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Things Looking Up

Wells Fargo—which didn’t take part in any ARMs or risky loans, those teaser or liar loans, and has now bought Wachovia—said that they’re seeing a lot of people buying property down 10% of its current value. Yes, of course, this is about where the property is located (location, location, location), but it shows you there are still some good opportunities available. You’re not seeing this in Stockton, California, but you might in Seattle, San Francisco, Portland, or the New York area.

What are the effects on the real estate market from the rescue plan or $700 billion dollar bailout? The goal is to put a floor under the collapses and prop up the real estate market and stop foreclosures, or in other words, stop the bleeding and stabilize the real estate market.

Mitigating foreclosures: The new law calls on federal agencies to encourage loan providers to modify mortgages by a number of means - including reducing the principal or interest rate. It also extends a temporary provision that exempts from federal income tax any debt forgiven by a bank to a borrower in a foreclosure.

In a way, we are now all more than ever part of this real estate crisis. We all are sacrificing for the short term with the bailout plan, but in the long run there is the possibility that the assets the plan is now purchasing will actually increase in value. Warren Buffet said he would be happy to take this deal, take on all of the bad assets at the terms the United States government is getting.

Lately, credit rating agencies have come under pressure from the SEC since there’s a conflict of interest issue at stake; the firms that put the MBS (Mortgage Backed Securities) together and sell them to investors often pay the credit agencies. This is very strange. These same credit agencies then downgrade the standing of companies that they once backed.

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