Friday, September 26 2008

Bubbles!

While sorting through old paperwork (pronounced “shredding the bills and pitching the rest”), I found a double-sided glossy color flier from the peak of the local housing bubble about 2.5 years ago, advertising my next-door neighbor’s house for the sweet price of only $815,000. The realtor even registered a domain name for it and everything. Not that he expected me to buy it, of course. He was letting me know it was a seller’s market, and time for me to jump in!

No, it didn’t sell. Not even when he brought in an entire freakin’ tour bus full of potential buyers (which blocked my driveway for about an hour).

It finally sold two months ago, for $429,000. I don’t know what he bought it for, but I’d guess that my neighbor lost at least $150,000. I’d feel worse for him if he hadn’t asked me a few years ago if I had any good ideas for investing half a million dollars.

Amusing thing I hadn’t noticed before: the ad says “large yard - space for RV or boat”. This is a bald-faced lie, and the realtor should be bitch-slapped for making this claim and backing it up with a deceptive photo. Without a cargo helicopter, the only way to get an RV into his back yard would be to knock down the fence, pave over about six feet of my front lawn, relocate the utility box at the curb, and then very, very carefully squeeze it along the side of his house. Which would be illegal, because it would be visible from the street.

You might be able to get a small boat back there by only paving a few feet of my lawn, but you’d have a helluva time getting it back out again.