Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Unsympathetic Me Part I

I have a confession to make. It makes me sound (and somewhat feel) like someone with no compassion and no empathy for my fellow man and woman. Like, maybe, I should register as a Republican. I try to dig deep down to pull out a smidgeon of sympathy, but it just isn't there.

I don't feel too terribly bad for some of the people who have lost their houses and I am not sure the government should bail them out. Nor do I feel horrible for a lot of the banks who are losing their shorts. *

There, I said it.

Now, let me clarify.

I feel horrible for the children. I feel rotten for those who have lost their jobs and have had no success finding another one and have, due to this, lost their homes. I feel sick inside for those who have fallen ill, can't work and have lost everything due to illness or accident.

I don't feel a bit bad for those who bought houses they could not afford. Who financed with an ARM without doing the research and whose payments have now gone through the roof. Who KNEW they were getting behind on the payments, put the house on the market and then refused to sell for a resonable price. Or, as one person I know personally did, refused to pay a realtor, tried doing a For Sale by Owner, and lost the house because no one came to look at it.

While homeownership has never been my dream when I decided it was time to buy, I did my research. I talked to other homeowners, I contacted a realtor, I read articles online, I prequalified for a mortgage. Yes, and then I looked at my income and realized I could never make the payments if I bought a house that cost that much. So, I sat down with a calculator and pen and paper and worked out a budget: how much mortgage payment, closing costs, moving expenses, utility change expenses, etc. It was, of course, more than I had anticipated and I managed to leave almost nothing in my emergency account, but I could make my payments with money left over to put back in my emergency account at the end of the month. And this was before the proliferation of "calculators" on the 'net that allows you to see almost to the penny what your mortgage payments will be.

My house is not fancy. It is actually quite small by some standards. 3BR/2BA 1400 square feet. The bedrooms are tiny, but the living room and kitchen/dining room combo are a great size, for the family, for entertaining. I would have liked 2000 sq ft. I would have like a den, an office, a guest room and a separate formal dining room, but I could not afford that house. I bought what I could afford.

Now people all across this country are crying the blues because they can't make their mortgage payments and they are being evicted from their homes. People all across this country are crying for help from the national government. And I do not have a bit of sympathy for them and I do not think it is the government's job to use my tax dollars to bail out homeowners living in my dream house who can not afford it anymore than I can.

*See next post for the continuation of this rant.

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