Double Upside-Down at Ground Zero

Met a guy at coffee this morn who was visiting from Vegas. Brother of a friend. Big, funny guy. So I ask, How's the real-estate market in Vegas? Heard it was bad there.

Mushroom cloudVegas is ground-zero for the sub-prime real estate meltdown, he said.

He owns TWO homes there. Bought the first in '98. But refinanced in 2006, at the peak of the housing market. Used the cash to buy second home (also at market-peak).

Did lots of upgrades to the new house. New floors, lighting, kitchen, etc. Expensive stuff.

Sad story. Has two young kids. Doesn't want to walk away from the property, even tho he may never be able to sell it for what he paid. The idea of somebody getting it for "pennies on the dollar" after he put in so much love & money .. clearly bothers him.

I think he said he's making half-payments on both properties, 1 day late each month. Not sure about the strategy. He said his properties are worth roughly half what he has them mortgaged for. Maybe this is where he gets the half-payment strategy. (More money for him to stimulate the economy with.)

I was thinking about him later. He's my age. His oldest is the Bug's age. He's double upside-down at ground zero. Yeah, he looked a little frazzled. Sharp sense of humor, tho. (Stress can do that to you.) He had me laughing pretty good.

On a related note, my buddy, the Dog, grew up (in Hoboken) with a bunch of kids who ended up working on Wall Street. He says they take "absolutely no responsibility" for what happened. Dog says his friends (who are "worth a lot of money") all blame the real-estate crisis on people who bought homes that cost more than they could afford.

••• today's entry continues here below •••

On the techie front, I'm done reviewing the 'fundamental features of the PHP language,' and (finally) started applying these principles to build actual web pages. Woot! So this might be a good place for me to outline what I've learned so far. Maybe next weekend I'll do that.

PHPLearning the features of a language is like learning how to play baseball » can't wait to start playing with real bats & balls. Spent extra time studying how functions work, cuz that's where the power is.

Still having problems with the laptop. Can't disable the onboard wireless adapter in the BIOS, which is giving me problems during startup. Returning from standby is cool, cuz the system goes straight to Windows (where wireless is disabled).

But during cold-startup or restart » very bad. Ugly. Sometimes can't even boot via a CD. So basically, I can never restart. =)

It's bad enough that I got out the old Rad rig today (pretty dirty) and started yanking out all the old components. Like a (dusty) trip down memory lane. Hope the old PSU still works. I need that. But I don't want to build computers now. I want to learn programming.

My focus was on hardware back then. Now it's on software. (And the Bug.) The #1 request I get from readers is for an updated Rad rig. I'm *still* using the same system, they tell me. Never had a system this long. But it's only fun if you're gonna build it for yourself.

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This page contains a single entry by Rad published on April 25, 2010 4:25 AM.

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