Been away from here for a little bit - to both of the loyal readers, I do apologize. It's been part whirlwind, part cesspool these days. Either way, whirling/swirling.
The problem with lending right now is that lenders are national and they take their loan program guidelines from the national marketplace, and the bond market, which is both national and international. When the broader picture looks less than peachy, they take steps to eliminate the things that cause them pain, across the board. If they are having a problem with the combination of high LTV loans - those with little or no down payment, and depreciating asset values, they make changes across the entire national spectrum of loan programs.
In Utah, our values have lagged behind the national averages for the last decade, effectively leaving residents out of/immune to the strong appreciation that comes as a result. Then we begin to see growth, fueled by favorable conditions like strong job growth, local economy, etc. But now there are about 30% of the loan programs available that there were 16 months ago, and 50% fewer lenders.
I'm not saying that all people should have access to risky loans, but even many of the way less risky programs are being cut, because the market is always REACTIONARY, and they always react in greater proportion than the actual risk represents.
Good people, even those with down payment money, are having a hard time getting financing because the lenders who remain standing are overloaded with loans, and the underwriters are overworked, stressed, and generally unwilling to sign off on anything that may come back to haunt them months into the future. So there, there's the vent for the day.
On another subject -
I always get a kick out of looking at FSBO (For Sale By Owner) sites. Everyone knows that a picture of your home is a good thing to help sell it. Most people won't even consider looking at an online listing without a picture, if not 10 pictures, if not a Virtual Tour. Then you see people who put up one picture of their house, like this:
Crack me up. People, I'm not buying your bed, I'm looking at your house. Great, the bedroom is big enough for a bed, well, that's a revelation.
If you're going to make the big decision to try to sell your home yourself, you better be prepared to upload 25 pictures, and they better be GOOD pictures too.
Most FSBO listings end up with a Realtor, because people think it's a cake-walk to get your house sold in a hurry, then find out it's not all that fun, and their house didn't sell in four hours for $10K more than they were asking for.
I see Jerry Falwell has died. I'm sure he'll be lampooned for some time in the bloggo-world. He was the dude that said one of the Teletubbies was a transsexual, and mothers should make sure their kids don't watch them. He also blamed 9|11 on gays, the ACLU, and liberals. He has been the personification of the Christian Right.
I have a problem with either the left or the right assigning God to their side. First of all, how egotistical and presumptuous of you! How do you know what God's political leaning is, in terms of today's political landscape? And what about this: you cloak yourself in the drapings of God's name, and all that that implies, and it turns out your party is populated by crooks, liars, thieves, and general moral degenerates. What then? I'm gonna bet that God wouldn't mind being left out of this in this way, and He's content to let you figure it out on your own. I have a problem with people who trumpet their overt righteousness to everyone who will listen - what was the verse?? "Do your alms in secret, that your right hand know not what the left is doing"... sorry for the paraphrase - not exactly up on my Book of Matthew... People who do that obviously don't have enough actual substance to let their positions stand upon their own merit.
And don't get me started on the whole "separation of Church and State..." thing. It reminds me of a great post I saw the other day here. This site interests me because there are several blogs that I have in my feeder that are VERY well written, and take a very intellectual approach to conservatism, Republicanism, Christianity, and Mormonism. And although I don't always agree with people on that track, I do respect their opinions, and I respect their ability to express them in a cogent way. And by the way, I believe that is the first time I have used the word "Mormonism" in this blog. oh well... it's such a part of our life here in Utah, and frankly a big part of my past life as well. So, in the same way, I have found this blog interesting, because he expresses a very intellectual, well thought out and supported view of politics, life in church, and life in general from a liberal point of view. I respect someone who is able to compartmentalize and ultimately find harmony in those two things - I was not.
On the New American Fascists:
There has been an increasing light on this whole thing... you can read my thoughts on it here, and there are a couple of other people talking about it, in different forums as well, here, and here... I think there is some danger there, and we need to be careful. It's a subject that has been on my radar for a little while.
Speaking of Radar:
Are you enjoying the gas prices? I know I am. It's National Don't Buy Gas Day. It's a day on the calendar shared by National Gullible People Who Forward Too Much Email day. Honestly, anybody who thinks that not buying gas on any particular day is going to have any impact whatsoever is ON DRUGS. Don't Buy Gas Day is immediately preceded by National Buy Tomorrow's Gas Today day.
If you want to make an impact, how about National Drive 100 Fewer Miles Week? Or National Take The Bus Day? Yeah, that would be entirely inconvenient. My bad.
If you've made it this far - the payoff:
I've been away from the blog out of protest. You see, somebody I know, virtually, was away last week at a golf tournament I have always fantasized about going to. Here's his picture:
He was reportedly seen along the fairways trying to scratch and sniff a picture of Ladies PGA player Anna Rawson...