did someone muck with the backend here

Re: Online bulk real estate speculation

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Link missing.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-25-17 11:55 AM
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That kind of stuff used to happen here, but now I guess we're not cheap enough.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-17 12:04 PM
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Link.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-25-17 12:30 PM
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Briefcases full of cash? Were they twirling mustaches and lashing to railroad tracks some broad-shouldered, strong-jawed socialist maidens too proud to cry for individual aid at the expense of the collective farm?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-25-17 12:45 PM
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This does a great job of making me feel better about the crappy rental next door to my house, plants growing out of the gutter and all. At least it's not vacant! And I've met the owner!


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 09-25-17 12:53 PM
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Why can't the state just seize these properties? If your property has been absent for X amount of months, and bills are unpaid, it becomes property of the state and they can auction it off. I'd make it 6 months. 6 months no owner no tenants no utility bills paid, and one year of no property taxes, then BAM. It's the state's.

I know that this would probably end up screwing over poor homeowners of color, but I try to be optimistic.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 09-25-17 12:55 PM
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Came here to say 6.1. Eminent fucking domain.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-25-17 12:57 PM
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It sounds like most of the properties discussed in this article are ones that *were* seized by the local government in the first place (tax sales). So I don't know that re-seizing them helps.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 09-25-17 1:01 PM
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I used to think about something like 6 a lot, when I first moved to DC. There was than a whole lot of boarded up housing in NE. Maybe there still is? I don't know.

I think demolition costs are a barrier.

And, obviously, you've have to pay the owner, and maybe you'd have to pay something like the figure you're using for property taxes.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-25-17 1:03 PM
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In this corner of the rustlands, we're much more lenient than Buttercup's ideal. I did briefly look into online property auctions and it looked like it was possible to get properties for very, very cheap. But I don't want to be the dog who catches the car.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09-25-17 1:05 PM
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6 is what would happen here except the city would seize. Except instead of seizing, they sold liens based on the taxes. Then the housing crash happened so the city bought back the liens for less than they sold them for.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-17 1:05 PM
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O.K. Bad timing on my part. 6 is what they say is supposed to happen.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-17 1:06 PM
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Squats.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-25-17 1:11 PM
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There is only one way out, and that is to make real estate a bad investment for speculators. As long as it is a good investment on paper they will fuck all manner of shit up to keep their money, no matter what laws you concoct. I do not know how this can be done and for whatever reason this topic makes me insanely, rabidly angry, way too angry to make any sense past this point, or possibly up to it.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 09-25-17 1:12 PM
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Find out what China is doing. Do the opposite of that, except for dumplings.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-17 1:15 PM
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14

Riots and pitchforks? Public dismemberment of one speculator a year until the message gets through?


But seriously, I think that as long as we allow global finance capital to rule, democracy and equality are near impossible. If we can allow Russian/Saudi/Chinese/American oligarch investors to buy up large swaths of land, those people are untouchable and impervious to local norms and laws.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 09-25-17 1:17 PM
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Shoot every fifth speculator in the nuts. Then line them up and do it again.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-25-17 1:18 PM
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Sexist.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-17 1:24 PM
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I had this running joke for a long time about how every history book I read had about 100 pages about LAND REFORM that would invariably make my eyes glaze over no matter how hard I tried. And maybe this is a universal human impulse, but yeah, 16 is my view as well, and we seem to be running capitalism backwards toward feudalism. I hope I'm wrong about the toothlessness of the legal remedies, but the problem seems fundamentally intractable to me.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 09-25-17 1:26 PM
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I've wanted to buy a small local investment property, and property is relatively cheap here, so I've been reading real estate books and forums. Man, the amorality and cognitive dissonance is strong there. It's very disheartening, but not surprising, how few investors (really, mostly speculators) are interested in being ethical about it. (Presupposing capitalism can be ethical, which, yes, is a big presumption.) Anyway, I may luck out by being too incompetent to tell whether I can make a return on investment (without being an ass) and not bother.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09-25-17 1:29 PM
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The trick to being all ethical and still making a profit is to rent to graduate students. That way you don't feel bad out cheating your tenant.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-17 1:32 PM
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Sure, you're being horrible to them. But you can have confidence in knowing that you weren't the person who was most horrible to them that day.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-17 1:33 PM
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14.last is me too.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-17 1:53 PM
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Networked computers pose a problem for retail revolution in that there are no longer distinct offices containing all the local debt records there to ransack and add to a bonfire.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-25-17 1:56 PM
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Buying houses with title held by blockchain! Disruptive. Please give me your money in an orderly pile.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-17 1:58 PM
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I really want to fly to Houston and protest in front of this guy's house.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 09-25-17 5:00 PM
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25: The Ukranians have beat you to it.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-25-17 5:02 PM
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Putin will take care of them for me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-17 5:26 PM
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Putin is on it.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-25-17 6:21 PM
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We could give South Carolina back to whoever's fronting the Jacobites now.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-25-17 11:43 PM
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It's not clear to me that whoever's fronting the Jacobites would thank you for it. Unless he planned to build a lot of speculative housing there.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-26-17 4:30 AM
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Unless he planned to build a lot of speculative housing there.

Back a few decades ago when Saudi oil money was sloshing all over the place, South Carolinians sold them Kiowa Island as a place to build vacation homes (and golf courses, and so on) for the rich. The SC folks made plenty of money and the Saudi-owned company went bankrupt and sold out for pennies on the dollar less than ten years later. I think Kiowa Island (pace the recent hurricane) is doing fine, though.

(No guarantee the details above are right, but it's what we were told the time we visited the place.)


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 09-26-17 5:50 AM
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14: There is only one way out, and that is to make real estate a bad investment for speculators.
I think real estate often is a bad investment, and even if not is very illiquid. I think the problem isn't anything to do with real estate as such, it's that there's so much capital sloshing around the world it can't find anywhere else to go. So the solution is to tax capital and redistribute. Surprise!


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09-26-17 7:46 AM
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In 2014 San Francisco considered an extra tax on real estate "flipping" - defined as more than one transfer in five years, though with a lot of exceptions. It failed 46-54.

More ambitiously, there's Charles Stross's "fast money" and "slow money" concept. If money starts pouring into assets like property, it raises the relative price of the currency needed to buy these assets, smoothing out peaks and troughs.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-26-17 9:13 AM
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34.1: Still symptom not cause but at that level the government doesn't have a lot of options I guess.
34.2: What? Money pouring into property raises property prices, hence rents, hence all prices in any given place: it causes local inflation, reducing the value of currency.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09-26-17 9:21 AM
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It's true this current property bubble is associated with reduced money velocity, in that money is sitting in assets of all kinds instead of being spent, and reduced money velocity will tend toward deflation, so increased money value. Is that what he means? And what does any of it have to do with peaks and troughs?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09-26-17 9:26 AM
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34.2: I never quite followed what he was getting at with fast and slow money. It seemed to be just a needlessly confusing way of saying "cash" and "long-duration bonds". And it was never quite clear why, every time a character had to convert slow money into fast money, she did so while bemoaning the fact that she had to accept a massive (99%) markdown.
First, somewhere before the start of the book she would presumably have bought the "slow money" for cash, and would have done so at a massive mark-up. In that case, thinking of her net worth in terms of the face value of her slow money would be a weird thing to do, because she can't actually spend it on anything without converting it back.
And second, it's not a characteristic of long-duration bonds right now that they tend to trade at a huge markdown from face value.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-26-17 9:32 AM
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I didn't read that book, and stopped following his blog some time ago.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09-26-17 9:35 AM
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I don't read books these days. But we should probably do something about housing before it winds up that regular people have to pay four figures mortgages every month just to buy a basic house.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-26-17 10:08 AM
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Expecting to buy a new house every month is kind of unreasonable, frankly.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09-26-17 10:17 AM
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If you don't, then you pretty much have to vacuum.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-26-17 10:38 AM
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At least in summer, where you need to worry about ants even if you don't care about crumbs.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-26-17 10:51 AM
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Maybe just keeping some pet aardvarks would be easier.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 09-26-17 10:57 AM
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I could well be missing some huge defect in the slow money concept, but aspects as I interpreted its depiction include:

* Different currencies within the same polity, with currency exchange markets
* Laws distinguishing what you can buy with each - most goods and services with F$; assets like stocks, bonds, real estate with S$
* Transaction taxes on S$ that rise sharply the faster you want to transact - so the main character faced a huge penalty for wanting to convert all her S$ at once in an emergency situation, but no penalty if you own a house and slowly scale the property ladder, or hold assets and live off the earnings

So if something about it seems unnatural, it could have been a direct policy intervention, not just a natural outworking of having different currencies in the first place.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-26-17 11:00 AM
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If the U.K. wants to try to expand the money supply, there's a ready alternate currency.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-26-17 11:07 AM
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Pet aardvarks sound like a great idea and now I'm wondering why I don't have an aardvark stuffed animal when they've been among my favorite creatures forever.

I'm not actually going to admit that I decided to buy a new fridge rather than clean the old one, but I sure do like my new, clean fridge. (And the amazing stove. I'm trying to invest in what I can now so that things are less likely to break down in the future where I may not be able to afford them so well.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-26-17 11:12 AM
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Former roommate and husband lived in the Ultimate Bachelor pad. Before I moved in with them, they both went away for the summer, and roommate didn't pay the electricity bill for the entire time. The electricity got cut off, and the fridge was left to warm up with a bunch of Italian parmesan in it. Anyways, they had to get it replaced, and roommate felt so bad about the cheese he agreed to supply my husband with an unlimited supply of imported parmesan. When I moved with them later, I got a brand new fridge AND unlimited expensive parmesan. Win-Win.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 09-26-17 11:37 AM
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Get a good washing machine and dryer, if you don't already own them. Also if you bake at all, a kitchenaid mixer.

(I have a petty, looking-a-gift-horse-in-the-mouth problem. My FIL has a compulsive spending problem, and he decided to buy an orange kitchenaid mixer. My MIL doesn't bake and my FIL is physically and cognitively incapable of baking. It's sitting in a box under their kitchen counter, and I'm pretty sure it's mine whenever I want it. I'm happy get a 'free' mixer, but I really am not excited about the traffic-cone orange color. Anyways, #firstworldproblems.)


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 09-26-17 11:52 AM
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It's deer season soon. Not having to worry about somebody shooting your mixer is a plus.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-26-17 11:53 AM
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Deer don't aim well because they don't have good depth perception.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-26-17 12:01 PM
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I'd love to have an orange KitchenAid mixer, but then I'm an Orioles fan. Our current one is cobalt blue, which is a bit too close to Yankee colors for my taste.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-26-17 12:19 PM
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Get a good washing machine and dryer, if you don't already own them.

Seconding this. Seems like it would be a small thing, but having a dryer I can trust to actually dry clothes has greatly improved my quality of life.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09-26-17 1:03 PM
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The great thing about washers and dryers is that with a few tools and google and a moderate willingness to electrocute yourself, you can fix them pretty easily. As near as I can tell, most of the savings from home ownership that people talk about don't happen if you can't fix things yourself at least some of the time.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-26-17 2:41 PM
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