Chinese Drywall: or the Sky Is Not Falling

By
Home Builder with Retired

The sky is not falling or Chinese drywall is not a nail in the financial coffin of the real estate industry.

In This Post

Chinese drywall: A different perspective.

 

In a post by Lenn Harley on Chinese drywall she wonders how much more the  American homeowner can take. In a follow up post she states the US Consumer Safety Products Commission has received 3,082 reports from consumers with drywall problems. OMG! And we can be sure that the problem goes deeper than that.

But for some perspective on the issue I looked up the American Housing Survey for 2007 and found these facts:

There were 128,203,000 housing units in the United States in 2007. Approximately 110,692,000 were occupied as regular residences and 17,511,000 were vacant or seasonal.

Approximately 75,647,000 or 68.3 percent of the occupied units were owners in 2007.

Approximately 35,045,000 or 31.7 percent of the occupied units were occupied by renters in 2007.

The American Indian tribes of pre-colonial days felt they owned vast tracts of land, and they roamed this land reaping the bounty and fighting off other tribes who encroached on their supposed territory. With the arrival of white settlers land was purchased from the natives, sometimes for a few beads.

Kings granted lands to faithful lords and with westward expansion the desire to own property continued with land rushes and land grants of many kinds. Piece by piece the country has been divided up because people want home ownership. Even during the Great Depression, while many people lost their homes to banks, others found ways to become the owners of that property. The financing of land is not about to be buried. It has survived many such setbacks and will survive the onslaught of cheaper (but costly) products because we think that is what we want. We want homeownership more.

Since I started in real estate we’ve had plenty of cases where bad materials in the home make for financial surprises and we’ve dealt with them. In the seventies it was urea formaldehyde and then lead paint. A while later it was the unused oil tank threat. Remember the Louisiana Pacific siding recall and what about ongoing problems with radon?

Maybe it’s because I’m blessed to live someplace where Chinese drywall hasn’t shown up. But let’s keep it in perspective. I’d like to close with a quote from Charles Buell’s recent post The recovery will not be televised on a different but related topic.

The problem I have with most people’s concept of recovery is that not only do they hope that recovery will get them back to where they were previously but also on some level they have the idea that they will be “reimbursed” for what they have lost.  This concept of “entitlement” is epidemic in our country.  The idea that if I suffer, if I lose ground, if I drop below some self-defined “standard,” that I am entitled to be compensated for my losses.

 

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Glenn Roberts
Retired

 

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

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  1. Charles Buell 04/19/2010 04:08 PM
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Ambassador
1,080,362
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Glenn, it would seem as if we are a fan club of two :)  Thanks for the acknowledgement----this was a good post and I will re-blog it and see if I get it to grow some legs for you.

April 19, 2010 03:27 PM #1
Ambassador
1,080,362
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Dang---now I see it is member's only---oh well.

April 19, 2010 03:27 PM #2
Rainmaker
311,259
Glenn Roberts
Retired - Seattle, WA

Charles - There is strength in numbers, and thanks for doubling my subscriber base. It was lonely there before.

April 19, 2010 07:51 PM #3
Ambassador
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Mike Jones
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) - Tucson, AZ
Mike Jones NMLS 223495

Glenn,

This is an interesting perspective, and I especially like Charles' quote there at the end.

Mike in Tucson

April 20, 2010 09:36 AM #4
Rainmaker
311,259
Glenn Roberts
Retired - Seattle, WA

Mike - Charles has some very good insights. I always enjoy his posts. I'd already been working my mind around how big the sheet rock thing is or isn't when I read his entitlement piece.

April 20, 2010 02:51 PM #5
Rainmaker
377,719
Mark Hall
Elite Realty NW - Keller Williams, Vancouver Washington - Vancouver, WA
Homes for Sale Vancouver Washington

Very well said! People tend to equate the condition of the market with how they are doing in the market. Their rationale? I lost money so the market must be bad!

April 21, 2010 06:51 AM #6
Ambassador
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Larry Lawfer
YourStories Realty Group - Westwood, MA
"I listen for a living." It's all about you.

Glenn,  It was a pleasure to have read your perspective on the most current issue.  I so agree with the rant about entitlement.  I think more than any single issue the demand for entitlements from so many for so long has been a huge drain not only on those who pay the bills, but for those who are making nothing of themselves.  It is a huge loss of human capital in all ways.

April 21, 2010 01:29 PM #7
Rainmaker
311,259
Glenn Roberts
Retired - Seattle, WA

Mark - We do need to wear our own shoes and make positive tracks.

Larry - I think Wall Street and the Bank to Big to Fail getting bailouts has influenced too many minds to think they've got something coming. It's a mess, but it can get better.

April 21, 2010 01:41 PM #8
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