Wasted a day on the couch, channel-flipping (hey, it was raining!). Between episodes of Mythbusters, I watched an entire episode of a house flipper show. I swear I came across at least four different flipper shows, yesterday, on at least three different channels.
They must have been planned a couple years ago and filmed last year because they in no way reflect current reality. They almost need a disclaimer: "What these damn fools are doing, even if it worked, is probably not going to work today."
Anyway, I'd always assumed that most house flipping was like Bend, or what I thought people did in Bend. Buy a house that was being built or just built or even an old house, sit on it for a year, and then sell it.
The premise of most of these shows is to buy a piece of junk, fix it up (or more to the point, look as though you fixed it up) and sell it.
What was really interesting to me is how they show the process with warts and all. Half the time the flippers lose. Almost always they go way, way over budget.
But these flipper guys really seemed familiar to me.
I've seen them before.
And then I got it.
I'm pretty sure they used to sell baseball cards. They're the guys who popped up everywhere at the peak, elbowed all the legitimate dealers to the side, went all Crazy Eddie and discounted, and hedged, and cut corners and otherwise acted like such soulless, conscienceless, aggressive jerks that they completely ruined the hobby.
Greed. Rampant, sociopathic greed.
I watched a whole show of a complete jerk who spent most of his time whining, yelling, pleading, weaseling, bullying, and generally doing everything he could to get it cheaper. Then walked away with a sly grin. Didn't matter who he insulted, hurt, or walked over.
The part that stunned me, was that he walked away with a 78k profit for two months of shoddy work.
The one consolation I'm left with, is that I doubt he stopped there and is now probably sitting on an even bigger shoddy piece of crap that he can't sell.
I started to watch another flipper show, but the main protagonist was, if anything, even worse. My life would be tarnished by spending another moment watching him.
What I find really sad is, that if there ever is a government program to bail out the subprime buyers, that legitimate buyers like my son in Portland, who bought a house to grow a family, will get shoved to the back of the line by the sociopathic greedmongers, who will walk away with the money with a sly grin.
Meanwhile, a step in the right direction by the Bulletin.
Yes, Martha, there is a housing slowdown.
I've always said, watch what Brooks Resources says: I take Hollern's comments, and add about half again as much negativity to it. I take the next most negative comments, and double them. Ignore all the rest.
6 days ago