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For only a couple of million bucks, you can live above Reason magazine…

22 Jun
…a few doors down on the same block, at 1737 Connecticut Avenue NW, in your pick of four lovely luxury condominiums.

And there is an InsomniacLibertarian discount.  If you use me (Bruce Majors) as your buyer agent, I will give you a rebate and make a donation to a libertarian cause of your choice.  As well as one of mine.

From this perch you can watch Katherine Mangu-Ward, Nick Gillespie and other reason staffers’ comings and goings.

Elizabeth Warren – Indian Giver?

15 Aug
Senator Elizabeth Warren spent some time running the Consumer Finance Protection Board, before her election to the Senate, and after serving as a Cherokee princess.

CFPB is taking over settlement statement regulation from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which previously created the format for the HUD-1 statements buyers and sellers sign at real estate closings.

Those of you who have signed one will remember that both buyers and sellers sign the HUD-1, essentially agreeing about the distribution of the myriad of charges to each for settlement attorneys, real estate commissions, credits for repairs, taxes, insurance, and loan fees.

The last page of the HUD-1 looked like this:

You will notice that both the seller and the buyer (borrower) sign it, as one would expect since it is their agreement and authorization for the settlement attorney to cut checks to pay all the entities involved in the transaction.

Here’s what the same page of the CFPB form looks like in its current draft:

See anything funny?

They forgot to add a place for the seller to sign.  Only the borrower (loan applicant) has a place to sign.

Maybe the seller isn’t really giving you that house!

Diversity fascism

30 May
Most people don’t realize how pervasive the fascism spawned by anti-discrimination laws like Fair Housing go.  Under Bill Clinton, HUD Secretary Roberta Achtenberg issued a list of words realtors, lenders and others involved in the housing market were censored from saying on penalty of losing their licenses and livelihoods and being fined.  (This is what they spent their time on while causing the housing bubble that led to economic collapse.)  The list of dozens of words included such terms as “multicultural” and “bohemian,” anything that might even come close to describing the demographics of a neighborhood.  It also included any terms related to the senses or physical abilities, since it is illegal to discriminate against the differently abled.  One cannot describe a property for sale or rent in terms of its good views or its short walk to amenities.

And you can’t tell other realtors how to make an appointment with any term that might be construed as discriminatory, say against deaf mute realtors.  Here’s a notice to a realtor about a new listing from the local multiple listing system, produced by a corporation that is also subject to diversity censorship.  The offensive terms are highlighted in bold.  It is illegal to suggest that another realtor “call” you.  One assumes the word “contact” will satisfy them, though if they knew their Latin roots we might worry that that does discriminate against realtors missing digits, limbs, or nervous systems.

** Notice: Please Review Your MLS Listing for Compliance **

Your MLS listing is not in compliance with the MLS Rules and Regulations. Please take a look at this notice and update your listing. If it is not corrected by the grace date indicated, you will be assessed a fine.
The most value that MRIS can offer its subscribers is the accuracy of the data in our database; therefore data integrity is priority number one for us. We want to ensure that the data you are using from the MRIS database – and passing on to your customers – is as accurate and timely as it could possibly be. For this reason we audit listings to ensure compliance with MRIS Rules & Regulations.

Listing Details ML#: DC8093097
Address: 2100 19TH Unit 805
Notification# Notification Details
Grace Date 11:00PM: 06/05/2013
Rules & Regs.#: Article XI, Sect 21.
Violation Name: Inappropriate Direction Info
Description: The Directions field of the above listing contained impermissible information. You will see these words highlighted in red on your notice or the click here for further details link. Please remove the information to avoid fines.
Instructions: Please remove the inappropriate information. You will see these words highlighted in red on your notice or the click here for further details link.
Violation Fields:
Listing Dt: 05/29/2013 12:00:00 AM
Directions: Must call la for appointment before open house