The Fall of the House of Steinberg

Mold sends homeowners packing

Super extra famous sports agent Leigh Steinberg had to move and then got screwed again in his second 5 million dollar house. Oh no! Why? Well, the mold showed up again.

The Ambe family blew 3.5 mil on a house only have their 18 month old baby covered in a rash and “listless” due to the same mold.

Oddly, the same building company didn’t seem to have the problem when giving away their services for a TV show in which they fixed up a house to save a mold-threatened child.

Best quote in the article:

“My poor husband — he’s a plastic surgeon — he’s having to do five surgeries a day … where typically it would be three,” she said.

I wonder if a Tulpa can take the form of mold?

Don’t call them trailer trash

In my part of Orange County, affordable housing is rare. One of the disappearing features of the landscape is the trailer park. We used to have quite a few around here but one by one they’re disappearing to be replaced with more familiar suburban things like parking lots and office buildings. The one down the street from me exists solely because the land is owned by a family that is resistant to change and has lots of money already, for example.

Until recently there was a trailer park on the campus of UC Irvine, where my father was charter faculty in 1965. The University, being college administrators, needed a new parking lot, so off it went. But not after some spirited student resistance from ornery and inventive graduate students!

A film has been made of the last days of Irvine Meadows West: http://trailerparkfilm.com/

I recommend seeing the trailer. It’s a bit hippiebongoburningman but gives a good idea of the scene. One of my college friends from the 80s, Maggie Sullivan, was involved in this scene but I don’t see her in the trailer. I mean the movie trailer, not the actual trailers in the movie about trailers.

Buying a house? Watch out for paradigms

torgo_x forwarded the most clear and forceful explanation of how really bad mortgage ideas work, and why the current situation can’t end well. Math is hard, and optimism is easy. I’d guess a lot of the people who do this think of themselves as risk-takers who are going to win. I wish them all luck tripling their incomes in the next five years.

I wonder what the impact of a really bad housing crash would have in Orange County. Not only is real estate development a big local industry, but that whole slimy subprime mortgage business is mostly here too. So much so that we refer to big-spending young guys who party hard as “mortgage bro’s”.

If there’s no more money for the next swathe of terra cotta boxes in Temecula, and no more spiffs for selling predatory refi’s to hicks, and no more interest-only ARM crazy home loans to sell, that’s a big chunk of the local wealth just flat fucking gone. It could be as bad as the Great Defense Slump of the 1970s, which was a carnival of suicidal dads, boarded up ranch-style homes, and 40 year old draftsmen lining up for government aid and retraining programs. Oh by the way, those are gone now because we didn’t need them in the New Economy. Whoo boy.