My daughter spent the first three months of her life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) because she was born 14 weeks too early. Beth weighed less than two pounds at birth, couldn’t breathe and had other problems typical of a micro-preemie. We agonized over the medical interventions needed to keep her alive. We worried about the pain she might be feeling, the potential for disaster and our feelings of anger, guilt and anguish and we worried about how to keep all of our family and friends current about her progress.
We knew that we needed the support from our friends and family during this difficult time but the dozens of phone calls we received every day asking about our daughter added more strain pii_email_ca406694fa91d858906c . We could scarcely talk about what was happening each day so it was difficult to keep everyone informed.
Within days of Beth’s birth, I started a blog to share information about her progress. I wanted to keep our family and friends up-to-date but I wanted to vent my fears and frustrations with the see-saw progress typical of premature babies. As difficult as it was at the time, I wanted to have a record of her progress and the tiny signs of her emerging personality.
Blogging was a perfect medium for meeting the needs of those who cared about us. It is not difficult to blog. Bloggers do not need to be tech-geeks nor do they have to be professional writers (although attention to basic grammar and writing style make the blog easier to read). Most blogging platforms (like Blogger and TypePad) are simple to use.
As of March 31, 2010, the Federal Reserve has stopped the policy of buying mortgage-backed securities. The reason the Fed has implemented this policy in the first place was to help keep mortgage rates low while, in effect, subsidizing the real estate market and providing capital for distressed lenders as well as investors.
What happens now? For now, most real estate experts do not believe that mortgage rates will begin any major upswings in the near future. Freddie Mac CEO Ed Haldeman told Forbes.com in a recent article that he didn’t believe there would be “a major dislocation and a major move up in mortgage rates.” However, if the rates do start to skyrocket, the Fed has not completely closed the door on the possibility of beginning to purchase mortgage-backed securities again.
According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, US mortgage applications were up 1.3% for the week ending March 26, 2010. That shows a 6.8% increase since the week of October 30, 2009. Mortgage Bankers Association’s Michael Fratantoni said in a Reuters Report (March 31, 2010) that he believed the increase in mortgage activity appeared to be tied to the approaching deadline for the government’s homebuyer’s tax credit. To be eligible for the $8000 tax credit for first time homebuyers or the $6500 tax credit for current homeowners, all contracts must be signed by April 30, 2010 and must be closed by June 30, 2010.