Falling off ladder to homeownership
Re “A loan that’ll get ugly fast,” Column One, Dec. 11
Payment-option mortgage loans are the worst recipe for disaster since the Iraq war. Apparently people are misusing them like colossal revolving charge accounts.
On any loan, you pay interest every month on what you owe. At some point in the future you have to come up with the money for both principal and interest and even collection expenses, if you’re late -- and you are not supposed to assume that you eventually will be a lottery winner.
Evidently, millions of people simply don’t understand what a loan is, or the disastrous consequences of compounded interest being added to what they owe.
Are we supposed to feel sorry for those who fall for the “option mortgage” scam many lenders are offering?
Although it is almost criminal what lenders will revert to just to get their commissions, we also have to realize that a home purchase is an investment in our future and not something to be leveraged for trips around the world or any other such luxuries.
My wife and I make about $80,000 to $90,000 -- and that’s with me working as much overtime as possible -- and we scrimp and save what little money is left over, after paying off our monthly expenses, and try to improve our home little by little.
Although we could easily cash out some of the $300,000-plus in equity in our home to take a much-deserved family vacation, we choose not to fall for all those offers and phone calls we receive on a daily basis asking whether we want to refinance and lower our monthly payment.
Owning a home is not only the American dream, it’s a personal responsibility, and not one to be taken lightly.
Naive borrowers damage more than just their own lives. After the fun of around-the-world travel, a shiny new car and gambling on investments is over, the neighborhood where these folks live is stuck with a house in foreclosure or dumped on an already saturated market.
The result? More homes in a once-stable neighborhood converting to rentals, and the slow decay of lingering “Motivated Seller” for-sale signs, waiting for that other sucker born the next minute.