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Ursa Minor

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Everything posted by Ursa Minor

  1. Most US mortgages are non-recourse - so the lender can't come after you for the difference between what you owe and what they sell the property for. Hence the jingle mail phenomenon. The annoying side effect of this is that foreclosed houses sit empty for months, sometimes years and nobody is looking after the property. Houses which are not lived in begin to decay shockingly quickly. The banks just sit on them, preferring that to taking a haircut and hoping to do well once the next boom comes along. But if it's your street, and 20% of the houses are in foreclosure, it can really bring a neigh
  2. Well David Simon was a Baltimore Sun reporter for many years and the Wire was meant to be a realistic depiction of Baltimore. It's a little lopsided but not bad. Take a look at some neighbourhoods (try some of the streets off Greenmount Ave for example) with Google Street View and you'll see the same scary neighbourhoods full of run down houses in streets like those featured in the show. Baltimore could be a brilliant investment opportunity...but I really kind of doubt it. Not until they figure out a way to deal with the crack and the gang violence that goes with it. UM
  3. Well, I moved to Baltimore from London last year so I'd like to add my perspective. Baltimore is a strange city, you can be on a totally safe block and then the next block is a war zone. The War on Drugs is a bigger failure here than most areas of the USA. Baltimore is 70% black and very very poor, the median wage here is <$30K pa. The entire political structure seems completely corrupt. There's nothing alleged about the decline here. The problem is that anyone who can afford to moves out into Baltimore County and the City gradually loses its tax base. There's talk of amalgamating the City
  4. Hi Masked Tulip, I'm not quite sure what point you're trying to make here. Are you saying the houses are too expensive or that they're cheap? Cheers, Ursa Minor
  5. http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Xy3wTw159lw UM
  6. Purely anecdotal I know but I had notice more empty or nearly empty (only one or two containers) freight trains on my line recently. UM
  7. Some of my favourites (all Watford): Add £1000 to the offers over price, that'll bring the punters in! Is it a house or a bangalow(sic)? Which "slice of Islington" did they have in mind? May not be funny if you don't know Watford, but it made me laugh. How many bedrooms? How many houses? Annex, shmannex! UM
  8. Me and Mr UM are moving to the US, probably next April depending on a few things. I've got my job offer in place, just got to get the visa paperwork sorted. UM
  9. Hi BOB, Is this the branch of Woolies on Clayton Street in Newcastle? I used to work there as a teen over the Christmas to earn a few quid. Saturday job, on the music counter, £2.20 an hour annoying the old ladies by playing the Prodigy and Nirvana too loud... :-D Happy days... UM
  10. And it took him 10 years. What on earth was he doing for crying out loud? UM
  11. Hi Stickybun, I grew up constantly moving house. My dad was a builder and we had to move where the work was. Was I happy about it at the time? No, never. My brother felt similarly. But we soon settled in and got used to each new house, new school etc. I attended 9 schools between the ages of 5 and 16. Rather more than the usual! Looking back, it has made me a better person - I am left with the skills to cope with major changes in my life. Right now, Mr UM and I are in the process of moving to the US, because of my work. I can take that in my stride, because my life has equipped me to. I'm n
  12. To be fair, that's the price for common varieties. Rare bulbs are considerably more expensive - (check out the Lord Stanley here: http://www.oldhousegardens.com/bulb.asp?Cat=TU&page=5) although admittedly even $26 for 1 bulb is not equivalent to the crazy prices paid during Tulipomania. UM
  13. Is the Don't Know option under Are you a homeowner? there for John McCain? UM
  14. Mr UM and I have been thinking for a while that when it's all over the only commercial banks left will be HSBC and JP Morgan... UM
  15. Actually that's not what Steve was saying at all - what he is saying is that manmade technological advances - agriculture, medicine etc - are circumventing evolutionary mechanisms. In humans. The rest of life is carrying on as usual. It's nothing to do with increasing entropy. UM
  16. Is that true? That's inhuman. My god, what kind of wrong headed thinking leads to this? UM
  17. You might be interested in this: http://ftalphaville.ft.com/blog/2008/09/29...-fear-rankings/ UM
  18. Reuters and Bloomberg are reporting it as 35 billion euros. UM
  19. That's what I thought too! Haven't they had some of the worst write-downs? UM
  20. http://ftalphaville.ft.com/blog/2008/09/29...quire-wachovia/ UM
  21. Figures out tomorrow - after today's shocking factory gate numbers, I thought a poll on CPI was in order. I think it'll be 3.7% BTW. UM
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