Home ownership is a main element to stability and wealth building. It is the basis of a middle class as well. If you own your own home, you have a certain freedom and an equity building investment. Most middle class wealth is tied up in the home and or any real estate owned.
The recession and housing bubble of 2008 caused a large majority to lose their home. Some walked away as they were too upside down to ever right themselves and according to Tea Party Economist, home ownership applications are at a 13-year low.
Home mortgages did not become popular until the 1920’s. The twenties ushered in time payments and interest only home loans. Everyone bought whatever that wanted and paid for it “on time.” It was a marvel; people no longer had to save for something they wanted. The only concession was giving your life over to the banks, which now had people under their control because of debt. The public was subject to the consequences of any bank decisions. If the banks did well, people could borrow. If not, then the people would not have the availability of funds.
Easy money was everywhere. Even the stock market succumbed to the temptation. Shares were bought at 1/10th of their value. The rest could be bought over time. This overvalued the stock. This created a bubble.
Does any of this sound familiar?
Economists will dither on calling what we are currently experiencing a “recession,” but I would wager that in the future, 2008 and beyond will be called a Depression.
I have often touted an independent approach to restoring America’s industry and wealth. I think the same thing can be applied to home ownership today. For too long, we have given power to the banks and this is the second time in modern history that the banks raked us all over and if you consider the “bailout,” it may actually be the third time. The banks were given the TARP money to make short-term business loans, pay off credit card debt and bad loans. Instead, they have put that money under lock and key and are doling it out with an iron fist, if at all.
My colleague, who is in real estate, says that buying a home is very different than in 2008. She states that not only are the borrowers vetted to the nines, now the bank will “qualify” the home in question. This process can exclude the old “fixer upper.” The banks only want to loan on prime property with prime purchasers.
Since when has every homeowner been so horribly scrutinized? This is what happens when the banks have all the money and power.
I remember my Grandmother pointing out a piece of property she had wanted to buy when she was younger. She said that she and my Grandfather could have bought the place from him “for a bale of cotton a year”. Most people used to buy and sell their properties in this manner, wherein the power of ownership stayed with the people. They purposely went around the banks.
I realize that we are can no longer pay in cotton bales, but owner financing is well within reach for most. True, you won’t get all of your money up front, like in a mortgage sale, but it is not a great mystery to accomplish.
Any real estate lawyer or even an agent can draw up a contract between buyer and seller. The contract will have the exact same terms as most mortgage contracts. They can even be tailored to any specific needs and detail foreclosure proceedings if ever needed. The documents can be filed legally, just like a bank does to create a lien.
Haven’t we put our financial future into the banks’ hands for long enough? Have they earned our faith and trust? I don’t believe so.
America needs to remember who has penalized us with their recklessness and greed.
Through Almighty God, hard work and believing in each other’s strengths, America can be restored to prosperity again.
We cannot wait for “someone” to do something. We have the capability in our own hands. Take the power back! Recreate the main component of middle class wealth!
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