Eviction is a Foreclosure Conclusion

There is a recent news story how a certain individual is being forced out of his house and a bunch of do-gooders are going to bat for him. Now for the rest of the story, as a certain newsman used to say.

The man in the story is retired. He used to be in a branch of the military. Retired from it. He is also good with his hands doing carpentry type work and the like. Sounds like someone who should have saved up some money along with being employable, right?

He says that he can afford to pay $800 to $900 a month for a mortgage, not the $1200 to $1500 he is either paying now or the bank is willing to re-finance to. His mortgage is in excess of $250,000. Hey, wait a moment? How does a middle aged guy end up with owing $250k on a mortgage. This can be usually one of two reasons:

a) he traded up to a house more expensive than he could really afford
b) he got greedy and decided to re-finance in order to have spending
money on something else.

The fact is not everyone deserves to own his own place. He (or she) cannot budget himself accordingly.
Society does not need to reward him. That is what caused the big run-up in real estate values that eventually caused the housing market to crash. We let anyone and everyone buy a house because in America it is supposed to be an entitlement, like getting a driver’s license.

Well, it shouldn’t be. I bought my first place- a townhouse- around 1984 and paid $56,000. My real estate agent talked me into getting an FHA loan. I was embarrassed. She said that I shouldn’t. Everyone did it and it allowed me to pay only 5 or 10 percent down instead of 20. I fooled her and put down 15 percent. I felt like a mogul. The other benefit, she explained, was that it meant that the Federal Government would insure the loan and back it in case I defaulted. I couldn’t argue with that logic so I did apply for the FHA loan and got it.

Feeling a little richer, I put down 20% on my current place. I’ve refinanced twice since the original mortgage was taken out and have lowered the rate and monthly amount to pay significantly. I am not a man of means but one who takes his obligations seriously. I bought within my budget. The current value of the place is appraised less than the purchase price of 14 years ago. But, that’s okay- everyone’s is. One day it will come back. And even if I never make a profit when selling it, I still am ahead of the game because I have a roof over my head. Do-gooders please stay away. Okay, I’ll call you if I need you. Hopefully not.

Bottom Line

I’m a bottom line guy. I say that because it is one of my favorite expressions. I like to cut to the chase and get to the core of the issue. I like saying it so much that I can use that expression several times in a five minute conversation, which makes you wonder what really is the bottom line. It’s like digging deeper and deeper until you think you finally hit China. My luck, there would be a Chinese man standing upside down holding a shovel with a dumbstruck look on his face saying something in a sing-song like fashion along with the word “America”.

I use the “bottom line” tactic in a negotiating stance. The last time I bought a brand new car was nine years ago which makes me due for another one in a few more years, right? At the time, I went to the dealership loaded with ammunition convinced I wasn’t going to be taken for a sucker. After all, I had done all the necessary research on the Internet and had a good feel for what the exact car I was interested in should cost. Or at least I thought I did.

Like the coach who prepares his own team for a basketball playoff game by figuring which players are going to start on the opposition, I was mentally ready to shake hands with a tall fellow with greased back hair and a somewhat loud sport coat and a patronizing attitude. But, no! Instead, a short kid- okay he was maybe 25, but that’s a kid to me- approaches and shakes my hand and before you know it goes into a sob story about how he is in the military reserve and is waiting for his notice to be sent to Iraq.

“Bottom line- how much is this baby going to cost when you add in all the extras?” I asked “Uh, there are not extras. That’s the price”, he replied. “You wanna take it for a spin?”
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