Thursday, March 22, 2007

A Letter to a Terrorist

# Begin uncharacteristically foul language #

Dear Anonymous Marin Real Estate Terrorist:

I realize that you are scared shitless. I can only assume that you are leveraged to the gills with debt and after failing to off-load your Marin crack-house POS(s) last year to someone more gullible than yourself you are afraid that you will be unable to do so again this year. Perhaps you have finally realized that the reason why the county median/average has been hovering around the 0% point is because, like local agents are saying, only the nicest houses in the nicest locations are selling for asking or above. Everything else, and presumably your shitboxes, are not really moving and are losing value. Or perhaps the sub-prime meltdown and the weakening Alt-A market, the fact that most first-time buyers in California (and especially the Bay Area) are now essentially locked out of the market, etc., is preventing you from finding a greater fool. Or is it just that your ARM has blown up and you can't escape gracefully from your life-crushing debt load? Too bad.

I don't blame you for being a wee bit upset. But your anger is misguided; I am only the messenger. If you want someone to blame, look in the mirror. No one twisted your arm into paying crazy-stupid prices for houses. Substituting RE mythology and sales pitches for independent and critical thought was your choice. You can blame the enablers and the messengers all you want but in the end it was all your choice.

I've given your message considerable and due thought. I've weighed the pros and cons. I've considered the probable and imagined consequences. I've listened to what people have written to me in response to my reaction to your email. And to quote someone who probably came before your time, at least judging by your immature and crazed outburst, "frankly my dear, I don't give a damn". As you seem to be only marginally literate, the above letter is likely beyond your fifth-grade level of comprehension. So for your benefit, the following is my reply to you with a picture:

# End uncharacteristically foul language #

My apologies to anyone who was offended by this post (other than its intended recipient of course).

35 Comments:

Blogger Westside Bubble said...

Missed you, Marinite! Glad you're back.

Mar 22, 2007, 8:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CYA at the same time, of course, and welcome back!!

Mar 22, 2007, 8:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad you didn't stay away forever due to that terrorist. You have a great site and I appreciate the effort. Keep up the good work!

Mar 22, 2007, 9:49:00 PM  
Blogger The Tim said...

Bravo!

Mar 22, 2007, 10:11:00 PM  
Blogger Rob Dawg said...

Sic 'em! Oh and realterrorist, next time make sure those fries are fresh.

Mar 22, 2007, 10:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Justin said...

Thank goodness your back. I was beginning to worry that something had happened to you. We really can't live without your site, I know it is my first stop when I decide to go blog surfin'.

Mar 22, 2007, 11:40:00 PM  
Blogger FoolMeOnce said...

Welcome back. Remember that behind every overpriced POS for sale there is a human POS. Do not back down.

Mar 22, 2007, 11:49:00 PM  
Anonymous flying buttress said...

Keep the faith baby.
We are sending you our love.

Mar 23, 2007, 12:50:00 AM  
Anonymous 49erFans said...

Oh, so happy you are back. Never let a bully (who is really terribly wounded) threaten you. Your answer to him/her was exactly right. Keep fighting with your words and knowledge. Great job!!

Mar 23, 2007, 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger shineyspikeything said...

So glad you are back. Yours is some of the most thoughtful, well researched, and clear housing bubble info on the Bay Area.

Mar 23, 2007, 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger Bakersfield Bubble said...

Keep up the fight! We are all with you on this one!!!

Mar 23, 2007, 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger anon said...

Ooh, ooh, if the terrorists want another ass to kiss mine's also available...

Mar 23, 2007, 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger vfsv said...

Hats off to you!

Maybe there will be a new standard for bloggers: How many people were angered? How many threats did this piece generate?

Our latest is surely worthy of similar threats & insults.
"Myth #3: Rent is wasted money"
http://www.viewfromsiliconvalley.com/id316.html

Thanks!

Mar 23, 2007, 11:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Wickedheart said...

Welcome back.

Mar 23, 2007, 1:55:00 PM  
Blogger marinmaven said...

That is the spirit! Never go away again. Your work is too important to let some jerk chase you away.
Welcome back!

Mar 23, 2007, 6:01:00 PM  
Blogger Athena said...

Yay! Kick A$$ and forget their names Marinite. They're not worth noting anyway!!!

Mar 23, 2007, 6:09:00 PM  
Blogger W.C. Varones said...

I'm really glad you're back. I'm an SF renter and love your blogs.

Mar 24, 2007, 9:20:00 AM  
Blogger marin_explorer said...

LOL...nice. Glad to see you're back.

To that angry sociopathic realtor who didn't mind committing a felony via email:

Enjoy the downside of the market with the other 1,000 Marin realtors, red in tooth and claw.

Mar 24, 2007, 9:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the letter originator (terrorist).. "Back off Jack and focus thy energies on trying to get out from underneath your massive debt load".. posting anonymous threats on this blog or other blogs will not help your situation as the dye has been cast... know this little person.. "the Marin housing market train is heading south".. you may slow that train a bit here and there, but southbound it will remain until the imbalances in the housing market are corrected.. your threat letter indicates you probably recognize this fact as well... but, alas, it must be a real pisser to read about it given your situation... so, our collective advice to you is to cut your losses and sell (and leave town)...

Mar 25, 2007, 8:01:00 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

The current index over at Marin Heat Index is a whopping .69. Anything below .80 is a "buyer's market."

Marinite, your letter to the stalker is perfect. Lots of people have made very big bets on their homes. Like they are the "silver bullet" that can fund retirement, vacations, home improvements, college educations, cars, etc. Anything the lucky homeowner wants.

But bottom line, it's a mountain of debt. You can't work less. You can't take time off. You certainly can't retire with all that debt hanging over your head. Rats on a treadmill. Nothing more.

Mar 25, 2007, 10:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lisa.. what makes up the "heat index" anyhow ? If it is a number driven ratio of some sort based on some market factors, then I would suggest, despite it showing that it is a "buyer's market", it is still inflated versus what is actually happening in the market.. in other words, I trust very little associated with the real estate industry in terms of what it uses (and we get fed) as it's key numbers or indicators.. things like "days on the market" or even "number of listings".. etc etc.. paaalease.. all numbers easily fudged by the industry who have the most to gain by fudging them...

Mar 25, 2007, 1:36:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Marinite... finally got off my duff and signed up.. I'll post under Matthew henceforth.. I'll try and play nice in the sand box with all the other posters, anonymous or not.. not sure I'll be so nice to the RE industry twerps that frequent your blog however..

regardless, keep up the great work.. a real good reality check is both sorely needed in this market and in this country..

Mar 25, 2007, 2:00:00 PM  
Blogger Marinite said...

Lisa.. what makes up the "heat index" anyhow ?

Please go to the site and investigate for yourself and report back. That is not to sound harsh or anything but it is a good question that deserves an answer. Basically, as I recall, it is like a derivative of market activity at the current point in time. Like a ratio of sales vs. houses currently on the market. But there is more to it than that.

Mar 25, 2007, 2:24:00 PM  
Blogger Westside Bubble said...

Quick lookup of Heat Index came up with this definition:

“The Marin Market ‘HEAT’ Index (MMHI), is an indicator of the intensity of buyer competition for listed residential properties at the current time, a snapshot of conditions. Higher numbers indicate more buyer competition for each home on the market; lower numbers mean less intense, lower levels of buyer competition for each listed home. This measure includes single family homes and condominiums—other types of real estate are excluded…

The index is derived by:

+ adding the number of closed residential sales in the prior 30 days to

+ the number of current pending residential sales, then

+ dividing this sum by the total number of active and available-for-sale homes & condos.”


I just derived something similar for my Westside L.A. stats, showing new listings in a month as well as available inventory.

Here's Heat Index originator Nate Sumner's out-on-a-limb projection:

"By April, expect to be in a Balanced Market, which means fewer choices of property and more multiple offers than during the past 18 months."

Mar 25, 2007, 6:23:00 PM  
Blogger Marinite said...

I like his "outlook for buyers"... trying to instill a bit of fear. It's worked before.

Mar 25, 2007, 6:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Westside Bubble..

Thanks for the research. Under direct orders from our host, I had gone to that site and was going to post my findings only to find you beat me to the punch, so thanks.

Well, frankly, as this ratio has "active listings" in the denominator, it's highly suspect to me. That number isn't watched carefully or manipulated by the RE industry, is it ? Again, paaaalease. I'm guessing the sales data in the numerator includes foreclosure and short sales as well. The only heat this market will see over the next few years is from insurance fraud. Bank on it.

Mar 25, 2007, 6:37:00 PM  
Blogger Marinite said...

I actually find Nate Sumner's writing to be among the most forthright of that of Marin agents. His writings tend to have less salesman hype and more analysis. Just MHO, for what it's worth.

Mar 25, 2007, 7:23:00 PM  
Anonymous tom stone said...

Glad to have you back.I heard from some appraisers that the marin market has picked up some.they specialize in high end properties,which are much less affected by downturns.as credit continues to tighten,and Alt-a blows up,we should see some dramatic changes in the market.I'm guessing Alt-a will blow up by july.

Mar 25, 2007, 7:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marinite.. I have not read much from Nate Sumner, but I trust nobody in this industry to give the real straight skinny when it comes to RE stats and such. This is the king of the huckster indutries in my opinion, and those who survive and thrive are professional hucksters first and foremost. Make no mistake about that! Yes, some have grown a concious now that their financial situation is taken care of, but ....

Any inkling of news, no matter how small, to the upside in this market will be immediate and in your face. Count on it! This is especially true in Marin with the IJ locked and loaded. I'll wait it out for the ongoing drop to play out, which is already well underway.

The only thing holding the overall RE market up at all is the overall health of the economy (economy not wages), but that too is treading on thin ice given our GDP is based largely on consumer purchases and debt. It's just a wild, wild hunch, but I don't think the average consumer is doing so well lately.

The vast majority of the risk in this overinflated and hyped market remains to the downside.

Mar 26, 2007, 5:40:00 AM  
Anonymous marinite said...

anon -

I agree with you 100%. Bravo and well said.

I'm not saying Nate Sumner is exceptional or anything. He's just not as bad as the rest at least in terms of what he writes on his web site. Having said that he still takes whatever opportunity he can to pimp anything that can be spun as good news. In a barrel of rotten apples, he has maybe one less worm.

Mar 26, 2007, 10:28:00 AM  
Anonymous marin_explorer said...

Stereotypes aside, I do know some exceptional people who work in Marin/SF real estate. However, even if they're good people, their proximity and vested interest in the business sometimes affects their objectivity. Many people who research RE independently have a better cross-section of information, and they called recent events correctly--while even trustworthy realtors scoffed at the idea of a bubble.

Bottom line: realtors who respect buyer's intelligence and own up to the true state of the market will earn my trust--which I'll remember when it comes time to buy.

Mar 26, 2007, 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger TH said...

Way to go, Marinite, glad you're back.

Mar 26, 2007, 1:26:00 PM  
Anonymous marinite said...

Thanks for all the kind words. That's the only reward I get or want.

Please take a stand on the bail-outs issue and write to your elected representative.

Mar 26, 2007, 1:36:00 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

I'm so happy you're back!!!!!!
Best blog ever, and I need it. I've written to my representative, CA senators, Chris Dodd and Hilary Clinton about the bail-out.
I'm so excited that I can add you back into my daily information/entertainment. I can't wait for more POS submissions.

Mar 28, 2007, 10:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good to have you back!

Tell that Pwssy that your whole posse will be gunnin' for him if you so much as get a pimple on your a$$.

Sorry for the crude language, I forgot that this is Marin. :)

Apr 1, 2007, 6:18:00 AM  

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