Friday, November 30, 2007

No House Like a Ho-Ho-Ho House

You'd Better Watch Out

You'd better not cry, I'm telling you why. Repo sales are coming to town. The banks are making a list and checking it twice and they'll figure out whose payments aren't nice. Then more foreclosures will make owners frown. If you bought your home on margin, and paid no money down, when lenders threw their cash around like candy from a clown. If the rate you got's adjustable the piper must be paid. The mortgage ain't combustible and your payments will not fade. So unless you're Steve Wynn or one of those guys, like Ed McMahon with a million dollar prize, you will realize that "foreclosure's" a noun.

Much media has been focused on the housing slump. Of course, that, along with the ex-cop suspected of offing a pair of wives and so-called candidate debates conspire to take our minds off the thousands who have died and tens of thousands of American soldiers who have been injured in the Middle East. It makes one wonder just how bad the housing crisis is. One thing is for sure, in my neighborhood housing asking prices have fallen up to a couple of hundred thousand dollars and the five homes for sale at the moment have been so for months, or in one case, years. However it is difficult to tell how many homes that are foreclosed upon will place owners on the street and how many are owned by investors who bought to flip.

Still the Las Vegas population seems to be growing by about 6,000 new residents each month and job growth remains above the national average. That rate of growth (more than 70,000 new residents each year) has continued for more than a decade. That rate of growth has caused the infrastructure problems that one might expect - the opening of a new school every month, roads being built, then overcrowded, torn up, and rebuilt, and shortages of water. But it has also resulted in higher density housing. Apartments and condos that rarely exceeded two stories are now being stacked higher. And for the people who lose their houses? Some will leave, but the majority will stay and move into rentals.

Times they are a changing in Las Vegas and throughout the country. The answer now is the same as it was in the previous elections, "It's the economy, stupid." But the more pressing questions are when will we start to bring our soldiers home in a one horse open sleigh instead of in caskets and how will we know when we've won the war?"

Dr. Forgot

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