Great News!

Florida banks are ready and willing to make home loans despite the credit crunch.

The ever-optimistic governor also urged people to buy homes because they should be able to get great bargains due to the glut of residential property.

"Florida banks are open for business," said Mike Fields, Tallahassee area president of Bank of America.
Now I just need enough of a raise so that I can actually afford to live down here and buy a house. There are great bargains on the real estate market if you compare prices to where they were at the peak of the boom, but at that point, the market was about three times higher than most people could afford. Now it's only twice as high. See the problem?

The market down here is still overpriced compared to what people can afford to pay. The median income for a single person in south Florida is right around $40K a year and for a family, about $48K--if the median price for a house is still north of $200K, it's too expensive. So either prices have to fall further or wages have to increase. I'm all for the latter, because I have student loans consolidated during the good times (around 3.25%), so the more I make, the less my loans cost me as a percentage of income. The same would hold true for a house.

What it all comes down to is this: it's not enough that banks are willing and able to lend money. People have to be able to afford to pay back what they borrow, plus handle other living expenses, and to do that, either prices have to continue to drop, or we have to make more. I'm good with either solution.

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