dodged a bullet.

In the fall of 2005, I went as far as filling out offer paperwork on a nice little condo on 447 Oak Ave. here in Redwood City. My lowball offer was something like $450,000: I think the stated price was $475,000, but that felt inflated to me, especially considering the owners had bought it for $375,000 or so just two years prior. The whole thing felt not-quite-right, and when I went back and did the math, I realized how little cash I would have per month. The experience led me to read the links at the Housing Crash Blog, and joined the crowd of cranks saying that no, this was not a time of realistic valuation, and even if we could afford it, we wouldn't buy right now.

447 Oak is for sale, for a mere $399,000. It's not in the shiniest corner of Redwood City, and the listings are showing several streets in there with three to five listings for under $400,000. This is in line with the foreclosure heat map you can build on (click down to San Mateo and then south to Redwood City: it wouldn't let me link to a search). Basically all the lower-income areas where crappy 600sqft houses have been selling for $600,000 or more are now seeing a 33% price drop.

Once things are back in line with 2002 prices, maybe I'll consider buying something. But probably not, at least for a long while.

I had a most wonderful cookie this week, with no wheat and no refined sugar, which has motivated me to gather ingredients and experiment with fruit-juice sweetening. I really notice the effects of sugar lately: a little bit of emotional dip, which I can adjust for, but then it also saps my physical energy a bit, and I can't work around that. So we'll see how that goes.

Following a conversation last week, I photographed my kitchen knife collection, as well as my iaito.