Unclogging the Real Estate Market

June 28, 2009

By Janet Walgren

I’m sorry that I’ve neglected this blog for quite some time now. My daughter and I have been trying to find the perfect house to buy. With all the houses on the market, you’d think that would be a simple task. We are pre-approved for more than an adequate amount of money. We have our down payment. Our credit scores are terrific. We are motivated to buy… so what is the problem? Answer… the listing agent, the seller or the seller’s bank!

It is time for folks to get a reality check.

Imagine you own a 1996 Geo Metro with 250,000 miles on it. You are ready to get a new car. The used car lot says, “We’ll list it for $125,000″ and you say”_______???” If you said, “Great!!!,” you need a reality check. It doesn’t matter what “equity” some fool told you that you had accumulated over time. Truth is, the car is old. It is worn out. It needs rehabbed, renovated, restored and the cost of the rehab is more than the car is worth.

If you start shopping for a $125,000 replacement car, you need a mental evaluation.

If no one buys your car… what do you expect? Even if you were fool enough to pay more, or expect more, than the car was worth, do you expect the world is full of greater fools?

On the flip side:

The world is full of bargain hunters. Listing agents know this. Now, imagine the above Geo Metro was advertised for $50 dollars. You were looking at a similar car. It was clean, had less mileage and was still a bargain for $1000. You are one of two bidders and you are in the top position. You decide to relinquish your position and take the $50 dollar car so you can save for a new car. But, when you go to pay for the car, the dealer says, “I’m sorry, the bank wants $2,500 for the car.”

About that time you want to scream. You decide that the dealer is involved in fraudulent advertising and you call the Better Business Bureau. Apply this scenario to the short sale housing market.

Don’t you think a seller and the seller’s bank should be required to list the actual price they are willing to take for the property. Some potential buyers wait for up to 9 months only to find out that the bank holding the note said no. In the meantime, other honest sellers are waiting to sell their homes and end up in foreclosure because a potential buyer was sidelined.

I think it should be illegal to post a bogus asking price and that anyone doing so should be charged with fraud. I also think banks refusing to sell properties that have legitimate offers should be barred from bidding for the property when it goes to auction and barred from getting deficiency judgments on the foreclosed owner.


Earmarks – Who are the fools who elected these guys anyway?… Sadly, it is us!

March 20, 2009

Congressional earmarks are a way for congress to usurp the power of the states to self-direct. One of the most effective ways Americans have to restore some integrity to congress is to eliminate earmark spending.

Basically what is happening currently is:

  • Congress taxes Americans at a much higher rate than is necessary
  • Congress gives some of our tax dollars back to the states
  • Congress tells the states how to spend the money
  • Political action groups and lobbyist (pay, donate, gift…) congressional representatives then demand federal tax money is spent on their special projects

Don’t you think it would be better if we got to keep more of our hard earned money? And, if we need something at a state level, don’t you think you could better decide how to provide for it on a local level?

Earmarks provide a way for special groups to get the EAR of the (often corrupt) officials who write our government’s checks.

It is amazing to me that congress can be so specific in telling a state how to spend tax dollars, or a public school what to teach but, they can’t be specific in telling private corporations (especially Wall Street and international banks) how to spend hundreds of billions of our tax dollars.

Who are the fools who elected these guys anyway?… Sadly, it is us!


On Record???

March 17, 2009

Why does Congress have to ask who received the bail out money they spent? It gives a whole new meaning to “BLANK CHECK.”  And we wonder why they can’t balance the budget…

9/11… 9/16. Can we just skip September this year?


House Hunting – The tale of Peter, Sam and Paul

February 15, 2009

By Janet Walgren

Heather and I went house hunting yesterday. Jeesh! What a joke. We found a house of interest but, when we toured it, we found an incredible mess. The house was a bank owned foreclosure, better known as an REO. The furnace, the entire kitchen, and parts of the bathroom were missing as well as some floor covering and most light fixtures. The walls were a mess and the water had been shut off. TOXIC antifreeze had been poured in the pipes and toilet to keep the water in them from freezing. Animals had pooped in the basement – yucky! The bank was asking $150,000. That’s $20,000 below market for a rehab that would cost a minimum of $40,000 in repairs to bring it up to market value. Like I said, jeesh, what a joke!

Perhaps this was an isolated incident. We can only hope… or can we?

We had asked our realtor to show us another REO house but he had already checked it out and said it was as bad as the first one we toured.

A contractor friend of ours just finished building a home located across the street from another REO (the original contractor who was building the sub-division went bankrupt). Anyway, our friend noticed wet bricks on the front of the REO across the street and went over to investigate. The power had been shut off, but not the water. The frozen pipes had burst then thawed flooding the entire house (second floor included). The sheet-rock on the ceilings and some of the walls had collapsed, the walls were full of water and the basement had several inches of water flooding it. In other words, this brand new $200,000 house was a total loss because the bank was too cheap to pay the electric bill.

It is obvious that, in these three cases, the banks manage REO property about as well as they manage money. It probably doesn’t matter to them because they have insurance. And, if the insurance doesn’t pony up the dough… there’s always dear ole Uncle Sam who seems more than willing to rob Peter (another name for taxpayers) to pay Paul (the banker).


Who’s on First – the Madoff Debacle

January 6, 2009

By Janet Walgren

Many years ago, almost before my time – and I’m sixty-two, there was a comedy sketch that became quite famous called “Who’s on First?” It consisted of a funny dialog between a person trying to get information about the location of players in a baseball game and a frustrated person trying to inform the bewildered questioner. Confusion ensued because the questioner didn’t know the players had unusual names like “Who”.

 

Silly? Totally… even ridiculous! At least I thought so until I watched a Congressional hearing about the Madoff scandal last night. At first I thought the man being grilled was rather cavalier in his responses.  I thought to myself, “Why don’t they nail that incompetent turkey to the wall? After all, he’s the one that heads the agency that is supposed to be watching over the S.E.C. and he has no clue why this whole debacle happened…” Who saw what, why? Why were the many warnings that were received by his agency ignored? Why were the red flags that were apparent to so many invisible to his agency? He had no answers – NONE AT ALL! But, he was going to get to the bottom of it… “Isn’t that what you were supposed to be doing all along? What do we pay your for?” I thought.

 

Then, FINALLY, one bewildered congressman tried to set him up for the kill only to find out that they had the wrong guy. It was pathetically funny, in a morbid sort of way, to realize the committee, our Congressmen ‘who get paid to create bureaucracies to protect us’, had no idea who they were questioning or what they did. They actually had not only the wrong guys, but the wrong agency! They were questioning men from the external watchdog rather than the internal watchdog that watches over the watchdog.

 

So WHO’s ON FIRST – the runner, the first baseman or both??? Actually the correct answer is probably no one.


Let Your Voice Be Heard

October 2, 2008

By Janet Walgren

All too often we gripe, get on a soapbox, write blog posts and talk around the water cooler at work or across the fence to our neighbors, but we fail to make our voices heard in Washington D.C. In doing so, we allow Journalists with microphones and cameras, talking heads full of bias, to be the voice of America.

I encourage each of you to make your voices heard. Call your Senators and Congressional representatives. Tell them loud and clear what you are thinking. Propose reasonable alternatives to the bogus solutions that have been set before Congress by the very people who created the mess. Tell them to act with reason… the assets (homes and property) are not going to disintegrate in to thin air if we don’t rush into a bad solution by Sunday night. Heck real estate will be around a lot longer than any of us… hundreds of years from now.

Offering Americans a few nickles to put into our personal piggy banks doesn’t justify giving away the treasury. What Wall Street spends (year end bonuses in the millions) isn’t going to give you affordable housing and a secure job with a pension.

We need real solutions. We need accountability. We need to demand to be heard. We need to place blame and get rid of all culpable parties. We need those who were sidelined and laughed to scorn because of their now prophetic wisdom to be placed center stage, handed a microphone and the attention of policy makers.

Please contact your representatives in Washington and at home. It is better to call than to write. If you write, you won’t be read and your message will not be delivered. Your message will be put in one of two piles (YEA or NAY) then weighed on a scale. Call and make someone listen to you.

Click here to find contact information for your neck of the woods: http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/


Solving the Economic Crisis

September 30, 2008

I wanted to write a post today about the financial mess that is destroying our lives and the proposed solutions that will destroy our liberty. I was totally frustrated with my lack of time to do so. (Working women’s voices are all too often silenced by a heavy load and time constraints.) When I checked my email this morning, I found this email from Connor Boyack that I would like to share. Make sure to listen to the YouTube clip.

The Sidelined Sages of Economic Cycles
By Connor Boyack

Being the news junkie that I am, I’ve been closely paying attention to this entire bailout fiasco, and observing the various responses and reactions it has elicited.  One of the more interesting things I’ve noticed is who our elected leaders are listening to for advice and counsel.

 

During the Congressional hearings last week, Senator Bennett (of Utah) and others repeatedly praised Fed Chairman Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Paulson (both household names by now) for their gracious insight regarding the economic crisis.  Apparently they had had a closed session where certain Congressmen were taught the nitty gritty of the economy, and given a deeper sneak peak as to how large the problem is.  The Senators were very appreciative of the wisdom of these two men.

 

Nobody seemed to notice (or at least they did not mention) that these two individuals are among the biggest culprits that got us into this mess!  With Bernanke as High Priest of Inflation and Paulson as Wall Street Czar, it was downright laughable to see the praise with which they were saturated by various Senators.  Instead of praising these two men, they should have had them removed from office!

 

So, a question: to whom are we as (hopefully slightly brighter and a bit more sane) Americans listening for financial advice and political wisdom in these times of economic disarray?

 

Well, that answer depends on each individual.  Perhaps a better question is: who should we be listening to?  Certainly not the folks who got us into this mess, and who only two weeks ago were praising the fundamentals of the economy as “sound” and reassuring investors and bankers alike that everything was peachy keen.

 

We should be listening to the people who during the “booms” and “bears” were predicting and warning about the “busts” and “bulls”.  It’s an everlasting shame that these are the exact people who are scorned and ridiculed for their warning voice.  Consider this video of Peter Schiff, warning about an oncoming recession two years ago.  He was laughed at and opposed with horribly weak arguments that have since proven his point.

 

 

Do you want to know who we should listen to?  Who knows the way out of this mess?  It’s the people who several years ago were speaking about it despite the derision of their peers.  Search the news archives and you’ll see a select few individuals whose foresight and wisdom have proven prophetic.

 

They are the ones we should be listening to, not the crooks who perpetrated this entire fraudulent debacle.  So long as the men who helped bring us this mess remain in power, those sounding a warning voice will be sidelined, ridiculed, and labeled as fringe.

 

And that is a net loss for America and her economy.

 

Thanks Connor! And, I might add – It is a net loss for Americans and their liberty! Now is the time to scream at Washington. Make your voices LOUD and CLEAR. We need to clean house not consolidate power in the hands of the traitors who created this mess. 


America’s Financial Demise

September 23, 2008

I would like to thank Connor for allowing me to post his blog post on my blog. I think this is critically important and hope that you will all help spread the word, call your congressional representatives and fight this as hard as you can. Interestingly, the same persons who cooked the books and caused the financial problems we are now facing as a nation are the financial advisors to Barack Obama.

The Laws of Wickedness and America’s Demise

By Connor Boyack

For the past several decades, America has been dying a slow death. Certain pieces of legislation, offensive military engagements, and financial policies have put one nail after another into the coffin. This week, Americans witnessed one of the final nails being put in place, though few understood the gravity of the situation.

America was once a nation governed by the rule of law. The Constitution—a written document serving to bind down those who aspire to power and wealth—was established to provide a moral framework of Republican law. Despite its early success and worldwide popularity, it was not long before evil Mahanites sought out ways to circumvent the law.

The Book of Mormon reveals the aims and methods of these people, whose successors have carried on the works of darkness in our own day:

And whosoever of those who belonged to their band should reveal unto the world of their wickedness and their abominations, should be tried, not according to the laws of their country, but according to the laws of their wickedness, which had been given by Gadianton and Kishkumen.

Condemning the righteous because of their righteousness; letting the guilty and the wicked go unpunished because of their money; and moreover to be held in office at the head of government,
to rule and do according to their wills, that they might get gain and glory of the world, and, moreover, that they might the more easily commit adultery, and steal, and kill, and do according to their own wills… (Helaman 6:24, 7:5; emphasis added)

The federal government has in the past few days nationalized several major institutions in the key financial industries, proclaiming itself arbiter of what companies should and should not fail. Absent from the discussion, as always, is a declaration of their authority. No, since such scenarios are overseen by the unconstitutional Federal Reserve (a private banking company with no Congressional oversight or audits, ever), unelected men act according to their own “laws (of wickedness)” and “rule and do according to their wills.”

Despite America’s death knell this week, there is a silver lining in the dark, abysmal cloud:

The FED’s action [of bailing out AIG] amounts to the $85 billion purchase of a private company, on behalf of the federal government, using public funds – without political accountability of any kind. Outrageous as it is, this action may have the healthy, if thoroughly unintended, consequence of illustrating just who actually runs our political system and economy.

In light of such a bold power grab on the part of these unelected money-loving men, those who have been commanded to awake to such atrocities have been given another chance, one that is literally smacking them in the face (by being felt in their wallet). One might hope that more people will wake up to what’s going on. It would then be more widely known that there are evil men in (elected and unelected) office substituting their own will for the will of the people and the rule of law.

Consider the proposed bill that would allow one man, the Secretary of the Treasury, to become financial emperor of the United States. The following are a few select portions which deserve public scrutiny:

Section 2(b)
Necessary Actions.–The Secretary is authorized to take such actions as the Secretary deems necessary to carry out the authorities in this Act, including,
without limitation:

Should this bill pass, the Secretary would have the unfettered authority to institute his will in the marketplace, however he pleases. Without limitation implies just that—that the provisions that follow are not all-inclusive nor definitive, but that based on his own judgment the Secretary may act in other ways without restraint. Paulson, being the CEO-on-leave of Goldman Sachs, could buy up their bad debt at a heavily discounted rate, or sell to them certain assets at a steal. The sky’s the limit!

Section 2(b)(3)
designating financial institutions as financial agents of the Government, and they shall perform all such reasonable duties related to this Act as financial agents of the Government as may be required of them;

The Secretary here grants himself the unrestrained ability to nationalize companies and deputize them, designating them “financial agents of the federal government”. Who ever heard of such a thing?

Section 5(c)
Sale of Mortgage-Related Assets.–The Secretary may, at any time, upon terms and conditions and
at prices determined by the Secretary, sell, or enter into securities loans, repurchase transactions or other financial transactions in regard to, any mortgage-related asset purchased under this Act.

This authority to fix prices and arbitrarily determine the numbers is, no doubt, a power lusted after by Gadiantons seeking to steal and get gain. Ayn Rand’s most depraved antagonists would surely be jealous.

Section 6
The Secretary’s authority to purchase mortgage-related assets under this Act shall be limited to $700,000,000,000
outstanding at any one time.

This provision gives one unelected individual a $700 billion credit card with which he can purchase whatever industry or company he sees fit, at his sole discretion. Some are erroneously reporting that this will would add $700 billion to the national debt, and that is wrong. This is not a one time expense, but a line of credit, allowing the Secretary to continually make purchases so long as the total amount does not exceed the defined limit.

Section 8
Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and
may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

So much for the separation of powers. So much for the rule of law.

This is what the laws of wickedness look like, ladies and gentleman. This is what happens when evil, unelected men are handed control of the nation’s money supply and interest rates. This is what happens when the Gadiantons control government and impose their fiendish will on their subjects.

This bill and recent bailouts by the federal government (and its puppeteer, the Federal Reserve) have driven one of the last nails into the coffin that holds America’s decomposed remnants. Soon its fate will be sealed with the final strike of the hammer, and it will be time to inter her remains into the Earth, there to join the two other civilizations that fell prey to the same works of darkness.

We cannot say that we were not warned.

 


Cents and Sensibility

March 19, 2008

By Janet Walgren
An old Marine Corp Commandant once said, “It ain’t what you don’t know that hurts you, it’s what you know for sure that ain’t so.” Well, I half agree and half disagree with his statement especially when it comes to money. What you don’t know about money can hurt you, and what you know about money that just ain’t so only makes matters worse. When politicians and the FED talk about money, their cents don’t add up to sensibility.

Imagine not knowing how to tread water. If you fell into a swimming pool without a life vest, you would probably drown. If you did know how to tread water, and you fell into a swimming pool, your chances for survival would improve significantly…agreed? Well it depends on whether the swimming pool was in your back yard or on the deck of the Titanic. Knowing how to tread water (or even being an Olympic swimmer) wouldn’t help you survive if you were in a pool on a sinking ship.

Knowing how to earn money, even very large amounts of money, will not make you rich if your money boat leaks. You have to stop the leaks. Our [America’s] money boat is taking on water. The bottom of our boat is riddled with holes. If we don’t immediately demand fiscal responsibility and good money management practices from our government, our collective and individual  money boats are going to sink just like the Titanic! 

The government can change laws, print money, raise taxes and sell bonds. They can issue guarantees backed by a powerful printing press and reduced interest rates on your savings, but all these measures just add more holes in the bottom of our financial boat. We need to stop treading water in the pool on the deck of a sinking ship. We need to begin the hard work of patching the holes in the bottom of our money boat before the hole takes on Titanic proportions. We need to demand fiscal responsibility from our politicians. We need to demand sensibility with our collective cents.