Thursday, February 19, 2009

Housing Recovery

On the radio yesterday, I listened to snips of President Obama's speech about housing recovery. NPR had a streak of reports from boom towns now gone bust, and the president gave his speech from the home-flipping mecca of Phoenix AZ, offering a plan in which the banks would be forced to finance so that monthly payments don't exceed a third of gross income. Sounds like an entire circle of hell might fight over the details of that one, but it's possibly an equitable out.

(You know, I live in an unloved little burbclave too, and even paying a fifteen year mortgage in a pricey region I never quite got to a third of my net income. It was by choice, and it's why I don't live in a bigger house or in an even pricier region, as my means are not exorbitant. I still wonder: what the hell do all the palace dwellers do for a living?)

Anyway, it occurred to me that at least part of the problem is that there was suburban sprawl booming in waterless places like Phoenix. Is that a development model that's particlularly wise to recover? Probably not so much. Then I read this today, and it depressed the hell out of me.


yep. it's cat and her 2¢ agin. said...

I wonder if the Aztecs stopped their calendar at 2012 for a reason...

Funny. The prophets of many religions predicted end times would be the result of man's the Baptists it was about women getting the vote and men wearing my people it was about living out of balance and disrespecting our mother (earth.)

One thing I hate about prophesies is that the folks who believe them often use them as an excuse to misbehave, thus fulfilling them.

(Mostly, I think of the bible when I say this, because...many seem to have looked at warnings in that book, and rather than heed them, used them as some sort of blueprint.)

I'm wildly curious about what sort of creatures will live here after the earth has wiped us off her skin.

dippy said...

ooops. that's mayan, ain't it?

Keifus said...

Can it be your'un? Sure.

Wish I had more time to respond, but I think that ancient people (who made up most religions) had a pretty good sense of intrinsic human flaws (the Greeks made it an art, let's recall, and your standard prophet, like any good con artist, has to read people's insecurities pretty well), and religious people in general were into pointing out approved and disapproved behaviors. I think end-times prophesy fits right into the basic human concept of things.

Also, the religious stuff that feels more true to the times is the stuff that sticks around. The American and European Protestants weren't so intimately connected to the ecosystem by the time they settled here, and considering the style of their holy books, they cared remarkably little about the deliver-us-from-Rome political message that underlay them.

Schmutzie said...

I made a prediction in 2007: The housing bubble is in the process of bursting and these people who got in with cheater mortgages are going to get screwed. Home prices will begin to decline, and they'll be upside-down on their notes. Faced with the prospect of evicting delinquents or re-writing the notes, banks will re-write the notes because they don't want a bunch of empty houses on their books.

My solution: Congratulations Mr & Mrs Moron, we're tearing up this 7 Yr ARM with the balloon that is about to blow up in your face. We aren't going to evict you. You get to stay in that house. Sign here, this is your new 60 year mortgage with payments you can afford. Don't plan on ever actually "owning" that pile of bricks, but at least you can have a roof over your heads.

Win-win....the bank collects their money, and their interest, and the Moron Family can stay warm.

So far, most of this has come to pass. Now comes the part where the banks wake the hell up.

Keifus said...

Well there's that matter of the really high house prices, and the lost, uh, wealth to borrow against when they fall back to sanity. But yeah, the banks'll probably arrange to get their loans back in the manner they can, and the Morons will get their debt bondages in order sooner or later.