Interesting Housing News Links (April 03, 2009)

* Interactive graphic: Looking for the bottom of the housing bust (Phillip Reese, Sacramento Bee)

Pro: Home prices are about to stop falling — Correction almost complete: At the end of the last bust, the median home in the region sold for, in today’s dollars, abut $180,000, according to First American Real Estate Solutions. By the end of last year, the median home price for the region had dropped to $208,000. It likely fell a few more percentage points since then, meaning that if the boom…

* A tale of three cities: Recession saps local budgets (Loretta Kalb, Sacramento Bee)

The economic recession is driving cities and counties to cut services and staffing and, in some cases, delay road building.

* From a window overlooking the St. Jones (Jim Flood Sr, Dover Post Co)

Everyone with a home mortgage has some interest in how other mortgage payers are doing. If there is one definite area to blame for the current economic crisis in the nation it is the mortgage mess people signed up for home mortgages they could not meet and lenders were only too eager to let them sign and sink into a financial quagmire.

* FASB relaxes accounting rules for banks on assets (Marcy Gordon, Buffalo News)

The board that sets U.S. accounting standards on Thursday gave companies more leeway in valuing assets and reporting losses. The changes should help boost battered banks’ balance sheets and financial stocks rallied on Wall Street, but the rules may undercut a new financial rescue program.

* 125th Street Rezoning Raises Concerns About Preserving Harlems Affordability (Betsy Morais, Columbia Daily Spectator)

Picket sign in hand, Michael Henry Adams stood in front of Mayor Michael Bloombergs house on the Upper East Side several months ago to urge the mayor save Harlem. And although he stood there alone, there are many who join him in expressing apprehension about the areas future.

* Fed launches $1.2T effort to revive economy (Jeannine Aversa, Nevada Appeal)

With the country sinking deeper into recession, the Federal Reserve launched a bold $1.2 trillion effort Wednesday to lower rates on mortgages and other consumer debt, spur spending and revive the economy.

* Smithville: Sprawl is the plan (Jeffrey Spivak, Kansas City Star)

Far north of Kansas City, past the newest malls and beyond the airport exits, one country road in Smithville leads through hills and farms until new homes spring up like wildflowers.Here, in a subdivision called Harbor Lake, the houses are laid out so most back yards don’t look straight out at a neighbor. Instead, the yards merge into prairies and ponds and, for some, the waterfowl…

* South Overland Park: Suburban dreams flourish amid cul-de-sac comforts (Jeffrey Spivak, Kansas City Star)

And the winner is…South Overland Park.That may not be a surprise. Of course it’s Overland Park.It’s routinely recognized as a top suburb nationally, let alone locally.Only this time, it’s just half of Overland Park.You see, when The Kansas City Star embarked on this first-ever “Rating the ’Burbs” analysis, we split up Kansas City’s…

* QE2 just hours from new home in Dubai (Keith Hamilton �, The Southern Daily Echo)

hours time Captain Ian McNaught, will stand on the bridge of Southamptons former liner, Queen Elizabeth 2, and give the historic order: Finished With Engines.

* The meaning of ‘living within your means’ (Walter Updegrave, Money)

(Money) — Question: I’ve been having an argument with a co-worker about the difference between living “within your means” and living “below your means.” I’m hoping you can settle the issue for us. What do see as the difference between the two terms? — Mark E., Peoria, Illinois


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