Thursday, May 14, 2009

What's happening in D.C.?

Washington D.C. in Five Days and Five Nights! Turning my work stay in the nation's capital into a mini vacation/work conference. Saw the Capitol Mall, had lunch in Georgetown and met with Oregon's Senators and Congressmen. The meetings seemed to go well and were received in a give and take conversation. We gave what we would like to see on the National and State levels and we took away an understanding of what we might realistically expect to see in the way of change.

On the National Association of Realtors Mid Year Convention: I heard speakers such as Dr. Alan Greenspan, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan and moderator Ron Insana, senior analyst and commentator on CNBC do more than hint that we are seeing the bottom of the housing market, and that there are definite signs of stabilization.

Most believe we are moving into a period of recovery with a loosening of mortgage money in much of the country. One speaker, Alex J. Pollock, Resident Fellow-Financial Policy Issues, American Enterprise Institute, suggested that future home owners should expect to show an ability to qualify for a loan, as, I suppose to the simple need to fog a mirror that we have seen in the past. With a need to have a sizable downpayment, as low as 3.5%, he suggested a novel way to meet this need. Something called, "Save the money till you have enough and then buy the home". I think a long time ago this is how we went about the home buying process. Love this concept. Buy a home with hard earned, and saved, money, pay the house off over the course of 30 years or sooner and presto! Do this 2-3 times in the years between your 20's and 50's and what you end up with is a slow and steady growth to wealth.

On a not quite as optimistic note were the assessments on the Commercial money markets. Kind of dismal here, but it looks like there is attention being paid to this area, and not too soon either. There is over a Trillion dollars of loans that are maturing in the very near future, and no investors on the horizon to renew these loans. That could leave a whole lot of quality strong companies in a very precarious position. We need to see the loosening of this market or our recovery will not be as long lasting as we are hoping for.

What do we need? New banks? Maybe! Healthy new banks might be a breath of fresh air. Congressional help in changing loan limits with FNMA and FHA and other lenders? This will really be a much needed area to focus on and push to the forefront.

Well, this is a little of what I picked up this week. Hope you enjoy my thoughts. Come back with your own...would love to hear them.

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