Feb 18, 2009

The Healthiest Housing Markets For 2009

Texas is leading the way. While the economy is in shambles, with housing leading the way, some housing markets in the US have way outperformed others during the last four years and are likely to continue to do so this year. Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin and Houston are the healthiest housing markets in the country.

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Feb 17, 2009


I only write about matters relevant to real estate, housing, construction, new urbanism, and the like. Occasionally, I get a bit cheeky and write about transit. But, as the $1 trillion Emergency Stimulus package was brought to light, I realized how much I miss Ronald Reagan.

Upon digesting the magnitude of evil contained in the Emergency Stimulus Package, some important quotes popped to mind. The first was came on a January day in 1981 when Ronald Reagan reminded all of us, in those dark economic times that:

“In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

Reagan was right of course right. His plan for economic expansion worked. There can be no greater vindication, can there? Oh sure, the Democrats bashed Reagan at every opportunity, calling his plans trickle down economics. Democrats always love a good class warfare. And, they’ve done it again, this time in the form of the terribly charismatic Barack Obama, the most liberal Senator in history. Ah, but now he has to govern. Campaigning and speaking won’t get it done. Will he perform?

Of course he’ll perform. But, but not in a way that any level-headed American would actually consider successful. Right off the bat, President Obama wants $1 trillion in emergency stimulus spending. I ask then, how can it be stimulating, if most isn’t being spent for two years? And, if it’s truly an emergency, by God, spend it now, I say. No folks, much to my dismay, it isn’t an emergency stimulus package at all. It is a long-range, strategic spending plan designed to accomplish many things, most notably among them:
  1. Redistribution of private wealth. Just ask Joe the Plumber. But, don't ask too loudly. Christ, poor Joe was stalked by the media and vetted more thoroughly than the candidate he questioned; simply for asking a question.
  2. Creation of long-term dependency on the government. Cradle to the grave. Why should you do for yourself what the government can do for you? Present economic circumstances have the liberals excited beyond belief. They finally get to take advantage of an old-fashioned crisis to advance their agenda of produce according to your ability and consume according to your need. Go get 'em comrades.
  3. Alteration of the electorate for the next several generations. If not, why fiddle with the census? This country has counted people every ten years for a long time. An accountant flippantly Right or wrong, it was consistent. This President seeks to change that.
Now, two more quotes to keep perspective.

“You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that, my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.” Dr. Adrian Rogers

Can any one among you answer the question with which I began? It is the most vexing question I have posed. Who is John Galt? And, what do we do about it. So many drank the ‘Hope we can believe in’ Cool-Aid, it’ll be quite some time before everyone realizes the Emperor has no clothes, but make no mistake, he's stark naked. Given present conditions in our capital markets, coupled with the fact that I'm a homebuilder, I have no wealth for President Obama to tax. So, once again today, as I do every day, I’ll just keep doing what Ronald Reagan would’ve wanted. I’m going to work.

And, in honor of our 40th President, my next seven buyers will get sweetheart deals at Lexington Park in Plano. All week - and next - I’ll be selling new homes in Plano at Lexington Park. These Plano homes are brand new, just finished and beautiful. I know, I built them. They are also a bargain right now, given the climate, and I have 4.25% Fixed Rate Mortgages for the next six buyers. Oh, and they’re Green Built, so even the lest will like them. And the first home buyer (that is, to say, a home buyer who buys a home from me) that correctly answers the question, Who is John Galt? gets an extra $5,000 in free upgrades for their new Lexington Home, because writing this improved my spirits.



Tags: president reagan, obama, economy, economic crisis, dallas housing, homes in plano, lexington luxury builders, scott schaefer, politics

Feb 5, 2009


The Senate voted overwhelmingly Wednesday night to provide new home purchasers with the largest tax break of its kind ever in US history. The bill, designed to buoy the ailing US housing industry, provides a Federal Income Tax Credit to all home purchasers. Henceforth, 10% of the purchase price of their new home - with a cap of $15,000 - is a tax credit. That’s right, credit, not deduction.

This is finally meaningful. Previous tax credits only benefited first-time buyers. Now, you can buy a $300,000 new home and save $15,000 in taxes. This is the same as the IRS providing you with a 5% down payment. No catch.

The bill is seen as a victory for Republicans eager to leave their mark on a mammoth economic stimulus bill at the heart of President Barack Obama’s recovery plan. The tax break was adopted without dissent and came on a day in which Obama pushed back pointedly against Republican critics of the legislation even as he reached across party lines to consider scaling back spending.

Cost of the Housing Stimulus portion of the mammoth economic stimulus package is estimated at a measly $19 billion. It’s not that I’m not appreciative, really, because I am. For selfish reasons, I am a homebuilder. From a selfless point of view (which, at the moment I am maintaining) many people have lost their homes in foreclosure and many more are faced with it, and they need some help. But when housing - the backbone of the American economy and way of life - only merits $19 billion in effort, when more than $1 trillion is being splashed around like so much water at Jones Beach in this spending package, it makes one wonder about the priorities our all knowing President and Congress seem to have. It also begs the question: Where in the hell are they spending the other $981 billion?

I know I sound insensitive and just downright critical, but think, this used to be alot of money.

Jeez, at our new Lexington Park at Rice Field neighborhood in Downtown Plano, the government providing 5% of your down payment while Lexington is providing 4.25% fixed rate mortgages for 30 years. I was going to say with only 5% down, but now it seems the government will pick up that cost for you. You can’t afford not to buy one! I’m buying one tomorrow.