Anything and everything under the sun


Friday, March 14, 2008


Some says USA is not in recession while most economist are saying, yes we are. Whatever it is, the housing market is down, has been going down and those who bought a house between mid 06-07 are either in foreclosure or going into one. People are losing jobs due to down-sizing and these according to the news include some 1600 teachers in O.C. alone. How are the kids going to learn if there's not enough teachers to teach them??? Dont even start talking about those in banking line.

Buying a house is very much a mantra for american, the american dream. Though I think its everybody's dream to own a house be it american, canadian, malaysian or singaporean. The problem comes when the desire to own a house cloud your judgement. There is no low-cost or medium-cost housing here. Everything is market value. If the house you're eyeing costs 400k and you're earning 130k/p.a, can put down 10-20% for down-payment and have good credit score, you can easily get the loan with low interest rate. Nothing wrong with that. The problem is when you're earning 80k (or even 130k), have no money for down-payment and have low credit score and STILL insist that you want to buy the house. The real estate agent and broker will find somebody to give you the loan that you needed so you can buy the house with a much higher interest and/or another loan (of course with even higher interest) to top-up the first loan. This is what I really dont understand. Why insisted on buying a house with a high interest NOW when you can rent, fix your credit, save some money for down-payment and THEN only think about buying a house? Or better still, start saving the money, secure a job in another state and buy a house there. Even better if you can save enough money to retire somewhere in Asia (Malaysia!) where cost of living is much cheaper. I so wish we could do that someday! Suami ku, dengarlah jeritan hati ku (o husband, listen to my cry) :P

Anyways, usd is going down, again. As of now, us$1 is about the same with a$1 and about c$0.985. Maybe its not even surprising if usd would go back to rm2.5 circa 90s. Good for Malaysian but very bad for us here earning usd. tsk tsk tsk! And this is what I found on the internet yesterday, "Antique store owners in lower Manhattan, ticket vendors at India's Taj Mahal and Brazilian business executives heading to China all have one thing in common these days: They don't want U.S. dollars." You know that when they dont want to accept usd anymore for the entrance fee to Taj Mahal that it is bad!

If the above is not enough, the gas price as of Tue Mar 11 was at 3.45/gallon for the cheapest kind and at the cheapest gas station. I will keep you updated on this the next time we had to fill up the tank. Let's all start crying together-gather! :P

Have a great weekend everybody.


J.T. said...

Hi Farina

Yup... they make it so easy for people to go into deeper debt. The credit card companies are wiping their hands with glee too because people use these cards to set up their houses. Retail store cards too. All these conveniences make some people's credit score go awry because they get caught up with living the American dream.

Anyway, the cheapest gas in our town here is USD3.18. That too it is still slightly higher than the next town.
I cannot believe the prices in California. How do people survive if they are not earning big bucks? The rising costs must be very hard on a lot of people.

And that almighty greenback is not so great anymore. It may very well fall to the rate Malaysians enjoyed back in the early - mid 90s when it was RM2.50=USD1.00.

We will see ... and then I will join you in crying out loud. :)

Cat Cat said...

I already started crying a couple months ago... We are indeed in a bad shape and the whole country is in recession right now but no one seems to accept that...

It was reported earlier that Hawaii gas price hit $4.00 a gallon. I'm not surprise by summer, the gas price would be $4.00 a gallon nationwide and by end of the year, it will go up to $5.00 a gallon.

Oit oit Minah, jom kita naik bas!

Mat Salo said...

Farina - glad to hear you're up and about. Loved your last two posts as they both struck a chord in me - ah, in pursuit of beauty and the incredible-shrinking dollar . . .

My vanity also once dictated that I try the contacts. But what was I thinking? I'm a bloody blue-collared oilfield roughneck and often smeared in grease. I can't ever clean my hands enough (same like some BN politicians) so putting them and taking them out would always be a chore. You're right, it's just too much trouble. So now I've got a few months supply - and that was years ago so I'm stickin' to my unfashionable safety glasses for now...

I too am paid in dollars and early this millennium things were quite rosy. But fortunately I don't have a fancy lifestyle and have a little extra for my kid's tuition in the years ahead. Hopefully. But I wouldn't kid myself. With ever increasing inflation what I saved would probably tie them probably for the freshman year only - then they got to work in the cafeteria or something and get a loan or grant from the school. Scary.

Anyway, perhaps you are able to convince dear hubby to save for a retirement home in M'sia. I'm thinkin' of Penang -hmmm, NIT because it's an opposition state, ha-ha.

Yeah, housing in the US (and so has the rest of the world) the last few years has gone crazy. There are link houses (not even semi-detached mind you) near where I live in Mutiara D'sara (The Curve, Ikea) that's going for a million RM's... So owning a house is a must these days. And the banks are ever so willing to help us dig our own graves...

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

ok this off the topic a bit but here's a trivia. where in the klang valley area was once called Bandar Baru Sungai Buloh?

its Kota Damansara. typical KLites. BBSB sounds a bit too kampung for their liking that developer had to change its name to something that sells. and voila, now we have everything damansara. Kota Damansara, mutiaara, ara etc. it wouldnt surprise me in the future to have names like Ulu Miri Damansara, and in sarawak at that.

Farina said...

J.T, how do they survive indeed. I too would like to know esp those homeowners! lol. Today's news is all abt the us economy. yup, lets braze ourselves and stock up on the tissues.

Cath, memang takut nak tunggu summer. but wht choice do we have? bus pun nak increase fare. kenalah kurangkan guna kereta and long distance trips.

MS, if only i had known earlier tht ur also into vanity (and money!) lol. so ur also paid in usd ya? my fren who works w schlumberger was happy when rm fell 10 yrs ago and bot a big condo then. well, as for ur kids, u can always opt for oz or nz's uni rather than us. in msia a million dollar condo/link hses is nothing new and ppl still can afford them. wish i have the money to buy them. :P

kerp, aiyoh. biasalah tu. nama mesti glamer but at least tidaklah diorang guna nama omputeh. kan kan kan? and speaking of sarawakian, yes i can see it happening. even for shopping coz to them tak glamer lah shoppin kat kuching. my relatives wud come to kl once or twice a yr just to shop at jln tar and they kno more abt the latest trend than me.

Raden Galoh said...

Glad you sound better now sis...Mata dah okay? I thought I left a comment tp it got lost in the cyber space I guess...

Cuba you nyanyi 'dengarlah jeritan batinku' kat your hubby...kot2 dia leh faham isihati you tu ha...Eh, stay we can meet up and gather-gather...amacam?

Take care kay?

Farina said...

Dalilah, thank u and yes my eyes are better a lil bit now. nanti i akan try nyanyi jeritan batinku tho i only kno 1 line. i sometimes sing burung kakak tua aje. hehe.

memang i nak stay in kl and he knows tht too but dia taknak. :( apa nak buat. ikut ajelah cakap laki. but insyallah one day, kita akan jumpa jugak. take care sis.