Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Foreclosures and Firewood.

I was reading a news article today which the headline was that over 1 million homes were foreclosed upon in 2010 and that this year that figure was going to rise at least by 20 %.
So, what I don't understand is that the citizens or rather the taxpayers of the US, forked over gazillions of dollars to save the banks and other entities in order not to have a catastrophic collapse of the banking industry, they fed the banks ...but the banks are still getting all those homes and then still collecting the funds that come for the foreclosure sales....

But the taxpayer and people that lost their homes have nothing to show for it.

Someone once said that if the taxpayer simply took that money that they have "taken" from them in the form of debt to the country and simply bought all the upside down mortgages it would have been less that what was spent on the effort to save the banks.

To me it would have made more sense to have the banks and businesses fail that didn't correctly manage their assets,

The banks and mismanaged institutions got richer, and the poor and taxpayers got poorer.
In Mexico we had to pay for everything in cash. No home mortgages, no loans, no problem.
Meanwhile I was also reading that in Las Vegas where there was 60% slide in the values of the homes, and that there are at least 10,000 vacant homes, they are building new homes.
Seems that no one wants to live in a subdivision where the homes are all abandoned, foreclosed and overgrown........
Now that makes a lot of sense.
Also it seems that there is a new trend for building smaller homes now....I wonder why?
I guess 8000 sq ft home is just a little too big for two people?
So the new construction homes are built that are between 1200 and 1800 sq ft.
How is that possible?
When I was growing up, a family of 4 lived in a flat that was maybe 750 sq ft. We built a two bedroom house here in Mexico and even now, had I had it over, I think I would have built it a little smaller. Amazing what 10 or 15 years will do in the requirements of space. I think I could do fine in a 1000 sq ft home today.

If you really want to read how bad it is, go here

There is also considerable discussions around the world of getting off the dollar standard. I have seen some signs in Mexico where they no longer want the dollar.......

My how times have changed.

This winter has been cold, last night it dropped down to the low 30's. As most of you know we have fireplaces for heat. The other night I was thinking of how much it would cost to install a gas forced central heating system.
When we built the house we planned for it, but because of the mild climate, that year during construction we oped out of installing it.

Why put it in if the fireplaces do a sufficient job of heating?
Well there is the convenience factor........a factor which I am becoming more understanding of the older I get.
Not that it won't hurt me to carry in a dozen or so logs each night to each fireplace, BUT......
With a furnace comes other benefits and drawbacks.
Maybe an extra sweater and some real thick socks will do.......
Perhaps I should invest in a set of Long Johns........but that seems so Victorian.....
Or maybe a nice little condo in Mazatlan or Zihuatanejo instead.

Just kidding......the days in the mid to high 80's in Patzcuaro are just fine. And there is no humidity. I remember some of our stays in Mazatlan, where we never even left the room because of the heat and humidity.

Firewood seems pretty easy to bring in now that I have thought of it. And much cheaper than a condo.


Dan in NC said...

One would think the simple expediency of adding a blower to your existing fireplace insert - would be sufficient to heat your entire abode to a toasty level. We did this with our Franklin and heated a 2K sqft place very nicely!
Dan in NC

Don Cuevas said...

Long johns and thick socks are cost effective. I have the former items on now.
Also, a synthetic fill parka and a wool watch cap.

I just turned off the gas heater in the office prior to heading to our bedroom, preheated by an oil filled electric radiator.

Light but warm thermal blankets from L.L. Bean await on the bed. The bottom sheet is flannel.

Saludos y buenas noches,
Don Cuevas

Tancho said...

Dan, good advice, we did that, about the 3rd winter I put the blowers on them. But still not good enough.
The stand alone stove in the guest bedroom does a better job than the inserts....I have also considered taking the inserts out and just replacing them with an old fashioned Franklin but that would require a little remodeling which I really don't want to do....Our problem in both the rooms where the stoves are is that the ceilings in those two rooms are over 12-14 ft it's nice an toasty up high, then I run the ceiling fans to circulate the heated air...still not a good as a old fashioned stove....The things were made in Canada, so I have to think that they are as efficient as possible...I think I will just put on some more clothes and just be done with it....That is something new to me, going to bed with things on.....we also have an electric mattress pad to keep the bed nice and pleasant. My other option is a simply little infrared kerosene heater. I use to have one of those in N.Cal, it would heat only people when you sat in front of them, and a little in the room. But kind of a pain in other aspects, kerosene filling etc. Electric heat is way too expensive here....

JerryL said...

I thought you were going to burn a foreclosed house to heat yours?

Felipe said...

The nights here are too cold in winter, but the days are just perfect.

(When are you gonna install the far better Disqus comment system, seƱor?)

Calypso said...

We opted for wintering at the casita in Puerto Escondido - Currently have not seen an evening get below 70 F and the highs are around 84 F. And the sunsets are all OMG! ones.

This does require a little more moola than a new forced air heating system however.

But, MAN we love it here right now ;-) You are always welcome to visit hombre.

Tancho said...

Yes, Felipe the days are marvelous and as long as you are not in the hot sun very much,very pleasurable couldn't be any better weather.

Your fancy comment system looks way to complicated to use, and it appears that it would make force anonymity to obscurity by requiring email addresses for each person...I am trying to make it easy and not put additional requirements and rules onto the least at this juncture....

Ah Calypso, I think you have a great idea, two places one for hot, one for cold...
For me it's almost a full time job just keeping up with one, I couldn't imagine two...We considered the idea, but for now we will take the invitation of generous people like you and the hotel reservation systems.....
But your temps sound real good...especially since our nights are down in the looooow 30's.

Felipe said...

The Disqus system is not complicated. If it were, I would be bamboozled. As far as forcing anonymity into obscurity, I'm all for it. Opinions, all opinions, should have a name attached to them.

- Mexican Trailrunner said...

Hahaha, good comments.
I'm with you, Tancho, Flatter Learning Curves is my motto.
Stay warm up there you guys!
Calypso, good for you!!!!

Tancho said...

Ok, Felipe, if that argument won't work about that I don't do change too good!
I just figured out how to this stuff, I see the facebook, twitter, and all those other buttons on there, waaay too many things to accept and waaay to intimidating for me.

If it was so good, Al Gore would have invented it.

Nancy said...

Brrr, we have been cold in Mazatlan this winter. For the last three weeks it has been about 63 in the kitchen when I get up and I have actually worn pants!

It is glorious here in the winter, I suggest you come for a month in like Feb or March.

You'll be sick of carrying wood by then I bet.

Tancho said...

Eey Nancy, 63 and cold.....this has been a cold winter. Last month we had several days where everything was frozen outside, birdbath, windshields, pipes, and to think that Mexico freezes up. jeje.
We may just knock on your door to invite you over for dinner again!

We bought about 2 pickup loads back in November, and use about 10 to 15 big sticks in each fireplace. Sometimes we will only heat the bedroom and not worry about the rest of the house, no sense heating it if we are not going to be in it...You should have such problems.....jeje.