Since the housing market began its long, long slide, the only green shoot worth mentioning has been Jim the Realtor's YouTube channel. But it's a witty and instructive one, as Jim, a San Diego County real estate man, takes viewers on sardonically narrated tours of one piece of shit house after another.

The effect is surprisingly dramatic. Walking through these dilapidated homes has an element of tragedy to it: No matter how run-down the property or delusional the aspirations of the owners (usually former owners, as these are almost all bank-owned properties), you can't escape the sense of loss, of somebody's evaporated dream, of a whole country (or at least a whole state) plummeting back to a state of nature.

But Jim's seen-it-all asides keep pulling you back to earth, reminding you of why pity and contempt go hand in hand, and showing why laughter is the proper response to these properties whose values have been halved, thirded (?), and quartered. Jim is admirably self-deprecating: Observe how he trash-talks this house even though he apparently has the listing. The only thing I can say against him is that if he had any respect for tradition he'd be calling himself Jim the RealtorĀ®.

Jim's most recent find is a place that's actually really nice: A ludicrously pimped-out palace in San Marcos that looks like one of Saddam Hussein's minor hideaways. Jim keeps making fun of the features, but I'd give my left nut (or at least the listed $643,500) for this place:

Update: Thanks to commenter johnl for San Marcos details. Please note that the above offer was neither signed nor notarized, and anyway I rescind the offer and it's within one business day so you can't hold me to it!

Update 2: Wait, wait. My cousin knows this credit union that's getting state funds to do cramdown workouts. So the offer's still good: You get paid, I don't pay, the credit union takes the loss and we part as friends! Call me.