Call it Godzilla!

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This just in:   …We have witnessed the end of the real estate crash and it was not a pleasant sight. No, sadly not completely gone. It is still alive, devouring anything it can get its hands on. (Let’s call this thing Godzilla) But at least finally it is caged and captive under heavy guard. Plans are being readied to finish it off with a bunker-buster bomb. Iran will have to wait! With some good fortune and continued hard work from all of us, it is possible that it may not ever roam the face of the earth again. Heaven help us if it escapes to terrorize our children. Haven’t they already suffered enough?

Unsung heroes did the extremely dangerous work of capture and contain; some building the cage placed in an abandoned deep copper mine, others sacrificing their very lives to lure the monster away from his unbridled freedom. May they all rest in peace, for their fight was worthy and saved many other lives. Getting him to leave Las Vegas NV was an amazing feat as he still had months of inventory still to devour there. But the promise of a new and fresh feast in Texas got him moving that direction. In an interesting side note, media contributors and public service individuals in fire, rescue, police and regulatory oversight roles actually helped get this creature under control much more than the wealthy elected officials we have forever counted on to keep us safe. New and deep distrust of our representatives may never be rectified based on their lack of courage in dealing with the all-out destruction meted out by Godzilla.

For years we will read stories of how people and their families coped with the monster, bearing permanent scars they can show their grandchildren, with their personal tales of horror. You yourself likely have a story to tell. The memory of wanton destruction is still quite fresh in some zones, and certainly the healing has only just begun. But the healing HAS begun, it seems. Bless our lucky stars for that. As soon as confirmed reports of the beast being caged were broadcast, a collective sigh could be felt all over the country. Yet it remains so hard for people to feel good again and quite difficult for them to let down their guard to resume their home and hearth building chores. The threat of the removal of the tax deduction for paid mortgage interest seemed insult piled upon injury, what with devastation as far as the eye could see. That remains, for now.

No doubt feature-length movies will begin to appear in theatres, using some of the YouTube footage already out there for low resolution images and realism, retracing the path of the monster. We will be able to see him grow from infancy, when nobody knew his future to be so evil, to become a stupendous size and be solely driven to madness by his insatiable appetite. Can you imagine the ominous soundtrack? And books will be published by the same pundits and observers who ventured close enough to smell the breath of Godzilla. I have heard it was worse than the stink of corruption that surrounded New York City in the 1900’s.

Now there is little else to do but to observe the slow and steady return to normalcy, the resumption of sane behavior and predictable decisions. Most will be glad to know that their mistakes and panic-filled actions of the last five years, in the face of certain demolition by Godzilla, will most likely be forgiven and forgotten by the credit bureaus and lenders of record. Those same citizens, after all, are the ones that made the banks so much money, that put the credit rating agencies into the stratosphere. The sooner they can be forgiven, the sooner the creditors can start luring in the suckers for another round of record profits and revenues.

Oh yes, the cycle will be repeated without someone somewhere being able to educate our grandchildren. You would have thought those that experienced the Great Depression from 1929 to 1939, many of whom are still alive, would have been able to alert us to the Great Recession as it began to take shape. But they had been removed from any position of influence by those that promised the Great American Dream of homeownership for all, despite bad credit or no verifiable income. Down payment? Why require a down payment when the home will always grow in value and can be used like an ATM machine by its owners. A 95% loan to value purchase money mortgage was not good enough. Those lenders, with money to burn, had to then make HELOC deals taking the debt well above the value. This “underwater” condition of so many homeowners did not just begin with the backsliding of home values. Some were underwater from the very beginning only to see the debt stay the same and the home value shrink to 70% (or less) than its original price.

Yes, call it Godzilla and put the horror of absolute evil into that name. Anytime it is ever uttered again, may all shudder and cower at the memory of its destructive force.

Posted in Home Values, Posts & Updates, Santa Fe area real estate and tagged , , , , , .

The writer is a 68 year-old young man engaged as an active REALTOR (associate broker) with Keller Williams, in real estate sales and management in the Santa Fe NM market area. My career has been in and around the real estate industry for more than 35 years, ranging from mortgage lending (interim, commercial, residential); residential property management and leasing; shopping center development and leasing; real estate sales; sales training; title insurance as an executive and an escrow officer; various management positions; consulting and other related activities. That plus a bunch of banking experience including our family-owned Bank of Santa Fe in the 1980s. Where has the time gone?
My background means you have my working knowledge of the entire transaction process at your disposal. That comes with honesty and no bullshit.