Sunday, March 22, 2009

I read a real estate soothsayer today: "Housing Market has bottomed; good time to buy, because interest rates are low..."

It is a good time to buy,
  • IF you have a 20% downpayment
  • IF your credit score is above 740
  • IF you can sell the house you're in now
  • If your income/employment is secure
MarketWatch has an article looking at the fact that many Americans are one or two paychecks away from financial ruin:

A MetLife study released last week found that 50% of Americans said they have only a one-month cushion — roughly two paychecks — or less before they would be unable to fully meet their financial obligations if they were to lose their jobs. More disturbing is that 28% said they could not make ends meet for longer than two weeks without their jobs.

And it’s not just low-income earners who would find themselves financially challenged. Twenty-nine percent of those making $100,000 or more a year said they would have trouble paying the bills after more than a month of unemployment.

Meanwhile, more than four in 10 respondents told pollsters in a recent Pew Research Center study that job-related issues were the nation’s most important economic problem.

“Since October, mentions of other major economic issues have declined, as the public is increasingly focused on the job situation,” according to the Pew study.

Since July, the study noted, there was been a striking spike in the numbers of families making $100,000 or more who said it was difficult to find local jobs — 73% compared with 40% eight months ago.”

Read the above carefully. 1 in 2 Americans are 2 paychecks away from massive financial trouble. 1 in 4 would be on the financial edge after 2 weeks only. These are fully employed people.
Read the rest

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Of the biblical allotment of three score and ten I have lived only three of them more than a bicycle ride from one of the Great Lakes. I grew up ten blocks from Lake Erie in the (once Irish/Italian ghetto, now newly-hip) "Near West Side" of Cleveland. I can still cycle to the Milwaukee lakefront in an hour and a half; but, a round-trip has always been more than I would (noror ever did) attempt. -0- I'm a "...somewhat combative pacifist and fairly cooperative anarchist," after the example of Grace Paley (1922-2007). -0- I'm always cheerful when I pay my taxes (having refused--when necessary--to pay that portion of them dedicated to war). -0- And I always, always vote.