Governments always assess property values based on comparable sales. Since the market has gone down, the assessed value done in previous years are now in excess of current market value. If enough homeowners complain, the government is pressured to reassess and reduce your property taxes. Banks in the past loaned more that market value but now with the crunch, they are much more conservative but they must still continue to make loans because that is how they make money. If you feel that you have in excess of 25% equity in your home, you should still be able to pull out about 10% to invest. If that investment makes you a 50% equity gain, you have just made money with the banks money. Unfortunately, most loans will be in favor of the big companies that don't need the money, but will use it to expand their off shore businesses.
I don't normally recommend this but as you are my friend, this is what I've decided to do. I've been offered numerous credit cards but always turned them down. Now, my plan is to accept those that offer low interest for the first 6 months to a year. Use that money to invest in gold and then pay off the loan before the interest rate goes up. If I am right and gold increases to $1200 per ounce, that will give me a 50% net profit. And as the US dollar devalues, I will be paying off the loan with cheaper dollars than when I borrowed it. I don't want to make this more complicated than it is, but if you think of GOLD as the world standard of monetary value, then everything else relates to how much paper money it takes to buy gold. Right now,
One last thought I would like to share with you. Gold reserves have not increased in the past 50 years although it is traded between countries. All the new gold that is mined is sold to jewelry manufactures and then sold to consumers and not considered investments. In fact, there is a greater demand for gold that is available on the market. That is why the price continues to rise. If there was surplus gold, then gold prices would fall. And I don't see that happening even if every gold mine increases their production and new gold mines are discovered.
The Chinese think that President elect Obama was allowed to become President by the Secret World Power Club because they need a fall guy when Americans want to blame someone for the economic depression. He's in a lose-lose situation and the bailout only delayed the inevitable.
LEONARD C. RIVERO