DennisN's comments

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  DennisN   ignore (1)   2009 May 26, 12:07am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      


I wonder why this thread came up to the top again. The thread is three years old, back from when the curve was just starting to turn down. I sold my SJ house in May 2006 which in retrospect makes me look clever. Too bad I didn't dump my stock funds in May 2008. :(

  DennisN   ignore (1)   2009 Jul 11, 10:10am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

I saw the writing on the wall and sold out/moved out back in the spring of 2006. Glad to be out of the rat race and glad I got peak bubble prices for my tiny San Jose house.

  DennisN   ignore (1)   2010 Sep 2, 9:41am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

My dad bought a new house in Palo Alto in 1948 - after he demobilized. He paid $11,500 for that 900 square foot house on Cowper St. I'm not sure what he was making at the time but he had a good union job as a lineman for ATA&T. IIRC that was "GI bill" too even at that time, and IIRC the mortgate rate was around 3% with 20% down.

Zillow says that house sold a few years ago for $1.4 MILLION.

  DennisN   ignore (1)   2011 Mar 28, 2:33am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

afrost says

First, this woman made $65,000 at one point over 25 years ago and could not save a penny?

I choked on that statistic too. The reporter never asked the hard questions, such as did she spend it all on parties and vacations?

  DennisN   ignore (1)   2011 Mar 29, 2:20am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

I'll post what I discovered a few years back about the history of the MID.

Before the 13th Amd. went into effect in 1913, there were no deductions of any kind because there was no federal income tax. Shortly thereafter, Congress made ALL interest deductable, for the reason that almost all loans back then were for businesses. Interest was considered to be a "legitimate business expense".

With the rise of residential home mortgages during the New Deal, the interest on home mortgages was covered by this existing legislation. There never was any "legislative intent" to support housing by the MID.

Starting around 1980, most consumer credit loan's interest payments lost their deductability: credit cards, auto loans, and the like. The MID was just the "last man standing".

  DennisN   ignore (1)   2011 Mar 29, 2:25am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

The MID really doesn't help much of America, especially in "flyover country".

The standard deduction for a couple is now up to $11,400. In flyover country, a house may average $150K. With 20% down and a 5% note, that's $6,000 a year in interest - only half the standard deduction. The MID in this example would be of NO benefit to such a couple.

  DennisN   ignore (1)   2011 Apr 11, 1:43am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

Congress refuses to repeal the mortgage interest deduction on its face. But Congress is going ahead with a stealth repeal of the MID by the clever ruse of increasing the standard deduction.

The standard deduction is now up to $11,400 for couples.

Take a US median priced home of $180K. Financing 80% ($144K) at a 5% note is $7,200 per year. Add in say 1.5% property tax on the $180K - another $2,700. That only adds up to $9,900. A couple under this example would be better off with the standard deduction.

Rich people with expensive houses can still take advantage of the MID - but only up to a point. Deductions are limited above certain income levels. And once they get hit with AMT they lose things like the property tax deduction.

  DennisN   ignore (1)   2011 Apr 11, 1:49am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

I paid zero federal income tax last year. But that's nothing to celebrate. The reason is that I didn't make very much from my retirement savings, and had to pay $6K in Blue Cross premiums. I'd much rather make more money and have to pay some taxes.

  DennisN   ignore (1)   2011 Apr 16, 2:25am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

I correctly foresaw the bubble bursting and sold my overpriced San Jose house in 2006. When I got to Idaho, I found I didn't even have to work at all to have a better standard of living. You don't know how overpriced everything is in the Bay Area until you move elsewhere. California is no longer the wonderful place where my grandparents and great-grandparents grew up.

  DennisN   ignore (1)   2011 Apr 25, 4:10am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

That $418K cap from 2008 was still historically high. IIRC in the early 1990's it was around $300K.

The $729K cap was only for "high cost areas", which presumably included SF bay area, NY metro, and DC. Did that also include some bubble areas that were high cost areas but are now low cost areas, e.g. Las Vegas and parts of FL? Did such areas get downgraded back to the $418K jumbo cap?

  DennisN   ignore (1)   2011 May 10, 6:45pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

The only odd statistics come from Merced. Somehow the prices for non-distressed sales dropped more than for distressed sales. What's that all about?

  DennisN   ignore (1)   2011 May 16, 3:01am     ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag      

Who exactly is responsible for that red-dotted projection? It looks nice, but is it just a guess?

  DennisN   ignore (1)   2011 May 27, 8:02am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

I'm a 5th generation northern California native. For decades I knew I could never afford to retire in California so I've been considering the move for a long time. At the peak of the boom - May 2006 - I sold my San Jose crapshack for almost $700K and moved to Boise. Once I got here I discovered I had enough money with the local COL to just retire at age 52.

It's hard to determine whether a person would be happy in SW Idaho. I'm a libertarian-conservative which means I fit in with Idaho culture just fine. If you are a liberal, or a bible-thumping social conservative, stay away from Idaho. The state itself is basically another California without a seacoast: deserts, mountains, river, lakes, and agricultural land. No seacoast but only 1.5 million people to consider in the balance.

My advice is to get out a map of the 50 states and think about living in each one. You may find it's easier to cross off all the places you couldn't stand and then consider what's left.

  DennisN   ignore (1)   2011 Jun 10, 5:54pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

t wong,

When I worked for Intel I was surprised how geographically spread out they were. For years the largest facility by headcount has been that in Hillsboro, OR, with those in metro Phoenix close behind. Intel even has design facilities in Spain and Israel.

HP's printer division is here in Boise, although that's always vulnerable to yet another HP reorg.

  DennisN   ignore (1)   2011 Jun 13, 11:27am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

We've all made fun of Zillow over the years, but at least they were consistent. Their zestimates changed very slowly over time. Today's changes are much more drastic. And some go up: others do down.

  DennisN   ignore (1)   2011 Jun 14, 2:25am     ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag      

Zillow has now issued a press release about changes to their system.

Real estate information marketplace Zillow® today expanded and improved its living database of homes, adding more than 25 million new Zestimate® home valuations and improving Zestimate accuracy nationwide.

  DennisN   ignore (1)   2011 Jun 14, 10:37am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

Taking on any risk requires lots of effort on your part. I'm annoyed beyond belief that the large pot of money I've retired on earns me almost nothing these days. I've put a good chunk of money into the "JNK" fund, which is a junk bond index ETF. It pays 8.29% interest (sure beats CD rates!), but it still is a JUNK bond fund. Every day I have to check several times to see if it's going down - and be ready to put in a sell order. Perhaps you could put in a "stop loss" sell order, but at what value? I've spent the last week or so worrying about if and when I should bail on this investment. That's a lot of time and effort just to put into an investment fund.

  DennisN   ignore (1)   2011 Jun 15, 9:12am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

The problem the PREVIOUS owners had with snakes was all over the local Idaho press back in 2007. How these guys ever missed out knowing about their famous "snake house" baffles me.

  DennisN   ignore (1)   2011 Jun 16, 2:17am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

All you have to do is google "idaho snake house" and you get TV reporting from 2006.

  DennisN   ignore (1)   2011 Jul 20, 12:09am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

And did Peter P ever buy a home in the suburbs so he could grow his own broccoli?

  DennisN   ignore (1)   2011 Aug 11, 1:16am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

I live in a subdivision of about 400 houses that has an HOA. It's relatively low-key and dues are about $300 per year. The HOA runs its own pressurized irrigation system with deliveries to each household plus the commons areas. You would pay more for watering your yard with city water than $300.

  DennisN   ignore (1)   2011 Aug 21, 8:43pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

Bellingham Bob says

Other than killing DEC and the Alpha?

Actually HP didn't want the Alpha design team when they bought DEC, and Intel ended up getting them for a song. For better or worse, there's a lot of Alpha heritage in Itanium.

It's odd that HP now wants to focus on the server market, after getting out of the joint development with Intel of the Itanium processor.

  DennisN   ignore (1)   2011 Aug 24, 4:43am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

It would be interesting if HP was to get bought out by a bigger company. If they didn't adopt the HP name, then Agilent would feel free to rebrand itself once again as Hewlett-Packard.

  DennisN   ignore (1)   2011 Aug 30, 12:01am     ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag      

Or it could be a sale from parents to child that may avoid a prop 13 tax increase. There is some loophole for that.

  DennisN   ignore (1)   2011 Aug 30, 4:58pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

Marcus may be right. IIUC when a house becomes REO, the balance on the 1st mortgage shows up as the sales price. The amount of the subordinated debt (2nds, HELOCs) isn't shown.

  DennisN   ignore (1)   2011 Sep 4, 7:07am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

There's an interesting article in the Chron about eliminating the MID. Some of the comments are very clueless about the MID and its impact.

  DennisN   ignore (1)   2011 Sep 4, 12:05pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

Well....they probably can write off the loss on their taxes. That's probably why they want to "1099" anyone being short - they need to issue the 1099 to claim the loss as a deduction.

  DennisN   ignore (1)   2011 Sep 6, 12:56am     ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag      

I think you answered your own question. It would take an hour to draw one in MS paint. But it only takes a couple of minutes to walk around the house with a camera and take a dozen shots. For the photos no preparation is needed: ever seen how many street shots show the garbage cans?

  DennisN   ignore (1)   2011 Sep 6, 6:39am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

Bug your attorney.

  DennisN   ignore (1)   2011 Sep 6, 3:46pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

Quitclaim deeds are often used in transactions between nations. When the US "bought" Alaska from Russia for $7 million, what we really got was a quitclaim deed from the Russians. It only said that Russia "quit" their "claim" to Alaska, not that others (e.g. the UK) might have their own claims to Alaska. Fortunately the Brits didn't want Alaska at the time.

  DennisN   ignore (1)   2011 Sep 19, 4:34pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

I hadn't realized that ANY mortgages were assumable these days, but you appear to be right.

But even with FHA/VA loans, the lender must "approve" the buyer. How does that work out in practice?

  DennisN   ignore (1)   2011 Sep 25, 1:58am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

I thought "prior fire" was code for "meth lab".

  DennisN   ignore (1)   2011 Oct 6, 4:15am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

I have a MM account at Zions Bank currently paying .9%. That sucks - except for all the other banks.

I also put a good chunk of money in JNK and pray it won't go down much more. Currrently the dividend rate is a little over 8%.

  DennisN   ignore (1)   2011 Oct 17, 3:41pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

A often discussed dodge was to take your student loans (not dischargeable in bankruptcy), buy a house, HELOC it, pay off your students loans with the HELOC, default, then go through bankruptcy.

No more debt!

Did your co-worker roll all this debt into a new 1st, or a HELOC? If it's all 1st he may get the bank to approve the short sale. Any 2nd holders oftentimes prevent the approval of a short sale.

  DennisN   ignore (1)   2011 Oct 24, 2:44am     ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag      

I benefited personally from Prop 13, buying my San Jose house in 1981 and selling it in 2006....

I retired to Boise, and found out that Idaho's property tax system protects the "little old ladies" just fine. When people complain about Prop 13 they really need to propose an alternate property tax scheme. I submit that California would do a good thing by adopting the Idaho property tax scheme.

In Idaho, all property is assessed annually by the county assessor. All property is taxed at a mil rate of a little over 1% depending upon the county's needs (e.g. mosquito abatement).

HOWEVER all owner-occupied primary residences get an approximately $100,000 exemption right off the top of the assessed value. Since the average Idaho house is maybe $150K at most, this is a HUGE tax break for the middle class homeowner. I paid $1,050 last year for my large comfortable house here in Boise.

And if this tax break isn't enough, poor seniors may get further tax reductions based upon demonstrated NEED. Rich seniors on the golf course need not apply.

  DennisN   ignore (1)   2011 Oct 28, 6:43pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

He probably can't sell the car because he doesn't own it: he probably leases it.

Didn't this exact same photo and situation get posted here about 3 years ago?

  DennisN   ignore (1)   2011 Oct 28, 6:51pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

When I attended UCSC 1971-1975, the "tuition" (fees) was $229.50 per quarter. And that included an unlimited bus pass on the county bus line.

  DennisN   ignore (1)   2011 Nov 6, 9:08am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

In California you have to pay property tax on the property during your adverse possession. No pay tax = no own property.

However it's easier to get a prescriptive easement. That won't help squatters though.

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