EppsNet Archive: Real Estate

I Almost Got Into a Fistfight With a Realtor

My wife and I stopped by an open house yesterday . . . after looking around, my wife said something to the listing agent, an oily-haired Chinese guy, about the fact that we’re working with a buyer’s agent and he said, “No agent! You get a better deal with no agent.” “So we cut our agent out of the deal and save some money,” I said. “It sounds like that’s what you’re suggesting.” “Agents charge 2 percent. You get a better deal with no agent.” “OK, but I like to get paid for my work. I’m sure you like to get paid for your work. Why would you suggest not paying someone for their work?” “It’s up to you,” he said. “You can save some money.” “How about if we just talk to the seller directly and cut you out of the deal?” “I have a contract,” he said. “They… Read more →

Could Donald Trump Have Made More Money in an Index Fund?

I’ve seen this theory advanced by multiple sources, including the attached clipping, which I saw on Facebook. I don’t know the original source, but the finger-painting reference is a clue that the author has an anti-Trump agenda, hasn’t done the math and is just repeating something that may or may not be true for the benefit of anyone predisposed to believe it. The actual National Journal article, which is targeted at readers who don’t know much about history, math or the Trump family, says this: By putting his inheritance into the stock market back in the 1970s, [Donald] Trump might have been “really rich” without all the drama. . . . Had the celebrity businessman and Republican presidential candidate invested his eventual share of his father’s real-estate company into a mutual fund of S&P 500 stocks in 1974, it would be worth nearly $3 billion today, thanks to the market’s… Read more →

Now It’s Tomorrow

Phoenix has achieved the unwelcome distinction of becoming the first major American city where home prices have fallen in half since the market peaked in the middle of the decade, according to data released Tuesday. — Home Prices Continued Their Decline in February – NYTimes.com Money quote from Greg Swann, a Phoenix real estate agent: “We were living during the boom like there was no tomorrow. And guess what? Now it’s tomorrow.” Read more →

A Mixed Blessing

Reviewing the EppsNet balance sheet: investment accounts down, home equity down. My wife says at least we have our health. Even that’s a mixed blessing as my retirement planning currently includes dying young before the money runs out . . . Read more →

Fun with Charts

I use charts like this one to track open project tickets, color-coded by priority. At a meeting last week, I pointed out that the number of open tickets on this particular project had peaked out at 70 and was now dropping faster than the value of my house, at which one of the attendees laughed more enthusiastically than I thought was necessary. “Why is that funny?” I asked. I mean, it was supposed to be a little funny, but not laugh-out-loud funny. “I’ve been there,” she said. Read more →

What Am I Thankful For?

I’m thankful that I have a job! A lot of people don’t! I lost my last job a few months ago, along with 9,499 other people in the Orange County real estate/finance industry over the past year. We all got to compete against each other to find another one. The Orange County Register ran a story yesterday on how some of these folks are doing . . . Delia DeYulia, a grandmother, was recently forced to take her first retail job. For the holiday shopping season, DeYulia, 53, is working part-time at Kohl’s, placing clothes on racks and cleaning dressing rooms. She resorted to taking the temporary work after not finding other employment. After 15 years with Fremont Investment and Loan, she lost her mortgage job in Anaheim Hills in March. “I’m used to sitting in an office,” said DeYulia, who audited loans at Fremont, a firm from which she… Read more →

OC Real Estate Report

I recently sold a house in Laguna for $3.5 million. It was on about 2,000 square feet of land, maybe a twentieth of an acre, and the house might cost about $500,000 if you wanted to replace it. So the land sold for something like $60 million an acre. — Warren Buffett Read more →