best post I've read here in many months.

area 51 said...

Hey Redboots.....

you are a 1000 Word Douche....

Anonymous said...

This blog is really getting irrelevant...time for a new career.

Debbie said...

Hey Y'all. The other thing to consider with these crap houses is that the buyers have very little recourse. Lawsuits? Class action? Can't do it. They all have to go into arbitration. It's a nightmare.

I live in Holland in a 100 year old home. It has it's plusses and minuses. It has so much history and individuality. I can find myself daydreaming about all the families that have lived here. It has little cool details. On the other hand, it is a never ending process keeping it in maintenance. There always something to repair. Never ending. And this is a home that has updated wiring, etc. You often have stories here of oldsters who have lived in a home forever. When they move on to an old folks home or the grave, the new owners will basically have to gut it for new wiring and plumbing. And the kitchens are tiny because they were designed in an era of no appliances. We can't have 2 people in ours at the same time. You have to really want the cool history anbd design to put up with the other stuff.

The Project Manager said...

"How many 800 year old commoner houses are still standing today?"

You can get 500+ year-old farmhouses all over Italy. They might need restoration and not all have electrical or plumbing, but many of them are still structurally sound.

Farmhouse = "commoner house" I'd say.

-M

Anonymous said...

redboots said...

To tell you the truth...I have no idea what she said.
My grandma came from Mexico. I oppose illegal immigration. The economy IS tanking. There has been a lot of greed and crappy work.

What's your point? Oh, and please post a picture of yourself in your red boots.

Anonymous said...

Based on my experience, homes built
late 1940's to late 1960's are outright tanks. If you notice the craftsmanship and detailed woodwork, on average they were built to last.

The plumbing though can be an issue but in the sixties the electrical was fantastic (mc cable).

Layout is also a problem but if the question is structurally sound,
then these houses are tanks. If you
question what I say, then try tearing down a wall or moving out a tub in these houses.

Anonymous said...

Hey Redboots...

Chill out!

Keith really got your goat!

It seems that the person who wants to put on an air of superiority and supposed moralism/intellectualism is YOU!

Why are you boasting about the "choices" that you have made? To impress us? Do you really think that we are impressed that you and your husband have a "net worth" of 7 figures? I would bet that the person who really made that money was probably NOT you! The real bread winner for your so-called 7 figures was either your husband or your inheritance. The person not being honest here is YOU. Why not admit that the purpose of your rant is to leave us with the impression that you are so succcessful and superior to everyone here because you made it all on your own? Why are you even reading HP since you have accomplished all of your so-called success on your own? All the glory is to you, correct?

The person who is feeling the need to wear the "Smartest Guy in the Room" badge is YOU. The person who is feeling the need to rub her supposed intellectual/moral superiority into the face of others is YOU.

You say that you bought your home a couple of years ago and put 50% down. (15 year mortgage @ 6.25%). More boasting eh? Do you really think that we care how smart that you think that you are? Do you really think that a comment like that is not seen for what it really is?

Your rant on Keith reveals far more about YOU, than it does about Keith.

LauraVella said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Lauravella said - "I'd suggest that you start attempting to create intelligent dialogue"

Back at cha'!!

What does "intelligent" mean to you LV? Me, the straight "A" college graduate just finished spending the evening talking with my Doctoral candidate friend. I have no idea what you and redboots are yapping about.

LauraVella said...

Lauravella said - "I'd suggest that you start attempting to create intelligent dialogue"



Anon, you have the wrong poster for this quote, I never said this.

Anonymous said...

LauraVella said...
Lauravella said - "I'd suggest that you start attempting to create intelligent dialogue"


"Anon, you have the wrong poster for this quote, I never said this."


OK, Did you delete it then?
I'm DONE with this "thread".
I live in the rational world.


October 29, 2007 3:49 PM
Comment deleted
This post has been removed by the author.

October 29, 2007 1:13 AM