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Old 03-10-2010, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,755 posts, read 16,457,602 times
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jazzlover wrote:
This is where you and I differ. I don't consider a collapse in the real estate market a bad thing. The possibilities that I look at are that normal middle-class folks might actually be able to afford to buy a home without using financial smoke-and-mirrors to do it. I look at the possibility that a whole lot of people who were employed in building what was essentially non-productive and non-earning real estate crap might eventually find what would be truly economically productive employment. I look forward to the day when we are not wantonly destroying the natural beauty and historical heritage of places like Durango just so people can have some second home McMansion to go to just to goof off. I imagine the day when many Colorado communities quit being "cartoon" versions of real towns replete with a population rife with cartoon-like characters detached from reality to real communities with normal community values. I do think it is going take a cathartic crisis both nationally and locally before we can get there, but I say "bring it on." The sooner it happens, the sooner we change and adjust, and the sooner we get to something better than the hedonistic, unsustainable mess that constitutes much of the current Colorado and national "lifestyle." Of course, a lot of what I call the "spoiled brats" in this country won't like what lies ahead, but they'll just have to get over it. Party time for them is over no matter what--they just don't quite know it yet.
Like you, I too PREFER the way most things were in the good ole days of our youth compared to the way things are today, but I'm not obsessed with it, nor do I view the changes over the years as negatively as you, nor do I wish others to suffer the consequences of their stupidity and ignorance so that I can go back to the good ole days. Times have changed since the 50s, 60s, and 70s, and they are likely to keep on a-changing. I imagine that the lifestyle of this new decade will more closely resemble the current lifestyle than the lifestyle of the '60s and the 70s....and those counting on a return to the lifestyle of that era will be sorely disappointed.

Last edited by CosmicWizard; 03-10-2010 at 11:14 AM..

 
Old 03-10-2010, 11:36 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,107,644 times
Reputation: 9065
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicWizard View Post
jazzlover wrote:
This is where you and I differ. I don't consider a collapse in the real estate market a bad thing. The possibilities that I look at are that normal middle-class folks might actually be able to afford to buy a home without using financial smoke-and-mirrors to do it. I look at the possibility that a whole lot of people who were employed in building what was essentially non-productive and non-earning real estate crap might eventually find what would be truly economically productive employment. I look forward to the day when we are not wantonly destroying the natural beauty and historical heritage of places like Durango just so people can have some second home McMansion to go to just to goof off. I imagine the day when many Colorado communities quit being "cartoon" versions of real towns replete with a population rife with cartoon-like characters detached from reality to real communities with normal community values. I do think it is going take a cathartic crisis both nationally and locally before we can get there, but I say "bring it on." The sooner it happens, the sooner we change and adjust, and the sooner we get to something better than the hedonistic, unsustainable mess that constitutes much of the current Colorado and national "lifestyle." Of course, a lot of what I call the "spoiled brats" in this country won't like what lies ahead, but they'll just have to get over it. Party time for them is over no matter what--they just don't quite know it yet.
Like you, I too PREFER the way most things were in the good ole days of our youth compared to the way things are today, but I'm not obsessed with it, nor do I view the changes over the years as negatively as you, nor do I wish others to suffer the consequences of their stupidity and ignorance so that I can go back to the good ole days. Times have changed since the 50s, 60s, and 70s, and they are likely to keep on a-changing. I imagine that the lifestyle of this new decade will more closely resemble the current lifestyle than the lifestyle of the '60s and the 70s....and those counting on a return to the lifestyle of that era will be sorely disappointed.

There are a whole lot of things in the "good ol' days" that I do not miss, nor that I wish that we would return to. However, I do think that history offers us more pleasant and sustainable alternatives to some of today's financial, lifestyle, and living practices. I don't think it is blind nostalgia to advocate going back to ideas and practices that actually work, rather than to continue to embrace ideas and practices that are clearly demonstrating that they do not.

I have just started reading the book mentioned in this article Opinion: Rev. Jim Wallis - Good News About a Bad Economy - AARP Bulletin Today . A salient quote from the article, which goes to the heart of what I'm trying to say--even though I don't consder myself as especially religious:

Quote:
The Great Recession that has gripped the world, defined the moment and captured all of our attention has revealed a profound values crisis. Just beneath the surface of the economics debate, a deep national reflection is begging to take place and, indeed, has already begun in people’s heads, hearts and conversations. It raises questions about our personal, family and national priorities; our habits of the heart; our measures of success; the values of our families and our children; our spiritual well-being; and the ultimate goals and purposes of life—including our economic life. That’s why this could be a transformational moment—one of those times that comes around only occasionally. We don’t want to miss the opportunity to rediscover our values.

I have written a new book that asks some of those questions—one I didn’t expect or plan to write, but one that emerged out of the crisis. What we heard was that we have been asking the wrong question: “When will this crisis end?” Here’s the right question to begin asking: “How will this crisis change us?” We need a moral recovery to accompany the economic recovery, and we must not go back to business as usual; rather, we need a new normal. We need to ask the values questions that are at the heart of how we got into this crisis and are critical to getting us out of it. We must set aside the maxims that overtook us—Greed Is Good, It’s All About Me, and I Want It Now—values that wreck economies, cultures, families, and even our souls. We must return instead to new/old virtues like Enough Is Enough, We’re in It Together, and evaluating our decisions by their impact on future generations.

We need a conversion of our habits of the heart: to a clean energy economy, a family values culture, and a new meaning for both work and service. Many of our religious teachings, from our many traditions, offer useful correctives to the practices that brought us to this sad place. Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount instructs us not to be anxious about material things, a notion that runs directly counter to the frenzied pressure of modern consumer culture. Judaism teaches us to leave the edges of the fields for the poor to “glean” and welcome those in need to our tables. And Islam prohibits the practice of usury.
If some people interpret my embracing of a philosophy similar to the above as pining for the "good ol' days," then so be it. What we've got now sure ain't working, and its failures are quite apparent in many Colorado communities that are still wallowing in the overindulgent lifestyles that have been the norm in this country for too long.
 
Old 03-10-2010, 04:27 PM
 
Location: Durango, CO
118 posts, read 268,140 times
Reputation: 184
i'll start by stating that i'm not in real estate.

i do rent office space in a real estate agency in durango (share the space with the agency owner and 4 or 5 agents). my next door neighbor is an agent at another agency, and i ride weekly with an agent from a 3rd agency. also, we just closed on a house here 3 weeks ago. from literally daily conversations with durango realtors, the scuttlebutt is that activity has been picking up since december in terms of new active listings, properties under contract and buyer inquiries. it's possible that some of this is market seasonality, but in terms of metrics that matter, like closed deals and pending contracts, things sound considerably better than at this time last year.

before any of the Dark Clouds here decend and start a debate, i've got no particular opinion myself, and wouldn't even try to predict the future of the local real estate market. i'm just reporting what i hear daily here in town from people are in the business, in this market (and have been since the 70s in a few cases).

similarly, i've seen the same sentiment echoed in a few local and regional articles...the following is just the first one i was able to put my hands on on easily.

Quote:
FROM FEBRUARY 18 TELEGRAPH ARTICLE: The snow may still be piled high around Durango, but general consensus is that the local real estate market has bottomed out and the clouds are finally beginning to lift on a dismal sales year. According to the latest numbers from the Multiple Listing Service of the Durango Area Association of Realtors, residential sales in La Plata County are making modest gains after several months of a downward trend.
“From January through September 2009, we were continuing a major slide in transactions,” said Don Ricedorff, DAAR president and real estate broker with the Wells Group. According to the MLS, countywide home sales were down 30 percent from the same time frame in 2008, with median prices taking a 10 percent hit.
However, things began to turn around in the fourth quarter of 2009, the period from Oct. 1 – Dec. 31, with both the number of transactions and median home price increasing over the same period in 2008. Fourteen more homes were sold countywide in fourth quarter 2009, from 66 to 80, and the median home price also went up slightly, from $342,000 to $344,000. The first part of 2010 shows more promise yet, with the pace of home sales nearly double that of early 2009, with 55 sales closing as of Feb. 15, compared to 29 sales in the same time last year. The median price also took a bump over early ’09, from $300,000 to $345,000.
“What this shows is that even though the fourth quarter of 2009 was up, the growth is still continuing into first quarter 2010,” said Ricedorff.
In-town Durango homes mirrored countywide trends. Although overall numbers for 2009 were down from 2008 – with total volume down 27 percent and median price down 3 percent – things began to turn around in the fourth quarter. According to DAAR, total transactions in-town increased by 62 percent last year over fourth quarter 2008, with the median home price staying relatively unchanged.
While the trend is welcome news, it is not totally unexpected, said Ricedorff. He just returned from the Colorado Association of Realtors Winter Meeting, held in Denver earlier this month, where national financial experts confirmed that the national real estate market bottomed out about four or five months ago. “We were pretty confident we’d have a strong first quarter of 2010,” he said.

Last edited by jchasse; 03-10-2010 at 04:43 PM..
 
Old 03-10-2010, 06:45 PM
 
29 posts, read 79,296 times
Reputation: 22
Thanks JChasse. It's nice to hear something not so gloom and doom.
 
Old 03-11-2010, 08:23 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,107,644 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebscott View Post
Thanks JChasse. It's nice to hear something not so gloom and doom.
I'm sorry, but I find nothing "happy" in propaganda from the real estate people that says essentially that residential real estate in Durango is going to stay priced at least 2 1/2 to 3 times what most people making a local income can TRULY afford. Maybe that makes the trust-funders and equity locusts that bought at the top of the market happy , but it's a tragedy for the people that have the quaint idea that they should be able to actually afford to buy a home in the community in which they work. And, I'm not talking about the minimum-wage worker bees here, but middle-class people with middle-class jobs and incomes.
 
Old 03-11-2010, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
4,888 posts, read 8,906,945 times
Reputation: 2435
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
I'm sorry, but I find nothing "happy" in propaganda from the real estate people that says essentially that residential real estate in Durango is going to stay priced at least 2 1/2 to 3 times what most people making a local income can TRULY afford.
Exactly.
 
Old 03-11-2010, 10:29 AM
 
2,253 posts, read 5,839,172 times
Reputation: 2615
Wink What foundation?

This market is likely to prove deceptive, with many welcoming a rebound driving prices and activity up once more. But the fundamental question that might be asked are what factors caused this recession, and to what extent they are still in play? Put simply, they are not strong, as we have not positioned our ship of state on an even keel.

Durango may become more like Telluride. Save in total collapse there will remain a rich elite, who favor such places. But that does not include most speculators, certainly not the middle class or working poor. Their greatest concern will remain how best to put a roof over their head and food on the table. And most will probably encounter rough seas ahead, with this interval perhaps but a lull before the true storm.

It may be years off, with unevenly rising trends until then, but ask yourself what underpins any of this?
 
Old 03-11-2010, 11:36 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,755 posts, read 16,457,602 times
Reputation: 9292
jazzlover wrote:
I'm sorry, but I find nothing "happy" in propaganda from the real estate people that says essentially that residential real estate in Durango is going to stay priced at least 2 1/2 to 3 times what most people making a local income can TRULY afford. Maybe that makes the trust-funders and equity locusts that bought at the top of the market happy , but it's a tragedy for the people that have the quaint idea that they should be able to actually afford to buy a home in the community in which they work. And, I'm not talking about the minimum-wage worker bees here, but middle-class people with middle-class jobs and incomes.
OK jazz, here's bit of sarcasm right back at ya

Bless me father for I have sinned. I have committed the sin of being "happy" that residential real estate in Durango and other locations is going to stay priced at least 2 1/2 to 3 times what most people making a local income can TRULY afford. I have come to this great sin by a string of unfortunate events. In 1991 I bought a house to live in. But it gets even worse. During the 15 years I lived in that house, I had the great misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time and my home tripled in value. Please forgive me father I feel sooooooo bad about that. But that's not all father. I compounded my great unforgivable sin by having the poor judgement of moving to a place where real estate was less costly. I feel incredibably bad about being so shortsighted and looking out for my own best interests rather than the interests of people I don't even know. A truly enlightened being would have put them first. But I failed to do that father, and now the big kids are calling me an equity locust and it hurts so bad. Please forgive me father. I know I have been a sinner to the nth degree, but I continue to sin every day by being happy that the value of my current home has not depreciated as much as some who are free of sin are hoping it will. Please forgive me...I don't want to burn in hell.

Last edited by CosmicWizard; 03-11-2010 at 11:49 AM..
 
Old 03-11-2010, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Durango, CO
118 posts, read 268,140 times
Reputation: 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
I'm sorry, but I find nothing "happy" in propaganda from the real estate people that says essentially that residential real estate in Durango is going to stay priced at least 2 1/2 to 3 times what most people making a local income can TRULY afford. Maybe that makes the trust-funders and equity locusts that bought at the top of the market happy , but it's a tragedy for the people that have the quaint idea that they should be able to actually afford to buy a home in the community in which they work. And, I'm not talking about the minimum-wage worker bees here, but middle-class people with middle-class jobs and incomes.
I agree with your sentiment. Just need to suggest the word "propaganda" is unqualified with regard to my post. I'll go out on a limb and say that the realtors i talk to at least every second day actually believe that things are turning. They certainly aren't trying to drum up business with me, as i just bought. Fact is, without any visibility into the context of my conversations, you've got no basis to refute that their comments are genuine.

I agree that it truly sucks that average folks working in a community struggle to afford housing. But does that mean prices are going to "correct" downward? What about supply and demand? As long as there is demand from people with money, and they aren't making new land in mountain towns, with good climates etc...lets just say I don't see demand for property here being less in 3-5 years than it is in March of 2010, so i'm not convinced of a likely catastrophic collapse in values.
 
Old 03-11-2010, 03:18 PM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,755 posts, read 16,457,602 times
Reputation: 9292
jchasse wrote:
What about supply and demand?
Good question! You raise an excellent point and I'm going to add to that.

I've observed again and again that fiscally conservative types ( admittedly I am frequently one of them ) who support and defend a FREE MARKET ECONOMY and the law of supply and demnd, do so only when the market performs according to their wishes. When the sacred free market goes off on a tangent and turns against their wishes, the tendency is to whine and complain, and find a scapegoat ( equity locuts, trustafarians, transplants, etc ) to BLAME for their unhappiness. Rather than admitting that they are just fair weather supporters of a free market economy, they fail to see that's how the cookie crumbles and blame it on the scapegoat of the month. For better or worse not a one of them is asking the government to fix their perceived problem, because it's so much easier to keep on complaining and blaming the scapegoats and/or wishing and hoping for a return to the good ole days.

Last edited by CosmicWizard; 03-11-2010 at 03:29 PM..
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