Molalla: LONG COMMUTE, INCOMPETENT and LOW QUALITY: You’d be NUTS to invest there!

4/26/2011: Stay tuned for a report about “manager” Atkins’ CRAZY WORLD meeting last night! Coming soon to this blog!

Builders of New Homes Seeing No Sign of Recovery:

“Builders and analysts say a long-term shift in behavior seems to be under way. Instead of wanting the biggest and the newest, even if it requires a long commute, buyers now demand something smaller, cheaper and, thanks to $4-a-gallon gas, as close to their jobs as possible. That often means buying a home out of foreclosure from a bank.” – New York Times   (posted below).

Hey fake planner Potter, incompetent “let’s go bankrupt” Atkins, clueless “mayor” Clarke and sleazy local land speculators:


You shot your wad on “let’s build houses forever” dreams that aren’t going to come true.

Your low quality city fits all the criteria to continue on its downward slide (tracking at more than double the rate of foreclosures for Oregon):

It is FAR FROM JOBS in a time of rising gas prices.


It lacks adequate parks, it has crappy streets, and it is linked to METRO by highway 213 – the THIRD MOST DANGEROUS HIGHWAY IN THE STATE.

And lest we forget, Molalla is saddled with a “manager” who has “managed” to infuriate just about everyone except the rich, noxious, pushy bourgeois merchant class that DOESN’T LIVE IN THE CITY.

And that same incompetent “manager” protects a “guy” with no education in planning the city calls “planning director”. That’s called NEPOTISM! And now, the CORRUPT good ole boy  cabal, WITH A PLANNING DEFICIT CLOSE TO HALF A  MILLION DOLLARS, is trying to hide it by putting the fake planning department into the general fund so the citizens can’t track the abuse of public money. Nice place? NOT!

No matter how cheap the houses in Molalla get – and they are getting cheaper by the day as the foreclosures and short sales pile up – you should NEVER CONSIDER LIVING THERE – unless you enjoy urban decay and “government” that doesn’t have a clue how to govern. It’s called the blind leading the blinder right off the cliff of no return. One look at any neighborhood, old or new, and you would understand why SMART cities hire certified planners!

It is passe to create cookie cutter houses on streets that go nowhere without street trees or parks: it shows the abject sell out to greed over competent urban planning. Now Molalla is stuck with its STUFF EM’ IN ugly grids and its scorched earth neighborhoods.

Don’t miss the meeting at the Adult Center on Monday April 25, 7pm where nasty “I don’t live here” Atkins will try to GOUGE the residents of Sunrise Acres to approve a bond they would have to pay back to fix the city owned roads in their neighborhood!

Atkins apparently doesn’t like the word “GOUGE” because when I asked about this abusive proposal and used the word “GOUGE” in relation to what he is trying to do to the beleaguered residents, he hung up on me!

Hey Atkins – what do you want us to call this ABUSE that has come about because you are too INCOMPETENT to manage the city so that priority road fixes – as in Sunrise Acres – were addressed with city funds or SDCs or in ways that spread the burden equally to all city taxpayers?

Would you like it better if we call the “special” tax district “Atkins’ FLIM FLAM” or “Atkins’ STRONG ARM” or “Atkins’ BOONDOGGLE” or “Atkins’ Can’t MANAGE HIS WAY OUT OF A PAPER BAG” or “Atkins ONLY WORKS FOR THE RICH GOOD OLD BOYS” or just choose from the following list because they all fit Atkins’ lack of empathy and inability to take care of ALL THE RESIDENTS.

The Sunrise proposal is (residents can pick all that apply and send their list to Atkins – or just SHOUT IT OUT TONIGHT!):

















I could go on and on with words that portray the way “manager” Atkins has failed to respect the needs of all the citizens. I am sure the community’s attitude will emerge at tonight’s groundswell HELL NO meeting.

It was heartbreaking to hear from a resident of Sunrise Acres. She told me that on her block of 6 houses, three were in some type of foreclosure proceeding. The mood among those residents is grim. What kind of “manager” would ever try to heap new tax burdens on a neighborhood that can’t hold its own in the current real estate market? Does Atkins know how to read a business report or  statistics? Does he have an empathic bone in his body – or is he just the puppet of the rich? I vote for puppet of the rich, given his sleazy track record.

I salute the wonderful local citizens who band together when government becomes an unethical, abusive mess like it has in Molalla. Now let’s see if elected officials have the integrity and courage to do something about it!

Read on for real estate trends – and as you read, remember that on April 27, incompetent TEAM Molalla, led by “I’ll tell any story the rich people feed me” loser of a “manager” Atkins, will whine and snivel before the BCC at the last chance rodeo for the ridiculous 2,300 acre urban reserve land speculator CIRCUS OF GREED! I wonder if the BCC reads the New York Times? I bet they do:

April 22, 2011

Builders of New Homes Seeing No Sign of Recovery


RICHMOND, Ill. — In this distant Chicago suburb, a builder has finally found a way to persuade people to buy a new house: he throws in a car.

Kim Meier’s spring promotion, which includes a $17,000 credit at a nearby General Motors dealer, has produced seven sales since the beginning of March, a veritable windfall of business for a builder who sold only 20 houses last year. “We needed to do something dramatic,” said Mr. Meier. “The market’s been soft.”

That is one way of putting it. The recession hurt a lot of industries, but it knocked the residential construction market to the mat and has kept it there, even as the broader economy has started to fitfully recover.

Sales of new single-family homes in February were down more than 80 percent from the 2005 peak, far exceeding the 28 percent drop in existing home sales. New single-family sales are now lower than at any point since the data was first collected in 1963, when the nation had 120 million fewer residents.

Builders and analysts say a long-term shift in behavior seems to be under way. Instead of wanting the biggest and the newest, even if it requires a long commute, buyers now demand something smaller, cheaper and, thanks to $4-a-gallon gas, as close to their jobs as possible. That often means buying a home out of foreclosure from a bank.

Four out of 10 sales of existing homes are foreclosures or otherwise distressed properties. Builders like Mr. Meier who specialize in putting up entire neighborhoods on a city’s outskirts — Richmond is some 50 miles northwest of downtown Chicago — cannot compete despite chopping prices.

Chicago was not an epicenter of the housing boom with the sort of overbuilding found in Arizona or Florida, but new-home sales in the metro area are down 90 percent. There are about 65 sales a week for a region of 10 million people.

Several factors have combined to make the Chicago market so weak. There were more subprime loans here, which meant more defaults, which in turn left more distressed homes for buyers to choose from.

Most of the construction here was done by private builders. Unlike the national firms, they did not have the resources to survive a prolonged downturn. “Some of the private builders just evaporated, and some said the hell with it,” said Tracy Cross, a consultant who tracks the local market. Only a few remain, including Mr. Meier’s KLM Builders.

Construction of new single-family homes usually surges after a recession because of lower rates and pent-up demand. But the Census Bureau said this week that while multi-unit construction had picked up strongly in the last year, single-family home construction fell 21 percent to an annual rate of 422,000. One consequence of the anemic pace: more than 1.4 million residential construction jobs have been lost in the last five years.

Robert Barycki is one of a handful of buyers keeping the market from drying up completely. He’s 30, a partner in a hardware store, and currently living with his parents. He was drawn by the new-car offer to the biggest of KLM’s four active developments, called Sunset Ridge Estates.

“My money was in the bank, collecting very little interest, so I thought I might as well take a little gamble,” said Mr. Barycki, who is paying $182,000 for a three-bedroom. “Eventually, home-owning will come back.”

Eventually, no doubt. But in the meantime, sentiment might still be souring. Executives at Equity LifeStyle Properties, a Chicago firm that sells properties in resort communities, said this week they were seeing “a psychological change”: potential customers wanted to preserve their capital rather than risk it in real estate.

Bill McBride, who runs the popular financial blog Calculated Risk, said this might be the moment when people decisively started to turn on home ownership. “I’m starting to feel the hate,” he wrote.

In such an atmosphere, every new home built and sold represents a victory. One of the few segments of the market that has shown signs of life is urban townhomes. Lennar, a national builder, has one of these developments under way in the upscale community of Arlington Heights, about 20 miles from downtown Chicago.

Then Pulte, another national builder, started construction on its own townhouse community a few miles away, even as it was recording a 2010 third-quarter loss of a billion dollars. In the meantime, Lennar cut its prices by another 10 percent, but sales in the fourth quarter barely budged.

Lennar says its sales have picked up and it is drawing customers from people who looked at Pulte’s project and passed. Pulte says the same thing about Lennar.

“It’s brutal out there,” said Mr. Cross, the consultant. “You have to put on your boxing gloves.”

Some victories may be brief. Builders say buyers have been acting ahead of a small rise in mortgage insurance premiums from the Federal Housing Administration, which backs many purchases. That mini-rush to lock in a deal might lift March sales figures for new homes, which are due out Monday, analysts say.

Mr. Meier, who has been building in this stretch near the Wisconsin border for 25 years, hopes the car promotion will put a floor under his market. In flush times, he would sell about 100 houses a year to a diverse group of buyers, from empty nesters to commuters.

Richmond bills itself as a “Village of Yesteryear,” which has come true in another way as house prices roll back to the mid-1990s. But some KLM buyers look for more, choosing to skip the car and put the $17,000 into the house instead.

That is what Wayne and Doris Powrozek, who are paying $193,000 for a three-bedroom, did. “If it’s free, it’s for me,” said Mr. Powrozek, who recently retired from AT&T.

The Powrozeks bought because they were worried prices were going up. Mr. Meier says he thinks they must — the cost of raw materials is rising. But with the price of existing homes continuing to fall, and the prospect of more foreclosures, he could again price himself out of the market.

Like nearly all those in real estate, Mr. Meier is determinedly optimistic. “Everybody wants in at the top, no one wants in at the bottom,” he said. “People are paralyzed by their fear.”

Last year, KLM told buyers it would match the government’s $8,000 tax credit. The car promotion more than doubles that. If the market still does not turn around, what could be their next promotion?

“Buy one, get one free,” his wife, Sally, suggested. They had a good laugh over that.


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