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Thursday, September 6, 2007

Oh, Rats...

Earlier this morning I posted a smiley face with a message that I had my system back. Well, that proved to be short-lived. It blue-screened on me shortly afterwards. So, it's back to the repair shop, this time to have the system totally re-initialized and I'll have to spend time re-installing everything. Rats!

On the local real estate front, the Detroit News had a big headline on the front page that screamed out that local builders have discovered that people can't afford their new build houses. Well, DUH! Most builders started building McMansions everywhere and now they're surprised that no one can afford them. Perhaps it's because so many of Michigan's manufacturing jobs are now in China. Maybe we should ship the McMansions to China, too. No. That wouldn't work. The Chinese would just paint them with lead-based paint and ship them back as Barbie houses. I'll discuss the whole issue of us, as a nation, shifting to a service-based economy and what impact that is having on real estate and otehr things, but not today.

I've yet to figure out what the Presidents recent attempt to display awareness of the situation will mean. According to various reports several thousand overextended people may be helped by his proposed actions, but not enough to change the tide of the current sub-prime mortgage mess that we're in - sort of like the Iraq situation, but that is another can of worms that we won't get into here.

Now that official Washington is aware of the situation and mobilizing to save us from ourselves, heaven help us. There's nothing scarier that a bunch of Washington politicians trying to tinker with things. But, it could provide some amusing television for a while and they hold hearings and try to find someone to blame. Lots of pontificating and finger pointing will ensue. I noted in a recent magazine article that many of the same faces that were a part of the last few rounds of financial scandals - the S&L mess, the hedge fund meltdown and others are again at the core of this mess, too. Talk about bad pennies coming back.

Elsewhere, the National Association of Realtors reported another down month for existing home sales in July and expects the same for the August data. NAR is now starting to report (or perhaps hope) that there is "pent up demand" in the system. I certainly hope that is true. In Michigan, as elsewhere, there certainly hasn't been a lot of home buying, so that demand, pent-up or otherwise, is somewhere. If you have pent up demand, call me and I'll help you find a new home - new or used.

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