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I’ll admit. I feel duped.
3 years ago, the real estate in this part of the country was rising so fast, I thought if we didn’t buy now, we might never be able to afford our own home. My wife and I purchased a town home east of Seattle, WA in King County in December ‘05. We worked with a Mortgage Broker to help us sort through our first home purchase.
The bottom line became that if we wanted to purchase, there was only one loan that we could afford (sound familiar?). We purchased with a Jumbo 30 year Pay Option ARM with a prepay penalty before 3 years (Dec. ‘08). Now we are negatively amortizing on our mortgage. We owe $8K more now then we did at the outset.
The one thing saving us? We happen to be in a market where values are still on the rise (up 4% over ‘07 and a total increase of 9.1% over the purchase price.)
BUT WE ARE SO HOUSE POOR we can’t afford to go back to school, travel, or have a baby.
What can we do? We want to avoid a prepay penalty, but refinancing to a 30 year fixed today sounds appealing since the rate would be about 3 points lower then our ARM is currently.
Advice? PLEASE HELP!
This financial situation was caused by BUYERS not living within their means or delaying gratification in purchasing homes for zero interest loans, or homes they couldn’t afford. If housing prices had gone up, would they have shared the wealth with the taxpayer? No? They don’t share the loss with them either. They weren’t suckered, they were self indulgent. Also, our children don’t have to pay credit for most anything, including gas, unless they don’t live within their means and delay gratification. This is not a leadership issue, this is an issue of irresponsibility. I am responsible for 100% percent of consequences of my decisions, and worked my way up from an Air Force E-1 to a six figure income and no debt at 47, which gives me the ability to be generous with the deservingly needy.
I so agree with you assessment of the current situation. Where are our principled centered leaders of the financial community? Do they exist? It seems to me that we must all work to develop our leadership skills to help guide our society on this perilous path to a higher quality experience. The power lies within the individual to develop a balance of material with spiritual that is not easily defined or quantified. Will, keep up the good work of communicating your passion on this subject.
I enjoyed this article in part because I was having a discussion about similar subject matter with some colleagues this morning. Nowadays, when I see Larry Kudlow or any of the numerous people discuss the “best presidential candidate for the market” I shake my head and think we are now confusing Greed with Free Market Capitalism. The reality is that the confusion is only in the minds of the people expected to get the short end of the stick.
Hopefully, we’ll find our before the hole gets any deeper.
[…] Original Post To visit American Dream Project’s home page, click here. […]
This is the exploitation of resources. This is what humans do, whether it involves shooting buffalo, or digging for gold. As a school teacher for many years I noticed that kids naturally seek this activity. We reward and encourage people who are skilled at the acquisition of goods. Is it moral? Is it instinct?
I have found in my own life, the idea of “enough”. I have today, enough for me. More than you or less than you is greed or envy.
Humans do this, yes, but they over exploit resources when there is something to be gotten from it. Native Americans would hunt the buffalo before the trade in bison robes, often wastefully, but mostly to the level they could use. Whether that was sustainable depended on their own population and the horses’ population, etc. But when the bison robe trade introduced a market economy where th Indians could accumulate wealth by killing more buffalo and selling the hides, they did.
The way to prevent people from monetizing something is to remove the demand for it. That can be done through regulation or cultural change, and I’m not sure how to affect either.
The second part of your blog, it seems to me, is much more important than the first. It is true that most Americans have had little or no real educataion re: economics, money, etc. We simply are economically iliterate. Herein lies a much greater danger than deregulation. The government cannot regulate everything to save us from our own “ignorance” regarding our financial lives.
I wrote last spring about teaching in a college where the students did not appear to be motivated. I am teaching again this semester, Research Methods and Critical Thinking. It seems as if I’m teaching in another universe. The students are ravashingly hungry for knowledge in the critical area of evaluating what is out there and thwir own life choices. They are a joy to teach, dynamic, questioning, questing for practical knowledge that will help them live their lives effectively. This hunger must be satisfied so that Americans can make solid choices and avoid a lot of the mistakes American’s have been making of late.
Richard E. Bull, M.A.
A friend said to me a few weeks ago that among friends who earn similar incomes, there will nevertheless become a disparity of resulting wealth. And the study revealed that the one difference between them was patience. Those who were patient became wealthy while those who were impatient ended up poorer. Delayed gratification is one aspect of patience.
Things that people do, such as build so many extra homes which are unoccupied… seem like a tragedy. But, if we have patience, and dare to believe that for those who love God, “all things work together for good,” even this tragedy has some good purpose. I imagine one is that these extra homes will become a haven for climate refugees suddenly fleeing a big global warming disaster that hits the next US coastline….
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