Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Mortgage rates

For the last couple of weeks I have been looking into buying a house. The government is giving away $8,000 for first-time home owners who sign a contract by the end of April and close by the end of June. But I'm not sure how much of a reality that is--the question is can I pay off a mortgage based on student loans. (The answer is probably not now).

Although I was looking to see if I could get something done with the tax-credit, a consumerist article points out that the buyers' market is likely to continue for a while. Many homes that were unable to sell during the tax credit, when many customers were given $8,000 down free of charge, will go down in price as the tax credit expires. So I will continue to look for houses as long as the bull market continues.

I spoke with a representative for a big bank today about securing a mortgage. He quoted me around 4.25% for 15-year and around 5% for a 30-year with closing costs. The rep pressed hiking up my rate to 6% for the 30-year to cover closing costs (about $3,000). That hike would increase my expected mortgage payments by $7,000 every year. They would break even on covering closing costs within six months! What a scam.

Well that's all that I got for now.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Google and the Emperor, cont'd...

Google has yet to make a decision regard its January 12 announcement that it will no longer self-censor its Chinese search engine Google.cn and the Chinese government has been quiet on its plans.

China, as conditions for allowing Chinese citizens to use its website, required Google and other search engines to self-censor such hot button political topics as Tiananmen or FalunGong.

CNN money reported that it was finally leaked that some government officials had spoken with Google, but they remained hushed about the terms of any talks.

The silence has lead many to believe that China will not negotiate and force Google to either re-neg or pack up its Chinese operations.