housing

‘Like everybody who is not in love, he imagined that one chose the person whom one loved after endless deliberations and on the strength of various qualities and advantages.’ –Marcel Proust

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If you own one ounce of gold for an eternity, you will still own one ounce at its end

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{ I am always wary about making comparisons between now and the Great Depression. }

Damn your yellow stick. Where are we going?

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There are basically two possible outcomes from here. First, Ben Bernanke and his gang artificially suppress interest rates for a very long period of time creating the “Japan Syndrome” in the US, which leads to rolling recessions and a general economic malaise. Or, secondly, interest rates rise back towards more normalized levels as the economy begins a real and lasting recovery. I am really hoping for the later. In either case there is a negative and sustained impact to housing going forward. The excesses that were created over the last 20 years will have to be absorbed into the system, allowing prices to return to a more normalized and sustainable level.

{ Advisor Perspectives | Continue reading }

History suggests that 2012 will see neither a big housing rebound nor a second crash. After the last housing collapse, which first bottomed out in April 1991, prices stayed almost perfectly flat for about six years.

{ Bloomberg | Continue reading }

photo { Luisa Opalesky }

I finally figured out how to make my dick 8 inches long. Fold it in half.

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I missed a great story circulated by my first New York roommates about how our scuzzball landlord is now embroiled in a legal fracas for renting a 1.5 million Tribeca apartment to a guy who runs a basement sex loft out of it offering “flaming massages.” The neighbors are so mad they keep smearing dog feces on the door. I could have lived without this news, but I’m happier now that I have it.

(…)

The messages Facebook hides in an obscure folder labeled “Other.”

{ Slate | Continue reading }

With the outlook moved to ‘developing’ from ‘watch negative’

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{ via copyranter }

Let me take you down, cause I’m going to

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SF bay area craigslist > san francisco > housing > room/share wanted
$1000 Best. Roommate. Ever.
Date: 2011-08-18, 3:39PM PDT

Konichiwa bitches. Are you looking for the most kick-ass fucking roommate that ever lived? If so, look no further. You fucking found him. I’m a 25-year-old professional marketing agent with experience at bad-ass companies in New York Fucking City. That’s right! What you know about experience? I graduated from Auburn University in Alabama, and moved to NYC at the ripe, tender age of 22. After deciding that New York was a stinky shit-hole, I moved back to Alabama to cultivate more professional experience. Why? So I can make millions of dollars and not have to post shit like this on Craigslist.

Anyway, so I landed this job with a marketing firm in San Francisco, and I have no fucking clue where to live. Honestly, I’m moving there in 3 weeks, so I don’t give a shit if I have to sleep in your bathtub.

A bit about me: I’m respectful, quiet, clean and I won’t bother any of your shit. If you leave shit out, I’m just like, “Oh fuck I better not mess with this shit, because it’s not mine.” I turn off lights. I clean toilets. Fuck it. I’ll even cook for you. That’s right! My dad is a chef and taught me everything there is to know about cooking southern cajun cuisine. I’ll fry green tomatoes, cover them with marinated crab meat and smother that shit in bearnaise. EVERY. GODDAMN. NIGHT. Don’t eat meat? That’s fucking FANTASTIC! I’ll make a zucchini and yellow squash carpaccio that will knock your fucking socks off.

I also read a lot. I fucking LOVE books. Vonnegut, Palahniuk, Hawthorne. All that shit. I read Tuesday’s with Morrie the other day. It’s a sad story, but I learned something about life, love, knowledge and the pursuit of something greater than myself. Fucking smart. Do you like movies? I fucking love them. We can watch the shit out of some movies together if you like, or go get drinks, or work out, hike, play video games or play a game of one-on-one basketball, or I don’t have to talk to you at all. It’s completely UP TO YOU!

Sometimes I play guitar. Are you going to love getting baked and listening to Bob Dylan and Pink Floyd? LIVE? WHENEVER THE FUCK YOU WANT? Of course you are! I’ll take requests and learn any song you like, because I have the voice of an angel and the acoustical stylings of James Fucking Taylor. AWWWWWW SHIT YEA!

A lot of people ask me, “Hey, you’re from Alabama. Are you racist?” And, the answer to that question is, no. I’m not racist or judgmental at all. I love everyone. I’m a secular humanist. I FUCKING LOVE PEOPLE. That’s the only requirement to being a secular humanist actually. You have to like other human beings and want to help them for no other reason than they are human regardless of race, religion or sexual preference. WTF?!!!? Pretty fucking cool right?

I own almost nothing! I’m driving my car from Alabama to California in which I’ll be transporting two duffelbags of clothes, one laptop computer, one guitar, one cell-phone with charger, 8 pairs of shoes, one picture frame, probably some condoms and a shitload of beef jerky and Pringles for the trip. Though, you can expect the jerky to be gone upon my arrival. Unless you’d like me to pick up some on my way into the city. See?! I’m the most considerate person you’ve ever met. I’m offering to buy you shit already!

Am I interested in your pad? You can bet my nomadic ass I am! I only require 4 walls, a ceiling and a floor to shelter me from the elements. Other than that, anything else will be considered a convenient plus. I’m taking being a roommate to the next level. Email me! I’ll hook yo ass up with Facebook links, background checks, credit reports, phone numbers, resumes, references, awards, sexual history, pictures of karate trophies and a list of the top 10 women I’d like to bang before I die. If you want a next-generation roommate who consistently blows your fucking mind with awesomeness, then hit me up. I’m ready to give you money.

{ Craigslist }

C’est au sujet Monsieur vous êtes chez moi

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{ Stranger moves into foreclosed home, citing little-known Texas law }

images { 1. Young Kyu Yoo | 2. John Portman }

‘To restore silence is the role of objects.’ –Samuel Beckett

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{ Ever wonder about the left-behind houses you pass while driving, or the houses buried back off country roads? This writer excavates a lost house’s history. | Ever wondered if your home was haunted ? | More: Lost magazine | latest issue | Lost Magazine | previous issues }

It’s over. Thanks so much, it was lovely. I’ll get the rest of my stuff later.

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Have too many foreclosed properties? Why not give them away?

That’s what Bank of America plans to do with as many as 150 vacant and abandoned properties in and around Chicago through a new “collaboration” with the city that’s intended to address the problem of abandoned properties.

{ Bankrate | Continue reading }

The psychologist Jens Rasmussen talks about three kinds of error: slips, mistakes, and violations. So, a slip is: you just do something you immediately realize wasn’t what you meant to do–pushed the wrong button, locked yourself out of your house, forgot your car keys. Mistakes are things you do because your view of the world is wrong. So, you took out a subprime mortgage and bought a house because you thought house prices would continue to rise and you would be able to remortgage your house. Then there’s a violation–something you know is against the rules but you did it anyway, for whatever reason. So, maybe you falsified your income.

{ Tim Harford/EconTalk }

photo { Tim Geoghegan }

Flash is fast, Flash is cool

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{ 1 | 2 }

There’s a gentleman that’s going round, turning the joint upside down

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The 27-page shareholder letter Berkshire Hathaway chief executive Warren Buffett just released reads like a motivational speech or a pep talk trying to win over an audience that is increasingly pessimistic about America’s future: “In 2011, we will set a new record for capital spending – $8 billion – and spend all of the $2 billion increase in the United States,” he writes. “Now, as in 1776, 1861, 1932 and 1941, America’s best days lie ahead.”

(Of course, Buffett also disclosed that Berkshire failed to outperform the S&P 500 in 2010 for the second year running, the first time in the company’s history that has happened.)

In any case, the letter is also replete with anecdotes that illuminate activity across various sectors of the U.S. economy. The style is somewhat reminiscent of the Federal Reserve’s own story-like account of economic activity, called the “Beige Book” after the hue of its cover, which is released every six weeks. So, this perhaps could be dubbed the “Buffett Book.” (…)

A housing recovery will probably begin within a year or so. In any event, it is certain to occur at some point. […] These businesses entered the recession strong and will exit it stronger. At Berkshire, our time horizon is forever. (…)

…the third best investment I ever made was the [$31,500] purchase of my home, though I would have made far more money had I instead rented and used the purchase money to buy stocks. (The two best investments were wedding rings.) (…)

IIn a nine-hour period [last year], we sold 1,053 pairs of Justin boots, 12,416 pounds of See’s candy, 8,000 Dairy Queen blizzards, and 8,800 Quikut knives (that’s 16 knives per minute). But you can do better. Remember: Anyone who says money can’t buy happiness simply hasn’t learned to shop.

{ WSJ | Continue reading }

photo { Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Pigeon Houses, Mit Gahmr Delta, Egypt | Thanks Daniel }

more { Critical Analysis of Buffett’s Annual Letter | Aleph blog }

Brights we’ll be brights

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{ TJ Proechel }