Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Oh Utah!

Opinions are like Casey... wait how does that go? I forget. Anyway Entertain us with anything Utah. Space aliens stole the check(s)? What isn't Casey telling us? Why is a personal appearance necessary? Why does Nigel want a face-to-face? Is face-to-face the right term? Go for it people, it's all good and we're sure to win-win.

Philly housing index

It's a good thing the housing sector has been recovering so well these last six months. Be careful, the housing market is not the market of housing stocks. The stocks aresaying that six moths ago we'd be emerging about now. Just like the NAR has been predicting. Amazing how a downturn cannot be recognized until it is over but upturnssignal their arrival half a year into the future. IMO we'll revisit and more the lowsof last summer. How can we not?

Why the low starting bid on Larchmont?

I sure hope that our daily visits from Countrywide and Pinkertons are documenting the fact that Casey never intended to pay his $50k note and now disavows the debt entirely.

Casey was surprised at the $216k starting bid. Nothing surprising. The bank had an outstanding balance and costs of $266k minus his $50k note.

Housing ignores the cheerleaders

New housing sales for Jan down 16% or 150k. This not counting cancellations or uncounted inventory issues. Special attention to one cheerleader is warranted.

Don't be the first mouse

There's asaying on Wall Street that say; "The second mouse gets the cheese." There are some disturbing coincidences twixt yesterday's events. Valuations got ahead of fundamentals. A stumble resulted in ripple effects. Large players intervened to prevent prices seeking their own levels. Short term bargain opportunities were created. And worst; everyone with avested interest came out today to calm the other mice that all was well, Casey is an isolated case and the market correction was not indicitive of a larger problem.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Yesth, Ith Isssh A MannnPursth

Personal note; I don't care. It could be affectation, it could be cultural differences, it could be a secret signal to people with Ultra-Gaydar. I don't know, I don't know why anyone cares but here it is. And hey, I got Gaydar. When Suze Orman came out yesterday my reaction was "What? She was in the closet?" That haircut alone. Point being, irellevant to the situation.

Health Tip

It is "said" a shot of wheatgrass juice can help cleanse the blood and other tissues, but just how much of the green stuff do we need? Meyerowitz suggests 1-2 ounces of fresh squeezed wheatgrass juice daily, although therapeutic doses can be up to 4 ounces. For the more dedicated enthusiast, wheat grass can be taken as an enema!

Alright, try to restrain yourselves.

Blog O'Note

Two blogs actually. "Calculated Risk"and "Big Picture."
First Calculated Risk, written by "a senior executive, retired from a public company, with a background in investing, finance and economics.. CR provided ubergeeky insider info on lending and charting the general economy."

Second, Barry Ritholtz at Big Picture. Barry is just one of those people that operate on a higher plane. Despite being smarter than three of us he finds the time to blog on current markets, for free. When you get serious he's got a paid site with advice that I've never heard anyone ever complain wasn't worth ten times what he charges. "Trenchant economic commentary"
- Floyd Norris, NY Times

On a down 200 point day both sites are replete with the absolute quiet certitude of people who know something others are still missing. Both places have authors and posters who know their stuff.

The World Is Flat (Broke)

The EN shadows were out in full force yesterday. And many have good memories. The flat tire is the best thing that could have happened to our delicate flower of the Central Valley. He'll get at least 4 posts with several hundred comments out of it. Wait until he finds out how much a replacement low pro is going to cost. If he was real unlucky the rim may be damaged and we are into 4 digits to fix. Well not for me, I'd use my internet surfing skillz and woking ccard to snag a single replacement for maybe three bills. If Young and Gulibile managed to hook up with a repair shop that saw the "L" on his forehead... the total icould be astronomical.

Regular readers will recall when he first snagged the sweet vdubs how we discected what a sh!tty option it was for him. Has anything his haters predicted not come to pass?

Update: Badjer Jim has this to add:

Monday, February 26, 2007

No Comment Necessary

Top O' The World Ma

In addition to the entertaining movie trivia aspect of the picture, how in the world does someone attend their own financial funeral?

Talk to the bank

Larchmont is toast. With no bids the 1st takes the cheese. And wow does that cheese stink. The 2nd would have been the only serious bidder in this case and even they saw nothing but pain. The spreadsheet of doom says he was carrying the Larchmont on his books at $220,000

If no bids at $216,000 it is safe to assume something south of $190k. Looking at the pics from Oct on Flickr I'd say $130k for an experienced flipper looking for work more than for a deal. $30k repairs, $20k carrying costs, $10k sales costs, $210k sales price only to make $20k which doesn't pencil out unless you need the work. Maybe even CFC will do it under a contract. If so our little dandelion will be looking at a tax bill in addition to the non-dischargeable $50k.

Anybody out there smarter than me (and you know who you are) got anything to add?

Zillow reveals;

How would you like to be one of the neighbors waking up to the new comps?

Back to the future

See if you can spot the interesting thing about this picture. Here's a hint:

Single Family Property
County: Ventura
Year Built: 2008
Approximately 5000 sq. ft.
Waterfront property
Approximate lot is 35x188

This time you just need to guess the first digit and I'll publish the price.

Post Auction Observations Here

Okay, observations, speculations, ruminations, etc., etc. Just please, if it is an actual report mark it so and vice versa.

I'll give you double wide at $675k

Steph J asks a question and I know better than to ignore. She wants to see a double-wide for sale listing so here it is:
The custom design of this home maxamizes the Ocean, Island, and Sunset views. This home is highly upgraded, the kitchen features tile counters, pull-outs in cabinets, double oven, skylight, and wood floors. The raised hearth stone fireplace separates the formal dining room and living room which both have ocean views and wood floors. The master is a dream with a corner Jacizzi tub and separate shoer and the walk in closet with built-ins galore, and even a a solar tube in the closet. This is the ultimate in beach living at such an affordable price.

Manufactured or Mobile Home Property
County: Ventura
Subdivision: Oxnard Shores MHP
Year Built: 2000
2 total bedroom(s)
2 total bath(s)
Approximately 1848 sq. ft.
Single story
Dining room
Family room
Laundry room
1 car garage
Attached parking
Heating features: Gas,Forced Air
Interior features: Skirt, Dshwasher, Garbage disposal, Gas appliances, Microwave, Range/oven, Interior laundry
Exterior features: Automatic garage opener, Barbeque grill area, Cable TV, Community spa hot tub, RV Parking
Exterior construction: Siding
Roofing: Composition
Community clubhouse(s)
Community security features
Community spa/hot tub(s)
Community swimming pool(s)
Pets allowed
Hill/mountain view
Ocean view
Lot is 3500 sq. ft.
Approximately 0.08 acre(s)

Disclaimers: this is really only a few hundred yards from the beach but "views" is a stretch.

Anything people want to talk about?

There's only one subject this morning. Well there's quite a few we've saved up but if I don't want to be hit over the head by a caveclub, driven by dirty jeep and dumped in a neighbor that speaks only jive with nothing but a jamba Juice gift card I better declare:


Washboard abs washroom antics

Yellow is the new prison orange. Meet Casey's future roomates. [federal equal time posting hereby fufilled]

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Lap of luxury $530k

Calling this sh!tbox a house is an insult to real sh!tboxes. A rippin' 545 Sq. Ft. and a predialian 0.03 Acres this little gem won't last long. Literaly around the corner in Ventura's "Avenue" I'm not sure if it is the graffiti or rats that seal the deal. And yes, more expensive than the McStucco Manse of earlier this evening.

Screaming buy (Sunday Guess the Price Contest) $480k

Why buy? Because it is one of the cheapest... err... least expensive SFRs in the zip code. A couple hints and all you internet sleuths no fair peeking:

2 Bed, 1 Bath
616 Sq. Ft.
0.13 Acres

The "big" lot bumps the price so don't be shy. Oh and just so you don't get big ideas; 1.4 miles of you don't want to walk at night from the beach.

Make it go away

Young Snowflake has been very optomistic of late. A seeming contradiction to tomorrow's doubleheader foreclosurepalozza. No one should be surprised. It is about time for his personality swing to take an upturn and you need to be able to translate from Realworld™ to Caseyworld™. In Caseyworld™ he has these two houses. They are not bringing in any money, they are running up the big scary numbers on this spreadsheet and they fill his mailbox every week with scary mail. In Caseyworld™ after tomorrow all those things will go away. Best of all he didn't have to do any work himself. Win-win.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Welcome New Casey Supporter

This is Brian. Brian is new to Caseyworld™. Brian is a titan in training. Brian is the future we Boom, Cusp, and Xs will entrust our later years. Let's give Brian a big ole' EN welcome at his all business blog at His inspiring story is also there:

Tired of staring

I for one am getting tired of just staring. Even Monday's double large pair of huge attention getting forclosures won't bring about the climax we all want and deserve. Like a deer caught in the headlights Casey will just sit on his blue ball and bouce and jiggle a little bit and then nip off for something juicy to put in his mouth or maybe a meaty morsel or two from In-N-Out.

Those who fail to learn from history

Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. - George Santayana

Those of us in power are choosing to ignore history and make you relive it. - APA

History says housing prices never go down. - NAR

Housing as a driver of an expanding economy is history. - Rob Dawg

Okay, this is a really smart and informed group for the most part but I suspect not everyone has been exposed to the salient points of our current circumstance in historical perspective. Thh picture is a famous one taken by the great depression era photographer, Dorothea Lange. It is taken from which provides excellent background on the past as prologue.

History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme. - Samuel Clemens

Thus we need to be a bit more analytical than just "we're headed for another depression." The Foriegn Policy Research Institute has a fascinating article on the lessons learned/not learned from the Vietnam War.
Reading it you can substitute any subject and it still rings true.

We aren't going to have a depression. Besides a depression won't correct the problems we have anyway so why bother? We are gonna be forcibly civilized and go from the 800lb gorilla on the world stage to an ape wearing a people suit in the circus. There are nations that have been waiting a century to humiliate us and some a half-century to destroy us. They'll do themselves even greater harm if they try but that won't temper their zeal. My guess is we are going to return to a stand of greater self reliance. People don't understand things like our importing oil and goods is not purely a pull phenomena, it serves to export a higher standard of living abroad. We'll end up with more socialism not less and less freedoms not more, just like the civilized countries. THe cost wil be borne by the only segment of society that can afford it but cannot afford to avoid it; the middle class. Essentially if you can't get rich fast you are gonna end up poor slow. Read just about anything by Paul Krugman on that subject. But I've rambled long enough. Here's your chance to prognosticate on whether it is 1894 or 1917 or 1929 or...

Homey's Day Job Revealed

Friday, February 23, 2007

Brace, brace, brace

Nigel is at it again. He is trying to backpedal on his incredibly stupid comments about populationand housing demand. I left a comment that was polite and topical. Thus there is little doubt it will be censored. If it is censored Nigel will have used up any good will he may have had. Nigel is a frequent visitor to our Exurban Nation. Surely he understands that his opinions are subject to scrutiny.

Even a Caveman can do it


Don't you just hate it when something stupid gets under your skin? I thought I was alone on this one but turns out others are smitten. Now that I've heard the whole song at the second link I'm okay.

Oh, and a metablog note; it is annoying to some that I am too lazy to use href html code for active links. This from an email comment. I will reconsider but remember, Nigel and ohhh soo many others use the pretty pink/purple text to click and surf to bad places. Seeing the lazy code is a way to give people a chance to make an informed click.

aaron said...
Not sure if anyone hear reads the 'Financial Week' but there was an interesting article in this week's edition about the top bankers not sure whether the system is over exposed in the derivatives market.

I have it in hardcopy but you can read it here if you are registered:

basically it states Ben doesn't want banks tied down by regulation, the NY fed president states banks have no clue how exposed they are, Paulson thinks hedge funds reduce the risk banks are exposed to by purchasing these and the German Finance minister and G-7 are trying to head off the domino effect this could have on the system.

Basically what will happen will make the S&L crisis look like small potatoes. No one is will to admit it though!

Rob Dawg replied...
Wow, "Financial Week." This is one wired-in collective. Yes like you, I'm concerned that the hedge/deriviatives/tranching/futures/etc markets are doing to the world economy what "The Producers" did to Broadway productions.

Thus I call a new thread. We all know that ultimately California earthquake insurance premiums end up at a post office box rented by the month in Kansas. If there is ever a big one, there's no one to cover the losses. This is worse.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Chart of the Day

Chart of the Day is a dandy little tool. Just another emial in the inbox to read or ignore but ssoemtimes a picyure is worth a thousand words.

This is REITs v S&P 500 both inflation adjusted on a log scale. That narrow channel is actually 50% wide. I smell a short just like lumber last fall. It is almost too easy. Am I missing something?
Update: Added the following chart.
This time without the log scale and the added consideration of the effect of interest rates.

Too much sh!t

Alright, a slight change of pace on the surface but trust me it ties in.
I have too much crap. Not ordinary everyday crap, we are talking make fun of, shocking news article material, shake your head too much crap. Part nurture, part nature I hold on to "things." It isn't all bad. I use the last surviving wing pivot bolt from the American SST project as a paperweight. [here, here and here]

I've still got some selvage from the Voyager, some titanium connector nuts from Apollo, stuff like that but those are mementos. No, I'm talking -crap-; high powered magnets from a 60s harddrive, encrusted paintbrushes, every size of short lumber left over from every project of the last decade, half used sheets of sandpaper, an old pingpong table missing a wheel, O2 sensor from a vehicle gone these three years, 1/2 gallon of exterior paint from a rental disposed of in 2004, 1 1/2 gal of another from 2006, tech manuals for Macs that are in the Boston Computer Museum, RAM from the 1980s fer gawds sake, a motorized wheelchair for an ecoproject idea, 2 extra fish tanks if the 250 gal ever goes bad,... Who knows if I'll ever need them. Better to be safe than sorry.

Okay, enough confession. Where is this going? If I have too much stuff at least I am not alone. Symptom or disease? I don't know but either way, not healthy. This is one of those studies where you cannot argue with the data or conclusions but you still resist. And the bigger picture? This is the tie-in part. Casey got 7 houses at one time and needed 1 and at best deserved 1/2 of one. What if the Casey's were 5% of the recent market? Fully 1/3rd of the houses changing hands weren't needed for living in. Housing excesses could be just the last gasp of an orgy of Amerivan consuumption that has ended.

Been done doin' me wrong

Since it appears difficult to talk about right and wrong with Casey let's try a different tack. "Sherman, set the Wayback machine to the year 2005. We are visiting that housing bubble icon, none other than Casey Serin himself." "Gee, Mr. Peabody, isn't that kind of dangerous?... you know, the... I can't even say it." "Nonsense Sherman, this is long before even the John Stossel exposé nevermind the... the... the unpleasantness." "Okay, but what are we going to try to do?" "Why stop him of course." In its usual efficient manner the Wayback whisked us to the home of the young couple where we were astonished by what we saw. There instead of our hero plugging away at the next great deal we saw...

Aww, you finish it.

Gone but not Forsaken

Forsaken, where for art thou? Oh master of the most sublime art of snarky housing observation tell us here. Anyone know?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

It's an addiction

It is not as bad as you think. It is worse. I am a major source of most of America's woes. I am addicted to Harbor Freight & Tools. Corporate HQ is here in Camarillo, CA and their lies are too seductive to ignore. HHS drills for $0.99 Mole Chasers for $9.99 and freestanding drill presses for $99.99. How much can a man take? Yes, I konew, America's manufacturing edge is dulled every time I plunk down my gift card but laser etched color coded deep sockets? Metric and SAE? Who wouldn't? Okay, so let's just come out and say it. We all have some relatively harmless addictions. Pehaps that's how we avoid the dangerous ones.

Poor Sumbitch

How'd you like to be this poor sot? He's seen his property go up $10,000 in the last month. Well I guess that takes the sting out of going down $100,000 per month every month for the preceding three months.

I know a little about this place. The zillow of $900k would cause a lot of trouble. Every interested agency would claim it wasn't an arms ength transaction. Inferior lots in the neighborhood go for more. Oh wait, that's my house (really).

The moral is trifold.

1. Zilllow ain't worth fer sh!t. They are like Casey, they are relying on the kindness of strangers to "add value" to their "product."

2. Timeframe is important in large events. Did I make $10k last month? Did I loose $300k in the previous three months? No and No. Is the house worth 5-6 times what I paid in 1995? Yes. In this case it is the $10k one month "bounce" that is wrong. Noise, neither up nor down, just noise.

3. Information has value. Whether you cotribute to the quality of the zestimates or the quality of IAFF with posts the result is relative added value. I'm not going email zillow and volunteer corrections to their wacky mathematical model and I'm not going to entertain Casey's readers with my comments.

Weather prediction formula:

High Pressure ridge of ARM resets moving in +
Rising Tide of defaults +
Unseasonably interest rate temperatures +
A deluge of inventory +
Melting demand +
= Perfect Storm

NAR Kool-Aid for sale

House prices haven’t gone up because of low rates, or flippers or Casey Serin. They’ve gone up because of population increases and a persistent demand for homes. - Nigel

Where do the REICC come up with this crap?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Everyody Does It

If everyone did what Casey did witihin the next 2 moths we'd be seeing 235 million foreclosures.

If everybody did what Casey did witihn the next three months the bankruptcy courts would be asked to discharge $18 trillion in debt.

Shame that everybody does it.

Phase Eleventeen

Any other suggestions for Casey at this point?

Report from 2012

The internet screwed up this morning and sent me an email from 5 years in the future:
Rob Dawg,
Hi, Robert. This is your sister Kaycee. Some guys from the New Bank of America asked me some questions yesterday. They say you are applying for a home loan and since the amount is nearly 50% LTV they need some background information to verify creditworthiness. They wanted to know about your earnings history. I couldn't remember, was your paper route 1969-1972 mon-Sat or 7 days a week? What should I tell them? They showed me some real scary penalties if I lie but I just can't remember.


If you don't think Casey's nonsense will result in "locking the barn door after the horse has got out" I refer you to the margin requirements to purchase stocks in 1929; 10%.

Monday, February 19, 2007

A place to reply

The snowflake needs more advice. He says:

So the question is…

With the troubles I have already experienced and the good I am trying to do via my story…

With my credit ruined, my reputation tarnished, my behavior sharply criticized, my past dug up and exaggerated, myself and my associates verbally abused, and even my family being stocked..

Notwithstanding that some of you can’t stand my care-free personality, my preference for self-employment and occasional Jamba Juice outings..

With all that…

WHY do so many of you think I still deserve to go to jail??

For the record, I'm in no position to call the "deserve" part, I just think the prison part is a safe bet based on what we know.

There is something I do know. Casey has not experienced trouble in the least. I'm also certain that based on "troubles I have already experienced" he has no idea what could happen. I'm not going to go into Hep C infection rates and worse, I'll skip right to the worst case and no, it does not involve kneecaps. Worse. I can forsee an "irregularity" in his citizenship application that only turned up during a routine mortgage default review. Perhaps until all this is cleared up it would be best...

Time to share

Seems there are number of we landlords here. Amazing how these kinds of interconnectedness reveal themselves. Anyway, I thought a simple thread to offer tips, share misery, brag, whatever about our common experiences.

Russ Winter and Ventura County

It was pointed out that Russ Winter used a Craiglist example of a local condo for sale or rent to expose the hyperreality of housing in Ventura County. Sure, housing here is in the hyperreal zone but Mr. Winter omly succeeds in revealing the folly of letting your conclusions drive your data.

Where he writes: Let’s take a hypothetical (and perhaps fictional?) young couple making 25% above the Ventura median or $60k.

Truth is 25% above the median is $105k and even that is quite misleading as the demographics here don't have medain earners pursing the median home which is closer to $560k anyway. Normally at this point I'd go through a lengthy rebuttal and vivisection of Winter's assertions but when he makes a mistake of that size the rest would just be cruelty.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Nigel has a secret friend

"Um, he's sick. My best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who's going with the girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night. I guess it's pretty serious." [Simone in "Ferris Buller's Day Off"]

You see turns out Nigel has a friend who is "a Federal law enforcement officer. [The] friend asked not to be identified for the purpose of this article,... His opinion on Casey's situation is it is highly unlikely it will be prosecuted."

Face it. We are all just jealous because the little voices are only talking to Nigel.

UPDATE: Be sure to read "The Adventures of Super Accountant" in the comments.

Guess the topic

I read this book when I was about 3. Does anyone else remember it? Or the lesson? Yep, time again for one of those tedious threads where you are asked why I think the story of Arty the Smarty is applicable to the stuff everybody loves to talk about these days. 'Course iffen you don't want to try you can always send the thread off in a different direction entirely. Maybe even a few trolls van test their skills against an admirable group who is learning fast that the trolls can gain no traction without a reaction.

There's a little casey in all of us

Come on, be honest. I -know- you all lied on your credit applications. I know this because Casey in the swirling center of the growing controversy has looked all around and reported that -everybody- does it.
I;m here to say; I did not. My rental properties were funded as such, I only claim one residency exemption, my Schedule C only includes legitimate expenses and my banks get their money on time and in full.
It isn't enough to say "everybody does NOT do it." And an unlocked door is not an excuse for robbery. Anyone ready to "come clean" so or lurking reader can see how it is done in that portion of civil society that he's missed in his adventures? As I said in a previous post, we are partly responsible for that deficiency. This is but one small step in rehabilitation and mitigation.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

I could not resist

I'm weak. The last troll sucked me into Caseyworld™. Here's the exchange:

Casey:"I have not lied about anything on this blog.

If you think am lying about something, I challenge you to bring it up."

Pictures of your wife with a clipboard reviewing a fix-it list, her name on the loan and her name on the title. Versus your claim that she is not involved.

"I now understand the feelings of politicians or any other public figures who are highly criticized."

You understand nothing. People are critical because you don't understand. Youhave never been honest EXCEPT when forced. Your every chance to be honest up front has been abused. Honest is not confessing, honest is having nothing to confess. You can't even be honest about the little things. The "boycott" for instance. Were I to mention where the "haters" are instead you'd edit it out. How does that square with your claims that you don't care? You care enough to censor comments. You care enough to scour picsfrom other blogs but then pretend to not know the authors. Here's a little test. There have been 10s of thousands of visitors. How many have left with a clearer picture and have become more supportive than before they knew all the details?

Acrosstics? Sure but I "SEE RACY SIN"

Acrosstics are fun but when he sees this mornings EN discussion that all comes to an end. There is an alternative; anagrams. First the obvious, CASEY SERIN:

1 ) Sincere Say
2 ) Resiny Case
3 ) Acre Sis Yen
4 ) Airy Sec Sen
5 ) Arse Icy Sen
6 ) Arse Sec Yin
7 ) Arse Sic Yen
8 ) Cane Rye Sis
9 ) Care Sis Yen
10 ) Case Rye Sin
11 ) Case Sir Yen
12 ) Cern Aye Sis
13 ) Cern Sis Yea
14 ) Ease Cry Sin
15 ) Nary See Sic
16 ) Nice Ass Rye
17 ) Race Sis Yen
18 ) Racy Nee Sis
19 ) Racy See Sin
20 ) Rein Say Sec
21 ) Rice Ass Yen
22 ) Rice Say Sen
23 ) Rise Any Sec
24 ) Rise Nay Sec
25 ) Rise Sac Yen

I used
But there are dozens of engines. He can never check all the comments for anagrams.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Possible Saving Scenarios

Casey could spend a year dead for legal reasons like Hotblack Desatio or we could elect him Captain of the Golgafrincham B Ark.