Wednesday, 18 February 2009

The $75 Billion Foreclosure Bridge

The new discussion now....after we've signed the $780-odd billion stimulus package....is the $75 billion home and foreclosure package. I'm thinking this will go to the fast track as well....because the banks, the car companies, and the states are coming up fast....and you just can't sit and discuss this matter....well....unless you were asking some really good questions.

The problem here, is that a bunch of folks bought houses at prices that were way out of the norm. They accepted the risk and paid way too much, on an interest rate that was silly. Two miles away from this guy....is another guy who bought a house that was a good bit less in cost.....because that was really what he could afford. We are helping the idiot who overpaid, and punishing the smart guy who stayed within his limits.

By tossing out the $75 billion, we are basically crossing a bridge and burning it as soon as possible. Looking at the situation, why should I even pretend to stay smart and buy what I can afford? I'm thinking big and stupid from now on.....because President Obama will save my butt later when its proven I was stupid for buying a $350k house.

I realize some of you were in that category of the $350k house and you felt pressure to buy it. But I also felt pressure, and only bought what I could readily afford, with a fairly decent down payment. I continually asked how the bank could be this stupid.....and today, I fully understand.

So in four weeks, I expect the Obama team crossing another bridge, and burning it as quickly as possible. It'll be a nice burn....with smoke for miles. It'll be a complete burn....with nothing left to observe the next day except burnt embers. It'll even be mentioned in the press for a day or two....and then off to the next bridge to burn.

The Mega Church in a Tiny Town

In my home town in Bama....which I will leave unnamed....there's been a Baptist fallout. As my brother tells the story....this small Baptists church....around 150-200 members total....is currently in total chaos.

A couple of months ago, some folks came up and wanted to build a new church building. There are two buildings on the property. The first was built around 1940 and is all brick....with zero insulation and serves as just a classroom building and social center. I should say that it has no toilet as well.....apparently in the 1940s....there were still outdoor toilets.

The second building was built around 1964....and was your state-of-the art building at that time (AC, real toilets, and big enough for 300 people).

Apparently, with around $150k in the church bank account, there's been this discussion around a dozen members of building a whole new building (after tearing down the old 1940's building). The idea is to build a whole new church, with a giant kid's center (for the kids under five). The cost? $1 million.

Yep.....a church with 200 members, and they'd build a church for $1 million?

So they laid this out about two weeks ago at a church meeting. Funny thing....the majority of church members weren't happy about this and wouldn't commit. Apparently, part of this deal is that they need a loan of $700k and they need actual real people to sign up and be responsible. We could be talking about you signing a document....promising $10k over ten years....beyond your normal $100 a month that you might already be putting into the pot.

So around two weeks passed, and they had a Sunday service and basically...the pro-build group came out and said this was a done-deal....more or less....pushing it through to the folks sitting there. There wasn't going to be a "no" accepted here. So folks walked out....and they indicate they are finished with this Baptist church.

How many? That's the curious thing. It'll be Sunday before the smoke clears. Out of two hundred members....I'm betting that fifty don't show up.

The amusing thing here....is that they could have come out and suggested $40k for repairs and new bathrooms....plus a add-on on the rear of the church....some 1000 square foot kid's play area attached to the church....and spent around $80k on that. Folks would have been happy to pass the hat and each would have tossed in a thousand over six months to cover this cost. This would have been achievable.

My bets? Someone in the midst of this mess has a relative or in-law who is in the construction business. I'm also betting someone moved into the area in the last two years from some mega church....and they talked up big about how wonderful a mega church is.

As I warned my brother....these Baptists are devious folks. They will likely be coming around to recruit new members. As I warned him that they may be coming to his house with some young Baptist gal to entice him to join up. He'll need a dang good excuse....like he's joined up with some radical Thai religious group with candles, incense, rice cakes, hot rocks, sniffing mint and eating raw fish involved. The Baptists will be a bit frazzled and then leave in a hurry.

The thing that gets me....a million for a building that you might spend two hours a week in. My common sense just can't buy this deal.