Sunday, January 4, 2009

Hard times

***OK, I wrote this a while back and didn't post it. And since I don't have anything better to post right now, and I feel bad leaving the trashy New Year's photos up any longer, here we go.

Finally our shoe ducking president has agreed with the rest of the world that indeed we are experiencing a recession and not just an economic downturn (what PR asshole came up with that one?) so now, life as our family has known it has changed. Not that we have ever lived beyond our means, but we certainly have taken advantages in the housing market, and when times are good for our wealthy friends, they buy new stuff and usually offer up any good junk to us before shit-canning it. I can imagine that the gravy train will be screeching to a halt very soon.

My hubby works construction and has been cut down to 32 hours a week, even with the reduced hours he's having a hard time keeping busy all day. There just isn't any work around. The construction industry is flooded with workers and nothing for them to build, repair. The housing crash has stopped construction in many areas around here. Land that should have been left farm fields, is now big piles of frozen dirt with one or two lone houses. I don't think that was the idea. Did nobody see this coming?

Not that we have any official real estate training or economic insight, but we knew when to get out and settle for a fixed rate mortgage. I know that a house and a mortgage isn't right for everyone, but since when is an interest only mortgage a good idea for a long term investment like a house? Maybe for developers and builders, but not for the average Jane and her family. I have heard countless stories (on NPR) of families who didn't understand the terms of their mortgage and lost it all.

Now the rest of us who responsibly took out mortgages might not be able to pay for them because the job market has taken a swan dive into the toilet. This really hit home with me because, no I don't work, but that was the plan for us. We can live on one income and prefer to, if that income is steady and continues to also include health insurance.


skyewriter said...

I am sure this was not an easy post to write. The only thing I can offer is words of support.

You and your family will be in my thoughts.

Verification word: ressesh.
Ressesh: how snooty, upper-crust, unaffected people describe the recession.

Wild Child said...

I so hear you on the one income thing and choosing to do so. That's what we did. My job isn't threatened, yet, but being the sole supporter of the family makes me very nervous. In addition, Wild Child #1 needs the works this year: glasses and braces. Ouch! Mr. Wild will need to get some kind of part time job just to manage the extra braces cost. Hang in there, and I'll pray you don't run into the recent house fixing problems we've had.

And where were the people that should have been saying that this boom is going to go bust at some point? We left the Chicago area 4 years ago because we knew we needed to sell that house and buy a less expensive one. We were worried it would go bust sooner rather than later and didn't want that hanging over our heads. And yes, now, even though we have the fixed interest mortgage and pay on-time, how long 'til we suffer for the sins of others?

Sidhe said...

My heartfelt wishes that you and your family come out on top of this one. We are still two-income, we have to because we came to MI with Chicago area debt (it's a long story, let's just say that we flew to MI from WI on little more than a wing and a prayer).

We rented from my husbands family for about a year, the housing market was abominable so we thought we were making a good choice delaying getting a mortgage. It blew up on us and we were unable to get a mortgage, well we could have at a stupid interest rate that my husband's family put the skids on and offered us a land contract. Now this land contract is our lifeline, we are so thankful every day that this was offered to us.

Now, I know my job is safe until October 1st but my husband's employer has laid plenty off (and he really hates his job)'s precarious and our big deal right now is to get enough ahead so that we can go to one income in September when I return to law school full-time (it's as an investment in our future and geesh, I've put it off for long enough...).

Christana said...

Hi Ali!
I love your blog! And I love to hear about you and your family! I always knew you were a good writer (skits at Unistar ring any bells?) and your skills have certainly come to fruition. So sorry about your husband's job, that totally sucks. I don't know if I'll be able to post this since I don't have a blog myself, but if you want to email me I'm at; I'm also on facebook. Read you soon!