Listening to Myself

Friday, April 15, 2005

A Small Amusement

I took this test and I thought the results were kind of funny.

Your Linguistic Profile:

70% General American English

15% Upper Midwestern

10% Yankee

5% Dixie

0% Midwestern

Considering I've lived all my life in California, I'm really curious about that 5% dixie and the 15% upper midwestern. The 10% Yankee could be a linguistic "gift" from my step-dad, but who knows. Too bad the test doesn't tell you which answers identify you as which group.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005


From an article in the Contra Costa Times...

In 2001, as the housing boom got under way, fewer than 2 percent of California homes were bought with interest-only loans, according to an analysis done for the Los Angeles Times by LoanPerformance, a San Francisco mortgage research firm.

By last year, the level had risen to 48 percent. Nationally, LoanPerformance says, interest-only loans were used in about a third of all purchases.

What are these people thinking??

They give an example of a woman in her early thirties who will not pay into the principle of her home for 3 years. She put nothing down, and financed the entire cost of the home with an interest only loan. Not only that, she's hoping her condo goes up in value so that she can use the equity to pay down her credit card debt. In three years, when she has to start paying down the principle, her loan payment could go up by a third. What a disaster in the making! I just can't understand why someone would think this was a sound financial decision.

The article goes on to speculate that as people start having to pay into the principle for their homes, or when interest rates rise enough to cause payments on adjustable rate mortgages to rise significantly, we could see a large increase on the rate of mortgage defaults, forclosures, and people just walking away from homes that they don't have any equity in. I wonder what that'll do to people's credit ratings!

Or maybe all property will just keep going up 10-20% a year forever, and we'll just continue to get more complicated and more risky financing schemes so that people can afford it. I read the other day about lenders starting to offer 35 and 40 year mortgages...


It occurs to me that I haven't posted for quite awhile... and it isn't because I've run out of things to say!

Emma and I have been so busy, I feel like every monday morning I just throw myself headlong into my week, and hope feverently that I manage to make it to the weekend. Today is a nice, quiet day where I don't have anything planned or scheduled - the first of such days in quite awhile. Well, I do have to go buy some cat food, but that's nothing compared to everything else! Between park playdays, field trips to here and there, visiting with family, jaunts to the library, the mom's club meetings and events, my tax clinic sessions, dinner with various friends, trying to exercise regularly etc. etc. etc. it gets a little exhausting. But I am enjoying it, and it does help me sleep well at night!

One commitment that Matt and I decided to drop though was our active membership in the forming cohousing group we were part of. We haven't dropped out completely, but we'll no longer be making the once or twice a month drives to the meetings and orientations, nor have all the work associated with being part of this group. It was hard for us (ok, well, me) to make this decision, but now that it is made and everyone knows about it, I feel a lot better. I just wasn't looking forward to moving to where this group is, and I was getting really tired of trying to participate from a distance. We're also really happy where we are, and we're happy with the level of community we're finding here. At this point, I feel like cohousing would be overkill for us. I think Matt and I went towards cohousing so much because we felt so isolated and lacking in community when we lived in the Santa Cruz mountains so we went towards the other extreme and joined the cohousing group. But really, I don't think we're people who need that level of community, especially considering all the meetings and wrangling it takes to get it going and keep it going even once it is built.

So, anyways, we'll be here for awhile... and maybe someday housing values will soften a bit or Matt will get a hefty raise (not holding my breath for either one of these things though!) and we'll actually be able to buy a house. But until then, we have a great situation with the place we are renting, and we have full permission from the owners to make this place more our own.

First project - painting and redoing the downstairs bathroom! Maybe I'll even start today, given that I have nothing scheduled.......