Interesting Housing News Links (March 07, 2009)

* Mortgage lending up ahead of rates cut (Brendan Keenan, The Irish Independent)

THE mortgage market showed some signs of life last month, although bank lending to private domestic companies ground to a halt, latest figures from the Central Bank show.

* Nothing succeeds quite like failure (James A. Fussell, Kansas City Star)

For as long as anyone can remember, America has embraced such pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstrap maxims as “failure breeds success,” “learn from your mistakes” and “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”People are still willing to learn from their mistakes. But something has happened to failure.Citing everything f…

* When economy bottoms out, how will we know? (Alan Zibel-)

When will this wretched economy bottom out? The recession is already in its 15th month, making it longer than all but two downturns since World War II. For now, everything seems to be getting worse: The Dow is in free fall, jobs are vanishing every day, and one in eight American homeowners is in foreclosure or behind on payments.

* Mortgage boost as ECB rates tipped to fall again (Charlie Weston, The Irish Independent)

HOMEOWNERS could see their monthly mortgage payments being chopped by another 80 with the European Central Bank (ECB) expected to cut interest rates next week.

* Kitchen Design: How to Avoid a Dozen Pitfalls (This Old House)

Let’s face it. Even the best-planned kitchen remodels hit rough patches. Unreliable contractors, late deliveries, and mismeasured materials just seem to go hand-in-hand with shocking estimates and shiny new faucets. But at the end of the road, it’s often the little things the greasy fingerprints on the stainless-steel fridge, the dings in the bamboo flooring, or the veneer peeling off of the ca…

* Oil traders focus on supply, pushing oil prices above $45 (Chris Kahn)

NEW YORK — Every day this week arrived with more evidence that energy usage is unlikely to bounce back soon, yet some experts believe oil prices already may have struck bottom.

* AUSTERITY EVERYWHERE BUT DC (Michelle Malkin, Creators Syndicate)

MAYBE thrift isn’t dead after all. The Year of the Bottomless Bailout has yielded a much-needed correction in the lives of ordinary Americans. While fiscal restraint is AWOL in Washington, individual frugality has made a cultural comeback. Better late than never.

* Soil drench one way to combat ash borer (Kentucky Enquirer)

Homeowners are now able to apply a soil drench treatment to ash trees, says Daniel Balser, forest health specialist for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry.

* Incline Public Schools lose students due to housing prices, competition (Kyle Magin, N Lake Tahoe Bonanza)

INCLINE VILLAGE, NEV. – Inclines public schools have lost 500 students in the last 10 years, according to an Incline enrollment study released last week by the Washoe County School District for the Incline Schools Reflective Task Force Meeting.

* Governing at the eye of the storm (Mail Tribune)

As if the problems in the U.S. and world economies were not enough of a challenge in themselves, the young Obama administration also is being called on to figure out simultaneously how to govern in such an emergency.

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