What may very well be the stupidest couple in Florida, shares its story of woe.
Sherry Kostenko: Starting over at 40
We bought a home in Orlando, Fla., in February 2005, the height of the boom here. At the time, we could afford the home, the taxes and the insurance. It would be tight but we kept planning on "the bonus" or "the raise."
Well that is because you probably listened to your worthless real estate agent. You know the line the so-called experts sell you. Don't worry about how much you can afford. Buy the most expensive house you can because your income will always grow.
We got all caught up in the "square footage" of the home. Well, what we didn't realize was that with our BIG HOUSE comes BIG EVERYTHING! Big taxes, big insurance, big water bills, big electric bills. The anxiety at the end of the month caused health problems for both my husband, Victor, and I.
Gee really? A big house costs a lot to cool...in Florida? No shit. Who could have possible figured out that puzzle? And you mean a more expensive house costs more in taxes than a cheaper house? Next thing you'll tell me is a big car uses more gas than a small car. And I'll bet nobody at the sales office/ real estate agent store bothered to tell you either. I'm not sure how a big house = big water bill though. You use the same water if you live in a 2000 sq ft home or a 4000 sq ft home.
No you weren't LITERALLY trapped. You were and still are trapped.
We decided to "downsize" our life, our lifestyle and our home. It was a lot of soul searching but we both realized that it's not all about "square footage" or bedrooms or full baths. It's about being able to afford a mortgage (and all the add-ons) and still have money at the end of the month.
All the add-ones. I love how these people think. Add ons you mean like insurance, taxes, hoa fees. Nothing big, just little add-ons.
Now, our timing could not be worse of course, for putting the big house on the market. We built a much smaller house, ranch style and I love it! My first electric bill was a third of what it used to be. Yes, we still have the big house, but we were able to rent it out and cover expenses.
We are not making a dime on the rental, and when the market comes back, we will put it back up to sell. We wiped out Victor's 401(k) to pay off debt and put a down payment on the new house. We have established a savings account and there is actually money left over at the end of the month....whew!
Ha ha ha ha. When the market comes back. Oh man these people are so in denial. Flordia's market will come back about the time the MESSIAH OBAMA's getting ready to say farewell to his 2nd term. And just wait until 'the big house' need a new water heater. Or roof. And while they are right about not making a dime, they are losing money. No way rent is covering all their costs.
And yet still with all that has happened did they learn their lesson and not buy? Nope, they had to go out and build a new home. These people are excited there is money left over at the end of the month. So they are living paycheck to paycheck. This means they are still paying way too much for their house. In other words they have learned nothing from their stupidity. But as long as they get to live the American Dream of home ownership, who am I to question their wisdom.
Personally I'll keep on shoving 50% of my income into the bank and rent myself. Sure I have to suffer the indignities of a lowly renter. Maybe it's just me but not being able to pain the walls any color I want is worth not having to deplete my 401k and suffer health issues just so I can say I am a home "owner".