Click to enlarge – © Tim S. Kane 2007
It’s drizzling, my body is extremely sore from digging post holes for 1,600 lineal feet of fencing and I’ve got about 40 feet to go, so I’ll take this opportunity for my Seinfeld (mostly about nothing) market commentary. And before you all laugh at me as a homeowner dumping money into my fence, I’m saving over $10K in labor. And no, I’m not getting ready to sell. Ok, so it’s taken me all of July to do it. Oh, it’s Aug. 3rd?
Anyway, so my wife is fixing her hair this morning and says: “what the heck is going on with all these lenders going out of business?” No, it’s not that she is unaware of the situation, far from it, but more so it was a remark of “this is crazy.”
Late last year and early this year we had escrow transactions fail to fund with some lenders that are now RIP. I don’t know if too many people were paying attention like I was, but that was a clear indication to me that something was wrong, back then. A while back chief RCG mortgage correspondent, Rhonda Porter and I discussed New Century and her conversation with an New Century Account Exec. indicating that all was well. We both know the result.
Many of the readers on this board are significantly more astute in investing in the stock market than I, and some may be experienced at shorting stocks. Personally, I’ve got less than 5% in the market because I equate investing in the stock market in some cases like gambling. I never win in gambling. Ever.
That said, I would watch the action of title companies with closer scrutiny. Because of the market turmoil there has been an upward increase in title claims due to ….drum roll…fraud, etc… That hurts earnings. Furthermore, I get the sense that a major title insurance player could merge or gobble up another. Consolidation is highly active in this environment and was during the last downturn.
Speaking of home improvement, one of the best ways I know of to hedge against a market downturn is to learn how to do improvements to your house, as a do-it-yourselfer. Owning can be expensive with unknown things cropping up: heating system, drive by mail box bashers, plumbing issues, you name it. I’ve saved tens (more, but I can’t publish it here because it is a closely held secret) of thousands because I rarely pay retail labor costs. Sure I’ve made costly mistakes, but I’ve saved much more.
The refinancing gravy train has slowed down. A lot. LOT.
I have access to Street Of Dreams discount ticket coupons ($3 off) for WEEKDAY only visits. I thought it was really good this year with lot of emphasis on woodwork (the good houses) which is my style being that I grew up in a 1906 Craftsman on Capitol Hill in Seattle. The show is through August 19th. If you’d like a coupon, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get them into the mail to you.
Have a good weekend and I’ll see you at the Red Sox game tomorrow. It’s my son Andrew’s ninth B-day tomorrow and if you wish him happy birthday here at Seattle Bubble, he’d get a kick out it thinking he’s famous.