Timing the market
The bubbly housing market(*) has been getting a lot of attention. Writers more perspicacious than I have discussed it often, and in depth.
But my understanding of markets is so complete that I can pinpoint the exact moment when the housing market reached its peak. It wasn't when USA Today published a story about a million-dollar mobile home (although that's a good guess). It was at noon CDT on September 14th.
That's when we closed on our new place.
(*) One could argue that housing markets are local, so there must be more than one. Some say that about 300 markets matter, out of more than 3,000 housing markets in the U.S. (if you take this to its logical extreme, there are 80 million housing markets, 'cause every home is unique). Since demand for houses depends heavily on the availability of mortgage money, and since the mortgage market has become increasingly national (contributing factors include the savings and loan crisis of the eighties, the consolidation of evarthang, the rise of Fannie Mae, and the internets), I think it's fair to call it all one market. (Yay! This footnote is longer than the rest of the post.)