This post need a small disclaimer:
1. I bitch/vent a lot. Don't forget to cover your ears.
2. I complain about HGTV. If you're a fan, you might want to look away during those parts.
3. I don't hate good people who were affected by the financial meltdown. I hate, well, you'll see. But yeah, I know it affected good people in all kinds of ways and those aren't the people I'm talking about.
Now, onto bigger, better things...
The other night I was watching Property Virgins, a home buying show on HGTV. It follows someone as they buy their first home. In this case, it was a young, newlywed couple that was buying their first home in Florida. Since A.P. and I are getting ready to do the same thing and he's from Florida, I figured I'd watch (yup...it takes that little). After a while though, it became kind of disgusting. The couple was approved for an FHA loan with 3.5% down. Their loan was approved for $270,000 plus their $10,000, which means they were working with a total budget of $280,000.
If you've never watched Property Virgins, the show always starts out with the host/real estate agent showing the buyer a house and asking them to guess how much it costs. It's like real estate for retards, except no one is retarded. The buyer is never completely clueless, so they almost always guess within range. (This guessing game continues throughout the show and gets annoying. Just tell us the damn price already!). So that's exactly how this episode started off. The real estate agent takes them to their dream neighborhood and shows them their dream house and goes, "Guess how much this obviously expensive house is??" They guess correctly. And she smiles and nods. She proceeds to give them the same lecture she always gives about how their dream is not within reach at this time, so her job is to show them similar homes in different, up and coming neighborhoods (read: the ghetto) that are more suited to their shitty budget. And here's where it gets interesting. They tell her that they're going to have to look at more expensive homes, then. Wait, what??!!?? They're supposed to say, "Okay! Find us our budget home!" But these fools who aren't even putting down 10% (!!) are demanding a mortgage they can't afford. And just like that, my mind was blown.
I've spoken before about our budget and financial goals. We want to buy a home (that can be a house or a condo, just so long as it fits our needs) in the next year or so. We want to put down 20% so that we can avoid paying PMI. We also want to look drastically under what we think we'd be approved for so that we have a lower mortgage and also so that our 20% really goes far. So we're saving 20% of a magic number that is sort of our max, but I know for a fact we'd be approved for way over our max. In other words, we're doing all this safe, smart stuff while these f***heads, who aren't even showing a bank they're a safe bet (hello? measly 3.5%, wtf?) are asking for a mortgage ABOVE what they can afford! It's times like these A.P. and I feel like fools. I know we're not, but it's hard not to feel foolish.
Here's the thing, I am a big believer that it is YOUR job to be fiscally responsible. Not the bank's, not your parents', not the government's...YOURS. We watch movies like The Inside Job and they make you believe that the government did all these shady things that forced us into this financial collapse/crisis/hullabaloo. You watch Fox News and they'll have you believe that's all the opinion of the liberal media elite (God I love saying that...it just sounds ridiculous. Seriously. No matter whether you're liberal or conservative, that shit sounds dumb.). Honestly, who cares? All I know is that a bunch of dumb people bought a bunch of crap that they couldn't afford and SOMEBODY LET THEM!! Again, what the what??!!?? It's ridiculous and it angers me more than the government. Why? Because it's representative of what's wrong with our society: nobody wants to work for anything anymore and everyone thinks it's their right to be wealthy.
When my parents bought their 3 bedroom condo on the lake in Chicago for (don't faint) $30,000 in the '70s, they saved up money, found a house they could afford, and my dad worked 2 jobs/6 days a week to make sure he could pay the mortgage. Flash forward to the new millennium where people buy homes they can't afford, lose their jobs because of the recession they helped create with their crappy loans and bad decisions, and then cry woe is me when they have no more home. I don't want you to think I'm heartless or cruel. It's a terrible, terrible thing that so many people lost their homes to foreclosure. But it's also the price you pay when you take a very risky risk. And I feel like it's so freaking American to blame everyone else but the person you signed the bad idea paper (i.e. mortgage contract).
Plus, it causes problems for good people. People like us and friends of ours who have bought homes recently, as well as friends and family members who already owned homes. It makes it suck to be fiscally responsible. It makes us have to fork over more cash, have perfect credit. and have some reasonable assets to back up the goods to show we're super, duper fiscally responsible. Like more responsible than the previous homeowner. So we have to save more and make sure we're doing everything right. And unlike all those other people, we don't get to own a home overnight. Instead, we have to put off our dreams a little longer and work a little harder. I know we have to and that we're doing the right thing, but it still sucks. And watching those bratty newlyweds on Property Virgins just pisses me off more.