Have you noticed how touchy some people can be when it comes to discussing the subject of whether homes are overpriced or not? It's almost gotten as bad as politics. For the best/worst example of this, head over to the Craigslist housing forum (if you dare). I read it occasionally, but honestly not very often, because it seems like all day long, all it is over there is bickering and name-calling, from both sides of the aisle. Heck, in my first visit over there in nearly a month, I discovered someone throwing insults at me, and I barely ever post there (and when I do, it is never anonymously). If you've got something to say to me, come to my blog and say it "to my face" so to speak.
So what is it about this subject that makes people get just downright mean? Real estate enthusiasts throwing out the "bitter renter" insult, and bubble believers cheering on the economic destruction of their neighbors... Obviously not everyone involved in the debate stoops to those levels, but there are enough examples of these kinds of attitudes out there that it tends to color the entire debate.
On an almost unrelated note, I was "interviewed" by Frank Sennett for the Spokane Spokesman-Review a few weeks ago. Here's my 15 seconds of Spokane fame:
Seattle Bubble is a real-estate blog with teeth. It focuses on signs of a hard landing for the housing market. Tim Ellis, a twentysomething electrical engineer, started blogging about a bubble after encountering what he viewed as unrealistically high prices while house hunting last year.Heh... A blog with teeth. Amusing.
But unlike the proprietor of Housing Panic, who seems almost gleeful about a crash, "I try to keep a fairly level head about the subject," Ellis said via e-mail. "I don't really get why some bubble bloggers seem so excited about the very real potential for a serious economic downturn. It's certainly not a prospect that thrills me, considering that any economic pain is likely to be felt across the board, which includes me."
So like I asked in the subject... Why can't we all just get along? You've got your opinion, I've got mine, and we each do what we think is the best given all of the information available to us. What do you care if someone else doesn't see things the way you do?
(Frank Sennett, Spokesman-Review, 08.07.2006)