Take a look at the backyard in this picture. That is what a backyard in Florida looks like if it has not been mowed since April. That is my former neighbor’s backyard. That backyard looks like a lot of yards around here these days. No one is home. No one can afford to be.
We bought our house 3 years ago, almost to the month. We bought our home when real estate was booming. At the time, we signed on to pay a mortgage for about what our house was worth. At the time. Ok, maybe we paid a couple thousand dollars extra. The owner had just put in new pergo floors after all and, as my Realtor insisted, inventory was low. We didn’t have many options out there that we could afford anyway. We did love the neighborhood, the floors were lovely, and the view was stunning. We signed on the dotted line.
And by the grace of my real estate gardian angel, we even snagged ourselves a 30 year fixed mortgage with a good interest rate. PHEW.
Sure, there were some pretty enticing ARM loan options. “Balloon” this and “loan on top of loan” that. Our mortgage could be reduced by $500 or more a month! Hey, not to worry, with how well real estate is doing, we could afford to refinance in 5 years with no problem! Think of all the equity we would have made on our home by then! You could afford something bigger, better, with a pool, a fancy gated community, oh the possibilities (I could practically see the bank folks rubbing their hands together, dollar bill signs in their eyes)!
Eh. Geez. I don’t think so. This is our first house. We really don’t want to get too complicated. Call us boring, call us conservative, I think we’ll just stick to a 30 year fixed, thanks.
And 3 years later we sit. Paying our mortgage, our expensive mortgage, right on time. Yup, a mortgage that is more than what this house is worth - probably by about $50,000. And I think I am being conservative again.
So yeah, this bail out. Sure. I do feel like this is unfair. I do feel like we were good boys and girls, we followed the rules, we were conservative, we didn’t get greedy, we bought a home within our means (kinda) and continue to pay off this house - a house worth less than what we pay.
So it certainly seems unfair that our tax dollars go to these big wig fancy banks, who were rolling in it years ago while we scraped together our home’s down payment. So so unfair. Why do I need to take care of them while I pass on a new dishwasher because I want to pay *my* expensive mortgage, so I don’t lose my home, so my backyard doesn’t look like the one in the picture above?
Here’s the insane part. Are you ready? You may not hear this often. But last night, I actually didn’t disagree with what Bush had to say. I guess his layman’s terms spelled it right out for once, simplifying it the way it needed to be. Our Prez said that if we don’t go along with this bail out, its really reeeeeally gonna hit the fan. If I don’t pay for this now, I will pay for it ten fold eventually. Gotcha W. I don’t want to pull my savings out, hide it in my mattress and guard my door with a shotgun. Ok, so I am being dramatic (I hope) but the message was loud and clear none the less. For once, I don’t think he was pulling his usual fear mongering tactics. (Although, I kind of wish he was.)
It sucks. Its not fair. It doesn’t sit well. I worry about the politicing going down. I worry about how the hell we will ever pay this back. This seems like an over-reaction. I mean, SEVEN HUNDRED BILLION DOLLARS!?!?!!
(Where is Dr. Evil in all of this, pinky to the corner of his mouth. Seven hundred billion dollars? What does that even mean?? Thats like saying a million trillion billion gabillion dollars… muahahahaaa…)
But what choice do we have? None. I need to just keep on paying my mortgage, I need to remember to be grateful that I actually have a roof over my head, and I need to not be surprised that our government always has rich corporate America’s back. And yes, yes, I need to remember that if our government doesn’t have its back right now, we are SOL, in a big, scary, “depression era” kind of way.
It is what it is. As my mother always told me, life isn’t fair.
(And you know what else isn’t fair? The snakes and wildlife living in that backyard next door! Even if we were to try mowing it ourselves, I am not sure we could. Does anyone have a machete? A chain saw? A half dozen animal traps? Great googlie mooglie…)