Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Testing price limits

My favorite canary in the coal mine zip code 92397 is calling a plateau.  This is the extreme low end of the housing supply and they tried to push the pricing.

Price History


06/28/18Price change$169,000-5.6%$263

05/21/18Price change$179,000-10.1%$278

04/26/18Listed for sale$199,000+109%$309


As you can see $300/sf isn't going to fly.  Good.  Let's follow this so we see where it sells.  Click address:

1582 Laura St, Wrightwood, CA 92397

2 beds 0.75 baths 642 sqft

This is what as known as "low side of the street."  Not always bad but this is an example of why high side is better.  But ignore that.  Look at the features.  3/4 bath 642 sf.  This is a turn around slowly domicile.   


LBD said...

Does it have wheels and a hitch? Really a trailer make a lot more sense, go different places on the money you save.

Speaking of going places time to test drive the motor home. Later. :)

Lawyerliz said...

How long do you have to drive to get to any conveniences?

Firemane said...

Thanks all for the input regarding my financial stuff.

Especially liked the "real vacation" suggestion. That's one I completely agree with - and completely will not do ALONE - which is why I'm currently a member of 3 different dating sites.

The mortgage choice is the one that feels like Zuggzwang to me. Like Liz, I like the "idea" of having the Mortgage paid off. BUT ... the mortgage is incentive to keep working (and not retire early). And, my tentative plan is to try and put of drawing SS until 70, and get the 24% monthly bonus from that choice during my retirement.

Thing is ... if I up my monthly from the current $800 (ish) to $1,300 (ish) and get it paid off in 5 years, then it will feel like I have an extra $1000 a month income instead of $500 a month (still have taxes and insurance), which is incentive to retire early, (which I don't need, since my life time pattern is path-of-least-resistance).

Oh, crap. Was just looking up limits for Roth IRA. I *thought* the annual contribution limit was larger than the standard (and 'normal' was separate). But, based on what I see since I'm over 50, $6,500 is my total contribution limit either way. That's only half my current surplus, and doesn't even touch my inheritance windfall.

Gee, looks like I get to educate myself about index funds.

Rob Dawg said...

There is a catch-up clause that applies to traditional IRAs (thus $5,500 v $6,500). You see that but also look into loopholes like this year/next year and one time stuff. Tricky and I will not give advice except to suggest you look into them.

There's also nothing wrong with an investment account outside retirement programs.

Lawyerliz said...

Buy milk or a pair of underpants.

Lawyerliz said...

My son met his wife on a dating site, the ones who just had ths gorgeous baby.

Lawyerliz said...

I found the hub in politics. Then there's religion. If you want a non religious religion, try unitarianism. Libraries support clubs of all sorts.

Lawyerliz said...

Went we got unexpected money, we paid the mtg down. Nothing regular. Both of us grew up in houses that were paid off. A shared comfort zone.

Lawyerliz said...

Son and will probably be out of hospital today.

Lawyerliz said...


Lawyerliz said...

Happy morning everyone.

Firemane said...


I've been involved with "New Thought" churches since 1999.
I actually write Posi music (spiritual, uplifting, but religiously neutral), in my spare time. I'm currently in year 4 of my 9 month plan to put out my 2nd CD.


Yep. Looks like an investment account of some kind. I was wanting to replace the 1/2 of my 401K the wife took with her. But it looks like $6,500 a year for the next 14 is the best I can do in that regard. Unfortunately, I'm a contractor, so 401K is currently off the table, (which is one of the reasons for my current oversized excess).

LBD said...

Good Morning!

97F today and no rain. Pool time increasing to twice a day. :)

Rob Dawg said...

There are some interesting ETFs and don't forget Uncle Warren's favorite; preferred shares with fixed dividends.

Rob Dawg said...

Liz asked; How long do you have to drive to get to any conveniences?

Wrightwood is a full community. There's a grocery and also a convenience store with gas. A couple banks and about 8 RE agencies. Auto shop, great hardware store, etc. just no big boxes. The big boxes are either 25 or 35 miles away but those get you everything. Every big box, every chain restaurant, mega movie theaters, megamall, on and on.

Lawyerliz said...

No available ladies there.

Lawyerliz said...

Hub is readind wiki on Roe v Wade. So far, he thinks it's not constitutional, but legislation accomplishing the same thing should be passed. In our lifetime????

Firemane said...


Actually, one of the last two ladies I dated was one that attends one of the churches I play at. However, we initially made contact through a dating app, and then ran into each other at church.

I'm an unfortunate victim of thousands of years of Misogyny. Every relationship I had in my life prior to e-dating was initiated in some way by someone other than me. I've spent a lifetime surrounding myself with type A personalities (male and female), because I am as near as I can tell, genetically incapable of initiating, but I'm tremendous at collaborating. But, "initiating" a potentially romantic relationship remains a societally required male activity.

Note: In college I would go to girls dorms and play the piano until girls came up to introduce themselves to me. Unfortunately, if I try that approach today, I'll get arrested.

Jim the Realtor said...

Congrats Liz!

dilbert dogbert said...

Re: SS
Read somewhere that the total expected payout is the same with SS asap or wait till 70.
I advise take the money and run. Life is short and unpredictable.

Firemane said...

On taking SS early, on-time, or delayed:

My feeling is that if I die early, I won't care about money not received.

But, if I live longer than expected, an extra $700 a month that isn't draining principle from any investments will be a huge comfort (and likely REALLY beneficial for health care costs when needed most - which is final couple of years of life).

The thing is - if I'm still working from 67-70, I certainly won't need the money THEN. I don't expect I'll be transitioning from Computer Programmer to WalMart greeter.

I have no offspring, and I can't take it with me, so I view the end of life extra steady income better than having to juggle asset liquidation in my 80s.

Rob Dawg said...

DD has a point. The payout profile is indeed very finely tuned to make almost all decisions return neutral. The secret downside is that every additional year you work is not just deferred payments but additional years of paying in.

and let's face it. For some of us retiring early and we will likely live longer but don't ignore the obverse.

Lawyerliz said...

That's why there are proms, usually the girls ask.

Lawyerliz said...

Most of the hub's antecedents live a very long time. Mom87, dad, 84, but he smoked heavily, 2 aunts 97, one sharp, one senile. His smokin drinkin sister won't , but she has made it to 71.

Lawyerliz said...

There's some luck involved. For now, we are happy to have 2 ss incomes, a federal pension for my hub, dividends from stocks given by my mom. No need to pull out 4% from capltal, except I have given some money to my kids, and we must pull out IRA money. We could have had big medical bills. We could have had bad experience with real estate investments. We didn't.

LBD said...

SS grab as much as you can as soon as you can, if you need it or not. Control your own money with investments. My first health explosion started at 48 and retired at 50 on my own nickle. Couldn't do that depending on others controlling my finances. IMO

I haven't looked but Fidelity has some kind of program to not take funds out at 70 1/2. Probably pay the taxes and let it ride.

Lawyerliz said...

I had health explosions, but none particularly expensive. The govt pays for most. The one really expensive med is Lumsomething for glaucoma. Thanks, taxpayers. When I had my first child, the hospital stay was $50 a day. No insurance but we could pay that. Now the son has VA coverage; all the baby stuff was basically free. He had an operation for a sports injury. Free. Someone rear ended him I'm sure insurance will pay. Well, almost sure. . .

LBD said...

Until I hit Medicare age I had to spend 20$k up to $30k a year just for me insurance and meds co pay. I paid but also understand most can not. Scary but honestly around here most get taken care of. SSDI Medicare and Medicade for back up.

Lawyerliz said...

We didnt do that. So We could live mid middle class just on SS, since everything is paid for. We couldn't eat out all the time nor do the extravagant redecorating of the house, which should commence soon. . . . Liz tears hair slightly. After that my feeling is, let it rot, except replacing dead appliances.
Son, mr Baby and dil have returned home. He has been proclaimed an easy going Baby, which I hope means not much crying. The son didn't cry much.

Lawyerliz said...

Wow, that is a lot.
We have BCBS, no complaints. In 76, hub got thyroid cancer, like Paul Tsongas. He was only supposed to live a few years, but still here at 75., going to school and writing a novel and thriiled to be a grandpa.

Lawyerliz said...

I have diabetes, expense so far low. The main prob is running from dr to dr. My leg hurts the one that broke years ago. Maybe spurring and arthritus. I think it's gonna have to be operated on. Want to have that taken care of, soon. Had an mri yesterday, before that an xray.

Firemane said...


Perhaps I'm too cynical about modern finance, but I have zero belief that *I* am any more *in control* of my money if Fidelity or Vanguard is handling it than if I'm counting on X dollars from the Feds. Historically, I'm actually safer with the Feds.

I watched my Mom's 401K lose 60% of its value overnight AFTER she took early retirement.

I remember all the Enron employees whose retirement funds were gutted, because Enron had set it up so the bulk of those investments were in Enron stock.

I watched almost the entire country go insane with the belief that house values magically increase by 10% a year ... and will continue to do so forever.

I watched half my 401K vanish in a puff of divorce, (note: My wife had actually cashed out her entire 401K after losing her job in 2009, so ultimately, she got all of hers, and half of mine).

"Control" is a very fluid definition when it comes to modern finance.

Do I expect changes in SS payouts in the future? Yes. Do I expect they will be major to *ME*? Unlikely. History says the costs will be shifted to those furthest away from drawing. I expect there will be another "Reagan Moment", (probably about 10 years from now), when they finally bite the bullet and do away with the SS contribution cap, up the retirement age (for those under 40), and increase the SS tax rates. And I will be happy if I'm still working and earning enough for it to matter to me.

As for genetics - My Mom and her parents all died in their late 70s.
My Dad is still alive (88), and both his parents lived into 90s.

LBD said...

Control I guess should be the ability to diversify and change at will. Nothing is worth anything until realized. Believing your house gains value is unrealistic unless you sell it then it is realized gain or loss. Property tax scam? LOL! Same with any investment like funds the roller coaster is a game where most lose. You should have control to buy or sell as you wish. Company controlled retirement plans may not allow it. Not my choice.

SS has a cap on annual pay in but they only pay out a lower limited based on your best 40 quarters (10 years} not your whole career paying in. If I got paid back on my whole career contributions then I sould get 3 times the max pay but I don't. The system now already penalized the my efforts. No max on Medicare and owning the biz the employer still pays half of SS no limit as I recall. Spread sheet fraud again from our government and most believe it.

I see wealth as tangible like Real estate and non tangible like stocks, funds, SS, insurance etc.

The FEDS can take all our money with a stroke of a key. Some countries have done this, it's not likely but not out of the question.

I find real estate the best investment for safety as people will always need a place to live. It to is rocky as I see it as more of a service business not a get rich hoping it goes up in value. I also use my own money, no Bankster involved but I respect the value of my money like a bank.

Divorce is like a medical issue hitting you. We don't generally plan for such an event but it happens and it's generally expensive.

Risk and safe balance is the key IMO.

Firemane said...

Getting away from my personal finances ...

What's the impact of the steadily climbing inflation rate going to be on second quarter GDP? Anybody know if there's any latency in how "real" GDP is calculated relative to inflation? (I know employment backwards and forwards ... but GDP I'm pretty much a novice).

Looks like we are finally getting the inflation that was predicted since ... oh, the "taper" began. (2.9 YoY CPI print)

So, I've been predicting Q4 (late) recession start all year. Thus far, I'm sticking by my guns. Funny thing is - that prediction was BEFORE Trump started his trade war.

So, my prediction at this point is that if I'm correct, and GDP slows drastically in Q4, every pundit alive will be (wrongly) blaming tariffs, (despite that reality that natural market latency would likely prevent any significant tariff-related economic bite from showing in the stats for some time.)

Not that the trade war is any help. My view is the trade war will make the next downturn worse - but it's coming regardless.

One item I'm pondering, but am not yet firm on is the "possibility" that we may actually end up with rising U3 *AND* lowering First Time Claims. At face value this seems impossible. But, my hunch is that the first hits in a FECES recession are going to be the entry level, and PT jobs (that don't qualify for UI). And with the job market so tight, the people who DO qualify for UI will be able to quickly find new jobs ... while the ones who don't will end up unemployed, but ineligible for UI. I think that is why FTCs have continued to fall even though we basically hit full employment back in November.

LBD said...

The recession is still putting along here. Mall is soon to be scary empty, no major anchors left. Last rental finally rented this week after 5 months empty. UE is very low as Colorado is legal to puff and the burger flippers have gone there. UP still hiring but you have to pass a drug test. What does that say about youth.

Interest rates on CD's up a bit but the war on seniors savings continues. This is sad.

Farmers crying, situation normal.

Rob Dawg said...

We are getting 4+ calls per day on the one empty rental. A very nice SFR competitively priced. A lot reluctantly get turned away when they learn “no pets” is real not wink wink. Still the ratio of applications to interest is the lowest I’ve seen. And it isn’t “price.”

Lawyerliz said...

My cheap Tampa condo sold in a trice. I think there is nothing in that price range, that isn't a slum.

Lawyerliz said...

My son is the most devoted daddy imaginable.

Lawyerliz said...

He was nervous about picking him up. I don't think he ever picked up an infant before.
Our big bad turtle hole is being filled.

LBD said...

Good Morning!

1/4" rain last night and a week of 80's ahead.

Would you sell a rental property for modest value growth when most have paid back 2-3 times original cost? I see free money.

My poorfolio still sucks but the funds keep pulling away. :)

Rob Dawg said...

New post.

Anonymous said...

Returning to the archives to note that this house finally sold in September 2018 for $179K.