Just a few pictures, a guest post, and some thoughts on deck.
Guest Post: Reader Gawains
On Friday I offered up the blog to anyone that would like to put together a guest post to be featured here. We shall see how many are interested. It is my belief that I have the best audience out there.
Reader Gawains offers plenty of great inside information about real estate in the comments section. A real "on the ground" type of reporting that you will not get most places. I think Gawains will submit a few posts and I will be glad to publish them. I did get an email from Gawains showing me how bad many homes are after foreclosure. Here is Gawains:
There is a reason why most realtors (80%) don't work with repossessed homes. Because they don't have the money or don't want to do the work. It was 100 degrees outside today as I wandered around this house taking pictures, and I haven't even attached half of them. Broken door frames, missing sockets, trash everywhere, sheetrock damage, missing water heater, broken circuit board, missing a/c, missing cabinets, missing kitchen sink, missing commode, it's a disaster zone. I figure it's going to cost at least $20,000 to fully repair this house. And that doesn't include lawn maintenance, utilities, marketing and advertising, or selling commission. See what I'm talking about?
I was provided with a set of pictures that were just unreal. I had no idea grass can grow to be about 6 feet tall! Also, and you have to take my word for it, the interior of the house in question was ransacked and damaged. Due to confidentiality concerns I cannot publish the photos, but it was an eye opener.
More from email exchange by Gawains:
A couple of years ago, we would have had to hire contractors to clean this mess up. The entire lawn not only has to be mowed, but the cut grass and plants bagged and hauled off. Then there's all the trash, which as you can see is a lot. That has to be hauled to the dump. Then the house has to be cleaned.
These days the mortgage company uses a field asset management company to handle all that. Which is good, as it saves us the billing expenses. Still, cleaning up this house is going to cost several thousand dollars.
And then there's the repairs. Are you kidding me? The circuit breaker destroyed, water heater and a/c stolen, electrical outlets and sockets ripped out, kitchen cabinets and appliances taken, commode stolen, door frames broken, sheetrock damaged, we're talking about tens of thousands of dollars here.
If this property were to be sold as is, only a cash investor could buy it.
So you see the severity of the problem and the depth of the crisis. There is no way a profit can be generated by the resale this house. Think of the costs involved (the delinquent taxes must be paid by the seller at closing, for example). It must have been abandoned at least two years ago--how long does it take grass to grow six feet tall?--and was only recently repossessed. This is part of the shadow inventory. Only God knows how many properties like this--and I've seen worse--are on the banks' balance sheets.
While I have often tried to illuminate just how bad things are in the mortgage area, this insider look should really be more helpful. Thanks Gawains!
On Saturday I was able to get out on the water in the kayak between rain storms. I had a small spinnerbait on one fishing rod and as I was tying a lure on another rod, this massive bass grabbed the spinnerbait as it dangling over the side of the boat! I was almost pulled into the water by the force of such a lunker fish:
Big fish, HA!
Things You Can do if You Are Nervous
On Friday I noted that I am now officially nervous and the reasons why. I am prone to being down on things economic (really?) but Friday was really ugly. I think that if this week does not go well in the markets a rout could ensue as there is nothing underneath stocks. But it could all be fine as well! Now I want to be very clear here; I do not think the world is going to end and we all will be living in caves. What I think is about a 1 in 10 chance right now is a situation where people start to panic and we get all the dumb behavior that would come with that.
Things like bank restrictions on withdrawals could happen. How do you think the average person would react to that? If you consider just that item it leads to other issues like grocery store mad dashes, gas runs, and related things. I think it would be short lived, but not fun at all.
So what can you do for peace of mind? Everyone is different but few things to consider having on hand are:
-Cash. Maybe $1000-$2000 in cash, preferably in smaller bills ($20 and smaller). If we get bank withdrawal restrictions you do not want to be in a spot where you cannot pay for things.
-Food. Canned goods in a pantry so that you could avoid having to contend with a store run when everyone is going nuts for a few days. Better to stay at home. Water you should always have quite a bit stored no matter what, water mains break all the time.
-Fuel. Well unless you are able to store gasoline safely this one is a tough spot. Just keep your gas tank on full for a while whenever you get the chance.
-Medical. If you or someone in your home has medication needs talk with your doctor about getting extra up front just in case a break from access would mean you would run out.
Now I am not trying to scare anyone, I just think we could have a 3 day to one week departure from the normal should things go bad in a hurry.
What about gold and silver? I did not mention them because if the 1 in 10 event happens they will not be useful to you at the time, but they should go higher in price!
Plenty of discussion about gold and silver as of late and I think it is good. All I can do is speak for me and I believe gold and silver will at some point become integrated into a new money system after the fiat paper ones all do their printathon thing. This will mean much higher prices. Both could also collapse, just like any other form of investment. Long term metals have maintained purchasing power, and I expect them to continue to do that. A good suit cost 1 ounce of gold in 1900, and today you can get a damn fine suit for an ounce of gold. How does paper money compare?
Some of my useless silver crap that will be worthless soon that I have on hand (the rest is buried in my neighbors yard, please keep it quiet!):
10 Ounce JM Bars:
1 Ounce JM Bars:
Pre-1965 US Quarters and Dimes known as "Junk Silver":
I have a soft spot for these gorgeous Phoenix Silver bars and will buy them whenever I find one, so if you have any that you want to sell....:
At least they are shiny, better than stocks any day, HA!
Have a good night.