Monday, July 7, 2014
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Friday, April 4, 2014
What to do with secondary market giants, Fannie
Mae and Freddie Mac, is equally controversial, particularly against the
backdrop of the recent stellar financial performance of both entities. Nonetheless,
it is the concern of many that the involvement of government and its support is
What to do with secondary market giants, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, is equally controversial, particularly against the backdrop of the recent stellar financial performance of both entities. Nonetheless, it is the concern of many that the involvement of government and its support is too deep.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Monday, February 23, 2009
But, on a more mundane level, I have been reading that foreclosure relief measures recently enacted may not achieve great results for very basic reasons. For starters, statistics indicate that as much as one-third of residential properties are not owner-occupied. As such, these properties are not eligible for refinancing or for mortgage modification under current relief measures.
Further, it is believed that many who will take advantage of refinance or modification will fall into default again, anyway.
Finally, there is nothing to coax lenders into participating in relief programs. If enough lenders take a pass, avenues for borrowers will be limited and many foreclosures will not be averted. Even lenders willing to participate may find difficulties in trying to restructure loans that have been sold in bundles on the secondary market.
While it is good news that something is being done and plans are being crafted to fix troubled mortgages, I wish that all the well-intentioned energy of lawmakers could be directed more toward outcomes and results rather than smithing sweeping, altruistic platitudes.
Friday, January 30, 2009
That brought to my mind the recollection that my parents purchased their first home just one year before. It was a newly-constructed home that they bought. I guess they were included in those very early reports. It was located in a modest suburb and had a "garden" apartment to help with the mortgage payment. They had realized their piece of the American dream just seven years after arriving in the United States with family in tow.
In the same article, Reuters suggests that housing is "the root of the worst financial crisis in more than 70 years." If you have read any of my postings, you know that I could not agree more.
Having provided a backdrop, I now ask you to consider the advise of "personal finance guru", Chris Farrell, who, also just today, instructs us that now is a good to to look for housing, but not necessarily to buy. No telling how much lower prices will go is his rationale.
In other words, treat home ownership as portfolio management. It's easy: buy low, sell high (somehow, I seldom get that right). So, folks that are taking Mr. Farrell's advise are out there waiting to buy. They are waiting for prices to hit bottom so that they can make a killing in real estate.
What ever happened to the notion of house as home? We used to buy residences for shelter and to raise our families. Our homes should be reflections of who we are and extensions of our dreams and aspirations. The home is a cocoon where a family is safe and secure, is nourished, nurtured and allowed to grow. When did we begin to regard it merely as investment strategy?
I know that in 1962 my parents did not fret over whether the timing was right nor were they concerned about how fast their new home's value would rise. They were just anxious to provide a home and start realizing the rich return offered by many years of happy memories.
I agree with Reuters assessment that housing is at the root of our current economic woes. But, perhaps, it is so for more profound reasons than we think. It may be worth considering that, if we stop feeding the notion that housing is our sure-fire ticket to easy street and get back to the bedrock principle that, above all else, a house is a home, then the true recovery can begin.