Yes, the economy in general is struggling. But there are bright spots too.
Reports of economic indicators this past week were better than most analysts had expected. The stock markets reacted positively, restoring billions of dollars, on paper, to the value of investments that had languished as the recession deepened over more than a year. For most 401(k) investors, last week's rally was good especially good news.
Another bit of good news is the prospect for buying a house. Prices are better than they have been in years. And decisions by the Federal Reserve have pushed interest rates on home mortgages to bargain-basement lows. Those rates, on average, dipped below 5 percent. There were even some mortgages available in some parts of the nation that edged below 4 percent.
Lower mortgage interest translates into thousands of dollars of savings over the life of a typical 30-year fixed-rate loan.
For home buyers, there's more good news in the pricing and selection of houses on the market. In the Cape Girardeau area, real estate listings offer excellent choices right now.
And asking prices show that this is an affordable area for homeownership. With choice, price and attractive mortgage rates, home buyers have opportunities currently that have not existed for years.
Take a look at the Real Estate section in today's paper. The inventory of attractive homes listed at reasonable prices gives prospective buyers a wide range of selections. Serious lookers can check out semissourian.com/realestate for details about individual listings.
For qualified buyers, this is a great time to be looking for a house. And Southeast Missouri is a great place to be looking.