We've seen quite a rally over the past month, but really what we saw in July was just the latest push upwards on a rally started back in March. The rally has been spectacular, with the S&P now up 45% from the bottom back on March 9th.
We've also seen a significant turnaround in house prices. Zillow shows an uptick of over 10% in our homes value since hitting bottom at about $205,000 in May. We believe the turn around is due in large part to the $8,000 tax credit being offered up to first time home buyers by the federal government. There has been a frenzy in real estate activity since this plan went into effect. This program will expire at the end of 2009. I'm guessing the rise in our homes value will level off right around the time the program comes to an end, if not sooner.
For the first time in several years we've started spending aggressively on home improvements. At the moment we are having our bathroom replaced - at a cost of about $5,500. There will also be some painting done, some masonry work, roof repairs, and door replacements. We will likely spend between $8k and $10k before all is done. So, a small down tick in net worth as a result of all this work is likely. We'll likely tap into our bond fund to cover any expenses that we can't handle from our checking account.
We've put a $1,500 of the bathroom replacement on to a credit card at 0% for 6 months. When the 0% rate ends we'll look to push this off to another card or just pay the balance off.
This rally can't last much longer. I caught Art Cashin the other day. He mentioned that there are parallels between this rally and the one that ran from 1929 into 1930. That rally peaked out at 46% and ran 147 days. As of today the S&P is up 48.2% from the March 9th bottom, and has run 147 days. Art points to August 7th as a possible inflection point.
The market has rolled over a little during the last couple days.
We completed work on the bathroom - it's almost too nice. The total cost looks to be around $6,300 - a little higher than I mentioned earlier, but still a bargain for the work done.
We still have several large projects left on our plate, and I would guess the work will come to about $4 or 5k. We will likely tap into our bond funds to help pay for this work.
I spent some time today looking at other people's profile.
Currently there are 120 users in our salary range. We are listed at 20th in terms of Net Worth with a total of $359,679. Above us there is quite a jump up, with KTID standing at number 19 with $406,894, roughly $50k more than us.
I would sure like to bump KTID out of his slot at number 19. We'll see if we can pull this off.