February 01, 2008

A HousingPANIC Rant: America and the world, do you see now how evil the housing bubble was?

Most people think the housing crash is a terrible thing.

Yes, for many individuals, it was, and it is. They've lost (or are losing) the house in which they live. But it is not their house, it is the bank's (or the CDO investor's), and they're losing it because they couldn't afford it.

For others, they're losing their "equity", which they had used to fund extravagant lifestyles, out of control consumerism, or even basic things like college tuition and living expenses. But again, the "equity" wasn't theirs, it wasn't real, it was debt masquerading as wealth, and people should NEVER have counted on it and borrowed against it.

And for the millions of REIC - the realtors, title agents, builders, mortgage brokers, bankers and the rest, they're losing their jobs, their livelihoods, and their beloved commissions. But they were part of the bubble, they aided and abetted, they spun and deceived, many broke laws and enabled mortgage fraud, and many knew what they were doing was wrong, oh so wrong. So good riddance.

And yes, many innocents are being hurt along the way. Home Depot clerks. REIC back office support. Tradesmen and women. Homeowners who didn't gambler, and just wanted a home. Kids. The elderly. This is the most disheartening damage caused by the crash.

In the end, I hope America and the world sees that the Great Worldwide Housing Bubble and its corrupted commission-focused enablers were evil. The damage and harm caused by this financial mania will be felt for years and years to come. Lives will be destroyed. Families will be torn apart. Companies will go under. Our currency will be destroyed. Economies will be devastated.

Was it worth it? Hell no. Hell no. It never should have happened, and it shouldn't happen again.

But good things will come of this. Kids growing up in America today will know that they can (hopefully) go to school, get a job, and buy a house that they can afford one day, with a 30-year fixed loan, and a decent down payment. Housing will be a reward for hard work, not an entitlement for gamblers, fraudsters and the lazy.

Generations will remember this crash, and know that a house is a home, not a lottery ticket, that realtors and mortgage brokers are paid to lie, and that real estate prices CAN and DO come down, and to invest accordingly.
And I hope to see educators across the land focus more on financial literacy and economics, without doubt some of the most important learning to be had, yet barely offered in American schools today.

The housing bubble was evil. The crash is not - it's just the end of the housing bubble.

And now it's time to return to economic and housing sanity.


Anonymous said...

The government seems to be doing everything in its power to keep housing prices unaffordable.

Anonymous said...

Ditto that....."The government seems to be doing everything in its power to keep housing prices unaffordable."

It isn't going to be an easy or quick transition to make homes more affordable - there is so much greed and corruption that it is going to be a long battle.

jdf said...

One thing I learned from this site, and the debacle in general, DO NOT TRUST THE MSM!
I am boycotting the MSM from now on, I encourage everyone here to do the same! They only understand pain, financial pain. Bring it on!!

Anonymous said...

Lots of evil to go around

Anonymous said...

Keith you are so right. The financial education kids get in school is anywhere from nil to pitiful to insignificant. Even the teachers don't know the basics. This needs to change.

Anonymous said...

It's all a scam and you must know when to move in and most importantly when to get out.

Housing is done for at least seven more years so what is next? Anyone?

Anonymous said...

Keith, where oh where is this gigantic financial armagadon that you have predicted for such a long time? You go on and on about how bad things will get. But don't you realize that you and other HP'ers will end up paying for a party that you guys didn't attend? Also, if we do enter into a Depression, then you guys will suffer along with everyone else.

whatever said...

America will always be a great place to be, and greed is just something WE will have to deal with... pretty simple really.

Anonymous said...

There is a real estate bust about every 10-12 years average.

Always a new generation of kids coming in that don't know that Real Esate doesn't always go up & they believe the RE agent BS talk...

Anonymous said...

It is nice to talk about evil in the housing price industry but the fact is that nothing is going to change until Joe Average understands that he is not going to sell that house he has had for sale for two years for $250K plus!
Funny thing, I drove past an area that I had wanted to move into a few years ago. Two twin type houses are back up for sale again. I guess the owners could not pay and are trying to get out before they take a big loss. One is for sale by the Red White and Blue sign outfit. The other by owner. The one by owner is the 3rd time it has been for sale in the last 4 years. But the asking price is at least $100K above what they bought it for, I know, because I had been interested in buying it back when they were only asking $159K. Now, do you really think anyone has learned the lesson yet? I don't think so!

Anonymous said...

To prove that people are idiots, and still have not learned the lesson about housing prices, please go to www.realtor.com. Type in "Croydon" for the city and select "Pennsylvania" for the state.
You will see a list of approximately 60 homes for sale. All of them are wooden shacks built around 1950. Quite a few have not been improved since the day they were built.
The lowest one is $150K. It looks like it is ready to fall down. Most are in the 200's. Now why do I cite this area? The same houses have been for sale for 2 years now with no takers and not one house has been reduced in price!
It is a very small town. The taxes in Bucks county average about 4 to 7 K per year for these properties.
You would think that after 2 years without any takers that someone would lower the price! NO!
Keep checking, when you see this crack, it will mean the end for sure!

Anonymous said...

The CDO's Merrill Lynch sold are going for 10 cents on the dollar now according to Merrill. The CDO's bought by UBS were completely written off - worth less than toilet paper. Anyone who has ever kicked themselves for making a bad investment should take a look at these Harvard MBA's. LOL

Anonymous said...

without affordable housing (which may also include debt as non affordable) a countrys people turn to communistic leanings or government ownership of the means of production and control? of people and service?

we're f'd said...

This has so much further to fall, I dont tjink any of us can fathom ans the OTC derivitives and the bond insurers unwind their losses. Yes we will suffer but no breadlines and/or debtors prisons are in our future. put that in your pipe and somke it!

Michael Poulos said...

I need not go to that web site and punch in the small town to see how prices refuse to drop. I need only make a commuting mission home on the Kennedy Freeway in Chicago. There are these condos along that freeway going for $146,000 and been on sale for months as I fly by them.

HINT: Drop the price to affordable! Otherwise you won't sell the bloody things! In the mean time, I will simply fly right by them as they sit on the market waiting for a plastic surgeon to buy one. What are these developers thinking anyways?

A few years ago I was driving my Kia Rio and found a development with the homes going for "starting in the low $1,000,000's". Yes, that's right. A million bucks for the stripped down version! I thought that I was flying a Grumman F-14 in the Twilight Zone when I saw that sign. Last I heard, the price dropped to a measly $850,000.

Whatever that developer was smoking, it must be some GOOD stuff!