Tuesday, February 05, 2008

A Scam to Benefit the Wealthy

This from our own SF Chronicle.

Why should tax payers pay for a mortgage interest rate break (resulting from the proposed increase of the loan limits for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) that will benefit only the wealthy minority of this country? Why should "fly over" states be required to pay their tax dollars to support mortgages for our over-priced houses here on the West Coast? As much as the proposed increase in loan limits will personally benefit me, the fact is that I chose to live in an expensive area of America; it is neither right nor fair that people who do not live in crazy-stupid expensive areas should subsidize my choice. If anything, it is those of us who live along the west and east coasts, who have these high mortgages, and who will benefit from the proposed increase in loan limits who should be paying an increased tax and who should bear the responsibility of bailing out Freddie and Fannie when they ultimately fail due to assuming such a massive increase in risky loans.

Here in California such words fall on deaf ears. It is a sad fact that most people support (vote for) that which benefits themselves and not what benefits the general public or what is generally considered good (unless, of course, there is no significant cost to them by voting their conscience). Thus, I fully expect the majority of Californians to support the increase in the GSEs' loan limits as it will benefit most Californians' pocket books (at least in the short term). But what about the rest of America that does not live along one of the two coasts? Why would you support this proposal and why would you be willing to pay your hard earned money to ensure our ridiculously high mortgages?

We don't have to let it happen. We the citizens of this country could stop it if we really wanted to. Now more than ever politicians are listening to the populace. Make yourselves heard.
Congress is about to sell us the biggest fraud in American history... Congress is set to rush through an increase in the mortgage loan limits for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (and Federal Housing Administration insurance, too) - from $417,000 to $729,750 - the first step toward a massive financial disaster in which taxpayers will end up paying through the nose.

Contrary to popular myth, Fannie holds a lot of subprime debt, option ARM debt and other dodgy securities... Expansion of Fannie and Freddie's reckless lending is exactly what Congress wants because it's plausibly deniable. Teary-eyed lawmakers can take to the airwaves a year from now and declare: "We had no idea Fannie could go under, but we can't cut and run now. We have to bail out Fannie and Freddie for the good of America! It's going to be a tough slog, but you're getting used to those, no?"

Those same lawmakers won't mention the fact that they get paid far more by real estate lobbyists than they do from our Treasury.

I've spoken with borrowers who stopped making mortgage payments seven or more months ago. None has received a default notice. Defaults may be much higher than banks are letting on. The data lags are growing suspiciously long. Nobody knows what's going on. Seven months without making a single payment! Will Fannie guarantee those loans because they aren't in formal default yet? Nobody wants to know, because if they know, they might be called to testify next year. That's why lawmakers want to raise the limits now and ask questions later.

In support of the economic stimulus bill, Bush will have to face "working American families" and explain that some of their tax money is going to be spent guaranteeing $730,000 mortgages on $1 million homes. It's like some sort of upside-down communism where the poor pay the rich welfare. Why should taxes from families earning $48,000 a year be used to support expensive mortgages in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco? Welfare for the hungry and homeless is evil, but welfare for million-dollar homeowners facing a tough refi ... well, that's called "helping the economy."

I can imagine the president's radio address playing in the heartland: "We have some families with million-dollar homes on the coasts who are really hurting and so we need you, the working families of America, to stand together with them and help them avoid the kind of home price depreciation that might leave them without a new Lexus for years."

I guess Congress' hope is that median-income families will be too busy using their rebates to buy much-needed groceries to notice that the rich folk are getting way with a new scam.

Don't let me down, my fellow Americans. Let's vote out anyone0 who dares to vote for this scam.

31 Comments:

Blogger Matthew said...

The whole thing is BS.. just pure poltical BS - wrapped in shiny sound bites that work great on the campaign trail, but only serve to worsen (and hide) the real problem...

If you want to acknowledge the problem, Congress, (meaning that housing prices got (waaaay) away from wages / fundamentals), well then all you need to do is make FHA and VA loan limits variable and be based on conforming loans (NMT ~35% take home) for the upper-medium family income in this country, plus maybe 5 percent or so (or 10% in coastal areas).. make the limits variable by region as well to acknowledge the higher wages in some parts of the country.. take the hot air (and politics) out of this thing and acknowledge, by linking the limits to wages, that mortages need to be "qualified for" with the presumption that they would be paid back...

Anecdotal observation on this topic and Marin housing... (Warning, what follows will be depressing to many who read here - was to me)..

5 couples at a Super Bowl get together when subject of housing comes up.. 2 of the couples are in the market to "buy" due to the "great deals" out there... Yes, I know, that's problem #1..

Then the subject of increasing FHA loan limits comes up and everyone, essentially, was gushing over it because, primarily, it would result in a lower (maybe 1 full point lower) jumbo loan rates... of course, I understand their feeling..

Was quiet for most of the discussion, and then, in a moment of weakness, blurted out that I wouldn't buy until 2010 or later and that Congress should lower, not raise, loan limits.. it got (real) quiet...

I threw out a few facts and observations and ask them a few questions about home prices (pre / post bubble etc)... I said raising loan limits on housing was like raising CC limits on deliquent CC debtors who couldn't help themselves.. that our generation was generally out of control.. that I'm looking out for my kids and their kids.. that we've witnessed the greatest transfer of wealth in our nations industry and this would exacerbate the problem... that real estate needs to be balanced with everything else a middle income consumer is faced with working /saving for.. that they all should do a Google search on "housing bubble" or "marin housing bubble" and READ / RESEARCH.. blah, blah, blah..

The topic was quietly dropped, but one of the wives thanked me because she was very anxious about the market and their decision despite the fact that prices have come down considerably from the highs already..

Observation.. none of these couples were well informed (esp the husbands) and that they have swallowed the RE machine's message on "getting in while you can"...

Feb 5, 2008, 4:52:00 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

nations industry = nation's history..

Feb 5, 2008, 4:56:00 AM  
Blogger brazos605 said...

I'll write letters to our Senators. Still, I have zero hope that Diane Feinstein will listen to me.

I'm really beginning to wonder if the current crop of Americans are smart enough to handle a republican form of government. And I'm referring to both voters and the officials they elect.

Feb 5, 2008, 7:39:00 AM  
Blogger bob said...

Trsut me... I've already written a number of letters to our representatives. Not like that really matters because I've been doing so for years. I wrote to them back when everyone was gun-ho about buying houses. I mentioned back then that we were dangerously close to a housing crash and that the economy would suffer as a result. The simufaxed response was that " we are looking very closely at affordable housing for lower income families."

I wrote back to not one, but two letters. One from Senator Feinstein and one from Senator Boxter. BOTH mentioned that we HAD to do something about these 'poor miserable homeowners'. I don't recall which was which, but one letter mentioned that we had to stop foreclosures because it created " dangerous neighborhoods" full of empty houses. I responded to these in much the same way as I've responded to anyone that brings the topic up, which is that this housing crash must be allowed to run it's course. Plain and simple. Get the pain over with, then continue on our merry way.

I've pretty much decided that writing to representatives and politicians is utterly worthless. These people have been bought. In fact, I'm sure that many of you saw the article on Ben's blog yesterday: Some of the biggest contributers to CLinton and Obama's campaigns are RE related industries. OF COURSE they're going to push for saving homeowners-that's what their 'sponsors' want.

I was listening to the radio last night. A RE agent from Ohio was being interviewed. The host asked her a number of questions. She was asked to compare what was happening a few years ago versus now. I don't recall every single word, but here's a rundown:

" Well, a few years ago the market was really healthy. Many people were buying homes because the interest rates were low and they could get into a home. A lot of people were getting to live the American Dream. Then people started using a lot of these subprime loan products. Then the market started to slow and a lot of people couldn't afford their payments because the property values started going down.I now have a lot of people who just want to go on with their lives and can't. Many are just going to walk away."

The one thing that she failed to mention is the exact same thing that Realtores, the NAR, The government, the politicians, and virtually everyone else with special interests tied to the subject: The PRICES GOT TOO HIGH. That's really all there is too it. Sure- you can mention foreclosures, rate hikes, subprime loans, and poor credit. But the whole issue here is price and nothing more. To me, this is the biggest missing piece of the puzzle and also the reason why it isn't mentioned. The industry and all those involved need to mentioned the problem with affordability. But you know why they won't do it? Because if they did, then their entire plan would be deemed totally worthless and without merit. The reason is because the solution isn't to try and keep the prices as high as they are but to allow a gradual decrease in value back to fundamentals.

The sickening thing to me is that I know that these laws are going to pass anyway. I rest assured though that these will do nothing to stop the inevitable and that those who buy between now and the next boom,which with a recession on the way could be years, will simply be losing money.

Feb 5, 2008, 8:12:00 AM  
Blogger Anonymous said...

But there is still a missing piece to the discussion re: this housing crisis, and that is that with things spiraling so out of control and a recession on the horizon, inflation is also bound to get out of control. While I feel good that I did not get caught up in the Marin housing boom despite people pushing us to buy and despite a large combined income (>200K), I must say that I do not feel safe NOT owning a home post boom either. My rent could spiral out of control with inflation, and if I were to own, I could lock in to a fixed 30 year loan that would protect me from what may be terrible times ahead. I do want the market to correct itself and will not consider buying until it does (and buying only with a 30 year fixed -- my spouse and I plan to stay put and maybe even retire in our home), but in the meantime I am not sure I am making the right decision at all because of inflation!

Feb 5, 2008, 11:14:00 AM  
Blogger bob said...

Well Anon,
I and my wife are in your same income bracket and also did not buy for the same reasons. But I'm not terribly concerned about the future. If rents rise out of control, we've already saved up enough to simply wipe our hands and move to another area. Many people my age are doing the same. There are countless other cities and areas that are just as nice or in many cases nicer than the Bay Area and Marin. I'm originally from TN which has less people in it than the Bay Area alone and a nice home can still be had for 150k or less.

Save, invest, and if things get bad, have a flexible plan as to where you can live. Living in the BA is in itself a liability. Make the best of it and when things get nasty... move.

Feb 5, 2008, 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger R said...

I have to disagree with your reasoning [not your position]. We [in the states that are actually productive] have been subsidizing the "fly over states" forever. Most of the federal taxes Californians pay never make it back to California. Instead they go to varieties of pork designed to help those stuck in the "fly over" states. Most of the federal tax dollars come from states that have high housing prices so the folks from the "fly over" states are not really helping us in this bail out.

I agree however, that there should be no bailout. Bailouts create moral hazard and mis-allocation of economic capital, all leading to lower growth and a weaker economy in the long run.

Feb 5, 2008, 1:25:00 PM  
Blogger bob said...

Sorry, but it's rather ignorant to assume that "flyover states", which in itself is a derogatory term are not productive or help contribute to the economy. The fact is that in many places- the Southeast in particular- the most rapid growth in both economical and infrastructure is occurring as we speak. I'm very familiar with this since my entire family lives there.

I have lived here for 8 years and lived in NY for 2. The sense that people have on the coasts that the entire interior of the country is essentially a vast wasteland full of unproductive individuals is astounding. The truth that many of you here would probably be shocked to know is that in reality, MANY people in these places live a far greater standard of living than the majority of the citizens in California. This goes for people making 1/3rd of those here. I can definitely use my parents as examples who own 17 acres, a heated pool, a greenhouse, two rental houses, two newer cars, a healthy retirement, and so on and yet live off of less than 80k combined income.

Secondly, if we're going to play the whole blame-game, then I might as well point out that since California has so many people, and such a large economy, any hiccup that it has usually affects the entire country. Even though the economy in the South was/is growing rapidly, the mess that states like California, New York, and much of the Northeast along with FL created is what is causing this recession. It is because of Californians and other folks living in "Bubbleland" that we are now in deep horse shit. SO don't feed me that line of how one side pays more than the other because we ALL are going to be paying for California's mistakes for a long time to come.

Feb 5, 2008, 2:44:00 PM  
Blogger miked said...

c'mon now, bob,

be easy on r.

he's a poor victim of CSC (california superiority complex).

symptoms include smug confidence that all his neighbors are 'smart', and therefore, he is, too; utter disdain for anyone not smart enough to live here; and the destined right to be forever a member of the superior class.

poor guy. this brainwashing all begins in fourth grade, with the precious mission project. of course, you can never mention that religion had anything to do with that. that is verboten, it wouldn't demonstrate intelligence or reasoning.

so be nice, bob. buy him a gift certificate at his favorite kentfield shrink office.

Feb 5, 2008, 5:39:00 PM  
Blogger marinite2 said...

For the record, I used the term "fly-over" in quotes. That means I am referring to a derrogatory term that I feel is bogus and I am making fun of those who use it.

Feb 5, 2008, 5:53:00 PM  
Blogger sf jack said...

miked -

Hilarious!

Many of my neighbors are CSC-afflicted.

And some of them should know better...

Feb 6, 2008, 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger bob said...

I got ya' Marinite. That alone doesn't bother me. I'm accustomed to terms such as "Jesusland", "Red States", and others. I've been on here long enough to know that you don't share that sentiment.

But as an overarching statement, I do find it ironic that I've met so many people here who seem to have this whole attitude that the SF Bay Area is amongst the clan of intellectual and culturally superior cities like NYC and pretty much any other large metro area. Ironic because most who live here are from places like NJ, MA, CT, NY, and name-that-rustbelt- state. So if they feel superior here, then perhaps there's more to be said about where they came from, which really doesn't make me any better than they for assuming so.

But that's how Americans tick and naturally anyone anywhere is going to assume that the life they've chosen along with where they live is the right choice for them... and therefore must be the ONLY choice available.

I think the tragedy of our time is that we live in a truly mobile, transient,social society that speaks in an increasingly similar dialect and watches the same TV shows. Yet we're still as old-fashioned as it was in the pre-division days before the civil war.

As a result, despite having all these options available to us, people would rather torture themselves, go into debt, make their kids line up in lotteries for schools, work 50-60,and 70 hours a week. For what? So that they can live in an area that they KNOW is superior to XYZ.

I think people need to be more open minded to not only other cultures/race/religions, but place as well. If an area sucks, is too costly, too cold, or too hot... then MOVE!

Feb 6, 2008, 3:59:00 PM  
Blogger Grandis said...

Good god! I just had to chime in. I think we're being way too teary eyed and politically correct. As a recent transplant from a “fly over” state I couldn't possibly care less if you called me a Bible Belter, Fly Overer, Red Stater, or what have you. I think you've been in the Bay Area way too long if you get upset over that.

To get back to the original point about the "fly over" states paying for California interests, I think that's just the tip of the iceberg and soooooo far from what's really important. In order to fix any of these massively complex issues what we need is transparency and trust in our government. This is an issue that's been around long before Bush and will likely (sadly) be around much longer. So long as we have a HORRIBLE media who is more interested in who slept with whom, and who looked a little sleepy at a debate, we'll make no progress. Because the dollar doesn’t go nearly as far as it did back in the day, that means mom has to get herself a job, which means Junior spends more time in front of the TV watching 22 minute TV shows broken up into four five minute bits with three thirty second commercials in between the TV bits (did you follow that?). Junior therefore lives five minutes at a time and his poor little head would explode if he had to watch to a proper news channel; of which does not exist. Thank god for Ritalin though! Now Junior will be able to study better and won’t act up so much in class. Only side affect is that he’s lost a bit of his personality. Side affect acceptable. So dad’s working all the time to pay for the mortgage (likely adjustable 30 yr), mom’s working to pay for the Lexus, the Bimmer and Junior’s therapy sessions. They can’t figure out why he’s so mad. You might ask yourself what the hell what the point of all that b.s.! I’ll tell you. Joe Schmo doesn’t have time to give a damn. There was a time when Joe Schmo had the time to give a damn and that was waaaaaaay back when the dollar was worth something and mom didn’t even have to work. Our elected officials are allowed to pretty much do what ever they want because there is virtually no oversight from those of us who elected them. Do you know who proposed what bill, who attached what pork and who didn’t like that pork and as a compromise attached his own pork? Of course not. We’re drowning in bureaucratic b.s. and no one has the time, inclination, or will to propose a cognitive shift in our way of thinking. I guess my point is that this shouldn’t even be an issue worth discussing. We aught to be discussing route causes and not the bastard child policy of some bastard; or as is more likely a gaggle of bastards.

Feb 6, 2008, 5:34:00 PM  
Blogger rdm said...

Lived in a flyover state for most of my life, live in Marin now. Interesting statistic from US News and World Report: Peoria IL. Medium household income $ 47,266 medium house price $125,200, San Jose CA medium household income $80,638 medium home price $852,500. I suspect the "flyovers" are going to "weather" this economic storm far better than California. BTW I would hazard to guess the $125.2 K Peoria house is nicer with a much larger yard than the $852.5K San Jose house. I lived fairly near Peoria.

Feb 6, 2008, 8:56:00 PM  
Blogger Lance said...

The alternative question is: "Why should the vast majority of the US population --- which incidentally resides on one of the 2 coasts --- subsidize "flyover" and other less populated areas by subsidizing a program that was intended for ALL of the US but because of the inflation of the last 20 yrs now only benefits these areas lagging in this area?

The way things get turned around on this blog, it's like the bloggers on here have a hidden agenda "i.e., get something for nothing". It's not only house prices that have gone up in the last 20 years, but salaries too. Yes, it would be nice if salaries had gone up but not house prices, but that's not how it usually is. Yes, there are times when salaries rise faster than house prices ... like perhaps in the early and mid '90s. But then there is the catch up we saw over the last 7 - 10 years. We may go back to where salaries rise quicker than house prices again (for a while), but I wouldn't count on house prices falling in desirable areas. That is wishful thinking but not reality.

Feb 7, 2008, 6:42:00 AM  
Blogger bob said...

I'll apologize for probably overreacting a bit. Been sort of a rough week for me. Sorry about that.

Anyhow, as far as the more populated states perhaps shoving more money towards others that have less people and less money, well in my opinion that problem will likely be solved on it's own eventually. At the rate that people from the coasts are now filling in the areas around where my parents live, the rate of mis balance will probably be altered soon enough.

We live in an interesting country where parts of the country change drastically from various external factors: Economics, cost of living, and the age of their populace.

If you look at the Midwest and places like Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio, these states are dying on the vine. I read a number of photo blogs that deal with urban exploration of abandoned buildings and cities. There are literally hundreds of small towns along with a number of large cities in that region that are seemingly withering away. These were places that once manufactured as much as 50% of the world's manufactured goods. Now that the US no longer really manufactures all that much, many of these formerly populated/industrious areas are starting to empty out.

If you look at California, it was seen as the new land of opportunity in the 60's and 70's. By the 80's that opportunity was already dried up for most in the middle class. That leaves the question of what will be the new land of opportunity? Well, the way I see it with the beleaguered middle class having fewer and fewer places to live in which to have regular jobs and regular lives, it would seem that areas that are at this point fairly modest are ideal. Unfortunately, these areas are typically in the region my parents live- The Southeast. So here comes the onslaught.

But in many ways, that's the way that the US has always worked. A new region is 'discovered' and used until all advantage and financial reward has been leached from it's soil. Then we migrate elsewhere, to a new area with new possibilities.

I guess for a nation, this is actually a good thing. I'm glad that we don't live in the UK where young people like myself have few choices other than to leave the country. Or places like Japan where the cities are packed like sardines. Instead, we still have vast and open areas that still offer a decent living.

This is probably a much wider conversation.I also agree with what Grandis was getting at, which is that we as a society have gradually been conditioned to work harder, longer, and for what? -To maintain what we still associate as classic middle class values. It's just that American capitalism works to squeeze as much grist from it's populace to the point that debt is eventually seen as 'income' when in fact all that debt has been increasingly coming from other countries, whom for years have assumed the the American consumer would always be there, to continue filling up the credit cards, buying the crap at Wal-Mart, and putting themselves into increasingly expensive houses.

The peril in that is the US consumer is now broke. The flow of debt-money is gone. All the work in the world will not bring back the middle class. Instead, we have become a fragmented country. Things will likely never return to what they were even 10 years ago. Additionally, all those countries that invested in our debt no longer really need us. They have their own economies which will eventually surpass ours. If that be the case, then we as a nation are in much deeper doo-doo then even the brightest economist dares to admit.

But not all is doom and gloom. I still believe that those who pay careful attention to economics, prices, and their own savings accounts will fare way better than the millions of consumer gluttons who got us into the trouble that none of us here participated in.

Feb 7, 2008, 8:44:00 AM  
Blogger marinite2 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Feb 7, 2008, 2:37:00 PM  
Blogger marinite2 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Feb 7, 2008, 2:40:00 PM  
Blogger marin_explorer said...

"The way things get turned around on this blog, it's like the bloggers on here have a hidden agenda "i.e., get something for nothing". It's not only house prices that have gone up in the last 20 years, but salaries too. Yes, it would be nice if salaries had gone up but not house prices, but that's not how it usually is."

Lest we get turned around on the actual facts, one could compare the stats of median wages to median housing prices of the past couple decades, particularly in the Bay Area--and then decided what is actually turned around.

Yet, I'm persuaded that such a suggestion is going to fall on deaf ears to anyone desperate to rationalize the current state of the local RE market for reasons of paper wealth, prestige, or what-have-you. But no matter, because the true depth of market instability will play out in 2008, as if not obvious already!

As more resets kick in for 2008, Marin will not be immune, and it will further erode the market. No amount of liquidity pumped by the Fed will rescue homedebtors who played the leverage game--and lost. So it doesn't matter if you're foreclosing in Tiburon or Stockton--you're SOL if you can't make payments.

I've observed these events unfold for the past few years, and generally don't comment anymore because it's gotten so obvious. Oh well...we can always believe it won't happen in Marin! LOL, whatever.

Feb 7, 2008, 5:53:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

"but I wouldn't count on house prices falling in desirable areas. That is wishful thinking but not reality."

Really Lance ? Well, how do you explain the 10-15% drop in prices since the peak already here in Marin ? Your presumption that house prices have finally caught up to wages is pure popycock..

You should dive in my boy, and with both hands and feet then to scoop up these deals and steals.. I, on the other hand, believe you, sir, have the real hidden agenda, which is why you are trolling on this bubble blog..

We other bloggers on here "are what we are" and generally believe housing prices got waaaay away from fundamentals (eg esp wages & rents), which, given the enormous losses on Wall Street and the Fed's panicked actions of late, would seem to more than just and "agenda"... more like a cold hard fact !

Feb 7, 2008, 10:12:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Hey, I just read on Ben's blog that my favorite pompous pumper, Lesile Appleton-Young, apologized today... well, sort of .. a real acknowledgment and sincere apology for her contributions to the misery and financial ruin of hundreds of thousands of others is still well beyond her..

She admitted it doesn't look like it will be "as soft a landing as I had predicted in October".. Well, Lez.. No Shit !

I wish I had kept score on all these similar "soft landing" predictions that are now being eaten by all these real estate, mortgage banking and economist sages so far.. Her's, like the NAR's, grate on my more than most given her position and influence (and arrogance!) and her real hidden agenda..

"Piss off Leslie" is the only thing that comes to my mind in times like these..

Here's a prediction for you Leslie, I predict you'll eat your latest prediction again in 8 months..

"Do you think anyone has ever regretted getting into the Marin Real Estate market? ".. quoted by her in 2006 I think ... Wonder if she's ready to eat that one too?

Feb 7, 2008, 10:35:00 PM  
Blogger bob said...

I think to be at least rational, I would imagine that there is some truth to the notion that Prices in "desirable" areas are going to not fall as much as say-West Oakland or Stockton. But there's other considerations that I'm wondering will have an effect in the future. For one, Marin and several other cities like it are getting older by the year. I live in Alameda and the story is much the same there with an average age of 47 year old.

If you break it down, you can pretty much assume that the vast majority of those residing on the younger scale are either lower income families or those of us who rent. Logic would suggest that the average homeowner in Alameda and probably Marin as well are older and quiet possibly near retirement.

Most in the baby boomer generation are going to retire en mass in roughly 2-3 years. If that be the case, then most of those people are going to want to sell their homes. So if you look at communities like Marin with it's aged population, this will ultimately add more fuel to the fire in terms of driving down housing demand and subsequently housing prices.

I sort of look at it this way too: My commute is HORRIBLE at this point. If places like Walnut Creek, Hayward, and other not as desirable areas fall dramatically in price, then I have absolutely no problem moving to one of those areas. Honestly, I don't really like Marin that much anyway, and Alameda seems to be getting more and more shi-shi and yuppified with each passing year.

By the way, it looks like that 'stimulus' package passed. Unfortunately it does me absolutely no good at all since I make too much. So I guess I'll just have to be content with the fact that my tax dollars are going to help an awful lot of people who got themselves into financial trouble. Here's to you Joe Sixpack... enjoy my money. Now go out and do what Uncle Sam wants you to do and blow it all on a Chinese-Made flatscreen TV at Wal-Mart.

Feb 8, 2008, 7:39:00 AM  
Blogger Eric Weise said...

Does anyone know if the conforming loan limits were included in the "stimulus" bill that passed?

Feb 8, 2008, 1:26:00 PM  
Blogger marinite2 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Feb 8, 2008, 3:05:00 PM  
Blogger marinite2 said...

Hey, I just read on Ben's blog that my favorite pompous pumper, Lesile Appleton-Young, apologized today... well, sort of

I saw that too. A half-hearted mea culpa. Now that the bubble and its unwinding is obvious to all but the most deluded...

Anecdote: Saw a 2200 sqft house the other day in an upscale area of San Rafael. (Won't give out the address for reasons I never do.) It was last purchased in 2005 for $950K. It is currently trying to sell for $650K. Apparently it was used as a pot farm so we know it has good electrical. Anyway, thought I'd throw that out to all of you out there who think this sort of thing does not and cannot happen in Marin.

Feb 8, 2008, 3:11:00 PM  
Blogger Tom said...

Median age in Marin is higher than virtually every single county in the state of Florida. What does that tell you?

Feb 8, 2008, 3:41:00 PM  
Blogger Lance said...

Tom said...
"Median age in Marin is higher than virtually every single county in the state of Florida. What does that tell you?"

This is soooo funny. It's like vultures waiting around for an unearned "win". Luckily, it just doesn't work that way. These people have heirs. They have no reason to "give away" anything.

Seriously though, get a life folks, do what it takes to buy a home from you own hard work, and quit wishing bad on others thinking you'll get "something for nothing".

"Karma" folks ... think about that!

Feb 9, 2008, 6:54:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

"something for nothing" & "vultures" .. Yea, right..

Waiting for home prices to fall back to reality is trying to get something for nothing.. get a life yourself Lance... or better yet, go buy youself a bunch of rentals in Marin right now and post in a year on how it all worked for you..

I don't intend on having my "hard work" and savings discounted and evaporate before my eyes by the BS that has transpired in this market over the last 8 years... that appears to be a point that has escaped you...

Feb 10, 2008, 10:31:00 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

"luckily, it doesn't work that way"..

wanna bet ?

Feb 10, 2008, 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger bob said...

"This is soooo funny. It's like vultures waiting around for an unearned "win"."

So what you're suggesting is that all those people who bought homes 10 years ago "earned" the additional appreciation? What about all those fine folks who bought in the last three years. Were they smart?

Is the fact that anyone who has half a brain can clearly see that prices are falling and by buying you would be purchasing a depreciating asset would obviously want to wait as prices come down seem like a dumb idea to you?

I'm assuming that either you're A: a homeowner unwilling to admit the calamity around them or B: someone working in the RE industry in denial.

People who use fiscal responsibility aren't vultures. But I'm more than happy to poke a few " I told you so" fingers at anyone claiming that RE is this supposedly wise decision.

Feb 13, 2008, 8:36:00 AM  
Blogger Marinite said...

I'm assuming that either you're A: a homeowner unwilling to admit the calamity around them or B: someone working in the RE industry in denial.

If he's the same troll who plagued Keith's Housing Panic blog then the answer is B.

Feb 13, 2008, 9:05:00 AM  

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