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One Moment, Please... Silver Lining


Fri, Aug 2nd, 2013
Posted in All Commentary

By Jason Sethre

Publisher

Fillmore County Journal &

Olmsted County Journal

Cell: 507-251-5297

jason@fillmorecountyjournal.com

What if I said that the recent recession has actually made our small towns in Fillmore County look a little better. You’d say I’m crazy, right? OK, well please hear me out on this one.

It’s been nearly six years since our American economy, and eventually the global economy, began to tumble into a recession. I remember watching companies like Circuit City and Washington Mutual hitting all-time lows on the stock market, and wondering if these companies were going to survive. And, in 2008, they completely collapsed to non-existence.

Then, as the recession wreaked havoc on the financial sector, 401(k) plans plummeted as the job market and housing market seized up like an engine that simply ran out of oil.

We all have some recollection of how it all went down when the bottom dropped out.

Well, now it appears we are on the upside of the recession. As a matter of fact, some economists have indicated that the recession ended in the summer of 2010. This is all completely debatable depending on a number of variables and perspectives.

Geographically speaking, California is always known for being the first to feel any recession, and yet the first to crawl out of it. Meanwhile, the Midwest is always last to feel the pain, and likewise the last to see the end of a recession.

And, different sectors of the economy have been affected more than others, which means recovery may be less or even more noticeable.

The two greatest key indicators of a recovering economy in my mind relate to the job market and the housing market.

And, guess what, from my perspective I do think things are looking up.

We have seen tremendously more employment ads appearing in both of our newspapers -- Fillmore County Journal and Olmsted County Journal. So, businesses are hiring with confidence. We are even seeing local companies expanding and adding positions to keep up with their growth.

And, with interest rates still low, homeowners are refinancing and seeing equity in their homes as the value of homes have been on the rise.

Additionally, I talk to so many people who are remodeling their homes. Maybe they are investing in landscaping, driveways, additions, or a new roof, but regardless of the investment they are turning their house into a home.

What’s most interesting to me is how the decline in the economy has actually positioned our smaller communities to enhance and beautify homes one block at a time.

While we’ve all seen those TV shows in which people buy a foreclosure property, fix it up, and then flip it for a profit, most real estate activity and renovation isn’t as simple as they make it appear on a TV show.

Historically, as foreclosures hit the market in our rural communities and housing values dropped to unheard of low, low prices, future qualified buyers jumped at the chance to get into a new home.

The silver lining is that they purchased these homes at rock bottom prices, and as the economy has started to make a comeback these homeowners have invested whatever amount of equity has accumulated from the time of purchase into beautifying their property.

Yes, it is a situation in which the recession humbled our financial sanctity, but the recovery process has amounted to a reinvestment into the beautification of homes in our small towns that might have not happened so quickly without the recession.

While the economy may seem slow to recover, the signs of good things to come are most noticeable as you drive down residential streets throughout Fillmore County.

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