I have had it.
If I see one more weepy story on TV or on the web about the poor “victims” who have been forced to move out of their homes due to foreclosure, it will be one more too many.
Much has been made about the large swath of Americans who have been forced to vacate their homes because they can’t keep up their payments. Oh boo hoo hoo! The poor folks who had to explain to their kids that they would be ripped from their friends and their Range Rovers and their backyard pools!
Hey kids! Mommy and Daddy (and 60 Minutes) left some things out of their explanations:
Mommy and Daddy believed the oldest lie in the book: that they “deserved” to own a house because “everyone deserves a piece of the American Dream.” Do Mommy and Daddy “deserve” to own other things that they can’t afford or aren’t willing to work for such as a Rolls Royce or a mink coat? Of course, most people would think that idea is ludicrous. So, why is a piece of real estate any different? No one “deserves” anything. We deserve only what we work for and earn. In the Y2K world of “stated income loans” (also known as “liar’s loans,”) Mommy and Daddy somehow got the idea that they could afford to make a purchase that they actually couldn’t afford to make. Who put a gun to their heads to take out loans that people knew that they couldn’t afford? Is it the fault of the “greedy” banks that Mommy and Daddy were as greedy as their predators in wanting to buy something they had no ability to afford, and therefore, no right to own? Did Mommy and Daddy ever consider that old-school concept that, when you borrow money, you are expected to pay it back? Should we feel sorry for people like this? I’d tell you kids to use your iPhones to text your friends your new address on Skid Row, but Mommy and Daddy’s cell service was turned off for nonpayment.
Mommy and Daddy weren’t educated and couldn’t be bothered to learn about finances. They believed the banking and the real estate industries when they continued to suggest that Mommy and Daddy (and the rest of us) “need” to buy a house “in order to get the tax deduction.” This is the biggest lie since “your call is important to us.” Did Mommy and Daddy ever sit down and calculate how much it would cost to get that tax deduction? When you rent an apartment or a house, there are no property taxes to the renter. No homeowner’s insurance. When the toilet gets clogged, you just call the owner or the building manager and poof! The problem is fixed…at someone else’s expense. In order to get a federal tax deduction worth a few thousand dollars, Mommy and Daddy had to pay thousands more in property taxes, various kinds of insurance including, in many cases, PMI or mortgage insurance, and the cost of leaky roofs as well as other repairs, and, in the case of condominiums, monthly maintenance fees. The cost of owning a home is far more than the benefits of any tax deduction. If Mommy and Daddy had paid attention, they would know that renting a house would be far cheaper and would shift the burden and risk of homeownership to someone else. They also wouldn’t be forced to move now. And good luck finding a rental unit with your hopelessly lousy credit now that you have a foreclosure on your credit rating. I’m laughing my ass off!
When Mommy and Daddy (and everyone else’s Mommy and Daddy) decided to buy homes they had no right to buy, the ensuing home buying frenzy drove real estate prices so high that responsible home buyers who would have bought what they could afford sat out the market. I am one of these people. For years, I had to wait to buy a second home at a reasonable price while squatters with stated income loans and paper “millionaires” lived in houses that could have been mine. I am hardly sorry to see these pretenders being evicted and filing for bankruptcy now. It is because of them that I, a person who could afford a second home, had to spend multiple summers in hotel rooms visiting places where I wanted to live instead of living in them. Once the economy began to collapse, I finally purchased a second home for a reduced price in northern Santa Barbara County where I am suddenly surrounded by For Sale signs and announcements of foreclosures and now bank-owned properties. Do I feel sorry for the people forced out of these homes? Nope. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, folks. Do I feel sorry for the people who have been trying to sell their homes for the last three years and who I see lowering the asking price by hundreds of thousands of dollars every month? I don’t. You are the people who made it necessary for me to wait almost a decade to buy my own place. I am frankly enjoying seeing you people sweat when you can’t even get one or two sorry suckers to come look at your overpriced property which is overpriced precisely because people like you were in such a hurry to buy something that you couldn’t afford in the first place. Now, after trying unsuccessfully to sell your place, you have to sweat over whether your bank will accept a short sale? Tough luck, asshole. One person who tried to get me to buy his newly and expensively remodeled house three years ago for an inflated price before I bought my current place is now being foreclosed upon. Should I feel badly because I spent half a day laughing my head off about how the worm has turned? Well, I don’t.
Look, kids. It all boils down to this: Mommy and Daddy are part of the first generation of adults with this air of self-entitlement. You know the kind: the ones who grew up playing in soccer leagues where no one keeps score so that no one wins or loses. The result of this is that Mommy and Daddy believe that everyone is a “winner” who “deserves a piece of the American Dream.” Stop blaming the banks or Bush or Obama. Our screwed-up economy is the fault of people like your parents who bought more things than they could ever afford, then blamed others because they were actually expected to pay the bill. Ever notice how people are always complaining that Congress spends too much and needs to be reformed? Look carefully. Looking at Congress is looking at yourself in the mirror. You elected people who are just like you…and you now have the exact same result as you have at home. Congress did not cause this problem. You caused Congress. Congress is you. Obama is you. Bush is you. Can’t you see this? Hopefully you kids will learn from being homeless that dreams are for people who have no interest in working and earning. You know the kind: the people who buy lottery tickets or who pray for something good to happen. No one deserves a house, a particular salary and benefits, or higher education. You deserve what you are willing to work for and nothing more.
By the way, in case you’re wondering, I am really enjoying living in what once could have easily been your 5,000 square foot home on what could very well have been your 20 acres. Hopefully, when the repo man comes to take the leased SUV that is now your primary residence, you’ll remember what you just read. That is, if your internet service hasn’t been turned off yet.