Medical treatment can be traumatic, and the housing market in this country, as a whole, is sick. Whether the cure will be worse than the disease is a good question. Meanwhile, don't let the housing news this week out of Washington, D.C., and Pasadena, Calif., worry you too much. In Washington, they're talking about the government taking over or at least shoring up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In Padadena, mortgage-loaded IndyMac Bank failed — at the epicenter of the housing and credit crash. It should be clear by now that Oklahoma is going its own way in the housing crisis of 2007-2008-2whenever. At my request, David Feisal, senior vice president of Tulsa-based SpiritBank and past president of the Oklahoma Mortgage Bankers Association, looked at the news through an Oklahoma lens. •Fannie and Freddie: The government circling is "welcome news,” he said. "Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are, by far, the largest holders of prime mortgage debt in this country. Home owners with mortgages that are part of a Fannie- or Freddie-backed mortgage can be assured their mortgage terms will not be changed at all by any of the proposed actions.” •Got good credit and a down payment? Relax. "Potential buyers need to know that mortgage loans for borrowers that have sufficient income to qualify for the requested loan amount, have good credit and the ability to make a down payment of as little as 3 to 5 percent of the purchase price will still have financing options,” Feisal said. •What about IndyMac? News of the bank collapse got me to dust off Phillip L. Zweig's 1986 book, "Belly Up: The Collapse of the Penn Square Bank.” Got it for a buck at a library book sale a few years ago. Early this week, Amazon.com appeared to have plenty in stock. By Friday, just five were left in stock. So, I'm not the only one brushing up on how banks go bust when bubbles burst and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. winds up holding the bank bags. "The failure of IndyMac is one of 8,494 FDIC depository institutions and represents just two-tenths of 1 percent of all outstanding banking industry assets,” Feisal said, adding: "Oklahoma remains as a state that is experiencing better real estate appreciation than a number of other states.”Comments
What is a charrette ?Andres Duany, a founder of the New Urbanism school of community architecture and planning, is leading a charrette for Kirk Humphreys and Grant Humpheys, who plan to develop a resort community on Lake Eufaula. Midterm review will be from 1 to 3 p.m. today at the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, 620 N Harvey. A charrette is an intense weeklong design brainstorming session, the way Duany does it. Duany, co-founder of Miami, Fla.-based Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co., leads architects, designers and other stakeholders and interested people in a process that could takes months if done the usual way. The Humphreys gave Duany one marching order basically: Come up with something that fits Oklahoma. Why is it called a charrette? Beats me. To the Google! •"The French word ‘charrette' means ‘cart' and is often used to describe the final, intense work effort expended by art and architecture students to meet a project deadline. This use of the term is said to originate from the École des Beaux Arts in Paris during the 19th century, where proctors circulated a cart, or ‘charrette,' to collect final drawings while students frantically put finishing touches on their work.” That's according to the National Charrette Institute, www.charretteinstitute.org/. •"The charrette brings together all interested parties who are invited to offer direction and feedback while the plan is being created. Through presentations, meetings and pin-up sessions, the charrette team is able to keep the community continually informed as the plan unfolds.” That's according to Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co., www.dpz.com. Now y'all know.