April 10, 2006

‘Agents Of Change’

Slate takes a look at a television ad a brokerage firm is running. “This ad shows up at a fearful, uncertain time for real estate agents. It’s not just that the housing market seems poised for a dip. It’s that the real estate agent’s very purpose is coming into question. Enter Century 21’s new campaign, titled ‘Agents of Change.’ The initial salvo includes this spot and five others and began airing on television in March.”

“With the exception of ‘The Debate,’ the ads are basically inoffensive. As for ‘The Debate’: It’s terrifying. The problem lies in the performances. That beleaguered husband, dough-faced and weary, seems highly sympathetic as he expresses a few doubts about this major life decision. Meanwhile, the wife just knits her eyebrows at the guy like he’s unfathomably dense. Later, she jabs him with an accusatory ‘What?!’—her eyes wide and wild, her neck muscles flexed, her head twitching in disbelief at what a ninny her husband’s turned out to be.”

“The capper comes when their real estate agent, who we discover has been listening in on what should be a private and delicate moment, takes sides with the wife and thereby crumbles the husband’s defenses.”

“‘Suzanne researched this,’ says the wife in exasperation. As we’re wondering who Suzanne is, the ad cuts to an image of the couple’s kitchen telephone. ‘This listing is special, John,’ says the voice of their real estate agent over the speakerphone. ‘You guys can do this.’ The husband caves. ‘This is awesome,’ says the wife. We see a picture of the agent’s Century 21 business card.”

“I’ve gotten a few e-mails about this ad; all of them negative. One of my readers called the ad ‘creepy.’ Another felt that the wife in the spot ‘comes off as a nagging harpy.’ And a third asked me to explain ‘why a woman bullying her husband would make me want to buy a house.’”

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Comment by Ben Jones
2006-04-10 15:16:27

Thanks to the reader who sent in this link.

Comment by Spunkmeyer
2006-04-11 04:00:03

Unfortunately, it doesn’t link to the director’s cut version, where Suzanne adds to the end of her line, “Besides… I haven’t closed a sale all month.”

Comment by Redondo_beach_dude
2006-04-12 09:45:42

“, and my S500 payment is due!”

Comment by txchick57
2006-04-10 15:20:23

I feel sorry for you guys who are under pressure from clueless women to buy into this morass. All I can say is, stand your ground. She won’t leave, no matter what she says.

Comment by NOVA fence sitter
2006-04-10 15:24:44

I have to say I have the greatest wife in the world. Both her an her in-laws continually tell me not buy (although I’m a bubble believer I would like to buy thus the NOVA fence sitter screen name). They were in Houston during the bust there. I think more people should take attitudes regarding money in to account before they marry…not to say other aspectes aren’t important.

Comment by bottomfisherman
2006-04-10 16:33:21

I’m personally sick and tired of the media portraying gutless, wimpy men as this ad does. Have some balls and tell little wifey that this is a bad financial move and it isn’t going to happen, period. No negotiation, end of discussion.

Comment by Trojan Horse
2006-04-10 16:47:00

Unfortunately, the media is reflecting reality, at least as I have seen it. Just finished talking with buddy of mine who has been a happy renter (like a lot of us) for the past 3 years. All of a sudden he’s looking for a house. When I asked him why, his only reason was “because [my fiance] wants to”.

Turns out, she’s looking at 5-bedroom starter castles, and the two of them have NO PLANS FOR KIDS. They make right around $100k/yr combined.

I’m simply flabbergasted. He’s putting less research into this purchase than he did for his last car, and he’s allowing his fiance to call the shots on their financial future because she wants to impress her girlfriends. I don’t blame her one bit either. If he doesn’t have the brass to stand up to her, that’s his fault, not hers.

Seems to me this disgusting commercial is simply a reflection of our disgusting society.

Comment by hd74man
2006-04-11 04:36:32

hehehe…now there’s a relationship headed for diasaster before it even begins. I like the comment about “no kids”.

In the real world, kids tend to arrive when you least expect them. Tallk about naive.

All it takes it one. That idiot schmoe makes all us men bad.

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Comment by Samson12
2006-04-11 13:03:55

In both commercials I have seen from Cent21, both agents metioned “I’ll get to WORK on it right away….” the key point is the agent is “working” for you…. which is the pereption the industry is trying to overcome, that agents actually are “key” to the transaction.

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Comment by Housegeek
2006-04-11 05:29:53

Sorry for nesting this comment all the way up, but I read this whole thread and it is a fascinating theme to me how much emotion (male-female whatever) and how little research goes into what is usually the most significant buying decision in a couple’s or even a single person’s life. Whether acting as a couple or solo (as many first time buyers and specuvestors do) — emotional manuipulation has played a large role in buying decisions, and is a huge part of why bubbles come to be.

Perhaps there’s a topic to be discussed (weekend maybe) on the best ways to talk to your partner (or your friends) — about how to fight emotional manipulation … there are a lot of success stories on this thread about convincing people of the bubble, and I bet a lot more good advice out there

Comment by DC_Too
2006-04-10 16:36:28

Thanks Tx Chick for saying that. I’ve read through the whole thread, and I can tell you, it’s a b*tch expaining this beast to the GF. Man, what is it with “owning” that is so damn important? Does it make people (women) “feel safe?” I just don’t get it.

Current (and hopefully forever) GF comes from family with properties that go back over a century. Her aunt lives in a 9-bedroom (not kidding) on the coast of southern Maine that was bought for $3,800 in 1908, I think. Needless to say, it’s a $1 million+, maybe two, even on a bad day now. I try and tell her $3800, in a simple savings account, for 98 years, would be worth more than the aunt’s house. It’s just bloody arithmetic, but she has trouble buying it. “That’s ridiculous!” she says. “No, it’s not - do the arithmetic,” say I.

Well, we had the first year-over-year decline since about ‘97 in DC proper today. .75%, but at least it’s a start! I hate to be an MCP, there are female sharks out there that are no doubt reigning in there husbands, I’m sure.

Comment by The_Lingus
2006-04-10 16:44:23

“Man, what is it with “owning” that is so damn important? Does it make people (women) “feel safe?”

It’s just another form of keeping up with the neighbors. McMansions make them feel inadequate. All a direct result of believing what you see on TV.

Comment by Upstater
2006-04-11 06:29:22

I can answer that one Lingus.

Your kids can’t play with their kids if you don’t live their lifestyle. Have you ever been invisible in a crowd of women that treat each other like sisters? And the only difference is the size of the house or what side of town your on? These are the things women fear. Pretty 7th grade but the isolation and condescension is real.

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Comment by bearmaster
2006-04-11 10:54:55

Women still have a rosy picture of a new house with all the trimmings, in which they host parties that Martha Stewart would find a challenge to cater.

I dunno - maybe for guys, when they feel a sense of entitlement they go out and plunk down $10K on a home entertainment theatre with all the bells an whistles - for gals, it’s gotta be a new house.

Or maybe for gals there is a “prove you can take care me” line of thinking in their brains that just goes beyond the “I deserve it” mentality. In ancient times when Og was a skilled hunter and Oga was his mate and they had a baby, staying hooked up with Og made sense because he could protect the baby and her. Today this “prove you can take care of me” mentality seems so shallow.

I (a female) would love to be in a house with my sweetie, but we are happy in our tiny apartment and we both feel blessed that we both know financial bubbles when we see them. When you are with somebody you love, you gotta find other ways to spoil them that don’t break the finances.

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Comment by SeattleSis
2006-04-11 15:11:40

Another apology for nesting a comment toward the top of the thread — but it is not just a “women wanting to feel safe” thing. It’s also a “men needing to feel manly” thing.

I just ended a two-year relationship with a man who started out wonderful, but has now morphed into a materialistic, self-centered, home-buying, truck-buying, boat-buying nutcase. Midlife crisis up the wazoo.

He’s 42 years old, and he had always rented, never owned. He just bought the white-picket-fence house in Ultimate Suburbia — less than six months ago. Yes, he was smart enough to get a fixed-rate loan, and yes he was smart enough to have a big down payment. But he simply had to have the “manly” symbols. Now he has the garage, and the “shop,” and the lawn, and the backyard with the gas grille on the patio. Now he has done better than his parents. Now he has shown himself to be a “real man” who can provide for his woman.

Except that he lives in the house in Ultimate Suburbia all by himself. He saved up the money for the house by spending so much time at the office over the past five years that he wrecked his first marriage — he had no time to spend with his wife. When I started dating him two years ago, he had “learned his lesson.” He wasn’t going to neglect his relationships anymore. But the lure of home-ownership became too strong for him. (Or else my judgment of his character was much worse than I realized….)

So with the dream of finally owning a home dangling in front of him, he ramped up the overtime at work all over again. He doesn’t have friends over for big parties in the big backyard; he spends so much time on the job that he doesn’t have time to make real friends. He has become incredibly boring to talk with, because he spends so much time on the job that he has no time to watch movies or watch TV or read books or pay attention to the news — he has no “material” for conversation except for work. And he finally neglected me enough that I dumped him.

So he has achieved the dream of home-ownership. And now there is no one in his life to share his achievement with; his endless chase after money in order to buy a home has driven everyone away.

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Comment by AZ_BubblePopper
2006-04-10 17:48:31

In a sane market, say going back 5 years, owning made some financial sense. But, aside from that, there are other intangibles provided you take a fixed rate loan and you have some confidence your income will be predictable or increasing: security that you have a fixed payment, you can’t be thrown out by a landlord, you can make improvements that might make you happy, your kids can go to a school (hopefully the same one and the one you chose by buying that property), some prospect of appreciation, tax advantages and… a place that you are paying off that you can call yours (even if the lender owns most of it).

Of course, absolutely none of these work out in today’s market… so rent until they do at some time in the future.

My impression is that women, particularly those in childbearing years, have a desire to NEST IN A PERMANENT HOME. You’re scewed. She’ll be unhappy and so will you.

Comment by moom
2006-04-10 20:13:32

At 5% it is $450,000 today.

Comment by JCclimber
2006-04-10 20:53:53

Maybe, Moom,
but out of that 1,000,000 you have to subtract ALL the money invested in upkeep (add that to the interest loan principal), taxes, insurance, and the rest. Add all that money into the savings account and watch it grow well beyond 450,000.

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Comment by dreaming 07
2006-04-11 04:31:38

But, to be fair, you have the add all the money the owners would have spent renting in the last 100 years…

Comment by DC_Too
2006-04-11 05:57:49

Moom - Yep. At 6% it comes in at over a million. We’d have to find some geek Ph.D. to tell us what the exact rate of return might have been, but the point stands. Heaven forbid the $3800 was tossed into the DJIA and left there, sitting…

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Comment by climber
2006-04-11 07:10:46

3800 was 190 ounces of gold. The house wins. But, timing is everything - at least as much as location.

Stupid people say you can’t time the market, but a wise person will tell you you have no choice. Only a fool plants corn in the fall.

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Comment by Ted
2006-04-10 15:25:54

The above mentioned ad has strengthened me against all entreaties by my wife to buy home at this stage. At least my wife knows this is likely the top, but she wants a home so badly she’s willing to watch it decline in value. I’m not. Of course, I’m the dumb ass who thought we were in a bubble in 2002-03 and refused to let us buy — largely because all the 20-year-olds in SoCal were suddenly financial geniuses. Something I’m still won’t to believe. When the half-wits are declaring their genius at the top of their lungs, I don’t listen. But they been screaming for 4+ years now. There is no such thing as karma.

Comment by rms
2006-04-10 15:54:16

“At least my wife knows this is likely the top, but she wants a home so badly she’s willing to watch it decline in value.”

Sounds like a discussing of propety taxes is in order.

Comment by tj & the bear
2006-04-10 17:49:41

Yes, there is karma… give it time, give it time!

Comment by feepness
2006-04-10 21:00:29

I pulled the trigger in 2003 only because I already had the equity.

I’m a genius… yeah… right…

Comment by Bearnanke
2006-04-10 15:27:02

I’ve seen this ad and it gave my the heebie-jeebies. Two thoughts:
1) Since I’m an optimist I attempt to assume that not all people are idiots in despite mounting evidence each day I live and fog a mirror. If an ad doesn’t speak to you, and if you read this blog, odds are most ads don’t, I’ve got good news for you… you are not the target audience. People like my wife, who simply want a house (who doesn’t) and don’t want to know about the current soft landing (grin). To my wife, and many of my friends, I am an obstacle to the great American dream of being a homeowner and I, like many of us, are faced with those who attempt to “shame” us into ownership at this time. This leads me to point #2…
2) What is the problem to a real estate agent/market at the moment? Fear of a bad decision / declining market. So, if the only thing we have to fear is fear itself, this ad and our Century 21 agent is here to make us feel better. Do you feel better?


Comment by Karen
2006-04-10 16:29:54

Gave me the heebie-jeebies too. YUCK!

Comment by NOVA fence sitter
2006-04-10 15:40:23

Why are woman more likely to buy into this pressure of having to buy (being a little chauvenist but I know not all woman are more inclined)? I saw a study that said single woman were much more likely to buy realestate than single men. It just seems like the marketers within realestate industry have touched a nerve that really resonates with woman.

Comment by Ted
2006-04-10 15:42:04

Do you want the Freudian answer? The house is a projection of the womb.

Comment by Ted
2006-04-10 15:42:40

Do you want the sociobiological answer? The house is a “nesting” instinct.

Comment by Getstucco
2006-04-10 15:55:31

Do you want the economic answer? Houses with many child-friendly amenities can be rented for a small fraction of the cost of buying, thereby satisfying both the nesting instinct and the budget constraint.

Comment by Chip
2006-04-10 23:38:25

Getstucco — THANK YOU for the correct use of an adjective (small, in this case) before “fraction.” Drives me nuts when people say, “I bought it for a fraction of x.” 99/100 is a fraction.

Comment by OCMax
2006-04-11 06:34:22

So is 110/100!

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Comment by bluto
2006-04-11 05:20:08

Also traditional rentals are located in areas with less quality schools and similar. Plus women are wired for security (men are wired for competition). A home is security, making money off the home purchase is competition. Instant friction.
/notice the gender of the reviewer.

Comment by Spykeeboi
2006-04-11 09:32:59

Do you want the Marxist answer? Women, upon achieving their own liberation in America, discarded any efforts aimed at compensating their domestic efforts (childbirthing, child raising, homekeeping) in the economic system, including GDP calculations, and became uber-capitalists, complete with padded shoulder pantsuits, themselves. They have, in effect, become their oppressors…

Comment by rms
2006-04-10 15:58:24

Do you want the irrational answer? It’s a 100% scale playhouse.

Comment by rentinginNJ
2006-04-10 17:15:02

My wife doesn’t want to hear any of this bubble talk. She frankly doesn’t care; she just wants a house. Not only does she want a house, but it has to be near her family in Bergen County NJ; one of the most expensive markets in the country. The only thing saving us is that she can’t find anything even close to our price range. As first time buyers who refuse to take a suicide loan, even with a respectable down payment, we are priced out of anything halfway decent. .

Comment by AZ_BubblePopper
2006-04-10 17:55:18

Ask your realtor how you can get into that house your wife want so badly. Simple. Move up the price range. Lenders will find a way.

Then wake up and rent until the collapse. Won’t be long.

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Comment by rentinginNJ
2006-04-10 19:58:02

I know. The realtor offered to “council” us on how much we could really afford. “You would be suprised on how much we really could afford”. I said no thanks. I told her I’m 6 months shy of an MBA in finance. I know how much I can afford.

Comment by peterbob
2006-04-10 19:52:09

Ha Ha Ha. I almost choked!

Comment by Judicious1
2006-04-10 16:42:07

Women tend to make financial decisions based on their emotions. An insecure man, like the one in the commercial, will cave under the pressure of an emotional woman.

Comment by jmunnie
2006-04-10 17:33:57

Okay, lookit. I, as a woman, have been able to convince my fiance to not give into the bubble mania. And most of my female friends are aware of the housing bubble and have resisted buying in as well. Only one couple I know have bought beyond their means, and it was the guy who pushed for the five bedroom in the ‘burbs (they’re not planning on having kids for years).

This doesn’t break down along gender lines, folks. Otherwise it wouldn’t be the mania it is. I don’t recall *only* men buying stocks in the dot com bubble…

Comment by Judicious1
2006-04-10 19:40:34

It’s a generalization, there are exceptions to everything. If women didn’t make financial decisions based on emotion it would only cost about 10K for the average wedding, which currently averages about 30K.

Did you watch the ad?

her: …I love that house, plus the schools…
him: the kids are 3 and 1 *sigh*
her: they’re gonna grow up…what?…what? (flinches)
her: Suzanne researched this!
realtor: This listing is “special” John…you guys can do this!

Sounds like a couple of emotional women to me, wouldn’t you agree? They can get together a few times a week for coffee and chit-chat while he goes off to work and stresses about things like keeping the place heated and clothes on the kids back.

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Comment by femalerenter
2006-04-10 19:54:44

This is an ADVERTISEMENT that plays up ridiculous stereotypes of women making decisions with their emotions…those women are going nowhere “after a few weeks” except to collect their paychecks from the advertising execs who play up these socially constructed identities. Who do you think is making all the investment purchases that created the bubble in the first place?…emotional women?…greedy men?…or just people of either gender with misplaced ideas about investments and returns?

Comment by Judicious1
2006-04-10 20:29:55

Take it easy, take it easy…you’re getting a little emotional about this.

just kidding.

Comment by hd74man
2006-04-11 04:46:33

This doesn’t break down along gender lines, folks.

Yes it does

That idiot Parade Magazine was crowing a couple weeks ago in an article noting how women have eclipsed men in the purchase of residential real estate since 2001.

All I could do was snicker.

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Comment by NjGal
2006-04-11 04:59:16

I’m so with you jmunnie…as a woman, I drive my husband crazy about not buying…I have a fear that we will lose our hard-earned savings. Finally someone he respected who has been a REAL real estate investor for many years said that the worst thing that could happen to us was to buy something and see it decline in value. He’s finally believing me.

But I take a ton of crap, especially from my mother, who is almost ashamed that I haven’t bought a house - she sees lots of other people my age doing it, knows I make enough money to do it and still can’t understand why I won’t. She actually gets MAD at me. It’s insane. So while some women buy into the Century 21 scariness, I don’t and won’t, and will buy when I feel like the time is right!

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Comment by fishbones
2006-04-11 05:27:26

The guys on this board should be applauding women like you. I know I am. Can I get you to talk to my wife?

Comment by NjGal
2006-04-11 06:03:25

Would love to fishbones, but she’d probably think I’m crazy.

Just be understanding and rational when talking to her. Believe me, I have the same nesting instinct - I want a house, some grass, something to decorate (god I want to decorate), a place for my future kids to play - but I also want a happy, stable marriage and bank account. Maybe you can compromise with her - ask her to wait it out a certain amount of time and then you’ll agree to look. I have gotten my husband to agree to at least wait out the summer and only look at something that’s either our dream house and the right price or (as that’s unlikely) has been on the market a long long time - I want to smell seller desperation before I make a move:)

Comment by jmunnie
2006-04-11 08:17:18

Hey fishbones, what helped me was talking about the last RE crash in our area (which was in the early to mid 90s). My fiance hadn’t even known there was one. Showing him the quantitative data — SFHs sinking 30% in value, condos 50% — opened his eyes. You could do some research on your area and show her. Maybe with a nice, scary, roller-coaster-type graph!

Comment by hd74man
2006-04-11 04:42:08

I saw a blip somewhere where the sales nationwide for the last 4 years percentage-wise have been driven by single women who have divorced their husbands.

LMAO…Good fookin’ luck, in your “investment” ladies.

Comment by Mort
2006-04-10 15:40:41

That pasty faced man in that ad has no ‘nads. What a time for a Rhett Butler moment: “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn!” should have been his response. The media always seem to portray men in a bad light these days. Women like the one in that ad deserve to be living under a bridge if they pressured their husbands into making irresponsible decisions that turned out badly.

Comment by txchick57
2006-04-10 16:46:50

Maybe he needs some of these. LOL


Comment by CA renter
2006-04-10 18:24:37

The media always seem to portray men in a bad light these days.
Seems to me like it’s the woman being portrayed in a negative light. I don’t hear people saying the guy is some jerk keeping his wife from owning a home. No, she’s a nag. It works both ways.

Comment by ajh
2006-04-11 02:56:06

A better line would be “OK, the house (and mortgage) will be in your name”.

You might even get a reaction from a real life Suzanne with that one.

Comment by rudekarl
2006-04-10 15:42:24

One of the things I thought about when I saw this ad was: get the “F” out of the house. That guy should have simply walked away from that marriage - in the end, it would probably be less expensive. My wife and I saw the commercial together, and I told her as much. If anybody pressured me to that extreme on a decision to incur that much debt, I’d be down the road.

I have to agree that that commercial offers absolutely no rational reason to buy a home.

Comment by Tom
2006-04-10 16:01:50

But Suzanne researched this

Comment by rudekarl
2006-04-10 16:05:58

Suzanne did the mather and figured out 6% of the selling price. She then divided that number by the 2 or 3 hours she spent marketing the place and voila - gold mine. All she has to do is pressure the nutless wonder into buying.

Comment by rudekarl
2006-04-10 16:06:38

Suzanne did the “math.” I don’t know what mather is.

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Comment by Betamax
2006-04-10 18:47:25

It’s an abbreviated form of “mather facker”.

Comment by Ted
2006-04-10 20:53:12

Or perhaps a colloquialism referring to Cotton Mather’s “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” sermon and the “Great Awakening” — Renters are sinners, after all. And the housing bubble has been one hell of an awakening.

Comment by centralcoastbear
2006-04-10 18:50:50


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Comment by HerdChemist
2006-04-10 16:35:27


Suzanne is smart. She knows what is best.

Lets’ listen to her !

Comment by auger-inn
2006-04-10 16:54:44

But Suzanne researched this. And after I shared with her that I am married to a nutless, limpdicked pollyanna who bores me both in and out of bed, we decided that you are irrelevant to this decision and if you don’t like it then you can’t wear my panties and lipstick anymore! There, that should sum up the implied message of that commercial.

Comment by mrincomestream
2006-04-10 18:58:25

LOL, Wow thats one way to interpet that ad. Too funny.

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Comment by scdave
2006-04-11 02:57:27

Laughed so hard it brought tears…

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Comment by Salinasron
2006-04-10 15:46:53

The only fear I would have is to be a home owner and wake up in a neighborhood surrounded by foreclosure signs….nothing will drive home values down faster. And that image would override anything that the little lady of the house could come up with…..including the dreaded ‘D’ word.

Comment by mad_tiger
2006-04-10 16:17:25

Better to split now than have a foreclosure-induced divorce down the road.

Comment by mad_tiger
2006-04-10 17:18:51

….the couple in the commercial that is.

Comment by Footie
2006-04-10 15:48:22

A bit of reading matter for that stupid woman.


Comment by Salinasron
2006-04-10 15:49:38

More single women buy then single men….that’s because they attach emotion to the damn thing.

Comment by CA renter
2006-04-10 18:35:25

No. It’s because, historically speaking, it’s been a much better decision to buy than rent in most cases. It also **used to** mean that a homeowner was in a better financial position than a renter (when there were barriers to entry like down-payments, good income and credit scores). Women are concerned with physical and financial stability because she carries and cares for the babies. This is why women liked to find men who were or could be homeowners. They were a much better prospect for being able to provide for the family.

Since feminism took over, and many women end up not married (or marry later in life), they buy homes to provide the physical and financial security they seek due to biological reasons (even if they don’t have kids).

IMHO. :)

Comment by Upstater
2006-04-10 15:53:27

My background is marketing and I know full well the point is to separate people from their money. Madison Avenue has shaped more “wants” and “got to haves” than people would care to admit. The creators of this commercial don’t care what you guys think, only their target audience which I would say in this case is a family ruled by emotion.

Comment by Ted
2006-04-10 16:50:19

A family ruled by emotion that doesn’t already own a house - unlikely. Perhaps they should have targeted 2nd or 3rd home ownerships.

Comment by Upstater
2006-04-11 06:46:24

Why did you assume they were renters? I always thought they were moving to a bigger house/better neighborhood. Just goes to show everyone projects their own stuff on the issue.

Comment by azdan
2006-04-10 19:59:12

This ad tells me that the ‘real estate’ industry has come to the freakin’ conclusion that REASON ALONE IS NO LONGER SUFFICIENT in deciding to buy a house. The RE folks realize that the ONLY way anyone in their right mind buys a house today is because of emotional distress or ignorance.

Comment by arroyogrande
2006-04-10 21:38:00
Comment by Getstucco
2006-04-10 15:53:45

“The capper comes when their real estate agent, who we discover has been listening in on what should be a private and delicate moment, takes sides with the wife and thereby crumbles the husband’s defenses.”

Sounds like he’s whupped…

Comment by Salinasron
2006-04-10 15:55:11

OT but interesting….I guess CA’s tax per capita is in part do to illegals.
link …www.census.gov/govs/statetax/05staxrank.html

Comment by Robert Cote
2006-04-10 16:26:59

California’s DEFICIT is larger than 40 States’ budgets and larger than 8 States’ combined budgets.

Comment by east beach
2006-04-10 17:25:38

Yeah, let La Raza keep waiving their foreign flags, I’ll just take my tax dollars with me to another state. I’ll let the retired NIMBYs pay for them.

Comment by hd74man
2006-04-11 05:23:28

hehehe…same here in MA on East Coast…

Universal Health Care for all Illegals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comment by Tom
2006-04-10 15:59:28

My friend just called me today and told me they just bought a home for $225,000 in Tampa. This sounds relatively cheap compared to other parts of the country, but listen to this.

This is an older neighborhood that is a little run down. The roads are sort of buckling and it looks aged. The house has to be at least 15-20 years old. It is a 3 bedroom 2 bath. They are currently renting a 4 bedroom 3 bath in a much nicer and newer neighborhood. They currently rent for $1050 a month, which is after they landlord lowered the price because they weren’t renting. On the new (but old) house she wants to buy, she said the payments are around $1800 a month unless they use some different financing. She would also have to pay taxes now and insurance (which as doubled in FL).

I asked her what made her come to her conclusion. She said, this is our first house and my dad has been telling me that I have to get in since prices always go up. I said, “well that’s not true.” She then said, well at least I won’t be throwing my money away on rent.

I won’t say she thinks like that because she is a woman, but because she has been brainwashed into thinking home ownership is the American Dream. To a degree it is, but not when you have to finance some flippers windfall and be liable to pay it off for the next 30 years.

To me, the American Dream is a mirage that suckers someone into the American Nightmare. To own a home and to overpay to only be stuck and upside down on it. What kind of freedom is that? The freedom of being stuck in something you own? I can understand if prices keep going up, but someone has to be willing to take it off your hands for the higher price.

I wish the best on her, but I think she might end up being the greater fool.

Comment by bbgale
2006-04-10 16:00:32

#1 I bought as a single female and that’s b/c I was smart and bought at a good time (many years ago)
#2 I hate that commerical, why does browbeating a husband make me want to buy a house? What’s up with the “stupid white male trend” in TV? I hate it………sorry, I digress :)

Comment by asuwest2
2006-04-10 16:57:30

Cause we’re about the only ones you can show like that these days.

Somehow, I think the guy in the commercial may have come up with this:
Why do men die before their wives? They want to!

Comment by azdan
2006-04-10 20:03:48


Comment by athena
2006-04-10 17:01:41

why do men think it is normal for women to be that way and why do they continue to marry them? Criminy. Get some standards already.

Comment by Bubble Popper
2006-04-11 07:22:23

Read up on the marriage strike. Twenty two percent of men aren’t continuing to marry women.

Comment by Salinasron
2006-04-10 16:04:42

The Mercuy News..today…Climbing home values, interest rates pricing out buyers, Freddie Mac says
“The nation’s real estate market is headed for a big slowdown, with sales declining 8 percent in 2006 compared with last year, according to a forecast today from mortgage giant Freddie Mac.”…“The challenge for some families is to find a good job and affordable housing in the same location,” Nothaft said, according to a Bloomberg News report. “The lingering question is whether affordability will increase in the West and job creation will return to the Midwest.”

Comment by John Law
Comment by JCclimber
2006-04-10 16:08:25

This is pitched directly at women. Men won’t be greatly persuaded by this, and generally women are a little bit more prone to base decisions on emotions. Madison Avenue knows this and is quite competent at pitching their ads appropriately.

Comment by SAS
2006-04-10 16:16:39

If you really think women are more prone to basing decisions on emotions, try visiting some high end car dealerships. It’s generally not the women making the emotional decisions there.

Comment by JCclimber
2006-04-10 21:00:24

Granted. However, how many of the truly high end car dealers let you take a no doc, I/O, ARM with no down payment on one of their cars? I don’t see too many very young men buying such autos.

Comment by SAS
2006-04-11 02:04:20

That’s exactly the point. If the car dealers would offer the no doc, I/O, ARM and no down payment on the cars, there would be more young men buying them. It’s not common sense that’s holding them back.

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Comment by OCMax
2006-04-11 06:41:30

I say: Hummers for everyone!

Comment by Moopheus
2006-04-11 06:20:18

Clearly Madison Avenue is counting on high levels of intellect and reason when designing ads to sell big trucks and beer to men. So if women are being emotionally manipulated into buying houses they can’t afford, who’s spending all the HELOC money….

Comment by The_Lingus
2006-04-10 16:10:51

Fat Tony crumbles under the pressure of Hairy Marie.Load up the Chevy SLOBurban with the overweight kids and go drive past your new “home”.

Thats right people…. ignore that nagging voice in your head that’s telling you, “its not the right thing to do right now… delay the gratification.” Ignore it so you can comply with the rest of the consumers who are balls deep in debt.

Comment by rms
2006-04-10 16:17:38

Resistance Is Futile. You Will Be Assimilated!

Comment by MazNJ
2006-04-11 06:30:51

Am I the only one tired of The_Lingus’ ridiculousl “Anti-Flatlander” crap? I have several Maine native friends and while I’ve heard this similar stuff before, the repetitiveness of this is just grating on the nerves. Can’t we phrase this a bit better as in “Out-of-State speculators are driving up prices and ruining the market for the locals?”

Comment by The_Lingus
2006-04-11 08:26:26

Should we be surprised that a NJ slimer is offended by the ugly truth I speak here? You people just don’t get the message do you??? Nobody can say no to a NJ/CT/NYC slimeball? Guess again. Get out and stay out.

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Comment by investink
2006-04-10 16:15:38

Unless they are lying on their backs, they’re in debt much deeper than their balls.

Comment by Mo Money
2006-04-10 16:16:00

I bought a house as a single male because it made financial sense at the time. I was paying $850 for a run down, freezing cold condo with no covered parking in Rockland county NY and a commute over the Tappen Zee Bridge. Jumping over the Hudson and going up to Dutchess county got me a 4 bedroom house with a 2 car garage for a $739 mortgage. I had to cough up $32K for the down payment but it turned out to be a good decision despite the added responsibilites of taking care of a yard and a slightly longer commute on the Taconic but no tolls. Sadly I can’t say I could run the numbers where I am now in San Jose and come to the same conclusion.

Comment by The_Lingus
2006-04-10 16:20:40

Dutchess is now chock full of fat tonys and hairy maries, SLOBurbans with their payload of overweight children and other assorted swine out of NYC. Their county fair used to be one of the best AG fairs in the northeast. Dutchess has turned into a truely pathetic place.

Comment by Joe Schmoe
2006-04-10 16:55:14

Hey Lingus-

You pass yourself off as such a free-willed independent, but I bet if John and Teresa Kerry walked into your town hall, you’d be kow-towing and tugging your forelock in an instant, eager to please your “betters.”

I am so tired of your loser rants against people from the big cities. You remind me of some guys I went to high school with. When I was in law school, I once went out for a beer with a friend who was working for one of the airlines as a mechanic. At the time, the airline was implementing an Employee Stock Ownership Plan. This guy was bitching about the fact that the ESOP was a “lie,” etc., and that none of the employees could afford to participate. Listinging to him rant, I thought to myself “well, if you wanted to own the airline, maybe you should have gone to college.” I didn’t say anything but that is what I thought.

I get the exact same feeling listening to you slander Italian-Americans and anyone from a big city who doesn’t conform to your rareified definition of probity.

You know what, chief? For decades now, those of us who grew up in the blue collar towns/sticks/in a foreign country have known that the big money may be found in the city. In the Northeast, New York City, not rural Vermont, is where people with brains, talent, and ambition go.

If you stay in rural Vermont, you might as well staple a sign to your forehead that reads “I LACK AMBITION,” or “SATISFIED WITH SECOND BEST” or “AFRAID TO MOVE AWAY FROM HOME.” This is not to say that you can’t be successful in Vermont — you certainly can — but it most certainly does mean that you are passing up your shot at the big time.

Unfortunately for you, the people who had the balls to step up and play in the big leagues are now coming to your community — and they are bringing their money with them. You are mad because these foreigners are making your life miserable. You are now paying for the decision you made all those years ago. That’s the way the world works, though. You can’t hide from market forces and capitalism.

You are no different from that woman in the Realtor ad who berates her husband. Except she, unlike you, is actually in a position to influence his behavior. You can only scream impotently at “Fat Tony” and “Hairy Marie.” But they’ll keep on coming. You don’t have the power to stop them. You know this and it makes you mad. Well, there are two things you can do about it. Move away, or accept the changed conditions. What is it going to be?

Comment by The_Lingus
2006-04-10 17:09:07

You sound angry.

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Comment by John
2006-04-10 17:23:16

Right on Joe. Well said.

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Comment by Ted
2006-04-10 17:35:46

It’s not like it’s real money. Just green sheets of piece backed by the full faith on credit of our printing presses. Anyone who has saved money and worked hard has every right to mad at the printing press economy.

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Comment by The_Lingus
2006-04-10 17:44:21

Amen. There just seems that there are more fat tonys who are homedebtors than anyone else.

Comment by Joe Schmoe
2006-04-10 17:53:12

Now that I can agree with.

The ethnic slurs and the regional bigotry I can do without.

The fact that we are being punished for behaving responsibly drives me nuts. And the fact that taking on insane levels of debt can actually lead to a marked increase in your standard of living drives me nuts too. I mean, the receptionist at my dentist’s office told me that she’d just bought a house the other day.

It’s not that I begrudge her a nice house; quite the opposite, I think everyone should be able to live in a nice place. It’s that she probably makes 1/3 as much as I do but, thanks to her cluelessness about finanical stuff, has a higher standard of living that drives me crazy. If she is our local version of a “Fat Tony,” I can agree with the sentiment.

Comment by The_Lingus
2006-04-10 17:57:38

You call it regional bigotry however the fact that rural areas are overrun by slobs who bring nothing but their expectations and stand before us waiting for a handout from native is hardly bigotry.

Comment by death_spiral
2006-04-10 19:21:55

right on dude!!

Comment by arroyogrande
2006-04-10 21:50:06

>thanks to her cluelessness about finanical stuff,
>has a higher standard of living that drives me crazy.

Some of you don’t seem to get it. Karma, like housing prices only going up, is only a valid concept when you look at the LONG term. See where you are vs. the “instant gratification” people in 10 years.

Comment by AZ_BubblePopper
2006-04-10 18:15:07

Hey schmoe, you sound like a dolt. What’s a dolt you ask? A dolt is someone who blindly follows dopey impressions they have of ambition. These always lead directly to a life of extreme misery and an early demise. I witnessed it many many times, those relatives that hit paydirt in high stress low quality-of-life lifestyles only to make an express trip to an early grave. Some people make a concious decision to pass that up others luck their way around it. The sad truth is, once you get drawn up into the fantasy illusion of success, you really can’t ever unwind. Even more sad is you think you’re way ahead.

That’s a dope.

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Comment by sf jack
2006-04-10 18:51:01

Hey Joe,

I can appreciate and understand your points above and I do agree with telling Lingus to “cool it” with regard to the derogatory language and such.

I’m from Vermont myself and do have chances to visit regularly. What causes me concern when I return, is to see what happens as a result of moneyed “city people” moving into the area and how they have conducted themselves.

They sometimes DO have little regard for the sensibilities and the aesthetic of natives, and bring about changes that are considered undesirable and wholly disruptive to an existing way of life.

For example, this can be the opening of another generic chain big box store or strip mall (often in what used to be an open meadow/field, it seems) or a completely out-of-character monster home on a hillside that used to be covered with maple trees (I suppose the inverse might be as if a Vermonter inherited several city blocks somewhere in San Francisco, that hosted favored local eating and entertainment establishments within walking distance for many, and decided to level them and instead turned them back into grazing lands for dairy cows).

Some of Vermont’s identity, for some of its people, is very much tied to natural beauty and to spaces undisturbed by human intervention. You have no idea how ugly a moutainside can appear to a local after it has been desecrated by a series of condominiums no one will occupy but for a few weeks a year for the next half century. At the same time, and this may seem incongruous to what I just said above, newcomers to the state also seek to limit the activities of natives through stricter environmental regulations (limiting property rights, business activities, etc.) or preventing access to recreational lands that are based on a couple or more centuries of tradition in a rural/agrarian way of life.

As well, the economic structure changes when towns become infiltrated with second homeowners who never become part of the community. Sure, they contribute tax dollars and spend money at local establishments, but little else (as I see it, The_Lingus’ comments also surround people who live part-time in Vermont, though maybe that is a misperception of mine).

I know some from Vermont who are smart, talented and ambitious and have decided to stay near home, for various reasons.. though it is apparent there are fewer post-college age kids choosing to stay in Vermont all the time, perhaps in part because of the influences outsiders bring to the state, not to mention the other effects of globalization (NAFTA and other trade agreements) and modern communication.

Whether Lingus or others decide to stay or leave (or whether he/she has to, perhaps), adapt or not, is an interesting question.

One thing is for sure, for me, anyway. That Vermont is a very different place than from the time I grew up - and while it has gained in popularity for those “from away”, it has certainly lost some of its appeal for me because of that.

[And I could go on and on about Vermonters' like Lingus independence being co-opted by the politics of originally out-of-state politicians, who are usually from Brooklyn or Manhattan with socialist leanings posing as "Vermonters" on the national scene, but I suppose I'll save that for another time]

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Comment by The_Lingus
2006-04-10 19:08:03

Well….. To validate your point, Gov. Dean is from where else but f@#$cking LONG ISLAND. Rep. Bernie SLanders is from where else but THE BRONX.

The reality is that the stupidity of these monsters from NJ/NYC/CT have created the very environment they are trying to escape. What is that you ask?


And I could go on. Just like it seems that it never ends. It does seem to work against imported idiots. They imagine in their feeble minds some idealized conception of living here. It might last 5 years, 10 at the most and then they sell out.

Me? I own my own wigwam here but have to travel to earn a living. A good one in comparison to most.

Comment by hd74man
2006-04-11 05:38:31

scjack…Well stated eom.

Comment by scdave
2006-04-11 03:13:52

Joe dumped his bucket….

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Comment by The_Lingus
2006-04-11 04:07:35

I $hit in your bucket. ;)

Comment by scdave
2006-04-11 07:51:49

You don’t even have a bucket…..

Comment by hd74man
2006-04-11 05:30:59

In the Northeast, New York City, not rural Vermont, is where people with brains, talent, and ambition go.

Hey Joe-Then stay the f*ck home in NYC on summer weekends, and stop cloggin’ up the I95 Hampton Beach toll-booth.

Nice dump on airline mechanics. Maybe your starboard motor will fall off on your next airplane trip.

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Comment by Moopheus
2006-04-11 11:17:54

Well, people who think they have brains, talent, etc. come to NYC to work as waiters in the many fine eating establishments around town.

Comment by KIA
2006-04-11 07:59:15

Psst! Joe!! Don’t forget that the country-folk have the rifles and very, very long memories.

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Comment by fred hooper
2006-04-11 04:49:30

Mo Money, see what you started? I found all comments above to be very thought provoking. We have parallel issues out west.

Comment by Salinasron
2006-04-10 16:23:06

SAS…”If you really think women are more prone to basing decisions on emotions, try visiting some high end car dealerships. It’s generally not the women making the emotional decisions there.”
LOL. I’m sure that’s true for the muscle cars or a label chaser but not when it comes to convertibles….The salesman asked my wife if she was interested and she pointed to me and said ‘as soon as he dies I’ll be back’ ….I rest my case.

Comment by Ted
2006-04-10 16:52:32

Do you want the Freudian answer?

Comment by Sarah in DC
2006-04-10 16:41:59

I had to talk my husband both into buying (in 2000) and selling (in 2005). He listened because I had researched it– and in both cases could lay out the figures for him to see. I find those ads equally offensive to men and women. I don’t understand why a man would want a whining, manipulative bitch or why a woman would want a man without either brains or balls.

Comment by Ted
2006-04-10 16:56:37

hence…every couple needs a realtor® on retainer.

Comment by sfbayqt
2006-04-10 16:47:49

Single woman here, too….

Regarding the American Dream: This notion has been engrained in our collective thinking for generations, and it IS a viable goal ONLY if all the fundamentals line up. Right now ( and for a few years now) they do not. We bears understand how this works and are able to think for ourselves. But the people whose needle is stuck on the “homeowner” record on the turntable in the “must buy a home” groove, are just that…stuck. In many ways they don’t know any better and don’t want to hear any different than what they believe or have been taught. Their gullibility is astounding, and that is what the RE professionals prey on.

Also, in as much as a lot of people have computers, not all are computer literate in that they know how to research things or even care to….they just fly by the seat of their pants. It’s unfortunate for some that it’s going to cost them dearly.

Sarah in DC made just this point…she did the research and laid it all out. Not everyone will do that.

I read the results of that study, too, where it’s said that single women are more likely to buy real estate than single men. This is my take…..in a perfect world we are taught as children and you see it on TV that little girls grow up, get married, buy a house, have children and supposedly live happily ever after. Of course, we know all of that doesn’t necessarily happen, in that order or ever for that matter. But as women are out on their own more AND for longer AND making more money than their own mothers did, they try to figure out the best way shelter that money or make it grow. And yes, there is also the nesting instinct and having a “place of your own”. Everyone understands the idea of buying a house (condo, townhouse, whatever) but NOT everyone understands stocks, T-bills, day trading, etc. So I think for some it’s just easier to move in that direction. In that one example above, the young woman’s father tells her it’s better to buy than “throw money away on rent”….Now we’ve all heard this before, and it was RIGHT when you were spending about the same on rent as you would on a house note, taxes were low, and there was someone in the house who could do repairs (the husband, right?) But times are different and a lot of people haven’t made the shift, haven’t been keeping track of the market, have too much trust in the so-called RE professionals, and are not thinking on their own and figuring things out.

Every opportunity I get, I talk a friend into not buying or to at least wait. Some of us on the blog do the same, but others do not. That’s ok..you have to do what’s most comfortable. For me, though, it just comes flying out of my mouth. LOL! And hopefully,once they hear some of the facts and read some of the things I send them (Yea for Ben’s blog!), they are better armed to make a good decision. And if anyone overhears me in the grocery line, I’m ok with that, too. :-D

Off the soapbox. ;-)


Comment by Karen
2006-04-10 16:55:55

‘This listing is special, John,’

Yeah, as in takes the short bus special!

Comment by euphonism
2006-04-10 17:00:18

Maybe the fat boy made a deal with the realtor for a little spiff after the house closes. After all, his last words are - “Did you the see the size of that garage?” That could be a fruedian slip.

Comment by viral
2006-04-11 10:02:21

oh christ, is that rich! :)

Comment by bubble-x
2006-04-10 17:02:52

Special as in it stinks, perhaps?

Anyway, like everyone else, I don’t get why an agent pressuring someone is supposed to be a good thing. And, when did nagging and emasculation become good sales tactics? Half of the audience should still be guys, right?

Also, I don’t think the commercial with the Chinese couple good. It doesn’t seem very likely, unless the couple is very rich. And, contrary to the stupid authors point, it’s not timely.



Comment by rentinginNJ
2006-04-10 17:17:44

This happened to me when we went shopping for an engagement ring for my wife. The saleslady pulled the “us girls need to stick together and not let the dumb guys try to cheap-out on our engagement rings” routine. I got up and walked out. I’m glad my wife saw through this line of crap. (BTW I found a much nicer diamond for less somewhere else). If an RE agent pulled this on me, he or she would be out the door in 2 seconds.

Comment by arroyogrande
2006-04-10 21:59:34

Hah! De Beers had already done a “us girls need to stick together” number on you AND your wife long before you went ring shopping…DIAMOND engagement ring, eh? :)

Comment by RentinginNJ
2006-04-11 06:28:05

I know, but you have to pick you battles. I really don’t understand the infatuation with really expensive shiny little rocks, but it’s important to her. If it were up to me, I would have spent half the $ on a big screen TV and put the other half toward my down payment fund.

Comment by NurseLiz
2006-04-10 17:24:36

I HATE that commercial and I want to slap that wife~~~then I want to reach thru the phone and choke the realtor!!!! okay, I feel better.

Comment by viral smile
2006-04-10 17:29:17

The pressure from women is extreme. My mom is one example. She gave me a huge lecture on “wanting to see me settle down”. Turns out she recently saw an episode of Oprah that featured some “expert” saying the only way out of debt is to buy a house and that renters were only throwing money away. She’s a sweet mom but very naiive and dependent on my father. I was fuming after I hung up.

Comment by Amazing Russ
2006-04-10 17:48:18

I for one think we should ALL base our financial, familial, and weight loss decisions on Oprah. Who could possibly know better?

Comment by mrincomestream
2006-04-10 19:04:46

You say that in jest. But it’s really scary how people respond to her whims especially women it’s almost Jim Jones-ish

Comment by azdan
2006-04-10 20:12:59

Pass the koolaid…..

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Comment by arroyogrande
2006-04-10 22:04:18

I too saw that episode (no, really, I’m not a regular Oprah watcher, really, it’s my wife who watches, and, and…)

Anyways, in that same episode, a more responsible “expert” had told someone that they were living beyond their means, and that they should seriously think about SELLING THEIR HOUSE AND RENT FOR A WHILE. Your mom is feeding you information selectively.

And tell your mom that she can’t believe everything she sees on TV…

Comment by Bubble Popper
2006-04-11 09:15:29

I got the same thing from my mom. I don’t know if it was because of Oprah, but it wouldn’t suprise me.

At least now my mom has stopped bothering me about buying since she has figured out that I am right about the bubble.

Comment by grim
2006-04-10 17:32:14

Psychological warfare

Comment by NH_renter
2006-04-10 17:42:46

I have to say that owning a house is definitely more important for a woman. My wife was on my case for a while but I finally convinced her that it is a horrible time to buy. Now I just have the nagging of my mother, grandmother, and mother in law to deal with.

On the whole I’d say that men buy “houses” and women buy “homes”. [Men make plenty of retarded financial decisions, I know]

Comment by The_Lingus
2006-04-10 17:47:13

yeah. The “home” crap is starting to get on everyones nerves. Like the hopeless slobs in the OnStar commercials. The masses are now sick of it.

Comment by Jim
2006-04-11 06:34:51

I hate those OnStar commercials. Like I have time to call OnStar, I’d be out pummeling the dumb bastard that ran into me!

Comment by togoplease
2006-04-10 17:45:08

Do you want the Freudian answer? The house is a projection of the womb.

Now thats the best answer I heard regarding that commercial.

Comment by Melody
2006-04-10 17:52:23

Read about On the Home Front.

It looks like it’s dated 1988. Why can’t we learn?

Comment by mr x
2006-04-10 17:52:54

new here….reading ben’s blog a long time…..this ad also made me want to reach into the tv and choke that beetch…..this nation is soo full of irresponsible indebted morons it’s scary….if it weren’t true i’d be laughing…..this county is soo f’ed it’s scary…..how about the illegal invadors taking over the streets of late - can you image us citizens marching in mass in say russia?
sell the indexes now - the big correction is here in stocks and real estate

Comment by mrincomestream
2006-04-10 17:57:45

Ok I’ve read thru the thread, I’m a realtor and I will say this. In my career I have seen that situation play out more than even I care to admit. I have husbands after going thru the numbers basically say f*** you a******. I’m not going on the hook for that for 30 yrs and this was in a down market. They have got up and left the table wife just looks and not speak a word. The very next day or soon thereafter I get a phone call from the husband and it’s a done deal. I even had one husband come in with a big hickie and smile on his face and he signed the papers all the while his wife sat there and held his hand. In one situation I had one couple who I was particularly fond of we sat there and discussed the option of buying and me and the husband both came to the conclusion that it was too expensive. He didn’t have the down and I wasn’t making enough on the commission to significantly help on top of that the payment was about 400.00 more then he wanted to spend. Hell just in retrospect if I gave it all to them they still would have been 5 grand short. The wife stood up with tears in her eyes and ran into the kitchen and started crying. He ran in after her. All I heard was whats the matter it’s too expensive. I got up too go to my car because the appt was obviously over. By the time I got downstairs getting in my car. The wife calls down and tells me to come back up. Long story short he signs up as even I look on just completely baffled. To get the down he sold his car which was paid for and a classic which by all accounts would be worth a small mint now. And to afford the payment he got a second job.

Now you may say the commercial is creepy. But I have seen that scenario like I said more times than I care to disclose. And I call BS to all the tough talkers on here 90% of you are liars LOL. Maybe 1 out 10 men on here are gonna deny the little lady. And the married little ladies on here screaming restraint “Oh Please !!!”

I would say that commercial is the result of some damn good market research.

Comment by The_Lingus
2006-04-10 18:02:57

The source of the commercial came from NAR or NAR associated organizations. It cannot stand up to any scrutiny. It cannot be trusted.

Comment by mrincomestream
2006-04-10 18:16:48

“Laugh” I have a 12+ yrs in the business that says it can for that particular scenario.

It’s a shame to see grown men manipulated like that. It’s on of the reasons why I laugh when people want to blame the mortgage broker, realtor, NAR or whoever the boogeyman is for the day in this bubble. To survive it’s all about restraint and outside of the folks on this blog very few americans have that quality.

Comment by The_Lingus
2006-04-10 18:20:10

“To survive it’s all about restraint and outside of the folks on this blog very few americans have that quality.”

BINGO. Until people understand that the worlds goal is to separate YOU from YOUR money, you will always walk around like a fool with a hole in his pocket.

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Comment by Melody
2006-04-10 18:03:55

It’s still pathetic. I call it greed on the woman’s part.

Comment by mrincomestream
2006-04-10 18:07:28

I happen to agree about it being pathetic. But at the end of the day it’s human nature. And that’s what the ad is playing on. Those guys in Manhattan are sharp they know what the triggers are.

Comment by txchick57
2006-04-10 18:07:29

Yup. To those guys I’d say, “zip up your fly. your brain is hanging out”

Comment by sf jack
2006-04-10 19:04:28

mrincone said:

“I would say that commercial is the result of some damn good market research.”

That is EXACTLY what I thought the moment I saw this ad played during or just before the Super Bowl (if I recall).

I just sat there for a minute and asked myself if I didn’t imagine it - and thought “… when there’s money to be made, Madison Avenue and the NAR will be sure to put forth their best effort.”

Comment by JCclimber
2006-04-10 21:12:16

Mr Income,
glad you gave us the 10%. My wife and I are equal partners, I include her in all financial decisions. But I make the final call, but I am blessed in that she never tries to undercut me. But my first wife was a vastly different story, and I was a vastly different man. But then, that marriage didn’t work out because of it….

Comment by bluto
2006-04-11 05:44:43

Bingo, that ad wasn’t for buyers, it was for sellers. Since many people are going to try to sell their home themselves (in the hope that they will make a few bucks) Realitors need to convince the sellers that they have the chutzpuh to get the deal closed even when a little brow beating is necessary. Notice the homeowners were conspicuously absent from the ad?

Comment by Upstater
2006-04-11 07:37:31

“And the married little ladies on here screaming restraint “Oh Please !!!”

FYO, this married lady does all the negotiating and I’m tough as nails. I buy my car and my husband’s car because I lived north of Boston by myself for 5 years and picked up a few survival tips (I was also a professional purchasing rep).

Husband is not a wimp more of a negotiator where I will just look at someone and say No way! What I will admit to is he stinks at numbers. Luckily I enjoy picking up the slack.

BTW, on current house….I wanted to walk away and he was the one talking me into it. The broad generalizations here are really annoying. I mean really if women here were the emotional kind, why are we here on this blog instead of down at the coffee shop? Consider your audience dears!

Comment by UnRealtor
2006-04-11 07:53:48

Great post, thanks for sharing the war stories.

Comment by flat
2006-04-10 18:10:20

I don’t argue, I bet
wow, does that freeze the bull’s balls

Comment by cereal
2006-04-10 18:11:59

i have more fear of bankrupcy than a nagging wife. good thing i don’t have to deal with either. she’s on board with the bears.

go bears

Comment by NH_renter
2006-04-10 18:31:24

I won’t be surprised if the divorce rate rises in tandem with the foreclosure rate, due in large part to situations like those depicted in the ad.

Comment by hd74man
2006-04-11 05:43:30

nhrenter…Excellent point eom.

Comment by Dr.Strangelove
2006-04-10 18:39:56

“I’m simply flabbergasted. He’s putting less research into this purchase than he did for his last car, and he’s allowing his fiance to call the shots on their financial future because she wants to impress her girlfriends. I don’t blame her one bit either. If he doesn’t have the brass to stand up to her, that’s his fault, not hers.”

Good point. If I’d looked at a Toyota Corolla in 2000′ and it was $20k, why in Hell would I pay $50k now. Well, I wouldn’t, period. But folks are overlooking this rediculous RE runup because of herd mentality and in many instances–spousal pressure.

A bud of mine just proposed to a gal that has way overbought on a house here in central California (house was well under $200k in 2000, she paid $435k) with psycholoan financing and she can’t understand why she can’t sell her condo? Give me a break! Her condo was worth maybe $75-90k in 2000, now she’s trying to get 270k! It’s totally absurd. And let me tell you folks, the area we’re in has a very low median income (around $40k). My conscience is clear. I told him he should tell her to do her homework before jumping in, but all he did was bend and watch her dive right in. They’ll be married in August. Poor guy’ll be in for a world of hurt with her when her condo doesn’t sell and her crappy loan(s) reset.

I have a suspicion this is happening all over.

My marriage counseling psychologist friends will be flush with referrals over the upcoming years.


Comment by dr_digits
2006-04-10 18:50:49

Both the realtor ™ and the nagging hag are played by my ex-wife. Quite the talent that one was…


Comment by arroyogrande
2006-04-10 22:16:01

ouch. :)

Comment by realestateblues
2006-04-10 18:51:55

My wife and I wanted to buy in late 2004.
I calculated how much I was saving per month, and the difference between PITI and rent was about the same as my monthly savings.
I told my wife if we buy we won’t have any money for anything, we’ll live from paycheck to paycheck, and she agreed that we will have a better life if we rent since we can actually have money to enjoy ourselves and not be stressed about not saving anything or getting into debt.

Comment by Sunsetbeachguy
2006-04-10 18:52:28

I am suprised that it took this long for the topic to arrive at the blog.

My wife and I are both disgusted by the commercial and she is 8.5 months pregnant.

This commercial has been playing for 60 days in So Cal.

It is truly wrong and disturbing.

For all you Century 21 realt-whores lurking here. I will NEVER, NEVER do any business with Century 21 realt-whores. I will tell my friends to never do any business with C21.

Comment by CA renter
2006-04-10 18:59:07

Just my observations, and I could be wrong, but I think there are as many women on this blog as there are men.

It seems that the STEREOTYPE of “emotional” women makes people think most posters here are men.

My experience…I bought a house as a single woman in 1998. Jumped through flaming hoops to get it, too. After that, I met and married my husband (a renter at the time). Because of **my** begging, pleading and showing him reams of research I’d done, he let me get us out of a buying contract and continue with the sale of our house. We are renting now. His mother has caused me so much grief as I am “keeping her son from being a homeowner.” Husband wouldn’t let me sign a long-term lease when the rental market was bad (I wanted a 3 to 5 years lease). No, he only wanted six months — and I got us one year. Now, rents are going up and I can only hope our LL doesn’t raise the rent.

In the end, *I* the woman, bought a house near the bottom of the market, sold for almost 300% profit, and did all the research to find out what’s going on in the market.

It’s not always the man who’s the victim of an emotional spouse.

Comment by Ted
2006-04-10 19:26:32

All the landowners are fantasizing that rents are going to rise, but rents are the ONLY component of housing tied into the CPI. If rents rise, the FED will jack rates until the there is such a popping sound even the NAR economist will have to say the bubble has popped.


Comment by ajh
2006-04-11 03:16:37

Don’t be ridiculous. Rents will be out of the CPI basket and replaced by a price-based factor before you can say ’spin’.

Comment by mrincomestream
2006-04-10 19:46:50

In my experience, you are a rarity. As a matter of fact so rare that I would expect dinosaurs to walk the earth before I run into another one of you.

Comment by CA renter
2006-04-10 19:54:37

I’m going to take that as a compliment, so thank you. ;) However, I have to disagree with the “rarity” of practical women.

Pay attention to the gender of posters on this blog. You’ll find many are women who have a healthy dose of common sense and analytical skills.

I think the “homeowner” brainwashing affects both sexes.

Comment by mrincomestream
2006-04-10 20:09:48

Your welcome, It was a compliment. I have paid attention to the genders here especially on this post. You txchick and a couple of others are top notch and bring a lot to the table.

Homeowner brainwashing agreed effects both sexes. However, In my business for as long as I’ve been doing it, common sense, analytical skills and common sense get thrown right out the window for more with women then with men when it comes to the housing game. I’ve seen it too often all levels of education, races, economic status etc. etc.

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Comment by Former Saratoga CA homeowner
2006-04-10 21:10:41

I’ve been posting a bit and some of the responses to my posts have assumed I am of the male persuasion (I am not). For all we know ALL of the posters on this blog are female (or aliens, or canines, or realtors, or…well, you get the point).

Comment by mrincomestream
2006-04-10 21:46:40

For the record I’m not female ;-) (or should I say a woman I’ve been punched for that slip once this year) I get your point but some of the nicks are fairly obvious and that is what I was referring too. Not trying to piss anyone off just making a observation from what I have seen from my years in the industry.

Comment by femalerenter
2006-04-11 05:42:42

hear hear!!
that ad infuriates me…
but what is really amazing is the rise of advertisements selling homes…on tv, in the mail, especially condos…and oh yeah…they are all priced “lowest in the area.”
dream on!

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Comment by femalerenter
2006-04-10 20:06:59

that is such nonsense…Harvard’s Larry Summers should be here looking for members of his “Women suck at math and sciences” Club…
there are plenty of women who can do the math…seems to me there are too many stereotypes of gender construction…i am female…a renter…married to a “bear”…and i learnt all about the bubble myself…including the numbers game…

Comment by NH_renter
2006-04-11 03:46:41

In college I studied math and physics. There were at least 4 guys for every girl in my classes (most classes had no women). Almost all of my professors were men despite the fact that the departments were practically begging for female faculty members. Just one man’s observations.

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Comment by femalerenter
2006-04-11 04:55:45

maybe that’s because women entered the fields much later than men…and to date…there are idiots who think biology determines capability…

Comment by Upstater
2006-04-11 07:18:04

My female science friend has a story about a professor that told her she had good enough grades to be referred to an elite program but he wasn’t going to do it. He didn’t think women should be in those programs. (That was in the 80s) so there’s one professor you lost that’s at home being a really smart Mom!

Comment by jim A
2006-04-11 11:29:57

When I was taking abstract algebra in College, there were twice as many women as men in the class. Of course there was only ever one girl in any of my upper division physics classes. Go figure.

Comment by JCclimber
2006-04-10 21:16:41

Yes, but aren’t you more the victim of the mother of your husband? It is unfortunate that he hasn’t been able to tell her to bug off, but at least he had the sense to marry a strong woman.

Comment by CA renter
2006-04-10 22:05:32

“but aren’t you more the victim of the mother of your husband?”
Don’t get me started! ;)


Thank you for your kind posts; and no offense taken.

Someone here once stated that the 100 I.Q. is the median score. Half of the population is below that. I think **THAT** is the scary part.

I really don’t see this as a male/female thing, but I also don’t really associate with emotional decision-makers of either sex; so I honestly don’t understand how any of these people (follow the herd/impress the friends & neighbors) think. For me, all big decisions require logical analysis. I never followed fashion or made decisions based on what was “in” or what others would think. I’m painfully practical (according to my husband). :) I know many other women who are the same.

Comment by hd74man
2006-04-11 05:49:07

In the end, *I* the woman, bought a house near the bottom of the market, sold for almost 300% profit, and did all the research to find out what’s going on in the market.

Nice profit. I’m sure the new buyer will make out as well too (snicker)

Comment by arroyogrande
2006-04-10 19:33:51

I’m keeping that video…OH MAH GAWD! I hope they actually run that ad…a lot!

Comment by euphonism
2006-04-10 19:46:39

Phoenix gets a lot of ads early as a test market for products so maybe the one about all REALTORS have to undergo intense ethics training hasn’t hit the rest of the national market yet.

That’s the ad the really pisses me off.

“Hey! Let’s remind everyone we mandate ethics training for all our agents and only the highest caliber people can wear the REALTOR pin.”

Hey NAR I’m gonna let you in on a little secret - if you need ethics training it’s to late!

Comment by Betamax
2006-04-10 19:53:24

I can see it happening. My first wife tried to be a brow-beater, so I divorced her and never looked back. Life’s too short to spend it with a shrew.

My second wife is a beautiful, intelligent woman who’s better at math than I am (she’s a computer programmer); she originally wanted to buy soon, but once I explained the bubble to her, she started doing calculations and realized that we should keep renting and not buy until prices drop at least 25%.

She also refused an engagement ring; she’s aware of the DeBeers monopoly, thinks diamonds are a rip-off, and would rather we put those thousands toward an eventual downpayment. She’s awesome!

Comment by azdan
2006-04-10 20:21:00

Does she have a sister?

Comment by MC_White
2006-04-11 04:42:58

I bet her name is Suzanne.

Comment by la RE observer
2006-04-11 14:08:51

Yes, does she have any other female members in her family? What a biological gift you’ve found!!

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Comment by JCclimber
2006-04-10 21:18:35

Yes, hang on to that woman. We also eschewed the traditional suckers play of buying a vastly overvalued shiny mineral.

Comment by txchick57
2006-04-11 03:34:41

I also refused an engagement ring. Instead, we bought a house in San Diego (used the money toward it) in 1987 which we sold several years later for 100K profit. Now that’s what I call a good investment. Those diamond ads make me sick. Such manipulation.

Comment by Upstater
2006-04-11 07:44:01

I’ve got my mother in laws ring!

Comment by viral
2006-04-11 10:14:51

So do I! See, there’s a LOT of smart broads on here.

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Comment by la RE observer
2006-04-11 14:10:52

Do you have sisters? I praise the women on this board as rock-solid real estate pragmatists…oh if the country could be like this, but then we wouldn’t have this great board.

Comment by Melody
2006-04-10 20:40:57

There is nothing… absolutely nothing that substantiates the high rise in real estate. The minimum wage has not risen since 1997 for Gawd sake.

You all (most) know how this is going to end…. and we will be together to reap our rewards :)

Comment by CA renter
2006-04-10 22:09:35

Yea, Melody! :)

(See, guys? Another great FEMALE poster!)

Okay, I’ll get off my “defend the practical women” soapbox now. :)

Comment by Bryce Mason
2006-04-10 21:33:22

My wife and I’d like a house, but we know things are out of line here in So Cal. I’ve explained the bubble thing to everyone in my family, but some like my parents and my grandmother think I’m nuts. She’s quite content to rent and live a good life with a nice amount of disposable income. She has no desire to have children. I’m glad =).

Comment by togoplease
2006-04-10 22:51:00

“she’s aware of the DeBeers monopoly, thinks diamonds are a rip-off”

Wow its true … the good ones are really taken…..

Comment by scdave
2006-04-11 04:00:15

diamonds are a rip-off”

I was only 21 at the time….Standing at the counter looking for the engagement ring….The saleman says “Its a great investment”…I thought to myself; “Yeah right, like my wife is going to let me sell it 10 years from now after its doubled in value…What a Moron

Comment by MC_White
2006-04-11 04:39:47

This reminds me of the radio commercial running here in southern California. The ads are for Robbins Bros. Jewlery, who portray themselves as the “Worlds Largest Engagement Ring Store.”

The ad features a young woman who is all teary, explaining how most jewlery stores are ‘all about making the sale’, while Robbins Bros is “only about the love you share.” She goes on to explain how that jewlery chain “represents romance.”

OMFG. I almost barf every time I hear this. My wife gets all sucked into it before she realizes at the end what a load of bull this ad is shoveling.

Same thing with the Century 21 ad. It’s hogwash, and if it influences you to take out a suicide loan and buy a house in this market - then you deserve whatever happens to you.

Comment by Dorothea
2006-04-11 04:42:38

I’ll cop to having an engagement ring, but it’s a leetle tiny sapphire because I’m fond of the color blue. :) We picked out wedding rings together, and the ones we loved were under two hundred bucks apiece.

I do have a big honkin’ diamond, though, which I wear only because it’s an inheritance from my grandmother. The behavior of some (some!) women around large diamonds is deeply weird and disturbing. It’s like there’s a Groucho-Marx-style club or something.

And just to add to the discussions upthread, I bought when it made sense, sold to come to DC to work, cut my price when I had to, made a decent profit, and wouldn’t buy in this area right now if you put a gun to my head. Just no frickin’ way it makes sense.

(I’m a librarian, but I do program computers as part of my job. Gal programmers do exist!)

Comment by tj & the bear
2006-04-11 00:02:05


Short, anonymous, voluntary bios of all blog contributors so that we can all know each other just a little better. Gender ;-), age range, status, general profession, owner/renter, general location, general financial position, etc. Nothing too specific, just a loose profile.

So many here we think we know, but do we really? It’s a fascinating group that I’d certainly like to know more about.

Comment by Surffroggy
2006-04-11 00:15:28

If Susanne researched it, it must be a good deal.

Comment by jim A
2006-04-11 04:28:16

There’s alot of truth in that ad. Of course it’s a stereotype, and not everyone is the same, but real estate agents KNOW that they sell to the wife not the husbund. I’m curious as to how this bubble will be different than the stock market bubble since real estate decisions are usually made by women and stock market investment decisions are usually made by men.

I’m a single guy who was fortunate that I was ready to buy at age 36 in ‘99 back when the market was sane. Made me feel “all grown up.” The ad that resonated for me was the one a few years ago where the guy turns on all the lights and left the front door of his house open, then called his parents, “Hey mom, tell Dad I’m air conditioning the whole neighborhood.” For at least a year after buying, I would simply be wandering around the house smiling because it was mine.

There are plenty of advantages to owning one’s home, you can decorate it to your taste, you can also do some of the maintenance yourself, and you have the security of knowing you’re going to be there awhile. However, I’m personally extreemly tired of the “throwing money away on rent,” arguemnt. Is that somehow inferior to “throwing money away on interest”? In normal, non bubble times the fiscal benefits of owning don’t accrue until you’ve been there awhile and rents have gone up, but your principle and intrest haven’t. I was personally convinced to buy when I realized that my parents’ mortgage for a nice house was half of the rent that I was paying for an okay apartment. I had helf off for a long time because the money that I was saving towards a downpayment was MORE than I would be paying in principle if I bought.

Currently, the rent/buy cost comparisons have gotten so out of whack I would think that it’s a no brainer. I would suggest to those who are having trouble convincing their wives to hold off that they should see what the difference in cost is for buying and renting and put the difference separate “downpayment” account every month. Once you’ve accrued $15,000 or so, waiting will seem to have some logic in the face of flat/declining prices.

Comment by hd74man
2006-04-11 04:32:40

Thanks for the thread Ben.

As a male who is thoroughly sick and tired of media inspired male bashing, you can bet I will never engage the services of a Cendant related business entity.

Then again C-21 is already known as a sleazy op in RE circles.

Interestingly enough, after 21 years in the biz, the people who I have witnessed to be the most inept and ignorant relevant to real estate tend to be divorced women.

Comment by The_Lingus
2006-04-11 04:50:22

“Interestingly enough, after 21 years in the biz, the people who I have witnessed to be the most inept and ignorant relevant to real estate tend to be divorced women.”

I can see that quite easily. The “you owe me” attitude.

Comment by Bigdaddy63
2006-04-11 04:34:59

The SCARY thing is that there are going to be REAL women that act out this commcercial on their wimpy husbands. Women will think that ,” Hey, that is just like me and XXXXX. Why won’t XXXX say yes like that man in the commercial?” As crazy as it sounds, people are influenced by the media. That TV ad is NOT a mistake. I assure you that there was alot of market research done prior to that ad running. It portrays perfectly many couples today. An overbearing, whiny wife with a placating husband. He just wants things to go easy and smooth. He is thinking RATIONALLY, she is thinking emotionally. But, most people know that the majority of husbands cave in to their wives to keep them “happy.” Then in the divorce she keeps the house anyway!

Comment by Tulkinghorn
2006-04-11 06:58:06

In many cases she gets the house payment too. Then, six months after the divorce, she is the one declaring bankruptcy in spite of the alimony.

Comment by hd74man
2006-04-11 09:10:21

Bingo!!!!!!!!!!!!! eom.

Comment by _FLmtgbroker
2006-04-11 04:35:47

Slightly OT, I meant to post an article a friend of mine forwardedto me yesterday evening:

Comment by dreaming 07
2006-04-11 04:45:56

Guys, there are a lot of practical women out there who put finances before emotions…guess what, most of you don’t want to date us ;) Most men (tho they deny it) prefer the needy, overly-emotional, high-drama types.

Comment by txchick57
2006-04-11 06:52:36

I was going to make that point but felt this wasn’t the forum for it.

Comment by CA renter
2006-04-11 11:25:03

So was I. Men always chase the “Stepford Wives” type with the perfect hair, latest-trend clothing and fake smile. They want the “hot” women who wear short skirts and high-heels (which are impractical — see the connection?). Guess what? The hot women are the drama queens.

If you want a woman who is good with money (and will be a level-headed, loyal, intelligent life partner), marry the woman wearing jeans (from Target) and a t-shirt, little makeup, and who eschews what is “cool”. She might not be the hottest-looking thing around, but she will be your best bet as a wife, IMHO.

Comment by Anon in DC
2006-04-12 18:26:05

I’ve only date smart women. I also look to see whether they wear sensible shoes. If not forget it, no way.

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Comment by climber
2006-04-11 07:20:49

Possibly, but most women of any type aren’t interested in the boring, career oriented, shy and rational engineer type either. I had about zero luck dating until the “clocks” started to chime saying it was about baby time. Then, suddenly, my solid career and bank account started to compenste for my lack of charm and starkly average looks.

Oh well. The cheesy guys get their decade of fun, then the solid guys get the girl for good. At least my story is shaping up to have a happy ending.

Comment by dreaming 07
2006-04-11 15:14:13

Just make sure to pick the woman who is not looking closer at your bank account than at you.

Comment by garcap
2006-04-11 07:24:48

Marry me.

Comment by dreaming 07
2006-04-11 14:56:26

Awww, you made my day :) But I’m happy to report that I did find a wonderful partner when I was in my early 30s.

Comment by sf jack
2006-04-11 15:43:53

hey dreaming 07,

Look at the time stamp - garcap’s talking to climber, not you.


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Comment by sf jack
2006-04-11 15:46:03

Then again, perhaps *I* should look at the time stamp.

I see… you took the compliment first, _before_ your reply to climber.

My bad! Ha!

Comment by auger-inn
2006-04-11 09:23:15

OT, reminds me of an old joke. If given the choice to marry either a very smart brunette, a successful blond CEO or a rich redhead, who do you pick?
(drum roll)

the one with the big tits!

That about sums up the whole decision tree most men use when selecting their dating partners (present company excluded of course). PS, I’m a guy (although my wife has just read the above joke and has informed me that my nuts have been placed in an escrow account until further notice). Is it possible that the pussywhipped lifestyle the man in the ad is living is underrated?

Comment by Salinasron
2006-04-11 05:30:19

DRHorton going higher…..me thinks that they are fibbing….raise their stock price to make up for losses in housing….I’d like to see what’s going on behind the scenes…

Comment by skep-tic
2006-04-11 06:12:24

I think the reason the ad pisses so many people off is because it’s true.

as much as I’d hate to admit it, I know I’m completely whipped by my wife of 2 yrs. All of my recently married friends are hardcore whipped as well (despite what they might claim).

none of us is interested in buying a house anytime soon, but since our wives’ biological clocks are ticking, we all know the issue is going to be forced to the forefront at some point.

the best way to deal with this is to lay out a plan that your wife can understand and appreciate. don’t talk about the house in terms of an investment– women don’t think about houses like that. as long as it’s within reach financially, 95% of their concerns are “lifestyle” oriented. so the strategy here is to say, “let’s save for a bigger downpayment, that way we can afford a bigger house in a nicer neighborhood, etc.” this buys you time to wait out the crash.

apologies to the women on the board for whom this way of thinking doesn’t apply, but I’m sure most guys here know what I’m talking about. and to the guys– if you think you can win the argument that a house isn’t a “home,” then more power to you

Comment by TheGuru
2006-04-11 06:57:26

Been holding the wife off for 6 years — effin’ brutal!

Comment by jim A
2006-04-11 07:06:01

Unfortunately, six years ago was a good time.

Comment by Tulkinghorn
2006-04-11 07:13:23

That would have been luck, not good planning. Planning for good luck is planning for disaster.

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Comment by jim A
2006-04-11 08:17:59

If by planning one means having a good Fico and a downpayment in the bank, than you can indeed plan for the time when opportunity comes knocking. Of course I was (as stated in a comment above) lucky that when I was ready to buy, the market wasn’t insane. The converse can also be true: if the prices are insane, save up until sanity returns. In 20/20 hindsight, I should have paid more for a nicer house, but I was very conservative calculating what I could afford. I certainly wouldn’t have predicted that I would be able to refinance within 4 years of buying into a 4.875% 15 year fixed.

Comment by hd74man
2006-04-11 09:16:03

as much as I’d hate to admit it, I know I’m completely whipped by my wife of 2 yrs. All of my recently married friends are hardcore whipped as well (despite what they might claim).

You all would be smart to be settin’ up a Cayman Island bank account. When your wives “baby-family” life phase is over, and the kids are self-suffient, you guys are gonna be history along with your current net worth statement.

Damn that female “rediscovery” phase can be a b*tch.

Comment by skep-tic
2006-04-11 09:49:23

is that the phase where I buy a porsche and start dating 22 yr olds again?

kidding. I know what you’re saying, but obviously by being married these days you’re betting that you’ll be in the minority that doesn’t get divorced and maintains a solid relationship.

when it comes down to it, each of us has his or her faults. I know that I’ll be willing to deal with a less-than-100%-rational house purchase at some point if it comes down to it because my wife puts up with so much of my bullsh*t tendenciens.

luckily, we’re not quite at that point yet

Comment by Tulkinghorn
2006-04-11 07:06:48

MY wife is a CPA… she dragged me along kicking and screaming in to several deals over the last 13 years, and we made money on all of them. Being very risk-phobic I started to freak out a year ago, and she agreed to bail out. Now we are expecting our fifth child, and she agrees no way, keep renting at least two more years.

A marriage like you see in that commercial is unimaginable to me. What a hell to find oneself in. Then again, the thousands of diapers I have had to change over the last decade would be unimaginable too most men.

Comment by climber
2006-04-11 07:12:44

My wife backed off the new house plans too when I explained to her it was going to ruin our marriage. We’re on our third house, every one nicer than the last. I think I finally impressed on her that I wasn’t trying to force her to live in poverty, just within our means, and that now isn’t the best time to be boosting our debt load.

Comment by scdave
2006-04-11 08:01:08

5 kids WOW….Bet your going to move into one of those Utah houses comming up…

Comment by SAS
2006-04-11 07:33:24

A question for the men who are feeling “whipped” by their wives into buying a house. Are your wives contributing substantially to family income? As a wife who works hard to earn a large percentage of our joint income, as much as I’d like to own a house, I have no desire to buy in at today’s prices because I’ve sweated just as hard as my husband has for the money we have. Potentially losing a big chunk of money seems much more real to me if it is money I made.

Comment by Upstater
2006-04-11 08:04:27

Ouch, says this stay at home Mom who put her husband thru his 2nd college stint while she was pregnant and working 70 hrs/week.

We’ve moved from bubble land to hicksville USA so I don’t have to work. People have survived this bubble in different ways.

Comment by SAS
2006-04-11 08:09:01

I didn’t mean this as a slam against women who don’t work. I apologize if it came off this way. But I’d say that your experience working 70 hrs/week at one point gives you a different perspective on money than those who never did this.

Comment by KIA
2006-04-11 08:22:09

One of the hallmarks of the high-tide of a mania is irrational behavior. I was recently discussing my friend’s impending purchase. He’s a well-educated male attorney and I expected him to apply logic and rationality to the situation. I advised him to wait. He said he “just wanted to own” and “needed the tax break.” I said “Tom, if you buy an $800k house now and lose 20% in the next twelve months (conservative estimate), then you’ve lost $160k. There is no way you’re getting a $160k tax break on buying this house. Assume you have a $200k salary (no idea, number from hat). You’d pay maybe $66k in taxes at 33%. Your deductible interest might be in the range of $3k a month (generous) or $36k per year. That reduces your salary to an effective $164,000 and reduces your taxes (again at 33%) to $54,120.00. That’s $11,880.00 or about 12k in tax savings. It would take thirteen years of tax savings to catch up with a 20% drop in home values - to break even, excluding real property taxes, insurance, maintenance, etc., etc.

Assuming a lower salary, $100k at 33% would be 33k in taxes, with deduction of $36k=> $64k gross income, $21k in taxes, net savings $12k. No major difference unless tax rate changes for lower income block. Nevertheless, negative financial proposition by any conventional calculations.

He ignored me, of course. I predict we will have many, many bitter, angry people in the next few years, and they will not accept “I told you so.”

Comment by Bigdaddy63
2006-04-11 09:28:26

Sounds like the ‘discussion’ I had with some friends of mine that HAVE to buy a home because they are tired of throwing their money away at renting. They live paycheck to paycheck on a $70,000 income, still have not sold their home in another state, have ZERO saved, have ZERO retirement saved, and are looking at 1500 sq ft shacks for $400,000 + in a much worse neighborhood than where they rent. To buy a home they would have to spend at least $1000 more a month. Even after I ran the buy vs. rent numbers for them, they still called me “closed minded”, and are adamant about buying. Go figure.

Comment by NjGal
2006-04-11 12:16:16

That’s been my argument to my husband when he says that we need some tax breaks because we’re getting hit with AMT. While I agree that tax breaks for owning can be good, I told him we were better off contributing to retirement plans, saving money and making some charitable contributions for a bit longer than buying a POS house and paying 5K a month for the privilege. The breaks we would get owning just aren’t really there until we have a larger downpayment saved and prices either stabilize or come down.

In the meantime, while saving for a house and paying down student loans (got to get rid of those ASAP), we still have enough money left over for nice vacations (2-3 a year), furniture, clothing, boys’ fun toys (like tv’s), a new car (hopefully in the fall) and dinners out. You just can’t beat it (although as I’ve said before, my mother would beg to differ:)

Comment by Anon in DC
2006-04-12 18:39:33

What gets me is the idea that renting is throwing money away. (No I am not a landlord.) When rent critics stay in a nice hotel do they think they’ve thrown away money or did get something in exchange for their money. I lived in bay area for six years. Was too exspensive to buy. I thought the rent on my beautiful Pacific Heights one bedroom (with stunning bay view) some of the best money I ever spent. The difference (or most of it, I could not afford to buy) in rent vs. mortgage went into a REIT. So you can buy, but a little at a time and be diversified, and not have to be a landlord. REIT has grown to a tidy sum for down payment if /when I settle down and want to buy.

Comment by JCclimber
2006-04-11 12:30:50

Don’t bother with “I told you so”. Just invest wisely, commiserate with them when they lose their shirts, and enjoy life. I think too many here are bitter that the bubble has priced them out of buying (me included), because we are too wise to take a suicide loan.

Comment by Portland, Mainer
2006-04-11 08:39:56

Online Home Price Poll in Bruce Springsteen’s Backyard.

I ‘m going to vote now - thumbs down!

Home prices headed up, down at Shore?

Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 04/11/06
What will happen to home prices in Monmouth and Ocean counties this year?
That’s this week’s online business poll question.

Have prices peaked or do they still have room to grow? If the do, by how much? Conversely, if you think prices are headed down, will they fall slowly or will the real estate “bubble” burst?

To record your answer, go to http://www.app.com and click on the Business section. Readers are invited to e-mail us their comments as well.


Comment by need 2 leave ca
2006-04-11 08:40:47


Comment by Portland, Mainer
2006-04-11 08:48:09

I just voted in the aforementioned Monmouth County poll. The direct link is:
http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?Category=BUSINESS and the poll was on the right hand side of the page.

At 12:49 PM, there were 70 votes and the % of -10 to -15% was 17.1%.

Comment by o.t.
2006-04-11 10:13:28

I haven’t seen the commercial but maybe the greatest irony of such desire is that the buying of the house is only the beginning…
then you have your remodelling desire, your landscaping desire, your furniture desire, ..and maybe even when everything is complete, a desire for a second home to escape the first…
may as well try to fill a colander with water…

Comment by o.t.
2006-04-11 10:24:11

this all reminds me of ‘American Beauty’ when Annette Benning gets so angry when Kevin Spacey spills some beer on the $5000. sofa…in fact come to think of it she was playing a real estate agent….

Comment by o.t.
2006-04-11 10:44:52

and also (sorry to be talking to myself!) that movie is in a way emblematic of the bubble—-there was a couple and they had their dreams but somehow along the way it was all horribly horribly distorted and neither was capable of identifying anymore what the true ‘American Beauty’ they possessed actually was (until it was too late)

Comment by ilsm
2006-04-11 10:51:26

I am enjoying my 9th year of singlehood.

I did get that kind of run in on a house in 1990, lost a few ‘bucks’ when it was sold in the divorce.

But it was a lesson learned and never forgotten.

The realtor should be hanged for dividing the two, although the outcome is likely happy if the fellow is strong.

If the bubble bursts he splits the loss with the soon to be ex.

Small consolation.

Comment by jim A
2006-04-11 11:23:55

You know, alot of guys here are saying something like “Why would showing some harpy and her henpecked guy make me want to buy a house from these people.” You have to realize that houses are sold to women. The message of this ad is “We’ll help you henpeck your husbund into buying.” THAT’S what Suzanne is doing to earn her comission.

Comment by JCclimber
2006-04-11 12:36:34

I just watched that ad. I never watch any TV, so never saw any ads in person. What a putz that guy is. But then, he chose that woman as his wife out of the millions of women available. His choice.

Comment by CA renter
2006-04-11 12:44:41

Finally got it to play (wasn’t working yesterday). Got to admit, it doesn’t show the best in either sex. Definitely **does not** sell real-estate or the services of a Realtor. It would make me turn and run the other way.

Comment by rms
2006-04-11 17:55:32

“It would make me turn and run the other way.”

But since you are blogging this topic you are also a sceptic, which is not the herd’s style. The ad suggests that it is acceptable for the white middle class eunuch to surrender despite his anxiety. His wife then rewards him with physical closeness, a tool of manipulation in many marriages. It’s a sad reflection of modern reality where the granular division of labor has left the individual knowing more and more about less and less.

Comment by beaconst
2006-04-11 18:33:59

I also don’t watch tv so this was the first time I caught this ad. Geeze, how disgusting. I felt like the husband was Kevin Spacey in American Beauty. I wanted to kick his ass out into the gym to start pumping some weights and smoking some reefer. He needs to reach down deep and grab his balls and do the best thing for his family. I have strong opinions on real estate valuation (I think California is in a bubble, but areas of Boston less so), but I strongly dislike realtors and think most are overpaid, underskilled hacks.

Comment by Pointlines
2006-11-06 16:46:10

ha ha - this add will go down in bubble history

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