We’re on the back end of a 15 year re-fi mortgage and, with the housing market tumbling bigtime out here in SoCal, Lisa and I figured we’d leverage our assets, rent our home, and buy another. At the moment, one-time half-million dollar houses are in the low 300’s and, with foreclosures everywhere, there’s been way more than enough to choose from.
We’ve always tried to take seriously the Bible’s teaching on stewardship (Luke 12:41-48), simplicity, thrift, giving, and financial wisdom. As a result, we’ve chosen to live within our means, forgo fancy cars, drive the ones we have into the ground, cut coupons, and settle in the not-so-nicest of neighborhoods. More than once, we’ve had friends ask us when we were gonna move. But moving in an inflated market JUST TO MOVE, didn’t seem smart. So we waited. Now, it seems to have paid off. Nevertheless, it’s surprising to us how many Christians disregard what God says about money and material possessions.
I wonder how many professing Christians have contributed to the current mortgage crisis. My guess? Way too many.
Early in our Christian walks, we discovered just how out-of-whack believers can get with their dough and how sensitive the issue is. Our best friends at the time had filed for bankruptcy and apparently not learned their lessons. They continued to accumulate massive debt even with their credit dinged. Impulse buying, greed and just plain stupidness were all part of the equation. Lisa and I prayed for them, worried about them, and finally confronted them. We weren’t mean or nit-picky. . . just honest.
It destroyed the relationship.
So when we met with a loan officer to discuss taking out a Home Equity Line of Credit, she ran a credit check and came back shaking her head. We had an 812 (his) and 809 (hers) credit score. The agent said she’s never seen a couple who were both in the 8’s — it’s an anomaly in the current market. Does this sound like I’m bragging? Okay, maybe I am. But it’s kinda vindication for all those years of not following “conventional wisdom” and overstepping our bounds just to keep up with the Joneses.
Then this: The government is proposing a Mortgage Relief Plan to bail out greedy banks, cheap builders, and reckless and naÃ¯ve buyers who were suckered into over-priced homes. Got in over your head? Didn’t think through the interest only mortgage? No problem, bub. The Gubment’s comin’ to the rescue!
And I can’t help but feel as if people like us — people who’ve pinched pennies, used restraint and common sense — aren’t the ones getting the shaft.
more. . .