Washington State Budget Woes: Where’s the Beef?

This is fairly off-topic (although we have covered this subject occasionally in the past), but with all the teeth-gnashing I’ve been reading about lately regarding the latest round of supposedly major cuts required to keep state spending in line with revenues, I thought it might be interesting to look at a couple of charts on […]

What Does “Affordable” Mean to You?

Good comment from Jonness on this week’s poll: Personally, I would not feel comfortable leveraging into a $360K loan on a $100K income at a time where a significant risk of price declines exists. But, apparently many people have no problem with this. From what I’ve read, many people actually consider 28% of gross annual […]

Obama “Can’t Wait” to Screw with the Market Even More

Okay, as long as we’re talking politics this week, let’s just dive in head first. I’d like to discuss the latest federal “relief” plan that made news this week. Here’s an AP story from Monday: Obama Offers Mortgage Relief on Western Trip LAS VEGAS — President Barack Obama offered mortgage relief on Monday to hundreds […]

Running the Numbers on the Flat Homeowner Deduction

[Read Part 1: Proposal: Replace the Mortgage Interest Deduction with a Flat Homeowner Deduction] In the comments on the proposal I made yesterday, Doug asked a reasonable question: Have you figured out what the deduction would be if you did this, and made it deficit neutral? That would be an interesting exercise. Good question. Let’s […]

Proposal: Replace the Mortgage Interest Deduction with a Flat Homeowner Deduction

In our discussion on Sunday’s poll about whether government policy should be steering people into homebuying, I had an interesting idea that I thought was worth sharing with the whole class. The Problem There are numerous problems with the methods the government has used and is using to promote homebuying. One-time homebuyer tax credits just […]

Good Ideas that Home Salespeople Hate

There are two good ideas that have been circulating recently that would help keep the housing market from experiencing another dangerous bubble: End (or greatly scale back) the mortgage interest tax deduction. Require at least a 20% down payment for purchases. Here’s a recent article that covers the arguments in favor of ending the deduction: […]

Have You Given Big Banks the Boot Yet?

With the slimy moves, big fees, and generally anti-customer attitude of big banks, I find myself wondering who bothers with them anymore, and why? Over in the Weekend Open Thread, Pegasus points out a story in yesterday’s New York Times: U.S. Is Set to Sue a Dozen Big Banks Over Mortgages The federal agency that […]