Sunday, December 30, 2007

New Catch Phrases

Price Reduced...

And Improved!

Builders are also offering $20,000 toward your down payment, and it really isn't working. These houses have not sold in the several months that we've lived here. A few people are buying, but very few. One person I know recently bought a new house had his moving expenses paid by the builder.

Banks are not handing out loans like they used to, so people aren't able to buy. Very few people in this area have the income or down payment to qualify at this time.

Very sad all around.

I feel bad for the real people this is affecting. Not the greedy investor types.

Time for a Rest

They're tired!

They worked hard all season.

Someone I know had their reindeer rearranged by neighborhood kids to look like one was humping the other, and I didn't get a picture of it. So disappointing.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Friendly Reminder

Christmas IS OVER....WHOOOHOOOO!!!!
Or HOLIDAYS for you PC jackballs.
Now, let us commence with life as usual.
Everyone, please crawl back into the hole you came out of to do your shopping.
And, for the love of God, please take down your Christmas decorations before July.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Downright Offensive

My wife was at a Starbucks today, and was having a difficult time deciding between the Christmas Blend and the Holiday Blend. They both sounded good to her, and in order to make up her mind she asked the barista which one she recommended. "Oh," chirped the girl, "they're both the same blend, but one is to be politically correct." You can guess which one that was. My wife dropped the Holiday blend like it was a scorpion, and hissed, and rolled her eyes. To hell with political correctness! She was OFFENDED...which is the worst possible thing we can do to anyone these days. Quite possibly even worse than murdering puppies!!! What kind of monster would do that? The same one who would OFFEND another human being with their OPINIONS and beliefs.

But my wife got over it...just like everyone should. People need to get off their high horses and worry about things that matter. Like housing bubbles. Heh. If you ask me, we need to start doing a little more OFFENDING in this country. But that is just my opinion. It's still legal to have one. Right?

Secret Agent Man

Hmmm. Who do I call? Secret [Real Estate] Agent Man?

Nothing To Do With Real Estate

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

More Real Estate Advice From Howard

Looks perfectly normal...way over-priced house that will not likely sell in the near future. Typical.

But, if you will, notice the big speaker in the window that just happened to be blaring muzak at the time I was driving by...must be some kinfolk of the cheerleaders.

Howard does not like gangsta rap. He does not recommend buying that house for $300,000 either. In fact, he says that he wouldn't even pay $150,000 for that house. He says that you would regret it at any price. Just do not bother. He is experienced in real estate matters, better than most realtors in fact and won't even charge you a commission for his sage advice. He'd like it to be mentioned, however, that he does accept treats. Especially the chicken flavored variety.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

No Wonder There is a Problem-O

According to the US Dept of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, the average annual income by each California county.

Released April 26, 2007

Average Annual Salary
06085 Santa Clara $71,774
06075 San Francisco 66,398
06081 San Mateo 65,525
06001 Alameda 52,783
06041 Marin 51,595
06013 Contra Costa 51,416
06059 Orange 46,872
06037 Los Angeles 46,228
06067 Sacramento 44,603
06111 Ventura 44,557
06073 San Diego 43,419
06055 Napa 40,102
06061 Placer 39,956
06097 Sonoma 39,870
06113 Yolo 39,725
06083 Santa Barbara 39,061
06095 Solano 38,849
06087 Santa Cruz 37,983
06053 Monterey 37,246
06115 Yuba 37,130
06071 San Bernardino 35,918
06077 San Joaquin 35,458
06017 El Dorado 35,225
06029 Kern 35,154
06069 San Benito 34,793
06065 Riverside 34,697
06099 Stanislaus 34,560
06051 Mono 34,288
06079 San Luis Obispo 33,660
06057 Nevada 33,542
06035 Lassen 33,470
06031 Kings 33,214
06019 Fresno 32,822
06005 Amador 32,801
06089 Shasta 32,189
06063 Plumas 32,131
06109 Tuolumne 31,902
06047 Merced 30,787
06101 Sutter 30,688
06025 Imperial 30,599
06039 Madera 30,168
06103 Tehama 30,069
06007 Butte 29,989
06011 Colusa 29,642
06033 Lake 29,633
06027 Inyo 29,623
06023 Humboldt 29,562
06015 Del Norte 29,402
06107 Tulare 29,101
06045 Mendocino 28,993
06009 Calaveras 28,929
06091 Sierra 28,847
06021 Glenn 28,784
06043 Mariposa 28,242
06093 Siskiyou 27,772
06105 Trinity 27,599
06049 Modoc 26,726
06003 Alpine 26,392

This is per person, not family, but still...not enough to support a family and make a mortgage payment, car payments, insurance, gas, utilities, clothes, shoes, and school supplies for the kids, food, save for retirement and college, entertainment, and let us not forget TAXES. That is why I think California housing prices will come down considerably more. Am I wrong??? Now that people actually have to qualify for a loan with a verifiable income, I don't think as many McMansions will be flying off the shelf.

Monday, December 17, 2007


The only thing worse than furniture out front...

Is graffiti.

Even if it is will be right back up the next day.

Friday, December 14, 2007

A Real Estate Gamble That Paid Off

The London Bridge
Lake Havasu City, Arizona

Lake Havasu City was established in 1964 by Robert P. McCulloch (of McCulloch Chainsaws) as a planned community. McCulloch had purchased 3,500 acres (14 km²) of property on the east side of Lake Havasu along Pittsburgh Point, the peninsula that eventually would be transformed into "the island". The city was incorporated in 1978. The present city grew around an old mining town established in the early 20th Century.

A popular tourist attraction in Lake Havasu City is the London Bridge, which crosses an 8ft (2.4m) deep man-made canal that leads from Lake Havasu (on the Colorado River) to Thompson Bay. It was bought for US$2.5 million from the City of London when the bridge was replaced in 1968. The bridge was disassembled, and the marked stones were shipped to Lake Havasu City and reassembled for another US $7 million. (Information from Wikipedia)

The London Bridge in Arizona must wonder what the heck happened to it. It went from a foggy, damp environment to weather that can scorch the skin off of the meanest snake, or the latest drunk boater on holiday weekends. Can you imagine the people of London, in the 1800's (when the London Bridge now located in Lake Havasu, AZ, was built) being told their bridge was going to end up in a hot desert in the middle of nowhere America? Bwwaaahhaaahhaaaahhaaaa!!!!!

Establishing Lake Havasu City, and hauling in the London Bridge stone-by-stone was a gamble that paid off for Mr. McCulloch, because Lake Havasu has seen a boom in building and real estate that he probably would have never imagined. The current population being around 50,000. The housing bubble added greatly to their population. Lake Havasu used to average 160 new building permits per month...that was last year. This year, in November, the City issued 3 new building permits. That is the lowest since they started keeping track in 1980.

To visit the London Bridge in Lake Havasu City, AZ, take your bottle of lotion/sunscreen and lots of water. To visit the London Bridge in Jolly Old England, check out this website for great deals on hotels.

Do it. Now. Maybe they'll sell YOU one of their national landmarks.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Today's Real Estate Quiz

Why are these two grocery carts in front of this house?

a. The homeonwner's loan just reset and this is his back-up plan.
b. The homeowner panhandles on the street corner during the day to pay his mortgage.
c. The homeowner refurbishes grocery carts.

A New Trend

It's the new thing to do...

Display your old furniture and appliances out front.
Who needs flowers and trees?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

What a Huge Drop

This house is still new according to the MLS sheet in the window. No sign out front. I did a zillow search on it, and the amazing thing is that it shows it's worth $495,777. I dont think so!!! Its worth more like $199,777, if even that much. Right down the road there are new ones listed at $199,000.


ZESTIMATE: $495,777 What's this?

A Zestimate home valuation is Zillow's estimated market value. It is not an appraisal. Use it as a starting point to determine a home's value.
Learn more

The Value Range is the high and low estimated market value for which Zillow values a home. The more information, the smaller the range, and the more accurate the Zestimate. See data coverage and accuracy table
  • Value Range: $456,115 - $639,552
  • 30-day change: $44,352
  • Zestimate updated: 11/27/2007
Tax Assessor's Value

Depending on the jurisdiction where you live, this value could be the tax assessed, tax appraised, or market assessed value. This value comes from the taxing authority of the city, county or state where you live; this is not Zillow's value.

Note: Tax assessor's values differ from Zillow's Zestimate, which is computed by entering numerous data points into a proprietary formula, often resulting in a more accurate value estimate.

Last sale and tax info

Sold 12/19/2006:
2007 Property Tax:
$5,860 (This doesn't go away in foreclosure -- Mr. Banker still has to pay it.)

This is listed at $285,000 so it has lost $210,000 in one year??? Is this the bottom? Nope not even close. I bet it will lose another $100,000 over the next year.

Mr. Pipe Dream, Realtor: "Ah, well, the housing market is great. It's on its way up. You had better buy soon if you're lookin' to buy. Look how much houses have come isn't going to keep going down you know. Here, let me pour you another glass of Kool-Aid? You look thirsty."

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Olive Green Fridge

It's always a good thing to have an olive green fridge in front of your house when you are trying to sell it. Curb appeal is EVERYTHING. If you can click on the picture, you might even be able to see the magnets on it. I guess I shouldn't judge, maybe they are just trying to save on electricity since it is winter and all. It has been there for three weeks and counting...

Buildin' Buildin' Buildin'

Pepe the Parrot says, "'s a buyer's market!"

I bet the subs are crossing their fingers and toes that they'll get paid.

To the tune of Rawhide:

Buildin', Buildin', Buildin'.
Buildin', Buildin', Buildin'.
Buildin', Buildin', Buildin'.
Buildin', Buildin', Buildin'.
Hah! Hah!

Keep Buildin', Buildin', Buildin',
Though the subdivisions are dwindlin',
Keep them subies buildin', McMansions never endin'.
Through rain and wind and weather,
Hell bent for buyers,
Wishin' my banker was on my side.
All the things I'm missin',
Good vittles, love, and kissin',
Are waiting at the end of my rope.

Move 'em in, Move 'em out,
Move 'em out, move 'em in.
Move 'em in, Move 'em out:
Hah! Hah!

Movin', movin', movin',
Though the banks are disapprovin',
Keep them subies buildin', McMansions never endin'.
Don't try to understand 'em,
Just build an' sell an' foreclose 'em.
Soon we'll be living high and wide.
My heart's calculatin',
My true love will be waitin':
Waitin' at the end of my rope.

I'm Dreaming of Hot Christmas in July

Tigger will look GREAT in know what I'm talkin' 'bout!


Dear oh Deer, They went off and left you...never to return. Yet, you stand just as proudly as the day they hauled you home from the garage sale. Nothing can tarnish the brave front that you put on day after lonely day. It's okay that you have a missing antler...we still love you.

Guido's Mortgage Co.

When will banks...

ever learn?

Where are these loans coming from? Guido's Mortgage Company?

Guido's Motto:
"No foreclosures ever...we'll break your legs, and if that doesn't work, we'll break your wife's legs, and if that doesn't work, we'll break your kids legs, on down to the dog and the cat. If that doesn't work, we'll kill you."

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Vacation Living

Howard's Friend, Jack, Enjoys the Laid Back Lifestyle,
and says, "Check-out Somerset Condos."

My wife and I recently left the Howard with my wife's parents (my in-laws refer to him as the "grand-dog") and took a little trip down to Santa Barbara, and then back up the coast to Pismo, Avila Beach, and San Luis Obispo, and then home. It was very relaxing, and made me want to move back to a beach town. I used to live in Santa Barbara before it became yet another extension of Los Angeles. It's still beautiful there, but nothing like it was back in the early 80's - 90's. My old boat is still there, as are many of my old neighbors...somethings never change.

Anyway, seeing the website for Somerset Condos in Greensboro, NC, made me wonder what it's like there. Are any of you familiar with that part of the country? It sounds beautiful and serene. I always like to think of the south as quiet and peaceful, with friendly folk willing to smile back at you. Unlike the west where you're likely to get shot at if you smile the wrong way, but that's the wild wild west for you.

Anyway, if the south isn't like that anymore please don't burst my bubble. I have somewhere to dream about when I hate my life. If Somerset Condos is still around when I'm old and rich enough to retire, I'll be the senile old man down there muttering about cheerleaders playing their music too damn loud.

Curbside Appeal

Hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving. These are the relatives I just got back from visiting. Kidding!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Taking the week off

I am taking the week off from blogging, i will leave you this nice story.
PS: This is not the dog in the story.

I have no way to know who sent it, but there is a kind soul working in the dead letter office of the U.S. Postal Service.

Our 14 year old dog, Abbey, died last month. The day after she died my 4-year-old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey. She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to Heaven, God would recognize her. I told her that I thought we could so she dictated these words:

Dear God,

Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with you in Heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick. I hope you will play with her. She likes to play with balls and to swim. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her, you will know that she is my dog. I really miss her.

Love, Meredith

We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey and Meredith and addressed it to God/Heaven. We put our return address on it. Then Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to Heaven. That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office. A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter. Yes, I told her that I thought He had.

Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed, "To Meredith" in an unfamiliar hand. Meredith opened it. Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called, "When a Pet Dies." Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope. On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey & Meredith and this note:

Dear Meredith,

Abbey arrived safely in heaven. Having the picture was a big help. I recognized Abbey right away. Abbey isn't sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it stays In your heart. Abbey loved being your dog.

Since we don't need our bodies in Heaven, I don't have any pockets to keep your picture in, so I am sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by.

Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you.

I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much. By the way, I am wherever there is love.

Love, God

Friday, November 16, 2007

By Popular Demand

Since you were requesting it, here is a video of our neighbors. Okay, well, maybe not OUR neighbors, but the music and dancing are identical. Be sure you turn the volume all the way up to get the full effect.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Perfect Cheer

Ready? Okay!
I am a snotty cheerleader
The world revolves around only me!
My parents taught me I was a princess
I am the monster they created me to be!

My neighbors hate me
I practice with my friends!
I play my music way too loud
The party never ends.

I am so popular
my beauty is no match!
My neighbors can just stuff it
at least I'm not in foreclosure with the latest batch!

This house I'd never own
because I am too good
I'll make my future husband
take out an even bigger loan!
Shut-up? No way!
If you could you know you would!

ARM's? What's that?
Brown lawns next door?
Who cares!
My parents pay the rent
so I'm not in their hair.

Ready? Okay!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The "SWEET" Bus


I'm guessing this guy doesn't even know about the Housing Bubble.
I could be wrong...maybe he has a housing blog and travels around the country blogging about the housing market. Right now he's in Bakersfield. He's bitter after his house was foreclosed on, and that he missed out on the bail-out plan. Maybe if he hadn't bought this "SWEET" bus he could have qualified for the bail-out.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Miracle Grow

Before this house is completely foreclosed upon, you will need a machete to get in the front door. Guarantee it...mark my word...I'm tellin' you now. Even if I have to go throw Miracle Grow on it to prove my point.

Reflections of Real Estate

Roses are red
Violets are blue
McMansions last year
the price of one now for two!

Howard Will Mock You

Howard does his best impersonation of the real estate market.
Notice the demon-possessed eye.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Stick a Fork in It

McMansions...the other red meat.
Tough and chewy and snaps back at you when you take a bite.
Tastes a little like chicken.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Up for Auction

One of the few houses on the auction block that is not totally thrashed. It has nice wood/tile floors, fireplace, decent sized yard, and in a quiet neighborhood. Needs a little work, but nothing like what's out there in the foreclosure market. I'd buy it, but I'd miss the cheerleaders and the car alarm that goes off every 2 hours on a regular basis.

Low starting bid.

Howard and the 3 Stages of Foreclosure

Howard thinks he is better than the other well known real estate sign dog, as he can do various facial expressions for you depending upon which stage of foreclosure you are in.

Above: Maybe we can sell it for what we owe.

Second stage: Ruh Roh...This isn't looking so good.

Third stage: The auction can have this dump.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

the REAL deal

the REAL deal

Is this different from the PIPE DREAMS mortgage companies were pushing a short year and a half ago? Where were the big banners in the heydays that said:

the SHAFT come and get it


From the Modesto Bee

Well let me just tell you what went wrong. Houses went up fast and furious and times were great and people were buying them up like it was the last house being built. Builders were holding lotteries and people were camping out to be the first in line to buy the next over-priced house. Anyone could get a loan. Who honestly thought it would last forever? It was a greedy-shark feeding frenzy. So, what a stupid question. It's like pissing in the wind and asking, "Hey, how did I just get all this piss on me?"

It's only a question someone drunk or high would ask. So now people are finally waking up from the stupor of living high, wide, and handsome off of loans that they could not afford. This is going to be one long hang-over.

Coffee anyone?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


When we lived in Arizona, we went to a church that was made up of mostly older people, because, lets face it, the average age of an Arizonan is 90. Then some young whipper snappers in their 50's started coming to church and livened things up a bit. They were a black couple, and black people just know how to do church better than anyone. Whenever the pastor said something that struck a nerve with the husband, he would say in a really loud, deep baritone voice, "WELL!" It woke the frozen chosen right up out of their slumber.

If you think about it, "WELL!" says it all. If someone says something off the wall, you neither have to agree nor disagree, just say a hearty, "WELL!" and that person will think you are a genius. You don't have to hurt their feelings and say, "I think you are a complete moron," nor do you have to waste your breath on agreeing with someone. Save your words for when they really matter.

This has nothing to do with the picture above, other than the first thing I thought when I saw that sign was, "WELL!"

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Open House

I think our neighbors below, with the recliner, must have had this in mind.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Cheerleader Update

A public service announcement brought to you by I Can't Sell My House.

Someone in comments requested weekly updates on the Cheerleaders. Well, last night my wife was out the door on her way to work...she works nights as a nurse...and hadn't had her coffee yet, likes to cut time short, and wanted to stop by Starbucks on her way in. Add Cheerleaders and ghetto rap to the mix, and you've got yourself a recipe for disaster. THE CAR WAS BLOCKING THE DRIVEWAY AGAIN. The Cheerleaders stood and stared at my wife like, "Where are YOU going? We're not done yet." My wife sat in her car like a bull waiting to charge, and the Cheerleaders were waving the matador red at her. So what did my normally calm, pretty wife do? She charged. She plowed through the flower beds, make that weed patches, and around the blocked car, and peeled out of the alleyway. There was no way in hell Cheerleaders were going to keep her from Starbucks.

Howard and I just stood in awe.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Today's Pop Quiz

This Realtor is:

A. So wealthy he doesn't need to check his listings.
B. So broke he cannot afford the gas to check his listings.
C. Thinks it is still the year 2004 and houses are selling regardless of his effort.
D. Just doesn't give a rat's ass anymore...a cracked sign is better than no sign.

I Can't Sell My House Special of the Day

Real Estate Ad to Read:
Move-in ready. Just bring your own beer. Fully Furnished Driveway. All that is missing is your car in the lawn up on blocks.


Monday, October 22, 2007

Old Fart Rant

My wife and I live in the house with the garage door open. That car, blocking the driveway, belongs to one of the cheerleaders in the adjacent house. There is only one way in-and-out of the drive, and they're blocking it and nowhere to be found. Unfortunately we had to plow through their flowerbeds in order to get around them.

This new generation coming up has NO respect for anyone. Why? I'll tell you why! Because mommy and daddy never taught little junior and little princess to respect others or even their own parenting authority. Why in my day, when my parents spoke I listened without sassing back, because if I did, that was the end for me. My parents weren't abusive ogres either, in fact they were very loving, but I sure knew better than to act like a little bratt.

Damn youngsters.

I must be getting old.

Howard vigorously nods his head "yes" when asked if he hiked his leg on the cheerleader's car tire. Shame on you Howard.