Bad time to want to buy a house

This Jan. we thought it would be a good time to start looking for houses, since the rates came down… but being slow and you know, having a child – we just recently got out and actually looked at houses.

By now the rates are over 6% for a standard 30yr mortgage. We have perfect credit and decent everything else… but the lenders are just not passing along the reduced rates.

Furthermore – the costs of houses are unstable… in some ways that’s good for the buyer, as we could haggle more effectively… but the down side of that is – if we buy a house, in 2 months, the house may well be worth less than what we paid for it. That’s the whole problem with most of the junk loans and though ours wouldn’t be as serious as the ones all over the news, it’s still an issue.

– references –

You’d think that lower interest rates would help out struggling borrowers. Yet while the Federal Reserve has moved repeatedly to cut rates, the positive effects of those cuts aren’t getting to those who need them most.

Unfortunately for many borrowers, however, the Fed’s actions aren’t
having the effect they might have hoped for. After dropping
substantially in January, mortgage rates have risen back toward the
range they traded in before the Fed started making cuts.

But just because rates are falling, that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to
take advantage of them. Because of tighter credit terms, you won’t
necessarily be able to get a loan. Falling home prices mean that you
may not have equity left in your home to borrow against. It’s a bad
situation for everyday borrowers and consumers.

Many economists expect Fed policy makers to cut the central bank’s key
interest rate by 1 percentage point, but they worry even this reduction
won’t halt the erosion in confidence undermining the economy. Lower
interest rates, which aim to boost the economy by enticing consumers
and businesses to borrow and spend, provide little help if lenders
aren’t loaning money out of fear they won’t be repaid.

The Fed has cut its benchmark rate by 2.25 points since September, but
the economy has continued to deteriorate. Most economists believe the
United States has entered a recession, and many increasingly expect it
to be longer and deeper than the recessions of 2001 and the early
1990s, both of which lasted eight months.

Prescription drugs in drinking water

A vast array of pharmaceuticals — including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones — have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans, an Associated Press investigation shows

To be sure, the concentrations of these pharmaceuticals are tiny, measured in quantities of parts per billion or trillion, far below the levels of a medical dose. Also, utilities insist their water is safe.

But the presence of so many prescription drugs — and over-the-counter medicines like acetaminophen and ibuprofen — in so much of our drinking water is heightening worries among scientists of long-term consequences to human health.

In the course of a five-month inquiry, the AP discovered that drugs have been detected in the drinking water supplies of 24 major metropolitan areas — from Southern California to Northern New Jersey, from Detroit, Michigan, to Louisville, Kentucky.

I almost hesitate to have relayed this information. One more scare-story isn’t exactly what I’m into… but for some reason this story struck me as something that should be spread some… it seems like something people ought to have in the back of their head and if enough people asked about it, perhaps it wouldn’t get swept under the rug so easily. perhaps.

Update from the snow

3-2-2008 1-38-09 pmUploaded photos of Poppy for the last several weeks (havn’t uploaded since early Feb.). You can go through the new ones (march and feb) or just look at the main stream of photos.
3-7-2008 6-34-11 pmIt snowed around 7 inches on Friday and Saturday, and we got to play in the snow some, but only very briefly. We both started to daydream about taking Poppy out for sledding adventures and hot chocolate afterwards.

3-8-2008 12-35-56 am 3-8-2008 12-35-35 am 3-8-2008 12-35-17 am 3-7-2008 8-17-26 pm 3-7-2008 8-11-04 pm

The full and sorry story of my trip to Dallas on Friday, Feb. 29

I arrived at the Louisville, KY airport at 5:30am, Feb 29 and tried to check in for my flight #1755 to Dallas, TX. As it turns out, the confirmation/look up number I received with my itinerary was invalid. They couldn’t find it. And then, upon further investigation, the ticket had been refunded or somehow mis-scheduled. I had to get back in line (I’d been holding up the line this whole time and by now, it was long). I called Jane at way-to-early-in-the-morning (1hr time difference) and she helped me out by calling the reservation line. Unfortunately it was to close to departure time to schedule a ticket anywhere except at the counter. By this point, I was near the front of the ticketing line and I was, I was able to purchase a new (one-way) ticket, finally. I received this new ticket at about 6:33am. My flight departed at 7:00. The security line was literally wrapped all the way around to the bathrooms. I made it through the security line about 6:55 and sprinted to the gate, arriving just before they were closing the plane door… and as I passed my boarding pass to the guy, my name was paged overhead and I realized that I left my wallet and cellphone at the security line. I asked if I could run back and get it and the guy said that I’d have to miss this flight. I chose to not miss this flight, and borrowed my seat-mate’s cellphone to call my wife and ask her to get the wallet and cellphone for me. My other seat-mate loaned me $20, having overheard my tale… and after an uneventful flight, I made it to Dallas, made it to the hotel, and made it to the meeting.

We had a great meeting, figuring out a lot of our plans for IT and Development for 2008 and helping identify the projects we really had to wrestle. Also – Jane setup a one-way-return-ticket. (If she hadn’t, I would have had to stay at Paul’s)

The meeting ended and we went back to the airport. I waited for my flight, I ate at Wendy’s, and I dropped and broke my iPod.

I got home around 10:45pm and just wanted to go to bed. Around midnight I woke up with either food poisoning or a fast-acting stomach-bug, which kept me running to bathroom and feeling awful for the next 16 hours. I slept a lot (any time I wasn’t in the bathroom) and by Sunday afternoon, I was fine.