I am back. Sorry I was gone so long. During my respite on this blog, I saw several interesting things.
I saw "Whistler: Art for Art's Sake", a truck that was caught on fire, and a rear axel of an 18-wheeler in the middle of the I-55 bridge over the Mississippi river.
I also read this article today: Hurricane Watch for Real Estate. I am wary of anyone saying there is a housing bubble and that is going to burst.
"To top it off, we are hardly preparing ourselves for the inevitable category 4 or 5 hurricane when housing prices do come down. Just ask those who actually lived through the stock market crash of 1987 and the ensuing savings and loans debacle, which caused a real estate depression in the early 1990s. Memo to those who didn't own property then: prices went down, not up."
Housing is fundamentally different than other investments because you live in it. I also have read numbers that say prices stayed level, but did not go down. Now they could have stayed level - not counting inflation, which means the "real" value dropped. So I do not know whose numbers are correct.
The magnitude of Katrina will certainly be felt, though claiming that it can begin a housing bust might be a little extreme. Though if you are thinking about buying a house, you could try to catch the housing market when it is down. It would seem that if you believed that a housing bubble was imminent, it could be worth they money to wait 2 years before buying a house in some cases.
The money that is lost is the money spent on rent and the money lost on a higher interest rate.
The money saved would be the value you saved on the house and the money saved on a lower interest rate (You had more money to put down on the house, so you got a lower interest rate.)
If the housing bubble was a sure thing, that could be a smart strategy to try.