19 February 2009

The Roof Over My Rant

I try not to go all political rant on your rear ends, but I've got to this time:

Michael and I pay our mortgage every month on time, every single month, just like a lot of Americans (even if that means putting the gas bill on a credit card... YIKES!)

And just like a lot of Americans, our pocket books are bleeding, our adjustable rate mortgage is flying through the roof and our mortgage has become unmanageable. It's becoming harder (and near impossible) to pay our rising mortgage costs, especially with the cut of Michael's bonuses, which were taken into our "income" when our house was financed. When we bought this house, we COULD afford our mortgage. Now? Not so much.

When we tried to sell our house a few months back we discovered a major problem: our home is no longer worth what we purchased it for. Some call that being "underwater" others call that negative equity. Either way, it means that this market has cost us close to $40,000 and growing. 

If we wanted to get out of our mortgage, and move into a smaller home with a smaller mortgage, we would have to literally bring a $40,000 check MINIMUM to the table. Where would we even come up with that money?

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Michael would be the first person to stand up in a crowd and question President Obama's first 100 days in office, pointing out his trillions of dollars in bailout money and whether half of it was even necessary or properly spent. He would also be the last person to ask for a handout.

But the thing is - this time we really do need the help.

Under Obama's proposed Mortgage Relief, Michael and I will finally be able to refinance our home. We will qualify for a fixed mortgage, that we can afford, without us owing more than our home is worth. 

This could be our saving grace. The one thing that keeps us from failing down on payments, from dishing out unimaginable amounts of interest on our loan. We might be able to keep our home. 

Tonight, as Michael and I sat listening to the news over dinner, we heard the argument (several times) that the American people don't want to "bailout" people who "don't deserve it". That helping people own a home they can't afford is "not their problem". It makes my stomach churn to think that people could assume that without considering that people, like my family, could afford their house when they bought it. When it was plausible to refinance 5 years later into a fixed loan.... back when our bonuses hadn't disappeared because of the market conditions and Michael's employer's last ditch efforts to avoid layoffs. 

To those people - I hope you hear my story, or someone else's similar to mine. We don't want a "hand out". What we want is to save what we've worked so hard for.

3 comments:

  1. Well, I'm no economist, so for the most part I'm keeping my uneducated opinion to myself about this bailout-recovery package dealie. (See, I don't even know what I want to call it.) But I agree with you that although some people are in homes they can't afford and could never afford, others (such as yourself) are just getting slammed with four or five different bad situations and the combination of all of them mean that a little aid is needed. I hope something works out for you.

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  2. Thanks Sara! I really am excited about this! Which makes me a grown up, because I'm EXCITED about a MORTGAGE and REFINANCING! Yippee!

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  3. It's crazy. People don't realize what's going on- the banks getting bailed out?? lame. Trickle down theory never works in a capitalist market.

    By allowing homeowners to fix their mortgages and make them manageable (or "bailing them out" as some see it) it helps everyone.. the constituents keep their homes and the banks get hteir money. Economy saved.. pr atleast part of it.

    Nick and I are still trying to buy a home.. but here in MD a two ed one bath house costs upwards of $250k... and with a 30% down payment.. not happening anytime soon.

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