Sunday, May 18, 2008

Bend Oregon real estate: "Worst of the worst"

OK, this time I really will keep this short. I did the PPP yesterday, and I think I blew an O-ring.

Well, not really. But it sure as hell was the hardest exertion I've done in awhile. And a hell of a lot of fun. It's things like the PPP that makes me really like Bend, and makes me start to overlook what have started to seem like fatal, insurmountable flaws.

It's really odd. I see a lot of what's wrong with Bend, and link it to the Amenity Locusts that populate this place. And to date, I haven't had to interact with people like that much, for the most part. I don't "do" things like the PPP. And there is a certain "crowd" that does that. I think.

Oy. If you haven't figured it out, I'm just a person riddled with self-doubt (except when it comes to Bubbles bursting). And when I participate in something with people who I perceive to be the bane of Bends existence, and then they turn out to be all right... well, I just get a little guilty about throwing these people, as a group, under the proverbial bus.

I start to think Bend has a chance. That the people who in many cases participated in the Bubble, and in many cases fueled it, are actually within eyeshot of "normal".

And I got up today & watched "Houses of Sand and Fog", which is a really great movie about a real estate situation gone horribly wrong. And it is very hard to watch this thing, because the parallels between what happens in the movie, and what will happen to Cent OR resonate very strongly with me.

I encourage you to watch it, because it brings home something that a lot of people seem to overlook when the are grave-dancing or scavenging for busted situations; and that is that peoples homes are not just investments, they many times become objects that people imbue the whole of their self-worth in, their lives.

It's pretty easy to be cold about this stuff when it's not happening to you. And sometimes it's easy to be dispassionate when you think it's happening to people who "have it coming". And a hell of a lot of people around here "have it coming".

A way out with the short sale

More local homeowners who face foreclosure are turning to a rare option to avoid that fate

By Andrew Moore / The Bulletin
Published: May 18. 2008 4:00AM PST

The short sale.

In real estate, it’s the sale of a home or property for less than the amount owed the lender. The owner nets nothing on the sale and until recently, it also meant a tax liability, as the IRS considered the difference between the sale price and outstanding loan amount as income.

It’s not a favorable option, but a short sale can be the best way for a homeowner to get out from under a loan and avoid foreclosure, according to local real estate representatives.

Trouble is, a successful short sale is entirely dependent on the lender’s authorization. A seller may find a willing buyer, but unless the lender agrees to take a loss on the property, the sale won’t happen.

And as more homeowners near foreclosure — in Deschutes County, there were 528 notices of default, a precursor to foreclosure proceedings, filed between Jan. 1 and Thursday, a 303.5 percent increase over the same period last year — more homeowners are pursuing short sales.

Tom Greene, the president of the Central Oregon Association of Realtors, said roughly 7 percent of the homes currently listed in Deschutes County are short sales. That represents a huge jump, he said, as short sales used to be exceedingly rare.

“This is a new phenomena,” Greene said. “You used to run into them once every six months.”

Short Sale 101

The reason most homeowners ask a lender for a short sale — be it hardship, a job transfer or a bad investment — is to avoid foreclosure, said Cat Zwicker-Grant, principal broker with Desert Sky Real Estate in Redmond.

The upside of a short sale is it doesn’t negatively affect a homeowner’s credit score, the way a foreclosure would. The downside is the homeowner surrenders their investment in the home and has to certify he or she has not profited from the sale in any way. In addition, most lenders want proof a homeowner doesn’t have other financial means to pay for the loan, Zwicker-Grant said.

“You are asking the bank to accept a loss on your behalf, so if they do that, they want to know you are worthy,” she said.

In other words, if it’s a second home a homeowner is trying to short-sell, the chances a bank would accept one are slim, Zwicker-Grant said.

Filing for bankruptcy won’t help, either. If you can’t make mortgage payments, you can’t keep your home, said Deidra Cherzan, a Bend attorney who specializes in bankruptcy filings.

Bankruptcy law does provide exemptions for primary residences but only if the mortgage is in good standing and the filer can continue to make payments, she said.

The key to a successful short sale is to start the process early, Zwicker-Grant said. Contact the lender, and begin the application process. The next step is to list the house and find a buyer. If one is found, the buyer submits the offer to the lender, which approves or rejects the sale.

The trick is timing, Zwicker-Grant said. Most homeowners don’t begin the short-sale process until they are behind on payments. This often puts homeowners up against the clock.

A notice of default is generally sent out after 90 days of nonpayment, and a house can be put up for auction by a lender 90 days later. If no one bids on the home, it is foreclosed on by the lender and the lender assumes ownership.

Banks or lenders typically don’t want to own real estate, so even though they may take a loss on a short sale, it’s often less costly in the long run, considering the amount a bank would pay for title fees, to maintain a home, cover its taxes and pay real estate commissions when it sells, Zwicker-Grant said.

Zwicker-Grant said banks can be choosy when it comes to approving short sales and accepting bids. Like other sellers, they often hold out for the best possible deal.

“Just because the first offer came in, (the lender) looks at what’s going to close the quickest and get them the most money,” Zwicker-Grant said. “The bank is really in the driver’s seat.”

As of Wednesday, there were 131 short-sale homes listed in Bend and 68 in Redmond, representing roughly 9 percent and 7 percent of the listings in those markets, respectively, Greene said. Since Jan. 1, 17 short sales have closed in Bend and 34 in Redmond, according to Greene.

Valerie Hunter, principal broker at H & H Preferred Real Estate in Redmond, said she has helped close nearly 40 short sales in Central Oregon in recent months, the most she’s seen in the eight years she’s specialized in them. But as banks back up with short-sale applications, Hunter said the process is getting harder.

“Seventy-five percent don’t get successfully negotiated,” Hunter said. “It’s a lot of work to do a short sale, and I try not to do them anymore because they are becoming more of a headache.”

If a short sale is approved, and a buyer purchases the seller’s home, the seller is not completely out of the woods. In past years, the amount of the loan forgiven by the lender — the difference between the outstanding loan amount and the sale price — was considered taxable income by the IRS.

That changed in December when President Bush signed the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007. The act excludes income derived from debt forgiveness on a principal residence from taxation, but only for debt forgiven in 2007, 2008 or 2009.

For that reason and because of market conditions, Zwicker-Grant is seeing more homeowners take advantage of the process.

“Short sales have always been around, but we’ve never seen it so prevalent,” Zwicker-Grant said.

Andrew Moore can be reached at 617-7820 or amoore@bendbulletin.com.

It's pretty easy, especially in a forum like this one, to take this as the greatest news in the World. Short sales & foreclosures mean that for those of us who stayed responsible and held back from the insanity, we will get much better deals, and perhaps fulfill a life's ambition.

But these people who are going through this mess, whether responsible or not, are in many cases going to end up in terrible straits. They might be homeless, they might have kids. They might be unable to own a house again for many years. And to add insult to injury, many around here are losing their jobs.

I don't want to come off like a bleeding heart woosie (too late?), but ALL involved, whether owners losing their homes, or "vulture" buyers looking to capitalize on this deteriorating situation, and ESPECIALLY the intermediaries who MADE IT HAPPEN, should stop and take stock of this:

I said from Day 1 that there would come a day when ALL INVOLVED would WISH THIS THING NEVER HAPPENED. Even those who stand to capitalize, should step back & really think about what is happening here: People are losing their homes & jobs, and are faced with interminable and extremely uncertain circumstances. Again, some have kids & will be living in their cars.

There but for the grace of God...

Houses aren't stock certificates. We live in these things. We grow up in them. We make our lives here. And God knows MANY of those who fanned the flames of this thing are selfish asses, and no one wants to see them go down hard more than I.

But there are some who are not in that camp, who are simply caught in a bad situation. And in virtually every case I rationalized, "Hey, these are just rich Cali jerks who totally deserve to suck fucking air, because they caused this thing". And in a lot of cases this is exactly the case.

But I hope to retain some sort of respectful dignity about the situation, and remember that many of these people are going through horrendous circumstances, whether low-life Cali's or not, and human misery no matter the source should not be a source of glee.

Speaking of glee.

It is getting harder & harder to write this blog. I don't think I'm about to quit imminently, but this thing was started to first Convince People that there was in fact a bubble in the bursting. I know. Reading that sounds moronic, but Yes, I do remember that there were MANY who scoffed at this blog & it's predecessor & their commenters that Bend Is Immune, Bend Is Different, Bend Will Go Forever Upward.

Geez, and for awhile it seemed like they could be right.

We now know of course that Bend IS normal. Bend is a working town. Bend is NOT Aspen, and never will be. Bend must normalize. And unlike David Foster, who seems to intimate at times, that "normalize" means "plateau at the current level, with a steadily increasing volume, such that I might actually make a living again", I do not define it so.

Normalize to me means hitting some sort of parity with respect to local incomes.

And that means medians far, Far down from here, probably near $200K, or less.

And that means financial hardships unlike anything anyone has ever seen around here. At least not in the last 25 years.

And this just means a lot of personal despair. People going hungry. Sleeping in cars. Just misery.

So maybe I should grave dance a little less. Maybe you should not gleefully cheer a bubble ever higher (you know who you are). And maybe we should all try to avoid these sort of things in the future, if possible.

Because the end result is always human misery. That's it. Some get rich, many get poor, but the game is not really zero-sum because human misery is always produced in abundance.

I'll finish with bashing what became crystal clear to me this past Wednesday, but first a question:

What do YOU think best measures the economic impact of tourism in Central Oregon?

OK, I have my own answer, and I simply look for a parallel to the impact of a company.

But actually try to come up with your own answer before reading on.

OK?

My own personal answer is "revenue". Is this the perfect answer? No.

There are some non-profits that have no real "revenue" to speak of. There are wholesalers that have enormous revenue, but have little in the way of real net profit. There are banks whose revenue may not really reflect their local influence.

So my answer is revenue, although I realize it is not perfect.

COVA's answer to this question, with respect to Central Oregon tourism, is also revenue.

Plus Wages.

Yes, that is local Revenue Plus Local Wages.

Stop. Think.

If you were trying to sell your business, would you in any circumstance list your revenue as Revenue PLUS wages? No. Not unless your crazy. You'd just post revenue. You might also post wages as a separate item. But you would NEVER SUM THEM TOGETHER.

Wages are of course paid out of revenue. Summing them in any way is almost pathologically deceptive, if you were to try to describe "influence", or Economic Impact.

But this is exactly what COVA does.

This is an obvious falsehood, so what is the motive?

That should be clear, COVA has a clear motive to wildly overstate the economic impact of tourism to the area. It is after all a taxpayer funded boondoggle. And the dollars COVA receives are in direct proportion to Economic Impact it can show to local incompetents manning City Hall.

So what to do?

Step One is take a page from the lottery system: Wildly Overstate The Jackpot. If you ever take a close look at lottery payouts, you realize that the $100 MILLION dollar stated payout, is never so.

It is paid out over 29 years. It's like summing up your mortgage, and stating that as the principal amount. That's just dumb.

So COVA does the same, and they do it in such a blatantly wrongheaded way, that I never even thought to question what they would have ever meant by Economic Impact. I straight up assumed that it was revenue, based on room taxes, and other mechanical means.

No, there is a massive double counting. It's like a bank that counts not only loans among its assets, but ALSO IT'S DEPOSITS. Which are of course liabilities.

COVA's figures for Central Oregon Economic Impact are a 100% Fraud.

And I mean that 2 ways. First is the aforementioned egregious double counting. Next is the figures themselves are 100% manufactured.

Now I and probably others have long had their doubts, especially given the surgical precision of the "revenue", when if you can even operate a calculator, you now is 100% impossible. But this past Wednesday, COVA conspired with the Bulletin to put your fears to rest with their piece, "Tourism for the whole family".

I won't reprint it here, because you can view it in it's entirety online. But it seems like it may be in response to BEM's initial suspicion that COVA's figures were so old they must be very stale, and that their inherent precision made them extremely suspect.

They promptly INCREASED their figures a few weeks later. That was a few weeks ago. In this current piece, they have INCREASED the figures yet again, with the standard surgical precision.

Audette on Tuesday released the tourism agency’s 2008 Annual Report, which showed the impact of tourism in Central Oregon increased 5.2 percent in 2007 over 2006, to $570.7 million.

Ahh. Up 5.2%. Like clockwork. Just a smooth ride upward, ever upward. How relaxing. How enjoyable.

How wonderful in securing more taxpayer funding.

COVA MUST show a smoothly increasing trajectory of IMPACT or there may exist the possibility that, God forbid, their funding might be **gasp** reduced.

And so there is a large impact. Always.

The impact is Very Large (due to double counting), and very.... smooth. Huh. Up 5.2%, you say Alana Audette? Interesting.

As I look across each of the components of the Economic Impact Of Tourism In Central Oregon, Accommodations, Eating/Drinking, Food stores, Air/ground transportation, Recreation, and Retail sales, I am struck by two things:

First, What else is there! "Retail Sales"? I mean, my God, you included everything, then you threw in the kitchen sink for good measure.

"Air transportation"? What about the endless tales spun by The Bulletin about how the Redmond airport is almost overwhelmingly dominated by BUSINESS TRAVELERS?

"Eating/drinking"? My Lord. So when I take my kids to Baldy's, I 'm having an "Economic Impact" on Cent OR Tourism?

I thought Revenue + Wages was a recipe for double counting. What COVA "defines" as tourism related, is just inane.

Now I realize that they probably DO take some percentage of local eatery receipts... but how much? They've already shown a strong predisposition to inflating things for their own benefit, can we possibly assume they've done any different here? I don't think so.

Secondly, I looked close at the SOOTHING increases in EACH AND EVERY category. To paraphrase Sir Arthur Conan Doyle:

Gregory (Scotland Yard detective): "Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"
Holmes: "To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."
Gregory: "The dog did nothing in the night-time."
Holmes: "That was the curious incident."

You'd think that maybe the 5.2% increase we can so confidently depend on (Did I mention that Bachelor was DOWN sharply on the season?), seemed to be accompanied by each of the component REVENUE + WAGE impact rising almost as smoothly. Very smoothly. Each one.

Dunc, when your store is up 10% on the year, what are the chances that EACH AND EVERY CATEGORY IN THE STORE IS ALSO UP 10%?

Seems slim to me. Real slim. But this is Bend. A fantasyland where all your dreams come true, all trajectories are forever up, and by God, when they aren't, the fractions are adjusted the estimations are re-jiggered, and every little thing has an almost scarily perfect Stepford Wives precision to it.

Look closely at this graph. The ONLY down local area is Jefferson County. And each and every component is down in lockstep with the total drop there. The ONLY place you find MIXED results is in useless Wasco County, where retail sales fell $100K, and all else was flat or higher.

Not Bend. All is up, and each is up. Nothing left behind, all beneficial. Fantasyland. Xanadu.

The spice must flow...

157 comments:

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Oh Thank The Lord!

I always finish off a Sunday post, by reading the final comments of the previous week that I may have missed.

It looks like Buster has returned!

Seriously, I am glad the guy is "back". Might be rude. Might be an ass. But the fucker writes some of the greatest comments ever!

And marge. How was the vaca?

And Tim.

Go back folks & make sure you catch the last few comments from last week.

Good stuff!

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

"Re-print" of a partial copy/paste by Buster from the Oregonian, this is the whole thing:


Bend developer's problems leave losses, questions in wake
Desert Sun Development is beset by liens, unpaid creditors, big employee losses and a federal inquiry
Sunday, May 18, 2008
JEFF MANNING
The Oregonian

BEND -- As central Oregon's long real estate gold rush gives way to a grim new era of falling prices and foreclosures, few companies have crashed to earth harder than Bend-based Desert Sun Development.

The upstart operation, led by its intense 29-year-old founder, Tyler Fitzsimons, is under siege from lenders, suppliers and contractors who say they've been stiffed for millions of dollars.

But Desert Sun's problems go well beyond clamoring creditors, The Oregonian found in its examination of the company. It offered a homeownership program to more than 30 people, mostly employees, that has left many participants deeply in debt for houses that aren't complete or even started.

The employee program is one of several aspects of Desert Sun that have drawn the attention of FBI and IRS agents in recent months. According to people quizzed by the agents, investigators are focusing on Desert Sun's financing and its relationship with a bevy of Oregon banks, which threw millions of dollars at the company.

The unfolding saga reflects how the financial industry operated in central Oregon and elsewhere during the real estate boom. Banks lined up to back newly minted companies. They made huge loans to workers of limited means who couldn't afford the payments.

At Desert Sun, five ex-employees told The Oregonian their incomes were inflated or their signatures forged on loan applications or other financing documents.

Now that some of those loans have defaulted, banks are going after some of the employees with foreclosure threats. But in many of the Desert Sun transactions, there is no house to repossess -- only land worth a fraction of what is owed.

"I owe $290,000 for a piece of land that is probably worth $70,000," said Casey Cross, a former Desert Sun electrician who owns an empty lot in Sisters. "I'm one of the lucky ones. It's just me and my dog. There are good people with families just getting crushed."

Fitzsimons dismisses allegations of wrongdoing as unfounded "gossip" spread by bitter ex-employees. In a recent interview, Fitzsimons said Desert Sun's problems came about when the banks, rocked by the weakening economy, stopped lending.

"There's nothing malicious going on," he said. "Yes, we're a victim of the market decline. But so is everybody else."

Riding the boom

Before it fell under a cloud, Desert Sun seemed like a homegrown success story. Fitzsimons and his team of motocross-riding twentysomethings came out of nowhere to thrive during the boom.

Fitzsimons, of Prineville, started his first residential construction company, called Sunrise Northwest, when he was 19. In August 2004, he joined forces with close friend Shannon Egeland, co-founding Desert Sun.

The company developed hundreds of thousands of square feet of commercial and industrial business parks. It diversified by buying an auto body shop in Bend and forming a helicopter flying school in Redmond. It started work on a huge indoor motocross arena, also in Redmond.

At its peak, Desert Sun employed more than 110 people. The company's success enabled Fitzsimons to buy expensive toys, including a 2006 Ferrari 430 Spider, boasting a base ticket price in excess of $200,000.

Desert Sun had no retirement plan, but it did offer the employee homeownership program, which its Web site likened to a 401(k).

The plan seemed straightforward enough: Desert Sun would build a home for employees, taking care of design, materials and construction. Employees could buy the completed home from Desert Sun at cost and assume monthly mortgage payments, or sell it and split proceeds 50-50 with the company.

Employees said they were told they could make from $15,000 to as much as $75,000 per house.

Other builders interviewed for this story said they don't offer similar benefits, though most said they sometimes give housing discounts to workers.

The Desert Sun plan was not without risk for participants. The company pledged to cover all costs, but to fund the building, employees had to take out construction loans in their own names.

That meant employees were ultimately responsible for repaying the loans, which generally ranged between $300,000 and $500,000. But the banks handed the money directly to Desert Sun and employees had little if any involvement in how it was spent.

Still, it sounded like a great idea to Krystal Chamberlin, an accounts receivable clerk at the company. Chamberlin worried that her limited income -- the single mother earned about $27,000 a year -- would disqualify her. She said Fitzsimons urged her to participate, saying the financial benefits would be crucial for her and her 2-year-old daughter.

Chamberlin was delighted to hear in November 2006 that National City Mortgage had approved a $477,000 construction loan. She agreed to have her house built in the Roaring Springs subdivision of Sisters.

Cross, the former Desert Sun electrician, borrowed $415,200 from Columbia River Bank for his house in Sisters.

About 20 employees joined the program, buying lots in Bend, Redmond or Sisters. More than 10 others, mostly employees' friends and family, also participated. Egeland got his mother, sister and two uncles signed up. Between them, they got more than $14 million in construction loans.

The program apparently worked for some employees, particularly for those who joined early. Aron Warner, a company excavation foreman, had a house built in Redmond and made good money, he said, when he sold it.

But many more now find themselves liable for large monthly loan payments on homes that need thousands of dollars of additional work before they're completed. On top of the completion costs, subcontractors and suppliers who allege they've not been paid by Desert Sun have filed thousands of dollars in construction liens against several of the properties.

Oregon lien law generally allows unpaid subcontractors and suppliers to pursue homeowners for payments owed by the general contractor.

Garret Towne, Desert Sun's former marketing director, said he owes $380,000 for the house the company built for him in Bend. Desert Sun never finished the house.

Towne estimates it will take $18,000 to complete it plus $28,000 to pay off the subcontractors and suppliers who have filed liens against the property.

Towne, a Realtor, figures that the house, if finished and free of liens, today would fetch $340,000.

At least Towne has a house that is mostly complete. Some are in much worse shape.

Chamberlin owes $284,000 on her property in Sisters, though not even the foundation is complete. At least 20 others now own vacant lots in Sisters, where they were promised finished homes. About 10 others own partly finished homes in Sisters and Bend.

Making a profit

The employee program was more lucrative for Desert Sun.

Deschutes County property records indicate that the company enjoyed six-figure profits on the sales of some of the lots.

On July 5, 2007, for example, Desert Sun Holdings bought lot 24 in the Village Meadows subdivision in Sisters from Redmond-based Allen-Rose Homes for $155,000. That same day, the company flipped the lot to employee Roger Howell for $269,900.

Desert Sun sold eight lots in Village Meadows for nearly $1 million more than it paid for them, Deschutes County records show.

Jeremy Kendall, now second-in-command at Desert Sun, said the company's profit on the lots was not that large. Desert Sun had paid out some additional money to get the land under contract months prior to the sales to employees. Kendall wouldn't specify how much.

Alleged forgery

Desert Sun ran into tough times last year as the region's real estate market cooled.

Company co-founder Egeland left last spring, followed by Towne in June. Egeland declined to comment.

In a June 1, 2007, letter, Bend lawyer David Brown notified Desert Sun and West Coast Bank that his client, former Desert Sun worker Kevin White, was pulling out of the loan program.

"It has come to White's attention that someone involved in this transaction forged White's signature on closing documents," Brown wrote. "Furthermore . . . it has been represented that White's income is $9,600 a month. Obviously, Desert Sun knows this is not the case."

Even in Bend at the height of the boom, 22-year-old framers were not making $115,200 a year. In White's case, it was more like about $33,000 a year.

Other former employees say their income was inflated as well.

Lenders, subcontractors and suppliers circled Desert Sun, filing nearly 50 lawsuits against the company since last fall.

It began to dawn on the employees, most of whom had left Desert Sun as the company ran into hard times, that the company wasn't coming through with their promised homes. Worse, they were on the hook for the monthly loan payments they never expected to have to pay.

Becky Wilson, wife of former Desert Sun construction supervisor Mike Wilson, in November approached Bend lawyer Edward Merrill for help. Others followed, until Merrill represented about a dozen former employees.

The Wilsons' daughter participated in the housing program and has only a vacant lot in Sisters to show for her $254,000 debt.

The daughter got her loan from Columbia River Bank, based in The Dalles. Columbia River, along with Community First Bank in Bend and Lake Oswego-based West Coast Bank were major lenders to the ill-fated housing program.

Merrill declined repeated requests for comment. He has warned clients against going public, lest it erode his negotiating position.

So far, neither Desert Sun nor the banks have settled.

Federal investigators

The situation further heated up early this year when FBI and IRS investigators began circulating through central Oregon.

Todd Grover, a Bend attorney representing Egeland, said his client is cooperating with investigators.

"It's early in the investigation, everything and everyone is on the table," Grover said. Investigators are talking to "Desert Sun principals, participants in the housing program, the lenders. Nobody has gotten a pass."

Craig Emerson, a Redmond lawyer representing Fitzsimons, said he and Fitzsimons have made records available to investigators.

Chris Kardani, assistant U.S. attorney in Eugene and head of the Desert Sun investigation, declined to comment.

None of the lenders would comment for this story. John Berge, a Bend attorney representing Community First, said investigators have asked the bank to provide certain documents relating to its relationship with Desert Sun.

Some of the employees have gone to those lenders, hoping for relief, or at least to explain the circumstances of the loan.

Cross, for example, called Columbia River Bank for more information on his loan. He said he got a call back not from the bank, but from Fitzsimons, who told him to quit making trouble, Cross said.

Some lenders are beginning efforts to collect on the loans.

On April 25, National City Mortgage notified Chamberlin that because of the lack of construction progress, it was declaring her loan in default. It asked for immediate payment of the $284.159.63 outstanding.

Cross has left central Oregon. But he worries that ruined credit could be only the start of his troubles resulting from the Desert Sun fiasco.

"It's the worst of the worst," Cross said.

Meanwhile, Desert Sun hasn't gone out of business, but Fitzsimons is attempting to move on. He formed a new company, TFMH LLC., in January. A month later, eight lots in Sisters were transferred to that company from a Desert Sun affiliate. In February, according to Deschutes County property records, Columbia River Bank gave the new company a $3.4 million line of credit.


Jeff Manning: 503-294-7606; jmanning@news.oregonian.com

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Holy shitballs. We're fucked.

My God. I wonder where & when this place will hit bedrock reality. How much of this place is so much fake titties?

Keep drinking the Kool-Aid folks. The spice must flow...

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

And I can't help but reporting this from last wk:

Anonymous said...

Margie's not the only realtor on this site... so just in case she's still on vaca, here's what up so far for may (bend homes on lots, no acreage, no townhomes, trailers, condos, etc):
38 sold
306k median
1678 inventory!
VS 07 same time:
71 sold @ 397.5k median

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

"It has come to White's attention that someone involved in this transaction forged White's signature on closing documents," Brown wrote. "Furthermore . . . it has been represented that White's income is $9,600 a month. Obviously, Desert Sun knows this is not the case."

...

Meanwhile, Desert Sun hasn't gone out of business, but Fitzsimons is attempting to move on. He formed a new company, TFMH LLC., in January. A month later, eight lots in Sisters were transferred to that company from a Desert Sun affiliate. In February, according to Deschutes County property records, Columbia River Bank gave the new company a $3.4 million line of credit.


Of course Bend attracted these fly-by-night thieves en masse. This thing is CRIMINAL, but by God the top brass is "moving on" to part as many fools & their money as possible.

No repercussions, no nothing. These people should go to jail.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

"There's nothing malicious going on," he said. "Yes, we're a victim of the market decline. But so is everybody else."

Fucking liars.

Anonymous said...

I wonder where & when this place will hit bedrock reality. How much of this place is so much fake titties?

There IS no bedrock reality here anymore. Years ago a longtime Central Oregon resident, and a very wise man, said to me, "Growth is our only industry." He was right. What do we have to sell to the world except our (mythical) "300 days of sunshine" and our (almost equally mythical) "quality of life"? The Bend economy is nothing more or less than a Ponzi scheme, depending for its continued existence on a constant influx of fresh suckers.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

"It's the worst of the worst," Cross said.

Had to rename this weeks title to this. Just too good to pass up.

Thanks for the lead on that Buster. That's about the best RE story since Fishers went bananas in the Source.

Since Brooks "donated" the land upon which The Bulletin sites... we probably won't get such blunt reporting locally, folks.

Did all mark my words about people getting PERP WALKED out of their offices lo those many months ago?

Again: This will get so much worse than anyone thought possible.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

There IS no bedrock reality here anymore.

True. This place is so much hot air and Hummers and inflated paychecks and fake titties (or is it inflated titties & fake paychecks...?), that it's hard to see where a bottom might happen.

And it will spread & take down so many legit, non RE-related businesses, and hence jobs & people. It's going to be a nightmare.

Wow. That Oregonian piece is just a jaw-dropper.

I guess we can expect that new Desert Sun HQ on Greenwood to go up for lease soon.... it has a LOT of company.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Another "Good News" blog about Cent OR called I Quit My Job

First entry sounds like they're off to a good start:

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The job market here in Bend is bleak at best. The local economy has been hit hard and quite a few of the larger employers are cutting costs and downsizing. It's a different environment than So. Cal. for sure. There, getting a new job may be a matter of considering a longer commute. Here, when it's dry, there's nothing.

I'm exploring the virtual assistant arena but could use some suggestions of what works and what doesn't. Help!
Posted by Bendthusiast at 8:52 AM

Anonymous said...

"Go back folks & make sure you catch the last few comments from last week.

Good stuff!"
===

Yes, Good Stuff indeed.

Like this gem from buster:


"Chump change $1M here $500k there, ... $2.5M over there, and no record. Remember et-all the pussy was going file a complaint with the governor over six months ago."
---


I think that pussy promise is now more like 9-10 months old, but who is counting right? Maybe if we all forget, then pussy can continue to spout off, instead of hide in shame. Yes, in shame that he is "all talk, no action" on this point.

Of course, his retort is that he does go to CC meetings, and gets public records, and emails city bozos, and he even blogs. But that is only activity, not action.

And to think that our pussy had so much promise, with his claim to write up the illegal actions done behind closed door Exec Session mtgs.

But he was just a pussy teaser; all talk & no action. And no shame either.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

My own suggestion?

You might want to head back to Cali. You're getting your first TASTE of the BEND OREGON LIFESTYLE:

-No Jobs
-No Wages
-This ain't So Cal
-That Virtual Assistant shit don't fly in a place where 96% of the indigenous population thinks the internet will steal your soul.
-You're screwed

Another one bits the dust. These are the people who will constitute the OUT-MIGRATION from Bend folks.

FBI & IRS investigations. Deluded Virtual Assistants To Be. Fake Titties & Paychecks.

Nothing's as it seems when you're drinking the Kool-Aid 24/7.

Bend will be the Biggest Financial Cluster Fuck ever recorded.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

But that is only activity, not action.

Best quote of the Day!

Epitomizes The SO-CAL LIFESTYLE that was so enthusiastically exported to Bend. I know SO MANY PEOPLE who completely confuse ACTIVITY vs ACTION. So much sound & fury signifying nothing.

Not you Brucey. Just strikes a chord...

Anonymous said...

But that is only activity, not action.

Best quote of the Day!

Epitomizes The SO-CAL LIFESTYLE that was so enthusiastically exported to Bend. I know SO MANY PEOPLE who completely confuse ACTIVITY vs ACTION. So much sound & fury signifying nothing.

Not you Brucey. Just strikes a chord...

+ + +

You wiped out my last brain cell on that one...

How can it possibly be the best quote of the day AND ALSO NOT describe the BruceyPussy??

It is just describing BP and his furious activity polishing his 10,000 page manifesto that is not, nor ever will be submitted as a Exec Session violation complaint.

The Best quote of the Day was describing BruceyPussy to the tee.

Oldest quote of the day:
I calls them as I sees them.

Duncan McGeary said...

Not only are many of the newcomers perfectly nice people, but I have to believe that many of them were mislead.

I wouldn't have much sympathy for them if I had encountered something like that myself.

When I went in for my Heloc, I had in mind a certain type of loan. I was pressured into a different kind of loan. It wasn't a disaster, as it turned out, but it wasn't what I went in for.

So I have a bit more understanding of how people can get talked into things.

Still, it's not about whether we like these people, or sympathize with them.

This was a housing bubble, with hell to pay, and it isn't time to slack off in your critique now. Normally smart, well informed people are still not quite up to speed on what's happening.

All your scorn and sarcasm just makes it more readable.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

This Desert Sun implosion is Yet Another "What's Coming Down" feature that'll never see the light of day.

Will we hear about some lame-ass rehab job done on 9-unit rental home? Yes.

Will we ever hear about anything (except huge fiasco's like Columbia) about the folding of Bend's Biggest & Brightest RE Stars?

Well, not from the Bulletin. Maybe from the Oregonian, though, or The Source. In Costa-ville, nothing ever Goes Out Of Business.

Duncan McGeary said...

Bendthusiast......Sally....it that you?

"I even practiced The Secret. How could I not get the job?? I threw a pity party for myself for one day, then was ready to move on. In the grand scheme of things, something better must be out there for me."

That's just too, too perfect.

timothy said...

"Virtual Assistant?"

What the hell? Did someone just make that up? Is that a custom-made-for-Bend job?

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Normally smart, well informed people are still not quite up to speed on what's happening.

I mean DAMN! If they don't know what the hell is going on by NOW, they are NOT "normally smart"!

But yes... the half-life of a Kool-Aid induced poisoning can last quite awhile.

I guess I'm **starting** to see Busters point though... if they haven't caught on by NOW, they probably don't want to. And this blog will play no part in changing their minds.

Some people WANT to stay blind to what is going on, even in their own lives. THAT is why so many short-salers actually go into default before investigating the short-sale route. I think most, though, KNOW they will not qualify. Read that piece: NO BANK will agree to a short sale unless you are ALREADY BANKRUPT!

Most people probably figure "What the fuck, I'll just default, stop feeding the beast, and see what happens, maybe go BK", cuz a short sale DOES NOT HELP 99.999% of all people.

That bank wants your ass broke before they agree to a short sale, and you should UNDERSTAND that is ALL THIS ARTICLE IS ABOUT: Banks want people to come to them FIRST, before they have PIDDLED AWAY their meager savings for luxuries such as food & gas, and they WANT FIRST CRACK AT THAT MONEY.

Don't believe this Bank-Fueled Bullshit: Once you start talking to your Bank about a short-sale, they will exhaust all avenues to part you from ANY MONEY you currently have. They want every nickel.

Believe me, you're fucked either way, and you might as well retain anything you've got, and let your banker suck air.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Bendthusiast......Sally....it that you?

Wow, that's true.

1) Completely deluded
2) Bullshit job title pulled out of ass
3) Almost certainly a couple of humongous big double D's installed
4) Unreasonably optimistic right up to the point of a porno/suicide.

Come back Sally! Come Back!

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

About Me

Bendthusiast
Living the good life in beautiful Central Oregon!


This poor woman is fucking screwed.

Like watching lemmings go over a cliff.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

A pretty good rant over at BendOregonRestaurants about the Source's "Dining Guide for 2008".

Excerpt:

Not counting the chain restaurants like Applebees or Outback...I can only think of La Costa Azul as not making the list but I don't know if they're even open anymore. So if basically every restaurant is in this list, why are they referring to the Dining Guide as "100 of Our Favorite Dining Spots?" I mean, that's all there is.

Sorry Source dudes, but he's right... that is pretty funny. Your Dining Guide is like The Drake Awards: There are so many categories, honorable mentions, and whatnot, that it becomes basically statistically impossible not to win something.

timothy said...

Sally was a spoof, a lark. Social commentary.

This is different. This is real. I think I know who it is. Not 100% sure, but I believe the job she gave up was a good one at St. Charles.

I think it's a sign of how rich we are. People think they deserve some theoretical good life. You don't find people who think this way in a poor society. Sure, you DO find entrepreneurs in poor societies, but they assume they are going to be working 12 hour days. They are AMBITIOUS.

What we have in 21st century America are people with enough time on their hand to get all weird and existential. Bend is perfect for these people. They drive their SUVs out to Elk Lake, sit at the edge of the lake and think deep, important thoughts about bugs and trees, and say, "Ah, THIS is what I deserve."

Depression-era people would not recognize us as Americans.

My Dad worked all day at the same company for 35 years. There was no, "I should quit my job and be the person I want to be."

Sure, you can WANT to improve your lot. Quitting your honest-to-god-good-health-care-field-job to be a virtual assistant doesn't leap to the top of my list of ways to do it.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Wow. The Return Of The King... errr, I mean Buster has given me a renewed zest for unloading on the miscreants & fucksticks who created this RE Bubble boondoggle bullshit.

Welcome back Buster.

Seriously. Does anyone else just get a little renewed sense of vitality when Buster unloads? Shit I was having a serious case of the Dog Days of Summer about this thing before today.

I'm as bloodthirsty as ever!

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

I think it's a sign of how rich we are.

True. I think we're on the crest of a mega-wave of just super-affluence fueled by a credit-creation tsunami that will end with the US as a marginal superpower, like Britain.

Seems impossible, but I'll bet if you went back 100 years and asked any average Brit what they thought of INDIA, CHINA, JAPAN, and BRAZIL being more important economies than THE UNITED KINGDOM in 3-4 generations, they'd have left you for crazy.

Folks, China IS The Next World Superpower. That is 100% preordained. Nothing will stop that. Ridiculous government debts (which loosely translates into personal debts) as a result of excess MINDLESS IMPERIALISM has been the downfall of damn near every civilization from the beginning of time.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...


I think it's a sign of how rich we are.


I think it's even more precisely a commentary on the sort of person that is attracted to Bend. Sitting by Elk Lake, etc. Dreamers. Specifically, dreamers willing to dissipate the sum total of their assets contemplating their navel.

I know SO MANY people here like that. So many.

Beware: Self-discovery is some EXPENSIVE shit.

timothy said...

I've known my share of self-discovery types.

The sensible ones did it in a one-bedroom apartment with the aid of lots of cheap beans and rice. They read eastern metaphysics and sat in the lotus position on the rug they still had from kindergarten nap time. They had the occasional boyfriend or girlfriend to help pay off some debts, until said lover got sick of being used.

Obviously this is a new and exciting type of short-fuse self-discovery person that barely has enough time to figure out how quickly they are self-immolating.

Anonymous said...

Good info I got today from a 'friend' who bought a Tetherow 'lot' on a what the fuck purchase; I mean low price, let the lot stand until 2025 and make a ROI better than inflation.

He got a notice. Guess what, they're paying nobody, contractors, landscapers, everyone is NOW NOT being paid. This could mean that there will be NOT much of a golf-course for the July-1 OPEN. I'm mean how in the fucking hell can open a course that is supposed to open July-1, and NOTE season ends OCT-30.

Here it is ONE MONTH from opening, and NOT even the fucking mexicans that drive the little John-Deere Lawn Equipment are getting paid.

This is some big shit. My prediction, is our own SORE-HO+BULL will be calling Tetherow the biggest collapse of Bend confidence in history.

Just fucking imagine. Note only are most people Bend now out of a job, and no jobs to be found, but most working people are not even going to get a paycheck, and yet keep working.

Suppliers, everyone, Tetherow is FUCKED.

Sometime in the next 90 days, all the lawn equipment is going to get REPO'd.

Can you imagine the people who paid top-dollar for those five acre lots, and actually thought it was going somewhere?

There is NOTHING left to sell.

What's happening now is collectors are trying to go after LOT-OWNERS, they're now the only pocket left to pick.

Hey want to buy a Tetherow Lot for $10K??

Anonymous said...

I spent the eve last night bar hopping in DOWNTOWN BEND.

Good move, another tidbit of news from the ground.

Almost every kid I talked to said "My roommate just bailed", why?? They don't want to work for $5/hr. Now I have friends who have been working for low-wages for a year now, because they can't leave. They own, or there older. They want to stay in Bend, they work for min-wage, or they drive to Pronghorn for work, or Baker, ...

But these kids they can leave, and they're leaving. Where? Seattle, Redmond. BOEING is HOT. Ripple effect, BIG plane orders, and everyone is building, anyone can make money up north of Seattle. NOBODY can make a fucking dime in BEND.

SOON the only people that will be left in BEND are broke morons.

There are NO FUCKING jobs here.

Smart fucking kids I tell the kid in the bar thats still here, there's even going to be less work in a year.

This all ties back into HOMERS short-sale report. Folks that OWN here in BEND can't leave, so they stay, and try to work at $5/hr, but those that can leave, those that don't OWN a BEND-NOOSE are bailing.

The DEEP was empty last night, DESCHUTES was empty last night, this isn't about PPP, this town is now in the silent fucking panic.

EVERYONE is laying off 50% in food/retail, ...

The SALONS of Bend will just silently die. It's so fucking slow at OUR BEND Stocatto that the kids are fighting, front staff versus kitchen. You can't have on average 80 kids ( merenda, stocatto, ... ) sitting around on min-wage, making no tips, with NOTHING to do.

Final report. SUPER-BURRITO has gone to shit, I hate the new spot you can't park, but yesterday back from a hike, I got my favorite green-chile burrito, it was all fucking beans. At the old place it was ONLY meat, there was NO fucking beans. The price went from $3.50 to $5.00, and all-meat to NO-MEAT, nobody was there, just a few white folk, the old place was always full of mexicans getting $1/tacos.

The new Super-Burrito is DOOMED.

Taco-SHack NOW HAS no COMPETITION.

Smart, ambitious kids are bailing.

Next prediction. 500 of BEND's bike shops are going to fucking IMPLODE.

Anonymous said...

My Dad worked all day at the same company for 35 years.

In the modern American economy you couldn't work at the same company for 35 years if you wanted to. The company will say you're dead wood and fire your ass so they don't have to pay you a pension.

timothy said...

Regarding Tetherow. Remember when Tetherow hired that impressive PR lady away from the Old Mill. Anyone actually checked to see if she's still at Tetherow?

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

They had the occasional boyfriend or girlfriend to help pay off some debts, until said lover got sick of being used.

Dude, is my brother in town?

timothy said...

As anyone can see from google, Heidi Berkman was at Old Mill in July. Took a job with Tetherow in August. Was very active with Tetherow through October, then all of the sudden had her own consulting company in November.

Not a long tenure. Wonder how things looked from her view.

Anonymous said...

Please, you tell me is what "The Secret". I wish to now know it.

And you please inform to me "PPP". I necessary this information. I am no good w/o it.

Anonymous said...

Can you imagine the people who paid top-dollar for those five acre lots, and actually thought it was going somewhere?

*

Dude, there aren't any five acre lots in Tetherow. Try making up something more believable.

Anonymous said...

"In the modern American economy you couldn't work at the same company for 35 years if you wanted to. The company will say you're dead wood and fire your ass so they don't have to pay you a pension."

No companies have pensions anymore, they have 401Ks and you fund them yourself.

timothy said...

Sorry, that's incorrect. There are still a lot of companies with pensions.

Not as many as there used to be, but still lots of pensions out there.

My aunt is an actuary working for a firm that sets them up. Still a lot of demand to set them up for various business and tax reasons.

Anonymous said...

Hey you moronic potato heads! I'm working on my next invention. It's a solar and pigeon shit powered horse urine remover.
All I need now is some cheap land to set up on at Tetherow to make these god-fartin' things!

Bye bitches!

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

It's a solar and pigeon shit powered horse urine remover.

I like this guy. Still inventing crazy crap at 1:20AM. Good job dude.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Just re-read David Fisher's "Manifesto" about getting his ass fired from the Bulletin. Just a little excerpt to remind us exactly what is going on in this town:

I told him during that meeting on Feb. 28 that I felt that the editing job on my Feb. 26 story was part of a pattern of editing that included misleading headlines, sources being banned from my coverage, story ideas getting spiked, and odd pre-story cajolling, all of which seemed designed by the executive editor to generate more favorable coverage of the local real estate market than I have thought was best in the two years I have been assigned to cover it for the paper. I further told him that, although I believed that the articles I had written for the paper were as thorough and as accurate as I could make them, the utter hack job that was done on my Feb. 26 story had led me to conclude that the paper was not willing to cover the industry as honestly as it should, given that the housing market -- which is economically important to the paper -- is now in the midst of a steep downturn.

Anonymous said...

I want to say one more thing about this tired site.

The only one who says that people are clueless in Bend about the DEMISE of the town is DUNC aka Ned-FUCKING-Flanders.

They come into the comic shop ...

cali-"hi, what do you think of buying a house in Bend"

ned-"howdy, fine day, want a free comic, homes, everyone needs a home, buying a home in bend are we?"

cali-"Is it really a good time"

ned-"Time is always good in Bend, want a free comic?"

Cali walks out the store, and proposes same question at Salon, or Merenda.

Ned jumps on HOMERS fucking blog and asserts "Many people still don't think Bend is fucked".

NO fucking FLANDERS, your incapable of fucking listening and telling people the fucking truth, because your a nice guy, ass fucking kisser.

I meet NOBODY anywhere week after week, that doesn't have a bad story to tell about todays BEND.

Psychological were at bottom, the realtors have gone from denial to anger.

Those that can leave have left or leaving in MASSE.

Now the point of this FUCKING blog, there is NO fucking point, other than humor, and calling the SORE & BULL for what they are, ...

p.s. It doesn't matter whether lots at Tetherow are 5,10,20, or 2 acres, if you even near the place, your fucking with a rattle-snake.
It's going to fuck you up bad, the place is bad for all, and the only folks that made money was KNIFE-RIVER they got $25M, and they're done and gone.

It's over, now fucking what?

Duncan McGeary said...

Not only isn't it over, it's barely begun.

You and I were on the hillside screaming at people to get away from the shoreline when the first tsunami hit.

But for some reason, now you're down on the beach proclaiming it's a great time to pick seashells when an even bigger wave is on its way.

I get your argument that credit will be much worse down the road, but that doesn't negate what I see as huge drop in prices yet to come.

Save up your cash, and your can waltz into a new house in a couple of years -- if you still want to.

I guess I'm taking the most negative stance here, since both you and Paul-doh seem to think the worst has happened.

As far as people not being aware -- it is what I see every day. They aren't engaged in the problem, they don't think it will affect them. I'm saying that those who are aware aren't aware enough. That it is going to end up affecting EveryOne in Bend.

LavaBear said...

As far as people not being aware -- it is what I see every day.

I'll second you there. I was at a PPP party over the weekend. Spent time talking to several REHO's. Each and every one I spoke to all were down right excited about the traffic in the last few months and the offers they had written. Yes, this past winter was damn hard on them but now look at the pending sales. The kicker was that NONE of them had actually closed. All were pending due to short sale, lending issues, contingent on buyers home selling first...but they had OFFERS and that was what mattered.

Typically I'm the overly cynical, bearish bastard in our house, yet we left the party and my wife commented on how utterly delusional the REHO's were.

Anonymous said...

People aren't aware.

Last week I talked to two individuals that took their house off the market waiting for better times. One said "I'm not going to give it away."

Sorry. You bought in 2006. You are going to have to give it away.

One of my neighbors just put his town home on the market, for about 30% more than he should even be dreaming about getting. He is his own agent.

Clueless.

timothy said...

But you guys are just talking about people with vested interests. Of course they aren't "aware." It's a deliberate non-awareness.

That's why I say the fight is over. Everyone knows we're fucked except for the people who can't afford to realize it. More talking does nothing. The only thing that will cure the delusionals is years of not selling houses.

Anonymous said...

"Guess what, Tetherow is paying nobody, contractors, landscapers, everyone is NOW NOT being paid."

I've been thinking about doing some volunteer work in the community -- this presents an opportunity.

Yellowbeard said...

RE: Desert Sun and Fitzsimons, IHTBYB said:

"Of course Bend attracted these fly-by-night thieves en masse. This thing is CRIMINAL, but by God the top brass is "moving on" to part as many fools & their money as possible."

The article said that Fitzsimons is from Prineville. Isn't this an example of non-Calis fucking over their own kind for a goddamned percentage?

Anonymous said...

those guys were in waaaaaay over their heads.

I like to ride motorcycles, let's build an indoor facility

I like to fly helicopters, let's start a helicopter flight school.

Hmmmm, what else do I like....

I have dealt with DSD and always thought something was funny about them.

Anonymous said...

The article said that Fitzsimons is from Prineville. Isn't this an example of non-Calis fucking over their own kind for a goddamned percentage?

Yep. There seems to be this illusion that only "Calis" are greedy bastards. As somebody who has watched Central Oregon good old boys in action for many years I can tell you many of them are the greediest and most unscrupulous bastards you'll ever not want to meet.

Anonymous said...

I want to say one more thing about this tired site.

<< most excellent rant deleted >>

It's over, now fucking what?

+++

It ain't over until Brucey Pussy finishes his 10,000 page Exec Session Complaint to Judy Stiegler, the Chair of the Ethics Commission, the place where they spank the asses of the bad Public Servants who abuse Oregon's Open Meeting Laws.

BruceyPussy, how about an update on that complaint?

Need some editting help?

I am sure that Buster, Ned, Homer or even myself could add some choice adjectives to your manifesto.

Anonymous said...

I guess I'm taking the most negative stance here, since both you and Paul-doh seem to think the worst has happened.

*

Those are your words Ned, with the need to write everyday, comes the trend to tell others what they said.

What has been said is that EVERYONE is this pathetic town knows its over. Now the slow collapse, as only those with CASH to hold them over 2-5 years will survive.

What got my goat about the Ned Flanders ( dunc ) line, was this assertion that many in Bend still don't know. I too was out this past weekend, and I saw clueless dumb brain-dead blonds talking about all the stuff for sale between Bend and Powell butte.

It doesn't escape anyone that its over.

From a contrarian point of view these are the best of times if your looking for a deal. The state of panic of the mind is NOW. In 2-3 years at 'real' bottom, by then every vulture in the world will be circle-ing Bend, right now is the time to pick the good flesh off the rotting corpse, if you know what to look for.

Regarding your assertion it will go lower yes, but the 'best' stuff is to be picked over NOW. That's a fucking difference, that's why I'm a multi-multi-millionaire, and you rent your office space.

bruce said...

Just got back from a couple of nice days on the coast, and your COVA post is right on. More later, but here is a short string of emails with Sonia about using some of that room tax money for making our city look good for the tourists actually coming here.

You know, like patching the pavement in from of Cascade Brewery's roundabout...

"No monthly budget review?

Bruce Ewert to sonia
show details May 7 (13 days ago)

Hi Sonia,

Don't we usually receive the prior months budget numbers in the mid-month meeting? I was reviewing the agenda and didn't see it listed. Do you have the regular detail report? If so, please forward it to me. I am especially curious to see the TRT numbers.

I agree with your suggestion on funding the tourism board. And would go even farther. Since ORS 320.350(6) allows up to 30% of TRT revenues to be used for city services, why not cut back on ads and use some of these funds for things that improve the customer experience. Like patching the potholes in front of Cascade Brewery. Making sure the most popular bike routes are swept and free of glass. Things like that.

I plan on making a statement about this tonight.

Regards,

Bruce Ewert
Bend Weekly

sonia andrews to me
show details May 7 (13 days ago)

Bruce,
Our monthly report usually goes to the 2nd Council meeting of the month so it'll be available for the May 21st meeting. The staff are still reconciling and closing our April numbers. We collected about $228,000 in TRT for the month of April of which 30% or $68,000 was allocated to the Tourism fund.

I wish we could use the TRT like you suggest but my understanding is that ORS requires 30% of TRT receipts to be used for tourism related activities such as promoting tourism vs patching potholes for tourists. Anyway good thought.

Sonia K. Andrews
City of Bend
Finance Director
(541) 312-4902

Bruce Ewert to sonia
show details May 7 (13 days ago) Reply

Sonia,

Sorry, I was getting ahead of myself on the budget.

FYI ORS on TRT's:

320.350 Tax moratorium; exceptions; uses of revenues. (1) A unit of local government that did not impose a local transient lodging tax on July 1, 2003, may not impose a local transient lodging tax on or after July 2, 2003, unless the imposition of the local transient lodging tax was approved on or before July 1, 2003.

(2) A unit of local government that imposed a local transient lodging tax on July 1, 2003, may not increase the rate of the local transient lodging tax on or after July 2, 2003, to a rate that is greater than the rate in effect on July 1, 2003, unless the increase was approved on or before July 1, 2003.

(3) A unit of local government that imposed a local transient lodging tax on July 1, 2003, may not decrease the percentage of total local transient lodging tax revenues that are actually expended to fund tourism promotion or tourism-related facilities on or after July 2, 2003. A unit of local government that agreed, on or before July 1, 2003, to increase the percentage of total local transient lodging tax revenues that are to be expended to fund tourism promotion or tourism-related facilities, must increase the percentage as agreed.

(4) Notwithstanding subsections (1) and (2) of this section, a unit of local government that is financing debt with local transient lodging tax revenues on November 26, 2003, must continue to finance the debt until the retirement of the debt, including any refinancing of that debt. If the tax is not otherwise permitted under subsection (1) or (2) of this section, at the time of the debt retirement:

(a) The local transient lodging tax revenue that financed the debt shall be used as provided in subsection (5) of this section; or

(b) The unit of local government shall thereafter eliminate the new tax or increase in tax otherwise described in subsection (1) or (2) of this section.

(5) Subsections (1) and (2) of this section do not apply to a new or increased local transient lodging tax if all of the net revenue from the new or increased tax, following reductions attributed to collection reimbursement charges, is used consistently with subsection (6) of this section to:

(a) Fund tourism promotion or tourism-related facilities;

(b) Fund city or county services; or

(c) Finance or refinance the debt of tourism-related facilities and pay reasonable administrative costs incurred in financing or refinancing that debt, provided that:

(A) The net revenue may be used for administrative costs only if the unit of local government provides a collection reimbursement charge; and

(B) Upon retirement of the debt, the unit of local government reduces the tax by the amount by which the tax was increased to finance or refinance the debt.

(6) At least 70 percent of net revenue from a new or increased local transient lodging tax shall be used for the purposes described in subsection (5)(a) or (c) of this section. No more than 30 percent of net revenue from a new or increased local transient lodging tax may be used for the purpose described in subsection (5)(b) of this section. [2003 c.818 §11]

Link: http://www.leg.state.or.us/ors/320.html

Right now we are using 100% (plus) of TRT receipts to fund the BVCB. ORS 320.350 allows us to reduce this to 70%, spending up to 30% on city services.

Regards,

Bruce"

bruce said...

Re: BruceyPussy, how about an update on that complaint?

Need some editting help?

No, I need a new printer. My old Laserjet IIIp finally died. Got one?

Schools over soon. I want to get this done.

Anonymous said...

Kook wrote: "That's a fucking difference, that's why I'm a multi-multi-millionaire, and you rent your office space".

Way to blow out your status fag!

bruce said...

Big news at Mt. B in today's BULL.

Best line of the article:

Herwig Demscar. PowdrCorp's COO, said Mt. B's next general manager would need to be highly skilled in communications and marketing.

Yep, get them there and give them a shitty experience, so next time they go elsewhere. Just like the whole city of Bend and it's harem of PR sluts.

bruce said...

More regarding the usage of transient room taxes:

From Bend City Code:

7.036 Administration.
(1) Tourist Fund.
(a) A special fund called a Tourist Fund shall be established for the purpose of promoting tourism within the City of Bend. From the effective date of this ordinance until December 31, 2002, 24% of the monies collected pursuant to the tax imposed under Bend Code Section 7.012 shall be paid directly into this fund.

Thereafter, an additional 1.2% of the monies collected under Section 7.012 shall be paid to this fund each year until the total payment reaches 30% of the monies collected under Section 7.012. This increasing percentage shall be instituted as follows: From January 1, 2003 through December 31, 2003, 25.2% shall be paid into the fund; From January 1, 2004 through December 31, 2004, 26.4% shall be paid into the fund; From January 1, 2005 through December 31, 2005, 27.6% shall be paid into the fund; From January 1, 2006 through December 31, 2006, 28.8% shall be paid into the fund; and from January 1, 2007 onward, 30% of the money shall be paid into the fund. The Tourist Fund shall be used for the promotion of tourism as defined in Section 1 of HB 2934 (Oregon Laws, 2001), and the city is authorized to enter into contracts with the Bend Visitor & Convention Bureau, the Central Oregon Visitor’s Association or other entities deemed worthy by the City Council to carry out this purpose.

(b) Amendment to Tourist Promotion Fund. A decrease in the percentage of the monies to the Tourist Promotion Fund, or a change in the definition of the Tourist Promotion Fund, shall require a vote of the people as provided in Section ___ of the Bend Charter.

[Section 7.036 amended by Ord. No. NS-1796 passed August 15, 2001]
[Section 7.036 amended by Ord. No. NS-1813, passed January 19, 2002]


I'm just thinking out loud here, and posting this so I can find it. IIRC, COVA is getting 100% of the TRT. Next, have to check the budget and see.

bruce said...

OK, from the Budget Detail being presented tonight:

TRT Y-T-D
Budget $2,207,250
Actual $2,049,185

Tourism Fund Resources from TRT Y-T-D
Budget $939,667
Actual $878,222

A simple bit of math shows the Tourism fund is actually receiving not 100% and not 30%, but rather 42.8% of the TRT. The required contribution of 30% equals $614, 756, or $263,466.

We could free up well over a quarter-million to clean up our streets if we simply reduced the TRT contribution to the Tourism fund to the required amount.

Instead, COVA will probably come begging for more, if they haven't already.

bruce said...

Actually, on that last post I may be off base. Comparing the summary to the detail, it seems that the TRT is being split into two parts before it enters they Detail Budget. Adding the detail amounts from the GF and the Tourism Fund gives me the total TRT shown in the Budget Summary. Dividing the Tourism Fund portion back into the total gives me 30%.

So that blows that idea out of the water. Unless tourism as defined in Section 1 of HB 2934 is broader than just COVA.

bruce said...

Nope, it's narrowly defined in the actual law resulting from HB 2934

(f) “Tourism promotion” means any of the following activities:

(A) Advertising, publicizing or distributing information for the purpose of attracting and welcoming tourists;

(B) Conducting strategic planning and research necessary to stimulate future tourism development;

(C) Operating tourism promotion agencies; and

(D) Marketing special events and festivals designed to attract tourists.


The bill summary before enactment included a nice little out:

(6) “Tourism promotion” means activities and expenditures designed to increase tourism, including but not limited to:

and then listed A through D above verbatim.

Kind of funny how that one little part changed.

Anonymous said...

I think the market is nearing the bottom. My renter has informed me he is looking to buy a house this year and if so he will move out.

Anonymous said...

What about the new townhome project at Seventh Mountain Resort on Century? www.pointswestbend.com
Says 62 units on the website. Just opened.

Anonymous said...

"What got my goat about the Ned Flanders ( dunc ) line, was this assertion that many in Bend still don't know .... that's why I'm a multi-multi-millionaire, and you rent your office space."

Buster set the bait, but Duncan isn't biting. I expected there to be some fireworks on that one when I opened this up today.

Instead, Duncan is paying attention to the Mt. Bachelor fiasco. Looks like the Corp. is setting itself up to lose a shitload of institutional knowledge. It'll be interesting to see how smoothly things run next season.

bruce said...

Re: What about the new townhome project at Seventh Mountain Resort on Century? www.pointswestbend.com
Says 62 units on the website. Just opened.

Been watching them build it--whole lots of money in moving rock. Seem to be working at a very slow pace finishing up the first building for a model.

You can see it from 16 at Widgi.

bruce said...

So tonight the CC is considering selling the corner of 14th and Galveston for $100K.

Even though the City RMV is $215K.

Even though the developer, Pete Wilkinson, bought the adjoining property for $430K.

Anonymous said...

Which corner? Pete Owns the entire corner with little pink shack on it, the other is victorian cafe,parillo grill and rigoberto's

bruce said...

Re: Which corner? Pete Owns the entire corner with little pink shack on it...

No, he didn't own the empty part between his little house and 14th. Until now. He paid $440K for his little house he is tearing down, but only $100K for the almost same size lot with a house already torn down and asbestos already abated.

The taxpayers of Bend ate $72K on this, including the asbestos abatement work.

Yet another giveaway. Don't try to actually sell something. Just have an interested party have their own appraiser value it, and sell it to them for that price.

Of course, it's even better if someone on the CC, say Peter Gramlich, submits a design for your proposed building that is included with your application to buy said property.

Imagine that, the City buys property and improves it, a prime commercial piece, at a cost of $172K, and turns around and sells it to the guy who bought the adjacent property, about the same size for $440K, for $100K. When the City is in deep fucking financial stress.

And Pete W. gave me a big "fuck you" wink as he left the CC meeting tonight. Pete "I've lived here for 18 years, I'm going to build something nice, I'm underwater on my other properties on Galveston, I'm just a poor mortgage broker..."

Pete can take his fucking shaven head and neck rolls down to the D&D to find a hairy lover. It doesn't matter, because this fucking city is going to tank precisely because it keeps doing stuff like this.

bruce said...

BTW, the John Russell/Pete Wilkinson manhug after the vote was just a bit too much.

I'm starting to think more and more that John Russell, the Econ Dev Director, needs the boot.

Want to hear something funny, though?

CC member Linda Johnson actually fucking asked Russell what it was that the Econ Dev Department was and did.

Huh?

I mean, how fucking clueless do you have to be to be promoted to the CC by our local media?

bruce said...

The most ironic thing was this BS went down in 10 minutes after the CC spent almost an hour justifying cutting BAT service to save $140,000.

In the end, on a 4-3 vote, the CC decided to hold off on cuts until after the results of the November election.

Jim Clinton and Mark Capell were the only ones who even tried to slow it down some. Clinton wanted to know why sell something without listing it, and Mark wondered about the appraisal, even suggesting that we (gasp) may want to get an independent one.

Eric and John were both in support of staff recommendations, while Sonia seemed to be seeing the appraisal for the first time while she paged through it sitting in front of me.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

I guess I'm taking the most negative stance here, since both you and Paul-doh seem to think the worst has happened.

Dude! I think we're in for the slow mega-grind of the century! Down below $200K! Decades of despair! 40% downtown vacancy!

Geez, I didn't think I could get more negative.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

CC member Linda Johnson actually fucking asked Russell what it was that the Econ Dev Department was and did.

Linda Johnson is the one who spurted with glee about the "affordable housing" Lava Court APARTMENTS going condo before they'd even broke ground.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

The most ironic thing was this BS went down in 10 minutes after the CC spent almost an hour justifying cutting BAT service to save $140,000.

Yeah, this time instead of throwing the poor a bone when their cup runneth over, they're actually having to take from Peter (Knife River, etc) to pay Paul (BAT riders, other poor lowlifes). After the Golden Goose died they had to choose between greasing palms of the old-boy network & giving poor schlubs rides to work.

This should be no surprise.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Bachelor hopes 4 firings will help ski resort evolve
By Jeff McDonald / The Bulletin
Published: May 22. 2008 4:00AM PST

While locals were still trying to make sense of Tuesday’s firings of four top-level officials, the chief operating officer for the company that owns Mt. Bachelor ski area said the moves would help change the culture at the mountain.

The mountain needs to find more creative ways to handle recurrent issues with maintenance and weather-related shutdowns and communicate those challenges with the public, said Herwig Demschar, chief operating officer for Park City, Utah-based Powdr Corp., which owns Mt. Bachelor.

The company fired Matt Janney as the general manager after just 10 months and three other longtime employees as a means to overcome years of a stagnant culture resistant to change at the ski area, Demschar said.

Mt. Bachelor’s next GM will need to find a creative way to deal with an old nemesis — rime ice — which sometimes can jam the ski area’s lift equipment until the chairs have been repositioned and the ice removed, he said.

Communicating the problem to the public will be a key challenge, Demschar said.

“We don’t want to overpromise,” Demschar said. “But we have to make changes in our culture to be competitive in the ski industry.”

Trust issues

Powdr Corp. and Janney’s successor also will need to regain the lost trust of locals, who crriticized the ski area this year as a result of lift stoppage problems and other maintenance-related issues, said Mike Hulsey, 61, a ski patroller at Mt. Bachelor who took last year off to recover from an injury.

“They’ve lost the faith of local skiers,” Hulsey said. “People still want to go because it’s the local mountain, but if they had a choice, Mt. Bachelor would be empty.”

Addressing the need for improved maintenance at Mt. Bachelor, the ski area will add five new full-time lift maintenance positions, build workshop space around Summit Express chairlift and provide maintenance employees with additional tools and equipment, Demschar said.

Plans started during Janney’s tenure, including a master plan initiative and a $3.4 million investment into mountain improvements for next year, would be continued under Janney’s successor, who could be hired within the next four weeks, Demschar said.

“We have to find a new GM — a new face for the mountain — it’s not going to be easy,” Demschar said. “Our main objective looking into the future is to have people saying that Mt. Bachelor has the best skiing in the western part of the U.S.”

‘Things are not where they should be’

A former coach of both the Austrian National Ski Team for nine years and the head coach of the U. S. women’s alpine team for four years, Demschar joined Powdr as its No. 2 official behind CEO John Cumming in April 2007.

“After looking at the whole thing for a full year, I believe that we were not reaching our full potential as a resort,” Demschar said. “We need to do a better job communicating with the community because the gap between what we charge and what we deliver is too big.”

Aside from Janney, Powdr fired three employees who had among them six decades of experience at the ski area: Carly Carmichael, director of marketing; Mark Perry, the food and beverage director; and Ernie Pool, director of operations.

Janney declined comment for the story. None of the other three former employees could be reached for comment Wednesday evening.

“I’ve been watching for a year, and things are not where they should be,” Demschar said. “Some people may think we’re crazy and others think it’s all good, but in the long run, we want people to be able to walk away with positive memories of their ski experience — and say they’ll come back.”

While the rest of the state’s ski areas are projected to eclipse an all-time single-season record with 1.95 million visitors, Mt. Bachelor’s visitation declined by 7 percent through its closing date Sunday, according to data released Tuesday by the Pacific Northwest Ski Areas Association.

Shocking news

The news that Janney had been fired came as a shock to Chuck Kenlan, executive director for the Mt. Bachelor Sports Education Foundation.

“From a standpoint of MBSEF, things were going in the right direction,” Kenlan said. “Matt’s communication with us was really good. There were things that came up that were not so favorable, but I saw things turning around.”

Kenlan, who had worked at Mt. Bachelor for 15 years before he became director at MBSEF, had met with Janney to discuss renewing the ski area’s summer operations, which would have kept the mountain open longer in the summer for both locals and groups from out of town, he said.

“Mt. Bachelor was willing to take a loss in the past — we were discussing ways to make it pay off,” Kenlan said. “It would be good for our organization and good for the city of Bend to put that back on the map.”

Former ski patroller Hulsey said Janney did the best he could with limited resources provided by Powdr.

“Maybe they should bring in their own people, but this is a community mountain,” said Hulsey, who served for 13 years as a ski patroller on the Mt. Bachelor National Ski Patrol at the ski area. “They’re addressing this like it is a Vale (ski resort) or a Sun Valley, but it’s not. They need the support of the local people.”

Powdr’s Demschar stressed Powdr’s long-term commitment to Mt. Bachelor and said his company will need to find someone to replace Janney who would be able to establish lines of communication with the public.

“People have to understand what the challenges are,” he said. “I know what it means to go up to the local mountain to ski with the family. We want people to have the best experiences possible.”

The company has no plans to sell Mt. Bachelor, Demschar said.

“People need to understand that we take it serious and believe in making change,” Demschar said. “We were watching it last year and saw challenges. We thought it was about time to take the next step.”

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

The company has no plans to sell Mt. Bachelor, Demschar said.

HEIL HERWIG!

I wish I had a kickass Nazi name like HERWIG DEMSCHAR.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Fed forecasts slower growth, higher joblessness
Posted by The Associated Press May 21, 2008 12:14PM

The Federal Reserve today sharply lowered its projection for economic growth this year, citing blows from the housing and credit debacles along with zooming energy prices. It also expects higher unemployment and inflation.

Even with the more downbeat outlook, Fed officials left the impression that they would not be inclined to cut interest rates further. The decision at the Fed's last meeting on April 29-30 to reduce rates was a "close call," according to minutes of those private deliberations released today.

Fed officials viewed economic activity "as likely to be particularly weak in the first half of 2008; some rebound was anticipated in the second half of this year," the documents stated.

Given the hope of a second-half economic pickup but worried about inflation, Fed officials signaled last month that their one-quarter-point rate reduction, which dropped their key rate to 2 percent, might be their last rate cut for some time.

Under its new economic forecast, the Fed said it now believes gross domestic product will grow between just 0.3 percent to 1.2 percent this year. That's lower than a previous Fed forecast, released in late February, that estimated growth to be between 1.3 percent and 2 percent.

The Fed projected that the national unemployment rate will rise to between 5.5 percent and 5.7 percent this year. That is higher than the central bank's old forecast for the rate to climb as high as 5.3 percent. Last year, the unemployment rate averaged 4.6 percent nationally, 5.2 percent in Oregon

With energy prices marching upward, the Fed raised its projection for inflation. The Fed now expect inflation to be between 3.1 percent and 3.4 percent this year. That's higher than its old forecast for inflation, which was estimated to come in at around 2.1 percent to 2.4 percent.


-- The Associated Press

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Yup.

The Fed has officially acknowledged that it would NOW be pushing on a string to do anymore rate cuts.

Growth is imploding.

Inflation? Hmmm... go to the grocery store or gas station & check for yourself.

That sucking sound from the South was 420 pts leaking from the Eternal Optimists on Wall St who closed their eyes & repeated, "There's no place like home. There's no place like home...", for the past few rate cutting months.

You always wonder when people will shake themselves free of their own delusions. It's now...

I'm very surprised these people could not see thru to the end of these cuts, and plainly see there would be no more juice to keep this thing from imploding.

Next: Bear Stearns II

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

I was reading Dunc's post, Scapegoats?, and I think Powdr has poisoned the pond on this thing. Blasting a bunch of locals out the hatch, while corporate is just harvesting the hell out of Bachelor.

Not a good idea. There will be more than a few Conscientious Objectors come next season.

Bachelor is NOT Bends Ski Resort, anymore. It's the enemies Home Base.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Someone (Jared Folkins?) over at BendBB has come up with a new site that scrapes DIAL data, and then puts it out in a nice map, graphed & tabular form.

http://redb.org

It's freakin sweet, and a good idea. Good job dude!

P.S. If viewed in some anon proxies you will not see the graphs & maps.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Although, when looking at the charts, there is ALWAYS a dip in the median & avg $/SQFT in 2006, despite the fact that prices are almost always WAY higher. That implies that in 2006 there was a huge uniform JUMP in the size of homes sold.

I'll grant you that there is probably a decent increase in the size of homes around here during the Bubble, but there seems to be something screwy with that 2006 data.

Might have a look at that....

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Maybe I spoke too soon about 2006 have data anomalies. I think I may have just happened to check 3-4 that looked funny.

That's a great little site.

I sure as hell hope they keep working on it, polishing etc... it could even be a nice little money-maker for them.

Try fusioncharts.com, or even google charts. I dig Old School, but most people want flashy bullshit these days...

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Bend council takes 'gamble,' heads off transit cuts

Posted: May 21, 2008 10:01 PM

Vote 4-3; goal to hang on until after fall transit funding vote

By Barney Lerten, KTVZ.COM

Again faced with a lousy pair of choices, Bend city councilors voted 4-3 Wednesday night to forestall any cuts to Bend Area Transit this year. A bare majority proved willing to take the self-professed "gamble" of much deeper cuts next January, should a planned public transit district proposal fail to win voter approval in November.

The council first found itself between a rock and a hard place when it decided to fund a fixed-route transit system in 2006, despite voter rejection of two funding proposals that included transit money. They took the step in large part due to community surveys that repeatedly found a transit system was among the top priorities.

Councilors at the time decided the mixed message from the public was: Find a way to do transit, but don't ask for more money. They found a way to do so, but only at political and financial cost, including a big legal mess over balky, breaking used buses.

The council wrestled with the proposed cuts Wednesday after about a dozen people, mostly senior or disabled residents, pleaded with them not to cut the noon hour of weekday BAT service. Earlier, councilors had signed on to a creative way to shift funds and head off another proposed cut, to eliminate Sunday service by the city's long-time, appointment only Dial-A-Ride service.

It should be noted that while the testimony was dramatic, even emotional, any tension was broken by frequent jokes and laughter, principally involving the mayor and some councilors' rare attire: wearing ties.

The city's Public Transportation Advisory Committee had urged dropping the Sunday DAR cut, and during a work session, city staff offered a way to do so, using money for handicapped curb ramps, which in turn could be funded by federal Community Development Block Grant money.

Applause greeted several speakers at the hearing, including Earl Williams, who pointed out what councilors well know - that transit is the only way for many seniors, disabled and the like to get around - many of them veterans.

"Let's prove our patriotism," Williams said, followed to the lectern by people in wheelchairs, people with seizures, all asking that transit be spared.

Councilor Jim Clinton proposed the six-month wait on any transit cuts, noting that even though BAT is "just a skeleton system compared to other cities," it needs to be maintained. He said he was doing so even though the post-election situation, if the proposal fails, "is going to be very ugly," with much deeper cuts.

"The city doesn't really have enough money coming in to run a proper transit system," Clinton said, "but I think it's a risk worth taking." Colleague Peter Gramlich seconded the motion, and the discussion was on.

Councilor Chris Telfer told Clinton she was "not opposed to your idea," but noted the city already has cut 33 jobs to balance its budget, and asked, "given the red dot-green dot approach," where the added funding would come from. When Clinton's response was unsatisfactory, she said, "so we're just deferring the problem," and Clinton agreed.

Councilor Mark Capell said he, too, wants transit, "but I also would like to see in exchange what we're going to cut. I don't think saying, ‘We'll cut next year' is a realistic approach."

"I think the cuts that are being proposed today are really very minimal," he said. "If the transit district fails, we really have, in my mind, two choices: Start making cuts like we propose now on a very regular basis, until the we've bled the system to nothing, or we just shut down the system."

Councilor Bill Friedman said he was "intrigued" by the proposal.

"It's an interesting gamble, but it is a gamble," Friedman said.

Mayor Bruce Abernethy noted the "unbelievable heat" the council has taken, from the media and public, since it decided to start a transit system without voter-approved funding.

"If we make no cuts" in transit, he said, with all the other departments feeling the pain, "we're saying transit is the No. 1 priority in the city budget. I'm not prepared to go there."

Councilor Linda Johnson called it a "very difficult" decision but also pointed to big funding shortfalls in areas like road repairs, snow removal, and sewer and water infrastructure not keeping pace with growth.

"If there's any easy fat in the budget, it was identified and eliminated long ago," Johnson said. "I would love to go along with Jim's proposal. I can't move forward with the gamble of, ‘Let's wait and figure it out later. I just can't go there."

Newly named permanent City Manager Eric King (once a contract is agreed upon) said the issue also becomes one of timing, as even a November voter approval of a transit district would bring no property tax revenues until July 2009 at the earliest: "I'm still concerned about our cash flow problem."

Gramlich said it's clear the problem began because "the city council brought BAT online without stable funding," and he said a "real storm is brewing in January" without vote approval of a transit district - which ne noted is "not an automatic thumbs up" due to BAT's highly publicized problems since its startup.

Abernethy said advertising revenue is worth pursuing but won't close the gap; Clinton urged staff to look at a proposed fare increase, balancing higher fuel costs against the ability of people to pay.

Friedman said he would support the hold-off-cuts proposal "because it (the transit district" has to happen."

City Finance Director Sonia Andrews said she, too, was uncomfortable taking such a step "without identifying a source of revenue," but Clinton said folks were "making a bigger deal of this" than necessary, pegging the half-year figure at $70,000: "It's not like we're talking $10 million. It's not that big of a deal, in the big budget picture."

When it came time to vote, Abernethy, Friedman, Clinton and Gramlich were in favor of the delay in transit cuts, with Capell, Johnson and Telfer opposed.

As the audience filed out to a waiting Dial-A-Ride bus, several thanked the council for their decision.

"The ball's in your court," Friedman told Michael Funke, a local labor organizer with Central Oregon Jobs with Justice, who had urged councilors not to make the transit cuts.

"The ball's in all of our courts," Funke replied.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

When it came time to vote, Abernethy, Friedman, Clinton and Gramlich were in favor of the delay in transit cuts, with Capell, Johnson and Telfer opposed.

Straight up party line vote, right there.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

U.S. Q1 OFHEO home prices down 1.7%
By Ruth Mantell
Last update: 10:13 a.m. EDT May 22, 2008

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- In the first quarter U.S. home prices fell a seasonally adjusted 1.7% -- the largest quarterly price decline on record, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight reported Thursday. Prices fell 3.1% in the past year. In the prior quarter, prices declined 1.4%. For March, prices fell 0.4%. The OFHEO index is based on repeat sales of homes mortgaged through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

timothy said...

>>“We need to do a better job communicating with the community because the gap between what we charge and what we deliver is too big.”

So, are they charging way too much or way too little?

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

the gap between what we charge and what we deliver is too big.

Well, what they deliver is nearly zero, so charging anything at all is overcharging.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Gramlich said it's clear the problem began because "the city council brought BAT online without stable funding,"

DUH! The stupid fuckers assumed the Revenue Avalanche would last forever, and that funding BAT (or The Worlds Biggest Ball of String, or a Shag Carpet Museum, or any of a thousand other dumbshit ideas) would be easily funded by an ever-rising tide of revenue.

Wrong. Now we're gonna pay. Or more specifically, City workers will pay, THEN we'll pay.

I'm just glad that Chris Telfer, one of the Band of Seven Thieves, instead of being blown out the hatch in SHAME, DID NOT LOSE HER JOB, but was in fact promoted by the voters to State Senator.

Typical Deschutes County Bizarro World Bullshit. If you are an utter failure as a politician, CAUSING THE LOSS OF JOBS OF OTHERS, you are promoted.

Same with Don "The Hump Job" Bauhofer: Fucker has done nothing but fuck people over start to finish, has never made a dime on a project, but still manages to extort everyone he comes into contact with out of MILLIONS, because locals love getting fucked in the ass financially by this man.

Awesome.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

And the Biggest Fuck Job of 2007, of course, had to Kurz-Tek Mega-Humping, when we got a picture of some cranes on a napkin (JR Master Plan) and a $5 gift certificate for Grocery Outlet, at a cost of $2.5MM.

Again, those who voted this in GOT PROMOTED. Now that we're going broke, it's time TO FIRE CITY EMPLOYEES & PROMOTE THOSE WHO MADE THESE DISASTROUS DECISIONS.

We have ourselves to blame. We voted these maniacal fuckers in, then promoted them when their failure has reached an almost impossible crescendo.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

And don't forget the Imminent Domain theft of a local Water System that cost taxpayers TENS OF MILLIONS.

Anyone get their ass waxed for that?

No.

Those who made the decision got promoted.

Those who implemented it got canned.

MORAL: Always Be HITLER, never the SS.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Given all this, I should probably remove Patty Moss from the RIP list.

She'll never get her ass canned in this fucked up place. Anywhere else in the US, she'd be gone long ago. Not Bend. She'll probably become Mayor, Oregon's Governor, or some crazy fucking shit.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Wow. I've just had an epiphany.

Marketing.

Marketing is the difference between those who get promoted & those that get fired.

Bend City Council gets interviewed every 5 minutes, and probably get more free marketing than any individuals or businesses in the area.

City workers get ZERO MARKETING. Hence, they get fired.

Conclusions? This Erik King guy, if he keeps going in front of the camera, will soon be Mayor. I don't give a shit about his job performance, cuz that doesn't matter in the least around here.

If he's even passable, he'll be Mayor. If he's decent, he'll be a State Senator. If he's good, he'll be Governor.

One thing is for sure, if he gets KTVZ crews within 10ft of him enough, he cannot lose.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

CACB: $8.70/sh. Mega-multi-year low.

Anonymous said...

Is Mt Bachelor toast or is it Powdr Corp at Mt Bach toast?

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

And it's PERSONAL MARKETING that works, NOT business marketing. Notice that Capell shamelessly promotes HIMSELF, not his lame-ass CMIT bullshit business. Telfer, Gramlich... all the same. Self promoters.

These people are desperate to get OUT of the business World, and into the celebrity World. Cuz you can't fire a fucking celebrity. THEY FIRE YOU.

Fuck. Stuff like this sets all I learned in Bus School on it's ear.

Promote Yourself, NOT Your Business. Be a pathetic celebrity, and you cannot be fired.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Is Mt Bachelor toast or is it Powdr Corp at Mt Bach toast?

If Powdr Corp's most recent "budget" to fix Bachelor sticks, then it's dead. That was some of the most wrong-headed fix items I could think of.

These stupid fuckers (Powdr exec's) need to go incognito to Bachelor & rent/ski the thing and get stuck in the lines, get caught on a lift, and basically get fucked around, before they will ever have a clue about what to do.

You can tell, they are party line bureaucrats who wouldn't know a good line decision if it flew up their ass and laid eggs.

Anonymous said...

Paul Doh: Fed up like me?


Ron Paul "The Revolution - A Manifesto"

Frédéric Bastiat: The Law

Buy em - read em

Granted, a simplistic answer to your outpouring of posts this morning but nonetheless...good reads my friend.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Ron Paul "The Revolution - A Manifesto"

Ron Paul: Proof that well-marketed incompetents will rule the World, and well-meaning, grounded, under-marketed politico's will be "re-branded" as marginal wonks.

I'll look for that book.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

CACB has gone into free-fall. $8.56 & plunging...

timothy said...

ICBINB,

There's a term for "free marketing."

It's called "PR."

bruce said...

Finally had a chance to peruse the comments, and I love this zinger:

Dude, is my brother in town?

Or my brother-in-law in my case.

So who the fuck will let me print my 10,000 page manifesto off on their laser printer? I want it sent to the pols. It will be finalized this weekend, after one more go-around tomorrow about my lack of status as a good enough reporter to be allowed into an "Executive Session".

Got a nice copy of Google News with my byline on it, too.

Anonymous said...

Kinkos...
...if you can't handle their pennies per page, I'll chip in a buck or two.

bruce said...

Re: ... like it is a Vale (ski resort)...

Dude, Vail is one of the biggest, most well known ski resorts in the country.

And you can't even spell it right?

Makes me wonder...

bruce said...

Re: “We have to find a new GM — a new face for the mountain — it’s not going to be easy,” Demschar said. “Our main objective looking into the future is to have people saying that Mt. Bachelor has the best skiing in the western part of the U.S.”

Dude, you're high. I would say you've never been to Jackson, Little Cottonwood Canyon, etc. But I know you have, since you have a resort in Park City.

If you try hard enough, you could possibly have the best terrain park in the western US.

What a fucking stupid statement. Doesn't bode well for next year.

Mt. B the best skiing in the western US? No way. Maybe in Oregon.

bruce said...

Re: “We need to do a better job communicating with the community because the gap between what we charge and what we deliver is too big.”

OK, I know this has already been commented on several times, but it is by far the stupidest fucking statement I've heard in a long fucking time.

Perhaps Herwig would consider bringing what he delivers up to what he charges, rather than spending a bunch of money selling newbies. Newbies are expensive. Oldies that come back year after year are cheap. Alta learned that 50 years ago.

bruce said...

Re: Conclusions? This Erik King guy, if he keeps going in front of the camera, will soon be Mayor. I don't give a shit about his job performance, cuz that doesn't matter in the least around here.

Actually I have a little hope in Eric. He's a Wisconsin boy, like me. Hard work, no BS, ask the stupid question that cuts to the chase.

Re: Kinkos...
...if you can't handle their pennies per page, I'll chip in a buck or two.

Up at 5, Widgi until school, don't really want to go spend an hour at Kinko's paying their PC fee.

But I will if I have to. That's my last option.

I also have to update the manifesto with the latest, which takes a bit of time.

But I really, really want to file it. In a bad way.

LavaBear said...

Deschutes County Notice of Defaults

To Tim's point...it's just a matter of pulling up the lawn chair and watching the show. That last data point is for May month to date which has hit 140 with 6 more shopping days to go.

bruce said...

Ah, the highly regarded hockey stick graph of success from so many dot-com biz plans.

timothy said...

Bruce,

Just give up on the idea that anything will be spelled correctly around here. I didn't even bother mentioning "imminent domain," did I?

timothy said...

LavaBear,

An amazing chart there. Wonder how the rest of the year will play out.

Anonymous said...

"Up at 5, Widgi until school, don't really want to go spend an hour at Kinko's paying their PC fee.

But I will if I have to. That's my last option."
+++

Email it to them. They'll call you when it is printed. Make dups for the Governor and the new AG elect. Seriously, glad to donate some spare coinage to the cause.


"I also have to update the manifesto with the latest, which takes a bit of time."
+++

Do. Not. Respond. Bite. your. tongue.


"But I really, really want to file it. In a bad way."
+++

Action is the best medicine.

As I have said, get the first complaint out asap. They will call you for more data. There is always room for more data, but many times, brevity is the better part of valor.

LavaBear said...

>>An amazing chart there. Wonder how the rest of the year will play out.

Intuitively I knew it was getting nutty but I decided to graph it to add a little historical perspective. Plus the May number will probably hit 160.

The May defaults are all from people that said fuck it around Dec or Jan. It takes 3-4 months of not paying and then another month for them to start the process. I'm trying to get my hands around what these numbers will look like once we get through the spring selling season and the masses realize it ain't gonna sell.

Anonymous said...

Forced sellers... what if your community was made up of people who had already paid for Summer homes? No pressure to sell, no problemo.

See the very last word here:

"Central Oregon Association of Realtors, which reported that median home sales prices in the first quarter of 2008 fell almost 12 percent in Bend and 14 percent in Redmond compared with the first quarter of 2007. The same report said home prices dropped 15.5 percent in Sisters and 27.5 percent in La Pine but rose 16.5 percent in Sunriver."
+++

Sisters and Sunriver are now diverging. Only Sunriver rocks, everybody else sucks; LaPiney only more so.

Anonymous said...

Everybody enjoying another beautiful spring day here in sunny Bend? Any Calis who come up here house-hunting this weekend will turn right around and go home, if they have any brains.

Looked at objectively, Bend sucks.

timothy said...

>>Intuitively I knew it was getting nutty but I decided to graph it to add a little historical perspective.

The area under the curve on the right side of the chart is just amazing.

I don't see how this doesn't end up hurting the entire local economy. I have the feeling there are a lot of big spenders suddenly having to go cold turkey.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

National spotlight: Is Bend 'the new Boulder'?

Posted: May 23, 2008 11:22 AM

USA Today travel article says it's so

By Barney Lerten, KTVZ.COM

Here we go again - just as the summer tourism season heats up (well, maybe not quite yet in cool, rainy Central Oregon), Bend gets another bright national spotlight, with a travel article in USA Today Friday, complete with headline calling Bend "the new Boulder."

"Bend's popularity as a second-home destination may be short-lived," reads the banner-headline (but inside-section) article by Larry Olmsted, also available online at http://www.usatoday.com/travel/destinations/secondhomes/2008-05-22-bend-oregon_N.htm).

"Many buyers lured here by the small city's outdoor living, natural beauty and mild weather are finding their vacation homes too good to be true and are relocating as full-timers," reads the article, which gives a few details about three "Bend neighborhoods": Broken Top, NorthWest Crossing and Pronghorn.

It's far from the first (or last) time Bend and Central Oregon has gotten a rave write-up from national publications.

There are few if any surprises in the article, touting Mount Bachelor, "one of the Northwest's top ski resorts," the fishing, "good values" in real estate, etc.

"Sprawl is virtually non-existent," the article states - though that's something some critics of rural developments like destination resorts might beg to differ.

Two homes are spotlighted: One at Pronghorn for almost $3.4 million, and a "midrange" home in the gated Fall Creek neighborhood for $639,000.

The article's sidebar says Bend is best for "year-round outdoor sports fans" and refers to the BendFilm Festival, 71 parks, 48 miles of trails and four microbreweries, as well as the airport in nearby Redmond.

"Isn't that awesome?" Alana Audette, executive director of the Central Oregon Visitors Association, said in reaction to the article. She echoed one theme: "A predominance of new business startups here is largely from people who came here on vacation" and liked what they saw.

The attention comes as high gas prices have tourism officials, not just in Bend but everywhere, watching hotel/motel/resort bookings with some nervousness.

Audette said the initial sign for the High Desert is good for the opening big driving weekend of summer, even with the cooler, wetter weather.

"We completed our lodging surveys (Thursday) and were delighted to find that the weekend bookings across the region looked strong and definitely on par, or slightly up from the 2007 weekend projections," she said via e-mail.

"We certainly can use a strong Memorial weekend, given the sluggish volume of the first quarter of '08," she added.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Good Job selling out Lerten. I thought you were the KTVZ "Tech Guy"?

They tell you to fill David Fishers shoes or your fired?

Nevermind that Boulder is essentially a suburb of Denver, a 1,000% different situation than Bend. Anyone who compares Bend to Boulder is retarded.

It's more like Bishop, CA. You gotta really want it...

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

re: "imminent domain"

Dang. I was looking for the misspelling of "domain"! Who knew... "e"

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Deschutes home prices see further declines in first quarter

By Andrew Moore / The Bulletin
Published: May 23. 2008 4:00AM PST

Home prices in Deschutes County dropped 2.86 percent in the first quarter of 2008 compared with the fourth quarter of 2007, and 5.77 percent when compared with the same quarter a year ago, according to a report released Thursday by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight.

Because of the decline, the Deschutes County Metropolitan Statistical Area ranked poorly when compared with the 292 statistical areas included in the agency’s quarterly House Price Index report. Only 42 MSAs had higher rates of depreciation. Deschutes County was one of 128 MSAs that had price declines. The MSAs with the worst rates were in California, Florida or Nevada.

Despite Deschutes County’s recent declines, home values have grown 74.96 percent over the last five years, the report said.

Linda Williams, a co-owner of Tamarack Homes, one of the four builders developing the 458-lot RiverRim subdivision in southwest Bend, said the softening of home prices in the last few quarters was inevitable, adding that price declines are due to downward pressure from people who have been forced to sell.

Nevertheless, as the traditionally strong summer sales season is about to begin, Williams believes real estate prices will hold steady, perhaps even climb.

“Until we get through the summer season and to the end of October, we’ll have a better picture, but I don’t see there will be further declines in the near future,” Williams said.

The OFHEO report is based on home sales and refinancing appraisals involving conforming, conventional mortgages (up to $417,000) purchased or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

The federal report differs from data released in April by the Central Oregon Association of Realtors, which reported that median home sales prices in the first quarter of 2008 fell almost 12 percent in Bend and 14 percent in Redmond compared with the first quarter of 2007. The same report said home prices dropped 15.5 percent in Sisters and 27.5 percent in La Pine but rose 16.5 percent in Sunriver.

The median price is the price at which half of all home sales were either greater or less than the median.

Nationally, the OFHEO report said purchase-only home prices (not counting refinancing appraisals) were 1.7 percent lower on a seasonally adjusted basis in the first quarter of 2008 than in the fourth quarter of 2007, exceeding the 1.4 percent price decline between the third and fourth quarters of 2007. The 1.7 percent decline is the largest quarterly price decline on record, according to the report.

Over the past year, U.S. home prices fell 3.1 percent between the first quarter of 2007 and 2008, representing the largest decline in the purchase-only index’s 17-year history, the report said.

The states with the greatest price appreciation between the first quarter of 2007 and 2008 were Wyoming, 6.3 percent; Utah, 5.6 percent; and Montana, 4.9 percent, according to the report, The states with the sharpest depreciation for the same period were California, 10.6 percent; Nevada, 10.3 percent; and Florida, 8.1 percent.

Oregon was in the middle, ranking 26th, meaning home values across the state grew, with an appreciation rate of 2.2 percent for the same time period.

“The large overhang of real estate inventory awaiting sale continues to force price declines in many areas, but particularly in places that had seen very sharp appreciation in previous periods,” OFHEO Chief Economist Patrick Lawler said in a press release accompanying the report.

The last OFHEO report, for the period ended Dec. 31, 2007, said home prices in Deschutes County depreciated 1.44 percent in the final quarter of 2007 compared with the year’s third quarter, and 2.84 percent when compared with the fourth quarter of 2006. That report ranked Deschutes County at 236th in the nation for appreciation — meaning 235 MSAs had better rates of appreciation or lesser rates of depreciation — out of a total of 291 MSAs.


Andrew Moore can be reached at 617-7820 or amoore@bendbulletin.com.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

“Until we get through the summer season and to the end of October, we’ll have a better picture, but I don’t see there will be further declines in the near future,” Williams said.

Can you pass the Kool-Aid?

I thought I was a broken clock.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Despite Deschutes County’s recent declines, home values have grown 74.96 percent over the last five years, the report said.

"Is Elizabeth Taylor here? We have her vaseline-smeared camera ready."

They will continue to data-smear-backwards to the glory days as long as possible. I'll bet when things get bad enough, they'll actually ignore "recent" history, and just quote THE GLORY YEARS (ie 2002-2006)., aka UNCLE RICO.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

...said the softening of home prices in the last few quarters was inevitable...

Really? Inevitable? Well damn. I'm glad all the local builders were kind enough to forewarn us of all the troubles to come.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

...adding that price declines are due to downward pressure from people who have been forced to sell.

Can I have a NOBEL PRIZE FOR ECONOMICS over here?

timothy said...

Yeah and in five more years they'll talk about the numbers over the previous ten years. In 15 years they'll talk about the numbers over the previous 20 years.

Anonymous said...

Anyone out there with news about Pahlisch Homes? I live in one of their communities and have been curious about how they are weathering the storm. Only 9 months ago they were still pretty bullish about the local market.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

National home appreciation

The nation’s top five Metropolitan Statistical Areas with the highest rates of appreciation when comparing home prices between the first quarter of 2007 and 2008:
• Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux, La.: 11.22%
• Grand Junction, Colo.: 9.08%
• Wenatchee, Wash.: 8.02%
• Austin-Round Rock, Texas: 7.74%
• Billings, Mont.: 7.09%
The nation’s bottom five Metropolitan Statistical Areas with the highest rates of depreciation when comparing home prices between the first quarter of 2007 and 2008:
• Merced, Calif.: -24.68%
• Stockton, Calif.: -21.51%
• Modesto, Calif.: -20.96%
• Naples-Marco Island, Fla.: -18.67%
• Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.: -17.45%

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Anyone out there with news about Pahlisch Homes?

If Bends media is true to form, all you'll EVER hear is The Great New Pahlisch Homes Subdivision, And How It Marks The 100% Complete Recovery Of The Bend Housing Market To It's Pre-Bust Highs!!!

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

...adding that price declines are due to downward pressure from people who have been forced to sell.

Note to Bulletin Editors:

Just because people say incomprehensibly stupid shit, DOES NOT mean you HAVE TO print it.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

From Freakonomics:


Chapter 2: How Is the Ku Klux Klan Like a Group of Real-Estate Agents?

Going undercover in the Ku Klux Klan . . . Why experts of every kind are in the perfect position to exploit you . . . The antidote to information abuse: the Internet . . . Why a new car is suddenly worth so much less the moment it leaves the lot . . . Breaking the real-estate agent code: what "well maintained" really means . . . Is Trent Lott more racist than the average Weakest Link contestant? . . . What do online daters lie about?

A big part of a real-estate agent's job, it would seem, is to persuade the homeowner to sell for less than he would like while at the same time letting potential buyers know that a house can be bought for less than its listing price. To be sure, there are more subtle means of doing so than coming right out and telling the buyer to bid low. The study of real-estate agents cited earlier also includes data that reveals how agents convey information through the for-sale ads they write. A phrase like "well maintained," for instance, is as full of meaning to an agent as the code phrase "Mr. Ayak" was to a member of the Ku Klux Klan; it means that a house is old but not quite falling down. A savvy buyer will know this (or find out for himself once he sees the house), but to the sixty-five-year-old retiree who is selling his house, "well maintained" might sound like a compliment, which is just what the agent intends.

An analysis of the language used in real-estate ads shows that certain words are powerfully correlated with the final sale price of a house. This doesn't necessarily mean that labeling a house "well maintained" causes it to sell for less than an equivalent house. It does, however, indicate that when a real-estate agent labels a house "well maintained," she is subtly encouraging a buyer to bid low.

Listed below are ten terms commonly used in real-estate ads. Five of them have a strong positive correlation to the ultimate sales price, and five have a strong negative correlation. Guess which are which.

Ten Common Real-Estate Ad Terms

* Fantastic
* Granite
* Spacious
* State-of-the-Art
* !
* Corian
* Charming
* Maple
* Great Neighborhood
* Gourmet

A "fantastic" house is surely fantastic enough to warrant a high price, isn't? What about a "charming" and "spacious" house in a "great neighborhood!"? No, no, no, and no. Here's the breakdown:

Five Terms Correlated to a Higher Sales Price

* Granite
* State-of-the-Art
* Corian
* Maple
* Gourmet

Five Terms Correlated to a Lower Sales Price

* Fantastic
* Spacious
* !
* Charming
* Great Neighborhood

Three of the five terms correlated with a higher sales price are physical descriptions of the house itself: granite, Corian, and maple. As information goes, such terms are specific and straightforward—and therefore pretty useful. If you like granite, you might like the house; but even if you don't, "granite" certainly doesn't connote a fixer-upper. Nor does "gourmet" or "state-of-the-art," both of which seem to tell a buyer that a house is, on some level, truly fantastic.

"Fantastic," meanwhile, is a dangerously ambiguous adjective, as is "charming." Both these words seem to be real-estate agent code for a house that doesn't have many specific attributes worth describing. "Spacious" homes, meanwhile, are often decrepit or impractical. "Great neighborhood" signals a buyer that, well, this house isn't very nice but others nearby may be. And an exclamation point in a real estate ad is bad news for sure, a bid to paper over real shortcomings with false enthusiasm.

If you study the words in the ad for a real-estate agent's own home, meanwhile, you see that she indeed emphasizes descriptive terms (especially "new," "granite," "maple," and "move-in condition") and avoids empty adjectives (including "wonderful," "immaculate," and the telltale "!"). Then she patiently waits for the best buyer to come along. She might tell this buyer about a house nearby that just sold for $25,000 above the asking price, or another house that is currently the subject of a bidding war. She is careful to exercise every advantage of the information asymmetry she enjoys.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

$395000 Five Beautiful Acres with A Lot of Privacy and Mountain Views!!!

Uh oh, Kiss of Death.

Three exclamation points. Begin Your Lowballing Engines.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

$220000 SISTERS HOME MUST SEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (SISTERS)

THIS SISTERS DUPLEX IS A MUST SEE. THERE IS NO COMMON WALL INSIDE THE HOME. THE ONLY COMMON WALL IS INSIDE THE GARAGE.. IF YOU WOULD LIKE ANYMORE INFO PLEASE CALL 541 549 0122.

. 3 BEDROOM/ 2 FULL BATH
. CENTREAL HEAT AND AC
. NICE BIG FRONT DECK WITH 2 SIDE YARDS
. SHED OUT BACK
. 1250 SQ FEET
. ALL STAINLESS STEEL IN THE KITCHEN
. ALL NEW HARDWOOD FLOORS
. ALL NEW PAINT INSIDE THE HOUSE
. LOTS OF UPDATING IN THE HOME IT IS A MUST SEE.
. 1 CAR GARGAE WITH OPENERR
. PRICE 220000


Lowball Checklist:
1) 6,000,000 exclamation points? Check!
2) ALL CAPS? Check!
3) Hundreds of misspellings? Check?

Well, I'm off to check my CENTREAL GARGAE DOOR OPENERR.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

IT IS A MUST SEE.

This typically leads to a hostage situation.

Quimby said...

Damn Pauldoh, you's on fire!

timothy said...

"IT IS A MUST SEE.

This typically leads to a hostage situation."

OK. You finally got me laughing. You were close a few times before, but I fell right into this one. Great line.

Quimby said...

And I've always wanted to live in a Duplex. Better move that one to the top of the list Martha.

Marge said...

Park Like Setting='s they mow the lawn occasionaly. If I ever read that one again I'll puke.
Close-in home. Fuck, everything is Close-in now. Who would buy a house in Bend nowadays if the ad said, Far out in the boonies. None of the homes on acreage are selling anymore. No NOOB wants to raise animals and pick up shit. They are too busy enjoying the "quality of life" things. Bunch of city slicker Noobs.

Well, thanks for listening. Guess I am back to the old angry bitch mode :)

Thought I'd throw some stats at ya.
NOD'S in a tie with sales today.
NOD's 162
Solds 162 (entire County, all resi's plus land and lots)
3114 Active listings in same catagory.
Bend only, Resi homes only, 76 Sold at 306k Med.
258 active listings in county, homes only over 1Mil. 2 Sold in May so far.
Where is that bottle of Prozac?

LavaBear said...

There were 22 Notices of Default just today. That used to be an ok MONTH.

Deschutes County Notice of Defaults

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

258 active listings in county, homes only over 1Mil. 2 Sold in May so far.

Boy, once those Months Inventory hit the triple digits, you know it's tough for the millionaires...

LavaBear said...

>>Boy, once those Months Inventory hit the triple digits, you know it's tough for the millionaires...

You know it's hard out there...Just trying to stay above water.

Anonymous said...

"Anyone who compares Bend to Boulder is retarded."
+++

Retarded? That She-Man editor at the Bulletin will scratch your eyes out if you use that word, since she has a child who is a 'tard.

Bend is 'almost' Boulder, except:

-we don't have Univ of Colorado; but COCC is almost there.

-we can't ski at Aspen, Vail or Steamboat; but MBach and Hoodoo are almost there.

-we can't fly one hop to anywhere in the US, or Europe, or even Asia; but Seattle, PDX, SFO and Salt Lake are almost like London, Paris, Munich, Tokyo and Hong Kong.

-we don't have any Hollywood moguls as neighbors; but we do have ex-NFL burnouts like Bledsoe.

-we don't have many Fortune 500 Corporations; but we do have a small Cessna division, and a Regional Tire distributor, and lots of empty Real Estate offices.

Bend, just like Boulder... almost.

Anonymous said...

Re the USA Today story about Bend as "the next Boulder": Anybody who writes that Pronghorn is a "Bend neighborhood" doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground. It just amazes me that supposedly reputable publications that supposedly have some journalistic standards continue to publish these bullshit Chamber of Commerce puff pieces.

bruce said...

Re: email that manifesto

Doh! That's exactly what I'll do. They can print it.

Went down and looked at that appraisal on the 14th and Galveston property yesterday. Now, either I'm misinformed or something is fishy. Isn't an appraisal that uses comps to set a price supposed to use similar comps?

Although there were several sales on the same street, within a block of that property, same zoning, etc., since Nov. '06, that seem to be very good comps, this appraisal used comps from all over the city, only one was zoned the same, all were much larger, etc.

I have the appraisers name, Darrell Deglow, and am going ask him why he chose the comps he did rather than the obvious ones.

There is a professional standard called USPAP I'm looking at right now. Definitely fishy...

bruce said...

How did you all like the COAR propaganda that came with today's BULL? Just in time for Memorial Day visitors!

bruce said...

Sometimes a simple conversation between two concerned people can be the starting point to a great effort shared by many.

Late last fall, a local mortgage broker spoke with the La Pine Chamber director complaining about the continuous barrage of negative news published in the media about the housing market. While it's true even Central Oregon has not avoided the downturn in the economy since last fall, these two people agreed that the downturn seemed to be more about a self-fulfilling prophecy that it did about what's actually happening here compared to the rest of the nation.


Yep, I bet those that received one or more of the 599 NODs issued in Deschutes County already this year would agree.

bruce said...

God, this thing is just too good to be true! Here are some of the articles:

"Dana Bratton's Real Estate Picks of 2008"

"Fence Sitters-The Time To Buy Is Now!"

"It Pays To Pay Attention-Experts say not to miss out on the best buyers' market in 20 years."

At the Bend Chamber of Commerce's popular annual Real Estate Forecast Breakfast in February, Dana Bratton went so far as to predict the date the market would turn around: April 25, 2008.

His point?

"Now's the time to buy," Bratton said in no uncertain terms. "It's the best time to by, I believe, in 20 years."

bruce said...

41 NODs on Thursday and Friday alone, of which 13 went to Windridge Homes.

timothy said...

Those articles all give off the pathetic odor of desperation.

Who could fall for that stuff?

Duncan McGeary said...

In my store, the average comment about housing in Bend is uninformed, or at best, superficially informed.

As hard as that may be to believe.

I'm just saying.....that's what I hear.

Duncan McGeary said...

And these are people who are talking about moving here, and or buying and or selling a house.

The question that has been nagging me for this entire year and half of blogging, is do they become more informed when they enter the process?

It doesn't seem like it. What I hear parroted back at me are the real estaters lines. It's why I haven't let up on my message.

Like I said. Hard to believe.

Duncan McGeary said...

I mean, go to Bend Blogs today and you see two Real Estate Blogs.

All they've done is backtracked and moderated their messages to the realm of believability. A constant reconfiguring of their message just this side of outrageousness.

Just enough to trap all those folks who Want a home. Who Want to Believe. Who Don't want to RENT. Who See that prices have Dropped, so it must be a good time to Buy! Or who are afraid of missing the Bottom.

And so on and so on. Their messages -- for people who are looking to buy a house and who really, really want to live in Bend-- are still very, very seductive.

justsharing said...

P Doh,

You must to read this article (but not while drinking cofffee). It's hysterical. You will think the author must be your long-lost brother, from which you were separated at birth (instead of that call-banger guy).

Flip this house. Please!

After two decades of renting, I finally bought my own home. What the hell was I thinking?

By Steve Almond

http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2008/05/23/home_improvement/index.htm

justsharing said...

This house is on the fifth hole of the Nicklaus golf course in Pronghorn.

Price: $3,395,000

USA Today
*****

Damn! And I only have $3 million.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

I got a 404 on this:


http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2008/05/23/home_improvement/index.htm

timothy said...

Check Clive's Inventory Counter. We're going to be in record territory soon.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

It's the final "l' missing:

http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2008/05/23/home_improvement/index.html

Anonymous said...

Re Almond's column: It's funny but I can't sympathize with the dumb shit too much. If you don't have the time, inclination and skills necessary to maintain a home yourself or the money to pay somebody else to do it, you shouldn't buy.

bruce said...

Remember that food and beverage tax proposal I floated a while back to deafening silence?

BULL today, F-1: "Sales Tax Islands"

All about the food and beverage taxes in these two cities and how they help pay for treatment plant costs...

Ashland, a city of 21,630, generated an incredible $2M last year from this tax.

One thing I would add if we did one is to take a portion and implement a restaurant waste oil collection system in partnership with a private biodiesel production facility. This grease is a huge problem at the treatment plant, and preventing it's entry into the system as much as possible is a cheap way to improve capacity.

timothy said...

I'm OK with the tax on food and beverage, but I'm one of those people who thinks you institute those during the good times, not the bad times.

What's important to businesses from local gov't is consistency. You need to be able to plan.

At the very least, if they are instituted now, they should start very small and ramp up so that businesses can plan for the impact.

You try to run that through now and you'll get bulldozed. All anyone is going to think about now is how precarious the work environment is around here.

bruce said...

The problem is how to finance $60M or so in wastewater infrastructure over the next 25 years, and then $25M more after 2030.

FYI http://www.ci.bend.or.us/depts/public_works/docs/Collection_System_Report_Draft_12_19_2007.pdf

Page 87 has the Summary 2030 Build-out CIP Costs table.

Page 132 has Summary Full Build-out CIP Costs table.

Bend has roughly $100M in food and beverage sales annually. A 2% tax would be a stable revenue source that could be used to issue bonds as it would provide $2M in debt service funding. That should be enough.

I agree, it would be really hard to pass it, but if the alternative is higher property taxes, I suspect it would have a better chance. It's an optional tax, it would be much lower that the transient room tax, and like the TRT it would be paid by visitors as well as locals.

bruce said...

An article about what San Fran is doing about keeping the waste oil from restuarants out of the sewer system:
Fats to grease Muni’s wheels

SAN FRANCISCO (Map, News) - Leftover grease from San Francisco’s restaurants will be recycled into fuel for The City’s diesel buses, under a $1.3 million program in the works by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

Fats, oils and grease have been a significant problem for San Francisco’s sewers, SFPUC officials said. When not disposed of properly, the greasy waste can form thick layers inside the pipes. Sewage flow becomes constricted, which causes odors, attracts rats and leads to backups in The City’s sewer system, all of which create costly cleanup problems.

In the spirit of turning lemons into lemonade, the SFPUC expects to start collecting grease from The City’s restaurants as early as this fall; the collected waste will then be converted by a local manufacturer into environmentally friendly biodiesel fuel.

“We’re turning an enemy of our sewers into an ally for the environment,” SFPUC General Manager Susan Leal said. “From blocking the sewers to moving the buses.”

The fuel that would be put into the buses would still be 80 percent regular diesel — with 20 percent biodiesel — under a formula known as B20. According to The City’s biodiesel policy, the goal is to convert San Francisco’s diesel fleet to B20 fuel by the end of 2007.

At least 1 million gallons of biodiesel fuel could be manufactured from the oil collected from The City’s 2,600-plus restaurants, said SFPUC official Lewis Harrison, who added that is “more than enough” to contribute the required 20 percent to power the entire fleet.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, biodiesel is a biodegradable, nontoxic alternative fuel produced from renewable resources. It is safe to use in any diesel engine and is far less polluting than conventional petroleum diesel. “This is an important fuel for the future,” said EPA spokesperson Mark Merchant.

The Public Utilities Commission set aside $1.3 million of the agency’s general fund budget this year to implement the biofuel program. The money will cover the cost of purchasing two trucks to collect the restaurant waste, hire drivers and other staff for the program, and conduct all the necessary studies and file legal paperwork to get the program on the road.

The cost to manufacture the fuel will be partly offset due to the fact that The City is providing the raw materials — the fats, oils and grease, or FOG, Harrison said. A gallon of biofuel purchased at the Biofuel Oasis in Berkeley costs $3.65 per gallon.

The SFPUC also found out last week that it was awarded a $1 million grant from the California Energy Commission to do research on using leftover food grease for alternative energy, Harrison said.