February 21, 2010

This Old House

YouTube video showing the Martini family moving 
into their new home from the 1946 film 
It's a Wonderful Life posted by scooternsc

Bread - that this house may never know hunger.
Salt - that life may always have flavor.
Wine - that joy and prosperity may reign forever.

Well as everyone knows by now, many naive families and buyers along with disreputable businesses and lenders in the U.S. and the world over have been treating the concept of a home, loans and real estate in recent years as "investments", cash cows, and ultimately ... as funny money. Ethics aside, everyone was going to throw down some new paint ... flip something, anything ... get fabulously rich ... and just pass the buck on to the next chump! And if it doesn't work, well then we'll all just point fingers ... play the blame game ... and who knows, maybe even find God and politics in the process.

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From a 2006 ABC Nightline interview titled Prophet of Housing Prices; Robert Shiller:

"The idea that homes are a great investment is just wrong. Stocks have historically been a phenomenally better investment. They've gone up historically for the last couple centuries at 7% real a year. Do you know what homes have done? It's just about zilch. They, they do not go up. This is one of the biggest misconceptions. It's just wrong. And people - I don't know how the story got started that homes are such a great investment. It's just not true." - Robert Shiller

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From an April 18, 2007 SmartMoney article titled Renting Makes More Financial Sense Than Homeownership by Jack Hough:

"Robert Shiller, a Yale economist and author of "Irrational Exuberance," which predicted the stock price collapse in 2000, has recently turned his eye to house prices. Between 1890 and 2004 he finds that real house returns would've been zero if not for two brief periods: one immediately following World War II and another since about 2000. (More on them in a moment.) Even if we include these periods houses returned just 0.4% a year, he says."

YouTube video of Century 21's notorious 2006 commercial 
The Debate / Suzanne Researched This posted by jvolstad

From a February 13, 2010 New York Times article titled A Rookie Star's Mom Is With Him All the Way by William C. Rhoden:

"For Knox, her son's presence in Dallas is a testament to faith, to challenging the accepted norm, to not relinquishing the core duty of being a parent.

Flying commercial, middle seat, just happy to be on the plane.

Milwaukee took Jennings with the 10th overall pick in the draft. The signing bonus, the relatively lucrative first-year contract, has not drastically changed Knox. They rent a moderately sized house in California.

"It's just me and Terrence, why do we need a big house?" she said. "Save the money."

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- Follow this link to a January 7, 2010 New York Times article titled Walk Away From Your Mortgage! by Roger Lowenstein

- Follow this link to a January 26, 2010 Yahoo.com article titled When Owning Your Home Doesn't Pay by Troy Adkins

- Follow this link to a February 2, 2010 New York Times article titled No Help in Sight, More Homeowners Walk Away by David Streitfeld

Excerpts from Personal Finance For Dummies by Eric Tyson, MBA, published by Wiley Publishing, Hoboken, NJ:

"From a financial standpoint, you really shouldn't buy a place unless you can anticipate being there for at least three years (preferably five or more). Buying and selling a property entails a lot of expenses, including the cost of getting a mortgage (points, application, and appraisal fees), inspection expenses, moving costs, real estate agents' commissions, and title insurance. To cover these transaction costs plus the additional costs of ownership, a property needs to appreciate about 15 percent.

If you need or want to move in a couple years, counting on 15 percent appreciation is risky. If you're fortunate and you happen to buy before a sharp upturn in housing prices, you may get it. If you're unlucky, you'll probably lose money on the deal."

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"One general rule says that you can borrow up to three times (or two and one-half times) your annual income when buying a home."

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