Interesting Housing News Links (March 1, 2009)

* Letter: Shame belongs to politicians (Appeal-Democrat)

On Jan. 29, President Obama called the bonuses paid to Wall Street employees shameful. Radio host Tom Sullivan reported that up to 90 percent of wages earned by Wall Street employees are in the form of bonuses. The term shameful should be applied to many others before it is used to label Wall Street employees.

* States’ budget woes will outlast the recession (Michael Hill)

Even after $135 billion in federal aid gets spent, many states will be staring down budgetary black holes unless they initiate dramatic spending cuts or tax increases, or both.

* Huskies adopted after animal cruelty case

( Map , News ) – Nearly all the huskies seized in a Butte, Mont. , animal cruelty case have found new homes.

* Washington Mutual kept mortgage payments so low, loan balances ballooned (Dallas Morning News)

During the great American housing bubble, many mortgage loans were made with little attention to borrowers’ ability to repay over the long term.

* Boulder County offers a bad-bet example. (Miles Moffeit, Denver Post)

A case study for what can go wrong with commercial real estate is on display across northern Boulder County, where sales have dropped as much as 40 percent in recent years, stalling projects and leaving empty stretches of land across wide swaths around Longmont and Mead.

* Lee County median home price falls below $100K (News-Press)

The median price of an existing single-family home in Lee County fell to $94,900 in January a 59 percent drop from a year ago, according to a release today by the Florida Association of Realtors.

* Spring man dies in early morning house fire (Houston Chronicle)

A Spring man died early this morning after collapsing while apparently trying to escape the fire that gutted his home, authorities said.

* Buffett blames himself, others for losses (Akron Beacon Journal)

Renowned investor Warren E. Buffett was uncharacteristically critical of himself and the business world at large in his annual letter to shareholders of his holding company Saturday, as he sifted through the wreckage of his worst year in four decades.

* Don’t worry about losing hours, Lake workers told (Orlando Sentinel)

TAVARES — Lake County won’t cut employee hours to pay for a projected budget imbalance this fiscal year, County Manager Cindy Hall informed workers late Friday in an e-mail obtained by the Orlando Sentinel .

* John Laing Homes walks away from Silicon Valley projects (Triangle Business Journal)

Smaller businesses, cities and even individual homeowners are starting to feel the trickle-down pain from the bankruptcy of building giant John Laing Homes Inc.

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