- The auctioneer seemed curt when I called to asked what the 27-acre farm with a small house, big new barn, and other outbuildings sold for. His answer: $158,000, a clear drop from what was expected.
- The young family man told me this past Sunday evening he has lost his job. He was babysitting for his three little girls while his formerly stay-at-home wife now was working. If he can sell his home, he will look for a place to rent. A friend and I concluded his property will likely suffer foreclosure because he bought only three years ago, paid too much, and can't sell it for for anywhere near what he has invested in it.
- Most vacant houses in the neighborhood simply do not have 'for sale' signs and none has a 'sold' sign. Little green signs affixed by the city are attached to some abandoned houses; others simply have dark or boarded up windows and no tire tracks evident during our snowy weather. An exception is one small house with a large yard that has a hand-written sign in the window asking $29,900--probably half of what it would have sold for a couple of years ago.
- I've looked on the Internet to determine the number of foreclosed HUD properties in the two poorest counties of Greater Kansas City Area. Wyandotte County, Kansas lists only 25 HUD-foreclosed properties and Jackson County, Missouri lists only 105. [One MSNBC reporter this morning said the foreclosure process was backlogged so that the process to sell a property now takes a year to complete--and it's getting worse.]
- The older family up the street continues to have lots of cars parked in front as some of their adult children remain at home.
- One of our daughters asked another person about the recent move of a joint friend. Did they sell their former place? No, it was foreclosed on, and they are now renting a smaller house with some acreage.
- Several people plan bigger gardens in 2009 and two have bought cows.
- An acquaintance says he has bought a nicer house in a great deal, even though he knows he won't be able to sell his old residence for a while. He asked me if I knew someone honest and industrious who could rent it and maintain it at a much reduced rental price so the intrinsic value of his old house could be preserved.
- A Christmas letter from a cousin tells about her son who is employed in the bond market on Wall Street. She writes, "S... is so far hanging in there through the turmoil of Wall Street. His boss and several colleagues have recently been laid off....He believes that life as we know it could disappear if the economy isn't fixed soon. Scary! I'm not ready to move to the farm to raise my own chickens and grow my own veggies!"
...it is conceivable we will see a depression greater than the Great Depression… So I analyzed that and decided I didn't want to be the President during a depression greater than the Great Depression, or the beginning of a depression greater than the Great Depression.”—President George W. Bush, speaking to the American Enterprise Institute, December 18th, 2008.While the times may appear to be evil, I believe God is giving us more opportunities to please him than in formerly good times. Perhaps we'll see (like disfigured Namrata Nayak) that “They do not love Jesus....It was our enemies who made me courageous and committed.”
Moreover, bad times seem to assist weak souls to avoid hell: “As for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, as for murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their lot shall be the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8).