I’ve been fascinated by the story of Casey Serin, a 24-year-old who dived into real estate investing as the market turned sour. He bought the bulk of his properties in 2005 with “liar loans,” which lets borrowers state their own income to get into more house that they could afford. And with interest-only payments, for at least a few years you can afford your dream house. This housing boom has created new rules that prevent housing from ever going down; by the time you balloon payment begins, you can refinance and cash out a little to get marble countertops or a new car. Unfortunately for many people reading from a DC condo right now, we know this recent housing boom was no different from previous ones.
Casey bought houses at their peak prices, sometimes without even looking at them in person, and found himself unable to get buyers interested. Since he quit his web designer job to be a RE investor, there was no income coming in. He started a blog about his problems, which was immediately successful though it put him on the hook legally since he admits to lying on his loans. The USA Today did a profile on him called 10 mistakes that made flipping a flop.
In one year, the 24-year-old website-designer-turned-real estate-flipper bought eight homes in four states — and in every case but one, he put no money down. At his peak, in April, Serin had $93,000 he’d taken out of the homes as he bought them. By July, he was broke, desperate for one last deal.
Now? Serin has $140,000 in credit card and credit-line debt and five houses in foreclosure. Last month, he started iamfacingforeclosure.com, a blog that’s drawn both notes of condolence and expletive-laced condemnation.
He is sitting on $2.2 million in debt. Only in America will banks lend such a large amount of money to a web designer. But to his credit, if he simply dived in four years earlier, he would be a very wealthy man right now.
I’m not a RE investor but I’m fascinated by this story because I completely missed the boat. I did not buy any properties and got to sit on the sidelines watching other people’s wealth increase. I am a bitter renter. But the fact that my rent payment is less than what many of you Whole Food shoppers pay for food a month does ease the pain.
The fun part of all this, and why I’m writing about Casey, is his brilliant blog. He is a soap opera writer, stirring up the pot and getting everyone in a froth over his idiotic moves and statements. Examples:
- Continual search for “creative” and “sweet” deals even though he has to borrow thousands of dollars a month from friends and family.
- Selling a reliable car and buying a used Jetta with a subwoofer that is in dire condition.
- Following the advice of “gurus” and attending real estate seminars. He recently attended a one-week RE seminar and posted about how the book Getting Things Done might turn things around for him.
- Postings of his discretionary spending which includes visits to Macaroni Grill and Jamba Juice (West Coast equivalent of Smoothie King). The Jamba Juice mentions guarantee at least 100 comments.
- Complete unwillingness to file for bankruptcy (until yesterday).
For the past couple months I know he’s been trolling, but I just can’t look away. I really want to see where this ends up: if his wife will divorce him, if he will go to jail, or if he will land a sweet deal to get him out of the mess. And it’s educational too because I have learned more about RE investing from the hilarious comments section than anywhere else.
I look forward to a housing crash, which would only affect speculators like Casey or buyers who bought more than they could afford. Unless the dollar falls, which is a real possibility for 2007, a housing free-fall would be a most pleasant development to someone like me who is sitting on cash.
Here’s an educational video that shows how cocaine is made. Unfortunately there were no bare-breasted women cutting up the coke like in the movie New Jack City.
I’ve never tried cocaine before and after watching this I don’t think I ever will, especially when recycled gasoline is a main ingredient. Ammonia and sulphuric acid is also used. The filter of choice is a dirty rag.
The impurities and chemical residues will get you before the drug does.
I have been in this area since legal drinking age and have visited over 100 bars and clubs around DC, but I have never been to Smith Point. I don’t know anyone who goes there but apparently it’s a popular bar. Can someone help me “get it”?
Late Night Shots, the promotional arm of Smith Point, has a message board I read when I want to feel better about myself. On the surface it doesn’t look like these are the type of people I want to associate with, but I’ve been wrong before (once, actually). The bar seems like a place the CPMC guys went to before they discovered the existence of the cigar.
If being a part of this white crowd means I can pre-party at J. Crew, I want in immediately.
Postscript: “There’s enough fodder for mockery in there to keep 100 monkeys blogging non-stop for a year.” – Rock Creek Rambler
A new about page.
After 27 years of life, I have stopped drinking another mammal’s excretion. I have come to the conclusion that cow’s milk is better suited for baby calves and not adult humans. The only reason we drink milk from a cow is because it’s cheap to produce; if the dairy industry could find a more economical way to produce milk from a camel, we’d all be drinking camel milk within a generation, after “new research” shows that camel milk offers more “health benefits.”
I was talking to a friend about my recent decision to wean myself off the cow teat and he told me I was crazy, that milk is good for me and I’m sure to die a horrible bone-shattering death down a flight of stairs at the age of 50.
“How do you know milk is good for you?” I asked.
“What do you mean, it’s common sense. Studies show it’s good for you.”
Another victory for public relations! Now I’m not writing this to convince you that milk is bad for you, but the last person I’m going to trust when it comes to what I put in my body is an industry motivated by profit. Whenever you are wondering if you should believe someone or not, ask yourself how much that person would lose if the opposite were to be true. If it’s measurable in large dollar sums, as in billions of dollars, it may be prudent of you to be a little bit more skeptical. Money is all too powerful and corrupting of an incentive.
I bought a soy latte recently and was pleased with the taste. I’m becoming such a lame hippie cliche, with my long, non-showered greasy hair and beard, carrying books around and consuming soy products. I won’t be surprised if I go vegetarian. On an unrelated note, I’m currently in the market for an acoustic guitar.
Some items off the rapist checklist:
1. You are a rapist if you get a girl drunk and have sex with her.
3. You are a rapist if you get yourself drunk and have sex with her. Your drunkeness is no excuse.
13. You are a rapist if you ‘nag’ her for sex. Because you manage to ply an eventual ‘yes’ from a weary victim doesn’t mean it’s not rape. You are a rapist.
14. You are a rapist if you try to circumvent her “No” by talking her into it. She’s not playing hard to get, and, even if she IS it’s not YOUR responsibility to ‘get’ her. You’re still a rapist.
17. You are a rapist if you don’t immediately get your hands off of her when she says ‘no’. You are a rapist if you take your hands off of her and then put them back ON her after 10 minutes and she eventually ‘gives in’ to this tactic.
18. You are a rapist if you won’t let her sleep peacefully without waking her every 15 minutes asking her for sex. Sleep depravation is a form of torture and YOU are a rapist.
21. If she said “Yes” to sex with a condom and that condom breaks and you proceed anyway then you’re a rapist.
27. If you had sex with her the night before but she doesn’t want morning sex and you pressure her for it anyway then you’re a rapist.
During sex, all the power belongs to the male because he controls the speed, tempo, force, and rhythm (unless he chooses to give it up). Even with consent, he is penetrating and he is violating. The author of this list tries desperately to equal the imbalance by making only one sexual interaction acceptable: when the man grovels and asks for explicit permission. To her this is acceptable because the man emasculates himself and transfers power and control — and his manhood — to her side. She doesn’t care about equality, or protecting women from men like me; she just deeply resents the fact that sex is where men completely dominate. Unless a woman tells me ‘no’ once I’m inside her (it has never happened), I’m going to get mine the way I want to get mine. And so is every other real man that has sex. No ridiculous list will change that.
Good news for people who have sex: Plan B is now on the shelves.
Major pharmacy chains such as CVS Corp., Rite-Aid Corp. and Walgreen Co. not only offer the pill throughout their networks, but also pledge to ensure that customers can buy Plan B onsite even if a given employee declines to provide service for reasons of conscience.
Calling 1-888-NOT-2-LATE was easy enough, but you had to wait by the phone so a counselor can call back and ask your girl questions about her vagina.
Counseling fee: $20
Morning after pill: $50
Busting inside a girl because you were too drunk to notice the condom broke: PRICELESS…
…from what other guys have told me.
Loooooong time reader Eric has started a magazine in Austin with some friends called The Other Paper. He has a column that riffs on the seduction “gurus” you may have read about in The Game, with their acronyms and ridiculous war analogies.
Austin is the only American city I need to visit.
I think I will stop reading comments from now on. Several of you have interesting things to add, but every now and then I have to punch myself in the stomach. It’s almost like some of you are reading another blog and then commenting here.
If you ask one-hundred people what they like to do in their spare time, not one will say “to think.” Why would they — humans think all the time. In fact, they had to think just to answer your question. Right? But are they simply reacting to information or are they breaking it apart to create new ideas and theories? Do they just nod or frown at the news or do they take time out of their day to understand the big picture?
Unfortunately, people do not think, they consume. Sure, you read news and commentary, look up topics in Wikipedia, watch educational programs or documentaries, but do you put it together? Do you add to the conversation or do you just spit out the same statements you have always been saying? There really is no point anyway: humans are so resistant to change and forming new opinions that they will simply seek out information that validates their existing view. Growth rarely occurs. Real thinking is so rare that there is a term — ‘intellectual’ — for the class of people who actually do it.
The reason people do not think is because it is boring. Oh the torture of having to sit alone, without entertainment and without concern of what else you could be doing to only be occupied by your thoughts. Instead of being bored with the company of their mind, people seek out television or celebrity photos to consume some more. They don’t realize that they are bored with themselves. Look around and you will find people who fill their time with enough activities, distractions, and obligations so they are never forced to be alone with their own mind; so they always can say they’re “busy.” They are like the little baby who gets tired of one toy and reaches for something else, just passing the time, just playing on the surface.
I have a player friend who has 48 notches. No girl who meets him thinks he is a player, and it’s this under-the-radar feel about him which is the probable cause of his success. Girls think he is just a nice guy until he bangs them and never calls again.
This graphic gives you an idea of his accomplishment thus far:
He wants to get to 50 where he can then take a step back and look for a quality girl. And he would like to do this before January 1st, which means he has under a month to bang two girls. The Road to 50 series will detail his journey to finally becoming a real man.
Postscript: Before I can even post this, I get a text message Monday night that he got to 49. I knew I should have started earlier.
Postscript 2: Damn it, last night he got number 50. He got 3 new notches in 4 days. Oh well that was fun.
Years of trolling Craigslist daily has finally paid off: I was recently a missed connection. Behold the glory that is an anonymous female seeking me out:
Barnes & Noble? – w4m – 20
Date: 2006-11-19, 1:23AM EST
Today. Yesterday, rather. You stayed till closing.
I confirmed it was me after an email exchange. She’s an L.A. implant hipster. The first thing she noticed about me, like most girls, was my hair. :paranoid:
When I grew my hair out, I noticed that I would attract a different type of girl. The quantity didn’t change, but now I was spending time with art snobs, hippies, international girls, and emotional crazies.
October 25, 2006
I guess all I have left to accomplish is some sort of massive orgy.
It’s that time of year where you start asking your friends, “So what are you doing for New Years?” Panic strikes as Christmas approaches and you still have no idea what lame party you are going to. Well I’ll tell you what I’m doing for New Years: I am cooking myself a meal from my Betty Crocker cookbook, drinking a bottle of wine (probably a Riesling), turning off my phone, watching a movie, masturbating, and then going to bed. Total cost: $20. For me there will be no party, no countdown, no overpriced entry fee, no mass text messages, no cheap Champagne, and no party amateurs celebrating another year of life they wasted. Why bother? The people who love New Years Eve are the same who love making a big deal on their birthday. Well there is an age where you stop making a big deal of both — that age is 9.
Now I will not judge you if you spend $100 to pretend that you are fun. It is your money and you can do whatever you want with it, but let’s be honest: I am superior to you. I know that fun can not be bought. I know that very little good can can come out of packed crowds. I know that bar and club owners are diluting their vodka as we speak. Everyone tries so hard on New Years (“Oh my God I need to buy a new dress!”) that all you end up with is a bunch of losers acting unnatural, praying that they will find someone with a heartbeat to make out with. I will have my own party — a hand party — and I guarantee you it will be fun.