Nationwide Foreclosure Map

Gasoline is only four bucks a gallon (cheap compared to, say, 12 bucks) but already a trend is beginning to reveal itself. People are, evidentally, unable to afford living in rural areas and commute to city jobs. We may be seeing a mass movement of US population going back to the urban centers, which happens to be where the majority of the US population is already concentrated.

THIS MAP shows the foreclosure concentrations in the United States (the pink areas do not show up on my computer as clearly as the other areas).

For commentary to go with the map, READ THIS recent Daily Reckoning blog post.

I tend to think this situation is only going to get worse. What do you think?


mainemom7 said...

Goodmorning Herrick. What good news you share with us!

We live in rural maine, a 40 minute drive from my husband's place of employment, which is also in rural maine, but on the coast, so real estate is much more expensive. At this time, moving there does not appear to be an option.

I would love to see suggestions from readers on how they are planning to or already are dealing with the rising prices on food and gas. Maybe we can encourage each other.

One thing we're doing is trying to hold our trips to town to a minimum. This is a pretty obvious step. What are other rural family's doing?

Amy Scott said...

My husband will be working from home when we move to our farm this summer, Herrick. I hope employers might consider this in more situations to ward off more economic downturn (what if a huge amount of people sold their homes to move to the city--who are they going to sell them to? and what about the already flooded market?). Now, when my husband travels, he gets paid mileage because all the trips are out of state (when will the IRS raise the rate?!), so this fuel problem doesn't affect us as much.

This isn't to rub salt in the wounds of others experiencing hard times, I am just saying that we find ourselves in a unique situation. Besides, we have other problems--like trying to sell a house in the Florida market.

We are moving to an Amish area, and our neighbors across the street are Amish. My husband is doing a lot of talking about a horse and buggy.... It's one solution.

The other is to band together with your neighbors--whenever someone makes a trip to Wal-Mart, offer to get a few things for them. My other neighbor works at Lowe's (35+ minutes away), and I can foresee offering something in return for the favor of picking up a few things.

Since we live in suburbia now and a mile from everything we could possible need or want, funny how you don't have much in common with your neighbor. The only thing they all seem to have in common is the fact that they want to be left alone. For all our sakes, I hope this economic downturn turns us more toward one another.

Matthew said...

I think that is looks like the foreclosures are much worse highly populated areas. ;-) (Makes sense right--more people live there)

Soooo, move to the country. Raise as much of your own food as you can. Horde (I mean "store" :-) ) extra food in case of a major emergency. Try to move from dependence (on the industrial paradigm and 24-hour Wal-Marts) to self-sufficiency (and reliance on The Creator and Sustainer)

I also think that finding a community of like-minded people is important. It would be very hard (if not impossible) to become entirely self-sufficient as an individual. And as human beings we need fellowship. Community is what makes all of this possible.

This may seem obvious, but I believe that if we take the obvious steps and listen to the Lord's leading, He will show us what to do next. But we have to do something. We cannot hide in indolence, ignorance or fear--we must rise up.

And even if nothing serious does happen, if big brother government does somehow manage to stem the tide of impending disaster, (which I don't really think will happen at this point) we will have peace of mind knowing that if (and/or when) a crash does occur we'll be ready to face it head on.

I hope and pray that such a crash does not occur--that we will have more time to prepare. But I do not believe that we can just stand idly by and let someone else (the government, the neighbors, or whomever) worry about it. I think that the danger is real. We need to be like the "men of Issachar, who understood the times and knew what Israel should do."

As Christians I think that we have a duty, or at the very least a tremendous opportunity, to be able to share with those in need. If such a crash does occur, there will be many needy people. And as we minister to physical needs, there will be, no doubt, a great chance to meet spiritual needs as well.

One thing that is a determining factor in the equation of self-sufficiency is land. As I've said before, it always seems to come back to the land. But even if you don't own vast acreage you can do your best with what God has given you. Mr. Kimball is an excellent example of that.

Personally, I'm not "there" yet. I wish that I were. But I'm doing what I can to work towards that goal. I have the advantage of starting young. I know that many didn't have that benefit--I don't condemn them, I'm just so thankful that I've caught the vision this early. Sometimes it seems hopeless, but even then I try (by the grace of God) to just keep plodding on--making as much forward progress as possible and looking ahead to when the future will seem brighter.

As Solomon said in Ecclesiastes, when times are good, be glad and enjoy what God allows you to enjoy. When times are bad, consider: God made one as well and the other.

After all, it is the "bad" or hard times that God uses to teach us. To refine our character. It's easy to "trust" God when times are good, but when the hard times roll around it's a chance to prove that we really do trust Him, and not just say that we trust Him.

Well, sorry for the long post, but that's what I think. (and after all you DID ask....)


P.S. I finally got around to posting on our blog again, in part about "Whizbang Adventures" Thanks for all the great work on the plan books and parts--Whizbang stuff really is! (really is Whizbang that is)

Jaakko said...

Have you thought about downsizing your cars? I live in Finland and here the gas price is twice higher than there in US. Big difference is the size and number of cars between Finland and US. One can save a lot of money by using only one car and choosing as small and little consuming as possible.

My aunt lives in US and doesn't have much income. Still she has a huge (in Finnish standards) pick-up truck like everyone in the area. It seems she has never even thought that she could change it to a smaller and maybe older one and save a lot of money.

Garth & Ildi Fout said...

Jaako wins my vote! Ildi and I sold one house in Los Angles, sold our second car, and now are looking forward to spending less on the things we feel like we need. As far as the housing situation is going...I can see it only getting worse. How unfortunate for those families that have banked on equity only to find that their house is worth less than they owe on it now. I think the only sensible course of action is to repent of coveting, ask God to forgive our bad stewardship, accept the consequences for our decisions, and then move on. It is not going to go back to the way it was. Families have to make decisions now that will yield them some fruit in the future. They could start first by reading some of YOUR early warnings! :) Thanks for the map link.


Anonymous said...

God can sell houses - He sold ours a year ago so we could move to our place in NW Georgia. I'm lucky to have a job where I can work from home and only need to drive the two hours to Atlanta every once in a while. I hope the job holds out in this economy. In the meantime, we're going to try and become more self-sufficient here on the farm and put more away this summer. It's not just housing - gas, food costs etc are on the rise. I hope people see local food systems as a better alternative. Mike

Anonymous said...

I am sure (no kidding) there are 10+ Lowes/Homedepots within 6-8 miles of my house, but to answer your question I work from home more . It is becoming more acceptable if you happen to be in IT which I am.

Speaking of Lowes, I bought a cheap outdoor swing that folds down into a bed. Great fun but like I said cheap.

A man really needs something queen sized with a greater swing range (and no bar in the middle of the back), I smell a Whizbang project! Herrick's Whizbang Garden Swing.

P.S. Our family enjoyed an invigorating dose of your garlic powder on spag. tonight. Great stuff.

Herrick Kimball said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Herrick Kimball said...

Sorry if I got your day off to a bad start. I think we are all going to come up with creative ways to save money in the days ahead. Probably the best way is to cut back on buying unnecessary stuff and doing unnecessary driving and find ways to entertain ourselves at home. It might actually result in a better quality of life. So there's the silver lining. :-)

Hi Amy-
I'm excited for you and your family--escaping Florida for the agrarian wilds. What a great and wise adventure! And what a great blessing it is that your husband can work from home. I can only dream of it at this point. The horse and buggy sounds like a fine idea to me.

Well said. Your words are full of good, practical sense. I agree. And I'll get over to your blog soon to check on your projects.

You are right. American's drive unnecessarily big and wasteful vehicles. Knowing that gas prices were going to go sky high, I traded in my gas guzzling SUV almost exactly one year ago for a fuel efficient Honda Accord. That is the family car. To get back and forth to work I drive a little Nissan Sentra that I bought for $600 a couple years ago. I wish I could go to one car but with teenagers and elderly parents my wife does a lot of shuttling when I'm at work.

Garth & Ildi-
You folks saw the "handwriting on the wall" and made some significant life changes. You are smart people! My earliest warnings about these things were posted three years ago. I wasn't the only one. The information has been out there for years. Few people took it seriously. And I agree--it's not going back to the way it was.

Hey Mike-
You've done the right thing. God bless you folks!

And Amen to the statement that God can sell houses, even in these difficult times. I'm believing that's what will happen with Amy's house in Florida.

I'm glad you are enjoying the garlic powder. As for another Whizbang project. I already have far more than I have the time to handle. :-) I'm trying to focus on one particular project that I will (maybe) bring on the market next spring.

Thanks everyone for your comments.