Saturday Afternoon Funnies

An amusing set of ‘toons:




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  1. jm commented on Mar 24

    Last night was spurred by a post on EconBrowser to individually examine each of the 98 over-$700k listings on a suburban Chicago MLS to try to judge what fraction might be vacant. Was truly amazed to find it was at least 70% (clearly vacant from photos, or lacking phots because construction not yet complete), and probably 75% (5% with million-dollar asking price, but house-sitter grade furnishings). Almost all the vacant homes were speculative new construction on teardown sites in this very mature community, and they alone represent about 1.5 year’s of inventory in their price range. I wonder how long the spec builders can carry these vacancies.

  2. Sammy20 commented on Mar 24

    Hey Barry, can you comment on the below. This seems like plain manipulation of the statistics to me….are these statistics so inaccurate that they are making changes to data a whole year later??

    The national median home price dropped to $212,800, a 1.3% decline from a year earlier. Without a downward revision in the year-earlier median, the decline would have been 2.1%, said Thomas Lawler, a housing economist in Vienna, Va. Mr. Lawler said it was the second month in a row that the NAR has revised the year-earlier median price downward. NAR chief economist David Lereah said such revisions are automated and “happen all the time.”

  3. RW commented on Mar 24

    That’s interesting. There would seem to be only three possibilities: (1) Lereah is telling the truth and the adjustment is automatic and commonplace, (2) the year-ago statistic was a pumped up lie to make housing appreciation seem stronger and is now being corrected since it no longer has promise as a talking point in sales literature, or (3) the year-ago median was reasonably accurate but is now a pumped down statistic to make the new statistic look somewhat less awful.

    Item 1 seems the least probable given the record, some combination of items 2 and 3 seems most likely.

    A fourth possibility of course is that both the old and new median numbers are lies and nothing NAR publishes can be relied upon; being in sales means never having to say you’re sorry.

    WRT the cartoon-fest, that big shark would be even scarier if it was named Credit Crunch.

  4. John commented on Mar 24

    I was riding my bike through Westport CT today when I went past some commotion at one house. The commotion was that they were putting up a property auction sign. In Westport CT! If this is happening in Westport, well the impact of the subprime market is reaching real high. Westport is a VERY affluent town. To be accurate, this was not the swankiest part of town. But there are no real low-end parts of that town. So maybe I don’t want to be buying now.

  5. Capitalist commented on Mar 24

    There are a few honest people left in politics. Dr. No is one of them
    It is time to vote Dr. Paul in 2008

  6. Larry Nusbaum commented on Mar 24

    John: In some markets, buyers and sellers are using the auction system (with minimum acceptable bids) as a new way to do business. All voluntary and with no desperation involved.

  7. robert campbell commented on Mar 24

    >>> In some markets, buyers and sellers are using the auction system (with minimum acceptable bids) as a new way to do business. All voluntary and with no desperation involved.

    Yeah right. New way to do business. LOL. The last two of these so called “auctions” I read about in SoCal – all with 20 or so properties with minimum bids – resulted in zero sales.

  8. paul commented on Mar 25

    See the NY Times article, “Foreclosures Force Suburbs to Fight Blight” (23 march)

    “SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio — In a sign of the spreading economic fallout of mortgage foreclosures, several suburbs of Cleveland, one of the nation’s hardest-hit cities, are spending millions of dollars to maintain vacant houses as they try to contain blight and real-estate panic.

    “In suburbs like this one, officials are installing alarms, fixing broken windows and mowing lawns at the vacant houses in hopes of preventing a snowball effect, in which surrounding property values suffer and worried neighbors move away. The officials are also working with financially troubled homeowners to renegotiate debts or, when eviction is unavoidable, to find apartments.

    “It’s a tragedy and it’s just beginning,” Mayor Judith H. Rawson of Shaker Heights, a mostly affluent suburb, said of the evictions and vacancies, a problem fueled by a rapid increase in high-interest, subprime loans.

    “All those shaky loans are out there, and the foreclosures are coming,” Ms. Rawson said. “Managing the damage to our communities will take years.”

  9. Jon H commented on Mar 25

    So.. what’s a good plan for someone who wants to save up a 20% downpayment and buy something in the $300k-$400k range in 4-6 years? (Based on a salary of $69k as of now.)

    And, any suggestions on a good way to save the money?

  10. Frankie commented on Mar 25

    A good way to save money?

    Read “The Cheapest Family in America”. With one income < 40 k per year, this family of 6 own their house almost mortgage-free, car all paid, and manage to pay only...350$ per MONTH in groceries. You might not want to do all the things these guys do; but there is a lot of food for though in these pages. We were able to save a substantial down payment for a house in 3 years 5 months (40% of the total price) just by tweaking their methods.

  11. wunsacon commented on Mar 25

    Jon, here are some ideas…though not necessarily appropriate for your situation…

    Entertainment/communications fees
    – If you want/need a cell phone, get rid of the home phone.
    – If you want/need a cell phone and internet access, skip DSL service. Though it’s slower, get an EDGE-capable cell phone and use it as a modem, for about $20/month, instead.
    – Drop cable movie packages. Use Netflix. Switch from cable to satellite.

    – Stay healthy and fit! Medical expenses are the biggest expenses and explain many bankruptcies. (Usually, it’s not a choice but…)
    – Take care of your teeth (“or they’ll go away”). Use Sonicare tooth brush. Nothing worse than wasting money filling cavities.

    – Skip bottled water, soda, etc. Buy a water filter. Make jugs of tea.
    – Eliminate Starbucks and every other drink that costs more than a dollar.

    – Cook. Prepare sandwiches.
    – Eat Chinese food. It seems to be less expensive.
    – Go out for lunch specials instead of dinner.

    Car Repair
    – Find a non-name brand mechanic recommended by someone local, a mechanic willing to install parts you buy yourself at Autozone.

    – Max out your 401k each year. (Well, not if you want that 20% down payment.)

    Don’t buy a new car.

    Don’t buy new books.

    Don’t rent a larger, more expensive apartment than you need.

    Remember that $1 post-tax saved equals a $2 pre-tax raise.

  12. Larry Nusbaum commented on Mar 26

    “Yeah right. New way to do business. LOL. The last two of these so called “auctions” I read about in SoCal – all with 20 or so properties with minimum bids – resulted in zero sales.Posted by: Robert Campbell | Mar 24, 2007 10:58:35 PM”

    It appears that you don’t know my market anymore than I know yours:

    Buyers bid on Valley homes at auction, from the Arizona Republic, reports that more than 50 percent of the 88 Valley homes up for auction Saturday in downtown Phoenix got bids that met or exceeded the sellers minimum price. Lyn Hall, a broker with, said she was pleased with the results he got on the 10 properties entered into the auction. “Only one property didn’t receive a bid,” he said. “It’s just a matter of whether the actual bid moves through.” Hall said he would consider listing additional properties from more of his “motivated” sellers in the company’s next auction. “I think it’s a good tool in the buyer’s market we have right now,” he said. “It gave them an additional marketing tool and alternative to get some interest in their property.”

  13. Chuck Ponzi commented on Mar 26

    Ha Ha,

    You’ve been Nussbaumed.

    Dude, you’re a “marketing tool”.

    Chuck Ponzi

  14. icebergfinanza commented on Aug 2


    Le Asset backed securities (o ABS) sono strumenti finanziari, emessi a fronte di operazioni di cartolarizzazione, del tutto simili alle normali obbligazioni; come queste, infatti, pagano al detentore una serie di cedole a scadenze prefissate per u

  15. John commented on Sep 29

    Great cartoons, so real.

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