'Bubble Blogger' Takes on Housing Market

But even an anti-home owner can live in a house divided. Killelea's wife, Leah, isn't 100 percent behind his philosophy, he admitted. "She is a little embarrassed that we don't own, and it's a very rich neighborhood we're in," he said.

Leah said, "It's a little difficult," but she stands by her husband. "I guess most people in this neighborhood own, so it makes for some tension when we say, 'That is not the way we chose to go; we didn't think that was wise,'" she said.

Killelea's blog, Patrick.net, is a portal of housing pessimism. He links to news headlines that bolster his point that the housing market is beyond bad -- it's real estate Armageddon out there.

"Usually the positive news comes from people who are trying to take your money," he said.

Home-Debtors and Sheeples

The world of bubble bloggers comes complete with its own language. You're not a "homeowner," you're a "home-debtor." That's one of Killelea's favorites. So is "sheeple," which he explains as "a combination between sheep and people. People who act like sheep and just go in a herd."

Bubble bloggers might consider Tony Fong and his wife, Melissa, to be sheeples. They recently visited an open house, looking to buy their first home.

"I don't think you can really time the market and know when the peak is or the valley is, but I think right now we're in a position where we can go ahead and make a purchase," said Melissa. . "We'd like to live in San Francisco, but who knows? We think it is a good time," said Tony.

Who knows indeed?

'Bad Advice'?

Ken Rosen, a professor and chairman of the Fisher Center for Real Estate at the University of California at Berkeley, said Killelea's math is wrong. "The advice not to buy a house is very bad advice."

He believes real estate has benefits over stocks in the long term, and said that "comparing the appreciation rate of housing with the appreciation rate of stocks is not the right way to analyze an investment." He said that advantages of real estate investments include low down payments that mean "your equity multiplies very rapidly compared to stocks."

But in an industry with few impartial voices, Killelea and his fellow bloggers seem to fill a void. Sandy Glick and her family desperately need more space, but she said they held off buying a home after coming across Killelea's site.

"I think it was better that he wasn't in the real estate industry, then he is not biased, so it made it much more believable," she said. "Most of my friends think that what Patrick says makes sense and many of my friends are in the same boat. They are also waiting to buy a home. They want to settle down and buy, but they also believe that prices are out of control."

Killelea said he does feel somewhat vindicated that the market is now reflecting a philosophy he's been espousing for years.

"That is what keeps me doing it," he said. "I used to be crazy, according to people who wrote in. I haven't changed, and I'm no longer crazy. So that means the market has changed."

But it hasn't changed enough to make Killelea a buyer. He'll set down his home-owning roots, he said, when prices drop by half and he can be a home-owner, not a home-debtor.

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