Owning a home?

24 December 2007

Does anyone else see the irony in Home Depot employees not making enough to afford houses of their own to improve? Caring about such a think may be a bit of a stretch since service sector retail jobs require little to no skill or formal education, perhaps this is one of the ways the market regulates itself. What really doesn’t make sense to me are areas in which city employees such as police and fire are unable to afford housing in the same area they protect. It still amazes me that the average household income of Seattle is $46,541 yet the average price of a home flirting with half a million dollar mark. Even when the numbers look like no one could afford a home, people still do.

flickr: McMorr

No wonder you’re losing your home, your an idiot!

19 December 2007

A few years ago I was driving home and heard a commercial on the radio guaranteeing home loans with zero down, for those with zero or bad credit. Assuming that a VA loan was still my best option, and that this was obviously some shady deal I called to find out the details. At the time I didn’t understand finances the way I do now, so when the voice on the other line mentioned things like double ARMs, 20/80s, and interest only loans, I was at a loss. When I got home I quickly looked these things up using only google and wikipedia. It took me all of ten minutes to realize that these options were not a good idea. I didn’t have to follow the economy intensely to know that a few years back interest rates were at incredible all time lows, and were then starting to creep up. Knowing this, I also knew that they would inevitable keep rising.

flickr: cheezylu

So when I heard that homeowners were rallying against the governor of Massachusetts I was a little upset. I understand their frustration and pity their plight; however their obvious mistakes were there own and I feel that the government has no responsibility to fix their errors. This is difficult for me to say, because I feel that major corporations and especially financial institutions have been given too many rights in the last 150 years, and I do feel that the government should regulate predatory lending and possibly even interest rates on loans. But your mistakes are your own, and if the government will back you up every time you act stupid, then you will never learn.

How can we expect the government to get their act together to help us when we cant even help ourselves.