What Piggington has done for me

User Forum Topic
Submitted by sdduuuude on October 28, 2019 - 10:25am

As I thanked Rich for 14 years of keeping this site going, it brought me back to my first encounter with Piggington.

I had bought an off-market house as a rental property in Clairemont from my neighbors for about $400K in mid 2004.

After almost a year of renting it out I noticed housing prices were going up and decided to raise the rent. The tenant was a reasonable person and pointed out that their rent was no lower than what was normal.

So I went online to check it out. Somehow I stumbled across Rich's articles and his very new blog and started reading. After about a week I decided it was time to turn the rental property into a flip. I sold it at the absolute peak of the market in late August of 2005 for $575,000.

The charts, graphs and insight here guided me in my search for a Carmel Valley home, which we never bought. Instead, we bought a tiny house on a huge lot, scraped it and built a new one. The agent who helped us land this incredible piece of property - met him on Piggington.

What has Piggington done for you in the last 14 years ?

Submitted by flu on October 28, 2019 - 10:57am.

Some of the folks I met here I got to know in person and turned out are pretty good friends. People that I normally would not have met in my small little techie world. I learned a lot of things from different people that do different things that all had different experiences. Those relationships have been more important than the real estate lessons for me.

Submitted by gzz on October 28, 2019 - 1:21pm.

Success: helped me time to bottom of the market to buy home 1, convinced me we had room to grow on subsequent profitable buys.

Failed: referral to a palm tree trimmer who will return my call.

I just purchased a pole chainsaw from Amazon for $66 and cut the smaller trees myself. It can reach about 14 ft high. I may have to live with the rest getting overgrown.

It is a good shoulder and neck muscle workout and also fun.

Submitted by zk on October 28, 2019 - 9:46pm.

It's been longer than 14 years. I've been on piggington since the white background. Since way before the forum started. Since the paid content. Since 2004. (There was a glitch way back when where you got dropped and had to sign up again.)

In 2004, very few people thought that San Diego housing was in a bubble. In retrospect, it seems completely obvious. But back then only Rich and a very few others (including me) thought it was obvious. I scoured the web for confirmation of what seemed obvious to me, but there was almost none. Virtually everybody was convinced that housing would just keep going up. I kept googling variations of "san diego housing bubble" and piggington was one of the very few, lonely sites that consistently came up. I eagerly read everything Rich wrote. It all made perfect sense to me, and the stuff I found elsewhere really didn't measure up. Rich's data and analysis gave me the confidence I needed to make the leap. I sold my house in 2005 and rented. In 2010, I bought the house I own now. I bought it for about the same as I sold my other house for, but the property is much, much better. And worth about 15-20% more (prices in Carmel Valley dropped somewhat less than in most places). I found a financial advisor - Rich himself - through piggington and got through the 2008 crisis in very good shape. I invested the money from the sale of the house in 2005 in some other things as well, and was able to buy the house in 2010 with those earnings and pay it off completely (although I kept a mortgage on it until very recently while I invested that money elsewhere).

I am retired and my $1.7M house is paid off. That would definitely not be the case without piggington.com. Which is to say without Rich.

You are the man, Rich. Thank you.

Submitted by temeculaguy on October 28, 2019 - 10:33pm.

Way to go ZK! I Love that story. My experience is a combination of yours and FLU's. I value the friends I've made, many of whom I still see in person and I truly believe my financial position was improved greatly by Rich and many others who contributed.

From 2006 to 2009 (the glory days) this was my most important support group, I consider what I learned here more important that what I learned in college. And oddly enough, I learned from a group of people far more intelligent and diverse than any faculty.

Piggington was my Matrix red pill, it gave me access to the knowledge to see through the propaganda and ensure an easier life for me and my family.

Without getting into the nuts and bolts, the real estate and financial planning education that I got for free on this site set in motion the ability for me to send two kids through college who have no debt and will allow me to retire at 55 with a mortgage that is but 1/10th of my retirement income. While I envy ZK's numbers, I'm content with mine. In a nutshell, Piggington gave me financial freedom and freedom from worry. Plus an extra 10 years on the planet to screw around and not have a job.

My retirement income is in fairly pedestrian locations that are restricted so I'm not in ZK's world right now, but any windfalls or inheritances I will seek out Rich to manage it because I trust him and I trust nobody else with my money.

Submitted by zk on October 29, 2019 - 7:42am.

temeculaguy wrote:
any windfalls or inheritances I will seek out Rich to manage it because I trust him and I trust nobody else with my money.

I trust and like Rich's financial strategies very much.

And even more important to me was having someone who I knew had my best interests at heart and would never in a million years dream of doing anything the slightest bit untoward. Who would never steer me in any direction for any reason other than because it was best for me. I have so much faith in that aspect or Rich that I told my wife that if she wants to invest money after I'm gone, she could totally trust Rich. There's nobody else I would say that about.

I recommend his services as highly as I possibly can.

Submitted by The-Shoveler on October 29, 2019 - 7:49am.

Confirmation mostly that I was on the right path.

+ entertainment and a nugget of knowledge here and there.

Still slightly addicted to this site after all these years.

Submitted by flyer on October 29, 2019 - 8:08am.

The information Rich provided during the bubble and the recession on his site provided factual insights that helped us time the expansion of our real estate portfolio with a greater degree of confidence during a very challenging economic period. Really enjoying life, and real estate has been a big part of that.

Submitted by SD Transplant on October 29, 2019 - 2:09pm.

- Found this site during my MBA research days where an opposite position to the market was impossible to find.
- Confirmation that I wasn't alone seeing some of the insanity and signs that the RE status quo can't continue
- Got bragging rights when I was sharing my forecast with my then girlfriend (now wife) that house prices will collapse. She even reminds me now that I was right thanks to Rich's research/site.
- Purchased my house during the best time, 2010 as a short sale, in a great location and just about doubled in value as of now.
- I became more financial savvy and learn with everyone sharing content here that big mistakes take years to fix.
- I found my broker (HLS) via Piggington
- I remember the 1 or 2 meetings when Piggs met in person ;)
- I significantly increased my net worth above my expectations (but on plan), and do plan on retiring at 55 (.....I have 11 years to go).

What's not to love?


Submitted by Rich Toscano on November 2, 2019 - 9:41am.

I've been out of town all week and just catching up... this was a nice post to come back to!

Thanks everyone for the very kind words. It makes me really happy that this site helped people out. :-)

Submitted by Hatfield on November 3, 2019 - 8:48pm.

I first found out about this board from the Yahoo QCOM stock chat list. So it had to have been pre-2005 that I started reading and it looks like I finally got an account about 11 years ago.

Anyway, I learned a lot, and thanks Rich for putting up with all the shenanigans all these years.

Submitted by rent4now on November 5, 2019 - 12:00pm.

I agree with everyone else. Rich gave me the cajones and data to sell my house in 2005 8 short months after I purchased it. Everyone thought I was crazy!
Rented for 6 years and bought near the bottom. There is no way we could buy the home we live in now unless we found this site. Thanks Rich!

Submitted by lindismith on November 8, 2019 - 8:46am.

Long-time listener, first time caller...

Ok, no -- actually long-time member, irregular lurker, & posting today because of this nice thread, and to say that this site was my savior during the bubble.

In 2004 or so, I wanted to buy a home, but I kept hearing rumors about a "housing bubble", so I got online, and found this site, and credit Rich and this community of users for SAVING me from buying at the top of the market. If I had purchased then, I likely would have ended up in a 1-bedroom condo in Mission Valley, and no gains.

Instead, I waited 5+ years, in 2011, & bought a fixer in S Mission Hills with a tiny view of Pt Loma and the harbor, and the home has since doubled in value. Thank you Rich and Piggs!

To afford my fixer's fix-ups in Mission Hills, I airbnb-ed my converted garage. And then, I went on to lead a campaign to try to get short term rentals legal in San Diego, but after 5 years dropped out when it became apparent council was not going to get an ordinance done. I didn't post much here during that time, because I was also pursuing a legal cannabis license, which I obtained, and then sold earlier this year. I am now using that capital to purchase property in opportunity zones. It's not a great time to buy property, but because I have a solid understanding of how the RE market works, I feel as long as the fundamentals are in place, my investments will be fine in the long term.

All in all, Rich, and this site and it's members have been an excellent resource, and I credit a lot of what I have accomplished to Rich and the folks here.

The best resource on here for me when it started (besides Rich) was user, "Bugs". Not sure what happened to him, but his explanations of how things really worked were invaluable. I remember a couple of meet-ups, which were nice to put names with faces. I think we stopped meeting when the bubble burst, and we were all "right" about the housing market.

One last comment: I still continue to be amazed and shocked by some of the values/prices I see for RE in San Diego. But, I'm no longer intimidated by it. That said, many times I will read or hear something that does not make sense, (lack of supply, interest rates, trade imbalance, etc.) and I will just pop in here for validation of my own thoughts. Many thanks to all of you Piggs for your common sense attitudes and comments.

- Belinda

Submitted by pinkflamingo on November 12, 2019 - 3:56pm.

I have been stalking this site since 2006. We moved here in 2005 and my parents wanted to purchase a house as they see their friends buying left and right and feeling left out as the prices were doubling year after year. I felt the market was unreasonably high and that it was a bubble. So I searched the web and found piggs. I immediately fell in love with Rich's graphs. (nerd alert)

I convinced my parents to wait and listen they did and bought a fixer in 2010 for the price of a condo back in 2006. During that time I got married and convinced my spouse to buy our own condo in 2011 and so far my parents are in a much better position to retire and we are doing well.

I still stalk this site too much than I want to admit and get my little dose of happiness with each update. Thanks Rich!

Submitted by WarChestSM on November 11, 2019 - 3:15pm.

Back in 2006 or so, I was in college taking a mortgage finance class. Rich was brought in as a guest speaker and I knew right away he was dead right about the bubble. Total breath of fresh air from the two mortgage broker perma-bulls teaching the class.

I moved back to LA and started the "santa monica distress monitor" where I followed the bubble pop in real time for all to see. I deleted the blog long ago but it was a lot of fun, and I have Rich to thank for starting me on the right path.

Fast forward to 2011 and I bought a house in Culver City at little after the bottom. The crummy $800k fixer has just about doubled in value and I can't thank Rich enough for helping me time a once in a lifetime purchase so well. Cheers!

Submitted by sdduuuude on November 13, 2019 - 10:09am.

rent4now wrote:
Rich gave me the cajones and data to sell my house in 2005 8 short months after I purchased it.

Wow, Rich went out and got you some cajones !
Never bought me a damn thing.

Submitted by jmpman on November 13, 2019 - 9:15pm.

1) This site kept me from buying in San Diego at the peak of the market.
2) Some guru advised that 2011/2012 would be the bottom of the market (back in 2008). 3) Another brilliant individual suggested that the best way to buy a foreclosure was to find the house you want, then approach the listing agent (when you don’t have a real estate agent) and ask them to represent you. They aren’t allowed, and will decline. You follow up with the question - Do you know someone who can represent me? Of course they do, and it’s likely their best friend.

I made at least $300k from the advice on here, and kept from losing an equal amount. Overall a major win. Thanks!

Submitted by barnaby33 on November 14, 2019 - 3:18am.

I gained a sense of purpose and derived meaning from being a contrarian. Think you Jeebus, I mean Rich!

Submitted by phaster on November 14, 2019 - 9:02am.

piggington is useful to check in every once in awhile,... because its a local glimpse of what other people are thinking about RE, investing and politics

Submitted by EconProf on November 17, 2019 - 10:47pm.

I have seldom checked the Piggington site lately because it seemed too snarky and had the same tired old voices all the time. Also, frankly, because the RE cycle a decade ago was far more volatile and worth discussing, and Piggington was a rare voice of wisdom and sanity at a chaotic time. I'm glad to see some old-timers from long ago chime in here with their thanks to Rich.
I've made lots of hits and errors in RE over the decades, but am nicely ahead overall. Piggington didn't so much help me on timing--where I made many mistakes, but helped explain why they happened.
My guess is that in the short run San Diego RE will do well, due to our low interest rates, low unemployment, and low inventory. Longer term, I fear a long overdue recession could really wallop CA and San Diego tax revenues and slam public services. The Trump economy and a stock market 4 times its level of a decade ago (according to the Dow Jones Averages) has brought a gusher of tax revenues to the highly progressive CA tax structure, and spending has ratcheted up accordingly. When combined with our insanely generous government pensions with their overly optimistic 7% rate of return expectations, the slightest stock market "reversion to the mean" will destroy CA finances and thus basic public services--prompting people to "vote with their feet", leaving CA and hurting RE prices. All that is in the longer run, however. But remember, I am an economist--seldom right, but never in doubt!

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