January 14, 2008

HousingPANIC Stupid Question of the Day



Do you talk about the housing crash and HousingPANIC with homedebtors, or do you generally keep quiet?

66 comments:

Anonymous said...

I generally steer clear of the subject because I don't want to agitate my friends and neighbors. I live in a place (Hudson Valley) where almost everyone I know owns. I am renting a great place for a fraction of what I would have to spend to buy the house I am in. Problem is, I constantly get asked whether we are going to buy a place -- people still can't realy fathom that we are happy renting and not in a rush to buy. Partly I think people are wondering whether we are really here to stay or whther we are going to pick up and move.... so when I get interogated about my plans I gently let them know we feel better off renting for now -- reasoning is: 1) renting cheapr than owning at surrent prices; 2) unlikely to see near term appreciation, so no rush to buy; 3) more likely that we see prices decline or at least stagnate, in which case time is on our side.

Some don't like it, but I peddle it softly and not unless someone else raises the subject.

Truth is, a lot of people in this area are anxious about the real estate market and I don't want to make myself a pariah by playing on that anxiety.

Anonymous said...

This is a great question Keith. Everytime I meet with my friends and family, they bring up the topic of real estate. And my point of view, since 2003, has been "SELL, SELL, SELL". Even though a few years back, they would laugh at me, some of them have started to argue, sometimes even getting offended.

I dont feel good because I look like the negative minded guy, but I cannot hold back the truth. And the truth is real estate prices are going to crash. More than they have already. Way more.

Danny

Semi-Unemployed Loan Officer said...

I mention it to my wife daily because it affects my business and income. She keeps telling me to quit worrying about it; the government will step in and make it all better. She just goes on planning the next cruise we'll be going on and complaining because I tell her she can't go shopping.

Semi-Unemployed Loan Officer

GoldBug said...

I find that these home debtors financing lavish lifestyles via their equity are in denial. The latest solution is to try and sell at a loss and move from Northern NJ to North Carolina to continue living lavishly without giving up their current living standard. For example, a family of 5 in Northern NJ living on 80k with a 500k mortgage, 2 BMWs, major home renovations and extravagant golf trips has become the norm not the exception.

Anonymous said...

Keith:

I use to talk but now steer away away from that conversation because most friends are living paycheck to paycheck trying to make ends meet.

Anonymous said...

I try, but I'm told prices won't fall here in Walnut Creek...only out in area like Antioch, Stockton and Dublin.

Stuck in So Pa said...

I do not bring it up at all. I have to deal with co-workers who are being squeezed by the credit crunch on a daily basis. No "I told you so's," I'm just supportive and listen to their woes. Funny,they didn't listen TO ME on the way up.

Scott said...

I sent the URLs for HP and Housing Doom to my closest friend, a 40 yr old RE broker/agent of 18 yrs in Las Vegas. His niche is helping lower end folks into thier first house. That model worked well for the first 16 yrs. He replied. "I'm not gonna read this crap, it makes me want to blow my brains out".

Edgar said...

Actually, I did share some of the N. VA bubble blogs w/ someone I know. Their response? "We need to lower the price." They had to fight the Realtwhore® tooth and nail to get her to lower the price. Bottom line, they closed a few weeks ago. The rest of the extreme homedebtors out there are screw hoo (boo) hooed.

wc said...

I actually talked my boss into renting when he moved to our area last year from out of state and he just recently told me how grateful he was that he listened to me. Most people already know my position and are kind of awed that I knew this was going to happen 2 years ago - thanks Keith for making me look so smart! Sadly not everyone listened to me - one guy at work had to file for bankruptcy and already lost his place and another is struggling to refinance on a house that's worth 10% less than what he owes. He now works a 2nd job and had a family member move in to help out.

CalisDead said...

I used to endless;y talk about it to even people I didn't know. I started in 2005 when I got so pissed at prices when I went to buy a home in S. California that I vented by turning into a Rev. Jerry Falwell of the real estate bubble. I choose to rent (like I had a choice) and proceeded with my own personal inquisition. If I could have I would have put home debtors on boards and tortured them until they admitted they were mentally ill and wrong. Oh yes, I love the Spanish Inquisition.


However now I no longer preach. Home debtors are so screwed that even I become depressed to bring the subject up.

Sacramento Renter said...

Last night I saw Bill Clinton speak in Minden, NV. He got huge applauds when he said Hillary was going to try to keep people in their homes and keep real estate prices from coming down. I wanted to ask him if $400,000 1,200 sq.ft. homes were good for the economy, for our grandchildren, for US when we all know that wages won't go up. When wages go up, that's when the Fed fears inflation and interest rates go up, up, up. That was the deal made in the 80's -- credit would be expanded so that wages wouldn't have to go up. Corporations, government, most people with power don't want to see wages go up and they get their way. However, in the Carson Valley, where homes were just 5 years ago about $150K, Clinton was betting that the room was filled with homedebtors -- whose fake boom means more to them than a quality of life for their children and grandchildren precisely because their wages have not gone up. I didn't dare raise the issue in that room.

Anonymous said...

I avoid it, people know I rent and am looking for a house an dthey approach me. I was told today by a realtor that I should hurry up and buy, because prices have come down about as far as they will. I didn't respond but wonder if he really believes that.

Boom2Bust.com said...

I'm the editor of a blog whose sole purpose is to warn and educate about a coming financial crash- including housing.

My dad's a long-time Realtor and retired multi-unit residential property owner and "re-habber" (before it became known as "flipping"). Practically his whole adult life has revolved around real estate.

Needless to say, you can probably guess how our conversations about real estate usually turn out...

only goes up said...

Well, I used to always bring it up as a warning to those about to get stuck, but they would always have fun gang attacking me because of my views on the housing mess to come. Now, I just shut my pouth because they all know that they are screwed and it give me great pleasure to know that they ALL now know I was correct. Lifestyles have really changed as of late and the fear in in the air.

Anonymous said...

I talk about it. If I offend so be it. If someone will end their friendship with me over my opinion on housing, they weren't my friends to begin with.

Anonymous said...

Last week when I went to pick up my kids at school, I bumped into an acquaintance I had met for lunch in 2005. As soon as she saw me she commended me on my real estate bubble assessement I gave her back then and quickly asked me if I had any other tips. I told her that I keep all my thoughts to myself nowadays.

I've been so burned that I've lost all desire to share. I've come to the conclusion that bubbles will always come and go. Only a handful will acknowledge them and what's the use of preaching to the converted?

Anonymous said...

Think about it from the home-debtor point of view.

You are stuck in your house that you paid more money for than you should have.

A close friend/relative whom you know could easily afford a house decides to rent instead. You ask yourself, "If they are renting rather than buying then how many OTHER people out there are doing the same thing?!"

You realize that you are the one holding the bag.

When the music turns off and you are still standing; just start making music of your own and look at everyone who grabbed a chair like they are crazy.

E-Rod said...

Not worth the headache. I have found that they wont listen to reason or fact. They just go back to the argument of "because I said so."

Apt604 said...

I exercise extreme caution. I'll talk about it as a subject of general interest, but I try to be sympathetic and I definitely avoid saying "I told you so." I've had a couple of people tell me "you were right," but I try to quickly move on from such sentiments lest they go to my head.

We're all human, and as such, we all manage to royally fuck up in one department or another of our lives. So unless we're talking about the David Lereah types (who DID know better), it's a bad idea to rub people's noses in their mistakes.

Anonymous said...

I keep quiet.

You can't save someone, and rarely do people ever take and act upon advice.

Even rarer is taking action upon unwanted advice.

Now, my family. Different matter.

Already made sure my brother and sister and mother weren't sucked into this whirlpool.

Not as bad in Penn where they live.

Anonymous said...

This is such a difficult subject for my coworkers. I like to talk about what is going on in the market, economy, future, etc. All they do is get upset whenever the subject turns to real estate. It's like these people can't admit they have made mistakes. It's like working in fantasyland. Most people behave this way, unfortunately. They can't face reality...unless reality hits them like a Mack truck. For these folks, that's going to be the only way they face up to their issues.
Why do people correlate a bad house purchase / equity extraction with failure? It's OK to make a mistake, but for heaven's sake, at least own up to it. I'm starting to think they all must watch FOX news.

Anonymous said...

I play with an open hand and always bring things up. They say, "how are things, how's DC," and I respond honestly, "well, work sucks they don't pay me enough and DC sucks because everything, especially housing, is so expensive...I make more than the average Joe, but yet they all live in fancy homes and drive fancy cars, I just don't know how they do it." And then it goes from there.

The Narrator said...

I was at a party recently and the conversation moved towards housing. I said, "Oh Yeah, I follow the housing bubble as a hobby". The woman I was talking with mumbled something under her breath very quickly about "6 months", "mortgage" and something else and very directly said "Let's not talk about that".

That's kind of new for me. I always used to get some kind of forced laugh and some happy talk from the homeowners before but now they tell me directly they want to completely avoid talking about the subject.

Toby said...

I lost "friends" over this issue in 2006 and 2007. Being dead-on correct doesn't help because they know that you know you were right and they were wrong.

Homeowners can't handle the truth. It's like calling their kids ugly.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I do talk about it. I saw this coming a few years ago, sold the second property I owned for renting and used the money I made from the bubble to pay off the house that I live in.

What I find is that people are either in denial or feel helpless.

The people in denial generally believe the nanny state is going to bail them out. Or they're ignoring it and watching American Idol.

Everyone else just seems throw their hands up and say, there's nothing that I can do.

Things are deteriorating much quicker than I expected, 2008 is going to be one of those years dissected and discussed in history books when 2100 rolls around.

Anonymous said...

it is a touchy subject.. i only bring it up when i am looking to push buttons

Anonymous said...

I keep quiet. However when close friends told me they were looking to buy, I gently suggested that "to me renting seems to be a better deal right now." Fortunately my friends resisted the pressure and held out. For those friends that are already screwed, I don't say a goddamn word.

MaybeTheDingoAteYourCommission said...

People generally look down upon me for not buying a house. (Still, right to this date...) So I don't bother discussing it with them. They believe housing will only go up. It took a great while to even get my wife on my side. To this day she laments that we "don't even own a house!" yet. *sigh* I just tell her when the time is right...

Anonymous said...

I have a brain surgeon cousin who is a Harvard professor. She moved to Boston a year ago and asked me if she should buy a house. No way! I replied, and gave her the reasons as to why it was a bad decision (the elavated prices were the result of a bubble that won't bottom until early-to-mid 2010s). I also sent her some key graphs, articles, and information to ease any questions or doubts she may have had. She thanked me for preventing her from making a big mistake and said that she would continue to rent.

Well, jump forward a year later. She has just bought a one-bedroom condo for $410,000! Also bought Apple at $200 after it had tripled in a year.

Great example of how smart people can be retarded.

Anonymous said...

We've learned to boycott the housing question around the many friends and family homedebtors we know. It usually just ends up in a lot of angry denial so it's really pointless.

Anonymous said...

Had a conversation with a friend who was thinking about buying a house as an investment in near Pensacola Fl.

I think I convinced him to compare the monthly payment to the rental price. The P/E as I've learned here at HP. And that further the positive cash flow should be more than the 5% (of the down payment), which could be what he could earn risk free with a cd.

I think he listened. So he has housing panic to thank and he doesn't even know it. That's OK, I'll thank you for him.

THANKS KEITH AND ALL HP'ERS FOR MAKING A GREAT AND INFORMATIVE SITE HERE!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm actually asked about it now.

I talked about it for so long but nobody would listen.

Now, friends call me and ask me what they should do and where they should invest their money.

All I say now is "I dunno...you should have listened to me a year ago" shrug my shoulders and smile just like they did on the way up.

Anonymous said...

You are a fool Keith for thinking that real estate prices will crash. Here in Chicago's North Side, prices are doing well thank you very much. Yes, it is true that there are lots of properties for sale, and inventory is high, but prices are not crashing. I repeat: PRICES ARE NOT CRASHING. In the end, homes are selling but it is taking longer to sell and people are knocking off 10K to 30K not exactly a CRASH Keith. So keep dreaming Keith about a real estate crash.

Anonymous said...

You guys at HP and all HP'ers are fools. Do you really think the government will allow the housing market to crash? Of course not. The government will go ahead with an interest rate freeze and other innovations to prevent the housing market to crash. Prices will decline like 10% and then rebound. As Lawrence Kudlow said, "be optimistic about America and prices will rebound after a small correction".

Happy Homedebtor said...

Even though I'll be voting McCain if he survives the primaries, we're gonna end up with a Democrat. As such, they'll do anything and everything to keep people in their homes. So, an extreme handout is coming my way go go gadget free-money! :)

If things implode horribly and we end up with 50% price corrections, my house is only in my name, so when we're ready we'll buy another at half-off and hand in the keys to this one. We'll just have to get credit cards in my wife's name for awhile. :P So if things stablize/we get handouts, I win and you lose. If things completely implode, I still win and you may or may not. ;)

Either way we win in the end - it's called "hedging your bets", please look into it guys. ;) On that note, my IRA/401K have managed to nuke 75% of my gains last year in the first 2 weeks of this one - ah well, it's a marathon, not a sprint. ;) At least I won't be decimated with a 50-75% correction like gold in the next 2-3 years.

WaitingToBuy said...

I also live in the Hudson Valley and rent. And my rent is so much cheaper then buying. The "investor" I rent from is so underwater. When I last negotiated my least last year he brought up how he is underwater. I wanted to stay away from the subject with him. But i was laughing at him inside my head ;)

Andrew Hac said...

Man, Dude ! You all have to get it in your head:

A house is not for every one in the land of the U.S of Americano. If you are poor, trailer white-trash, welfare leech, Walmart greeter, Circuit City clerk, then you are not entitled, having the right, privilege to own a home. You are better off living in a trailer or an apartment. Owning a home takes hard work, dedication, and money.

Damned stupid Americano. Freaking Joe-6-pack and Jane-Zinfandel.

Anonymous said...

Even though I'll be voting McCain if he survives the primaries, we're gonna end up with a Democrat. As such, they'll do anything and everything to keep people in their homes. So, an extreme handout is coming my way go go gadget free-money! :)

Why would you vote for the lunatic McCain. The guy that thinks bombing other nations is a big joke:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAzBxFaio1I

This guy is certifiably insane but then in today's world it's the people that advocate peace and caution when dealing with international affairs that are labeled as the crazy ones. Down is up and up is down.

Today's America thinks it has the obligation to deliver freedom and democracy to other nations at the tip of a nuclear warhead. What the hell is going on here?

Anonymous said...

Even though I'll be voting McCain if he survives the primaries, we're gonna end up with a Democrat. As such, they'll do anything and everything to keep people in their homes. So, an extreme handout is coming my way go go gadget free-money! :)


PS - This is what the troops think of McCain:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xF_ZjhLd5Jo

Anonymous said...

I would not count on a democrat elect to bail you out of your mortgage.

If it helps you sleep right now then, by all means, keep telling yourself that. I would too.

Anonymous said...

http://leftofzen.com/quotes-atheism/2008/01/14/

NeuroAZ said...

For those betting on a housing bailout (Anon @ 6:32p), look at past housing cycles and see if there were bailouts back then. How many FBs will be helped by HOPE NOW? Clueless...

Sac'to Watcher said...

I would be more sympathetic, I really would. But:

1). When I would casually mention that housing was in a bubble when I started stating this five years ago (it was true here then), people looked at me like I had three heads.

2). This area had just come out of the implosion of the 90s bubble, and yet people were telling me up until last year that "housing never goes down". I looked at these people like they had three heads.

3). When things started looking like I said they would, everyone reached for the soothing syrup and ignored the signs.

For me, however, the last straw was:

4). Idiots who thought me nuts back in 2004, now claim that they foresaw all of this. They are naturally all underwater in mortgage debt.

Now, no sympathy, mo mercy. I rub their faces in it every chance I get. In spite of this, I get requests for "good investments"(!)

Damn sheep!

Boomba said...

I only talk about it with other renters. I live in Southern California and almost all of my friends who are home owners fell for the HELOC trap bigtime. All of them in over their heads. Talking realestate with them is just rubbing it in.

Anonymous said...

re: Harvard doctor

If you want to know how to invest your money, ask 10 doctors what they're into. Then whatever the majority says, do the opposite.

re: happy homedebtor

Hitlery and McIdiot will talk about "saving homeowners" till they're blue in the face. they aren't talking about you though. look at Hitlery's latest plan. nothing but mentions of low income and poor. unless you make $20K a year you aren't getting shit.

oh and your decimated 401/IRA could have been prevented had you done some research and didn't listen to "financial experts". I moved 90% of my 401k/IRA/SEP money in May 2007 from s&p index funds to metals, SRS, cash, bonds, and treasuries. my return for 2007 was close to 30%. so far 2008 is looking to be even better.

oh and while your paying your motgage, tax, insurance, hoa, maintenance and repair bills, i'm renting the same house for 50% and investing the difference.

you're right it is a marathon. but you don't win marathons by going backwards.

you keep hedging your bets, i'll keep making money

Bitterrenter said...

It's really bad here in Portland. The city already has a bad case of superiority so they can't fathom a real estate downturn. They think everyone wants to live here.

When I, a renter, talk of the housing crash I get comments about my "sour grapes" for not participating in the madness. Then there's the veiled threats of MY financial ruin if THEY lose money on their houses. Boils down to "You better hope my house doesn't lose value or we'll see a deep recession and you'll suffer to!"

Makes me want to see it all crash harder and faster.

Anonymous said...

I've been a housing bear since around 2001, here in Silicon Valley. To me, housing seemed always ridiculously priced by comparative standards. When prices really began to take off, having a front row seat for the dot com bubble allowed me to recognize a secondary bubble for what it was.

Right around the peak of housing, in 2005, I had MANY debates regarding what I thought would be a large correction in housing moving forward. It was a very common topic of conversation.

Nowadays, I just keep quiet. I have friends that are borderline on their capability to own their homes and many are also now unemployed. So when the topic of housing comes up, I generally just nod when folks who are still optimistic are talking about it. It is somewhat strange because knowing me, they expect me to bring up counterpoints to their ideas. But I often just respond with the "its your money, do whatever you want with it" phrase.

Oh, and to the moronic poster (or posters) who continuously claim that the government will swoop in and save people from losing their houses, you are mistaken. The government cannot create supply and demand. The government cannot create jobs. And the government will not lend you money.

Any actions being taken now which give the illusion of "helping" the common people exist merely to mitigate the damage to the banks. And ultimately, it is the banks and lenders that control the supply of credit.

As the mortgage debacle continues to unfold, the great engine that helped fuel this housing bubble (mainly the derivatives market) no longer exists. So loan reselling is rapidly dwindling. Without that faucet running, people will not be able to purchase homes since easy credit lending will be nonexistent since it will be the banks that ultimately have to incur the risk, as opposed to simply selling of their debt in CDOs. And that ultimately, will lead to a normalization of housing.

Anonymous said...

I read once a story about a young teenager in 1914 Belgium who loudly heckled town-incoming foreign troops the very first week the war started, like it was some kind of lost fotballgame. He understood deadly late that war actually was something quite different.

Similarly; then one can read about smart remarks on the theme "I told you so" leading to fists and handguns comming out from nowhere - then one knows its high time for a more unassuming profile.

Anonymous said...

For the most part I keep quiet because when I do speak up DENIAL is all I get in return. I listen to them and point out the factual weaknesses in the points they make (if the cite any facts at all).

I would make my well reasoned fact based balanced analysis and from it draw a conclusion that is reasonable only to realize it was all just wasted time, energy, effort and breath as the just pan my entire position based upon DENIAL and nothing else.

pay the vig said...

happy homedebtor said... "At least I won't be decimated with a 50-75% correction like gold in the next 2-3 years."

If you really believe that government RE bailouts are on the way, then how the hell can you also expect gold prices to crash? Gold prices are increasing because money supplies around the world are increasing. Just like RE prices increased as more credit became available. You don't need a PhD in economics to see what is happening.

You however might do well to read a book or two and learn some basic economics, before it's too late.

Anonymous said...

You were smart enough to avoid the house bubble. Are you smart enough to see peak oil coming?

happy homeowner in the stix said...

Well, haven't heard any "it's a great time to buy!" speeches from anyone but realtors.

Actually, they are pretty funny....insisting that there are customers out there. (I guess "out there" means Mars?) I haven't seen a sold sign in weeks.

Anyway...instead of people talking about how much money they "made", I've been hearing more ridicule of what realtors have to say....get any group of homeowners together here, and mention some of the staging tips that realtors insist on. God forbid you have two appliances on your countertop, or have a wall in a color other than beige!

You know that realtors are pretty much hitting bottom when people openly say they would rather have their kids grow up to drive the porta potty emptying truck, because at least they would be providing a valuable service while they are slinging shit everywhere....

Anonymous said...

"Semi-Unemployed" and soon to be divorced "Loan Officer"

You poor guy! Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I used to send info on the crash and the recession/depression to everyone I knew. When one relative began blocking my emails, I sent out an email that said I wasn't going to bother anymore. A few people complained that I was stopping. Those people became my new email list.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
You were smart enough to avoid the house bubble. Are you smart enough to see peak oil coming?

January 14, 2008 9:19 PM"

OF COURSE WE ARE!!! Charles Hugh Smith (one of the links here) wrote on this extensively years ago. Personally, I have read three books on the subject. Next question?

Lady Di said...

Heck yeah I talk about it.

I've saved some. Others are in denial and went ahead and walked off that cliff.

If I offend someone, so be it. It isn't the first time and won't be the last.

As my mom has always told me, it is better that you leave a room having made an impression whether it is good or bad than to not have made one at all.

Anonymous said...

I laugh up my sleave, it keeps me from getting the bloody nose.

Roccman said...

No one likes to talk about the die off Keith!

I keep mostly quiet about it.

Bwhahahahahahhahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!

NOODLES said...

Problem with saying anything is , UNLESS they are "loved ones" does anything I say to some fool make a difference to their denial state of mind. My dear sister, bless her soul. Due to her Christian bible thumping hubbie, thinks that we (US)love the world and do everything for selfless Christian love sharing for Democracy.

Housing is an investment, not a consumer item. Peak Oil is fake. Gold and silver are bad. His stock holdings consist of E-Trade, Krispy Kreme, Home Depot, Wal-mart, and Apple.

Despite most being down to slaughter level. His biblical beliefs state that storing silver and gold are bad, and quotes some slave belief..quote

All I know is that he still thinks he is worth over $ million, But has really been cut in half in the last three months.


Only to get cut in half again, and again and again. Will he realize that all is not well in the world.

I think the straw that breaks his back is when he realizes that his house is not worth $400,000, but only $250,000 or less.


Then he may wake up from his denial.

Kenduffelsniffenspotzen said...

Around here most people own. I find it best not to say anything.

Anonymous said...

Real estate over the long term does not go down in value. But you HP'ers won't buy that. I hope you guys are happy living in your shitty apartment while I live in my nice house.

Anonymous said...

" Anonymous said...
Real estate over the long term does not go down in value. But you HP'ers won't buy that. I hope you guys are happy living in your shitty apartment while I live in my nice house."

First of all you must define "value" and specify the time frame. Whenever you use the word "always" you need to back it up. Not to mention factoring in macro economic factors such as the current imploding bubble with it's knock on effects. Markets, including RE ebb and flow. Are you going to fault HP'ers for choosing to buy at the right time? Put your money where your mouth is and get out and buy some AZ condos! It's a great time to buy,right?
'

January 16, 2008 1:22 AM

Anonymous said...

"I hope you guys are happy living in your shitty apartment while I live in my nice house."

Why do you assume all HP'ers are renters? And there's nothing wrong with renting. Multi-millionaires like Peter Schiff choose to rent. I also am happy living in my nice house. Mine is paid for, yours?

Anonymous said...

Peter Schiff is on NBC news tonight 1/16/08.

Princess Mononoke said...

I don't even bother anymore! I'm still getting calls from former prospective clients who thought I was full of $hit a year or two ago, panicked and NOW need my help. Bottom line: I can not help them anymore. Toooooo late!

I ought to just change my number!