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The Coming Crash in the Housing Market : 10 Things You Can Do Now to Protect Your Most Valuable Investment Paperback – April 28, 2003

3.4 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Is This House Worth USD1.2 Million? No, we don't have a housing bubble yet. But if the frenzy doesn't end soon, we will. Then, watch out"---Cover Story, Fortune, 10/28/2002

From the Back Cover

Strategies to Protect Your Most Important Investment In Today's Dangerously Overpriced Housing Market

Soaring home prices, combined with 50-year low interest rates, have lulled U.S. homebuyers into a false sense of security. But current economic conditions, combined with the actions of overly aggressive lenders, leave the housing market ripe for a major crash. The Coming Crash in the Housing Market is the first rational, unbiased examination of the dangers homeowners face in today's climate of overpriced housing and overextended credit. Asking and answering questions that have for too long been ignored, respected economic consultant John Talbott provides:

  • Clear-eyed and convincing analysis of the economic perils of owning or purchasing a home today
  • Ten steps homeowners can--and should--take immediately to protect themselves

Are you among the millions of Americans who lost thousands in the tech-stock crash of 2000? Do you wish somebody had said something about the dangers of staking your future on overpriced, risky investments? Today's housing market faces a similar crisis, and John Talbott is saying something about it. Find out about the price risks inherent in home ownership in today's economy, and steps you can take to protect yourself and your family from financial hardship, in Talbott's cautionary but convincing The Coming Crash in the Housing Market.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 204 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (April 28, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 007142220X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071422208
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,888,949 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on November 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
Mr. Talbott is very close to the bull's eye with his book. I am a real estate broker and appraiser who has been appraising residential real estate for nearly ten years. And, from personal experience I can tell you that the vast majority of residential real estate is in fact over valued. In the three markets I have worked in, Richmond,VA; Hampton Roads,VA; and Columbus, GA - Phenix City, AL; most appraisers are pressured by loan officers and brokers to hit the numbers or else their out of business. Please realize that loan officers and brokers need the sale/loan to close before they earn their commissions. Why would they hire an appraiser who does not make "the numbers." This collusion is further exacerbated by the government through subsidies of banks, FannieMae, FreddieMac, and through other mortgage insurances and government garantees. In my view, as long as "lender select," i.e., the lenders are allowed to select appraisers there will be pressure on appraisers to hit the numbers. Now, some may say the appraisers are interpreting the market when making their appraisals, this may be true. But, what if the market their are interpreting is already inflated? Would not their numbers be inflated? Mr. Talbott's section titled "Do Banks and Appraisers Act Rationally?" makes an excellent case. Will the market crash? I don't know, no one knows for sure, but if you leave with anything from "The Coming Crash..." BUY SMART!!! Mr. Talbott's book is a big help.
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Format: Paperback
One of the most interesting aspects of the book was that it answered many of my nagging questions that I had about home buying and mortgages. This includes issues that I see every day with my family and co-workers.
I consistently wondered how a person could make $30,000 per year could qualify for a mortgage of $175,000. Many receive mortgages with little or no money down. How can they have a mortgage payment of $1200.00 per month and cope? How did a mortgage banker determine that they were credit-worthy?
How could so many single people afford a home? Every single woman and man in my office (20 people or so) is currently buying his or her own home. Even married couples seen to spend an ever-increasing amount of their salaries to support a mortgage.
How does anyone in this day and age determine future employment or employability? Globalization and the quest for lower labor costs have put pressure on nearly all jobs, even in the field of education, where I work.
If people are spending 40- 50% of their salary on housing, how will they fund other needs, such as saving for retirement and education for their children?
Both my parents and in-laws live on a fixed income with social security and small work pensions. I know that there is no way that they could afford to carry a mortgage after retirement. Property taxes, insurance and maintenance take an increasing share of their fixed income.
Now, I know that they are all pretty much broke, they just don't know if yet.
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The author made some excellent points. I have read some of the same things in several recent magazine articles, but he went into greater detail and was very convincing.
When I first started reading this book in the book store, the title made me think it was one more sensational doom and gloom type book on the economy that was designed to sell books without giving the reader any accurate information. That was not the case. The author seems to have a firm grounding in economic principles. He makes his points, while explaining that there are always uncertainties in any market.
If you are thinking about buying a house or investing in rental real estate I think you should read this book first. It convinced me that I should wait another year before buying a larger house.
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As an investment banker who buys blocks of mortgages around America this is an important subject as to whether the value of my collateral will deteriorate. Talbott does a good job presenting his case that there is a relationship between household income and housing prices. His point is well taken that low interest rates have fueled this boom and that when rates rise, housing prices will have to come down. So, from the perspective of his thesis, I found this to be well written and well documented even if I agree there is a risk but do not believe that it will be significant.

For example, he quotes the very low average household net worth?s of households. Households 45 to 54 have less than $200,000 mean net worth. But when median net worth is taken into account for the same group, the number is closer to $700,000. Doesn't this support current home prices while at the same time highlighting a bigger issue, the widening diversity of haves and have-nots in America? Also, San Diego is presented as the least affordable housing, $379,000 average home vs. $60,000 average income. That's a great fact but does it take into account the large military population that is generally lowly paid but highly transient that may be more renter than buyer in that area? I theorize that these many people are lowering average household income while substantially not trying to purchase homes.

This is a complex issue I have purchased mortgages and real estate around America through the Texas, East Coast and California busts. It is worthwhile to discuss that that risk is higher now than in the past 14 years. But I'm not convinced I see the current catalyst for a bust.

DISCLOSURE: I spoke recently at a banking conference on the likelihood of a home pricing crash.
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