Tuesday, July 29, 2008

'Extreme Home Makeover' sees family foreclose on 'free' house

 Getting a 'free' $450,000 construction job, a paid off mortgage, and $250,000 in cash and scholarship money just wasn't enough for one Extreme Home Makeover family who is getting foreclosed on 3 years after receiving their new home. How are they getting foreclosed on you ask? Well apparently getting a new home with no mortgage wasn't enough. After blowing the $250k that was raised to help them, apparently the 'Buffetts' took out a 2nd mortgage to the tune of $450,000 dollars which they cannot pay back!! I call them the 'Buffetts' with a straight face and not a hint of sarcasm in my voice.

I don't know the details, and it really doesn't matter. I use this case to illustrate the lack of financial awareness by the average joe. This goes back to my 'owning a house is a responsibility...and lots of people are NOT responsible enough to own a house'. I pose this question to you: how many people that are looking to get some of that $300 billion of guvment bailout money made bad decisions like the 'Buffett' family??

Should we feel 'sorry' for these people? Essentially, this family has blown well over a million dollars inside of 3 years. They got a $450k construction job (I am sure the house appraised for more when done) for free, they got $250,000 in donations from generous people, and they took $450k out of the house on a refi. You know how bad I am with numbers, but I think that is $1,150,000 blown through in 3 years. Based on the comments from people in the story, it wasn't like a freak illness or accident caused hospital bills to eat up that money, it appears to be nothing more than just terrible financial habits.

Maybe they should have been forced to watch a bit more Suze Orman, and bit less MTV Cribs. Either way, I just want you to think if there could be more people out there like them, with a 'sob story' of losing their home. Obviously you won't get much sympathy from me, as I am partially footing the $300 billion dollar bill with my tax dollars for people that cannot afford their homes, while I rent mine. If I had known the guvment was going to help my buy a place I couldn't afford, I would have bought one years ago. Another black-eye (can I say that...or will I offend people) for the responsible people of America.

On to more positive housing news...well, at least for those who saved their money and are looking for a good deal. Appears that housing dropped 15.8% in May from the same time last year. I didn't believe it until I saw this article, but I guess real estate doesn't always go up! I thought with the way salaries were growing 15-20% a year, that would have no problem keeping real estate propped up. Guess I was wrong. Maybe I should go read 'Economic Fundamentals for Dummies' and watch a bit more Kudlow and Company. Ok I apologize for the dry sarcasm here.

It is just that NONE of this is hard to see or understand, IF you take emotions and feelings out of it. I knowwwww you want that house or car, but the numbers do NOT lie! I know that new guvment program is going to cost hundreds of billions of dollars we don't have, but man, it feels so good to 'help' these people. This country needs fiscally responsible people with integrity to turn things around. We need people on Wall Street, on Main Street, and in government that will make the 'right' financial decision even though it might not be 'popular' by people that don't understand the ramifications of poor financial decisions. Sure, a $300 billion housing bailout 'sounds great' to a large portion of this country, but the precedent that sets is very dangerous, not to mention the long term effects of government policy decisions like that. Sadly, there isn't a political party that is fiscally responsible anymore. With more and more people being raised on the 'guvment do it all for me' mentality, it is going to be hard to get enough responsible voters to actually make a difference.

All I can do is help you to be informed so that you and your family are less likely to fall prey to the unethical people out there, and to not make preventable financial mistakes.

Stay tuned...


PS. If you haven't been here for a while, there are 3 new posts in the past few weeks!!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, I have to contradict.

Money Gift $250K
Construction $450K
Loan $450K +

But they consumed only the loan and the house will repay that (partially). So infact they only blew $700K ($250K + $450K). Still a large sum of course.


7/30/2008 5:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And I read that all the townfolk who donated their time and effort feel like a bunch of chumps.

8/03/2008 6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this blog. I really really wish I had acted on my question in the forum that had 50x bagger investment ideas in it (How do you make a metric assload of money in the coming downturn)
I had puts that all expired worthless 2 months before it all started. Too early :-D

Keep up it socalmtguy

8/07/2008 4:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Supposedly, the show made financial advice available - which, if you've ever done any volunteer work with poor "victims", you know they 1) need and 2) won't go out of their way to get.

I wish Extreme Makeover would do a series where they go back to these folks and figure out what happened and then actually give them a budget and a financial plan, on the air. People love to watch idiots and think "I would never do THAT!", so give it to them, along with a small dose of financial education and maybe a hint of political education. Yep, if Americans learned - entertainingly, of course - that well-intentioned handouts create BIGGER problems rather than solving problems, oh, my, we might recapture some of that power of freedom that made America the land of opportunity (subject to responsibility).

8/27/2008 6:20 PM  
Blogger Katy said...

Hi SoCalMtgGuy,

So glad you are posting again. I read your blog regularly in 2005 - 2006 when I was hired by a real estate Internet Marketing Company to write their daily blog. My job was to find positive stories on the housing market so that real estate agents could syndicate them to their readers. I don't have to tell you what a drag that was. Your blog and several others provided the real news and commentary while the mainstream press could only regurgitate bullshit at the behest of the realtors.

At the time I sent your blog to everyone I knew as a warning, and was often times told it was alarmist. I am getting the same sinking feeling reading James Howard Kunstler and other Peak Oil writers, and trying to spread the real news while it still can make a difference. Thanks for all you do.

9/30/2008 12:41 PM  
Anonymous Jardinieres Curtains said...

For sure many people would like to join this event to win the Extreme home make over and for sure they also get good home makeover tips out there.

1/03/2013 10:02 PM  

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