Monday, March 19, 2007

Equity - end of the real estate bubble

One can tell that a "bubble" is coming to an end when those who profit from the hysteria make ridiculous statements. I recently received this flyer in the mail from a mortgage/real estate company.

too much equity?

The ad wants to know if you have "too much equity" in your home or investment property. Only today, when the real estate bubble has been expanded to the breaking point and when credit has become sweet poison could this question be seriously asked.

The day will come when homeowners can only wish they had equity. Homeowners facing foreclosure or bankruptcy will long for the days when they enjoyed equity in their homes. They will regret every decision they ever made to take equity out of their home. They will regret every line of credit or refinance that enabled them to walk away from the settlement table with cash. They will lose the homes for which they paid top dollar - and receive only some ridiculously low liquidation value that does not even cover their mortgages/lines of credit.

Ads like the one pictured here will seem someday like a cruel joke. They will evoke bitter memories like the ones we try to forget regarding the Clinton stock market bubble of the late 1990's. (It wasn't really Clinton's fault, but I need to counter the Clinton kool-aid drinkers who credit him with the stock market rise of the late 1990's while ignoring the crash that occurred in 2000 while Clinton was still in office.) (Nor do I blame the real estate/ mortgage companies. They are doing only what central banking policy has induced for the past century.)

For those whose only economics education came from a major university or from the folks on PBS, here is a quick lesson: You can NEVER have "too much equity" - especially now when the bubble is about to burst.

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