Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Reading the Idaho Statesman

I subscribe to the Statesman, and read most of it most days. Have for over 20 years. Here's what stood out for me yesterday.

1) West edition vs. main edition. I managed to get a copy of these two editions. In a little box in the corner of the front page it announces which edition you've got. I went page by page and compared the two editions. The ONLY difference I could find was on the sport page. The Main edition, Boise, put a story on the front page about 5A District Three basketball. The West edition put a story about Fruitland, 3A District Three, on the front page and put the 5A story on page 3. Both editions, same stories, just a difference of which was on the front page.

2) Editorial page. The editorial page offered a lengthy 5-column "Reader's View" from Bryan Fischer saying that outlawing discrimination based on sexual orientation is a danger to civil liberties. (Note: seems to me that allowing such discrimination is a bigger danger to civil liberties, especially for those being discriminated against.) On the opposing page, Fischer was again quoted in the "Other Voices" section, this time decrying pre-K education. Once a day from Fischer is enough, don'tcha think? Fischer makes his living from the IVA, so giving him such prominence really serves his personal interests.

3) Joe Estrella had a long interview with Dan Hernandez, president of the Ada County Association of Realtors. Hernandez did what you'd expect. He tried to make it seem like the Ada County real estate market is doing just fine, no problems, thank you very much. Estrella did try to push Hernandez a bit, but didn't seem to get much traction. I would liked to have seen Estrella do some research about home prices and values, and either let Hernadez comment on it, or at least publish it so that we get a more balanced picture of what is really happening.

Realtors are desperate for folks to start buying again. Check out the letter below. The guy is begging people to get out and start buying. Hernandez was trying to pump up the market, and Estrella's article facilitated that.

Home buyers and sellers are at stalemate

I'm a real estate professional in the Treasure Valley. Here are my observations for your consideration.

Part of the reality of the local housing market is that there is a stalemate between buyers and sellers. Sellers are holding out for their listed price and are willing to come down but say they may take a lesser offer. Buyers are waiting for prices to come down. We all are waiting for something to happen. Meantime, little is happening.

Some facts are: Interest rates are great, in fact, lower than recent numbers. Loans are available for people with good credit. Homes are available in abundance - so many to pick from your mind will spin from the choices.

The advice I give to buyers is to find your home and offer the price you feel the market bears. Open the negotiations - it doesn't cost you to offer. To seller clients: Be realistic about what is true now - 2005 pricing is old news and appraisers are only looking back two to four months in most cases for comparables.

A wait-and-see attitude is creating more harm to our wonderful Treasure Valley
and our beautiful state.

So, why the hesitation? Let's get this party started.


Chris said...

I do agree that right now isn't a bad time to buy if you are just entering the market.

A lot of the problem is (like the realtor says) that sellers are still on the greedy side and want more than their properties are worth. Way more.

Everyone wants piece of the pie; only no one has told them that the pie is gone.

But then again, some homes are selling, I know of two homes in my neighborhood that have sold in the last month or two. One was on the market for about 6-7 months, the other about 2.

New construction seems to have taken the biggest hit. We have quite a few subs in Nampa that started building about a year, year and a half ago and are still nearly empty.

A cool site to check out listings in your neighborhood is John L. Scott's website. It uses a map ala Yahoo Maps or Google Maps to display listings. I use it to check out what houses are for sale in my area. It's also cool to browse along the Boise Foothills to check out the houses for sale up there.

And yeah... Fischer gets way too much press. I've never understood why the media gives him validity. Let alone not fact checking anything that he writes. Journalism has gone by way of laziness. It's amusing to get press releases from candidates and businesses, and then see them practically word for word in the media. No research or independent thought, just a mouth piece for the powers that be.

Kevin Richert said...

You ask a good question about the opinion pages. I've taken a run at answering it.

Kevin Richert
editorial page editor, Idaho Statesman

fortboise said...

"We all are waiting for something to happen."

Not sure why, but this made me chuckle. Oh wait, I know why - it was from a Realtor®! Amazingly enough, while they're waiting, the world keeps turning.

Binkyboy said...

Hey Kevin, let me give you a quick clue: Take a look at 43rd State Blues and what I blog about there. I've categorized a major selection of the lies and hatred that Bryan Fischer has put out there.

I understand trying to be fair and balanced, but look where that got Fox News.

Here is a challenge for you: If you are going to publish Fischer's hateful screeds, have a disclaimer and another column that deals with the lies and misinformation that he tries to push over on the gullible.

The man is an embarrassment to Idaho and yet every journalist happily gives him air time.

Publish Cramer or Adam's BS all you want, their bigotry and ignorance is tame compared to Fischer's.

T-Wolf said...

The Reason there are not more conservative bloggers is because we have jobs and families to take care of. We don't have hours of free time on our hands to whine.

The Bottom Line: Liberals protest. Conservatives have jobs.

Anonymous said...

T-wolf, yeah right. So whats your excuse?

untamedshrew said...

If conservative bloggers are so "scarce," then how is it fair and balanced to give those few equal time? And who says Adam Graham and Bryan Fischer represent all conservatives? Theirs is a narrow, Christian point of view. How does it serve readers to imnply that these writers are representative of anyone besides the few who believe as they do? If I were conservative, I would strongly object to any statement that they represent me.

alan said...

Richert says, and has said before, that he doesn't have a lot to choose from when including views from the right, so guys like Adam and Fischer and KKKramer get quoted more than would be the case if there were a bigger pool to draw from.

The more interesting point, to me, is why more progressive and liberal bloggers then right-wingers, especially given that there are more Rs than Ds in Idaho.

Because Rs have jobs? Please. Another shallow and silly slogan such as I've come to expect from wingers who prefer a bumper sticker mentality and seem to have no ability to think for themselves.

Sisyphus said...

t-wolf, you crack me up. Seems just as plausible that a typical conservative struggles to put two words together let alone engage in critical thought or skeptical analysis.

The bottom line: liberals think for themselves, conservatives do what they're told.

Sorry but that's all I have time for cause I gotta run this small business "to put food on my family." I would add that the obvious reason of our prevalence is our motivation by the distinct lack of rational thought by the party in power. Judging by the words that come out of his mouth, you couldn't have picked a more representative president for the group that elected him.

T-Wolf said...

I just love this little liberal bastion!

Hey guys. 80% of Americans work for companies with less than 50 employees. Of those companies the overwhelmingly majority of them are owned by Republicans and vote Republican.

So according to the elitist liberals here most of you smart Liberals are working for some stupid one toothed Republican! Who as one of you put it can't string two words together! ROFLMAO!

Just remember... there is a reason why I sign the front of your paycheck and you sign the back!

Of course that assumes you have a job!

alan said...

87% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

T-Wolf said...

This is too easy. Read it and weep.


The "A" Student
Teaches the "B" Student
How to work for the "C" Student

T-Wolf said...


alan said...

Well, t-wolf, thanks for visiting. It's nice to hear challenging view points and voices. I hope you come back and share your thoughts again.

Which of those articles contain the stats you quote? I didn't want to read through all of them.