It was just a few years ago that several of the big banks tanked and almost took the country down with them. At that time they were loaning money, with little more than a wink and a signature, to people that couldn't afford the properties they were buying.
Recently I took a trip back to the Ozarks where one of my goals was to find a retirement property. I had a place in mind, but it turned out to be too run down, especially for the price. My son, who lives in the community where I was house-hunting, then suggested a place that he had spotted about four miles from his house. The little farm had a nice home, tight and in good repair, several serviceable out-buildings, a new pond, and ten lush, green acres with plenty of trees including a few hickories, a couple of Paw Paws (Ozark bananas), pines, cedars, and even a nice walnut tree. The place was beautiful beyond description and it was priced to sell quickly.
So I bought it.
While I could have sold some stuff and bought the little farm outright, I chose instead to borrow a good portion of the sale price from a local bank - one with which I have a long history. Today Fed Ex brought the loan paperwork, and I spent the better part of the afternoon reading forms and disclosures and signing my name. I also had to write a letter explaining my last several addresses. (The one in Japan apparently made the lender nervous.) But I persevered and, twenty-five signatures later, had everything in order and ready to send back to the bank.
It would appear that the banks did learn something from their most recent debacle.
I hope to be in residence at the farm by April 1st. Come see me and share the peace, serenity, and free-range eggs. We might even play some dominoes or pinochle!