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    A freelance writer works on her first novel.

« White Trash | Main | Is Lance Really Good For Cycling? »

October 20, 2008

Comments

Theresa

Love the house Sara!! And I'm so glad you are coming back on a regular basis. I miss our regular "conversations".

Cat, I backed into a parked truck this time....Heavy dew was all over the car windows, and we didn't have far to go..like, across the street! So I didn't clear anything but the front window. Stupid.

Sara Best

Thanks and I said it on Facebook, but I'll say it here too - HAPPY BIRTHDAY T!!!!

Barbara

Happy B, T!

Sara, love the house! Nice old trees in the yard, too, which make it look like home right away.

I wish I were closer so I could come over for lunch - yum! I have been uncharacteristically NOT in the mood for cooking lately, to the detriment of my nutrition.

What a wonderful fall weekend we had here in PA. A couple of friends and I took a ride on a bike trail we've never tried befor - 40 miles of fall foliage with an Irish pub conveniently located near the turn-around.

Looking forward to more blogging on a variety of topics...

GO PHILLIES!!!!!!!

cat

Damn, Sara, nice house! Thank you. When can we all come over for a cuppa tea? I'll bring double chocolate fudge cake!

Happy BD Ms T! So are you 40 yet?

On a more serious note, I felt the urge to check on Fatty yesterday. It was a short but disturbing note. He had to take Susan to the hospital. Later on, much later on, he came back and updated. She is home, but clearly not doing well.

Go read, and drop a supportive note. His blog sustains him.

cat

PS Did ya'll get the awesome video susieb mailed out? It is scary at points (crazy mo-fo riders), but there is a guest of honor that looks mighty cute in his goatee...

http://www.mashsf.com/videos.php

cat

ooops, sorry. click on the one in the upper left corner titled "Austin."

kathleen

Simply lovely, Sara! Congrats. Two car garage - luxury! Nice yard to cartwheel on. I wish you much laughter in your new home.

Glad you'll be 'on your game' for what should be a history making wild year!

janann

OH Sara, it looks just beautiful and like a lovely little neighborhood with trees and some space around the houses! Best of luck getting everything moved and put away (that second part is what always trips me up ;)

I think its FANTASTIC that you'll be back to the blog more often, as your "voice" has been much missed here. And I'd love any kind of sneak peek that you're willing to give us of the novel!

Thanks for the reminder to check in at Fatty's place, Cat. I'll stop in tonight

susie b

I love your house, Sara. Love it. If you ever want to email us some pics of the inside, that would be just fab.

Anyway, I think your family will be very happy there. Do you think you will live there for the long term? How far away is it from your current house?

And I KNOW you are much too smart to get an ARM or buy with no or very little down payment. :) BTW, is there a financial crisis going on in Canada too? Sorry for the ignorance, but we Americans are a myopic bunch at times.


And speaking of that "financial crisis", I've been doing more thinking & a little investigating lately. I believe the crisis was inevitable as certain things were allowed to happen. As most of you may know, it is NOT really a "foreclosure" or "mortgage" crisis at all. The mortgage & banking industries just facilitated the real culprits in causing the real problem - the HOUSING & REAL ESTATE industries ( land developers, home builders, real estate agents & even home sellers) creating & then perpetuating a vastly overpriced housing market. All of which is, of course, largely driven by my rant-focus from the other day - greed & entitlement. Let me give you some US Census Bureau stats (don't you just LOVE the internet?!) where you'll see why I think it was inevitable.

In 1975, the median US Household Income was about $12,000 & the median house price was about $39,000 (both in 1975 dollars). That means the median house was about 3 times the income. In 2005, the median HH Income was about $46,000 & the median house price was $234,000. This means the median house price had jumped to a little over * 5 * times the income. This trend of real estate costing a bigger & bigger chunk of income was/is NOT good. An even better example of the problem is California, where in 2005, the median HH income was $51,755 & yet the median house price was a staggering $548,000. That is 10.5 TIMES the INCOME. There's NO WAY this could have continued without ending in major economic disaster.

Nationally, California has THE highest median house price. Why is that exactly? Location, location, location? That more greedy developers/builders live there? That more gullible people live there who apparently believe you CAN get "Money for Nothing"? Houses costing 10 TIMES the income. That is unreal. There must have been at least SOME financial experts in that state who bellowed about the impending doom for at LEAST the past 7 years. And while it would be comforting for an East coaster to think that CA is truly home to the greediest & 'stupidest' (;) of the land, I only have to drive to work each day, past some $700,000 townhouses (townhouses!) to know that's not true. Plus, I live next to Washington, DC - the ULTIMATE destination for the greedy & the stupid (see S.Palin) every 4 years.... ;)

Of course, the housing prices could not have gotten to that level withOUT the 'enablers' - the mortgage/banking industry & federal & state governments who refused to institute regulations. The whole debacle is like one gigantic PYRAMID scheme. The developers, builders, real estate & mortgage companies all made HUGE amounts of money & now the deluded & ignorant homebuyers are left holding the bag : a vastly overpriced house with an upside down ARM loan. And unfortunately, the ultimate 'bagholders' are NOW the majority of American taxpayers who had nothing to do with this real estate bubble & yet will have to pay for it all anyway. Or risk a national catastrophic economic collapse which dwarfs what has happened so far.

Actually, the more I've thought about this, I'm not sure how any kind of "bailout" will help. It will be ridiculous to prop up real estate values as that's what caused the mess to begin with. And if all those millions of people can't sell their homes for even 2/3 of what they mortgaged for, that will mean MORE foreclosures.

And not to keep picking on California, but I'm guessing the 'no-money down' & other nonsensical loan gambits started there as a way to get all those many, many Californians to actually qualify for the OVERPRICED houses the builders were building. One thing is certain - if no one could qualify to buy a house at a certain price, the builders would NOT have continued to build them.

I'm not absolving the homebuyers of their part, but I do understand. Especially if they live in someplace like Calif & were faced with those sky-high house prices. So high that the only way to purchase a house was to be rich or by using that hinky financing. They just believed because they WANTED to believe the housing/mortgage pitchmen who said the loans were not really risky & besides, "real estate is the best investment". If you want something that you think you SHOULD be able to have ('the American dream' of owning your own home), it would be hard not to succumb. These homebuyers are sort of like athletes who are told a drug can NEVER be detected, that if they don't use it, they'll never get what they want, & that 'everyone' is doing it anyway, so who will it hurt... And now, here comes all the new & multiple drug testings/ the 'adjusting' of loan rates, which will reveal what a load of crap they were all fed/believed. And the truth is that EVERYone gets hurt.


matt

I throw a HUGE amount of this fiasco directly upon people who took out the crazy loans. What happened to being responsible for YOUR OWN ACTIONS? Of course, I realize that many apparently aren't very bright and are easily swayed/bamboozled by less than scrupulous lenders. But the thing that makes my head spin mostly is this: the entire fiasco we are in now is due to the failing of people to make payments on their ARM loans once the interest rates went up. All these loans were made, and bundled up and sold to various investors and such...and these bundles of loans are what banks and such are holding that are becoming worthless, thus driving the fear of banks lending to each other, as they don't know what time-bombs the potential borrower has. But apparently all these sub-prime loan borrowers WERE making their payments at the lower interest rates. Only upon the escalation of the loan payments did they start the mass defaults. WHY CAN'T the lenders just NOT raise the payment rates? At least they were getting paid! The freaking interest rate of the day is a man-made thing...very complex. If all the lenders/note holders would just STOP raising the dang rates on the payback, then most of these loans could be paid off, rather than the borrower just walking away leaving whoever holds their note with a house not worth what they lent on it. I would surely think ANY paypack, no matter what interest rate it is, would be preferable to what we have now...of course, these are just my simple-simon thoughts on the subject. I do know that I met with my financial consultant last weekend, and she says that WE THE PEOPLE have barely begun to feel the effects of this 'lending' crisis (she explained the whole thing in laymens terms, which I summarized above). She believes we are most assuredly going into a much deeper and longer-lasting hole than anybody is talking about. And we are taking the world with us. Nice. As people stop spending $ because they don't have as much or are just plain scared, the makers of products and restaurants are going to lose income, prompting layoffs and firings, meaning less people spending $, and we descend into the black hole of recession/depression. No easy way (if at all) to stop this cycle we are just starting into. US Automakers are getting CRUSHED due to their shortsightedness (giving people what they WANT, not what they need...more power, less mileage vehicles)...so they are incurring huge losses with no hope in sight. The gov is not being honest in where we are and where we are going for the next few years.

OK..enough on that depressing avenue of discussion. Cycling! The 09 TDF route was unveiled, and the fan fav TTT is BACK! And Astana is likely primed to be one of the top teams (provided they get to race!). Whether Lance is at Le Tour or not, they will have a SPECTACULAR team! BIG CLIMBS in the first week! And a final HUGE climb the day before Paris! It's going to be a real thriller! I think 09 is shaping up to be a really exciting racing season!

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