Tuesday, September 18, 2007

My thoughts on the mortgage mess

In case you haven't turned on a TV, listened to a radio or read a newspaper in the last few months, a lot of people are in a lot of trouble over their mortgages. They've bought houses they can't afford, with an adjustable rate mortgage or other comeon from some mortgage company, and now that the rates have gone up, they are quite simply screwed. Foreclosures are reaching epidemic proportions here in Massachusetts, the home of ridiculously overpriced real estate, where people are so overextended it's a wonder they can leave the house in the morning.

Here's what I think: The ol' chickens have come home to roost. You cannot expect to have a half-million-dollar house (the going rate in the Boston area for anything decent) and corresponding mortgage and not make sacrifices. There is no such thing as a free lunch (or home). As a homeowner for almost seven years, I can tell you: Paying that mortgage comes first. Before fun. Before clothes. Before vacations. You need a roof over your head. M and I work hard to make sure we have a nice home and keep our debt down to the house only. It pisses me off that others don't do the same. Really, it can be done.

Rest assured I am not addressing this little screed to people who come on hard times or have a situation out of their control come along and affect their finances. Or people who plan carefully and live frugally. I'm talking about people, and I know some personally, who continue to party when they have the responsibility of a house payment and then bitch they have no money. Should have thought of that before you insisted on living in an area with overpriced, limited real estate stock. You need to live within your means. Period.

OK, I'm done now. Back to your regularly scheduled blog.

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