Wednesday, January 05, 2011
Your thoughts on government-subsidized housing

 

Editor's Note: CNN Senior Correspondent Allan Chernoff and producer Raelyn Johnson want to hear from iReporters about the debate surrounding government-subsidized housing. What's your take? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

 

In light of the recent housing meltdown, the government is planning on overhauling Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, companies that finance home mortgages for low and middle income families in an effort to increase the levels of home ownership in the country. Critics say these government-owned mortgage giants helped fuel the housing boom and bust by supplying risky loans to consumers, but we want to hear your thoughts.

 

Do you think the government should be in the business of subsidizing housing? Should taxpayers continue to support Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in their stated mission to increase the availability of mortgage money? Should mortgage interest payments be tax deductible?

 

We’re looking to hear from people on all sides of this issue -- home owners in debt, home owners who have paid off their mortgage, builders, realtors, and those who have personal stories to share. Join the conversation and share your story in the comments below or you can put your thoughts on video. Some of the best responses could be used in a story for CNN.

80 Comments
January 5, 2011
Click to view alhoun11's profile

I say no because the government was part of the problem. If changes are made they could continue to do so. Fannie and Freddie should be supported but changes are needed for that to continue. Some middle and low income earners can't afford a home anyway. The government should encourage home ownership but not to those who can't afford it. The government should have a limited role in subsidizing housing. The should also encourage renting as an alternative.

January 7, 2011
Click to view AlabamDeb's profile

Sure.  I like knowing my tax dollars are helping fund houses better than what I live in.

January 7, 2011
Click to view Mindset's profile

Definately not!  I work in pre-foreclosure sales and you would not believe the nonsense. No one takes responsibility for their own mistakes, from buying too much house to having champagne taste on beer budget.  NO MORE TAX DOLLARS for this.  Take your lumps, like I did, like my father did - we work hard, not to support you and your dream house. Sell the SUV's ! Speaking of these government loans, I find "undocumented" residents got them also..what's that tell you?  Have a pulse and maybe an expired work visa or expired Calif driver license - you get a subsidized loan. Once in you the place you can add walls and toilets to pack in multiple families till the Feds chase your behind out of town...then the banks are stuck with homes that were altered, not up to code.  All kinds of tricks get thru.  Don't ask me about the $1k to $3000.00 incentive paid by FHA - Fannie to get people out of the house before foreclosure!   MY money - your money!   Feel good about that? 

January 7, 2011
Click to view fred71510's profile

Thanks to conservative propaganda, the conventional wisdom is that Fannie and Freddie helped made loans to poor people and brought on the financial crisis. As untrue as that is, it has become conventional wisdom.  Only goes to show you, if you repeat a big lie often enough and loudly enough, it is eventually accepted as truth, and that perception becomes the new reality.

January 7, 2011
Click to view MDMick's profile

Most of us were able to get mortgage loans -whether conventional or otherwise- because Mae and Mac indirectly guaranteed them even if we didn't have anything to do with them directly. That function needs to be maintained.

January 7, 2011
Click to view geoffreyf's profile

No way is it fair and no way is it even good stimulus, especially not for the wealthy.   What Conservative propagandists leave out is that the economy is international and rich people spend their wealth outside this country.   If you want to pay the debt more taxes must be collected, even if deep cuts are made.  More taxes can be accomplished with more jobs and with more taxes.  The Rich benefited from the fake Bush boom, now they can pay for it.

January 7, 2011
Click to view skooters's profile

The only thing this will help is Fannie and Freddie. It will not help the people it should.  It's just one more way for the government to rip off taxpayers AGAIN!!!!  The only thing these programs benefit are the fat cats.

January 7, 2011
Click to view loggerdan's profile

Most everyone in this country is born with the opportunity to make proper decisions and succeed.    By bailing out losers,  we reward losers which will generally result in manifestation of a losing society.  That's why it's wrong.   We need to reward those who are responsible and make the right decisions...not those who are destroying this country by making bad financial decisions.   If we reward winners then winners may begin to have motivation to start new businesses (if the govt stays out of the way) thus creating new jobs which will lead to lower unemployment and increased tax revenue for the prolific spender's in Washington.

January 7, 2011
Click to view eekthecat13's profile

The BANKS should be held accountable for all their shenanigans. While people should own up to their own mistakes, CAVEAT EMPTOR is actually not the only rules protecting people from home equity theft. Check HOEPA. Banks loaning in violation of these VERY STRAIGHTFORWARD rules are loaning at THEIR OWN RISK.

January 7, 2011
Click to view lgmusgt's profile

All these companies got the bailouts, and we paid for it! Sure, some people over extended themselves, and most were paying their mortgages and who got the money????  So the BANKS made money from the people and are all happy.  Now that some cannot pay that amount of their mortgage and the values went down, they are foreclosing.  Now, since the banks got a bailout, should the banks refinance the poeple who want to stay in their homes to the homes current value.  They got money from the government - the taxpayer, then from the homeowner, twice.  Sure, the banks would take a loss, but they got bailed out, right, so it could be like a wash for both sides, people would not be out of their homes, bank making money and we would not be in this mess.  Yet these jackwagons will bail out these companies for billions of dollars, but when american joe worker gets laid off, goes to try and find work and cannot get it, seeks federal aid, he is denied, cuz he has been foreclosed on, has a car payment(s).  However, Mr. & Mrs illegal and foreign student, our governmet gives these people whatever they WANT!!!!

January 7, 2011
Click to view 19321964's profile

Bought a house that was below my means, so if I lost my job I could still afford to live there.  Those who bought over their means get the help.  Reward the irresponsible, punish the responsible.  That sounds about right.   Want to know who fueled the housing boom/bust, just follow the money; find who made the most profit…the financial institutions.

January 7, 2011
Click to view Rabbitima's profile

Without the loans that Fanny and Freddie gave out, many americans would not be in the homes that they are now.  The construction industry and all of the companies that supply home furnishings would not have hired so many people to supply these houses.  So the housing crises would have hit the construction and home furnishing businesses instead.

January 7, 2011
Click to view eddiev5's profile

These two entities either need to be outright eliminated or slimmed down to about 5% of their current size.

 

If people could afford a house, then they could go through the proper underwriting channels and get a mortgage.  All Fannie/Freddie promote is this concept that no one should have take responsiblity for their own actions....and this concept is why the country is in such a chaotic mess.

 

Look at our current financial situation when it comes to the housing industry. If banks dont borrow money to people - they are called racists (redliners).  If banks do borrow money - they are called predators.  It's absurd, but much of liberal public policy when it comes to finances doesnt make a whole lot of sense.

 

Fannie/Freddie encourages irresponsibility.  It also encourages government to pick the winners and losers of society which is a horrific paradigm given the fact that both major political parties are more interested in destroying one another than coming up with public policy thats based on facts. 

January 7, 2011
Click to view rmack005's profile

Absolutely not.  But the bankers are loving it.  If the lender pays, they keep all the profits.  If not, we the people pick up the tab.  They take all the reward and we take on all the risk.

January 7, 2011
Click to view Biker987's profile

NO, the government should not be in the business of subsidizing housing!  Taxpayers should not continue to support Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac!  Mortgage interest payments should be (or not be) tax deductible if it is equally applied to all homeowners.  I don't understand how anyone can believe that repeating the same actions could possibly produce a different outcome.

January 7, 2011
Click to view BGShiley's profile

I can think of no better use of scarce taxpayer dollars than rewarding those that break the rules, ignore common sense, and live beyond their means, at the expense of all of us that play by the rules.  Why please - tax me at 100% and allow me to pay for everyone else's home.

January 7, 2011
Click to view ranchotim's profile

Fannie and Freddie Mae were the direct cause of the financial/housing meltdown, while congress looked the other way. Regulations were ignored and people got loans they could not afford. As a result they went belly up, government tried to intervene with Loan Modifications that were Tremendously Unsuccessful, Short Sales are a falicy a scam they rarely are consumated. Government needs to get out of the way and let foreclosure process take place and get taxpaying Americans that can afford it to move in and start paying property taxes.  Government intervention only prolongs a painful process.

January 7, 2011
Click to view superdog44's profile

No.

January 7, 2011
Click to view SailorTrash7's profile

Sure, why not?  Bailing out the automakers and banks was apparently okay, as is bailing out Haiti.  Shovel more money out the door, bankrupt this failed empire, and get started starting over already.

January 7, 2011
Click to view WWRRD's profile

When my wife and I started out our first house was purchased with an FHA loan. That program was a great help for us.The Bank's wanted minimum 15% down on a house and being young and not having any family money, our cash reserves were very small. We both had jobs and college degrees.

 

The problem with Fannie and Freddie came in the late 90's. They were being pushed to help minorites take advantage of  rapidly rising home prices. Congressmen like Barney Frank,Chris Dodd, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus said not making loans to minorities excluded their participation in the accumulation of wealth. They prssured Fannie and Freddie to lower standards. McCain warned of lack of discipline at Fannie before the meltdown even happened. The liberals just criticized him for being racially motivated. He was right!

 

I think Fannie and Freddie have their place. Loan standards need to be upheld. Some people just aren't credit worthy. Any bank that lends dhould be required to keep some skin in the game on every single loan they make. No more bundling into mortgage based securities and selling off your risky loans. This wouldn't have happened if banks knew they would have maintained part of the risk.

January 7, 2011
Click to view 4timechange's profile

Since taxpayers are paying for the tax cut for the ultra-rich, the pensions and health care for Congressional members (yes, for those Republicans too, who oppose for you and I having taxpayer/government-financed healthcare and pension!!) -- what's wrong with the rest? Why should certain things to be eliminated and others with much less merit to be kept??

When will the fat cats begin to pitch in?? I guess never...

January 7, 2011
Click to view rpm20's profile

i think the government need to overhaul the whole program and not give loans to people that they cant afford.

theres also got to be some way to stop institutions from over inflating the estimated value and creating the impression that theres more equity in a home than there is because thats how the lenders justified a lot of the sales and gimmicks used that brought the market to its present state.

theres got to be a way to not sell folks more than they can afford , period.

the lenders need to become more responsible to the customers they serve and stop making loans for the sake of their own bottom line.

i recall when my wife and i first married 32 years ago and we worked hard , had good income but no reall established credit and we couldnt get a 600.00 loan to furnish our first apartment.

we got by on used furnishings for many years.

 

i say the days of risky over priced loans are done !!!!

January 7, 2011
Click to view rpm20's profile

i say no more government subsidised housing based on fALSE PRETENSES

January 7, 2011
Click to view gkingii's profile

Of course not.  Gov't subsidies (using taxpayer funds) allow abuses by removing accountability from banks, buyers, Fannie and Freddy, and even legislators.  And it is especially egregious to the vast majority who have managed to live up to their commitment to make the payments on their homes, and now are forced to pony up more for those who didn't. 

January 7, 2011
Click to view fierros1's profile

For every 1 homeowner who lost their home due to no fault of their own, there was 4 who overextended.  I know of several people who were given "stated income loans" and bought homes they could not afford.  THEN they took cash out for various reasons, thinking that they could sell the home if it became to much to afford.  These people have all been foreclosed upon.  I on the other hand bought a small home in a modest blue collar neighborhood which I and my husband could afford.  I did this with full documentation and background checks 15 years ago.  For the past 8 years I have wondered how is was these people who made less, lived so much better than us.  Now we know.

  Also, these folks who are being foreclosed upon usually live rent free for the last year or more, not making any payments to the lender.  What a deal!

January 7, 2011
Click to view docdeb2's profile

2 separate issues here The tax deduction for mortgage interest-the single buggest middle class tax break should continue. Bailing out those who overbought huge homes absolutely NOT. I live within my means and don't need to feel like a sucker for paying my bills and waiting until I can afford things. Reward good habits not credit card morons and bankruptcy hogs. There should be exceptions for those put under by medical crisis because our idiot country still doesn't have public health care(except for senators and congressman).

January 7, 2011
Click to view docdeb2's profile

fierros1 I gree wholeheartedly. I too live in a small cape, toyota kids went to state schools etc. Those in the 5 bedroom mini mansions who had 3 SUVS and many cruises do not deserve to be bailed out by me. Makes the working people feel like suckers.

January 7, 2011
Click to view ChrisSeattle's profile

no.  the govt should ot subsidize housing. if is unfair to confiscate money from some citizens to subsidize others. no mortgage payments should not be deductible.  this is a farce.  only the interest is deductible and not a good reason to buy a house.  there should be a lfat tax with no deductions.  No to bailouts.  if you bought a house you could not afford that is you rproblem not the rest of ours.  if the lended acted illegally that is what courts are for.  Also, we should have let the auto companies fail.   American entrepeneourship would have filled the void.  The Us will spend itself broke just like the USSR.

January 7, 2011
Click to view kershawdw's profile

You guys sound like a bunch whiney baby's. Life's not fair the sooner you people realize that the better off you'll be...

January 7, 2011
Click to view daTrutha's profile

Government should stop subsidizing housing costs.  First there is the Mortgage interest deduction.  Lets say two people get loans for homes at 5% for 30 years fixed .. one for $200,000 the other for $1,000,000.  The interest paid in the first year on each is around $10,000 for the first, and $50,000 on the second.  But the key here is what a person gets back depends on their income bracket.  The smaller home person likely is in the 25% bracket ... so they get back $2000 or so.  But big home buyer likely is in the 35% bracket.  So they get back far more (around $16,000).  Essentially the mortgage deduction has become a way to subsidize homes for those doing quite well financially to begin with, as they get back far more in value for the deduction that those with smaller incomes.  Second there are there are the Fan/Fred loan guarntees for lower income folks.  I guess this was the offset to giving so much money back on home interest to those who are well off.  But the problem here is they guarentee loans for people with poor income histories or attempting to buy to much.  Often the mortgage providers even encourage these folks to buy a little bit more as they get some of the money back via their mortgage deduction (so you can afford more).  But the moment they hit any financial challenges, they lose their homes and taxpayers pick up the bill.  Essentially these loans end up being, quite often, money tossed into a hole (at least for taxpayers).  The entire system is set-up to encourage over spending while taking on to much risk, leading to the pain we are still feeling today.   

January 7, 2011
Click to view Mass4change's profile

No! Never again! I beg all you in the House and the Senate, I beg you Mr. President, not another bailout for a bank, a car company, or any corporation!!!! Sit back and watch them fall!

 

Bail out the poor and the middle class. Bail us out from credit card debt! End foreclosures! Raise up the poor so there is no more poverty! We do not need a poverty class! Stop letting the middle class struggle just to stay middle class! Let there be no fear of losing everything due to a job loss by uncaring companies.

 

Bail out the people! How do we pay for it? Tax the wealthy 1%! Most of them caused the trouble anyway.

January 7, 2011
Click to view kbrum1066's profile

   Contrary to political or popular opinion, "fair" means that everyone is treated equally. Since Taxpayers are not the only one using these services, it is inherently not fair. The biggest problems with our government is 1] not paying for what they do and 2] people not being fairly taxed (EVERYONE being taxed at the same rate would be fair since everyone would be treated equally. That is what fair means. Unfortunately this country has too many greedy, selfish, and/or envious people who are not really concerned with fairness but are rather looking out for themselves regardless of the costs to everyone else or trying to make themselves feel good by forcing someone else to pay for what they want!)

January 7, 2011
Click to view CuteNameHere's profile

Actually if you look at when the housing crisis really began it wasnt with the lower wage earners.  It was witht he middle class wage earners and the elimination of many of the manufacturing jobs in this country leading to high unemployment and inability to pay mortgages.  Lower wage earners while part of the problem werent the biggest problem. 

January 7, 2011
Click to view thisaway's profile

Too many people bailing out-leaving the American people holding the bag. The BANKS caused this whole mess-their greeeddd to sell more homes,get more mortgage interest money from people that couldn't afford the payments. There are  some CEO types that absolutely should go to jail forever. NO MORE BAILOUT MONEY!! We shoiuld have let the greedy A Holes go down in the first place. I can't run my budget like these morons I would be in jail. Stop the GIMME programs-all of them.Even welfare just encourages lazy people to remain that way.

January 7, 2011
Click to view JackTarazar's profile

Creeping Socialism was/is the cause of the downfall of the United States, from the last Super Power, to a Third World country, that is owned by China, and others. Food Stamps, Welfare, Section 8 housing, free food in schools. Don't succeed in life? No problem! Here, take this house anyhow and all this other stuff. No problem. Can't afford a kid? No problem, we'll pay for you to keep them. And, we will pay more if you have more kids, so go ahead!!

 

40% of the LEGAL CITIZENS in the United States pay ZERO taxes!!! That does not include the ILLEGAL ALIENS that we pay for!!

 

Any wonder that our National Debt is now 14 TRILLION DOLLARS and counting, so that they are AGAIN raising the debt ceiling in Congress??? Sure, give these losers a government house! Why not? We can't afford to pay China for it anyhow!!

January 7, 2011
Click to view Inupaaq's profile

NO !

   The "Bail Out" SHOULD have been of the HOMEOWNERS :

    1.) RE-ASSESS the "Paper Value" to "SEA - Level"

       a.) i.e., the MORTGAGE Value EQUALS HOUSE Value.

       b.) "Bankers" would have HAD To "EAT the DIFFERENCE!

       c.) Mortgae -Owner would BE the House Owner STILL

       d.) Housing Market WOULD have been able to CONTINUE

       e.) Bankers RESPONSIBLE For Housing CRISIS

January 7, 2011
Click to view trpg44's profile

No more bailout monies to the Banks etc ---PLEASE!!!! They started the mess of the foreclosures and the people getting the loans KNEW what they were getting into! SO - if subsidizing housing - what about ALL public debts being subsidized? Owing taxes to the US Government (the people's money anyway) should NOT BE FOREGIVEN - otherwise what is the point of having taxes if you know what you owe could be written-off...trpg44 

January 7, 2011
Click to view whotmewory's profile

I agree with Inupaaq. As a licensed Broker in NC, in 2004-2006 I witnessed many licensed salespersons, brokers, licensed lending officers and licensed closing attorneys smile big at couples who had been convinced that yes they really could afford that bigger development house.

 

Desperate money hungry politicians and home building-related business leaders lured people beyond their fiscal boundaries using city, state and federal tax dollars to offer "gimme programs" using City money, state money and federal money - OUR tax dollars.

 

Most folks usually not suffering much on their own forget their Christianity, their Judaism or other faith - scriptural teachings - and spew hatred and lambaste buyers as the sole fiscal fools responsible for their own dilemma. Believe you me, when first-time homebuyers face-off with licensed professionals on whom they depend for fiduciary leadership, the buyers usually lose buy getting convinced into a bigger purchase.

January 7, 2011
Click to view whotmewory's profile

PS: Why is it you never see type-Os till you print?

January 7, 2011
Click to view whotmewory's profile

Why is it people like Geoffreyf repeat the lie that "If you want to pay the debt more taxes must be collected," when the rest of us - to pay the debt must stop spending? Folks need to understand that our legislators are criminal in their awful stewardship of your taxes and mine. Pork funding, ear marks, shoddy usless special programs so deeply nested the public is clueless they exist - yet still Soviet-styled Americans say "pay more taxes." Yeesh! IT'S YOUR MONEY PEOPLE! AND GOVERNEMTN DOES NOT "PAY FOR TAX CUTS." Consider it a wage cut!

January 7, 2011
Click to view Fabumbus's profile

No! No more loans to people who don't qualify! The "American Dream" is what it is! If your a deadbeat then why should my tax money subsidize a loan for you? I don't get handouts or bailouts. Americas days are truly numbered!

January 7, 2011
Click to view Sternberg's profile

Who is at fault isn't whats most important here.  What is important is that the entire financial system not be allowed to fail and greatly increase the damage to us all.

Considering that the wealthiest 10%, pay 50% of our taxes, this should be loved by those who wantto soak the rich.

Some one is going to absorb the damage, whether it is great or very much greater.  It will eith be the taxpayer, or we the consumer.  Take your pick.+

January 7, 2011
Click to view OldSniper's profile

Gov should not get involved.  I believe Government does everything poorly, so let them do only the things which are absolutely necessary. 

 

We paid my mortgage, only because we never bought more than we could afford.  We are by any definition middle class; simply hard working average citizens.

 

I believe we would teach our children and each other to be happy with reasonable lifestyles if we resist irresponsible influences like the privileged ruling class.

January 8, 2011
Click to view michael11111's profile

It is never the right thing to do-- Government is not aloud to compete in the system for profit , so company's should not expect help , it is simply not the order of things. Company's need to find and feel the pain of making bad decisions just like you and I , to help them is to disable them and in the future they will expect the same.-- like spoiled little brats!

January 8, 2011
Click to view BionicBub's profile

I am very thankful to be living in a home through a government-subsidized loan; otherwise, I would have been among the homeless about 3 years ago. But I have seen a great many people abuse this system because there is no follow-up procedure to insure that the new homeowners act responsibly. I am talking about the ones who use their increased household money (due to the lower mortgage payments) to buy new motor homes, boats and newer cars and trucks when the purpose of the lower mortgage payments was to allow them to buy more food and necessities for their families. It is these kinds of irresponsible people who have given the programs a bad reputation and result in far higher foreclosure rates than would otherwise have been the case if there had been sufficient safeguards in place to monitor the major purchases they make after moving into their new homes. The programs do not need to be eliminated; they need to be pared down to manageable levels and given some kind of enforcement powers with real teeth to discipline the recipients who are tempted to abuse the programs.

January 8, 2011
Click to view FlaClif's profile

Turning our back on other states and allowing them to default is unrealistic.  The resulting fallout will cost American taxpayers more in the long run.  However, providing "free money" is also unrealistic.  The Federal Government should provide loans on the condition that any state receiving money will suspend their Congressional Representatives and relinquish control over their budget to a Federal Committee until the debt is repaid.  A delinquent state should not have the ability to legislate or budget.

January 8, 2011
Click to view nitridr's profile

We should continue to support government backed mortgages. There needs to be controls and scrutiny. Do not entice people into purchasing more than they can afford. Do not lie on the application. Our economy is driven by consumption. All jobs are a result of consumption. You have to have sales of products to make jobs. Not the other way around as many of the trickle down Reaganonimics would have you believe. The rich do not create jobs because they have extra money. The poor create jobs by spending what little they have to purchase products. A house is a product that creates jobs. And they have to live someplace. Rent is no cheaper than house payments. The real estate taxes are paid by the person/s living in the house either directly or indirectly.

January 8, 2011
Click to view nitridr's profile

Sternburg, You have your fact wrong again. The top 3% are rich. They do pay significantly more percentage of their income as taxes than the poor and middle class. But that still amounts to about 10% of the taxes the government collects. The supposed middle class comprise nearly 60% of the population. And they pay about 80% of the taxes while the poor (rich by worldly standards) pay the remaining taxes. By the way, who has more left after paying their taxes, the rich or the poor? Yes the rich. They are able to live a lavish life even after paying such high taxes. The poor would struggle even if they paid no taxes. The minimum wage is still at 1980's levels. If that were raised to 2010's levels then there would be less poor, more paid into the tax system, more for the rich to hoard and all would be happy. Instead GREED is there to try to convince us that the rich are paying the freight and should be protected more.

January 8, 2011
Click to view darthwater's profile

I have no problem with We The People lending money to important causes.  I have a huge problem with a broke government giving away a penny that we will never see again.  50% of us pay taxes.  When they give away money they are just telling the 50% taxpayers that they want us to pay for it.  The government is not a charity and should stop acting as one.

January 8, 2011
Click to view M1s8mint's profile

The problem is not Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, because they are financial institution like banks that have different standard for providing loans to lower income individual, but to qualify for these loans you still have to fill out document and provide proof of your income, just as if your where going through any other bank. So if you as a potential home owner lie about your income level or the agents assisting tells you that you can afford this home. What are financial institution like Fannie Mae, Chase, Wachovia to do, not provide any loans. Like that will ever happen.

 

I say the real problem are these people who have exploited the system and use lies to provide loans to people they knew they cold not afford, so that the agents selling a home should get a big bonuses.

January 8, 2011
Click to view bcecil's profile

Big 5 banks are completely bankrupt. Gov has let them hide debt from the books. Need to break them all up, 1000's of "banksters" to jail for fraud. Stolen money back to populace. 1% of US population = 70% of income.. Something REALLY wrong with that picture

January 8, 2011
Click to view AmrcnSphnx's profile

In a word... NO!!  The government needs to stop providing for people and get out of the way.  Let people help themselves and let markets be based on reality, not propped up systems because of subsidies, etc.

January 8, 2011
Click to view fenderbob's profile

Yes with discretion.

I bought my first home with a V.A. loan 8.5% interest; lost my job 5 years later. Found another vet to take-over loan; result was no default.I saved my money and bought another home through V.A. again at 9%; refinanced 8 years later at 8%.Just an old farmhouse but affordable with my income at the time. Each time I explained my price range to the realtors, and each time they would show me homes I could not afford with my income. I finally found my home myself and did my own paperwork through the loan co.

Many times since I've had realtors trying to get me into a more expensive home way above my income level and usually offended them when I told them to keep their % of realtor fees cause I was happy in the inexpensive home I live in.

By not extending my credit it gave me the opportunity to save for my retirement.

Now that I'm retired many people still think I'm CHEAP; I prefer to call it FRUGAL.

Many a friend of mine have MOVED UP to a more expensive home and New Auto every year with no savings for their future and no chance to ever pay off their mortages.

My advice is to join the Armed Services and see how the rest of the world lives on less and enjoy the world more than we Americans do.

WAKE UP Americans and quit letting other people tell you what you need to keep up with the "Jones".

We can't all be rich but we can be responsible citizens!

January 8, 2011
Click to view UpL8's profile

I overspend. I want something for nothing. I don't take responsibility for my actions. I am easily suckered in without reading the fine print. I am the American Homeowner who bit off more than he could chew. I want the government to help me to get out the mess I made for myself. Waaaaah! Poor me. I am stupid and I deserve nothing.

January 8, 2011
Click to view BSol9791's profile

Is it fair? Difficult to say. Personally, I'm overwhelmed by the scope of these programs. I doubt there's any way that even the most informed person could accurately determine the repercussions of the "bailout".

 

Having said that, my inclination is to remain skeptical. When given a simple answer (Bailout!) to a problem as significant and complex as an economic recession, I assume that the simple answer is simply a cover for some ulterior motive.

 

For example, they told us that the basic idea behind the bank bailout was to give banks money so that they could lend. Yet the problem was not that banks weren't lending but that they lend to absolutely anyone! So how does giving them our money so that they can continue ruinous lending practices help in any way?

 

And sure enough, when the smoke cleared we see that banks are now quite stingy when it comes to lending - which is what they should have been all along. But the question is: Why did we give them that money?

 

The explanation doesn't hold water and it's one of many.  

January 8, 2011
Click to view RazorRiely's profile

I never understood why the Government was in the business of subsidizing houses? Why not cars or vacations? 

January 8, 2011
Click to view taxed02's profile

I do not agree with any subsidized housing in any form.  It is a rip-off of the taxpayers.  Just remember, whenever somebody gets something for nothing (including the subsidized part of their rent) somebody else has to expend a part of their life working for that money which is taken away from them and their family.  Why don't the people that want the welfare housing work harder, have fewer kids they cannot afford, save more for retirement and be more responsible so somebody else doesn't get taxed to pay their rent, food, health care, etc....  What part of all this is fair to those who struggle and make sacrifices to carry their own weight in society?  What is my family going without so somebody else can live off my earnings?

January 8, 2011
Click to view RoelofK's profile

US is spending another 600 billion $ to save Wallstreet, I mean US economy. The EU has made a same pot of 2000 billion euro.

 

I think it's unfair for both continents, because they are forgetting to make international agreements to limit those bonusses. It causes banks to take to high risks. We European and American have to play somekind of insurance company to save them when things go wrong again.

 

It's like you lost all your money at the gamble table, by someone else and allowing the players to risk all our money again.

January 8, 2011
Click to view MICAHEL's profile

Is the  bail out fair? No I dont think its fair because the market collaps is the market correcting itself and bringing prices in line with the consumers ablity to pay. We see that after all the bailouts coporations are flush with cash but still only hiring on a limited bases. Not only that but the banks and wall street made bad bets and lost then the taxpayer bails them out in the name of saving the economy. I dont see anyone saving the folks who lost their jobs, homes and cars. Then you have the fed buying back bonds to the tune of 600 million and all I see is traders speculatating driving comodities prices up putting more pressure on the working folks and complaining and doing their best to get folks to spend money they dont have.

January 8, 2011
Click to view Rachel000's profile

Everybody should be able to have a home of their own.  I know firsthand how Housing prices are too inflated by rich investors buying up all the cheap properties and sitting on them... and All these 'taxpayers' complaining about paying for other people's 'luxuries' must realize your taxes are going to clean water, air, maintaining streets and promoting the overall human condition... BTW, some poor people weren't always poor.  It's not fair to catagorize everybody into what your tiny mind can handle and preach gentrification to the world, you sound like a little Hitler ;)

January 8, 2011
Click to view cnn2020's profile

Hell NO !

January 8, 2011
Click to view carterapat's profile

REALLY HOUSING????    WHY CAN'T YOU CONCENTRATE ON GOVERNMENT BAILOUT OF COMPANIES THAT ARE SCREWING OUR ENVIRONMENT??????      REALLY REALLY Weak!

January 8, 2011
Click to view Refudiate101's profile

i say no but then again to many people belive the republican hypocracy .. ohh.. no.deregulation!! free market!! oh no the gov. is stepping in!! socilisim

January 8, 2011
Click to view Roguey's profile

Mortgage interest deductions should be eliminated, or cappped. As it is now, the people with the biggest mortgages get the biggest deduction from the government. It's arguably a good thing to help people get on the first rung of property ownership, but why should taxpayers chip in to help someone buy a multi-million dollar home?

January 8, 2011
Click to view MikeSp's profile

As someone who saved 20 years to have enough to buy the land and put down the 20% building a new home we wanted, I say keep the Government out of it. Banks who made risky low to no down payment loans should have been allowed to fail. People who took out such loans without any backup plans should lose their homes if they can't keep up with the payments. We cannot bail everyone out and shouldn't try.

January 8, 2011
Click to view imginger2005's profile

I think this is a very complex issue and pointing fingers never helped anyone. I am one of the ones who lost my house. Not because I overmortgaged - not because my payment was outside of my means while I was working. But I lost my job - after 26 years of being steadily employed and doing what I was supposed to do. Working. Exercising the work ethic I was brought up with.

 

After being released from my corporate positon in favor of the company's bottom line, I called my mortgage company right away and told them the situation - they said there was nothing they could do for me until I was two months late. I politely told them I preferrred not to be in that situation. I called so-called Hope for Homeowners. They told me they could do nothing for me and made suggestions about renting.

 

I told them all if I could get the payment lowered about 25%, it would certainly be workable and continue to be so. In the end, the mortgage company preferred to foreclose and sell the house at 30% of its value.

 

I don't know where the conventional wisdom is in all that or if there is any wisdom at all in it. But I am not going to cry over it, whine about how unfair life is - or ask for the government to bail me out. I am moving on doing what I can do to keep a (new) roof over the head of me and my children, pay the mortgage I have now, keep the lights on, and put food on the table.

 

I never asked for a handout or for some agency to pay my mortgage off. I asked for a solution to help me do what I had agreed to do - continue to pay my mortgage and rightful debt off until it was fully satisfied - either by temporarily reduction of payments, restructuring, or changing the term of years. In the end, I didn't abandon them but they abandoned me. I was upfront from the beginning about the resources I had to work with and the situation I was in.

 

I do think that some people were duped by mortgage companies engaging in shady predatory practices. I think a lot of people did live beyond their means. I felt the very idea of interest-only mortgages were foolish from the beginning and the questionable loose practices by lendors to give mortgages to people who clearly didn't qualify or selling them things they couldn't afford was clear.

 

I remember when I was buying my first house and the real estate person said I could buy a house for 150% value of my yearly income. I knew right then they were clearly out of their minds and there was probably more to life than high mortgage payments. But I also knew there might be a lot of people who'd have believed just that and shot for the moon. They said it was within your means, right?

 

Well, it would be ignorant to paint a broad brush across every 'deadbeat' person who lost their house to say they were either a loser or a fool. Stuff happens to good people, naive people, and bad people alike - and suddenly all the promises you made and had every intention of keeping - cannot be kept. Sometimes you do become a product of the incidences around you that you cannot control.

 

Let's remember that it's the richest segment of people who control policy on how bank and investment firm money is spent and invested. Then let's remember that some of those same people fight for the biggest tax cuts, finds the biggest tax shelters and squeeze through the loopholes in IRS policy so that they pay as little taxes as possible. Also remember that some of these same people who pay the least for public protection demand the most of it.

 

But I do believe helping people in tough times instead of this useless 'let them eat cake' attitude is both compassionate and prudent. Try to understand it. But don't JUST throw money at the problem. Let's do this the smart way - find solutions and help people get back on their feet and educate them on how to remain that way. Heck, employ me and I'll be happy to help.

 

January 9, 2011
Click to view MCMASEHERE's profile

Hell no!!  I can not believe this is even and issue!  These banks approved loans on homes that they knew buyers could not afford! Now my house is going down in value because of the foreclosures in my neighborhood and now the government expects me, a taxpayer, to shell out my bucks to help the government sell homes?!  So what bail out will this be? Obama is going into the real estate business now?  OH wait, I know, its called the Obama free-dom housing allience!!  What a joke!! He is already cutting our military over 97 billion dollars in order to cover his rear end on the mismanagement of our funds already! Oh this is before the statement Gates made today of "China's military is a potential risk to the US".  Check it out its on CNN.com! Getting back on the subject...These subsidized homes appear to be nicer than these expensive foreclosures(500,000 and up) in my nieghborhood! WOW....Maybe I should let the bank foreclose on my home so I can live in a nice new home too!  Stupidity is a disease and Obama has it!!!

IMPEACH!!!! 

January 9, 2011
Click to view Todca's profile

  No, this just keeps the cost of homes high. People should be encouraged to get a small house not a big house. What really needs to be done is the govt. buy up rundown condemned cheap houses and rebuild very well built affordable (small) house with plenty of clever storage. Then sell those.

January 9, 2011
Click to view 309912's profile

I think it is unfortunate that the people these programs were designed to help are ineligible for them. I am only 30, I worked from the time I was 20 until I was 27. I have a disease that has made me unable to work, I was diagnosed when I was 21. I continued working even though my doctor didn't want me to because that is what you do. You work. At 27 the problems were just too much to continue and I agreed to try for disability...which was granted. I have found that because I don't have 6 kids by different men I don't qualify for much assistance. I do have one child but I stopped after the one. I cannot afford a home so I rent. I wouldn't even be eligible for this assistance because I just have one child and am not a minority.

 

Even I say no to this program. I hate to see my friends and family pay taxes on things that people could easily get off their lazy butts and work for! Everyone needs help sometimes but these aren't the people receiving help. The ones getting help are people who know how to "work" the system and continue having children they can't afford and living in a manner they can't afford!

January 9, 2011
Click to view kungfumastah's profile

When people stop finger pointing and looking at themselves, maybe some of these problems will actually get solved.  Yes, liberals, it doesn't make sense to risk loans on non credit-worthy people.  Yes, conservatives, the "hands off" mentality of deregulation allowed this problem to grow to the bank killing size that it did.  I don't have a problem with subsidizing loans, as long as it becomes harder to get one (i.e. drug tests, references, background checks, etc.  Plenty of credit worthy people work hard and will pay their loan, they just don't make much YET.  Loans should never be granted just to get more minorities, etc. to be homeowners.  But if we don't have any help for people who were just born into the wrong family and aren't rich enough to buy a house yet, then homeownership will always just be something rich folks do.  Class warfare, anyone? 

January 9, 2011
Click to view dbchow's profile

What is wrong with everyone having a place to call home? Govt can build small efficient homes and "trade" for work. Everyone can work, you can pick up trash from your hoverround, you can answer phones at the "Here is work, come do it" center. Taxpayers (foot bill) get to call in work requirements and the free home folks come and do it.  A "trade" of goods and services. Family member join the military in a direct combat role - free home.  You work, you get a home. You avoid or stop work, you lose the free home.  What good is a "country" if it does not address the needs of the people?  Build a coast to coast electric rail system that would eliminate a huge percentage of resource wasting automobiles. The work created to build, operate, and maintain a public rail system that rivals that of Germany (for instance) would be a boon for the country and the world.  The sooner we stop driving petro based cars, the better for everyone.  Stop the "me" mentality - "WE" are in this together - get over it and work to make this life and this world a better place for all.

 

Chew on that all you nay sayers.

January 9, 2011
Click to view CrazyRaymo's profile

No, governments should not help people buy houses.  Whenever a large organization puts money into a market they distort prices.  In this case the increased demand from low-income buyers pushed up prices and helped form a bubble.  When the oil shock came along those people on thin margins couldn't pay their mortgages.  This decreased demand suddenly and house prices collapsed.  Other examples where government funding has created disasters include Africa and Afghanistan.  In those two cases it is development dollars.  But it is the same thing.  It's a tough truth, but each person has to earn their own way in life.

January 9, 2011
Click to view HasRob's profile

Theres an estimated 30 million empty homes across america thanks to the forclosure mess, and builders are still building. Makes about as much sense as that. This country is doomed period! Tax cuts for the rich, aid to pakistan and nothing for the poor 99ers. Rediculous, I give up!

January 9, 2011
Click to view jimbowt's profile

Goverment has grown fat and sassy. Ever increasing taxes soak us tax payers for welfare programs benefiting lazy baby makers who have learned the goverment pays for financial failure. They then teach their children that failure is the road to success. Time to flush this country down the tubes and start over.

January 9, 2011
Click to view Commojoe's profile

No, Freddie and Fannie need to be much more tightly controlled, as do the idiots like Chris Dodd and Barney (the little prancer) Frank, who caused this entire mess. If you can afford the home and the payments, great, go for it. If not, stay where you are and save until you can, but don't expect government to GIVE you anything, as it ALWAYS costs, people! This mess Dodd and Frank have gotten us into is going to be around for quite awhile.

January 9, 2011
Click to view neal2350's profile

Bad loans would not be so detrimental if they were overseen properly and if the system wasn't made to benefit bankers. Reforms such as a higher reserve rate (face it, collateral is necessary) can certainly reduce the impact of future catastrophes.

January 10, 2011
Click to view karek40's profile

Show me a successful cost effective program ran by the government...........That's what I thought.

January 15, 2011
Click to view jradxit's profile

The government should not support private ownership of property for one individual over another.  That said, the government should also provide a level playing field for everyone by enacting and enforcing fair rules.  This it has failed at completely.  It is the fault of the apathetic and uninformed voting populace.  We are reaping what we have sown.   I also think BASIC housing for anyone who needs it should be provided as a social safety net, but ownership should not be part of the equation.  The accommodations should be a simple single room space with only the most basic necessities. 

January 18, 2011
Click to view Shenandoah's profile

I bought a small home in 1992 that may have had Fannie in the background, guaranteeing the first time homebuyers 30 year mortgage.  At that time the bank required a pretty high standard to qualify.  My credit was top notch and I could have financed a more expensive home, but I wanted to have a mortgage I could manage if I had to change jobs or the child support stopped unexpectedly.  From that time until I (early) paid off the mortgage this year, every payment was on time.  My property taxes were paid in full and on time every year.  Most of my friends have bigger, nicer homes - but this one still works fine and I'm heading into retirement with a paid for home that has been carefully maintained.   I am VERY thankful.

 

January 19, 2011
Click to view lgluscit's profile

Our government has been subsidizing rental housing for over 40 years.  Today, no developer of residential rental or condominium sale properties can get a project approved without an "affordable" component.  It has become the standard.

 

Taxpayers already pay for people who do not/have never contributed to the economy to live in the same community in the name of "diversity and fairness".  This is not about race, but about responsibility and there is nothing fair about it.  Housing for the elderly and the disabled is and should continue to be subsidized by the government (i.e. taxpayers).  But the cost of general subsidized housing, whether it's rental or ownership through mortgage subsidy, is crushing our nation, and we have to figure out a better way.

 

 

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