Update 1/24.....The Governor's property tax reduction plan passed through the Indiana House headed for the state Senate on Thursday. If it gets through the Senate and signed, it would limit taxes to 1% of a home's assessed value per year. It was a bipartisan effort and is badly needed to help property values in Indiana. We'e should have a better idea on it's final fate next week.

Update 1/23....another trickle of good news! On this morning's Today Show Suze Orman added her 2 cents about how now was a great time to buy a home. I know it's just Suze Orman but it's still a national platform speading the word that homeowners and potential sellers need. Since the current market challenges are by and large psychological in nature, good news is welcome on any media stage. Aside from Tuesday's rate reduction, many market experts are expecting another 3/4 point rate cut during the week of January 28, 2008. IF that occurs, it would be the most significant reduction in more than 50 years.

The Federal Reserve cut the prime lending rate 3/4 of a point on 1/22 in an emergency session. The Fed is looking to stave off a recession that the real estate industry has been telling them is coming for nearly a year. Thanks for listening Fed Governors, albeit MONTHS after the fact. Had you been paying attention last summer perhaps some of this pain could have been avoided. It will take some time for it to affect retail mortgage rates, however. While you're enjoying that...here's The Real Estate Minute for the week of 1/21/08 which looks backwards, forwards and to Pluto.

This Week's Bonus Topic: How far should municipalities go to encourage 'public' projects in a community?

Carmel has spent millions in it's quest to become a city of destination and quality lifestyle with it's currently being constructed Performing Arts Center and it's Arts and Design District. The City of Indianapolis has numerous such projects including one of the newest, the Cultural Trail. Speedway, Greenwood and several other suburbs are working on civic improvements as well. The ever increasing question has become how much taxpayer or for that matter private money should be spent in developing these types of projects in order to improve quality of life? Further, should communities spend this money with an 'if you build it, they will come mentality'? By this I mean should these projects be done with the intent of drawing in future tax dollars to fund already completed improvements. The desire to have our communities raise their quality of life has ignited a debate over how much is too much when it comes to spending tax dollars to 'seed' an area's improvements in lifestyle. At no point in our area's history has this become more apparent than now when the property tax debate has raged on about what monies should be spent where both today and in the future. It's clear that our insane property tax increase of '07 will get resolved to a degree this Spring. What isn't clear as to what financial sacrifices we'll be willing to make in the future to fund those quality of life improvements.
Questions or comments....you can always find me here:
317-848-GREG (4734) or Greg@GregCooper.com