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  1.    #81  
    as more than one member of the junior's Federal Reserve Board has declared that they are worried about inflation -- that they don't believe that there needs to be any more rate cuts, the head of the Wells Fargo Bank tells listeners that:

    "housing is the worst since Great Depression..."

    Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf said Thursday that housing is in the worst shape since the economic devastation of the 1930s.

    "We have not seen a nationwide decline in housing like this since the Great Depression," Stumpf told those attending a Merrill Lynch & Co. (NYSE: MER) investment conference.

    He anticipates hard times ahead for home owners in financial straits -- and their bankers.

    "I don't think we're in the ninth inning of winding this," Stumpf said. "If we are, it's an extra-inning game.

    "The losses have turned out to be greater than expected because home prices have declined faster and deeper than expected," said Stumpf, who took the reins at the nation's fifth-largest bank earlier in June. California's Central Valley and the Midwest's auto-manufacturing states (namely, Michigan and Ohio) are creating significant mortgage losses for Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) and other lenders.

    ...the San Francisco bank enjoys a strong franchise but it will suffer significant loan losses in the declining housing market.

    Stumpf told investors that he was unaware of some of exotic mortgage-related investments being made by competitors until reading about them in the newspaper.

    "It's interesting that the industry has invented new ways to lose money when the old ways seemed to work just fine," he quipped.

    ...he was critical of some of the risky, exotic mortgages offered by competitors in recent years, such as adjustable-rate mortgages that give borrowers a choice on what monthly payment they'd like to make each month. The so-called option ARMs can have negative amortization which means the loan balance rises over time instead of being paid off.

    Stumpf said Wells didn't offer such mortgages because it didn't seem right. The San Francisco bank's federal regulators don't allow negative amortization to occur with credit card debt, Stumpf observed, so why offer such loans on the typical borrower's largest and most important asset?
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  2.    #83  
    Quote Originally Posted by lifes2short View Post
    Goldman paints bleak picture for housing, financials...

    junior's Fed is unworried.

    According to the just released minutes of their Fed meeting, their idiotic decision to only cut interest rates by a quarter point was a close call -- meaning that there was almost no cut at all -- not just the 1/2 point that the economy was begging for.


    Fed officials have signaled in recent speeches that they do not want to cut rates anytime soon, saying their cuts in September and October would be enough to keep the economy out of recession.

    Indeed, many of them were already uneasy about their last cut in the benchmark federal funds rate on Oct. 31, to 4.5 percent from 4.75 percent. According to the minutes of that meeting, Fed bankers saw that decision as a “close call.”
    Last edited by BARYE; 11/21/2007 at 07:42 AM.
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  3. #84  
    Ex-U.S. Treasury head Summers says recession likely: Report


    ZURICH (Reuters) - The odds now point to a U.S. economic recession that slows global growth significantly even if necessary policy changes are implemented, former U.S. Treasury secretary Larry Summers said.

    Summers, who served in the Democratic administration of former president Bill Clinton, said the U.S. authorities needed to act urgently in avert long-lasting economic damage from the global credit crunch.

    "Without stronger policy responses than have been observed to date ... there is the risk that the adverse impacts will be felt for the rest of the decade and beyond," Summers wrote in a column in the Financial Times on Monday.

    Summers said the U.S. Federal Reserve should recognize that "levels of the fed funds rate that were neutral when the financial system was working normally are quite contractionary today."

    The Fed has already cut the policy rate to 4.5 percent from 5.25 percent since the global crisis was triggered in August by defaults on U.S. mortgages, and financial markets expect further easing.

    Summers said fiscal policy needed to be "on stand-by" to provide immediate temporary stimulus through spending or tax benefits for low and middle income families if the situation worsens.

    The authorities also had to respond urgently to the contraction in credit, said Summers. "The time for worrying about imprudent lending is past. The priority has to be maintaining the flow of credit."

    Summers said a "super conduit" promoted by the U.S. Treasury to take on assets of troubled structured investment vehicles (SIVs) had never been publicly explained in any detail by the Treasury. "Perhaps there is a strong case for it but that case has yet to be made," he added.

    He urged the authorities "to assure that there is a continuous flow of reasonably priced loans to creditworthy home purchasers."

    Summers said forward-looking indicators suggested the U.S. housing sector may be in freefall.


    "It is hard to believe declines of anything like this magnitude will not lead to a dramatic slowdown in the consumer spending that has driven the economy in recent years," he said.

    He also said only a small part of the financial distress that must be worked through by financial institutions had yet been faced, and warned of the potential damage to confidence from a sharply falling dollar.

    "In such an environment, economic policy needs to be governed by the clear and public recognition that restoring the normal functioning of the financial system and containing any damage its breakdown may do the real economy is the central macro-economic and financial challenge facing the U.S."
  4. #85  
    Going Down?

    After Wells Fargo, home equity has further to fall

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - If Wells Fargo & Co regarded as a prudent mortgage lender, must take a $1.4 billion charge for home equity loans that comprise a mere sliver of its total loan book, how much might rivals write off?

    The Wells Fargo write-down, largely covering $11.9 billion of home equity loans the bank considers most at risk, shows how the U.S. housing crisis has bled well beyond subprime mortgages to home loans once regarded as relatively safe.

    It raises the specter of more pain for other lenders with significant home equity exposure, particularly on loans meant to cover most or all of the homes' value.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/reute...nnel=0&sp=true
  5.    #86  
    Quote Originally Posted by lifes2short View Post
    Going Down?

    After Wells Fargo, home equity has further to fall
    FWIW, I understand that Wells Fargo was comparitively prudent in their subprime mortgage adventurism.

    The big players (including hedge funds and some of the big banks like Citi and Washington Mutual, were into the slime deep up to their eyeballs.
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  6. #87  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post
    FWIW, I understand that Wells Fargo was comparitively prudent in their subprime mortgage adventurism.

    The big players (including hedge funds and some of the big banks like Citi and Washington Mutual, were into the slime deep up to their eyeballs.
    The point being that if a fairly prudent underwriter such as Wells Fargo "must take a $1.4 billion charge", the house-of-cards which is the current state of the US economy is begging for some force (China) to push it well over the edge. Repugs are banking that they can lay this tarbaby at the feet of new Dem leadership, come Jan 09.
  7.    #88  
    There's been alot of recent news and new developments on this topic during the last month or so -- but unfortunately I've been too preoccupied to write about them.

    Most significant was the plan announced by junior a couple of weeks ago -- the plan he publicized by giving out the number for The Freedom Christian Academy instead of the organization he had created ostensibly to "help" endangered homeowners.

    My view is that the administration’s plan is nothing more than a feeble fig leaf -- a pose of compassion to dodge making the hard decisions required to truly deal with the housing crisis and repair the horrific damage that is continuing to gnaw against america's economy and its social fabric.

    Junior's plan will perhaps help thousands of at risk borrowers, when the problem encompasses millions. And even the relief that those few do receive is in a form that's temporary -- and would mostly just delay their difficulties while extending the overall crisis.

    Their economic theories and ideological preconceptions are limiting their imaginations in finding any real remedies for this crisis that would save those endangered homeowners and revive the collapsing housing market that threatens to suck down even homeowners who are not now in trouble..

    And though advertized as targeted at desperate home owners, the ultimate potential beneficiaries of this proposal are in my opinion, the lenders and hedge funds who are now most at risk in this debacle.

    This is because the courts are likely to rule in the end that any plan that compels them to unilaterally modify legally binding contracts regarding the terms of their loans would constitute a government sanctioned taking of their property.

    This despite the fact that much of the securitized mortgage paper that these investors hold is little more than worthless, and getting more so every day.

    Junior’s idea is essentially to individually research each and every subprime borrowers financial and housing situation, and on a one-at-a-time basis evaluate whether they are truly desperate, whether they can afford their existing loan at the current teaser rate, whether the home is worth more foreclosed than their debt, and whether they can be forced to pay the onerous terms of their existing mortgage after it resets.

    There are at least 3-4 million homeowners who could be at risk of foreclosure. The bureaucratic paperwork involved in processing and researching each of them separately is monumental. The potential for abuse and stupidity is unlimited. The probability that this program could save all who need help is less than dubious.

    Perhaps most importantly, its also very unlikely to have the needed effect of increasing liquidity in the housing lending system.

    I still believe that the solutions I proposed of about 2 months ago are best:

    Tax policy on the these securtized mortgages needs to be changed so as to disincentivize conditions that lead to these loans failing -- and incentivize and reward investors who properly and appropriately adjust the lending terms of loans in their portfolios so as to minimize the number of loans they own that will fall into foreclosure.

    Failure to act aggressively and expeditiously will gravely worsen the recession that now seems unavoidable.


    Bush unveils plan to stem wave of foreclosures
    By Patrick Rucker and John Poirier Reuters Thu Dec 6, 2007

    President George W. Bush announced a plan on Thursday aimed at slowing a wave of home loan foreclosures ...

    Bush said the plan ...was not intended to "bail out" lenders...

    Instead, the Bush administration hopes that it can help more than half of the two million homeowners who took out adjustable-rate subprime loans with payments due to move sharply higher soon by offering some of them a five-year mortgage-rate freeze...

    The Mortgage Bankers Association said on Thursday that a record percentage of mortgages outstanding were in the process of being foreclosed in the third quarter, while late payments hit their highest level since 1986.

    Bush said an estimated 1.2 million homeowners could be eligible for assistance under the plan over the next couple of years. However, private-sector analysts said the numbers would likely be much lower.

    "In theory, the plan could help as many as 750,000 subprime homeowners," said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody's Economy.com. "In practice, my sense is that it will probably help at best about 250,000 homeowners."

    Homeowners facing a rate reset who have shown they are a reasonable credit risk, but who could not afford higher payments, would qualify for "fast-track" loan modification and the five-year interest rate freeze. Only owner-occupied homes would be eligible, not those bought by speculators.

    Borrowers who can afford their current loan terms would receive help in refinancing, but those who cannot and were poor credit risks would probably still lose their homes...

    ...Wall Street worried they would be forced to accept mortgages rewritten in the borrowers' favor.

    "To say to investors that the terms of the contract you signed are going to be overwritten is a clear disincentive to investors to provide capital going forward," said Larry Smith, chief investment officer at Third Wave Global Investors in Greenwich, Connecticut. "That's just not what government is supposed to do."

    ...investors cheered the news, sending Wall Street
    stocks sharply higher on views that limiting foreclosures would keep the economy from sliding into a recession.

    The plan would offer a five-year rate freeze to subprime borrowers who took out loans from January 1, 2005, through July 31, 2007, that are due to reset over the coming two-and-a-half years.


    ... mortgage investors represent another huge hurdle. For years, this group provided the financial backing that allowed mortgage firms to expand their lending activities.

    After a mortgage is originated, it is given a rating based on the credit of the homeowner and is sold in a package of similar loans to investors, mutual funds, and banks on financial exchanges throughout the world. No type of loan made more money for investors, or was as risky, as subprime mortgages because homeowners ended up paying more interest.

    If mortgage lenders agree to freeze the loans at lower rates, investors would lose out on the higher payments promised under the original loans, which could give them grounds to sue the lenders. A key point of negotiation that remains unresolved is working out a solution for investors, who are being represented by the American Securitization Forum, that would convince them to give up their right to sue.

    A person with knowledge of the deal, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the negotiations were ongoing, said Wall Street has been holding out but is moving closer to an agreement. Some investors are worried that without a deal, foreclosures would rise, which could cause confidence in the mortgage market to erode and leave their mortgage securities worth next to nothing.

    "This is the first time that the Bush administration is working toward a solution ..." Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said. "But there is a $64,000 question: Will investors go along with this plan? And if not, can they be compelled to?"
    Last edited by BARYE; 12/17/2007 at 02:08 PM.
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  8.    #89  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post
    ...The consensus that I've seen among respected economic observers is that the Fed cut was enough to stave off a recession.

    And with an election coming up next year, junior's Fed will be under enormous pressure to ensure that any downturn happens after November '08.

    Jim Cramer -- whose opinions I highly respect (despite his idiotic support of Mitt Romney), also believes that the Fed's action has been timely enough to avert that recession.

    Over the next year I see the Fed cutting at least a full point off interest rates, perhaps even more.

    It will be enough to dampen the fall that's already begun, but the damage and its momentum -- are already too huge to be stopped.

    The Fed cannot catch up to this falling piano.
    With sadness I've looked back over some of what I've written in this thread since last summer.

    Most of what I have feared, has come to pass.

    Junior and his Federal Reserve Board are only now awakening to chase BARYE's metaphorical piano.

    Had they acted with any intelligence back during the summer the damage could have been contained. The housing market's ecosystem might have been able to adjust in a natural non destructive way to the bursting of the real estate bubble. A bubble that was the product of an incomprehensible depth of greed and stupidity -- all of which underlaid junior’s economy for these last 7 years.

    Citibank, Merrill Lynch, Countrywide and countless other companies are writing off Billions and Billions of mortgage debt as worthless. Housing prices are in a freefall. Neighborhoods in some cities are being strip mined and abandoned after foreclosed properties are left to rot by the banks and lenders that took them from their owners. (A systematic rot that is damaging the lives of even home owners who had kept up their payments, people who are powerless as their neighbors are evicted and their neighborhoods destroyed.)

    And because lenders are unwilling or unable to make new loans, even good borrowers have enormous difficulty in getting a loan now -- even to buy fairly valued property or to refinance a bad loan.

    There’s little that junior or his Fed can now do that will be enough. Its too late. The effects up and down through the entire economy are such that it will almost certainly require a wholesale government intervention. Fanny Mae and other agencies are eventually going to be pushed to support and guarantee home loans on a huge scale. They will be compelled to buy from investment banks the dubious paper that those wealthy wizards securitized and invested in.

    We remain still quite some distance from the bottom -- no matter what bewildered utterances of rhetorical concern might emanate from junior’s chow hole or from his appointed Federal Reserve Board.

    Salvation will only come with a democratic President and congress.
    Last edited by BARYE; 01/18/2008 at 10:28 AM.
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  9.    #90  
    Quote Originally Posted by logmein View Post
    Global markets were absolutely decimated on monday 1/22/08. US markets were closed, but still stand on the verge of what could be a monumental freefall on tuesday. Dow futures plummeted 514 points on monday, leaving the dow index at or around the 11,585 mark. This has been touted as the steepest market rout since sept 11, 2001, and would officially thrust the US stock markets into a bear market.

    Very unsettling. The downward momentum within periods of severe corrections such as these reportedly take 2 years to recover from.

    The downturn is a reflection that world markets view an economic stimulus package by the US to be too little too late for an effective bandaid to the imminent recession.

    Hold onto your hats, folks, and grab a hold of the harness - we are in for a gut wrenching financial plunge...
    What's making the world's stock markets crash ??

    It's not just the subprime mortgage meltdown. It's not just junior's recession. It's not only his idiotic "solution" of giving out checks. It's not just his catastrophic budget deficits, his tax give aways to his rich friends, or his trillion dollar borrowing to pay for his iraq war quagmire.

    There's still another ELEPHANT in the room.

    The world's banking system has begun to collapse.

    The system of borrowing, lending, etc. depends on trust and predictability. It depends on a reasonable expectation of truth, and confidence about the future.

    This has been lost over the last year.

    The ELEPHANT in the room that has not been discussed is something that many (if not most) of you have, but never even think about. Mortgage insurance.

    This is the extra fee that anyone who puts down less than 20% on their home pays to protect the lender in the event of default. It is intended to cover any loss on a loan after foreclosure.

    These companies also insure other types of loans and bonds.

    The mortgage / housing meltdown has exceeded all of their worse case scenarios. It has overwhelmed their capital reserves, and any possible means of covering the liabilities that they have.

    Effectively these insurance companies are now bankrupt.

    Yet the paper (the mortgage backed securities) that these companies back are still being treated as though they are protected (by that insurance) by those banks and investment funds that own them.

    If (and when) those insurance companies announce their insolvency there will be an enormous new wave of bad paper announced by the likes of Citibank and others.

    Because of the weak state of their own financial reserves, because they must anticipate the probability of having to write down even more of the debt they own, these large banks are largely both unable and unwilling to lend.

    They’re even reluctant to lend to other banks (an integral and routine part of the economic system) in part because they fear the solvency of other institutions, and fear what those institutions may not have disclosed.

    Money flows and lending is the KY gel of the global economic and trading system.

    That system is becoming increasingly dried up and paralyzed.

    Junior and his appointees neither understand how the problems began, nor can they imagine effective remedies.

    Jim Cramer (who I often disagree with, and whose advice has cost me alot of money) has proposed that there be a federally supported take over of these insurance companies, so as to provide a reliable predictable floor to the meltdown. Its probably the most sensible and rationale proposal to that aspect of the crisis that I’ve heard.

    The system as a whole is endangered in a way unseen since the 30's.

    Sending modest checks to people does not address the underlying sickness in the system.

    Together with my earlier proposals (written about previously in this thread) regarding protecting homeowners from losing their homes, Cramer’s ideas are an essential part of any solution.
    Last edited by BARYE; 01/22/2008 at 04:39 AM.
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  10.    #91  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE 9-25-07 View Post
    ...The consensus that I've seen among respected economic observers is that the Fed cut was enough to stave off a recession.

    And with an election coming up next year, junior's Fed will be under enormous pressure to ensure that any downturn happens after November '08.

    Jim Cramer -- whose opinions I highly respect (despite his idiotic support of Mitt Romney), also believes that the Fed's action has been timely enough to avert that recession.

    Over the next year I see the Fed cutting at least a full point off interest rates, perhaps even more.

    It will be enough to dampen the fall that's already begun, but the damage and its momentum -- are already too huge to be stopped.

    The Fed cannot catch up to this falling piano.


    on Friday Bear Stearns opened at around $55 a share -- and closed at $30.

    This weekend it was "sold" for $2 a share. (Jim Cramer had recommended that people buy Bear Stearns in mid February when it was about $80 a share).

    Foreclosures are up 60% from a year ago.

    The Fed is expected to slash rates another point tomorrow.

    junior is bragging about the rebate checks that families will use to pay for their gas bills.

    Like Keystone Cops The Fed continues to chase the Grand Piano --

    Those trash bags will come in handy when they finally catch it ...


    Recently, market pundit, Jim Cramer said UBS, Deutsche Bank, or Credit Suisse could buy Bear.

    [Cramer: Bear Stearns Ripe for Takeover]

    Shares of Bear Stearns are up about 5% currently.

    "I think [that's] about to occur. I keep thinking about the changes at Bear Stearns, where a great brand
    name with great investment banking has fallen 90 points from its high.

    Bear has good stock trading, good prime brokerage and a good fixed income, ex mortgages."

    "While Alan Schwartz is a good man who can do a decent job at Bear, I have to tell you that I think that this company is too valuable to others to be independent. Just too valuable.

    In short, I think it will be taken over. I have to believe that UBS, which needs to shore up investment
    banking; Deutsche Bank, which wants to own prime brokerage; or Credit Suisse, which needs better stock trading; could all be expected to bid for this company.

    I also think the fact that Jimmy Cayne, the chairman, needs to reward shareholders who have stuck with him, and get something big out of this company.

    Bear has scrubbed the books; I don't believe there are any hidden skeletons. It makes for a nifty $15 billion acquisition -- it is currently at $12 billion, half of what it was!

    Most important, this stock acts too well for me to think that it's not going away.

    Yes, I am predicting it: Bear will be bought, and it will be bought at a hefty premium as part of the needed consolidation during this period.

    I would buy it. And I would buy calls on it out a month.

    I think you will make great money."

    http://www.thestreet.com/p/rmoney/ji.../10400257.html
    Last edited by BARYE; 03/17/2008 at 01:40 PM.
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  11. #92  
    I like reading your posts. Keep it up!
  12. #93  
    http://socialize.morningstar.com/New...howThread.aspx

    This is a classic thread:



    LondonRoad (on 08-03-2007):

    I bought Bear Sterns today. This is like the time when MO dropped to $22 and no one wanted to buy...stupid them. Of course, DCA in if you'd like.

    Bear Sterns is not going to go bankrupt.

    The market right now is throwing the baby out with the bath water. This is the time to be buying and not cashing out.

    Remember...

    Buy low and sell high.


    Guzzo11:

    I only have a 4-letter word for Bear Stearns..

    WAIT.



    LondonRoad:

    Wait for what?

    Wait for it to go up?



    bevandmichael:

    Good day for Bear and the financials on Monday 8/6. Maybe the worst is over and it's on the rise. Hats off to London Road for bravery.



    LondonRoad:

    Hate to gloat.




    twinlabs (on 03-16-2008):

    JP Morgan just bot Bear Sterns for 2 bucks a share.
    01000010 01100001 01101110 00100000 01010100 01101000 01110010 01100101 01100001 01100100 00100000 01000011 01110010 01100001 01110000 01110000 01100101 01110010 01110011 00100001
  13. #94  
    ANy good forums or websites out there to give guidance on buying a house? I am closing within a month and I need some guidance on a few things....
  14.    #95  
    Quote Originally Posted by dstudboy1 View Post
    ANy good forums or websites out there to give guidance on buying a house? I am closing within a month and I need some guidance on a few things....
    why don't you ask something here ??

    if enough monkees type away collectively at your question perhaps you might even get a semi-intelligent answer (or the collected works of William Shakesphere...hard to predict which)
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  15. #96  
    OK...I started building a house 6 months ago and housing prices have gone down. I feel as though the builder should re-price my house to fit the current market. The builder has been great to me and currently has a deposit of $28K. So how do I start asking to lower the price on the house in a way that doesn't make the builder angry and gets me the house at a lower price? I know the builder needs me more than I need him since they currently have 3 additional built houses that haven't been sold. I guess my issue is what strategy do I use to get what I want?
  16.    #97  
    Quote Originally Posted by dstudboy1 View Post
    OK...I started building a house 6 months ago and housing prices have gone down. I feel as though the builder should re-price my house to fit the current market. The builder has been great to me and currently has a deposit of $28K. So how do I start asking to lower the price on the house in a way that doesn't make the builder angry and gets me the house at a lower price? I know the builder needs me more than I need him since they currently have 3 additional built houses that haven't been sold. I guess my issue is what strategy do I use to get what I want?
    how custom is this house -- is it a part of a larger project ??

    How close to completion is it ??

    how much do you perceive the value of the completed home will have fallen compared to what it has cost ?? (and what are comparable homes now selling for)

    what are the terms of the orginal contract ??
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  17. #98  
    Quote Originally Posted by dstudboy1 View Post
    OK...I started building a house 6 months ago and housing prices have gone down. I feel as though the builder should re-price my house to fit the current market. The builder has been great to me and currently has a deposit of $28K. So how do I start asking to lower the price on the house in a way that doesn't make the builder angry and gets me the house at a lower price? I know the builder needs me more than I need him since they currently have 3 additional built houses that haven't been sold. I guess my issue is what strategy do I use to get what I want?
    Did you sign a contract for the price of the house? Did it have any language in it that addresses market conditions/fluctuations? What you can do depends a lot on whatever you're bound to legally. To be fair, he may well be seeing lower margins too due to increased material costs over the last six months. So both of you are losing in some respects given the recession.
  18. #99  
    Well the home i am building is an 18 home community. Not sure what the official language of the contract stipulates. I know we are non contingent based on financing. But from what I have read I know there are some outs such as the home appraisal not being what the sales price is, not being able to get financed by the bank and the builder not owning up to the contract. Now I am not looking to get out of the deal but I just want a fair deal for the house. My wife and I visited a new neighborhood 2 miles from where ours is being built and they have lowered their prices by $20K plus are offering free finished basements (stated value $27K). It also was interesting that the builder is really wanting me to close as quick as possible and was willing to throw in "an extra $5K or more". So I am trying to figure out what is going on. Is my builder going to close on my house and then lower prices? I am sure he knows about the competition down the street. If you look at the community my house is the only construction going on. My builder has got to be hurting.

    So...I am just looking for the best possible deal. I have a call into my agent to see what he thinks...should be an intereting month or so until this gets closed...
  19.    #100  
    In Florida -- where more condos were built than there are grains of sand on the beach -- the "get me out of my condo contract, and get back my deposit" legal practice has been booming.

    Folks look for any kind of imperfection that contradicts their original agreement.

    Or they just walk away from $50K deposits. And hope that the contract language and their attachable assets don't lure further litigation.

    You seem to want your house -- just a better deal. Have you consulted with an independent apraiser ?? a lawyer ??
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