It's tough to come up with a catchy phrase for potential government stimulated home-buying. Cash for Cabins sounds like vacation property development. Scratch for Shelter, which I used the last time I thought about who might be next in line for help, just sounds nasty.
No matter. Really smart people are having even more trouble coming up with real solutions to the underlying problem too. When economists Edward Leamer of UCLA and Brad DeLong of Berkely duked it out on The Los Angeles Times op-ed pages recently, the choices they offered ranged from praying that this year's $8,000 home buyers tax credit will work to drafting Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to convert every mortgage in America to a 30-year fixed.
Few of us realize how big and self feeding the problem is, reports Economist.com. Even Hugh Hefner lands on a list of senior citizens unable to pull all the equity he hoped from his house, the online magazine discovered. Meantime, even good borrowers may run into unexpected trouble buying home we want to sell, The New York Times found recently
And recovery may take awhile. Real estate prices in much of Texas still haven't recovered from tanking in the early 1980s, when J.R. Ewing was wheeling and dealing at Southfork. Southfork ironically wasn't hit as hard as other properties. A lot of fans so far are still willing and able to pony up extra dollars to live the dream everytime a tour bus stops.