March 31, 2008

HousingPANIC Stupid Question of the Day

Flipside to yesterday's question: Which of the
largest American cities and towns (over 100,000) are infested with the LEAST amount of scum per capita?

Here's my top five for starters, although it's going mainly from past memory vs. current conditions (and REIC infestation) on the ground today:

1) Ft. Collins, CO
2) Madison, WI
3) Lincoln, NE
4) Portland, OR
5) Ann Arbor, MI

You know I'm thinking a computer could do this for us. It'd be great to get a list of towns with the highest and lowest amount of mortgage brokers and realtors per capita. There's your answer.

The REIC and easy credit ruined towns.


Anonymous said...


Madison Wisconsin????

The Berkeley of the Midwest!


Anonymous said...

It's not Portland, OR. We are pretty bubbly here.

keith said...

The question isn't who's liberal or conservative or who's bubbly or not

It's what towns are the least filled up with scum

Think Miami. Now think the opposite


Pay Lay Ale said...

Portland, OR???? Gag me with a spoon. I grew up there. Housing values in portland are up 400-500% in the last 20 years. Plus you have a state and city government that is marxist.

Oh, and then you have terrible traffic and terrible weather.

And you have speed limits that are among the lowest in the country. The speed limit on the FWY gets down to 45mph in some places with it averaging 50. The cops there enforce the ridiculously low limits with a vengeance.

Can't pump your own damn gas.

It also has a confiscatory income tax (both city and state).

brian t said...

Of those options, the only one I've been to is #1, on a business trip a year ago, from Europe. Fort Collins is a university town with a decent high-tech sector, including a big HP research center. I came away with a very positive impression - I could live there.

Anonymous said...

I believe that's a trick question. The scum are everywhere.

Afterthought said...

Lincoln, NE

Used to live there, wonderful people, but guess what? Moving in the wrong direction!

(surprise, surprise)

Ed said...

Your question really should be name your favorite liberal mid-sized city. Since anyone who doesn't parrot the far-left talking points is by definition scum in the HP/DailyKook book.

Using that criteria Missoula, MT has to rank up there.

Ed said...

Hey wait a sec. These college towns all have bars where young women get drunk, especially on their b-days. You all should stay away as you might easily get offended.

Anonymous said...

I'm another fan of Portland, I live about 50 miles south of Portland. Then I visit its always great, the city has overseas feel to it. Lots of green space, good places to eat and fun things to do. I like towns around 50k, over that they are too big for this country boy.

keith said...

I put over 100,000 people because I can come up with a ton of small towns that are in my view relatively scum-free

But you'd be surprised - towns that you think are REIC free are now swarming - like Billings Montana I hear

One day down the road I might move back to the US so I'm interested in where it'd be safe

Right now leaning toward Boulder and Portland

Or not returning...

Anonymous said...

I love how the Michigan homer puts in Ann Arbor at #5

It's probably not so scummy, since the people are all too full of themselves to notice

Anonymous said...

I saw a documentary awhile back that portrayed Portland as the meth capital of the country. Nice wholesome scum-free place, right?

Anonymous said...

Scum or deluded?

My wife just got back from a medical conference in Denver, Colorado where she heard a cardiologist from the region claim that he's never seen higher rates of heart disease and a population more in denial than anywhere else he's practiced around the country.

If the folks in the Denver area live in denial about their health imagine how they feel about their home prices.

Anonymous said...

Fort Collins did the housing boom, now bust. Then they did the commercial boom which is bust. I have fond memories of when Fort Collins was a livable place.

happy homeowner in the stix said...

Only been to Ft Collins, and it was years ago. Pretty, and the people seemed ok, but the prices were ridiculous in Colorado even before the big run-up.

(However, with all the coastal cities people you have on this blog, Keith, do us in flyover country a favor and don't tell them about the nicer places in the interior. We'd kind of appreciate it if they stayed in their wretched ocean view 'burgs. Thanks!)

Marky Mark said...

Gadsen, AL

Beautiful traditional southern town - and very affordable...

Marky Mark

Anonymous said...

Ft Collins was great in the mid 1990s, but the bubble infested there too. Not overrun with housing gambler scum but it lost most of its charm.

Dave said...

Seriously, check out Pittsburgh. No really. Great rivers and terrain. As far as the housing market the housing bubble has not affected it much. Rents are in line with property values. Strong jobs and the number one industry is health services.

When we wanted to move a few years back we also considered Boulder and Portland. Home prices were way too high and the culture was vanilla at best. Housing in Pittsburgh is dirt cheap for both buying and renting. In fact in many areas it is cheaper to buy than rent.

There is a reason the city was rated number 1 most livable AGAIN.

Pittsburghers are tough and would be glad to beat the crap out of these $30,000 millionaire douchbag losers.

Anonymous said...

Chattanooga TN, 155,000

Picturesque and reinvigorated downtown with restaurants, shops, muesemes situated along the Tennessee river in the midst of striking mountains.

Very affordable with middle class neighborhoods full of historic cottages hanging along the side of the mountains over looking the city and river.

Not a college town but still a progressive culture (for the SE) anyway due to the mountains and outdoors lifestyle (including hiking biking etc…) that is embraced.

Politically pretty neutral. Older folks pretty conservative and younger folks pretty liberal
and in between are mostly in between.

Good economy with high tech and particularly high tech manufacturing (nano) thriving.

Bad part, is it is the SE still so church is a pretty big influence. And the winters while short can still get pretty cold due to the elevation.

Otherwise a great place. If I ever move back to TN it would be there and not to my home town Nashville.

Keyser Soze said...

I see you like college towns. One of my favorite things to do on a Sunday to attend a senior recital. They are always enjoyable and the kids like to see butts in the seats. I prefer the piano. I once heard a young man give an absolutely stunning performance of Ravel's 'Pavane For A Dead Princess'.

Brian said...

Rochester, MN
I'm 32 and I've lived in Rochester my whole life. I don't know anyone who is a mortgage broker, and I know 2 people who are realtors. I've never even seen a 30k millionaire here.

i've had it said...

I wouldn't put one of those towns on the best places to live...crawling with college students and militant anti-American leftists. I'm surprised you didn't add in Cambridge and Berkeley to the mix.

The fact is that there are few good places left to live in America. I supposed there are some places in the Carolinas but that's probably about it.

America is Dead said...

NoWhere in America.

America and its stupid greedy people are F*cked.

Jump, As*holes.

Anonymous said...

I would say most of the nice places to live are in the Carolinas and Virginia.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to burst your bubble about Fort Collins, but I lived there in the early 90's an attorney practicing real estate law. Even then the machinations to get kickbacks from lenders, flip properties and steal from the city government was unbelievable.

It is even worse with the latest real estate bubble.

If you generally avoid the markets and lawyers, you can have a nice life there, but don't delude yourself about the lack of bottom feeders. The place (and the USA as a whole) is full of them.

Anonymous said...

The U.S.A. it once took only one wage to keep a house and family, now it takes more than 3

Mark in San Diego said...

From the comments here, I would also say Pittsburgh. . .they went through the steel bust from 1975-1990 that left high unemployment, and lots of cheap houses. . .but they are tough and survived. . .never was a property boom there. Good arts, good colleges - Carnegie-Mellon, etc. Good sports teams. . .if you lived in the city, you would probably want to send your kids to private schools, but with the low price of housing, you could afford that. . .also some nice suburbs with good schools. . .decent airport, and nice downtown right on three rivers. . .lots of people can afford a pleasure boat there. . .the weather sucks a bit in the winter, but again, with low cost of living, you can take the family to Florida or Bahamas for January!. . ."you-uns"* should check it out. . .

*You-uns. . .a local word for "all of you, or You'all

Anonymous said...

Portland and Seattle are REIC holdouts. I vote FT. Collins.

Anonymous said...

Wichita, Kansas. I sold my house in LA in 2003 and moved here where I could pay cash for a house. Employment is strong (mostly aircraft) and housing is cheap.

Anonymous said...

Gadsen, AL

Beautiful traditional southern town - and very affordable...

Don't forget to bring your KKK gear before you move in.

Anonymous said...

Hey Keith, why come back? Stay there; this country is rotten and it'll only get worse, especially after Obama.

Anonymous said...

Norman, OK. There the housing prices are still 3-5 times the median family income, the way it ought to be.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but most of my picks have population < 100k, which reduces scum considerably. Like anywhere else in America, give it a couple of years to reach 100k. I also try to stay away from hickland-USA.

1. Bellevue, WA
2. Portland, OR
3. American Canyon, CA
4. Bellingham, WA
5. Novato, CA
6. Charlottesville, VA
7. Boise, CO
8. Olympia, WA
9. San Luis Obispo, CA
10. Coeur d'Alene, ID

Let's have a redo of international ones, Keith.

Anonymous said...

Huntington Beach, CA I live directly across from the beach I walk to bars/restaurants I split 1600/mo total with util my modern triple wide mobile home in a resort community. Paid cash 75K for home in 2007 1450/mo space rent, 150/mo avg util.
I can drive my hybrid car 15 min to most magor OC employers.

HB is a fun OC beach city close to everything , great surf with a more humble society of people then Newport or anywhere in South OC. And hotties evrywhere.

Anonymous said...

Portland OR aka Poorland, Pooragain really sucks. I moved there in 2005 after cashing out my san Diego county home. I paid cash for a SE Porttland bungalo. I was working at Intel in Hillsboro horrible commute and the MAX train took even longer. I was also taking over 12 bucks an hour pay cut compared to CA. And I was at the higher income bracket so no other job options in PDX. Also most jobs are in the subburbs not in Multnomah county beacause the tax laws are not business freindly in Multnomah Cty where Portland is. Lots of tweakers roaming the streets of Portland tons of homeless horrilble public services since Portland is appartly broke. Also very high property taxes which pay for substandard schools.
A lot of gentrification was taking place in North Portland ghettos. Where they were putting in trendy coffee houses and art galleries then putting in POS townhouses and charging ridiculous prices ie: Alberta Arts District
The weather was soo depressing

bitterrenter said...

The only livable places in this country are the liberal places. It's always been that way.

The rest are wastelands of shit.

Anonymous said...

Shreveport, Louisiana... Affordable housing, low property taxes, and moderate economic growth.

Anonymous said...

Grandma PKK here--

Are you talking real estate scum?

As a lifelong former resident of Portland, Oregon and a 1 year failed realtor in 1977, let me tell you something is ROTTEN!!!!!!!!!!!!
in Portland, Oregon. ROTTEN as a defunct Columbia salmon.

Being a former re salesperson, whenever I rented a house, I always checked the tax stats, mortgage owed, etc.As a single parent, I had no credit and couldn't buy a house.

In 1990 the house we rented had a
mortgage against it for 80 K. Houses in that neighborhood, probably went from low 40's to 80K.
Nice, tidy, working class neighborhood. House was two blocks away from a main street, in two directions.Nearby was a troubled grade school, some littering, and moderate drug issues within blocks. Better than on the cusp, but not far from cusp. House sold for 119 K in 1996. Sold 4 years later for 220. Sold in 2006 for 332K. ??? ???..neighborhood if anything had started to have juvenile break in problems. Nobody has changed occupations as it was a pretty stable neighborhood. In 16 years it multiplied by 4? more or less?

Not far from there, a house so small it didn't bother to list a bedroom was listed for 189K in 2005. Throughout 2005 and into 2006 when I left, I think the lowest I saw was 150K, in run down neighborhoods, with meth problems. Right. I'm sure there were houses that sold for less by word of mouth, but jeeze.

I know a woman who sold her paid for house on contract to son,which he couldn't really afford,( both he and his girl earned minimum or just above, so they rented a room out in the basement for $500), she bought small house for business, for which she was paying maybe 500-600 /mo, then bought another house, probably near 800 per month. Her bookkeeper told her it was all about credit and cash flow, and after a lifetime of frugality, she bought into it. She said after all expenses, she made about 10K a year and had a few very part time employees. Does that seem sustainable to you?

And then there's the couple featured in local paper who opened 3! restaurants, had a baby, closed one restaurant (couldn't anybody in these transactions see that coming?), then the other, then filed for divorce. WHAT THE H@#$

In St Johns, an old comfortable blue collar neighborhood, where I grew up, and where alcohol and then drug problems have been endemic forever, a lovely big house that had been turned into a duplex was listed in 2006 for 500K. Had to agree to keep upstairs as rental.
Nearby school touted as good school. Same for nearby HSchool.
Both schools have high poverty and at risk kid problems. The house in that price range would be suitable for a doctor, lawyer. Why would they want a tenant upstairs? How about the schools? It's out on one end of the city; hard to get to any private school. I really thought the real estate lister was "pimping" the house. It totally pissed me off, in fact was a small factor of recognized insanity which led to my exit from the pristine City of Roses. There are many nice older houses bought by numbers of people or roomed out; lots of small businesses selling kitschy stuff; this is just blocks away from people really suffering long term from poverty. Who is going to want to buy a scraped paint dresser for hundreds of dollars or an ugly, talentless painting, when the Depression gets full blown?Those little shops are going to close like shutters at sundown.

Living in Colorado with son because I can't afford Portland. There used to always be places to stay that were affordable. I raised my kids alone, no child support, no housing supplement, mediocre job. One thing I learned about credit or the lack of it. If you need credit, it's because you don't make enough as it is to spend as much as you want.

Financials make up 40 per cent of our economy, up from 10 percent in about 1980. Financials are credit.
I would say, it's safe to say, means we are living close to 40 percent over our ACTUAL, REAL INCOME. (Not me,but collective we).
What kind of lifestyle would we be living if we had lived real.

Reversion to reality is going to hurt our heads...all the thoughts we've had about others who were poor, will turn on us. We will either have to feel very bad about ourselves or admit we were living a charade and not much better than the ones we were busy looking down on.

Anonymous said...

Grandma pkk said.....

Reversion to reality is going to hurt our heads...all the thoughts we've had about others who were poor, will turn on us. We will either have to feel very bad about ourselves or admit we were living a charade and not much better than the ones we were busy looking down on.

Amen Grandma. You got guns right?

Anonymous said...

HousingPANIC will not be over until all of the people who demanded to get the things that they "deserved" are praying that they DON'T get the punishment that they deserve.

Anonymous said...

There is no doubt what so ever, the town you are looking for is Phoenix, Arizona.

Where the people are well educated, adjusted and happy.

Nowhere else even comes close.

Anonymous said...

The only livable places in this country are the liberal places. It's always been that way.

The rest are wastelands of shit.

Even Frank knows that. That's why he moved to California from that POS AZ.

Mitesh Damania said...

Huntington Beach, CA I live directly across from the beach I walk to bars/restaurants I split 1600/mo total with util my modern triple wide mobile home in a resort community. Paid cash 75K for home in 2007 1450/mo space rent, 150/mo avg util.

HB is full of trailer trash.. Oh wait..

drew said...

Atlanta. No water, granted, and the governor is a special breed of the corrupt, pseudo-Christian psycho that dominates the Republican Party, but ATL's got good people and, with salaries as high as Manhattan and a cost-of-living less than half it, it's affordable. I could buy a nice townhouse in Midtown for maybe $200k. Same house in DC, Cal, NY, or any of the filthy hellholes in the Midwest would cost at least double that.

Anonymous said...

How about Lansing, Michigan. There are a lot of good people there, housing prices are reasonable. Jobs are in short supply, but that may change.

Anonymous said...

mitesh damania said...
HB is full of trailer trash.. Oh wait..

Thats news to me. Theres only 2 mobile home parks at the beach The park Im at is not at all trashy, Oh yeah and my "trailer" is paid for with housing bubble loot and I stuck the rest of my 300K windfall in the bank.

So where does Mitesh live?

Aksenov said...

Yeah, Pittsburgh is by far the best city in the US. I wonder how long it's going to stay that way. I moved back to Russia from US, but I lived in Fla for number of years and in Pgh for two years and saw many cities across the country. No scum in Pgh, maybe a bit of a drinking problem (what a surprise!) and Steelers maniacs all over the place. But on the plus side the nicest parks I've ever seen, the best health services, lots of educated people, beautiful nature and distinct architecture. Unbelievable, especially after cookie-cutter ridden faceless FL neighborhoods.