Monday, May 14, 2007

This post is FULL OF LIES

Warning: If you have a low tolerance for Realtor, Developer or Bend Media Bullshit, this post is laced with enough Bend Media Kool-Aid such that your brain and genitals may be rendered withered and useless after receiving such a large shot of meth-esque RE dopamine.

You've been warned!

Well, what do we have here: A piece by the Bulletin, "Filling in the Old Mill District - Transition to commercial, residential area nearing completion". This is your basic Bulletin pump-N-dump piece, nothing surprising there.

What is surprising is the sheer scale of the BS we are expected to swallow here, as well as the bald-faced lies. Read this piece at your own peril, it is so full of crap you'll need toilet paper for your eyes when done.

It starts off with "Steven Trono's 200,000-square-foot Mercato" project, which "promise to transform their neighborhoods with innovative shops, high-end condos and expensive offices." I love that! "Expensive offices".

Q: "Steve, are these offices affordable?"

You need go no further to find out the almost fully demented mindset of Bend area developers. Do businesses want affordable offices? Hell no! Are you crazy? They LOVE to pay developers for EXPENSIVE OFFICES. Good offices? Nope, EXPENSIVE. Try to not let your eyes roll too far back into your head: They can get stuck. Here's more on this monster:

The largest development in the Old Mill's pipeline - the Mercato - is expected to begin construction by late summer or early fall, Trono said. It will bring 45,000 square feet of retail space to the market, along with 52 high-end condos and a smaller slice of midstory office space.

The Mercato will have a total of 200,000 square feet, roughly equal to the Old Mill's current 225,000 sq/ft. But filling it will be no problem:

He expects no problems with filling it, even though it will add almost 17 percent to the district's existing retail and restaurant space.

Right. This one project will double the amount of total square feet in the Old Mill, and all should go well, without a supply problem in sight. Steve Trono must have gotten advice on filling up his space doubling, price-is-no-object development ideas from someone. Who? Well, if you read closely, you see that one possible answer is Becky Breeze.

Ahhh yes, Becky's overwhelmingly successful, and inspiringly named, "The Plaza". Things seem to be going swimmingly at The Plaza, with units practically flying off the shelf:

So far, 14 of the building's 42 units are under contract. Prices average around $650,000 to $700,000 for units in the all-residential building, but the most expensive unit so far - a top-floor penthouse with views of the river, The Shops at The Old Mill District and the Cascades, went under contract for $1.999 million at Christmas.

Wow! A third already sold! Yes, sold! Oh... wait. She did say under contract, pardon me. So as of today that's 14 "under contract". If you go back to Feb 25, just under 3 months ago, you see:

A few blocks away above the Old Mill’s retail district, The Plaza, a purely residential condominium project, has moved 12 of its 42 units so far, owner and Realtor Becky Breeze said, at prices ranging from around $600,000 to nearly $2 million...

Whoa, so things really are MOVING at The Plaza! 2 units in 3 months! Pretty damn good I'd say. "Hey now, do I detect a hint of sarcasm?". Not at all. Because Gentle Reader, MOVING 12 units, or putting 14 units under contract REALLY is a move in the right direction. Because if you go way, WAY back to Oct 23, 2005, and read the piece, "Condo-mania", you find that buyers were so glop-slobbering hot to buy, they were like Cujo slamming head long into Breezes' office door to buy, yes BUY, units at The Plaza. Let us recount those days with a bit of fact checking, courtesy of the Bend Bulletin:

Local real estate agent Becky Breeze and her husband are building a 42-unit condominium project in the Old Mill District. Breeze already has sold most of her units. She said buyers know what they want and they don't balk at prices.

"They want to live in a custom home," Breeze said. "And they don't want to sacrifice quality. They want to be close to walking trails and the mountains. They're really mobile and they have a lot of money," she said.

So, this is where you might become confused, Gentle Reader. Because it seems that if you go back a year and a half, Becky had "sold most of her units".


So a year and a half ago, MOST were SOLD. In February, 12 had MOVED. And today, 14 are UNDER CONTRACT.

Interesting. I will let you make of that what you will.

But it does bring us back to Steve Trono and his money-is-no-object marketing message. Breeze, who seems to be a little mixed up on what MOST, MOVED, and UNDER CONTRACT seem to mean, must have told Trono regarding the BUYERS of MOST of her units way back in Feb 2005 the following tidbit:

"they have a lot of money"

Huh. Straightforward & easy to remember. Then a bone in Tronos' head must have aligned, and he thought:


"Yes. YES! That's it! I'll avoid building AFFORDABLE OFFICES, and build EXPENSIVE OFFICES." Folks, this is why you and I ain't rich. We are unable to piece together the vast complexity of the Bend Real Estate Puzzle. Trono & Breeze have figured it out. Breeze gleaned this little gem back when those condos were SOLD:

"they don't balk at prices"

Again people, I say that we have been given yet another insightful nugget FROM A REALTOR, that most "normals" were unable to capitalize on. "THEY" do NOT balk at PRICES. We can only assume that THEY are hyper-wealthy illegal imimigrants, blacks, or Californians - depending on whether you're talking to liberals, mental patients, or Realtors, or in the case of Breeze & Trono, all three.

Now, I will put forth what a small contingent of jaded edge case freaks have tried to assert: This piece, like virtually all before it, is meant for the sole purpose of putting lipstick on the pig that is Bend Real Estate. So packed full of lies, it's impossible to figure out if any of it is true. These malcontents point to such quotes as:

"Looking further out to next year and beyond, the 199-unit, five-building 500 Bond project will crown the hill above the Old Mill site with four- to five-star hotel-condo rooms, capped with a top-story restaurant that will drink in the view."


Is this news or flagrant marketing by a bought-and-paid-for WHOREHOUSE owned by BOSS HOG & ENIS? I say again: You must CONSCIOUSLY STOP YOUR EYES FROM ROLLING BACK.

Woof. Anyway, there's more. Seems Aaron Lafky is plotzing out some condos as well:

At the Mill Quarter - Aaron Lafky's brick-and-concrete, live-work townhome project on the district's northern edge - 21 units have already sold at prices ranging from $700,000 to $1.295 million, Lafky said.

Well, Lafky says they're "sold", so we can only look to the past editorial standards of the Bulletin, and assume he is telling the truth. But unlike Breeze & Tronos' GIMMEE MONEY marketing tack, Lafky has gone with what I call The Sally Fields Geezer-thon On The Go marketing angle:

"It's all about a simplified lifestyle," Lafky said. "If they want to drop everything and travel, they lock the door and they're gone," he said. "They don't have to worry about the lawn or the sprinklers, or anything else."

See, Lafky has seen Sally Fields hocking Boniva to geezers losing bone mass who just don't have time to SLOW DOWN once a week and take a pill. See, Boniva SOLVES THAT PROBLEM cuz you only take it once a month. As Sally Fields as pointed out, our elderly cannot swallow pills and take a crap at the same time, and every second is precious. "THIS APPLIES TO CONDOS", thought Lafky. Rich geezers do not have a second to spare when they are jetting off to Paris, Rome, or Wal-Mart. These people don't have time to water the plants, feed the dog, or even lock the door as they are rushing around in their time-crushed retirement.

Grama: Honey, we need some Boniva. I've just broke my hip.
Grampa: Get in the car! NOW! Boniva OR DEATH!
Grama: Should we lock the doors?
Grampa: NO! My God, life is too short! Just burn the house down! We'll rebuild later! PRICE IS NO OBJECT!
Grama: Do you have the car keys?
Grampa: HELL NO! We'll just HOTWIRE the car!
Grama: OK, let me open the garage door...
Grampa: FORGET IT! Crash through the door! We're burning down the house anyway! We're taking the Hummer so we can crash into the pharmacy, so just bring my gun! We can't wait in line even a single second!

See folks, you and I DO NOT understand the keen marketing insights that these mental giants do. I will let you fully explore the supply glut destined for The Old Mill outlined in this piece . Rest assured there is No Problem.

"I don't know if we are overbuilding," Compass Commercial's Mollencop said. "I think we are trying to keep up with the demand. It runs in cycles, of course. There is going to be a lot coming onto the market, and it may take some time to fill, but overall I think it's very strong and healthy."

I have been supplied with Realtor-Bullshit to English translation dictionary.

"I don't know if we are overbuilding."
Translation: We are overbuilding like crazy.

"It runs in cycles, of course."
Translation: "We are tied to the tracks, and a train is coming. We're dead meat."

There is going to be a lot coming onto the market, and it may take some time to fill
Translation: "Wow, the feeling of being decapitated by this train has just been transmitted from my neck to my brain. It's less pleasant than I thought it'd be."

"overall I think it's very strong and healthy"
Translation: "Please, don't eat my corpse."

And if that isn't enough, we can be assured by the genius of Norma "I Just SOLD OUT Franklin Crossing... AGAIN!" DuBois:

Afterall, this is Bend, Oregon and people want to live here.

You're right Norma.


This IS Bend Oregon. It's not the molten core of a volcano, outer space, the surface of Uranus, or even a dictionary factory. It IS Bend, Oregon. Afterall the years I've live here, I had forgotten. There you go people. Bend Oregon means people want to live here. We can stop worrying. The worry about the terrible competition from people moving to Antarctica or Haiti. "People want to live here". Doesn't that say it ALL, Afterall?


Anonymous said...

went under contract for $1.999 million at Christmas.

That's 4.5 months ago, you'd think it'd close by now.

DumDefBlind said...

>>"$1.999 million"

You'd think a publication that can get the price to 3 decimal points could get more factual material correct.

Anonymous said...

Love this stuff, its so hysterical and truthful at the same time. Just stopped by a few open houses today. I am talking the full on all neighborhood open houses that are sprouting up. Keep on building this winter is going to be downright ugly. Inventory, supply/demand, price deprecaition, contractors looking for work. Writing all over the wall. Party on Bend RE developers. This can't be Aspen, rich people don't want to live in Suburbia with 150k people. Sorry about those "EXPENSIVE offices" just make em more business condos, small businesses can't afford the rent, so try and spin em off as condos. Whatever, the idiots and other people's money keep on spending. Waiting in the wings to buy it from the OPM contingent at pennies on the dollar. Just takes patience!!

Anonymous said...

Wait Norma Sold out all of FRanklin Crossing 3 times now, here's another drop in price here, good thing more rich people are piling into "contract" with all these new Old Mill "condos" @ 3 million per, they can't even sell these old ones in FCrossing for 550 per sq foot. Where are the bad hips and travelling old people? Cmon they are coming I thought?

Anonymous said...

Never stop writing this! My whole office looks for this every week! And we're in Seattle. Your town is just a crackup.

So hilarious!

If you're not a professional writer, it's a crime.

Anonymous said...

Real Financial Heroes

Anonymous said...

These people are fooked, and they deserve it. For such wealthy successful people, they are blind as bats. I think they got rich more because of dumb luck and ruthlessness than financial wisdom. The party is over. It is taking a little longer than I thought, but it is happening.

Anonymous said...

All hilarious, but you lost me here:

"We can only assume that THEY are hyper-wealthy illegal imimigrants, blacks, or Californians - depending on whether you're talking to liberals, mental patients . . . "

WTF? A black and liberal reader wonders what the hell you mean?

auss said...

"we're in Seattle"

I have that beat. Perth, AU.

here's some links on a real bubble

Adhor said...

WTF? A black and liberal reader wonders what the hell you mean?

Sarcasm. Try getting past what Jesse Jackson & Sharpton have told you. We're not out to enslave you.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

A black and liberal reader wonders what the hell you mean?

Yes... just a bit of fun. Breeze seems to "know what they want", after having sold most of her units, then scaling back that claim to having just a few under contract. Does Breeze know anything?

Next she'll be calling them "You People", "Them", or something. Like they're lepers...

Anonymous said...

"I think they got rich more because of dumb luck and ruthlessness than financial wisdom."

Well stated, capitalism running un-checked turns in to greed..! Before anyone slays me for saying this, no I'm not a socialist. Bend is going to get exactly what they have asked for. Bend in general treated RE like a game of Texas hold-em..... all in baby. Opps we didn't hedge our bets. I for one can say when you don't have much, you don't have much to lose. The RE collapse sure is fun from the sidelines.

Cynics rise up and salute you Paul, keep this stuff coming, LOVE IT!

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Cynics rise up and salute you Paul, keep this stuff coming, LOVE IT!

Aw shucks. I'm just a nut trying to single-handedly bring down the town I love so dearly. At least that's what I've been told.

And shows inventory continues to blow higher. 2,280 and rising. I wish Clives counter worked. I might remove the link soon.

I re-read David Fosters April summary, and I think I made a boo-boo in characterizing the drop in median list prices by $10K as "hard to do" given the YTD nature of the computation that imbue all Davids numbers. Actually there is no YTD component in moving the median or average LIST prices. SOLD prices are another matter. LIST prices are not cordoned off by month, like SOLD prices.

That said, it still is "hard to move" median list prices by $10K on such a HUGE number of listings. I think I read in the Bulletin that there were 120 or so price reductions in one day in April. That's like 6-7% in ONE DAY!

That seems to indicate that the so-called "discretionary seller" that supposedly makes up the vast majority of sellers (according to some) aren't so discretionary. The Bucket/Box buyer that these nuts seem to think still inhabit the planet like locusts, will just show up & offer them 150% over area comps just doesn't seem to ring true. Lots of people with listings in Bend seem to NEED to sell. And they're willing to cut price to do it. The whole, "We're rich & we'll wait for our price while sipping martinis by the pool" schtick seems another bit-O-Kool-Aid put out by Boss Hog to make you STOP LOWBALLING MY SELLERS.

My advice: Low Ball. The MAN should recoil in horror & try to punch you, while the WOMAN should faint, if you've done it right. Knock 30% RIGHT OFF. Lots of contingencies. And then Death By A Thousand Cuts as you accuse them of trying to sell you a Superfund Site. That should knock at least another 15% off.

You'll be doing them a favor. They aren't going to get their ridiculous prices. They just won't. Their house is going to come down 40-50% anyway, better today that in foreclosure. A fast crash in Bend RE will actually help alleviate the death spiral that will economically kill this town over the long haul.

Your lowball makes a better World for us all.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

And I also think this Bulletin piece was a "Last Gasp" type marketing push. I've rarely seen the Bulletin get so flowery in their descriptions.

I think RE types know that the YoY comparisons are about to go negative. People will have LOST MONEY by buying into The Bend Dream. Many will take double digit % losses, many will get clocked for 6 figures. This is going to make it hard as hell to move inventory in a town that's gone dead.

I think a lot of RE types gave the Bulletin a call about the state of things, The Bulletin quickly obliged, as usual, and they ran this piece. They're running out of time. Round about July 7th the bad news is going to hit. There won't be much conveyor belt cash after that. No amount of lipstick is going to help the pig after that.

Bend Economy Man said...

I don't agree that The Bulletin is a monolith. I think that in the case of any orthodoxy, the true story emerges only when you read between the lines. The story Paul deconstructs is essentially a story cautioning about overbuilding in the Old Mill District, both in the commercial and residential aspects.

Likewise, I think that this story from today's issue is a story about how the vacation rental sector is glutted.

The Bulletin achieves a fairly uniform tone about local real estate and business news even though they have a number of reporters writing the stories - Anna Sowa, Chuck Chiang, David Fisher, a few others. Surely not all of these reporters are complete sellouts. They probably have journalism degrees and maybe even business backgrounds. They do report enough realistic / negative information for us to assemble (and for Paul and Ben Jones to post) a realistic / negative picture of the prospects of the Bend RE market.

That is to say, the reporters are doing their job, albeit under apparently fairly stringent editorial requirements that they not report in an overtly negative manner.

I think we can reverse-engineer or deduce a few Bulletin editorial policies from this phenomenon:

1. GIVE SOURCES THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT. For The Bulletin, it's OK to report what a local businessperson says as fact without any checks or follow-up questions. No "Becky Breeze claims X units have sold" - Yes "X units have sold."

2. RELY ON INTERESTED SOURCES. If you want to know how the residential real estate market is going, ask a developer or Realtor. If you want to know how the commercial market is doing, ask Compass Commercial. If you want to know how the vacation rental market is doing, ask people with vacation rentals. If you want to know how the banking business is doing, call a BOTC executive. It's OK to refer obliquely to naysayers or to negative prognoses reported by other media outlets, but not OK to call them for comment.

3. NO "GOTCHA" JOURNALISM. Similar to policy #1. The Bulletin isn't a paper that will go back a couple months later and throw your inconsistent quotes in your face. If Norma DuBois "sold out" Franklin Crossing in 2006 and now 5 units remain vacant, just let that discrepancy hang out there.

4. SOLICIT AND PRINT A NONCOMMITTAL POSITIVE QUOTE FROM A SOURCE PROVIDING SPECIFIC NEGATIVE INFORMATION. If a source says that sales are down X% and inventory has increased X%, or if a stock has gone down precipitously, ask what their general outlook is for the business. If it's along the lines of "overall, the outlook is good" or "I'm still bullish over the long term," print that alongside the specific negative information with equal prominence.

5. HEADLINES AND LEAD-INS MUST ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVE. Even if, as in the case of Anna Sowa's article from today's paper on the vacation rental market, the news is bad (big glut), have a positive headline and lead-in for the lazy reader. Today's article is headlined "Rentals with a modern flair" and the lead-in is about how a local woman's rental cottages are decorated. Of course, this isn't inverted pyramid reporting (putting the most critical information first), but it does permit the editors to...

6. BURY THE NEGATIVE INFORMATION HALFWAY THROUGH THE ARTICLE. Every Bulletin article starts and ends on a positive note. The middle paragraphs are where the bad stuff is found.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

BEM = Dead Right, As Always

I saw that rental piece, and if you add it up, this woman has thrown almost ONE MILLION DOLLARS into 3 fixer-upper, micro square footage dumps! And she positioned them as vacation rentals, perhaps the most massively overgluted piece of the Bend RE market.

To service a mill @ 6%, you're going to need $6,000/mo in income. In a rare move in the Eat My Own Head Challenge, I will eat my own head if she's making this much $ off these shacks, and simultaneously, eat her head.

And those GUIDELINES FOR RUNNING THE BULLETIN couldn't be more dead true. Although I have to give it to them... once in awhile I see what could be construed as a negative title, but usually they start right in on the "upside" of things... growth will get us out of this bind, 194% of available (condo|office|bare land) capacity has been presold to trillionaires, our biggest worry in Bend is supplying the ravenous demand for everything, and so on.

Anonymous said...

"If you're not a professional writer, it's a crime."

Agreed -- this is some of the funniest stuff I've read in years.

I've lived in Bend for more than 20 years and I have to laugh at all the BS about what a "paradise" it is. It's just an overgrown old mill town that has some pretty decent mountain views, a pretty crappy climate (freeze your tuchus off nine months out of 12), some pretty horrific traffic problems and a whole shitload of overpriced real estate.

Somebody who can afford a $2 million condo can afford to live anywhere, so why the FAWK would he chose to live in Bend, Ory-gone? The prices were bid up by speculators, and now that the speculators have gone elsewhere, what we have is a big Ponzi scheme that can keep going only if new crops of suckers can constantly be drawn in. The Bulletin is an active accomplice in this con.

Anonymous said...

"For such wealthy successful people, they are blind as bats. I think they got rich more because of dumb luck and ruthlessness than financial wisdom."

There was a study published a couple of weeks ago that found virtually no correlation between intelligence and financial success. I've always believed anybody with merely normal intelligence can make a lot of money if that's his/her goal and he/she is willing to do anything to reach it. The real estate types I've come in contact with have never impressed me much with either their brains or their knowledge.

Anonymous said...

"I think we can reverse-engineer or deduce a few Bulletin editorial policies from this phenomenon"

Your analysis is right on the money.

To be fair, The Bulletin has always been boosterish and pro-growth -- though in the Chandler era it wasn't so blatant about it. Whatever his faults, Chandler had an understanding of journalistic ethics.

Thomas said...

Prediction: Mercato never happens.

Anonymous said...

Funny. Hope you keep writing while we blow through 100,000 pop. (As if that were possible for a sad sack, down-at-the-mouth, country bumpkin, kool-aid drinking shit-poor logging town with a big empty rusting mill on its flank ... er ... oh yeah, that's right -- they redeveloped that thing, didn't they...)

Not to blow your rhythm (that's so important to a comic), but a bit of fact-checking and detail on the blogosphere rants:

"went under contract for $1.999 million at Christmas.
That's 4.5 months ago, you'd think it'd close by now."...

you can't close on a condo until the common areas are finished and pass safety inspection. Each condo buyer buys a piece of the common areas as well, ya see, so ..

"Because it seems that if you go back a year and a half, Becky had "sold most of her units"."

Boy, whoever reported that Bulletin story must have been smoking some good spliffs. The stupid thing wasn't even a hole in the ground in late 2005. Don't believe there was anything under contract at the time ... Dunno where that one came from.

"Whoa, so things really are MOVING at The Plaza! 2 units in 3 months! Pretty damn good I'd say. "Hey now, do I detect a hint of sarcasm?". Not at all. Because Gentle Reader, MOVING 12 units, or putting 14 units under contract REALLY is a move in the right direction."

... But fast-forward to now, and it seems tough to say that selling a third of a building (er, 'scuse me -- putting a third of a building under contract with earnest money down)that's basically still a construction site is slow movement . There's nothing to look at yet .. they must be buying this stuff out of the catalog.

"The Mercato will have a total of 200,000 square feet, roughly equal to the Old Mill's current 225,000 sq/ft. But filling it will be no problem:"

The Mercato will have 45k sq. ft. of retail space -- less than a quarter of the Old Mill's existing RETAIL space. The rest is office and loopy-ended residential condos for people with more money than God.

Apparently, people like the Broken Top Texans in this month's Bend Living that have built some 11,000 square-foot monstrosity up on the hill.

Hey, some people have that kind of money out there. And why would they come to Bend?

I dunno. Ask the McMansion dwellers on Awbrey Butte (a project started by Brooks Resources when the old mill was still sawing logs) ... or Awbrey Glen ... or Broken Top .. or Pronghorn ... or the people at the Les Schwab Amp concerts .. or the Tower Theater backers ... or the roundabout art backers ... or the Merenda-Ariana-Kebaba-Grove-Typhoon-Blacksmith- Victorian-etc. restaurant set ...

Why would anyone want to come here to live in a piece of crap town that shouldn't be growing?

Idiots all. No doubt.

Thank God we have you, Paul, to tell all how stupid they, indeed, really are.

You're a hero, man. Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

You're either a realtor ,investor, or both. Keep dreamin'. Things are about to get bad here, and you're probably just worried about losing your ass.

Anonymous said...

Ooh, that sounded like our old friend "life is good". I thought he might have retired to Mexico by now.

Anonymous said...

Real Estate prices never go down, Keep on slurping the kool aid. UP UP and away in my beautiful balloon

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Ahhh. There it is. The iron taste from getting my teeth kicked in. It's nice.

Well, first I think that anytime EVER, throughout the Universe, when you see an article in the local paper titled "Condo-mania", you are at the dead-on all time, mega-top of your lifetime. Condos are the absolute bitter end, useless tail-end crapulence of RE booms. If you can't agree with that, well, that's just strange. And the fact that Bend went so far beyond that print date, just makes me think we have farther to fall.

Now, look at what "developers" have tried to bootstrap the financing of their retail & office developments around here: CONDOS.

They have & will count on moving the dreggs of residential RE to get these retail/office spaces thru to nominal vacancy rates.

How many condos were even in Bend 5 years ago? If there were more than even a token number, I'd be surprised. Condo's are the vehicle to capitalize quickly on what developers KNOW is a fleeting situation. Condo developers are the absolute last carcass-eaters to emerge from an RE bubble.

And Bend developers are actually COUNTING on condo sales to get their retail and office space bootstrapped!

Look at all the square footage coming out of the woodwork, whether condo, retail or office. This stuff is based on ROI projections done during CONDO-MANIA. I guarantee you, if these people are counting on condos to get 'er done, they have problems. These condo developments will be some of the first dominos' to fall. people will be DYING to get out of them worse than a Central American timeshare.

I DID read the article, believe it or not. I'm well aware that 45Ksf of Mercato will be retail. But is this guy counting on condos to bootstrap the thing? Almost everyone in town is. I think on some level you have to factor in ALL the square footage of a project like this. Especially if the developer is counting on getting the retail/office space done w/ condo proceeds. How ass-backwards is that? I would think it'd be the exact opposite.

200K sf I'll give 'em this: he's got balls.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

it seems tough to say that selling a third of a building (er, 'scuse me -- putting a third of a building under contract with earnest money down)that's basically still a construction site is slow movement .

Well, I suppose if you're a noob, you might not understand that at least half my consternation is that Breezes' statement "most units are sold" ever made print. It's the job of the local paper to report news, not act as a flagrant LYING PR vessel for local industry. Straight PR? That's OK in moderate amounts. Aren't you a little wary of ALL the news now? And this isn't the first time, and the errors are all in the same optimistic direction, UP. That's what pisses me off.

Breeze said she had SOLD most of her units. Well, today she's got 14 Under Contract. Is this a fact? See, there's no way to know now! You say these people have put down earnest money. How do you know? "The Bulletin says so." OK, right about now the crux of this argument should be dawning on you.

We have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA if these units are under contract, sold, or any other thing! The Bulletin has LOST CREDIBILITY by printing bald faced lies time after time, and they're NOT RANDOM. They are all on the Happy Side of the bell curve. Doesn't that make you suspicious?

If not, then all I ask is that you at least wipe the permanent Kool-Aid stains from your mouth before blathering on about how I AM FULL OF SHIT.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Ooh, that sounded like our old friend "life is good". I thought he might have retired to Mexico by now.

I don't know if anyone else has noticed, but the Bulls are posting far, Far less these days. And they're Anon mostly.

Where's Carroll? Where's LIG?

Where have all the cowboys gone?

Anonymous said...

Awbrey, Broken Top, etc. You mean those places where the high-end inventory is not moving.

Sure, some rich people will be moving in. But they have slowed to a trickle. If they haven't, why all the inventory for the last year?

Why so many million dollar houses for sale for so long?

Anonymous said...

I have noticed the same thing. I think it is getting harder to deny the fact that things are grinding to a halt. As far as condos, look at Florida. You can't give 'em away these days. Why would Bend be any different. Florida has better weather and Disney world. Although Broken top may hopefully have a ferris wheel soon, I hate waiting for the fair every year.

Anonymous said...

But they're not making any more land, and everyone wants to live here, and this time it's different. We've definitely hit bottom, just ask David Learah. There just has to be lots more rich people out there. Those houses on awbrey will sell. I just know it.

Anonymous said...

April retail sales in the toilet. GDP 1.3, fuel up, food up. Just a matter of time before corporate profits start to suffer. I think I'll buy a big, over priced condo!!!!

Anonymous said...

I read the rental piece too... either she has deep-pocketed parents, or she's leveraged to the eyeballs. Can't tell which, and it's none of my business. Good on her if she makes it; if not, three little houses got some updates.
I will have to ride over from Portland soon and have a look around.

Anonymous said...

"Well, I suppose if you're a noob, you might not understand..."

What? That you sidestepped my point altogether? Which is ... selling a third of a project that large while the hardhats are still in the building strikes me as fairly impressive. Wonder how they'll sell when the carpet is actually down.

I don't disagree that The Bulletin's (apparently former) reporter got it wrong with the 2005 "she sold everything" canard. (Quite a trick! Sold out before the weeds are even scraped off the lot! And before it's platted! SWEET! Har)

I believe that particular reporter is now the managing editor of The Source (that developer-licking backer of all things capitalist) by the way ...

But that's hardly the point. The Bulletin probably printed a correction after that one, if anybody bothered to point out the silliness of that particular error, which is what they usually do when they get it wrong.

What you usually do when you get it wrong is pretty much out there for everybody to see.

I don't agree that one error, on their part, negates all other things they print. And yes, I fully expect another load of your BUT THEY ALWAYS GET IT WRONG BECAUSE THEY'RE BOUGHT AND SOLD bullshit. So spare me, please. Been there. Heard it. Saying it louder next time won't make it any more true.

What YOU do when you're wrong, by the bye, is pretty much out there for all to read. 'nuf said.


Oh .. by the way ... I'm not a developer/Realtor/investor or any of the other strawmen you boobs seem to believe are the Only People On The Face Of The Planet Who Could Possibly Disagree With Your Incisive Logic...

My only real estate "investment" in Bend is a house like most people here, probably. And I don't view it as an investment - it's a house where my kids can play and grow up.

I've never liked real estate as an investment. Too much hassle, and too expensive to hold. Too illiquid, too, in most markets. You can make a lot of money off the leverage, I suppose, but you can lose a lot, too, and fast.

Bend real estate is obviously on a losing cycle for some right now -- the leverage is playing against them as fast as it played for them on the way up.

All markets are cyclical.

Still, that doesn't mean that the town is a "crap sandwich," or that all of its players are stupid, or that all of its projects are destined to fail.

Some might -- some probably won't.

I think it'd be great to have a European food market, a hotel with a view restaurant and a bunch more well-heeled nabobs to keep it going, in a place where we used to have nothing more than a rusted out hulk of a bomb crater to call our very own.

That'd be great, I suppose. But no skin off my nose if it doesn't. My kids will still be able to play in their solidly financed house whether there's a view to "drink in" in the Old Mill or not.

Anyway ... this thread's probably about dead, anyway.

Cheers, Paul.

Keep it up .. you're a real clown. Quite entertaining.

And, oh ... What is a "noob," anyway?

Bend Economy Man said...

by "noob" I think Paul meant "newbie," as in a new reader. I think you aren't though, because Paul hasn't said "crap sandwich" or even "puke sandwich" for a while.

I disagree with you though that some projects that are in planning / construction stages now will be successful. I do not think so, if "successful" means "profitable as planned." I think that every single project in Bend where the land was purchased during the boom and the financing for the project obtained during the boom will lose money. Especially if the projects involve condos and especially-especially if the projects involve condotels.

Why am I so confident of that? Because the economics of these projects might as well be designed for a different country or different planet. Any Bend land bought between late 2004 and 18 months from now is not worth its purchase price, and will not be for some time. Any project planned based on demand levels of 2004-2006 is vastly overestimating demand. Demand is flat-to-negative for Bend property now, and will soon go solidly negative (meaning that more people want to get rid of Bend RE than want to buy Bend RE).

Also, there is absolutely no way that first, a condo-hotel project will be successful anywhere in the country today, let alone Bend. Second, Paul is absolutely right. Franklin Crossing condos are in the primest of prime locations and they've been on the market for several months and haven't sold at LOWER prices than Breeze and Trono are proposing. There is no apparent unfulfilled demand for this kind of development in Bend. There is only the Breeze/Trono theory that there are still rich idiots left out there who will pay any price for a place in Bend, and the only reason they haven't bought one is because the options are not sufficiently upscale.

If these people were smart they would be suing the people who sold them the land, trying to get their money back on a technicality. There is no way Mercado is going to make money. No way. It will be coming online right when Bend is practically in soup-kitchen mode, and right when nationally, anyone who spends top dollar on a "second home" condo in a bubble town will be regarded as foolish, and anyone who buys a condotel will be a laughingstock.

This summer will be such a disappointing RE sales season that it will remove all shadow of a doubt that the party is over in Bend. At that point or before then the banks are going to start calling in their construction loans so as not to be the last in line to get paid. Subcontractors will be putting liens on construction sites. You'll have construction sites, possibly Mercado, 1/2 built with no money to complete them and, what's worse, no REASON to complete them because no one wants the finished product. It will be difficult for the hundreds, possibly thousands of area framers, electricians, HVAC installers and plumbers to find work in this area and they'll have to leave town or change jobs.

Anonymous said...

I'm with BEM on this one. There will be one hell of a down cycle. It just happens late - that's the way Oregon works every time. When you see a national slowdown, start the timer. Six months later, Oregon will do the same thing.

Anonymous said...

This just in from the AP:

"WASHINGTON -- Construction of new homes posted a small gain in April but applications for building permits plunged by the largest amount in 17 years, a dramatic sign that the nation's housing industry is still in a steep slump.

"The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that construction of new homes and apartments rose by 2.5 percent in April compared to March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.528 million units.

"Even with the improvement, housing construction is 25.9 percent lower than a year ago. And in a worrisome sign for the future, builders cut their requests for new construction permits by 8.9 percent in April. That was the sharpest drop since a 24 percent fall in February 1990 ..."

Of course this means nothing to Bend, because WE'RE SO SPECIAL!!!

Riiiiiiight ...

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

You'll have construction sites, possibly Mercado, 1/2 built with no money to complete them and, what's worse, no REASON to complete them because no one wants the finished product.

Yup. Then multiply Mercato by 20. That'll be the state of Bend RE. Overrun with empty CONDOS.. I mean, empty houses seem bad... empty condos is just a blight on the Earth.

But it is sort of nice to have back a True Believer. Dunking for apples in Kool-Aid, using Bend Bulletin BS to call ME a liar. And saying that the BB "probably" issued a correction is crap. You know it & I know it. They PROBABLY did not, and even if they did, NO ONE READS THAT. I have seen TONS of stories quoted here and elsewhere from the BB online edition... NEVER a single correction. BB prints errors with impunity.

I don't agree that one error, on their part, negates all other things they print.

No one's said that. It's repeated errors, all in the same direction: The SOLD direction. Never once have sales figures been UNDERSTATED. NEVER. ALWAYS overstated. This is NOT ONE ERROR. And the REPEATED errors, are ALWAYS CONSISTENTLY WRONG IN THE SAME DIRECTION. This is the problem. The Bend Bulletin WANTS erroneous, non-factual puffery, and it is quite easy to see that because of what BEM pointed out: The INTERVIEWEES are massively BIASED. Interviewing Realtors for impartial opinions on RE? Please. I've had my PR Puke Sandwich quota for the decade. I have pointed out repeated examples, REAL EXAMPLES. All you have is completely UNSUBSTANTIATED hope that BB has printed retractions (unproven) to these repeated & consistent errors. I have PROVEN my case, you have proven NOTHING.

the other strawmen you boobs...

Yes. There's your basic True Believer Folks. We are BOOBS, because the local Kool-Aid vendor prints bullshit that benefits him(her). This "attitude" tells us nothing about the state of RE, and only about you: You're selfish. If the BB printed inaccuracies to your detriment, you'd be all over it. But it doesn't so you're fine with it, and will rationalize from here to Kingdom Come. I neither want "beneficial" nor "detrimental" pieces. I'd like FACTS. Statements of FACT would be nice.

this thread's probably about dead, anyway.

OH NO! I'd better erase this comment! Everyone STOP COMMENTING! A True Believer has started a trend! He's made a statement that we're all UNABLE to refute. Oh NO! He's attended the Bend Bulletin Community College of Perceived Shortages Marketing and made a totally false statement that can ONLY PROVE HIS POINT. There's no way to refute it! I could print a correction, BUT NO ONE WILL READ IT! AGGHHHHH!

What YOU do when you're wrong, by the bye, is pretty much out there for all to read. 'nuf said.

Whoa. 'nuf said. Well, I'd better lick my wounds and retreat in shame. Cuz when I make an error, I do NOTHING to correct it. Well, wait a sec. There is the little matter of the CORRECTION I made EARLIER IN THIS THREAD:

I re-read David Fosters April summary, and I think I made a boo-boo in characterizing the drop in median list prices by $10K as "hard to do" given the YTD nature of the computation that imbue all Davids numbers. Actually there is no YTD component in moving the median or average LIST prices. SOLD prices are another matter. LIST prices are not cordoned off by month, like SOLD prices.

Wow. Did someone else catch it? No. I did, and it's my priority to have the clear and unvarnished truth on here. So 'NUF SAID.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Whew. Whomping a True Believer can be a real workout.

I assume all/most of the commenters here read the BB piece, "Family faces two big development setbacks".

First, I think it's interesting that the Eriksen's are blaming the City for the terrible state of these properties:

"This is inexcusable on the part of the city," Eriksen said. "Inexcusable."

The state of disrepair there has ZERO to do with their M37 claim, or anything else. Straw Man, and Sour Grapes. The city is proposing a declaration:

After a declaration is issued, a landowner would have up to 36 hours to clear their site, or the city could do the work itself and send the landowner a bill.

This is just a good idea. These property owners who were blinded by the prospect of making trillions, have bulldozed the structures, then woke up & smelled reality. The empty spot next to the Deschutes Brewery is not bad. The superfund site next to the BBC is awful.

And, it's almost shameful to see how Prop 37 has turned respected Bend business people into greedy blood sucking leeches.

The Eriksens, in forms signed by partner Bruce Eriksen, claimed that a collection of city rules would cost them $11.2 million if they had to abide by them.

Among the problems: a 35-foot height limit, passed in November 2004, which reduced the old height limit along the river from 45 feet and would have forced the family to cut a full story off the top of its project.

That alone would have cut $6 million in value out of the family's two chunks of land, Bruce Eriksen estimated. Other rules the family wanted waived included in-lieu parking fees, charged to cover the cost of required parking that's not provided on-site; waterfront overlay rules that restrict construction near the river; and numerous other design-related rules, all of which generated costs that include legal advice, hearings, required waiting periods, traffic studies and an arborist's fee.

An arborists fee? Most of this "lost value" is 100% unsubstantiated bullshit. If these people made ridiculous claims like this 5 years ago, they'd be thrown out on their ass. Much of these costs, are simply the standard costs of owning property, and people are trying to bundle them into Prop 37 claims to try to make a case for them getting a free ticket to do whatever they want with the property.

"See! The City has done such and such that will cost us MILLIONS! Prop 37 says you either let us do ANYTHING we want, or you pay us the pie-in-the-sk.... err, real property value lost."

As I've said before, Prop 37, drafted by lawyers, can have no other primary output than human misery. And lawsuits.

They announced plans initially for a downtown hotel project more than seven years ago, but plans for a hotel eventually fell away, finally supplanted by the most recent project, dubbed Northbrook on Mirror Pond.

Interesting contrast. When times were "normal", pie-in-the-sky idiot projects "fell away". Luckily the Bubble (and shameless Prop 37 claims) has made even more grandiose delusions of grandeur feasible.

Attention Eriksen Family: Look around... IT IS OVER. You are pick-and-shovel sellers in a Gold Rush town that has busted. No amount of WANTING is going to bring it back.

No amount of "Let's Create Perceived Shortages Via The Local Newspaper" is going to undo this thing. You know the bloom will officially be off the rose when Q2 and Q3 numbers come out & BEND IS DOWN.

This MAD RUSH is classic Game Theory: Many of these people realize that THIS IS IT. Deep equity types know that they'll NEVER come close to this sort of payday again, and whackos who bought at the dead top (2004-2006) are looking at a decade minimum of losses. The "Do Nothing" choice is a GUARANTEED LOSER. The "DO SOMETHING AND DO IT NOW AND DO IT IN THE MOST MASSIVE VOLUME POSSIBLE" choice is being followed by Becky Breeze, the Eriksens, the 15th & Wilson nut, Steve Trono, and a hundred others: BUILD LIKE THERE IS NO TOMORROW. Because that is the ONLY WAY out of this mess. Look at the empty lot next to the Deschutes Brewery: Is this guy "making money"? Hell no, he's losing his ass. Throw Trono in there, Eriksens, 15th and Wilson, and the rest and you see that strategic game playing theory points all these people in ONE DIRECTION:


"Do nothing" is a guaranteed loser, "Build Big" is an unknown payoff, but like the S&L scandal of the early 90's, it is an unknown payoff where the losses are absorbed by the local banking institution (these pikers ain't got $100MM+), and the developer gets any possible rewards is a FAR BETTER deal than a guaranteed loss of millions.

These people WILL BUILD, if they can. The only possible blocker will be financing. You tell me: You just bought 33 ac of money-sucking bare land at 15th & Wilson for $14MM with $100K/mo going out the door. Do you:

A) Do nothing, and keep paying.

B) Borrow a LOT ($300MM), and build HUGE, knowing that if you go bust, CACB owns it, and if you go big, you own it.

This is a no-brainer. Hence the almost mind-boggling situation that in the teeth of a RE bust & decline in Cent OR, the biggest projects EVER are being announced. Each individual has a huge incentive to build, and the collective situation is massive overbuilding.

The $300MM+ Redmond Water Park has my vote as The Biggest White Elephant to result from this process. Woof... what an overpriced loser. Lot's of fun for my kids & me. But I don't think they'll make their monthly payments on what I'll spend there.

Anonymous said...

As an out of stater who bought property in Bend several years ago, I can't see the appeal of condos. Living in a condo and city life in general are what I wanted to escape! I can't think of anyone I know that would move to Bend and want to live in a Condo if they could afford a regular home.

Anonymous said...

I agree on alot of white elephants going up in the area; however, the Redmond water park would have a chance if they can bring more good destination airlines into C.O. and if the water park had some kind of retractable roof so that it can be productive year around for the locals etc. Just a thought, but obviously I don't have access to the projects numbers (ROI and how long they will be in the red before they see any black ink in their P/L statements.

Of course I'm just hopeful because I would love to see something like that come to C.O. for my kids and myself.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

I can't see the appeal of condos. Living in a condo and city life in general are what I wanted to escape!

Exactly! Go to any big city, and (usually crappy) condos are where people starting out are living. These places are typically cheap, cheesy, and just gross. They are just apartments where a long line of people before you got Real Comfortable. Yuk. Ultra-Expensive condo living succeeded in Very Small Numbers. And even those were gross.

The idea that ultra-wealthy Bendites will move from their 8,000 sf mansions on Awbrey to live wall-to-wall with other rich geezers just so they don't have to water the yard is 100% CRAP. It doesn't even make sense. Most people with a yard who are filthy stinkin rich, WANT A YARD. My God, I would. The bigger the better.

Again, Condos are the red-headed stepchild of RE Bubbles. It's a get rich quick scheme that only works at the tail-end, where schlocking together crap as fast as possible is the sole goal. Franklin Crossing is screaming for all to see that Bend Does Not Want Condos. Get Rich Quick Developers Want Us To Want Them.

Market syphilis all you want, but I still ain't gonna want it.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Tooling around the internet, I found this one on Summit Real Estates home page (at the bottom):

Roger Lee, executive director for the Economic Development for Central Oregon, gave his predictions for the future of Central Oregon during a presentation to the Women’s Council of Realtors. Lee, whose job it is to analyze the local economy and predict its future, believes strongly that Central Oregon’s housing market is settling into a healthy level from its peak, keeping our area’s economy vibrant in the short run. With 72% of our region’s growth coming from people moving to the region and the steady stream of people relocating here, Lee expects Central Oregon to continue to lead the state’s growth. Lee made other predictions, as well. He predicted that Bend’s population will grow to 80,000 by the third quarter of 2007, the Redmond Airport terminal expansion will be completed by the fourth quarter of 2008 and Bend’s average home price will exceed $500,000 in the second quarter of 2010. Central Oregon continues to be a great place to invest, live and play!

vibrant in the short run?

I mean, you tell me that ain't funny!

72% of our region’s growth coming from people moving to the region

Wow. I didn't know we were THAT dependent on conveyor belt cash. Scary.

He predicted that Bend’s population will grow to 80,000 by the third quarter of 2007

All the way out to Q3 2007? Are you sure Roger? That is a whole 45 days from starting. Will it be warm this Summer?

Bend’s average home price will exceed $500,000 in the second quarter of 2010.

See, now here's a prediction! The Man is a gambler. Well, maybe not a Huge Gambler. Well, not a gambler.

Given the fact that the average price for a home on a lot in Bend in April was $503,182 according to David Foster.

Lee, whose job it is to analyze the local economy and predict its future

We have hired the best, and they are doing cutting edge work PREDICTING the present.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I like M37. I figure it will encourage overbuilding in the worst way and finally bring prices down to affordability.

Build, build, build, you stupid bastards.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Attention Citizens of Pompeii:

I would like to address the fears of a small contingent who believe we may be headed for a slowdown.

Let me first say that I believe our economy will remain quite vibrant in the short run!

There may be a temporary slowdown later when every living thing is encased in molten rock. I expect this to start in the not to distant future, my best guess being 60 seconds from now.

Anonymous said...

Hey Paul, who in the hell is going to buy all the new houses that are going up? I simply cannot believe how much new construction is going up. With huge inventory piling up around here, ground is being broken all over the place on new subdivisions. Am I missing something? When nothing is selling, and the spring bounce has turned into the spring ass cleaning, who in the hell is going to buy all of these new homes? Somebody enlighten me.

Anonymous said...

BEM: "I think that every single project in Bend where the land was purchased during the boom and the financing for the project obtained during the boom will lose money."

Land costs could be a factor, BEM, but I think a relatively minor one compared to the affects of rising construction costs.

Look at Trono's project ... he paid about $5 mill. for the old crane shed's land, which only adds about $25 a square foot to the cost of a 200,000 sq. ft. building. But add in construction and development costs of $400 a sq. ft. ($80 mill. divided by 200k), and you're looking at total costs of $425 a sq. ft.

Compare that with the $300/sq. ft. on Franklin Crossing -- more than 25% higher in three or four years.

Let's say he leased the whole thing at today's top commercial lease rate, $2.25 a sq ft/mo., instead of selling a bunch off for condos, and you come up with about a 6.4 percent return on invested money a year, before taxes. And that's only if the whole thing is 100 percent leased out all the time.

A 6.4% cap rate.

Typical for Bend, and has been for years. But like I said earlier, I hate real estate as in investment.

Hell, I can do that well in AAA-rated corporate bonds. Better, given the tax implications, in freakin Oregon muni bonds.

Anyway, maybe some food for thought.

Having said all that, by the way, you're right on less-dense Single family home sites -- land costs there are the critical factor. Probably why some of the 27th St. scrub that Triad bought, for instance, in the last couple of years is up for sale again.

By the way, I see Paul is still into totally flaming anyone who gainsays any portion of the Kool-Aid that HE serves out.


Continue spinning your energy, dude. That's what java (or whatever the hell it is you take) is made for.

Anonymous said...

Oh, yeah ... that also means that, at $425 per sq ft in construction cost, the break-even sales point on a 3k sq ft condo would be about $1.275 million ... on 1500 sq ft, about $637,500, and so on.

Numbers like that begin to tell ya why leverage is so critical to making real estate deals work - and why the risk is so high if they don't.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

which only adds about $25 a square foot to the cost of a 200,000 sq. ft. building.

I think that's the point. There's no way something smaller will work. $25/sf doesn't sound so bad. But that's over $1MM per ac.! The best way to max out that kind of investment is to build UP. Floor upon floor of square footage. City-style, single family row houses aren't even dense enough. That 15th & Wilson developer is going to put something like 800 UNITS, plus retail on 33 ac. That's almost 25 units/ac., NOT COUNTING any retail, and that is utilizing 100% of the bare land. It will be closer to 50 units/ac. My God, I live on 10 homes/ac. & I feel like a sardine! I have to say that I personally am not for this town turning into THAT. Do you? I didn't move here for super-high density living. I came here to get away from that.

Then multiply what Trono's doing by everyone in town. THAT is the effect of high land prices... a flood of space in the midst of a "shortage".

There is NO SHORTAGE of square footage in Bend, and there's about to be a flood.

A 6.4% cap rate.

Typical for Bend, and has been for years. But like I said earlier, I hate real estate as in investment.

Hmmm... what I don't understand is that you and I agree completely. RE IS a TERRIBLE investment. I actually am hoping to deter people from destroying their own personal financial position by nudging them away from RE as an investment, and that of this town. And I'm "flaming"? I don't get it.

A few say that I am "flaming" the other side, and maybe that is true, but I get as much as I give (or more), and sometimes I think they are pissed that a lot of the "unpleasantness" I write about is incontrovertible. It's literally printed in the paper. I use the words of those who impugn themselves, my opinion is secondary. You're trying to say that my "flowery" style of writing invalidates what I'm saying and the facts I quote. Untrue. If you cannot discern my opinions from the facts I write about, I guess that's your problem. "Denigrate the Messenger" only works on the weak minded. When you attempt it, you tell us more about you than me.

I have seen ONE method of counter argument to what I have said, and it is Personally Attack the Messenger. Is that all you have?

Dude, do you remember the NASDAQ bubble? People WANTED the AOL-Time Warner merger to close. OK, billions were made on close. And they fabricated numbers to make that close happen. Everyone with one wit of rationality KNEW it was financially impossible: 30%/year growth (of anything) will never be mathematically sustainable.

And of course, it failed miserably. I DO NOT want people to buy RE, specifically Bend RE. I see NO WAY it can pan out financially. You seem to agree. What's the problem? If you don't like the flowery commentary, you've probably come to the wrong place. I'm NOT going to quote DRY FACTS only here. Would you read the paper if it was just a big spreadsheet?

I try to mix it up and have a little fun. And yes, there may be a little "Rage Against the Machine" now & then. But I DO NOT purposefully put out LIES. When I find an error, I correct it ASAP. And you & others can comment here w/o a wit of censorship, and every syllable I say can be challenged & often is. Can you honestly say that about the local RE industry, or the paper, or TV stations?

This blog is 100% unmoderated in it's comments, so if you let me have in here, I guarantee you I will give you the argument of your life. I would hope you would do the same. If you disagree, make a case. I will call out personal attacks as the weak-ass shit they are.

Bend Economy Man said...

Thanks for the info. I don't see how your info contradicts my prediction though. If anything, it seems to back it up. Am I missing something? I never said I was assuming that all the space would be leased out at current market rates. I assume it WON'T.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

I think all these Old Mill developers basically saw Bill Smith create a RE dynasty from nothing, make a huge pile, and thought:


Unfortunately, there is no way to replicate what Bill Smith accomplished in the old Mill today. It took the guy 13 YEARS to fill out the Old Mill. And he did not pay $1MM ac. These people will never be able to replicate the low-cost advantage that Smith had. The costs are many-fold higher today. If it took Smith 13 years to fill out the thing at far lower costs, what's it going to take today?

I think these ME-TOO dynasty builders do not understand the blood, sweat and tears it took Smith to make his pile. The guy built the Old Mill from a mud hole. I think what Smith did is very admirable. What's happening there now is just financially irresponsible. Like AOL-Time Warner, it just pushed the absolute limits of credibility.

Think about this: If there were still SO MUCH money to be made from the Old Mill area, don't you think Bill Smith would be all over it?

Anonymous said...

You're right. People think Bend will keep growing, but that's nuts. What let it grow in the first place was dirt-cheapness. We don't have that anymore, so all of the sudden we're a resort. Wait, what? An 80 thousand people resort Is THAT what we are?

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

72% of our region’s growth coming from people moving to the region

THIS is Achilles Heel of Bend. I've often pointed out the folly of achieving "record earnings" from a savings account by putting more money in it. So has Warren Buffett:

Buffett warns that shareholders can be easily misled by management’s return on capital. “Just quadruple the capital you commit to a savings account and you will quadruple your earnings.” The math is simple but powerful, “A savings account in which interest was reinvested would achieve the same year-by-year increase in earnings—and, at only 8% interest, would quadruple its annual earnings in 18 years.” The goal should be superior returns, not average risk-free returns.

This is very much the modus operandi of Bend Financial Management: To hell with superior returns, just make sure that ever higher deposits are made into the aggregate Bend savings account.

We COUNT on this 72% growth "slice" to make the Bend Dream viable. "Record Earnings!", "Low Unemployment!", "Appreciating Housing!" we all scream. But we achieve it via growth only. We're drawing in suckers, depositing their money, and scream to high heaven about what "we've accomplished". OK, we've made a savings deposit, nothing more. The day people stop moving to Bend, is the day our crappy 6.4% cap rates come home to roost. We'll see them for the phantom they are, they'll immediately go negative.

NO ONE is trying to increase the aggregate ROI of Bends installed capital base. RE is a RESULT of high business ROI, not an end in itself. We need HIGH PAYING, and hence HIGH PRODUCTIVITY jobs, not more waitresses, housekeepers, or retail clerks. Keep promoting this sector of our economy and you simply ensure the implosion of our precious RE industry. It cannot be suspended by hot air forever.


Cram Juniper Ridge as full of IT and other professional jobs AS FAST AS POSSIBLE. PAY for companies to relocate there. PAY FOR IT.

Once you create critical mass, it'll be like The Old Mill: It'll feed on itself, companies will move there on their own... hell, you won't be able to kill it if you wanted to.

Anonymous said...

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Thursday that he did not believe the growing number of mortgage defaults would seriously harm the economy.

That sounds like the strong leadership that we have here locally, what in the hell is going on here...? I'm sorry but home prices, fuel prices, food prices etc etc...... Care to comment Paul.? The housing market is looking horrible and so are the basic economics of this country right now can you say INFLATION....!

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

A 6.4% cap rate.

THAT is just scary. Would you EVER borrow at 6% to make a deposit in a bank account paying 5.5%? I would be very curious to know what Trono, Breeze, et al borrow costs are. 6.4% with ZERO vacancy, zero maint. costs, zero errors. These things simply have had their pro formas fashioned in a fairy tale land.


You WILL HAVE VACANCIES! I think these developers are also counting on the lender to have an extraordinary aversion to running the show. Just as a prior commenter pointed out; CACB has hundreds of builder loans for homes that aren't selling. But they'd rather have the builder mark it WAY down & sell it & just give them the money, than go into the RE business themselves. I think Trono et al know this.

Just like the S&L crisis, the vacancies here will boggle the mind in a few years.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

What let it grow in the first place was dirt-cheapness.

Dang right. I got here in 2001, when the income::expense ratio was still reasonable. If I came here today, I'd take one look at home prices, one look at the classifieds job section, and keep driving.

Anonymous said...

>>The housing market is looking horrible and so are the basic economics of this country right now can you say INFLATION....!

Then why is the core rate reasonably low. Granted it's above Bernake's target, but only slightly. Frankly, I keep expecting inflation, but it ain't here yet.

My current belief: Slowdown. rates are lowered. Then nasty inflation when we come out of the slowdown. Mortgage rates will also rise, administering the final blow to housing prices.

And that's when I'll buy.

Anonymous said...

I keep expecting inflation, but it ain't here yet.

The core rate is reasonable low because it is the only thing holding up the economy right now. The Fed is out of bullets this time, with the dollar as weak as it is and other countries are going to want a return on their investment in our dollar the Fed will eventually have to raise rates.

We must be living on two different planets. I guess if you take out housing costs, food, fuel, electricity or any other form of energy, the price of vehicles. I suppose then there would be no noticable inflation. It sure seems like everything we need to live has gone up exponentially in the past few years.

Anonymous said...

"I never said I was assuming that all the space would be leased out at current market rates. I assume it WON'T."

Nope. Probably won't be totally leased out -- most buildings that size have at least some vacancies most of the time. ANY vacancy will cut into that 6.5% cap rate ... A lot of vacancies will crater it. Just threw the number out there at full occupancy to show that that's the best you could expect with building costs that high.

Doesn't seem like a great risk/reward to me. But I don't pretend to be an expert.

Anonymous said...

I've been watching food receipts. Some has gone up, but the average hasn't been surprising.

Vehicles have gone down, compared to inflation as a whole (although it's tough finding equivalents since there are so many more safety features now and mileage is marginally better). I look at a few models. The mustang primarily, since its purpose is about what it was when it came out.

I depend for a living on computers, and they are way way down. Remember the $600 90k floppy drive? I do.

Yes, non-core is up, and that should work its way into core. It just hasn't yet.

Anonymous said...

Man, I would be scared to death about fire season this year.
Already the wave of arson on unfinished/empty homes has begun.
Once the real fire season starts, the temptation to take out entire neighborhoods and developments arises.
Clearly the fire department will have a very busy summer.

Anonymous said...

Portland-area home prices down slightly
Posted by The Oregonian May 17, 2007 16:59PM
Categories: Breaking News
A new report today shows that the Portland-area median home price slid to $285,000 in April, down slightly from March's median of $286,200.

April's median was 5.8 percent higher than April 2006, a moderate increase compared with the region's recent history but still far greater of an increase than the national housing market has experienced. The numbers were released this morning by the Regional Multiple Listing Service.

Inventory of homes on the market reached 4.4 months supply, far greater than the 2.4 months in April 2006.

See The Oregonian's business section Friday for more information.

Anonymous said...

The inventory number tells me,"Guess what? It's NOT different here."

Anonymous said...

Another lurch in inventory overnight.


Bend Economy Man said...

Front page of The Bulletin's business section today: "Sticker shock at the grocery store".

So in an upscale community like ours, full of wealthy telecommuters and affluent, worldly retirees, you'd think this article on the front page of the Business section would be about the rising Consumer Price Index and the possible effect it might have on Fed rate decisions and bond yields, high-finance stuff like that, right?

No. It's an article about clipping coupons, a guy complaining about how his grocery basket has gone from $30 to $40 in just a few months, and how the milk in the local dairy has gotten more expensive.

What do you want to bet that the newspapers in our "peers" (as if) of Aspen and Jackson Hole don't have articles on the pain of increasing milk and meat prices?

You ever get the feeling that this is a community of average people who are all pretending to live in a community of wealthy people?

Anonymous said...

I think many of the people in Bend that appear to be wealthy or at least upper, upper middle class are leveraged to the eyeballs. I have a friend who purchased a home with a neg am loan last year, and has been paying the minimum on it. He now owes more on it than the original purchase price. He tried recently to refinance it, but it didn't appraise for enough and now he's stuck. He's a smart guy, but he got suckered into thinking that Bend RE will only go up.

Anonymous said...

There's no significant inflation though. Ben Bernanke said so. The CPI is so skewed, it is a joke.

Anonymous said...

>>There's no significant inflation though. Ben Bernanke said so. The CPI is so skewed, it is a joke.

Whatever. When we get genuine inflation, we'll know it. Like Venezuela's 25% which comes complete with shortages and panic buying.

A lot of major purchases being made now are on things like flat panel TVs, which are tumbling like crazy.

It'll come. And when it does, we'll have nasty-ass high interest rates to match. And nasty-ass mortgage rates too. Remember the 70s? It'll come back. We might not be dumb enough to do price controls, so we may not have actual shortages, but affordability will absolutely suck

Anonymous said...

Oh, and if you're smart, you'll short everything that has to do with corn and ethanol, including midwest land. Ethanol is going to be a giant bust. And soon.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

a guy complaining about how his grocery basket has gone from $30 to $40 in just a few months

I'm surprised they didn't use terms like "corporate monsters", and the like.

Also illustrates the Bulletins bipolar disorder when it comes to inflation:

RE Inflation?
Hey, that's FANTASTIC!

All other Inflation?
How can The Little Guy Survive!

I'm not sure how inflation figures can be where they are when anecdotal evidence is massively contrary. I KNOW I'm spending a LOT more to live. One hell of a lot more than is accounted for in the CPI.

upper, upper middle class are leveraged to the eyeballs.

I am surrounded by these people. I told a neighbor what I rent a house identical to his is costing me, and his jaw just dropped. He is in a 100% loan/val mortgage.

Anyone have access to the Bulletins unemployment story?

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

>>There's no significant inflation though. Ben Bernanke said so. The CPI is so skewed, it is a joke.


I assume this is sarcasm.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Oh, and if you're smart, you'll short everything that has to do with corn and ethanol, including midwest land. Ethanol is going to be a giant bust. And soon.

A proxy for falling ethanol demand, is falling oil prices. This is EXACTLY why the Saudi's do not like chronically high oil prices: People will explore, find, and implement PERMANENT alternatives.

Of course this same logic applies to Bend RE, but our local industry leaders are too ignorant to figure it out, and think that endless marketing will keep the conveyor belt cash coming. It won't. If Bend RE stays high, People will explore, find, and implement PERMANENT alternatives.
. We'll lose jobs, and the cost of changing a companies mind will be too high, and they'll NEVER come back.

I say again: INFLATION IS A PROSPERITY KILLER. And RE inflation is NO DIFFERENT. Do you see thousands of companies breaking down the door to relocate to Honolulu? It's beautiful. Outdoorsy. It's a paradise. But no one short of a Japanese supplier will go there. It's WAY high cost. Uncompetitive. Hawaii inflation kills industry, for the most part.

Speaking of "Arson Sales" on spec homes, look at the similarities to the refinery industry. We haven't built a refinery in this country for 30 years. The buggers are expensive. And we have quite a few near the end of their useful life. What better way to dismantle a HUGE industrial complex, than to blow it up, collect the insurance money, and rebuild? The alternative is to pay MANY MILLIONS to dismantle it, then pay billions to rebuild.

My prediction: MYSTERIOUS refinery fires will ramp up in the coming years... probably due to "aging or faulty maintenance". Right. A further prediction is that this con will put a few oil execs in the can.

Anonymous said...

You bet it is sarcasm. Computers and electronics are not necessities in my world. Gas, food and housing are necessities for me. I agree things haven't gotten really nasty, and as the dollar declines and liquidity dries up,we will see some 70's style inflation. Chinese manufacturing has certainly brought down prices on consumer electronics and the like. My point is that it is in the governments best interests to make the CPI say what they want it to say. Same with unemployment numbers.When a persons benefits run out, they are no longer considered unemployed, whether or not they find a new job. I have become very skeptical of all these numbers flying around these days.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

New Survey Finds 65 Percent of Homeowners Now Look Favorably Upon Renting Over Owning

This "survey" by Harris was paid for the National Apartment Assn., so grain of salt. But they do seem to acknowledge that historically people do have an aversion to renting that is at least lessening. Why?

"This survey reflects a notable contrast to what we traditionally see," said National Apartment Association (NAA) President Douglas Culkin. "In the past, people who own their homes have generally seen renting an apartment as a stepping stone to homeownership. That phenomenon has by no means disappeared, but, across the nation, we're seeing more and more consumers opting to rent, instead of own."

Among the key advantages of renting versus owning, homeowners cited:

* No susceptibility to foreclosure (25 percent)
* Not being impacted by an unpredictable real estate resale market (23 percent)
* No fluctuating interest rates (23 percent)

Only 54 percent of homeowners cited the inability to build equity if renting as a major concern about apartment or condominium living. Interestingly, a larger proportion of homeowners (62 percent) cited potential lack of privacy as a more serious consideration.

Bend Economy Man said...

I think many of the people in Bend that appear to be wealthy or at least upper, upper middle class are leveraged to the eyeballs.

I think you're right. There are certainly a number of really wealthy people here. Interestingly, the most prominent wealthy families, like the Coatses, the Wards, the Smiths, the Millers and what have you, are people FROM here who were land-rich before the boom, and now are just PLAIN rich. That'd make a good Bulletin story - for all the gushing over fancy cars and telecommuters, the real rich people in town are a bunch of guys who drive pickup trucks and wouldn't know a Pinot Noir from a Chardonnay.

Anyhoo, I think a lot of people who moved here felt like their prosperity and status in California or wherever was slipping or unsatisfying, and sought to become a big fish in a small pond. One clue is the number of people in Bend who say, when you ask where they're from, "the Bay Area" or "Southern California." Nothing more specific. And then you find out they're from unglamorous towns like Richmond or Irvine. If they were from Santa Monica or Sausalito, they'd say so.

Bend is one of those places where superficially, it's affordable (rents / home prices / consumer prices are below major urban areas back East or in California), but there are a lot more opportunities to SPEND money here than there are to MAKE money (minus RE).

Anonymous said...

Why Construction is BOOMING in Bend - ButtBustingBuilders


Builder Meeting Status Report

Thing's are getting very interesting now, up until recently building condo project was basically a sub-prime deal, you just stated your income, and stated how much you wanted to sell the condo's for, got the land, and borrowed $250k for an architect to draw signed plans for the city, and got a construction loan. Normally once the ground is broke there are 'draws' where money is dispersed by the 'bank' during the building process.

Effective NOW in Oregon, YOU MUST have SOLD, I don't know mean taking a $500 check, you MUST have sold 25% of the units in order to get even the first round of money.

So let's say you own a dumpy lot somewhere in Bend, or you know someone who does, you get them to use that as collateral, to borrow the $250K to get paper-plans, to get the project approved. Now you MUST get a realtor to SELL 25% of the units, we're talking about a dream here. It's going to take some VERY creative Oregon Realtors to sell CONDO's before the ground is broke. Real-Estate is NOT selling, so how can they sell Virtual-Estate??

I guess the real issue is what took the bankers so long? Where is the money going to come from to feed the realtors in this new way of doing business, surely there are not a lot of people who will put DOWN a sizable amount to purchase a CONDO that doesn't yet exist. I personally as a business-man, NEVER put down money for anything that doesn't exist.

COMMENT: I have already written to much here about my dislike of the CONDO, in general they're always section-8 housing after fifteen years, a terrible investment.


More Builder Meeting's ....

Builder's are folks who take there life saving's and buy some raw land in the burb's sub-divide {or city}, get plans drawn, city acceptance, they're generally in debt to the hilt,

Today in Oregon { This is true for EVERYWHERE in Oregon } right now if your a builder and you can WALK at COST, e.g. get back your money, DO-IT, your ahead of the game. ALL new development is DEAD. There are NO new deals, folks that have raw land in Hood-River or near Bend want to sell it to some other builder. Folks that have already broken ground and sub-divided lots want to sell their project and get their money OUT.

The General Feeling is to GET-OUT-OF-OREGON and go to somewhere better, where things will actually sell. In the past five years in Central-Oregon if you had 1/2 million, you could buy some land, and sub-divide, sell spec houses for $400K each, and make $40k per house, say you did 100 houses that means you turned your 1/2 million into about $5 Million, not bad if you can do this every couple years. A few folks did this many times. Then comes the new reality. Today the houses will not sell. The banks will not loan money unless you have SOLD 25% the homes before they're built, everything has come to a grinding halt.

Builder's caught in the middle, e.g. a 1/2 done project are busting-bend-butt to get the job done, and move on. That's why you see all the activity in Bend right now, its hurry up and get this pig finished so I can get my money back.

The current system is invest your $500k, and you complete the project or sell existing homes, you cannot get the banks money, and the existing home's in our sub-division will not even sell for $300k. Initial buyers at $400k cannot sell because they bought interest-only loans. All you want to do is get back your $500k project-collateral, and that's YOUR best possible outcome. The typical outcome now is that you lose your $500k, and any other collateral that you put up for the project. There are lots of builder's who cannot sleep right now.

NOBODY, and I mean nobody thinks that they can turn $500k into $5 Million that is over, todays builder in Oregon just wants to get his/her capital back, and get OUT-OF-OREGON. Most of our builder's are NOT going to get their money out, most will have lost their 'Stake'. When of the common questions I ask these Millionaire's is why didn't you stop after the first deal and retire? They all say they KEEP putting ALL their money back into the game to to ONE-MORE-DEAL, most say they had to for the Divorce, as money changes everything, and generally the first time our builder got rich, his wife generally gets bored .... and then get's half, ... and then the builder MUST keep building so they say. I personally feel its ALL they know.

Where are they going?? Seattle is booming, so is Houston ... Anywhere but Oregon.

What do they know that we don't know?? A major builder of Prineville has told me that over 70% of Prineville real-estate is OWNED by speculators. It will take 32 years at the current rate of growth in Prineville to have ALL the homes built actually bought by owners. Sure some houses MAY become rental property's, but us wise old land-lords know this SHIT doesn't pencil, unless of course these $400k house's can be bought for $100k, as the renter with his-her shit job can only pay $750/mo TOPS.

Bend is very similar to Prinee-Vile, most of the homes @ franklin-crossing's { condo } are all 'owned' by the very realtors trying to sell them, the thing that I love about Bend is that the sales folk that sell these sub-divisions, have bought into their own bullshit. This is strange, as normally hucksters are TOO smart to buy the crap they peddle, they normally say that they don't have the money, but in Bend everyone is DEBT to the MAX to be in the Game.

Construction is going to slow down in Bend really big in about six months, right now there is a rush to get all the current sub-divisions finished, sell and get out of dodge.

The new finance requirements of having SOLD 25% of units prior to ground-break financing, makes it virtually impossible to develop unless your a MAJOR REIT with deep pocket's and stock market cash, problem is you cannot in this climate put together these kinds of deals, nor would you want to, unless you were a government welfare organization, trying to save the working men/women of Oregon.

Luck in business is LUCK, if you were a builder and put together one deal where you turned 1/2 million into 5 million, QUIT, because you probably aren't going to do it again. In my forty years of business I have see many folks with a HIT Product or service do well, and then they think they're great and cannot lose, and they PUT all their money into another project, usually something they don't know, and they lose it all. Smart old gold-miners will tell you that if you find a big GOLD-VEIN once quit while your ahead, because your NOT going to find another. Hitting it big is like winning the lottery, its a numbers game, if you won, then get the cash and walk, don't put all your winnings back into the game.

So here we are middle of May 2007 during the great collapse of the Bend-Real-Estate boom, the way dump-trucks speed around Bend you would think they were building the Hoover dam. They're rushing to get the job done, soon their will be no work, as it's too hard to get loans, it's impossible to sell REAL ESTATE let alone VIRTUAL-ESTATE. The days of folks paying CASH up front for property that doesn't exist is OVER, and that's basically what the bank has done, its a nice way of saying yes we could loan you the money, but you have to sell 25% of the homes that don't exist, and if you do come back to us. This is like the wizard-of-oz, and dorothy having to get the witches broom. NOT likely to happen, and the banker knows it.

It will take 32 years to clear the housing GLUT of PrineVille, my guess is it will take ten years to clear the glut of Bend. For the next ten years finance of new sub-divisions will be dead.

What will happen NOW is that the City-of-Bend, the county, the state will get into the finance business to save jobs. They'll keep their favorite builder's in business, and simply have the taxpayer pay the long-term-bill. We DON'T need anymore homes in BEND, but the government will say we need to keep building because they'll come, and the bonds are safe for investors, thus its an indirect way for wall-street to play the real-estate game without risk. Look for default of City-of-Bend in the next five years if my prediction come's true, e.g. the city offers loans to builders, DONT laugh, Portland has been doing this for years.

Issue-3 CONDOS

The CITY loves condos, they get ten to twenty times the tax revenue for property tax, you get a CONDO plan and the city will approve it, anywhere Portland or Bend, even if it sucks like Franklin-Crossing's, they don't care, they just want the tax revenue growth. ALMOST all CONDO demand is government created. The CITY is NOT in the business of serving the citizen, they're in the business of increasing the deposits in the city bank account, and that MAXIMUM way to do this is CONDOS.

Problem is of course Chicago, when you build UP, you eventually create section-8 housing, e.g. SLUMS. Bend council and politicians will grow, everyone will make money, Bend will become a vertical eyesore, the views of the mountain's from anywhere in Bend will be gone, ... Kill that which we love, destroy that which brought people here, its the way of life.

All CONDO demand is generated by Government rich geezers aren't going to buy this shit, as ALL will screw the others View, sort of reminds of me Italy where all old hill-tops had towers so the wealth could be safe.

The citizens of Bend should be running BEND, not the politicians.

ALL is about retirement in political business, build up Bend, maximize the deposits and revenue, and ensure that their pension obligation can be met. This is what life is all about. The reason the "The Bulletin" sucks up to the status quo, elected elite is that they themselves all want to get a real pension someday themselves, thus the process is protected in everyway. Every once an awhile an ass-kissing reporter gets a pension, this is how Kiesling of Willamette-Week was annoited Oregon-Secretary. Fact is it works, take care of the elected elite, and they'll let you join their club, screw them and you'll be getting min-wage-benefits forever.

Everyone except the taxpayer is screwed. In PORTLAND downtown CONDOS pay NO property tax their first fifteen year, expect the lords of Bend to do this soon, in order to create demand in an enviroment where NOTHING SELLS.

The so called 'rich' geezers of Bend are the retired Realtors, the myth is they'll not leave after they got rich here. Eventually they'll leave and who will buy their condos? Don't worry the government always bails out its own.

The city of Bend will turn out this crap into section-8 low-income housing and win a political victory. The rich will return to being landed-gentry, and the cycle in time will repeat itself.

Anonymous said...

>>Where are they going?? Seattle is booming, so is Houston ... Anywhere but Oregon.

Charlotte, which is growing in population at the rate of one Bend per year, and is full of money (old and new) and jobs (including Fortune 500 banks like Wachovia).

Anonymous said...

I wonder how screwed Palisch homes is. They have land all over the place. I am a sub contractor, and am preparing for a slowdown. Anybody have any insight into how bad it will get. Funny how it seems like everything is just great. Every sub I talk to is saying they are slammed. They look at me like I'm nuts when I tell them I think things are gonna get ugly. Too many houses for sale, and too many under construction.

Anonymous said...

Too many houses for sale, and too many under construction.

Dang right and the city shouldn't allow anymore sub-divisions until all the infrastructure is established including finished parks, let me repeat that "FINISHED PARKS" you know the things they promise and then say well the funds aren't their to start or finish what we promised, that's funny but another 500 homes just got built. I'm personally very glad I don't live with in the city limits. Watch for the city to keep increasing taxes left and right. Remember taxes come under different aliases such as : permits, fees, licenses etc etc.....

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Nice BendBust. says 2,320 homes in Bend for sale. And heading higher everyday. 2,280 four days ago. I'm still thinking Mr 3000 is possible! Maybe close?

At 10 homes a day, that's just over 2 months away...

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Interesting tidbit:

There are 1,973 Single Fam Homes for sale in Bend ( According to David Foster, the Avg home price on a lot is $503,182.

That gives a grand total of $992.78 MILLION dollars worth of inventory. When it hits 1,988 (only 15 homes away), we will officially cross the ONE BILLION DOLLAR mark for the first time ever. And that's just homes on lots INSIDE Bend.

Unbelievable. I (think) I read somewhere that the entirety of Deschutes County was worth $1 bill in 2001.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Charlotte, which is growing in population at the rate of one Bend per year, and is full of money (old and new) and jobs (including Fortune 500 banks like Wachovia).

TT... this has your fingerprints all over it! I'm thinking about NC too now. I'm just afraid it'll be like Missouri... hot and HUMID as hell in the Summer.

Anonymous said...

I know for the younger crowd with and without kids, I guess it is supposed to be a nice family place can't say because I haven't been but I know a few people from Bend that headed to Ashville NC. You guys are right NC does seem to be a hot spot right now but it just makes me think like everything it has a cycle to run and then it's not cool anymore.

Anonymous said...

hey paul, your blog space rocks.The bend economy blog site is freakin' boring as hell. Hardly anyone posts on there. Bend bb is a numbers nazi, and doesn't have a clue. You however , my friend, are not afraid to get down and dirty. I love it, although, I wonder sometimes if I should get a life. Nahh, this is way too much fun. I've been here ten years, and have worked all kinds of jobs since I got here. Sad, but back then you could live a decent life on 12 bucks an hour. Wages here have not gone up much when compared to the cost of living. If I didn't have so many good friends here, and my kids weren't in school, I would definitely bail. Oh well, keep it up, I love this site, you can't make up the kind of drama the RE bust is gonna create. Ditto on the great info bend bust provided. I have a sneaking suspicion some people are going to be quite surprised at how big things are going to blow around here.

Anonymous said...

Pretty much the whole east coast gets humid. It doesn't bother me, but some people complain.

I've lived there and I like it a lot. But everyone is different. Some hate it. Some love it.

I think NC is great. You don't really understand its demographics until you see how many people live in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New York. It's going to have a lot of growth for a long time.

It gets a lot of people running away from Florida, as well.

Look at house prices. 99% school, community pool, 4 bedroom, $200k.

I'm not saying I'm going. But I might.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

hey paul, your blog space rocks.The bend economy blog site is freakin' boring as hell. Hardly anyone posts on there. Bend bb is a numbers nazi, and doesn't have a clue. You however , my friend, are not afraid to get down and dirty. I love it

Thanks much Dude. But much credit goes to kick-ass comments, positive & negative alike.

Like BEM, who does not have to play the elder statesman anymore, has begun to get medieval on our ass!

A long way to go though. The fact that I and many others have to post our opinions anonymously speaks volumes about how this place is run. I would have no problem identifying myself in just about any other town in the US, with respect to the RE business. Virtually everyone knows that if you speak ill of the Cent OR RE juggernaut, you will be ostracized probably out of a job or out of business. This place is run like a cult.


And I should say that BendBB has a real opportunity for greatness. The guy has got a vast myriad of factual data. But those big copy/paste blobs are too much. The human mind can't deal w/ that very well. I wish he'd do more Google spreadsheets, with the data cut up in a lot of ways, across many sheets. Then ask for feedback, or even open up the sheets to public collaboration.

He and I also have different ideas on the role of a moderator. I would probably feel strange going after some of the comments I disagree with, if I also acted as a filter on those comments. That's why this thing is wide open. I give as much as I get in here, and I really enjoy the comments area more than anything.

BendBB is the captain over there. I actually posted over there FAR MORE than I did here, for a long time. Then something happened, and long story short, I could either stay over there or jump ship. I jumped. We have different philosophies.

I feel like it's really my job to take a different perspective of what many people see as common, accepted knowledge. When I first got here (Cent OR), I never really questioned a lot of what I read or saw on TV, until the one-sidedness of it started to dawn on me. Then a lot of "news" pieces started to sound like slavish PR to specific interests. Then over many, many months & years I would string together bald-faced lying that no one seemed to care about or catch, or maybe they did but there was no outlet for exposing them. And these lies were all in One Direction; the SOLD direction. The Move Here Now direction. The Bring Your Money direction. The Cult direction.

THAT just bugs the hell out of me. News should be about uncovering lies. We are being sold lies as facts (maybe this is the direction this country is going. I see more eye-rolling bullshit on the news than anywhere.). The legitimacy of local news outlets is being rapidly undermined here. I hope they (The Bulletin, KTVZ, et al) will engage in some self-examination, and choose to serve viewers over Boss Hog. Right now it is clearly Boss Hog they serve.

There is a place for Bullshit. It's called advertising. When you sell out your editorial standards, you simply destroy your own credibility. The Bulletin should provide Boss Hog an outlet to spew his bullshit, it's called The Space Ad. But when you cross over and mix news with bullshit, you get bullshit. And at that point you can't even sell the ad space, cuz the wheat & the chaff are so thoroughly mixed it's impossible to discern one from the other, and people will not pay to read page upon page of crap & lies.

BendBust said...

Last issue was a review of Builder's, Developer's, Contractor's - The Boss Men

These are the folks that have their life saving's at risk in Bend. There is good news, folks that specialize in remodeling have work, perhaps plenty of work. Like they say folks have to have a place to live, and their are lots of people in Central-Oregon that have money, and didn't get caught up in the get-rich-quick Real-Estate game. Folks that just want to have a nice kitchen are where the money is now, if you have a good name, risk will be low.

This report will deal with the working folk - the sub-contractors, and the Mexicans. Eventually I would like to do a whole report on the mexicans, in fact to be honest I think there should be a whole blog on Mexican Workers in Central Oregon. Before I begin let me just mention my favorite quote "When in Mexico they ask you how many children you have, When in the USA they ask what you do, what you drive". Latin American people have a heart and their hard working folk. So if your trying to read bad stuff about these people you'll not hear it from me.

ISSUE-1 The Status of Sub- Contractor's in Bend

These are the working folk, the dry-wallers, finish-carpenters, electricians, ... the folks that work 6-7 days a week building. One common theme that I have found from all that I have talked with over the past few weeks, is that they're getting out of Central-Oregon as soon as they can sell their house. They still think that they can out of their house what they paid. They feel great pain for their bosses who have 'BLEEDING' of the worst kind sitting on million dollar homes on Awbrey now for over a year, everyone is waiting. I haven't seen any that concur that if you want to sell you must reduce your price. The common theme is that just one more article in "Outside Magazine", just one more "Inc." Best city in USA, will cause everyone to want to buy again. ASAP

What I found MOST interesting with the SUB's is that their pain started last year. Most were averaging $45/hr until last summer, then it dropped to $25/hr, and now its ALL piece work. Many have told me that the piece work yields about $15/hr. This reminds of our computer business, where programmers have gone from 60/hr to 15/hr competing with Indians and Chinese in just a few years. The SUB's I talked with, and NOTE the great majority of folks I interviewed are the TOP SUB's at North-West Crossing's, these folks are already lining up Renovation work, they're good. This notion of leaving Central-Oregon is the MOST consistent theme I have heard. To date I have not found a single SUB or GENERAL that intends to stay here. I find this amazing, and note they average time these folks have been here is ten years, these are not folks that just go here in the last five years.

There isn't much anger about the drop in hourly pay, as they know the General's { I'll be referring to the developer/ builder as a general } are struggling with their bleeding on the SPEC house's they cannot sell.

Like I mentioned in the BUILDER's report earlier this week, sure everyone is busy-busy, but the SUBS are busy because they're having to work harder for less, and they have NO CHOICE. I did not find one that was willing to seriously reduce the value of their home to get out of here. The consistent plan is "I must sell my 2500 sqft mcMansion for $750K to get out enough cash to start anew in Hawaii, Maine, ...anywhere but Central-Oregon"

The BLEEDING here is massive, as a hard-core ASSHOLE-BASTARD businessman the first maxim is 'cut-your-losses', and let your profits run. Its one thing for wacko's to have lost their life saving's on the DOT-NET/DOT-COM 2000 stock market crash, but here we have folks that are continually dumping thousands of dollars a month into a depreciating asset. THIS IS NOT BUSINESS. Folks in Bend didn't buy their home for a place to live, its ALL speculation, and now they'll keep feeding the monster "bleeding" as they call it. This all reminds me of the other-guy has it worse phenomenon, the SUB's are bleeding a few thousand a month in mcMansion they don't need, and the General's are bleeding ten-thousand++ a month on Spec-Homes they cannot sell at last years high price. Thus the Sub's don't think they have it bad, because they know people that have it worse. This is a syndrome normally seen in concentration camps.

My mission here is not to wallow in the pain of my fellow man. My mission is find out what the hell is going on, and as you ALL know, your not going to find out on your local media, because 'FEEL-GOOD' is what our entire USA economy is about, and on TV and the Main Stream media your only going to hear things that make you feel-good. This is because of advertising, it is a psychological fact that good-news makes you shop at fred-meyer, and bad news makes you not shop, and freddy's is the biggest advertiser in Oregon, ergo good news for ALL. Shop until you drop, remember what dubya said after 911, "Go Shopping:".

In every instance I feel for these guys, and MY advice is sell and get out, and don't keep bleeding. My MOST optimistic estimate for recovery is three years, and this only if the building stops, and the inventory is absorbed. We all know that niether of these is even close to happening. My conservative estimate is ten years for Bend to reduce the inventory. Note, that Oregon has NOT had a serious correction since 1983, and that took three years to work out. The difference then was $80k homes went to $30k, now its $750k going to $250k. The scale is the same, but the debt obligation is horrendous, note that if you were honest in 1985, you could work off your loss in one working year, as some folks did make $40k, today the obligation will be $500k, and that's ten years of income. This is a WHOLE new ballgame, working this one off could take years, also the PAIN may make 1/2 the population NEVER come back to Real-Estate for a generation. ... Study you history, we're going to need a BIG-WAR to pull ourselves out of this one.

The SUB's I talked with never dreamed that the Bend construction boom would stop, two years ago everyone at NorthWest Crossing had a brand-new BIG TRUCK, with toys in it - wave-runner in the summer, and dirt-bikes in the winter, sometime last year the toys disappeared "they sold them", and right now folks are trying to trade in their BIG trucks. Right now nobody is showing off their toys, they're long gone, everyone is to busy trying to pay their house payments so they can wait for the recovery. Again, the common feeling is just one more positive Outside Magazine ranking like the one last week about Bend being Better than Moab for mtn-biking. I'm a mtn-biker, I love bend and moab. All the restraurants in moab suck, and bend these days is only about yuppy food. I only eat at Bend Mexican places: long-board, rigobertos, and super-burrrito. Moab has way better trails and stuff outside of town, in town their is nothing to do, except drink 3% mormon beer. Bend is ONLY about shopping at the Old-MIll. Of course Outside-Magazine is ONLY about advertising and selling its advertisters products which can all be found in Bend. This is NOT going to save Bend, besides the kind of people that are need to rescue these folks is NOT the kind of people who will buy $750k homes when they move to Bend. The common thing I see now is if these folks could do it over they would have got a 1100 sqft house, NOT a 2600 sq-ft mcMansion. Everyone that made the greed move from 1,000-sqft to 3,000-sq-ft realizes they made a tragic mistake.

So there we have it our SUB's are waiting for 1,000's of folks that want to buy $750k home in Bend to move here, and the general's that hire them are waiting for folks to buy their one million dollar home's that have been sitting empty for over a year.

This is classic depression, I'm talking 1930's, it was the BIG homes that went empty, and nobody bought because of upkeep and burn-rate, the little homes are the homes of people and they held up well. Like I have been saying since I started this blog, the avg Bend income is $60k/yr, that means the avg home should be $240k, stay in that ballpark and you'll survive the storm.

What everybody in BEND did is buy a mcMansion with the idea that the 1/2 million home would go to one million, and that is why they want to sell for $750k, problem is there are NO buyers. Also Jumbo-Loans are pretty much dead now, a jumbo is over $350k, if you have 20% down, and buy a nice house low-ball in Bend for $280k, you can get financed, but if you try and by one of these 3,000 sqft $750k mcMansions with 5% down you'll get no-where. This is why the stuff ain't selling, and NOBODY has the cash.

In summary on this issue "cut your losses", your home is not a business, treat it as a business, BLEEDING 1,000's of dollars a month for years is NOT a business tactic. To lose your life-saving's is one thing, but to lose your future income is insane.

ISSUE-2 THE MEXICAN { Sincere apology latin brother, I know very few brown-skins are from Mexico ... Note, I consider myself white-trash amigo }

I have talked a lot about folks average white guys with NO education that came to Bend bought a little house, and SOLD it and then bought $750k home up on Awbrey, so WHO bought the little homes?? This is where our Mexican comes in ...

The mexican's in Central Oregon are our Sub-Prime Support system, they're buying the homes that our white trash has been selling. Thus they are the foundation or the leg's of the entire Central-Oregon Ponzi Scheme. For the past ten years groups of mexicans have been buying the under $300k homes in Madras, Redmond, Bend and this is what allowed the white-kids to get into the mc-mansions on the hill. What is very interesting is that if just for a moment that DUBYA actually enforced the ILLEGAL-STATUS they would in effect completely destroy central oregon real-estate as that is our foundation.

In the 70's large tracts exactly like nw-crossings were built in Tustin/Irvine in California, these were the upper middle class places, today they're all lived in by Mexicans. This is a good thing, otherwise the home would have been bulldozed. Basically what happened is that LARGE expensive homes got built, and then an area fell out of favor with the high-income economic group. This is exactly what has happened to Bend.

The Mexicans do the yards in Bend, they build the homes, the current USA statistic is 3% agriculture, 30% construction, and 65% service. If you eat out anywhere in Bend, the odd's are your mexican brother washes your dishes.

A few weeks ago I talked with some very prominent builders of the area, and they had an interesting theory. That the ENTIRE Bend boom would have never happened if it were NOT for the Mexicans, they bought the little dumps that white folk would NOT live in, and they fixed them up. Then the white folk that could-would NEVER have moved up decided they could play the rich mans game, so they bought a $500k 3,000sqft mcMansion, again this would NOT have happened if the Mexican had NOT bought their shack.

The point is that if Bend area actually did something hostile towards its Mexicans the AREA real-estate biz would fall like a house of cards. This politically is a VERY important point.

Gated community's like highlands at broken-top, will NOT allow mexicans entry in their cars, but they come in by the busload to do roofs and drywall, ditto for anything 'morrisette'

Like I said A WHOLE BLOG needs to be dedicated to the BEND Brown-Skin folk. I speak spanish, so in the coming months my desire is to start interviewing some Mexican home-owner's and sub's, one of the questions I'm interested in is are they moving are staying. Like I have said not a one white-sub or white-builder I have talked with plans to stay.

COMMENT: I came to Bend forty years ago because I loved the nature, there is NOT a single damn thing that white folk have brought to Bend in the last forty years that I couldn't do without. Note, I didn't come here to MAKE-MONEY, I came here to live, the life-style, but EVERY DAMN builder and SUB I have talked to clearly has stated they came to build and make a buck, and when the game was over to move-on. That said SHOULD we have crocodile tears for these folks? Given that inherently the VAST MAJORITY of folk that have moved to Bend since 1980's really only came here to play the gold-rush. Life is NOT fair, nobody is entitled to wealth. I have already written how to obtain wealth, and it doesn't happen quick. What everybody in Bend did was the same stupid thing, they started in a little mill-house, and then sold and bought up in the highlands, they weren't happy that there little $80k shack went to $300k, they had to have a $500k mcMansion go to a Million, now 1,000's and 1,000's and have 1,000's of SHEEP in Bend are stuck with the mcMansions.

What will come of it?? I'll tell you as I know exactly, they'll be bought and occupied by the Mexicans ten to a house, and they'll make them homes, and someday you'll drive through NW-Crossing and on sunday every garage door will be open and folks will selling tacos. This is what Irvine is like today, not thirty years ago it was the same game. White trash in orange-county sold their anaheim house, and bought in Irvine with the idea of becoming millionaires ALL these homes were sold on auction where you had to pay lottery just for the right to buy, and where are they today?? Its little mexico.


In the last article I covered the BUILDER, and this article the SUB, and then the SUB-SUB { mexican }

I don't know how many years our Builders, Subs, can continue bleeding. Given that in 6 months the ONLY construction will be remodeling there simply will NOT be enough work for all to stay, and thus there will be foreclosures, and most of these folks did the nothing-down game, and so they have NO wiggle room to reduce the price.

There seems to be a general feeling that "Juniper Ridge" is the savior if we could just get it going faster, then all the manufacturer's would come, and Bend could become a Gary-Indiana over night, and all would be good. It's quite amazing how growth for the sake of growth takes on, its quite like cancer. It would NOT take too much nasty manufacturing on Juniper Ridge to pollute everything to the North. Redmond and Madras will be Love-Canal, does anyone care? Not if it means I can sell my house for $750k and get the hell out of Central Oregon.

It seems to me as someone who had another twenty and plans to die in Bend, that the folks who are running the show aren't in here for the long-term. How in hell did this happen? Does anyone give a shit? Of course not the corporations have been doing this since the 1980's replacing pensions with IOU's just read the Bartlett&Steel book "American what went wrong" { 1986 } The USA corporate leaders have been buying haciendas in Spain and Italy, everybody plans on cashing out and retiring somewhere else. Thus everything is disposable, nothing is sacred, everything is temporal. Everything is NOW, I want it NOW.

My only comment is that perhaps like minded people can raise to the occasion and save that which has NOT already been destroyed in Bend.

Anonymous said...

Les Schwab - The Passage of a Patriarch Will Change Central Oregon Forever

The passage of Les-Schwab {LS} is the most significant point of the Bend-Bubble. The ENTIRE house of cards by the Political Elite of Central-Oregon are riding on this one. We're talking ten's of billions of dollars for ALL the BOSS-HOGS. All dependent upon one family.

The choice is their's do they enrich the family, or do they turn Central Oregon into Central California.


Before Sam Walton died Walmart only sold MADE-in-USA, then the family took over, and NOW they sell ONLY made-in-china, surviving family's typically do things that would make founders roll over in their graves,...

The LS plan was to move LS to bend { juniper-ridge }, e.g. move HQ away from prinee-vile,

The family knows that this is a good time to sell the business, now that the patriarch is gone,

LS is the the anchor in the BEND disneyland known as Juniper-Ridge, if the family sells to michelin, and/or firestone, then Bend will never have its gary-indiana, and there will be no justification of buiilding the new I-305 fwy from the dalles to k-falls,

LS did well building an empire where he did, .e.g. in the middle of nowhere, prinee-vile is litterally in the center of Oregon,

The smart thing for the family to do would be to sell their west-coast franchise to a major and create a family trust so that the next five hundred thousand generation's of schwabs would never have to work. A good legal trust mechanism could take the sales assets and create a trust so that all Schwab's over 18 would get a million/year into eternity. Done correctly this includes ALL offspring from the family tree forever. This is very common in old family's with wealth that exceeds a billion dollars.

Dumping a TON of good money into a needless move from prineville to Bend is NO guarantee of building a business. Rarely does a family ever have the passion and drive of a founder.

It's going to be interesting, ALL of Central Oregon is dependent upon the LS moving to Bend, even the expansion of the Redmond Airport is dependent.

If LS family decides to make the best move in the family interest aka WALMART you can expect to see the entire Central-Oregon 2030 plan un-ravel,

There's a OLD joke from the day's of glen-jackson, that Fred-Meyer had paid for every off-ramp on the I-5 fwy, the fact is that FM did buy land all the corridor, knew were the off-ramps would be, and made more on real-estate than merchandising. For those that don't know oregon history glen-jackson was the father of the oregon fwy biz, the story is everyone of his friends became a millionaire, as he gave them a mile of fwy to build, and that was the profit, ... Today there is a BIG bridge in PDX called the glen-jackson bridge, guess where its at, ...

The same for your I-305 in Central-Oregon, the PLAN of moving les-schwab from prine-ville to Bend is that you'll need modern fwy infrastructure, which means Billions of dollars for those get the building contracts, and know where to BUY LAND where there will be off-ramps, ...

All this dependent on the death of one man, ... My dollar bet is that the family does a Walmart, e.g. something 180 degree's from what the patriarch would have done.

Only in Oregon.

Anonymous said...

By the way, Florida is even worse than you might think now. Job losses in South Florida. Florida schools are actually LOSING kids.

In other words, the housing slowdown there has had genuine effects. This helps the Carolinas, Tennessee, and Virginia, as ex-Northerners become "halfbacks" unwilling to return to the job-challenged icy north.

Jack Russell said...

You have posted some of the best and thought provoking analyses that I have seen anywhere in a long time.

Do a few more and you could put them together into a good short book.

Keep it up.

BTW, I agree with most of your conclusions.

Anonymous said...

> I wish [BendBB would] do more
> Google spreadsheets, with the
> data cut up in a lot of ways,
> across many sheets. Then ask for
> feedback, or even open up the
> sheets to public collaboration.

Paul-doh!, I'm not a spreadsheet guy like you are, but I'll be happy to give you a copy of my entire database so you can slice and dice the data anyway you want.

-- bendbb

Anonymous said...

OK, Paul, time to make nice with bendbb.

Anonymous said...

Bendbust you have some great comments and I would agree with you on most points but one you are dead wrong about " our Mexican brothers"

"A few weeks ago I talked with some very prominent builders of the area, and they had an interesting theory. That the ENTIRE Bend boom would have never happened if it were NOT for the Mexicans, they bought the little dumps that white folk would NOT live in, and they fixed them up"

I was born and raised in Oregon and there were very few Mexicans in C.O. ten years ago, news flash all the different trades and work was getting done, so the old argument that Mexicans do the jobs that white guys won't is a load of crap...! You are right about it being a political issue though because I blame our government for not cracking down on all of these greedy ass general contractors and subs that are using illegal help and turning even a bigger profit off of them. All well and good for the generals but they are under cutting everyone else trying to make a living wage and why you say? It boils down to culture because Mexicans will live 10 to 15 people to one house that is how they afford these homes and are willing to work for cheap because they don't get turned in that way; however, I don't want to live next to that, listing to mariachie music and the punk kids that always come out of first generation immigrants legal or not.

I would urge you to call me a culturist not a racist. The CCB should be leveling fines so heavily on generals and other subs that use illegal workers that it would darn near put them out of business and that way they would quit doing it in a hurry. As soon as there is no supply of work for our illegals then so goes the demand for them.

I'm not saying that some of them don't do good work but that is not the point. Many of them are here illegally and that is a major slap in the face to every immigrant that came here legally and assimilated into the culture.

Mark my words this influx of illegals is bankrupting our country, there are countys in S. Texas that are going bankrupt and I'm sure places in S.Cal. Once they come it is very hard to get the culture back the way it was. County assistance programs become taxed, hospitals that are delivering mexican babies one after another, food stamps the wic program you name it the tax payer gets fleeced..! I love children dearly as I have two of my own and hope to have more but I'm not having the tax payers flip the bill for them and heaven forbid especially don't want to pay for ones that shouldn't be here in the first place. I know they are just in search of a better life but some times life isn't fair, hey I'd like a million bucks and a big big boat to take to shasta but I don't have them. Yep your right I feel blessed to have been born into a free country but that doesn't mean I have to be a bleeding heart and accept illegals into this community and the culture they bring with them. You can bet your ass that when you travel abroad other countries don't bend over backwards to give you a hand out or allow you to be there illegally.

I tell everyone the next time you have to hire out some work on your home or landscaping talk with the owner of the company and ask who is doing the work and prod a little deeper try to find out if they are knowingly using illegal workers because I know many of you think you are just saving a buck I contend you are contributing to ruining a way of life for many here in this community. Making a conscious decision as to where your money goes and what you are supporting will help this community in the long run.

Ok, let the daggers fly I'm sure I stepped on a few toes.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

I'm sure I stepped on a few toes.

Not mine. I am baffled as to why we have made a law in this country, but have chosen not to enforce it at all. It's not right-wing insanity, it's more confusion as to why we are purposefully creating "gray-zones" in the law.

As citizens it is thrust upon us to figure out the "real thing" from fluff. So sneaking into the US is "OK" implicitly because of the lack of enforcement... what's next? Petty Theft? Exploitation of Illegals? Rape of Illegals?

But it is the implicit punishment of legal immigrants that gets my goat. We reward those who circumvent & break the law, and punish those who don't. Unbelievable. This simply gives people a huge incentive to break the law. And if they'll break immigration laws with total impunity, what's next? And talking to left-wing nuts about this is impossible:

Nazi: "By not enforcing this law, we telegraph that breaking all our laws is OK."
Lefty: "What! YOU'RE A RACIST!"
Nazi: "No, I just think selective enforcement of our laws leaves it open to citizen interpretation about was is and what is not legal."
Nazi: "I'm not sure what you're talking about."

And so it goes.

What happens to Canadian, English illegals? I am pretty sure we get them out. But if you're of the right country of origin, and you break certain US laws, you are given benefits denied even our own citizens. THIS is racism of the highest order. And the left is rabid in it's defense. But by God, try to have a 2 second rational conversation, and you'll get howls of NAZI RACIST CORPORATE OVERLORDS and other absolute nonsense.

I try to leave my political leanings out of here, but this is an issue with real consequences on the Cent OR economy, and RE. And if you're an American citizen in the trades around here, you are essentially unable to compete. And it is the result of a statute that we are unwilling to enforce. Instead of this hypocrisy, why don't we simply open out borders to anyone who wants in? Make explicit what is happening already.

Of course, we wouldn't really be a country at that point. We'd be the Worlds dumping ground. Hell, if I was running some ass-backwards third world turd, I'd ship unwanteds here and close my prisons. Be a big money saver.

Anonymous said...

I think that the country will go bust if we DON'T allow massive immigration (I'd prefer legal to illegal, of course).

The only way to pay for the retirement of baby boomers is with a massive influx of young labor.

Anonymous said...

The only way to pay for the retirement of baby boomers is with a massive influx of young labor

There is probably more truth in that statement than I want to admit. I have a feeling that retirement will not exist as the entitlement that people have come to enjoy rather it will be a perk of those that were able to invest well and for the wealthy. Many many people will be working into their 70's or until dead because social security ain't gonna get it done. Anybody under 40 better have a back up plan.

Anonymous said...

I can write until I'm BLUE in the face, if if a one of YOU had shit for brains, you would realize that the Mexicans ARE NOT the reasons that that they're hiring the Mexicans. Most of the generals are closet queers, and would much rather hire $50/hr white boyz with big muscles. The problem is that because of the bend-bubble, and the BLEED of paying for payments of houses that don't sell there is NO money to pay the subs, thus the mexicans pick up slack.

Blame NOT the brown man, but the stupid white-trash that runs bend that floundered all their money on the great real-estate scam.

Now that there is NO money, and nobody can afford to work the brown man pick's up the ashes of your stupidity, and YET your too DAMN DUMB to see your own failure. You blame those that eat the crumbs of your stupidity for your own starvation. White folk really are the most stupid folk on the planet.

Anonymous said...

Yo, Bendbust

I refuse to get into a battle of wits with an unarmed man so lay off the meth or crack pipe you seem to be hitting before you post your rants.

Problem with your argument is that by not talking about the real problem which is enforcing our immigration laws by not denouncing the fact many of them (Mexicans) are hear illegally you are encouraging their behaviour WHICH BY THE WAY IS ILLEGAL. No worries pal I'm not a general contractor just a guy who is tired of bleeding hearts like you coming to the aid of criminals.

The "Illegal Mexican issue" is and will continue to have a very adverse affect on our economy and the country as a whole until we deal with it appropriately, which is to start enforcing the laws.

Anonymous said...

.....Most of the generals are closet queers.........

There's a lot more homosexuality in the construction business than, well, just about anyone in the construction business would care to admit.

It's not a coincidence that the gay mobster Vito on The Sopranos was a contractor. Or that one of the members of The Village People was a construction worker. Or that gay nightclubs are often called something like "The Toolbox" or "The 2 x 4" or "The Drill Bit" - you get the picture.

Anonymous said...

My esteemed Ben Bust. My name is jambo. I am here in Zimbabwe. We too have a real estate over valuation. Our mud huts have gone from one goat to six goat in only two year. Every morning I enjoy reading about your Ben Oregon. You may be wondering why we have internet. Long ago a Mister Gates came to our village in zimbabwe and gave everyone a computer. We also have WIFI. We still don't have potable water or enough food. The condom boxes distributed are still always empty. Soon my husband may trade up to a larger hut as he thinks it may be worth a dozen goats next year. I wish I could get him to read about Ben Oregon. Everyone in our village is educated . Thank for for the thought provoking information.


Anonymous said...

.....Most of the generals are closet queers.........

There's a lot more homosexuality in the construction business than, well, just about anyone in the construction business would care to admit.


Thanks for the validation. The point is that our Generals would much rather have a white Hunk running around all summer with his shirt off, than a bus-load of tired mexicans.

There is NO sex appeal or status in having mexicans. Its all about money, and when you have NO money, and your bleeding because of over-building you must cut back on the pleasures of life.

If and when things get 'good' again in Bend, a new generation of well hung white kids running around all summer on job-sites in shorts will return.

Is that a 2by4 in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...


That's gotta be some sort of record. Of course, it had to go to White Slavery Gay Construction Workers and Bashing Mexicans to get there... but I think it's worth it.

Someone tell me you can hear the words "Village People" and NOT sing Macho Man.

Hey! Hey! Hey, Hey, Hey!

Macho, macho MAN! I want to be a MACHO MAN!

Hmmm... this is a sign I need to write another post....

Anonymous said...

It's too bad that the mere mention of "mexicans" became a forum for their bashing.

The MAIN original point, and I think that it is a valid point is that there would have been nobody to buy the little shacks, had the mexicans not gotten the money via sub-prime mtg's. Many contractors believe that its the mexicans that bought the shacks in Redmond, and Madras, that made it possible to sell the dumps in the first place. The new money of course moved everyone up, because the low end finally slowed.

In summary the mexican is a critical part of the bend-bubble. If the political forces did force exit on these people then indeed it would be a stake in the heart of central oregon real-estate.

Lastly a critical point that the IHTBYB has formally mentioned is that extended family's living ten to a house is a common mexican practice, and thus for them its completely affordable to purchase all the 3,000 sq-ft mcMansions that are on the market, and when they come down it will be the mexicans that can rationally purchase them

Have a good day.

Anonymous said...

Then let's hurry up and pop the bubble so all the mexicans will leave before all their little mijo's get old enough to start doing drive by's.

Anonymous said...

before all their little mijo's get old enough to start doing drive by's

Booyah.....! That's exactly what we'll end up with. Apparently we're all Mexican bashing because we want the illegals to be prosecuted go figure.

Anonymous said...

I grew up with our brown brothers. When I was a little kid in the 70's I went to school with lots of mexican kids, but they all spoke english and their parents did too. We were all part of the same culture regardless of our skin color. In the the early 80's things started to change. I went to school with mexican gangbangers, and trust me, people like our friend bendbust obviously never had to deal with it. The great thing about bend is you can legally carry a concealed handgun. So if things go the way I know they will if we keep a large illegal population here, at least people can protect themselves. I am not a racist, but when people refuse to assimilate into a culture you are going to have serious problems. Look at France. Massive riots by Morroccans who refuse to become part of france. They only want to take. And if you read this Mr. bendbust, do me two favors. Learn to spell and communicate in proper english, and make some legit arguments, not just a bunch of bullshit slogans.

Anonymous said...

I grew up with our brown brothers. When I was a little kid in the 70's I went to school with lots of mexican kids, but they all spoke english and their parents did too. .. I went to school with mexican gangbangers, and trust me, people like our friend bendbust obviously never had to deal with it.


I think we must of all grew up in tough areas, I got bussed in LA all through the 60's in East-LA, yes I was always a white minority everywhere I went until I came to Oregon. Even here the brown-skin folk know its a better place for their kids simple problem is too many people, and this is exactly what you bastards are going to do to Bend.

By 'bastards' I'm referring to the get rich quick folk that want bend to grow.

Everyone wants better for their kids, even Hispanics, The real issue here is my white-trash brothers don't respect humanity.