Tuesday, August 23, 2016

This was the summer to sell a home

On a $300,000 home, you can save at least $15,000
by selling it yourself
Which means, of course, it was not the time to buy a home.

At least not in Bend, where housing prices are reaching pre-recession levels again.

The median price for a home here is $347,800, according to Zillow.

Local appraisers say it's $364,000.

Prices soared 10.2 percent in the past year.

On the annual tour of homes this summer, there were at least a dozen homes priced above $1 million.

Vacant lots on the east side of Bend that were snatched up by hedge funds when the market collapsed in 2008 are now full of homes in the $300,000 range.

The rental vacancy rate is near 1 percent, which helps explain the busy buying season. If you can find a house to rent, it can easily cost $1,700 a month.

But, the prices of homes are so high in Bend that fewer people, from OSU students to medical professionals, can afford to move here. The police department can't fill its open slots because of the high cost of housing.

I sold a home this summer for someone else in a FSBO, for sale by owner, transaction.

It wasn't always smooth sailing, but it closed and the owners got their money.

With Zillow, Trulia and Craigslist, there is no need to pay for expensive advertising.

Zillow and Trulia let you post for free. This includes pictures and videos. These sites provide market analysis and it's easy to figure out the price to sell your house for.

The only thing to buy is a yard sign with a box for flyers. In fact, yard signs are the most effective way to sell a house. If people are interested in living in your neighborhood, they'll drive by and find it.

If you're selling a home in a hot market, in a desirable neighborhood and below the median price in the city, you should have no trouble selling your home on your own.

There were many lookers at the property, including a handful from the west side of Bend who were looking to get away from the congestion over there.

One guy from the central coast of California was moving to Bend because there is abundant water here.

Realtors hounded me, but they didn't have to anything substantive to offer.

There were a few flippers who looked and offered.

But, it seems the time to flip houses has slipped away again.

It's hard to imagine how the housing market will continue to boom, particularly with millenials opting out.

Over the past 30 years, the economic growth rate coming out of a recession continues to decline.

Wages have risen slightly, but there is no way to keep up with the escalating housing prices.

The median income in Bend is $52,000 and it's hard to buy much with that income, especially a $350,000 home.

Plus, banksters and Wall Streeters are gambling again on the housing market.

The Great Recession was caused, in part, by collateralized debt obligations or CDOs.

Lenders, brokers and the ratings agencies conspired to deceive investors.

We no longer have CDOs, but we now have BTOs or bespoke tranche opportunities. Doesn't that sound encouraging.

New regulations were put in place to help prevent another economic collapse, but, rest assured, Wall Street and banksters will find a way to wreck the economy and have the taxpayers pick up the tab.

In the past 200 years, this country has suffered through 16 major bank crises. During that span in Canada, there were no bank failures.

We're headed towards another recession. High wage jobs disappear daily which means many can't afford to buy or rent in the places where there are jobs.

So, sit out the current housing frenzy and wait until prices crater yet again.

Monday, August 22, 2016

America suffering from Trumpitis

Rumor has it that Donald Trump, upset that he didn't dominate the news cycles during the Olympics, is hiring Ryan Lochte as a media consultant.

In The Donald's rare case, it couldn't hurt.

Nothing else seems to help him.

Not that he would want any help anyway.

This election season, Trump will unite Americans the way he's united the Republican Party.

Scores of Republicans, including two ex-presidents, have said Trump is unfit to serve as POTUS.

Many prominent Republicans have endorsed Hillary Clinton.

The Wall Street Journal urged Trump to drop out of the race by Labor Day if he can't clean up his act.

The WSJ is owned by Rupert Murdoch, who also owns Fox News. If Trump can't win over that crowd, who can he win over?

Well, we know: white supremacists. They seem to love The Donald.

But, Don the Con will win over other groups as well.

In spite of Trump's attacks on John McCain's war record including his 5-plus years as a POW, or his rants against a Muslim-American couple who lost their son serving this country in combat, or his thoughtless comment about always wanting a Purple Heart but evaded serving in Vietnam, Trump will easily win the vote of the vast majority of the Armed Forces.

Also, newspapers that now write editorials slamming Trump, will endorse him before the election. Of course, newspaper endorsements mean little these days.

Evangelicals, who claim to look for Christian purity in a candidate and know Trump is hardly Christian in his words or actions, will flock to him on Election Day.

Why would these folks back Trump? They suffer from Trumpitis, an affliction caused by an irrational hatred of Hillary Clinton or any Democrat.

But, Trumpitis touches many more Americans.

In fact, millions secretly support The Donald because they not only hate Hillary, but also detest blacks, Hispanics, Muslims and gays.

The Donald represents the racists, bigots and sexists among us. Sadly, that number is almost half the electorate, including friends, family and co-workers.

Quite an indictment of this land of immigrants. It makes us a lot less "exceptional" and more like other troubled areas of the world.

And, tweeting won't solve the problem.