Last week, Big Builder launched a survey to gauge its readers' opinions regarding government intervention in the housing crisis.
Out of a total of 20 respondents, 20% said they felt the government has taken adequate action to address the situation, while 55% said Uncle Sam has not yet done enough. As one respondent put it, "Though the government has taken steps to improve credit conditions, they have not moved to help those who can afford to keep their homes rework their mortgages. As long as home prices keep falling, existing owners will find it hard to keep paying for homes they are upside-down on."
Conversely, while 10% remained unsure of whether or not enough steps have been taken, 15% asserted that the government has done too much already.
When asked if the wrong individuals and/or institutions have been punished for their role in creating the current housing crisis, 25% said yes, 15% were unsure, and 60% said no. Explained one respondent, "I'm not sure anyone has been punished except the taxpayers."
Yet interestingly enough, when asked if the right individulas and/or institutions have been punished, the answer was a unanimous, "No."
"There is so much blame that could be placed, where do you start? Loan companies, banks, and yes, even the large home builders," noted one respondent. "Large builders had connections to loan companies and even owned a percentage of loan companies and cared little about whether a buyer could afford the loan. The concern was just for the buyer to get the loan and to sell the home."
Believing that recovery will ultimately hinge upon the good things being created by and coming out of neighborhoods and communities, the editors of Big Builder asked our readers to identify their favorite community of which their company had been a part in the past five years.
One respondent identified Stonewater & Mystic Cove, "an affluent community in Northville, Mich., [with] rolling land, man-made lakes, close to x-ways and to downtown as well as Ann Arbor's excellent school district."
Another pointed out Loma Colorado in Rio Rancho, N.M. "This is the first and only master planned community in New Mexico," the respondent stated. "The land plan has won awards, and it is considered to be the model of future communities in New Mexico."
On a less positive note, two respondents said there was no community they would point out, while 16 respondents skipped the question.
Asked for additional comments, one respondent replied, "Appraisers should be required to confirm that homes are in an acceptable condition! Government-backed home loans need a mandatory HOA with strict covenants to maintain the exterior, yard, and landscaping of neglected or empty properties and get a property lien for reimbursement to ensure the values of other property owners in the subdivision are not negatively affected.