Thursday, February 26, 2009

Are Bailouts Sending the Wrong Message?

Every American is looking for the economy to turn around. As job losses mount, the impact to people and families becomes more real to more people. Most citizens realize at this point there are no silver bullets or easy answers. The real question is whether the billions of dollars being thrown at potential solutions are really going to bring us back from the brink or are they just going to saddle future generations with more debt they will not be able to afford.

More importantly, should bail out funds be used to compensate for self inflicted problems or should market forces be allowed to correct the housing and credit markets? Also, responsible homeowners, borrowers, savers, and taxpayers are feeling doubly screwed. For those who acted responsibly throughout the good times, those that bought homes within their means, borrowed within their capacity to repay, kept saving for the future instead of mortgaging against it (and their home's value), and paid taxes are now going to feel the brunt by paying for the bailouts. I don't even want to talk about what has happened to retirement plans.

Most people who have been responsible with their finances and who don't loose a job (through no fault of their own) are generally going to be able to weather the storm. They have planned for it albeit not for this magnitude but they will still get by.

Hopefully the Federal Government bailouts can 1) Stop the fall, 2) Begin a recovery, 3) Help individuals and families that truly deserve the help, 4) Not overly benefit those who created the mess, 5) Still convince people that they must live within their means.

When you borrow against your future, you take a huge gamble and should be expected to suffer the pain of the risks accepted.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Real Neighborhood

Enough with the rants on the economy! I hope to soon see most elements of the Stimulus Plan passed that will help people in their current homes (if they deserve it) as well as help those who are ready to buy a home.

Sales traffic at Jensen communities includes people who are very interested in scaling back their finances for obvious reasons. What they will find once they move into one of our manufactured housing land lease communities is a real sense of neighborhood. Throughout 28 communities in seven east coast states there is one common denominator: great people.

Good neighborhoods have always been created by people who care about their homes, care about keeping a nice yard, and caring about the people around them. They don't have to be close friends; they do need to watch out for each other and each other's families.

Getting in on the Good Life means getting into a great neighborhood.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Time to Get Back on Solid Ground

Hard working people should be able to rely on income from a steady job to pay for food, clothing, shelter, and a few niceties. A moderately paying job should allow the average person to buy a house with a down payment and be able to build equity over time. I don't believe that these matters should be a thing of the past or just things that our parents or grandparents believed in.

Our business and political leaders as well as our regulators have in many ways let us down. It is high time to get back on solid ground. Although I certainly hope that the Federal and State governments do their part to straighten out the mess we are in, each of us needs to take responsibility for our own solid ground. We create our own financial foundation by not getting in over our heads and not letting others entice us to get in over our heads.

Every generation has its challenges. For those of us living and working in todays economy, we will surely have stories to tell our offspring. Hopefully we will be able to tell them how we challenged the norm, took control of our future and set a path that provided current enjoyment and fulfilment of our lives but also set the world straight again.