The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Bubbles in Florida

Land that could be bought for $800,000 could, within a year, be resold for 4 million before crashing back down to pre-boom levels. The prices were so inflated that to buy a condo-style property in XXXX, you would've had to pay the same as you would now have to pay for a luxury home in the guard-gated communities in Miami ($4,500,000)—without adjusting for inflation!

Via Florida Real Estate Bubble from The Mess That Greenspan Made: Money Magazine on “Cashing Out”, The Florida Real Estate Craze

This is not a speculative article “written” from the perspective of say, 2011, but is instead about a real estate bubble that actually happened in the state of Florida a while ago.

How long ago?

The $4,500,000 price, adjusted for inflation, would be $494,500,000—nearly half a billion dollars today.

Too bad for the gentleman that actually spent $4,500,000 dollars back in 1926 for the property.

How much service can you get for $700?

Speaking of inflation, when Mom and I moved here to South Florida, no longer could my Grandma (Dad's mom) drive drive and pick me up for a summer spent in the suburbs of Detroit. So starting in 1980, I would fly north for the summer. This was before Reagan fired all the air traffic controllers and the airline industry was still heavily regulated; because the prices were fixed, the various airlines had to compete with the only weapon they had left: service.

I remember flights as a kid being not that all unpleasant. Granted, I was much smaller then so I could easily fit in the seats. And they still fed us meals. And I remember that between my Mom and grandparents, they paid around $300 for a round trip ticket.

Adjusted for inflation, $300 1980 dollars equals $708 2005 dollars.

And yes, for $700 dollars you could probably get wonderful service from the airline industry, unlike the cattle car mentality you get now (“be grateful you even get water you ingrates!”).

Fun with Zip+4

Hmm … I could have sworn I wrote about this before, but since I can't find an entry about it, I guess not. Anyway … a few months ago I was playing around with zip codes, and I found out that the zip+4 code for Casa New Jersey only has one address—ours! Sure, it's meant for houses within a certain address range on our side of the street, but as far as I can tell, we're the only house within that range on our side of the street.

I made a comment about this to a few people (Hoade among them) and wanted to do an experiement where I addressed I postcard to:

Florida, 33461-XXXX

And see if it gets to us.

Well, when I was in Las Vegas last week, I did just that.

I sent four postcards, addressed as:

  1. Occupant
    Florida, 33461-XXXX

  2. To the Happy Family That Lives There
    Lake Worth, Florida 33461-XXXX

  3. Spring Dew Conner Stenbock Schmidt
    [street address] 33461-XXXX

  4. Frau Dew
    [street address]
    Lake Worth, Florida 33461-XXXX

#2 and #4 were mailed from Rachel, Nevada. #1 and #3 from the Hôtel San Rémo.

So far, two have arrived, #3 and #4.

Sadly, the one mailed from Rachel came with a Las Vegas postmark (Rachel doesn't have a postoffice, unless you count a blue US Postal Service mailbox a “postoffice”). And the one mailed from Las Vegas came with two postmarks—one from Las Vegas on the 18th, and one from West Palm Beach on the 23rd.

We are still expecting two more.

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