Posts Tagged ‘mortgage’

Vacation home sales are off but for how long?

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

This article talks about how vacation home sales are on the decline and how prices are coming down. But the conclusion is that retiring baby boomers will start buying vacation homes and retiring in them.

I know a few retiring baby boomers, and some bought a place near Disney that could be considered a vacation home by some but most of the ones I know prefer to stay near their friends / kids. So I’m not convinced that baby boomers will be driving the market in places like Costa Rica.

There’s also a personal finaince lesson here. One that I’ve mentioned about saving for unforseen medical expenses (because you can’t trust the insurance companies) and one that I shouldn’t have to mention about interest only mortgages:

But so far, no buyers. While she has dropped her price on the property, with its rambling five bedrooms and nearby rain forest, from $2.35 million to $1.5 million, she is experiencing firsthand just how dismal the market has become for vacation homes. She has enough money to pay her interest-only mortgage of $3,800 through July, but after that, there are no funds left.

She decided to sell the property because of unforeseen financial problems, such as medical expenses. “We’re about to lose it to the bank.”

Why we can not allow AIG to fail

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

Many Americans are tired of giving money to AIG. It does not seem to be making things better. However, if the government were to allow AIG to collapse, the rest of the economy would go with it.

AIG is a different kind of animal when compared to the Bear Sterns and Lehman Brothers. Those companies were allowed to collapse because they were more or less self contained. As an insurer, AIG has its hands in way too many cookie jars. Many large and somewhat stable companies have assets that are backed by AIG, if you remove AIG from the equation, these stable companies are now are a huge risk to default themselves. There credit ratings will suffer and you would see another Bear and Lehman like spiral.

The government will keep pumping in capital until the nasty spiderweb that AIG has created can be untangled and bankruptcy can occur gracefully. Until then, get used to the abyss of soul sucking sorrow that is AIG.

It seems that AIG has been a major underwriter of Mortgage Insurance. Of course, in keeping with the times, they were fraudulent about the underwriting of these policys.

AIG categorized its instruments as Credit Swap Defaults, rather than the Mortage Insurance that it really was, because they did not have the liquid assets to qualify these instruments as Insurance.

Say bye to AIG and there would be a domino effect throughout the international banking industry, as many institutions far and wide hold what they think, and are counting on as positive assets, would be in fact worthless.

Here’s the problem: if you insure against loss in a case where a catastrophe can hit almost all your insurance customers are once, you’re screwed.

Was AIG dumb? Yes. Did they understand the risks they were taking? No.

But now look at who bought the insurance. Banks that were trying to hedge their exposures. Did they understand the counterparty risk they were taking by using AIG? No… but AIG was rated AAA so they thought there was no risk.

How much money has the Government handed over to AIG? And how many installments have already been made? I lost count, but one cannot help but notice this repetitive propping up of AIG at any cost. I think I understand why.

Reasons the economy is not real close to recovery

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

1) We are only now begining to witness the unemployment numbers catch up to the financial crisis. This months 6% was vastly understated, and reflects among other things people giving up on searching. Those numbers will spike dramaitically over the next 2-3 quarters. In other words, people have just started losing their jobs. That will also lead to declining wages, so less people working and those working earning less.

2) Most of the adjustable rates taken out at the peak have yet to reset, meaning we will soon be inundated with tons of the types of adjustments that have already crashed the financial markets to date.

3) Many millions of people, even were they willing, are no longer capable of receiving financing. Those days of easy credit are gone, and lending standards have and will continue to tighten drastically. Meaning les competition for homes, already flooded with unpurchased homes, unbought new construction, and foreclosures.

Scapegoat for American economic woes?

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

Michelle Malkin seems to be blaming America’s current problems on illegal aliens. That’s not stated directly it’s more like aliens got sub-prime mortgages, now they are defaulting, now comes the bailout.

The problem is that you hear so many rants against illegal aliens that it takes quite a bit of research to figure out where the truth is. You can’t really believe something just because you read about it on the internet. It doesn’t help that when she gives stats, she says “hispanics” since we might be talking about people in America legally.

So I don’t know if we can really blame over-generous treatment of illegal aliens for this mess.