As per our earlier discussions:


See also:


A Town Drowns in Debt as Home Values Plunge
Published: November 10, 2008

Category: Data Analysis, Markets, Real Estate

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

13 Responses to “Where Homes Are Worth Less Than the Mortgage”

  1. Steve Barry says:


    Again, I’d like to make you aware that when you import graphics like this on your new site, the legends are illegible. until you click through. It wasn’t like that on the old site. Can you crank the resolution?

  2. Hmmm, I cant figure out why.

    Any ideas? Its likely a Word Press issue …

  3. Archiphage says:

    I’ve noticed homes in my town being worth less than the mortgage for the last several years. If the rest of the country starts to look like this place (Youngstown, OH)… well, it won’t be pretty, that’s for sure. What used to be premium homes here can be bought for under $50k, and sometimes far less if you don’t mind a ‘natural skylight’ or two. I always wondered who the idiots were who would lend these kinds of sums on property that could barely be given away. Anyone who wants to see how bad a housing market can get needs to spend some time here in Y-Town, especially in the city itself.

  4. Greg0658 says:

    imo it is the .png file format vs .gif or .jpg
    so may depend on the users opsys and browser

  5. Jonathan says:

    It could just be the resolution the images are being displayed at. For instance, the chart image above is at 150 × 150, which is tough to read. Perhaps increasing the image size to 300 x 300 might make it more readable.

  6. Steve Barry says:


    I just visited the old site and looked at a graphic that displayed properly….it was also PNG. I think this is a Word Press setting

  7. Estragon says:

    IIRC, png is a raster format and doesn’t rescale particularly well. May be better to leave at original size (or convert to a vector format before resizing).

  8. austincompany says:

    For some reason, people don’t seem to mind buying cars, furniture, clothing and other assorted “stuff” that actually is worth less after you buy it – cars especially. Most Americans would do better if they began thinking that their home is a place to live rather than an “investment”.

    An investment is a stock, bond, savings account or CD. What got us in trouble was the idea that our home was an “investment”. This idea continues with help from NAR and other assorted people/entities that benefit from people thinking that their home is the best and greatest investment ever known to human kind.

  9. Gabriel says:

    The image size is actually 943×488, but the tag forces it to displays at 500×258, with the correct approximate aspect ratio – so the WordPress script coding the tags appears to be fine.

    The browsers are known to have poor rendering engines for shrinking/stretching images. I poked around on the old site, and all the crisp images are being displayed at their actual size, but some images that were being forced to resize in the browser had similar image distortion.

    The best thing is to capture images and shrink them in some other application, such as Paint Shop, before uploading them. If you really want cool results, as Estragen has suggested, turn them into real scalable vector graphics. Of course, that would be a little more work! :-)

    class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-8955″ title=”net-neg-equity”
    src=”” alt=””
    width=”500″ height=”258″

  10. Anonymous Jones says:

    I agree that NAR is part of the problem, but the purchase of a home is an investment, no matter how you choose to label it.

    It is not just an investment; it is an enormous investment. You cannot compare it to cars or furniture or clothing because the scale is completely different.

    If you need a place to live, you can rent. What got us into trouble is that people made investments into assets (housing) priced many, many times their net worth. They did this via leverage. Seriously. Step back and think about it. Why does someone who has a net worth of $50,000 buy a $400,000 asset? Just because they need a place to live? It is absolutely crazy that we bought into the myth that a non-diversified investment totally disproprotionate to our net worth was a good idea. It is insane. I can think of no other word for it.

  11. Greg0658 says:

    Sorry for the snap answer above. I noticed problems right away too. So I did some investigating and found this website for some info.

    After reading page I took the situation as my problem with IE6 and Win98se because they are incapable of displaying alpha channels. Cause downloading the image and displaying it in my favorite picture editor didn’t help.
    The site uses a typed page (.pdf like) that does not allow select-copy-paste, so I’ll type-copy-paste just a bit.

    “PNGs main draw are alpha-channels. Instead of the rudimentary transparency options in other formats (where a pixel is either transparent or opaque) an alpha channel can specify the opacity of any pixel from 0-255 …. a graphic that can be placed on top of any background colour …. The problem with this – and there had to be one – is that IE6 doesn’t support alpha-channels.”

    (me back)
    That brings up a 2nd notion at the investigation time for me, that its a copyright protection format for the internet age that is rustling out the payolla issues.

  12. patfla says:

    The front page of the NYTimes and I think he got the name of the town wrong. Actually it doesn’t really appear to be a town (at least it’s not in – more like a single development. But it has its own zip code. says there’s no Mountain Village 60 E of San Francisco. It does find a Mount Village.

    Messaged the article’s author.

  13. patfla says:

    I thought there was supposed to be an ‘Edit Your Recent Post’ feature here with WordPress. Anyway it’s 60 miles East of San Francisco.

    And it’s Mountain House vs. Mount House.

    Let’s see how my html tags above come through (render).