How Big Was the Bubble?

Weekend open thread 3-8-2008


The Size of the Bubble

Figure 1 – Median Home Prices 1968-2006

The Great Housing Bubble was an asset bubble of unprecedented proportions. Between 2000 and 2006 Home prices increased 45% nationally, and in California home prices increased 135%. Had this amazing price increase coincided with a period of high inflation, it may not have been indicative of a price bubble, merely the general increase in prices of all goods and services; however, inflation was low during this period. The inflation adjusted price increases nationwide were 23% and in California it was 100%.

Figure 2 – Inflation Adjusted Median Home Prices 1986-2006

Inflation Adjusted Median Home Prices 1986-2006

There are many variables that impact house prices, and some of the variability in prices over time can be attributed to changes in these variables; however, since most houses are purchased with lender financing, and since lender financing is linked to income, the price-to-income ratio is the best metric for evaluating long-term housing price trends. The price-to-income ratio does not need to be adjusted for inflation as both prices and income will rise with the general level of inflation. Most of the fluctuations in the ratio are based on changes in financing terms, in particular interest rates, and of course, irrational exuberance.

Figure 3 – National Ratio of House Price to Income 1975-2006

National Ratio of House Price to Income 1976-2006

When measured against historic norms of house price to income, the degree of price inflation was staggering. Nationally, the ratio of house price to income increased 30% from 4.0 to 5.2. The only way this can occur is if 30% more debt is serviced by the same income. Some of this increased ability to service debt is explained by lower interest rates, but most of increase came from people choosing to take on larger loads due to the irrational expectation of ever increasing house prices coupled with loose lending standards which enabled the populace to take on these debts. The national trends were small compared to the frenzied activities of bubble markets in California where most markets saw their house price to income ratio double.

Figure 4 – Ratio of House Price to Income in California, Orange County and Irvine 1986-2006

Ratio of House Price to Income in California, Orange County and Irvine 1986-2006

Buyers were never forced to buy, it was always a choice. During the market rally, greedy buyers motivated by rising prices and fueled by loose lending standards were able to bid prices up to ridiculous levels. None of them were forced to buy. The exotic financing was not a result of high prices; it was the cause of high prices. Those who were financially conservative and did not take on debt under terms which put them into bankruptcy were competing with those afflicted with a spending pathology. In retrospect, it was a competition they were better off losing. By late 2007, the market balance shifted from favoring sellers to favoring buyers. The once greedy buyers were becoming desperate sellers, their dreams of riches from perpetual appreciation was in tatters. Many were forced to sell due to their inability to make their mortgage payments. Those that hung on were homedebtors with 50% or more of their income going toward paying off an asset which was declining in value. It was not a set of circumstances to be envied.


How big is the Universe?


65 thoughts on “How Big Was the Bubble?

  1. granite

    The gap between the US average and California/Irvine stands out with me. Could it be that California in large part sent the world into this tailspin?

    Of coarse there were other bubble areas but the sheer size and volume of our market probably equals all the others.

  2. ice weasel

    Very nice summary IR.

    While I was late to the party it wasn’t a matter of “not accepting it” it was just a matter of realizing the facts. Once I learned them, I got bearish.

    I imagine that ten years (or so) from now, a lot of college students will write papers on the psychology of what happened. I think it says a lot about us both as humans and as a particular societal group.

    As frequent RE commentor Neil often says, “got popcorn?”

  3. Laura Louzader

    I was househunting in 2002-2003, after repairing my financial situation following a business-related personal bloodbath, and noticed that prices here in the Chicago area inflated 20% for each of those years.

    Properties that had already been languishing on the market at a given price suddenly increased their listing prices, and then sold. I thought, how could the place languish at $200K and then suddenly, in 2003, sell for $250K, even though no improvements were made?

    A loan broker friend told me, wait till 2003, and prices will back off because this is a bubble, and it felt like one to me. There was no fundamental factor driving the increase, and I was baffled as to how so many earners making $50K to $75K could suddenly afford to pay $200K to $400K for smallish condos that just a few months before had been cheap rentals.

    The loans I was offered told the whole story. You could borrow any amount of money you wanted, no down payment, with no proof of income. A penniless friend of mine was offered a $2.1 million loan package, no money down, no income verification, on a new ten-unit multiuse building in newly trendy west town. She didn’t bite because she just couldn’t see how she could really manage it when she was having trouble making her store rent.

    Most of us didn’t bite because we just couldn’t grasp the logic of either the rapidly inflating prices or the wacky loans.

    But 2003 was when things truly became senseless, and when prices kept ratcheting northward instead of correcting, I felt I was in a new world that I couldn’t understand at all.

  4. Mr Vincent

    “When measured against historic norms of house price to income, the degree of price inflation was staggering.”

    So true! I have been through a few housing bubbles and this one takes the cake.

    I have bought houses at the top of each bubble except this one. Those bubbles were nothing compared to this.

    In 1978 I paid 60k for my first house and my income at the time was 20k. Thats 3 times my salary and this house had doubled in price from a few years earlier right before I bought it. So, I bought it at the wrong time and it took about 6 years for that house to break even in value. Even though I bought it at the wrong time, it was only 3 times my salary.

    In 1990 I paid 150k for a house right at the top of the next housing bubble, and my income at the time was 50k. Again, thats only 3 times salary.

    This latest bubble had some people buying homes at 10 times salary and more. When you look at it like this it was so obvious what was going to happen.

    In 2005 I sold one of my houses for 700k to a couple who has three kids. The father cleans pools and the mother works in the mortgage business. In 2002 I thought we were getting into a new housing bubble. After selling that house in 2005 I knew this was going to be real ugly when it blows up.

  5. FairEconomist

    Yes, California prices are twice the rest of the nation and the %severity of the bubble is also twice that of the nation so California is about 40% of the overall problem.

  6. FairEconomist

    I guess Irvine really *is* different. While price/income ratios got outrageous, they didn’t get quite as outrageous as the rest of CA or even OC. Maybe that’s why Ipoplaya is still seeing transactions at high prices here, and why rents are so high.

  7. ex-tangelo

    Can you doublecheck figure 2, please (Inf adj 1968-2006)? Are they in 2006 dollars?

  8. Irvine Soul Brother

    Really interesting graphs, IR. Did you make them?

    You know what I wonder about– why do the OC median and the Irvine median seem to cross twice (from pretty disparate trajectories)? Does what sells in Irvine in relation to all of OC indicate some underlying trend? Or does it just have to do with a bunch of condos being constructed in 01-03?

  9. Mr Vincent

    If you had to blame one person for the housing bubble, who would you blame?

    That’s a question I have been asking myself for some time now and my answer always come back to the same person after I do some deep thinking about it.

    It may suprise some, but I blame Osama Bin Laden for our biggest of all bubbles in America.

    I remember that day like I am sure most of you do as well. I had just gotten to the parking lot at my work when Bill Handel of talk radio just remarked that a plane hit the world trade center. My first thought was a picture of a little Cessna type plane that lost its barings.

    As the day went on and the facts came out, I started to get a very strange feeling which I could not describe. It was only after I saw internet clips of the second plane slamming into the building that morning that I was able to describe my feelings.

    I wanted to GO HOME. Thats all I thought about for the rest of the day, and now, looking back on this day, I see this as the start of our latest housing bubble.

    Yes, I wanted to go home and stay home. And apparently, so did everyone else. Nobody wanted to travel out of fear and rightly so. The thought of being on a plane and having no control is scary enough on a safe flight, let alone on one when even the pilots have no control.

    Us Americans like to enjoy ourselves – thats what makes us such great consumers. If we cant do it by traveling to some vacation spot out of fear of being blown up by some shoebox bomb, then why not just turn our homes into a paradise. That way we never have to leave.

    Every decade seems to have a job type that is seen as the star. In the 1980s, it was the Lawyers and Doctors. In the 1990s, it was the VB/C++ Client/Server and Internet programmer. In the 2000s, it was the General Contractor.

    Yes, I remember seeing them drive around in those huge Ford F250 trucks from jobsite to jobsite. They walked around with their heads held high because they knew they were in such demand.

    We Americans fell in love with our homes and either stayed and fixed them up to our liking- with HELOC money, or we traded up and bought the dream home with the “great room”. Speaking of rooms, that wont do. The “room” became the “space”. HGTV was always on for fear of missing out on the latest trend. When I used to think about counter-tops, I only thought about formica or tile. I had no idea that this light strong earthly crust could be used around the sink. HGTV set me straight.

    Bin Laden and his idiots not only caused us to love our homes again, but he destroyed an already ailing economy. Then AG of the fed and Bush did what any red blooded American should do about it. They threw money at the problem – alot of money.

    Most of you know the rest of the story. All this new money and then easy lending enabled millions of people who never should have been given a credit card with a 500 dollar limit let alone a home loan for a bloated priced asset. They wanted to “stay home” too.

    So, I blame Bin Laden for this mess. Its been said that bubbles are a driven by phsycology. I say without Bin Laden, we never would have looked at our homes like we did. We saw them as a vacation spot instead of as the necessary money pit that they are.

  10. tonye

    An aside… one of the main factors with living in Irvine is the HOA. A crappy HOA will sink your home values faster than a drunker mortgage broker.

    Currently I’m considering “dumping” my 2700 foot, fully rebuilt home (7 years ago) for around $375 a square foot, renting in TR and then buying up the hill in two years.

    Doing so will help in two ways:

    (1) I think there will be smaller 1600 sq foot homes in TR with 3b.2ba in good inside lots going for 600K in two to three years.

    (2) I will blow away the equity of all the racists and assholes in my HOA. Effectively there’s nothing like a plain “fire sale” by someone what is not forced to sell and has tons of equity. This will wipe out the paper equity all of those clowns who live in 40 year old, barely unimproved 1500 sq foot homes and who “know” their homes are worth 1MIL.

    I have spoken with some of my friends and they don’t plan to move so they don’t care, but the others…. they are into the McMansion syndrome.

    hehehehe 😉

  11. tonye

    Heyt, I wanted, had to go somewhere on 9/13. We had airplanes tickets to Seattle for a wedding. I yelled my head off at our Congressmen… like who the hell in Afghanistan would give a rats’ ass about John Wayne or Seatac airports.

    They wanted to blow up some big ass national symbols of American economic, political and military power. The WTC, the Pentagon, the White House

    But nooooo, everybody panicked.

    I was working in Poway and I remembered that the closed the Escondido Mall ( or whatever they call it). Like, seriously, I just can see a global terrorist giving a hoot about Escondido.

    “Hey Amir, let’s blow up the Escondido Mall and the John Wayne Airport so we can make a statement”…..

    The flip side is when I drove us non stop from Irvine to Seattle on 9/13 there wasn’t much traffic. Coming back, OTOH, was a bitch. No moon, middle of the night coming over the Shikayou and Mt. Shasta.

    Yep… everybody panicked.

  12. Kirk

    You are the perfect example of why President Bush vetoed the bill that would have banned many forms of enhanced interrogation techniques. If anyone questions why we need these techniques I will simply point them to your fervently hateful comments. Simply because your homeowner’s association has some standards about who should live in their community, you are contemplating committing economic terrorism. I hope Homeland Security gets you before you get us. Wake up America!

  13. no_vaseline


    I’d do it. You don’t like the neighborhood anyway.


    LOL. Tony’s post is exactly why I’ll never live anywhere with an HOA. F neighborhood rules.

  14. ipoplaya

    Community garage sale in West Irvine today if anyone wants some cheap junk… Got lots of scary looking people driving around my hood looking for deals on god knows what.

  15. zoiks

    Racists and assholes have human rights, too! They should be able to live without fear of tonye’s terrorist tactics.

    I watched “The Brave One” last night. Human rights are great and all, but it sure is nice to watch the bad guys get their comeuppance, even if it is fiction. Sometimes good justice comes straight from the people, undiluted by “the process”.

  16. IrvineResident

    here is a stunning example of an inflated asset:

    52 Tea GDN
    Irvine, CA 92620
    Price: $719,000

    Sales History
    Nov 29, 2004 $754,000
    Jul 22, 2005 $919,000

    Beds: 3
    Baths: 4
    Sq. Ft.: 1,585
    $/Sq. Ft.: $454
    Lot Size: –
    Type: Condominium
    Year Built: 2005
    Stories: One Level
    View(s): Park or Green Belt
    Area: Northwood
    County: Orange
    MLS#: S494270
    Status: Active
    On Redfin: 255 days
    Unsold in 90+ days

    somebody apid close to a million dollars for a 1585sqft, 3 bedroom condominium, amazing!!!

  17. george8


    You must have ton of equity in your TR 2700 foot. I wonder if you can elaborate as to how “A crappy HOA will sink your home values faster than a drunker mortgage broker”?

    Better yet, can you give advice on how to evaluate HOA as part of the buy desicion down the road?

  18. tonye

    The Golden Rule: “He who has the money makes the rules”. This is the fundamental problem with the clowns trying to run my HOA. They have the oldest, smallest and dinkiests homes, except in one case where they built a 4000 sq. foot McMansion but kept the kitchen at under 100 sq feet and did not redo the wiring, in slab plumbing, etc…. They got cheap on the inside and ostentatious on the outside.

    So, I got the equity.

    Rules wise…. actually in California we got the Davis Sterling Act. Our HOA thinks they can bypass the Law but most people in the neighborhood are too lazy or FOB Chinese who will kow tow to any loud american.

    So, I can do one for the Gipper. Accelerate the demise of the bullshit homeowners, walk out with 500 to 600K and move to the top of the hill in two years when those view homes drop to 1.2 MIL

    Heck, I may even move to TRidge when those homes drop to 1MIL.

    This is not economic terrorism Kirk, this is economic reality. The DHS, the DoD and Helicopter Ben will give me a medal for being a good economist.

  19. tonye

    This is really hard to do. The largest HOAs, like Woodbridge are well run by professionals. Indeed one of Irvine’s past mayors was at one time President of Woodbridge HOA.

    You gotta watch out for the smaller ones. This is where a complete asshole in a control trip and a small bunch of sycophants can use the basic apathy and ignorance of the homeowners to virtually create a rule of terror.

    You can be like me and tell them to shove up their a$$ but this is work and most of us just don’t wanna put up with the crap.

    Look to see if the grounds are well maintained too. Well maintained grounds usually indicate the homeowners are working together. In some of the older HOAs you have a clash between the retirees and the McMansions and this is not good.

    Also, older HOAs have liberal rules and they are open to interpretation. This can be good and bad. Good because you have more freedom, bad because an Imperial Board can misuse the power.

    You might also want to check the CC&Rs and ByLaws and compare them to current rules. If there are other rules not embodied (voted on) the Cc&Rs and ByLaws then there must be yearly votes (Davis Sterling). If they don’t have those votes then those rules are illegal and a sure sign that the Board and Management Company are not on the up and up.

    Personally I like the HOAs up in the Broadmoor Sierras.

  20. tonye

    I wanna move somewhere with a bunch of ex hippies as neighbors.

    Somewhere I can walk out my back yard on a Saturday AM with a cigar, a cup of java, a fine 22 rifle, a couple of boxes of supersonic ammo… wearing my boxers, hat and work boots and start doing some fine target practice.

    Somewhere where if the cops show up they’ll do so to join me in the target practice and maybe bring some fresh doughnuts.

    Somewhere where my neighbors will have more Grateful Dead records ( not CDs) than me.

    I guess maybe I gotta move to the Big Island of Hawaii. I got this feeling that you can’t do that in OC anymore.

    Come to think about it. Hawaiian country music is really relaxing.

  21. ex-Tangelo

    Make sure you have a Fire Safety Officer with you. You know, to let you know if you’re about to spill your drink.

  22. Surfing in Newport

    Having been on the board of an HOA (so that I could resist the imperialistic tendencies they were having from the inside) I can give you some advice.

    1) Get a copy of the CC&R’s, especially for newer developments. CC&R’s can be very difficult to change and if you think that you’ll have a problem with them, then don’t buy. Your chances of getting them changed is very small.
    2) Be active. Go to votes, encourage your neighbors to vote and participate. Bad HOA’s are the result of home owner apathy more than anything else.

    In general newer developments have much more restrictive HOA’s because they are in place to protect the developer as they sell additional phases. Last thing they want are dead heads blasting their music from their carpet covered vans in the drive way 😉

    Finally, if you are looking to buy a place to remodel and the HOA has an architectural committee be very careful. The HOA process will slow down the whole process since you usually need HOA approval before the county/city will even look at your plans. If the county/city requires changes to the plan, then the process starts over with the HOA. The HOA board can also game the system by influencing the architectural decisions to their liking as opposed to a qualified architect.

  23. ex-Tangelo

    Wow, that’s interesting. Very. Nodding as I back away slowly from the raving homeless guy on the internet, now.

    My memory of the summer of 2001 was rolling electricity blackouts, a hangover from the tech “dot com” bubble in which rents were falling but still sky-high and apartments were hard to find, stock portfolios had been falling from the highs, and people were looking for another investment vehicle.

    Real estate. Ta-da!

    I know, silly me. Too much money chasing after returns in a limited market doesn’t cause bubbles.

    Pff. Terrorist attacks. You forgot about the Olympic bombing causing the Tulip Bulb Bubble; and the Unibomber-caused South Seas Bubble. And the DC sniper attacks? The Beanie Baby bubble. …and the anthrax in the mail? The “dot com” bubble.

    (Hey, if we’re arguing lunatic-in-the-streets style, the future can cause things in the past to happen, all right?)

  24. tonye

    Dude. I AM in the Board.

    I was elected in a write in campaign. I never even campaigned. There are quite a few people that drafted me to keep Mr. Mussolini and Evita Peron in check.

    Thing is I’m getting sick of it. All of these people say “thanks Tony” but I end up doing all the work and I’m getting sick.

    I happen to know that Mussolini is doing illegal things and I have proof of it. Indeed they are bordering on doing something for which I will sue them for defamation.

    Everything you say is correct. If at least 20 people would show up things would change, but for whatever reason they all chicken out. Plus the influx of FOB ( fresh off the boat) chinese is making things worse because these people think that Mussolini and Evita thave the power of Mao and Generalissimo Chiang Kai Shek combined. I don’t think they even know the CC&Rs exist.

    So, I figure I’ll do a job where they will all feel it. In the damn pocket book.

    Right now I’ve seen a couple of home in TR that are in the same price range as mine. Meaning their WTF and real prices are in alignment with mine. Indeed, two of them are lower.

    The only thing right now is convincing my wife and making sure the kids won’t be too screwed up by the move. They all paid signnificantly for the construction and they have a lot of emotional investment in the house. Indeed I might have to cut out a square out of the garage concrete where I had them impress their hand prints into. It’s so damn cute to see how small their hands were then.

    But, hey, time to grow up, eh?

  25. ice weasel

    HOA’s: the way freedom loving Americans saddle themselves with more regulation for their own protection. So much for market solutions.

    Nothing turns me off to a prospective property quicker than an HOA.

    And before anyone says it, I’m sure there are good ones. Sure. And lots and lots of mediocre and bad ones.

  26. tonye

    No problem, just so long as the Fire Safety Officer brings his own gun.

    Jeez… what are you? Another HOA?

    Any of you ever read anything by Dr. Hunter S. Thompson?

  27. tonye

    Yep. I got me a 300 AMP panel. Actually I got a 200 A panel and a second subpanel that is only half populated. The idea is that I could go to 400A when I add the 4500W of solar panels.

    And my romex is 30A, real Copper too, none of that cheap aluminum. It took two people to fish it through. ;-D

  28. tonye

    Rolling blackouts. Ah yes. We had one at work. Our generators were running full blast to keep our networks and labs running. Not enough juice to keep the AC on the second floor so we went outside , smoked cigars for a while and then went home.

    I think it happened twice that spring.

    Oh, anthrax on the mail.. I remember that. I had sent some money to pay an eBay purchase and somehow the “overnight delivery” got stuck in Chicago for three days.

    Hey.. who are you calling homeless? My house hasn’t been burnt down by Mussolini.

  29. villagepeople

    yah Kirk, we should waterboard tonye and force him to sell his house at a higher price!!!

  30. SawItComing

    Just yesterday you were potificating about being 5 minutes from Barclay theater. Now it sounds like you are ready to move to Flagstaff or Bend. My how quickly things change. BTW, except for the ex-hippies, I live in place like you describe.

  31. Lost Cause

    Yeah, rolling blackouts was the first act of terrorism, and it was caused by Dick Cheney.

  32. tonye

    You can’t waterboard anarchists and libertarians.. only Clintonistas and white thrash who thing are rich because they have lots of equity in their little homes.

    Besides, I could NOT sell my house at a higher price. My wife was concerned that we’d leave 300K on the table…

    I told her we had to options on that deal: List at a WTF price or sell the sucker and walk out with a big check.

    Today’s “blow the sucker out” price is next year’s WTF price.

  33. Lost Cause

    Yeah, and in the land of the freeway, Orange County has toll roads. But note: people never really asked for any of these things. These were handed to them by corporations and government, and they just go along with it.

  34. tonye

    No, no….. I want to stay in TR. I just want to get away from the current Fascist HOA in my neighborhood. I still need and want the things that living in a metropolis gives you, and my kids are still in school.

    OTH, It’d be nice to have a small vacation home way out there. I think the homes up in Colorado where HST lived would be cool to have for summer vacations.

    I do like Flagstaff, but not Bend.

    And it must be ex-hippies, not yuppies, rednecks or hicks. I want to be able to discuss real philosophy over beers.

  35. Boston2TheBay

    I commend you on a well thought out strategy.

    So would Greenspan and Ayn Rand. It is an example of the free markets operating perfectly.

  36. villagepeople

    tonye, i was being sarcastic… the only person i would waterboard is Kirk…

    Kirk, what are you talking about, this is a free country, tonye can put his house up for sale at whatever price he wants…

    “ENHANCED interrogation techniques”… LOL.

  37. Kathmandu

    Kirk, racism does not count as ‘having standards’. And Tony’s idea of selling his house at a price the market will bear is not remotely terrorism. It’s just a reasonable decision with some emotional fringe benefits.

  38. Kirk

    I find your comment offensive. Anytime an American sets community standards you liberals label us as “racists”. That is ridiculous. Is it “racist” if you don’t want these people bringing gang warfare to your neighborhood?

  39. SacBoomer

    Resident: Didn’t you notice? Granite and Stainless steel!!!!!!!Why you can’t get that …wait, you can get that everywhere. Still, I can’t imagine why it hasn’t sold.

  40. Kirk

    Freedom requires personal responsibility. Read Tonye’s comments. He is going to sell his home at a price to hurt his neighbors. While it is currently lawful it is also immoral, but wait until more people do it and we’ll get some laws passed to stop these eco-terrorists. It is also legal to drown your dog. Are you defending people that do that too?

  41. tonye

    I told you! I’m a libertarian that votes republican.

    By definition I’m moral.

    Sorry if I keep ringing your bell at odd hours. ;-D

  42. tonye

    KIRK! I’m not a liberal. I believe that we should all have the right to bear arms and shoot at each other… just remember the other fellow also has a gun.

    We have too many people in jail because we got too many laws. Want to solve the problem? Get rid of all of those damn laws. Make crack, dope legal. Make it legal to have sex with sheep. What the hell should we care about that?

    We do have racists and misogynists all over. Time to give them some economic realities.

  43. tonye

    I love Albuquerque.

    Excellent steaks and I might get a job at the DOE.

    But it’s too far from the ocean and I’ve always lived by the ocean.

  44. lawyerliz

    Hey, people, remember Kirk is a sometime troll. He is in a trollish mood today.

    Do not feed him.

  45. former_irvine_resident

    “Why lower home prices are the only true solution to the housing collapse”

    This part of the article nails it:

    “Though cruel, foreclosures and falling home values have the virtue of bringing prices to a level where housing can escape its present stagnation. Helping today’s homeowners makes little sense if it penalizes tomorrow’s homeowners.”

  46. Laura Louzader

    What’s “cruel” about foreclosure for folks who overbought and are secretly releived to get their $600K albotrosses off their backs and retreat into a nice apartment somewhere?

    I mean, they KNOW they’re buried, despite their frantic denial and desperate pleas for bailouts.

    What is truly CRUEL is to sit here, save your money, nurse your FICO, and make sacrifices in your daily life while living in a rental and watching the prices ratchet up to the point where you have to get a 40-year option adjustable ARM with resets every 6 months, in order to afford a rehabbed STUDIO condo with a view of a brick wall.

    I have been PRAYING for the prices to back off since 2003, meanwhile wearing 5-year-old dresses and 3-year-old shoes, while paying down little credit card debts and saving money. I mean, I’m not the least bit religious but I never prayed so much in my life.

    So, to me, the falling prices are ANSWERED PRAYERS- maybe there is a benevolent God after all.

  47. Kirk

    Senator Rick Santorum warned us that by accepting homosexuality in our society that soon we would devolve into accepting bestiality. I never thought I would see the first sign of his prophetic words on a site purportedly about Irvine real estate. However, we all know this site is about destroying our communities through economic down talk. Sin begets more sin and it was only a matter of time before sins of the flesh were brought to bear.

  48. CapitalismWorks

    Lawyer Liz, apparently the ability to recognize satire wanes with age. Kirk is hilarious, and seems to have a knack for teasing out morons.

  49. CapitalismWorks

    To be honest, anyone who ever responds to his satirical comments in earnest is a fool.

    Reminds me the Phil Hendrie Show.

  50. tonye

    I never reply to Kirk in earnest, only in kind.

    Mostly I hope he forgets to turn off his bell and as he’s supposely on the Wrong Coast he should be in bed by the time I reply in the evening… hence I wake him up.

    I actually think Kirk is a poor cuban with a poorly developed taste in Havanos.


  51. tonye

    I don’t care about same sex between males. They can do it but I just don’t want to know about it and I don’t want my taxes going to support that.

    OTOH, between females it’s a whole other thing. With due caveats to the women posters in this forum, who’s quality of posts are way above ours at this particular time, such behavior makes fine DVDs.

    Did you hear the joke about the Australian sheep farmers and the american kid?

  52. tonye

    Since when do women keep shoes for three years? I thought my wife was uniquely cheap.

    Mind you, I count my blessings on her spending habits.

  53. alan

    Washingtonians are kinda nutzo too, I’ve had friends from Wash who would rather bury gold in the backyard than open a savings account. There’s a beach in Washington but the Pacific’s rather cold that far north.

  54. 7

    They have fine Rocky Mtn oysters in NM and CO, best seafood east of the Pacific. I wish you can get out of TR, so that there will be one more FOB Chinese family to join the neighborhood.

  55. belle waring

    I have quite a number of pairs of shoes that are three years old or more. of course, this is because I have so damn many shoes that I can let some of the fancy ones lie fallow while I wear another disposable pair of flats.

  56. Laura Louzader

    Sounds like me… I have 30 pairs, and about 25 are more than 3 years old… waaay more than that.

  57. Laura Louzader

    Tonye, if you think your Irvine HOA is bad, you should get the experience of dealing with the board of a Chicago vintage condo or co-op.

    No pets no parties no rehab without submitting the plans for board approval all buyers must be approved unanimously by the board and unending special assessments, usually to repair common elements that haven’t been touched since WW2.

    These folks hire New York design firms to stuff their places with $1.5M worth of Italian kitchen cabinets, Schumacher fabrics, French antiques, and blue chip art, but won’t redo 80-year-old mechanicals until the building inspector threatens to trigger a court order to vacate the place.

    If it’s a building like 1500 N Lake Shore or 2430 N Lakeview, you just about have to be on the social register, and have a net worth many times the price of your unit,to be admitted to these clubby buildings.

    Have an old friend of Eastern European descent, pretty wealthy, who was looking to buy at an elegant old co-operative on Lake Shore. He has a very heavy accent and is clearly not a member of 4th Presbyterian. When the cashmere-cardigan-and-pearl necklace-clad Board prez asked him what he did for a living, he lit up an immense cigar, blew smoke rings in her face, and said: I operate a whore house. Which he did not, but he just had to do this.

    Then he stalked out, telling her to stuff her $2MM coop with 70-year-old plumbing and 40s vintage wiring.

  58. Tom

    I am completely amazed that there are 3% of the survey respondents that say we were never in a bubble given the current situation. Maybe they are just trying to be funny.

Comments are closed.