Saturday, October 04, 2008

I'm just saying...

Back in early 2003, we decided to buy a house (okay, a "townhome-style condo"). We sat down, looked at our budget, firgured out how much we could pay in a monthly mortgage payment, and went to the bank. We gave them all our info and they approved us for a number that we couldn't really believe. When we asked what our monthly payment would be, it was way higher than what we knew we could comfortably pay. So we did the math and figured out how much we could actually afford to borrow. It turned out to be over 1/3 less than what the bank had approved us for.

This all seemed like second nature to us. We never had to think about it that hard. Even when the loan officer tried to convince us that we should totally get into the most expensive house that we could get into, even when a loan officer from a different bank tried to convince us to get an intrest-only loan for the 20% down payment so we could get approved for even more money, even when we started getting completely frustrated with housing prices and thought that we wouldn't be able to get anything we liked, we still knew that we shouldn't offer more than what we knew we could afford.

It's just that simple.
Don't get me wrong, I am somewhat sympathetic towards the people who were misled into thinking that interest rates would always be low and housing prices would always increase. And I know that there are a lot of innocent, good people out there that are losing their homes and they're having a really rough time. But it's not all the bank's fault. It takes two. When you're borrowing a lot of money, you SHOULD pay attention to the fine print. You SHOULD know not to believe everything people are telling you. You SHOULD know that those people giving you that loan and selling you that house aren't doing it because they like you, they're doing it to make money.

So this "bailout." Yeah, it's probably not the best solution. Acutally I'm sure it's not the best. These companies were pushing the limits for years and knew that bad things were inevetable but just kept going. That's not really where I want my tax dollars going. But I hear a lot about how we should be "bailing out" the people who are losing their homes - and it makes me ill to think of my tax dollars going there.

Holy crap I'm getting old. Whatever happened to my bleeding heart liberalism?

1 comment:

Ande said...

Preach it sister. Amen.