Sunday, March 05, 2006

Feedback Welcome

It would be really appreciated if my readers could provide some feedback. Here are some areas of feedback I would like to see:

1) What you like about this blog
2) What you don't like about this blog
3) Topics you want me to write more about
4) Other stuff

Please comment in the comments section. Thanks so much.


  1. Love it. But, would like to see a greater focus on hard data, and less of a focus on unverifiable, subjective claims ("The seller must be desperate. This flipper is flopping helplessly on the beach.")

  2. The things I like best are articles about specific properties or neighborhoods in the DC/NOVA/MD and Baltimore area. The question I would like to have answered is what will happen to the Baltimore market in a cooling DC market. It seems most of the activity in Baltimore is directed towards people who are priced out of DC and willing to make the commute. I have been following listings in a West Baltimore neighborhood for three months. What I see are rehab houses selling well at under the $100K point, but when they come back as end-user residences at $250K-$300K, they sit unsold for months.

  3. anon,

    Thanks for your comments. BTW, I changed the wording from "The seller must be desperate. This flipper is flopping helplessly on the beach" to "The seller seems desperate."

  4. I like the focus on DC metro, and echo the request for more Bal'mer stuff.

    Hard data is always good, but so is snark. It won't be pretty if/when several trillion dollars of "market value" goes up in smoke. We might as well get a few chuckles out of it.

  5. I think flippers are not only a good topic but they are a great indicator of where things are headed. With the advent of Zillow it’s easy for the layperson to understand what was invested and what the actual value is. Just throw in the additional cost of doing business i.e. commission, closing, repairs, tax liability etc..

    I think most people who view these blogs are pissed at the realtors and flippers for ruining the market by running prices through the roof, purely out of personal greed. That being said! Watching them go down in flames brings an unfortunate degree of satisfaction. IMHO.

    Here’s a quick example: Note what was paid, what it cost to put it back on the market and what the Zillow value is. This is a great example of flippers buying in the heat of passion and not bothering to get a home inspection. They could have built a comparable new home for less.

    Hope the link works,-N133508,-N,-A,-N7930777

  6. I was the one who complained of a pervasive lack of maturity on this site. Ridiculous and hateful posts that don't advance the discussion and actually lower the bar (ex. house listed at 600k and,well thought out comment - "I'll pay 150K no more" followed by the ever mature LOL or LMAO.

    Yes, the sophisticated audience here has called me a liar, shill, fraud, realtor - you name it.

    When I graduated from college in 1980 and moved to D.C. in 1981, we couldn't afford a one-bedroom condo in a slum. THE DIFFERENCE between then and now: we weren't BLAMING anyone. Depressed yes. Blaming others for our situation NO.

    We searched for 2 years to find our "deal"; a run-down fixer-upper that we spent sweat equity fixing up.

    The gen x'ers or y's or whatever want granite, stainless, plasma and BMW's and don't want to sacrifice.

    I'm not here much because I am sick of the whining and the immature desire to see others lose everything so these cry-babies can have their dream house.

  7. anon 1:32,

    You write of a "pervasive lack of maturity on this site." Does this include me or are you referring to some of the posters on my site?

  8. Both actually David. I recall some of your posts being almost gleeful at the prospect of mass financial ruin. And the posters on this site failing to realize what 80% drops in home prices will do to the economy (think bread lines). They naively think that their own jobs and way of life will be unaffected.

    It is pure jealousy, envy, whatever. If you are going to base your entire happiness in life in how you stack-up against the Jones', then you may as well fold your tent now. Someone is always going to be more successful(financially) than you.

    We chose long ago not to measure ourselves in such superficial terms. I wish everyone well. It is a waste of resources to spend time being jealous. Again, it may be generational. I NEVER would have moved home after college. The humiliation would have been unbearable. Times have changed, I suppose.

    There is a certain sense of entitlement that did not exist in my generation. (I am 48 as of Friday).

  9. 48-year-old anon has a point. As a renter, I'm sick and tired of everyone saying they're making a killing on the market, and I think they're being fools. And, just like everyone else, I want to be correct for sitting out. And I think these prices are just insane. However, there seems to be a giddiness about "the coming crash", and we do have to be cognizant of that fact that if things crash *really* bad, it could really screw up the economy in a lot of bad ways. (Such that we won't be able to just grab a house for a song, since banks may have gone under, or mortgages have gone up to 18% or something)

    just a thought..

  10. Some of the comments on here are ridiculous.

    House prices in many areas have more than doubled, tripled, and even quadrupled. So why is it ridiculous or immature or whatever to think that the prices are going to collapse by 50-80%?

    I certainly believe that prices will collapse by that much in real terms, though I also believe the monetary authorities will do everything in their power to keep things going up, which may keep nominal prices higher than they otherwise would be.

    I don't doubt such a collapse in real prices will have serious economic effects. But that certainly isn't my fault as a housing bubble skeptic.

    I compare the prices of the houses I see in the DC area to the prices they were at 5-6 years ago, and to the prices of much nicer homes in safer neighborhoods in Dallas, which 5-6 years ago was more comparably priced to the DC area. 5-6 years ago is NOT ancient history. I see cruddy, old houses in crime- and traffic- riddled areas being offered at 600K. They are worth no more than 150K to me. And 5-6 years ago, that is what they would have been offered at.

    I am not out in the market looking to buy. I am merely observing this bubble as a fascinating example of human madness. Yes, it means economic ills are coming. But don't blame the people who point that out.

    By the way, another thing from 5-6 years ago. The Nasdag hit 5000. It was struggling to hit 1000 a few years later, but when it was at 5000, those of us who said "that's just completely a joke" were similarly disparaged. Too bad we were right.

  11. Whoops... meant Nasdaq. Spelling police please calm down.

  12. Thanks for asking for feedback David. I like this Blog because it gives examples of actual properties on the market and craigslist listing and other related info. Then getting everyone else's feedback is cool.

    What I don't like too much is all the posts (not yours, David) about how shit will hit the fan and prices will vaporize. Prices might go down, but why the glee? Renters got envy or something?

    Please continue to give examples of investors getting out of the market as well as others who are. Bubble-stuff is too much prognistication- meaning we need to look at numbers/sales/days on market to get a good guage in the long-run.

    Love to see how owners are hedging their bets and why people might still buy or sell. Thanks.

  13. I would remove the ability for anonymous posts (like this one ;), because it makes it too easy for someone to troll.

  14. The heading "Mortgage Scum Ad on Craigslist" is a good example of over-the-top editorializing. It might be enjoyable or enticing to some, but the "scum" adjective is a complete turn-off to me.

  15. "The heading "Mortgage Scum Ad on Craigslist" is a good example of over-the-top editorializing. It might be enjoyable or enticing to some, but the "scum" adjective is a complete turn-off to me."

    anon 8:59,

    Thanks for posting your opinion. This blog will NOT just post such infomation and take a nuetral stand towards such deceptive and destructive advertisements. The proffessional shills like David Lereah will be called out for there cheerleading. Those mortgage brokers who lie while pushing toxic mortgages will be ridiculed and challenged. They are like drug pushers.

    This blog does NOT and will NOT take a nuetral stand to those in the housing industrial complex who lie to and / or take advantage of people. Bubble Meter will continue to fight the good fight.

  16. David,

    I enjoy reading this blog because you cut through the real estate industry bull shit. Phony numbers in quarterly reports and powder-puff research from real estate associations need to be exposed! Also, the main stream media (MSM) such as the Washington Post continue to pump up the real estate market with biased articles.

    We need your blog. You are doing a great public service!

  17. I want to respond to anyone who is annoyed with "gleeful renters" posting about how the economy will hit the fan and housing prices will plummet.

    After 5 years hearing condo and homeowners boosting of how they have made fortunes in Real Estate, I am all for people coming onto your site and being able to say "I told you so!". Unfortunately now that the bubble has popped many people want to shoot the messenger. Unfortunately, I worry that people have not learned any lessons from the stock market crash of 2000 or from the housing bubble crash of 2005-6-7-8-9-10. If people aren't able to come on to sites like yours and discuss the MAJOR, MAJOR, MAJOR, STUPID, STUPID MOVES that "investors" have been making in the real estate market then I ask you WHERE ELSE CAN WE TALK ABOUT IT? I've been watching blogs about the bubble for at least a year and a half and I think that most people on these blogs have been sending the same two messages: DON'T BUY a house or condo right now. And if you are going to buy anyway DON'T use some kind of CRAZY mortgage (IO, ARM, etc.) Now, this sounds like the best advice that could have been given to people over the past 2 years! The professionals (RE Agents and Mortgage Brokers and Journalists and FoxNEWS) were all sending the opposite message: BUY NOW {prices only go up (chase the rising prices), you will be priced out (fear) and USE A CRAZY MORTGAGE (no money down, "instant equity" (still haven't figured this one out), low monthly payments, choose how much to pay each month.} I ask you: Doesn't an agent, mortgage broker, journalist or newscaster have a responsibility or obligation to protect their client? Or are they just in it for the money? Shouldn't someone from these "respected" and "noble" fields have sat down with home buyers and explained the FACTS! The only people I have seen giving the kind of advice that is REASONED and RATIONAL have been people on HOUSING BUBBLE BLOGS like this one!



    2. We want to BUY! Finally we see the light at the end of the tunnel of home ownership. There are quite a few people out there who have been wanting to buy a house (not an investment) for at least 1-2-3 years, but thought that there was a bubble. These people are not "giddy" or "gleeful" because some "greedy flipper" got overextended and went bankrupt (which there will be hundreds of thousands (MILLIONS?) in the next few years). Nor are they "giddy" or "gleeful" because the economy is going to hit the fan. They are "giddy" and "gleeful" because they will soon be able to buy a house! Is that not the American DREAM! They saved up their money! They did not impulse buy! They did not take out an I/O mortgage that will bankrupt them in 3 years! They did not refinance their house to by an Escalade! They actually SAVED money last year! (National savings rate negative last year for first time since 1933? These same people would CHEER if the savings rate went up to 5%!) They did everything RIGHT! Now that their time has come to shine you are saying that they are just greedy because they want to be able to afford a house!
    Keep it in perspective: The people that have caused the economy to collapse are NOT the people on this blog. The people that have brought this catastrophe upon all of us are everyone that bought into the housing bubble. It is time for the Bubble Believer of 2004 to become what they have wanted all along to be:

    A Home Owner!

    Also, I'm sick of not being able to say to people things like "I think that housing prices will be down 30% this year." at coctail parties because I might "offend" someone that is "heavily into RE". (I still haven't figured out how I am offending them yet, except maybe that I am scaring them! ARE YOU SCARED BY WHAT GETS SAID ON HOUSING BUBBLE SITES?)

    Besides, if you don't want to hear "gleeful renters" posting about how the housing bubble bursting will hurt the U.S. economy and housing prices will drop, WHAT ARE YOU DOING AT A HOUSING BUBBLE SITE?!?


    Eric in DC

  18. Bitter Renters need to come here

    for a dose of reality.

    You know I'm right.

  19. Eric in DC is right.

  20. Bitterrenter,

    I'm not sure what you think you are right about. But I am NOT a renter and I am NOT bitter! THAT WAS THE WHOLE POINT!


    Eric in DC

  21. I'm a renter. But I'm not bitter. What I am, is absolutely aghast at the madness. And I have also pointed out, here and on other blogs, that the messenger will be shot when prices fall. I can scroll up and read the lectures, and the whining, from, I assume, the same folks who have looked down their noses at renters for the past several years. These are the same people who have smugly promoted their "shrewd real estate investments." David, you are a Galbraith fan, I believe. Didn't he point out, in his book on financial euphoria, that "genius is before the fall?" I think so.

    As for the Bubble Meter Blog, I like it. And I appreciate David's hard work in maintaining it. That some readers may not like the message is hardly constructive criticism of the blog. I for one enjoy the individual property posts the most. It helps give us an idea of what is going on in our area.

    And criticism of comments should not be leveled at David. That un-edited commenting is allowed and encouraged is half the fun. If you don't like a particular comment, why not just ignore it?

    I shall continue to stop in and look around. It is worthwhile and I appreciate that it is here. Thanks, David.

  22. Do you can provide some charts about DC housing markets (price, trends, cost) and broken up by areas? Like comparison chart between NoVA, DC, Montgomery, P.G. County?
    Otherwise, your blog is great!

  23. dc_too,

    "David, you are a Galbraith fan, I believe. Didn't he point out, in his book on financial euphoria, that "genius is before the fall?" I think so."

    Exactly. Thanks for the compliments.

  24. anon 3:19,

    "Do you can provide some charts about DC housing markets (price, trends, cost) and broken up by areas? Like comparison chart between NoVA, DC, Montgomery, P.G. County? Otherwise, your blog is great!

    Very good suggestion. Thank you. I will work on this.

  25. Things I like:
    - The "will it sell" posts about specific properties that seem overpriced, as well as follow-ups on the property when it sells

    Things I don't like:
    - Low qualiy camera phone pics! ;-)
    - No addresses associated with the boarded up house pics

    - Compare Northern Virginia to the rest of the DC Metro area. Are MD and downtown DC doing as badly as NoVa?

  26. David,

    Do you still have the Montgomery County charts I sent you? Maybe you could post them now. I will send them again if you don't have them.

    I will work on a comparison between NOVA and Montgomery as a start. But I think that basically they have moved together.

    Please forgive my rant earlier, but I just get sick and tired of people trying to blame the messenger. I totally agree with DC_Too above.

    I really like the photos of houses for sale. I wish you would provide more information about them. Maybe put the asking price with the picture, etc.

    Keep up the good work.

    Eric in DC

  27. Eric,

    Thanks. In the pics I will put some more info.

  28. I think these TV shows Like "DESIGNED TO SELL", and "FLIP THAT HOUSE", "HOUSE HUNTERS" etc. had more effect than you think . On DESIGN TO SELL they make you think all you have to do is put 2,000 into a house , paint it the right color, and you get 35 thousand above asking price . People saw flippers take on a house and make big bucks ,( that they would of never made had the market not been going up anyway .THey are now re-runing these programs in spite of them being outdated .

  29. Just Imagine a "HOUSE HUNTERS " program based on the premise of the buyer having a thousand homes to look at instead of the only three choices they got on prior shows .