Some months ago I created The Bubblizer. After many revisions and a lot of incredibly thoughtful input from readers here and over at Patrick.net, I believe we have a fairly useful model for analyzing the decision about buying a home in the current environment.
But this model is in Excel, and is therefore out of reach of many folks...
I've attempted to transfer the model to "Web Spreadsheets" like iRows, without success. The Bubblizer utilizes some VBA, Solver, and many of the complex formulae not available in those Web Spreadsheets. Anyways, the model was created for a fairly sophisticated audience. People who already understand the time-value-of-money, loan amortization, and the notion of Present Value.
What I'm interested in now is seeing if we can streamline a version of The Bubblizer as a simple, intuitive web application. It should capture the spirit of the original model:
- Show the user what kind of debt and total ownership costs they would be facing.
- Provide an affordability view, that helps them determine if they can afford these costs.
- Highlight for the potential buyer what the "next buyer" will have to buy their home for in order for them to break-even. That is, the "is this reasonable or simply insane" test.
- Allow the user to tinker with what-if's regarding boom or bust scenarios.
Of course, paring that down into a simple web app is no small task.
Any ideas are helpful. I'm also looking for someone to volunteer to help me with the project. I have the resources, I just need some folks willing to help me design, test, code, etc.