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Buy a House

By Dian Vujovich

Lately, I’ve spoken with more than one unhappy wife who says she’d love to get a divorce but that that isn’t in the cards right now because of the economy. Bad economic times can mean less in divorce decree payouts and anyone who has ever gotten a divorce knows it’s pretty much all about the money.

That said, this year it’s expected that the number of people filling to end their marriages will equal those who file for bankruptcy, according to http://www.mybudget360.com.

“We are on track to seeing an average of nearly 5,900 bankruptcy filings a day for 2009, ” today’s report on the site reveals.

Here’s more ugly news and numbers from the site:

•Bankruptcy. The numbers of filings through September (1.4 million) are almost three times what they were in total in the year 2006 (590,000). In 2005, however, there was a whopping 2,078,415 bankruptcy filings. The reason for that ’05 humongous number was because of changes slated to take place in 2006 that would change bankruptcy law and make it more difficult to file.

The reason for the increase this year and last, (in ’08 nearly 1.1 million filed) has tough economic times written all over it.

•Food Stamps. Eleven percent of the population, or roughly 38.5 million people, are receiving food stamps through the government’s SNAP program. The cost for the program through July was $40 billion. It’s expected to top $50 billion by year’s end.

•Foreclosures. According to mybudget360.com, the third quarter of this year was the worst foreclosure quarter on record. Foreclosures during that quarter numbered over 937,000.

That said, AP reported this morning that the National Association of Realtors said their index of sales agreements rose from August through September. The rise was the largest since December 2006.

In spite of the bad food, foreclosure and bankruptcy numbers at least home sales are on the rise.

So how about taking that bit of good news and running with it. That means, if you’re working and have good credit—as many people still are and do– and have been salting money away for a new or used home, interest rates aren’t going to stay as low as they currently are now forever. Nor, are they likely to fall much—if any– lower. Then there’s the first-time homeowners tax credit. While due to expire this month, there’s a good chance it will be extended to April ’10.

Bottom line: Get out and start looking at some new digs. You could find the home you’ve always wanted at a price that’s appealing with financing that’s quite doable.

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