Friday, March 24, 2006

Crazed Prophet

The Sacramento Land(ing) blog has a very nice and thorough review of the various real estate related blogs. Check it out as there are some that you might find interesting and that you might not already be aware of.

I spewed my morning coffee and laughed out loud when I read this description of that crazed fool Marinite:
The Marin blog's author, Marinite, reminds me of an Old Testament prophet crying in the wilderness, warning a willfully ignorant populace.
That's just too funny. But I think it pretty much fits for all bubble bloggers to varying degrees; I guess me more than others.

I am not oblivious to the fact that I have pissed off a lot of people by pointing out the various follies of the current real estate craze, questioning the sanctity of "God's country" (aka Marin County), asking some hard questions, and genuinely caring about the future of California.

So this post is for all you readers. Use the comment section to say whatever you want about me. Don't hold back any punches. I'm asking for it. And unlike other posts I won't delete any offensive comments. You have my word. Say what you want -- good, bad, ugly, whatever. Catharsis is healthy after all. Get it out of your system now and then we can move on.

34 Comments:

Blogger grim said...

Prophet sounds like a compliment to me, crazy or not.. :)

grim

Mar 24, 2006, 10:45:00 AM  
Anonymous NAte said...

I like your blog. I like the crazy prophet in the wilderness.

Mar 24, 2006, 11:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A few weeks ago I decided to start looking at homes for sale in California, just to see what they were asking these days. I noticed something odd about the prices I found; they were all way, way higher than they should be, not way higher mind you, WAY, WAY higher. I set off on a search to find out why and that's when I discovered this blog. I like this blog,I visit it everyday, but why?
It doesn't update everyday, maybe that's a good thing, some people really over do it. It isn't really humorous, really quite the opposite when you think about how it came to this. It's not the most in depth blog, but it offers some good insight and always seems to have a link in the right place. It certainly isn't the most sensationalistic blog, if it were, I wouldn't be reading it. That being said, why do I stop by everyday? Maybe I just like the blogger and his sensible low key manner. Whatever the reason I'll keep coming back, everyday that I can.

~J~

Mar 24, 2006, 11:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You provide so much useful data to debunk the RE cheerleaders, that I'm not at all surprised some attack you. I won't say you "err" in often coming across negatively. In fact, I think the housing situation is so outrageous here. Really--$900K for some WWII era cottage? It's funny when people argue Marin "deserves" these prices.
For the most part, I'm on your side. I know what the detractors are up to; they're fairly transparent. However, to the mainstream public, this blog is like a salad with too much vinegar; it could use a little "sweetening" to warm the unsuspecting public to these ideas, unless we just want a rant-fest. Like any worthwhile cause, good PR and marketing are just important as the "facts".

Mar 24, 2006, 12:12:00 PM  
Anonymous trakz said...

Agree with all the (positive!) posts above.

...but, I've not yet stumbled across your motivation. Are you a renter? Do you own? Did a house at some point in the past somehow hurt you?

Motivaiton would help your long time readers understand your views with some additional context.

No matter what, keep up the good work.

Mar 24, 2006, 12:32:00 PM  
Blogger hemorrhoidforhousing said...

I appreciate knowing I'm not the only crazy fool out there. I have been looked up as if I am insane when I tell people housing has lost all touch with fundamentals in California and elsewhere.

I find your sometimes droll humor on par with my own and enjoy your POS blog. It reminds me of when I made offers on a couple of POS's myself before I got off the ride because if I stayed on it would have made me sick.

Thanks! Keep up the good work.

Mar 24, 2006, 12:40:00 PM  
Blogger Rob Dawg said...

In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king? Not always, sometimes the weight of the majority of the blind is king.

http://www.eastoftheweb.com/short-stories/UBooks/CounBlin.shtml

I'll keep my sight thank you.

Mar 24, 2006, 1:16:00 PM  
Blogger Lander said...

Prophet sounds like a compliment to me, crazy or not.. :)

grim


Yes, what grim said.

Mar 24, 2006, 1:22:00 PM  
Blogger Athena said...

I am a big fan of marinite the prophet. I wouldn't have been willing to also point out the emporer is wearing new clothes if it wasn't for your encouragement, wit, intelligence and willingness to stand your ground.

Thanks for being a beacon of sanity.

Athena

Mar 24, 2006, 1:31:00 PM  
Blogger Athena said...

ps. I boycott spell check on Fridays.

Mar 24, 2006, 1:32:00 PM  
Blogger sf jack said...

I just think it's great that marinite has not been drinking the real estate Kool-Aid, like so many others in northern California.

I don't agree with every single thing said here by "the prophet", but I like to think it's a useful "public service" to have a contrarian voice of reason around here (perhaps you've shamed more than a few into avoiding some of these Marin POS!).

I especially appreciate your graphs, tables and charts, as they often bring the cycles of Marin real estate to life.

Many thanks for all of your time and energy!

Mar 24, 2006, 2:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has the prophet anything to say about how high rents will go in the next 4-5 years. Once all of the landlords decide to stop subsidizing their tenants and dump their rentals, there will be massive rent increases. It happened during the downturns in the 70's, 80's and 90's.

Mar 24, 2006, 3:44:00 PM  
Blogger Rob Dawg said...

...questioning the sanctity of "God's country" (aka Marin County), asking some hard questions, and genuinely caring about the future of California.

God and i were just talking about this. After a few Gin'n'Tonics He gets kinda wordy, (don't tell Him I said so). Anyway He tells me that he hasn't even -visited- Marin for years. Appears he can't afford anyplace to stay. So when you hear the phrase "even God doesn't have enough money" rest assured they are talkin' 'bout Marin. Turns out He's even put in the Microsquash Prayer Filter Beta software to screen out the plaintive bleatings of FBs and Floppers.

He quotes one of his favorite movies; "They bought their tickets, they knew what they were getting into. I say let'em crash!"

Mar 24, 2006, 4:29:00 PM  
Blogger Rob Dawg said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Mar 24, 2006, 4:34:00 PM  
Anonymous rejunkie said...

marinite-

I don't know if your voice comes from the wilderness so much anymore. Last summer when the blog started, perhaps. But when the mainstream press (and ABC TV no less) is publicizing the bubble, while a little late the party, it is still endorsement that the party is there. I think your views are becoming common wisdom.

The biggest appeal is you are generally fair to all contributors -- given that I don't always agree with your conclusions, your responses are always gracious. I think you don't feel the need to take an extreme view (and rant and rave) to make your point -- you make your points with your data.

Sometimes I feel like one day we should all meet at
a bar/restaurant/whatever to put faces to the authors. I think we have alot more in common than might be concluded by our posts although I am probably violating some blogger protocol for suggesting a face-to-face meeting. Anyway, if you feel like having a MarinRealEstateBubble/MarinPos party, count me in.

Mar 24, 2006, 7:33:00 PM  
Blogger Athena said...

bwahahahaha! That was the best Friday funny I heard all day Robert. LOL... and all this time I thought Texas was God's country.

Athena

Mar 24, 2006, 8:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work, Marinite. If you're pissing off this many people, you're bound to be doing something right. I have seen enough vitriol in the comments section to make me believe you're really rattling a few nerves and pricking a few consciences. I've also seen a lot of self-congratulatory "I've got mine, f**k you if you can't hack it here" gloating, and I can't help but feel that people wouldn't respond in such a fashion if they weren't terribly insecure on some fundamental level. Or else just hateful.

Mar 24, 2006, 9:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marinite has saved my soul.

I was brainwashed by SF media and RE agents.
People would come in to my wonderful place and ask,
Do you own?
I would feel very small and say no.
I would always feel hopeless and that I had missed my chance.

By renting, I have put a bunch of money away.
I have no debt.
I have no mortgage, no property taxes etc.
I am very reluctant to mortgage my soul for an overvalued POS.

Many thanks to Marinite.
You have eased my troubled mind.

Mar 25, 2006, 2:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marinite has saved my soul.

I was brainwashed by SF media and RE agents.
People would come in to my wonderful place and ask,
Do you own?
I would feel very small and say no.
I would always feel hopeless and that I had missed my chance.

By renting, I have put a bunch of money away.
I have no debt.
I have no mortgage, no property taxes etc.
I am very reluctant to mortgage my soul for an overvalued POS.

Many thanks to Marinite.
You have eased my troubled mind.

Mar 25, 2006, 2:33:00 AM  
Blogger Wickedheart said...

I'm a huge fan too. I especially love the Marin POS blog, it's awesome. Keep up the good work! And if I weren't so lazy I'd start my own San Diego POS blog.

Mar 25, 2006, 8:07:00 AM  
Blogger Matt Norris said...

For a real laugh, go over to Brad Inman's blog and look at what happens when you start questioning the motives of the NAR and the MLS system, along with 6% commission structures.

After you read what some Realtors have to say, it's no wonder at all the mess some people are soon to find themselves in.

Mar 25, 2006, 9:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to see a picture of your home,price paid and when, especially since you have so many design, decorating, landscaping and home maintenance opinions on your POS blog.

Anxious to see your humble abode. Please post a pic & details.

Mar 25, 2006, 3:12:00 PM  
Blogger sf jack said...

Hey anon #897,231 -

Perhaps you missed the POS thing.

It's about the prices, more than anything else.

For if these were $27,000 houses in West Virginia, or $250,000 houses in Marin - they wouldn't qualify as a POS.

It's about the fact that these are $750,000 **itboxes and that they "cost" 3x what they did just 7 or 8 years ago (or perhaps a little longer ago), makes them ripe for such exalted status.

Mar 25, 2006, 4:15:00 PM  
Blogger fredtobik said...

"That's just too funny. But I think it pretty much fits for all bubble bloggers to varying degrees;"


All bubble bloggers, sport capes and masks, with a big O on their chests.

They go by the moniker of CPT Obvious.

Mar 25, 2006, 7:05:00 PM  
Blogger fredtobik said...

"By renting, I have put a bunch of money away.
I have no debt.
I have no mortgage, no property taxes etc.
I am very reluctant to mortgage my soul for an overvalued POS."

I try to ignore anons, but this being tax time, and for the first time since owning my home I have had a 'normal' tax year. After doing all the calculations over and over and over, I could not believe that my cost of housing is the same as it was when I rented in SF 3years ago.

Mar 25, 2006, 7:16:00 PM  
Blogger sf jack said...

fred -

How was your down payment for renting?

Mar 25, 2006, 7:28:00 PM  
Blogger fredtobik said...

"How was your down payment for renting?"

No matter how hard I tried I couldn't maintain 10% annual returns with that down payment. It is a lot of work managing money. This 'other peoples' money thing is nice too, now a 5% gain really matter$.

Mar 25, 2006, 8:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"After doing all the calculations over and over and over, I could not believe that my cost of housing is the same as it was when I rented in SF 3years ago."

Is that good or bad? I don't get it.

Seems like too many variables to prove a point.
Is there a point?

Mar 25, 2006, 11:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just found this blog, and I think it's great.

RE has been a great money maker and we hope it will continue to be.
As an RE person, I have seen a few sad cases lately and I'm reconsidering my stand on this issue.

We are not all evil, money grubbing devils.
This should be a win/win situation.

I want to caution Bay Area buyers.
In my opinion, this is not a great time to buy.

I'm not sure what is going to happen, but I know we are at the peak of a wave.

I believe RE will always be a great investment.

But.... please be careful before you sign on.

R Y in Marin

Mar 26, 2006, 12:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to caution Bay Area buyers.
In my opinion, this is not a great time to buy.
I believe RE will always be a great investment.


I sense a contradiction here.

Mar 26, 2006, 8:37:00 AM  
Blogger fredtobik said...

"Seems like too many variables to prove a point. Is there a point?"

uh.. my cost for housing is the same it was when I rented 3years ago?

Mar 26, 2006, 12:58:00 PM  
Blogger David said...

I think SacramentoLanding's description of you is very funny. Keep up the super blog. Lots of great information. Your activism rocks.

David
Bubble Meter Blog

Mar 27, 2006, 6:18:00 AM  
Blogger sf jack said...

anon #129,549 said:

"Has the prophet anything to say about how high rents will go in the next 4-5 years. Once all of the landlords decide to stop subsidizing their tenants and dump their rentals, there will be massive rent increases. It happened during the downturns in the 70's, 80's and 90's."

As I just did elsewhere, I quote for your benefit something I read today:

"It is dumb to buy overpriced assets with low interest rates."

Mar 28, 2006, 1:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You ain't crazy, you're my brother. The bar of sense has been placed far too low to be called a prophet. I see you just as a purveyor of witty sanity, a healthy candyman of wisdom around the basic conditions of our lives and our living. Hey keep it up.

Aug 6, 2006, 10:33:00 PM  

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