This post has been a long time coming, but finally got pushed to the fore by a perfectly timed question on Trulia Voices:
“If my house is upside down, should I just walk away.”
In just 11 words, the questioner has managed to illustrate one of the more troubling aspects of today’s world: an utter lack of personal responsibility.
When I purchased my first house – actually, when I purchased all of my houses – the intent was to find a place to live, a place for my family to spend time and grow. The idea that I might be able to turn the house into an ATM never crossed my mind because, at the end of the day, I wasn’t looking for an investment vehicle. I wanted a home.
I’ve never purchased an automobile expecting it to be worth more than when I first started the engine. In fact, it was abundantly clear to me the car would be worth less with that first start (and each successive start) no matter what. The same can be said for just about everything I’ve purchased, outside of investments such as stocks and mutual funds – computers, appliances, vehicles, PlayStation 2 games, my Wii Fit. All were going to be worth less. Yet for those purchased on credit, the idea of not paying because they were not worth as much never crossed my mind.
If you truly can’t afford the payments for your home, that’s a different situation. But for those who can afford the payments – who have the ability to meet their obligations but simply have decided not to do so – I have next to no sympathy. Getting spanked on your credit report really doesn’t strike me as enough, but it’s the only hammer available.
What is it many of us say when a professional athlete holds out because they want to renegotiate a contract already in play? “You knew what you were signing so uphold your end of the bargain.”
Of course, it’s hard to blame the general public for this type of attitude. We’re watching Wall Street get bailed out after years of terrible investments. These banks knew what they were doing when they made and bundled the loans, yet they come to Congress hat in hand and beg for assistance now that their bets went bad.
The next time I’m at Casino Arizona and hit on 12 only to see some paint hit the board, please remind me to pull back my bet because the odds weren’t in my favor.
At this point, do I need to answer the original question of whether you should just walk away from your home? Again, if you have no other options, then this screed really doesn’t apply to you. But if you’re doing it just because … try something different, act like an adult and take some responsibility for the decisions you made
[tags]Phoenix real estate[/tags]