Saturday, September 01, 2007

Mortgage Mess?

The mortgage industry is in shambles. In a story they feature 4 families in mortgage trouble. Are they really victims? Or do they have a case of wantitis? Where they want the better things in life NOW!

Are the lender predatory? Yes. But is it entirely their faults? No way. These people probably need to take a look in the mirror and acknowledge their desire for new cars, larger homes, etc. The first family refi their home to pay off two new SUVs. The second family wanted a home but didn't care to sell their trailer first. The third family were renting but the landlord selling the home caused them to rush to buy anything. Thus all three families knew they were getting Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARM) but none cared. They only cared about getting into the house, then once they were in, suddenly the payments were unaffordable. The fourth family was the only one which claimed they thought they were getting a fixed rate mortgage but it was switched on them at the close.

Um, hello? If you know you are getting an ARM, how can you be a victim? If you know what your payment is and you accept it, and are told it will change why do these people move forward with buying the home anyway? Is it because they just have to have a house now???

I have to admit the first time we bought a house in 2002, we were wet behind the ears. We did it behind our parents back and without telling anyone so we had no advice, no experience, no wisdom given to us. We were fortunate to have a wonderful RE agent who guided us to buying a house within our means. She agreed with our "parameters" for purchasing. She even guided us to a 30 year fixed loan, discussed with us about putting a 10% down payment, and closing costs. I realize looking back we didn't get the best rate or best closing costs because we used a mortgage broker she reccomended instead of a bank, but he was honest.

I wasn't happy with the mortgage we ended up with I think it was 6.25%, 30 year fixed, with no points but it was decent. After that I learned how much cheaper banks/credit unions are. And with our credit scores we could have used either. However we did have a problem with DH's visa status, hence a mortgage broker was willing to put us with a subprimer lender get circumvent the J-1 Status. We weren't married (yes another stupid mistake) so our loan was difficult to push through. When we refinanced with Washington Mutual we took DH's name off the loan.

Anyway we knew what rate we were getting and though it wasn't perfect we ended up better than expected. Thus I feel these people are unfairly crying "victim". How can they really claim to be victims when they chose to purchase homes they knew were expensive? Or were refinancing a house they could afford into something unaffordable?

We've become a nation of wantitis. We want to constantly keep up with the Jonese, without ever considering we don't have the means to.

1 comment:

Chief Family Officer said...

I completely agree with you. People need to think through the consequences of their actions before they buy something.