Well, the Husband and I were hit with a rude awakening this week. Despite saving a good deal and being good stewards of our money, we were thwarted in our efforts to by a condo this week.
I had seen #8 (unit #8 of an 8 unit condo) the middle of last week. I loved it. It's kind of like a loft, but has 3 levels to it. A master bedroom downstairs with a huge closet, fire place and little courtyard outside. The main floor was amazing -- beautiful kitchen, living room, another fireplace (does it get that cold in LA??). Then up a few steps to a half-bath (full bath downstairs), and up a few more to the loft. A decent sized open room, but attached and through some French doors was a cute office. The Husband and I went to see it on Tuesday and loved it. We had a quick meeting afterward at Starbucks and got very excited to make an offer. Perhaps it was the caffeine. Nevertheless, I said I'd run the numbers to see what kind of bid we'd need to make. He said he'd call our Mortgage Broker friend to see about a loan.
We have been house hunting for a few months. We started last fall, but quickly abandoned when we realized a) we didn't have enough for a 10% down payment on most of these places and b) the housing market was really starting to tumble. So, I moonlighted (moonlit?) like crazy and we saved a good chunk of change. Enough, we thought, to put down 10% and not be "house poor" -- we'd still have some cash left in case the car broke down, the dishwasher flooded the place, etc. See, we were being financially responsible.
So, the Mortgage Broker (MB) gave us sad news. Within the past 2-3 weeks, the rules changed. No longer can you put 10% down, get a 10% line of Equity and get a loan for 80%. Now, in order to avoid mortgage interest, you have to put 15% down. So, that puts us in the exact spot we were last fall. Barely enough money for a down payment. In fact, I'd have to clean out the change cup in my car to make it. But, then what?? What if my car eats it? What if the washing machine breaks? What if the Husband gets put on hiatus for a few weeks?
So, people have totally screwed us. Thanks to brokers who set up people who shouldn't have been getting mortgages. Thanks to lenders who should know that a shift-manager at Coffee Bean can't afford a $612,000 condo in Hollywood. Thanks to morons who either didn't read their mortgage terms, didn't care to know their mortgage terms or didn't have the foresight to think about what would happen to the terms in a year. Thanks to all of those people, we're out. Again.
Who is going to "bail" us out? All of this talk about giving relief to people who bought over their limits. What about those of us who played by the rules, who were financially responsible? What happens to us? Oh, that's right: we get to wait and save another 8 months, and hope they don't make the minimum down payment 20%.
I guess it's true. Nice guys finish last. People who play by the rules get screwed. I'm trying not to be bitter (it's not working, is it...). I know there's a better time for us to buy, and it'll be soon. At least we're not in debt. At least we can make our monthly bills. At least we are healthy. Blah blah blah. :) I'm blessed, I am. I just want a place of my own already!