I work very hard and am attending college to obtain my degree in the Human Service field. Writing makes me feel alive and gives me the opportunity to touch those whom I would not be able to otherwise. Last but not least, I have been blessed with two amazing daughters who love me completely and support my dreams. Feel free to contact me with questions, concerns or feedback.
One might think this article has to do with tragedies, suffering or something along those lines. It does, but that comes along much later.
From what I can remember, my parents purchased their own home in the early 70’s. Every single man and woman in my external family has owned their own home after renting a period of time. After the "I do's" husbands and wives set about finding a nest of their own. I have never really asked the why of it all, that’s just the way it was.
Way back when, (when husbands and wives saved for a down payment) life was much different. Parents lived within their means. Trips and expenses came from savings rather than credit cards. Home improvements included a roof, furnace, water heater and other necessities. We never believed we were less than because we went affordable in lieu of The Joneses. I do not recall the word “refinance” within the context of ownership. You purchased what you could afford and the rest was left to hard work.
I worked within the mortgage industry for many years. Refinance, variable rate mortgages and home equity loans were pushed to the max. Banks make billions of dollars off of millions of individuals on a yearly basis. Although I believe my institution approved mortgages which were within guidelines, we forgot one important part of the process. Savings.
It’s wonderful to have a place to call your own. Yet, in all reality, the place in which you reside is never truly yours. Until you pay your loan in full, your bank or financial institution owns your home. Afterwards, taxes, insurance, water, gas, electric and most important, home improvements will forever be a part of the equation. If you default on your taxes, the City in which you reside may decide to pursue foreclosure action. No kidding.
It’s great that you can initially afford your house payment, but what about savings? Paycheck to paycheck doesn’t equate to a $3,000.00 furnace or $10,000.00 roof. Replace your windows, how about $5,000.00 on up? When the City or County does any type of work outside of your residence, it may result in additional thousands on top of your allotted tax bill. Hate to burst your bubble, but it’s the reality of it all.
What was the American Dream is now the American Nightmare. It is stated that one out of four of these dreams will eventually join the foreclosure list. What we once worked so hard for may eventually be sold to the lowest bidder at auction. Sad, but true.
What’s a man or woman to do? How about we burst the fizzy bubbles and come back down to reality.
Owning a home requires maintenance. Big ticket items are only warranted for so long. Do you have a minimum of $150 for a furnace repair man to stop by on a cold Sunday in December? Do you have available credit to replace your refrigerator, stove, washer, dryer water heater, furnace or roof? With all of the documents they require, one would think the bank would find an established savings account most important to protect their asset.
Because banks are a for-profit type of agencies, we as individuals have to protect ourselves. It is not a dream if you are worried night after night that you may be displaced. It is not a dream to live paycheck to paycheck and forgo being able to feed your family or pay medical expenses. It is not a dream when you are worried more about a structure than the well being of your family. American Dream, I think not.
How about we revise our stance on what dreams are? Wouldn’t it be a dream to live life free of worry, save to make a difference, travel or experience life to the fullest? What if you could find a nice place to rent and not have to worry about shoveling or yard work? Last but not least, do you believe you could be happy if you let it all go?
If you could do it all over again, would you?