Blog :: 08-2010

Home Ownership Still a Good Long-Term Value

Homeownership has taken a beating over the past few years. With all of the foreclosures and the falling home prices, many people have questioned whether renting would be better. My feeling is that the industry (mortgage bankers, underwriters, the secondary market and yes, even some real estate agents) lost its way. Back in the late 1980's when I worked for Maryland's Housing Finance Agency and then later as a mortgage banker, the underwriting was strict and commonsense. Buyers had to have some savings, good credit, income and a rental history. It seems that greed and some fraud developed and then the basic underwriting guidelines went out the window. Buyers were given mortgages that they didn't deserve and a few short years later, they couldn't keep up with the payments. Which brings us to our current mess!

Yesterday's New York Times had a good article on how housing remains a strong investment. Now, there may not be a guarantee that your home's value will go up over the next three years; but the stock market doesn't guarantee strong and steady gains either. But over the long term, housing remains a solid savings vehicle.

Here's the link to the article: In Defense of Home Ownership

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Home Ownership Still a Good Long-Term Value

Homeownership has taken a beating over the past few years. With all of the foreclosures and the falling home prices, many people have questioned whether renting would be better. My feeling is that the industry (mortgage bankers, underwriters, the secondary market and yes, even some real estate agents) lost its way. Back in the late 1980's when I worked for Maryland's Housing Finance Agency and then later as a mortgage banker, the underwriting was strict and commonsense. Buyers had to have some savings, good credit, income and a rental history. It seems that greed and some fraud developed and then the basic underwriting guidelines went out the window. Buyers were given mortgages that they didn't deserve and a few short years later, they couldn't keep up with the payments. Which brings us to our current mess!

Yesterday's New York Times had a good article on how housing remains a strong investment. Now, there may not be a guarantee that your home's value will go up over the next three years; but the stock market doesn't guarantee strong and steady gains either. But over the long term, housing remains a solid savings vehicle.

Here's the link to the article: In Defense of Home Ownership

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...Ethel Interrupts...

A very successful Arts and Artisans Fair this past Saturday. The weather was perfect, the crowds were large and the vendors were happy. The kitchen was run by Peg Mason and did very well as did the Used Book Sale. The Fair benefits the Charlotte Hobbs Memorial Library and is the library's largest fundraiser. A big thank you to the army of helpers who make this event an annual success!

It was clear that the town was hungry on Saturday as the Barbeque Chicken Dinner sponsored by the Lovell Volunteer Fire Department sold over 680 dinners. The money raised from the dinner goes directly to the purchase of the Department's new fire truck. Two big successful fundraisers on one day in Lovell. As with the Arts and Artisans Fair, the chicken dinner could not take place without the enthusiastic help of many volunteers.

Don't forget that Carol Foord from the Tin Mountain Conservation Center will be portraying Molly Ockett at 7 pm on Tuesday, August 31, at 7 pm. Ms. Foord will show that the American Indians were here first and that this native culture is still important today. At the Library with refreshments to follow the presentation.

...Ethel Interrupts...

A very successful Arts and Artisans Fair this past Saturday. The weather was perfect, the crowds were large and the vendors were happy. The kitchen was run by Peg Mason and did very well as did the Used Book Sale. The Fair benefits the Charlotte Hobbs Memorial Library and is the library's largest fundraiser. A big thank you to the army of helpers who make this event an annual success!

It was clear that the town was hungry on Saturday as the Barbeque Chicken Dinner sponsored by the Lovell Volunteer Fire Department sold over 680 dinners. The money raised from the dinner goes directly to the purchase of the Department's new fire truck. Two big successful fundraisers on one day in Lovell. As with the Arts and Artisans Fair, the chicken dinner could not take place without the enthusiastic help of many volunteers.

Don't forget that Carol Foord from the Tin Mountain Conservation Center will be portraying Molly Ockett at 7 pm on Tuesday, August 31, at 7 pm. Ms. Foord will show that the American Indians were here first and that this native culture is still important today. At the Library with refreshments to follow the presentation.

The Wonder Store

Remember to stop into Peter Worrall's store on Route 5 in Lovell. The collection of items is wide-ranging and The Wonder Store is a great spot to look for not only small collectibles but large items such as tables, bureaus, lamps and much more.

For a long time our golf 'shag bag' that we use to collect the range balls in the field was hurting with a major tear. While in The Wonder Store one afternoon chatting with Peter, I came across a bag that was in perfect working order. And not too far from the bag was a great wooden woodpecker door knocker. Both for far less than you would find elsewhere.

Summer hours are Thurs-Sun, 11-4. Other times by chance. 207-925-1038/207-925-1252. Across from the Center Lovell Inn.

The Wonder Store

Remember to stop into Peter Worrall's store on Route 5 in Lovell. The collection of items is wide-ranging and The Wonder Store is a great spot to look for not only small collectibles but large items such as tables, bureaus, lamps and much more.

For a long time our golf 'shag bag' that we use to collect the range balls in the field was hurting with a major tear. While in The Wonder Store one afternoon chatting with Peter, I came across a bag that was in perfect working order. And not too far from the bag was a great wooden woodpecker door knocker. Both for far less than you would find elsewhere.

Summer hours are Thurs-Sun, 11-4. Other times by chance. 207-925-1038/207-925-1252. Across from the Center Lovell Inn.

Norris Bennett and Crew

Getting Ready for the Grass Seed

Over a period of several days, Norris Bennett and his crew cleared the front yard of this wonderful old home. Over the years while the home was vacant, trees and bushes took control of the yard. So thick and tall was the growth that it was sometimes hard to see the house! After the ground was cleared, a new holding tank and leach field for the septic system were installed. And in just a matter of time, the holes were filled and the ground was level. Truly like watching artists at work!

Norris Bennett and Crew

Getting Ready for the Grass Seed

Over a period of several days, Norris Bennett and his crew cleared the front yard of this wonderful old home. Over the years while the home was vacant, trees and bushes took control of the yard. So thick and tall was the growth that it was sometimes hard to see the house! After the ground was cleared, a new holding tank and leach field for the septic system were installed. And in just a matter of time, the holes were filled and the ground was level. Truly like watching artists at work!

The End of McMansions

Here's a story that summarizes marketplace changes that I have witnessed over the past few years. CNBC's Death of the McMansion:Era of Huge Homes is Over discusses how the average square footage of new homes has been dropping. In the 1960's, the average new home had roughly 1,200 square feet. In the 1980's, it was 1,710 and exploded to 2,300 square feet in the 2000's. Today, the average square footage for a newly constructed home is 2,200.

I believe one reason for this is that the utility costs for the extra space is very high and as the energy costs have increased, buyers are looking at smaller and more efficient options. Plus, the retiring baby boomers are looking for smaller homes to live in.

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The End of McMansions

Here's a story that summarizes marketplace changes that I have witnessed over the past few years. CNBC's Death of the McMansion:Era of Huge Homes is Over discusses how the average square footage of new homes has been dropping. In the 1960's, the average new home had roughly 1,200 square feet. In the 1980's, it was 1,710 and exploded to 2,300 square feet in the 2000's. Today, the average square footage for a newly constructed home is 2,200.

I believe one reason for this is that the utility costs for the extra space is very high and as the energy costs have increased, buyers are looking at smaller and more efficient options. Plus, the retiring baby boomers are looking for smaller homes to live in.

Comments

  1. No comments. Be the first to comment.