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Posted: September 15, 2008 8:37 p.m.
Updated: November 17, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Signal right in real estate article

In response to Steve Lawenda's letter regarding The Signal's "unfair" reporting on the real estate market, I would like to give some insight into that market.

We have lived here for more than 40 years, with 20 years in real estate. Real estate has historically been cyclical and local, and one of the greatest financial investments for people who hold onto it for at least five years.

Median price has decreased, yes, but it's apples for apples in that a home is worth less, will sell for less, but the home you want to replace your current home with is worth much less also.

Mr. Lawenda talked about waiting for the bottom. Now you are not buying today and selling next week. No one has the ability to time any market exactly, and those who try usually end up losing great opportunities for future financial gain. Rates are still low, and loans are still available.

Here are some facts: Sales have increased from a year ago, while closed escrows have risen. The number of homes for sale is about 1,650 compared to 2,500 a year ago, and of the 1,650, about 600 are short sales and about 11 percent of the 1,650 are bank-owned foreclosures.

Many properties that are priced correctly sell fast, and the bank-owned have multiple offers - as many as 40 offers on many bank-owned properties.

That says it all, really. There are qualified buyers who know this is the time for them to purchase because they could not afford to a few years ago, and with sales up and not a huge supply of inventory, that's the indicator of stabilization.

It's sad there have been victims of the mortgage crisis, but that doesn't mean you are going to be some sort of victim. Unlike a stock or other investment, you use your home every day, get something from it every day, and if you hang on to it, you will reap great rewards and benefits. And history has proven that for the majority.

In all fairness, The Signal reported on a current fact. The best thing you can do is make an appointment with professionals who work every day in the industry, who will sit down and give you facts and figures you want and deserve and who can show you the value of homeownership, and then you can make an informed decision for yourself as an individual whether it is right for you.
Kathy Salisbury
Santa Clarita

Barack will cost too much

The campaigning to become the president of the United States seems to have gone on forever. I get tired of hearing the same old speech, and the negativity that American politics has stooped to.

But I am convinced of one thing: America cannot afford Barack Obama. The fact that he has no experience is not the issue. The fact that he has accomplished nothing in his three years in the U.S. Senate is not the issue.

Barack Obama, like many liberals, believes in redistributing wealth. He wants to take from the middle class and the rich, from the ones who have worked hard for their money, and redistribute it through ever-increasing taxes, and establish more and more social programs.

I do not consider myself to be rich. But as a middle-class taxpayer, I am being taxed far too much. I'll be in the poor house if my taxes go up even a little bit.

Obama always says he only wants to increase taxes on the rich, I guess punishing them for being successful.

However, by his definition of rich, he considers many in the middle class to be rich and ripe for tax increases.

Under an Obama presidency, a family making $75,000 a year would see a tax increase of $21,000. I cannot afford that.

John McCain would not make any changes to the income-tax rates. Right now, if someone sells a home for up to $500,000, that person pays no taxes on it. Obama wants a 28 percent tax on the profit of ALL homes.

An Obama presidency would be horrible for the economy, as businesses, weighed down with an increased tax burden, would have to lay off people or shut their doors.

There is no way he can pay for his plans without hammering the American people. I am already being hammered enough, and pray to God we don't get stuck with Obama.
Matthew Brayman
Canyon Country


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