As I start cataloguing the ups and downs of the last 30 days the overall news is not good. In fact, it is painful, but I have to admit that I am no longer shocked, horrified, or panicky anymore. That’s because all the bad events one after the other since September of last year has left me numb. So here is the good, the bad, and the somewhat interesting…Let’s hit the bad first and get it all over with.
Bad News: UNEMPLOYMENT “Unemployment has already reached the average rate the White House projected for the whole year.”
Bad News: The Dow falling to below 7,000 (wait till it hits close to 5,000 as I think it will this year)
Bad News: AIG posting a record $61.7 billion loss for the quarter (that is equivalent to losing $460,000 every minute)
Bad News: The Life Insurance industry Another industry that we should all watch very carefully .The big insurance carriers have been suffering their own huge losses from purchasing into those mortgage-backed securities that have brought Wall Street and other governments to their knees. For many of us reaching retirement age, our life insurance policies are possibly our ultimate source of income in our waning years. What will we do if the insurance companies collapse and all the policies that we have been paying those huge yearly premiums on are reduced to nothing but paper? Related article here.
Good News: Probably due to the lack of scintillating conversation from the passenger beside him, my husband has taken to pointing out brand new cars (no license plates yet) as we drive around. There is a definite increase in such cars, which means that if you are in desperate need of one this is the best time to buy. The Big 3 are at the brink of bankruptcy and the individual dealers are really feeling the pain. It is time to take advantage of all those incentives.
On the other hand, if you opt to get a used car, check out this article which tells you where to go to check for the car’s past history and other things you can do to prevent yourself from buying a bum deal.
Good News: The State of California passed its version of a housing industry stimulus package through Senate Bill 15. This bill will help Developers sell their new, never been occupied homes by giving the Buyers a tax credit. First come, first serve, so hurry! A brief summary of the bill is attached to this e-mail. At least this is good, good news for one segment of the industry. See attachment.
Good News: For those of you who handle Short Sales, Fannie Mae guidelines state that the Lenders who are negotiating the short sale may not reduce the real estate broker’s commission from the amount stated on the Listing Agreement unless it is over the standard 6%. This is good news for Realtors who have had their commissions slashed indiscriminately to make up the Lender’s loss. However, remember that the qualification is that this has to be a Fannie Mae loan.
Good News (we hope): Still trying to figure out the housing plan? Here is a FAQ section regarding Obama’s housing plan and if it will help you or your client. Excellent read. Be sure you look it up!
Interesting News: Not being a car freak, I am more sedentary in my pursuits and love a good book or DVD. I was so happy to find that these two items are definitely things that I should not buy new, according to this MSN Money article. Wow, jewelry, too! Course, she also has the list of things you should never buy used, and some of those things really surprised me, like … car seats?
Interesting News: I saw an interesting article that I would like to share: Some homeowners are demanding their foreclosing Lender to show proof that they have the original mortgage documents. In many states, this is a must before proceedings can be started. Interesting delay tactic! Still, whether it will work in California is doubtful. You know, we do things differently here in the “Golden” State…..
On a final note, President Obama is coming up to his first 100 days, and as we have seen, he has had his ups and his downs. One thing we know is that he is trying to make his administration “transparent” and interactive to the general public. When you have a moment you might want to check out this site: www.recovery.gov and see what is being done with our money through the Economic Recovery Plan. And if you should have a story to tell or would like to read some of the difficulties that people all over the nation are going through, go here. Never before has any presidency been so “Of the People, By the People, For the People”.