*I'm sorry if this hurts any feelings, this post is in no way meant to ruffle any feathers. Obviously, if someone loses their job or runs into major health problems and has to short sell or loses their home, those are things that cannot be avoided. We'd lose our home if the same thing happened to us. I'm just trying to encourage people to keep going in this declining housing market. Don't lose hope! Explore your options, try your hardest to pay your bills. This blog is about being self-reliant after all.*
Let's just say that...this housing market makes me want to SCREAM! Not just want to, I have freaked out and cried about it many, many times. You see, my husband and I bought (our starter home, intended to have no more than one child in) at the peak of the market and like many of you out there, are incredibly underwater to the point that if things stayed right where they are right now, we'd be able to get out from under it (just to sell it with ZERO equity) in July 2025. It just makes me sick! Whining about it isn't going to solve the problem though, unfortunately.
So what are we doing about it?
We've been looking into refinancing our loan for the past 3+ years, but since we've owed more than the home is worth, it seemed like a pipe dream. Thankfully, we were finally able to do a Refi because we qualified for the HARP 2.0 refi (you'll need to check w/your lender to see if they offer it if you're in the same boat, it is a REFINANCE, not a bail out). This refi dropped our interest rate by 2.75% and lowered our payment by about $95/month, which is AMAZING! The best part, and this part is crucial... it's for a 20 year loan term. This makes it so that we'd be able to sell 5 years sooner than if we had stayed with our previous loan. This is how we are going to roll with this punch that is the crappy housing market. Especially since no one is going to hand us 50 or 60k in the near future, or ever. But a girl can dream can't she?
When we were starting the process with Harp, we had to ask about what loan terms(lengths) were available to us with the new program. Because most loan officers are going to assume that you want a 30 year loan. Like a bank is going to suggest a loan product that will make them lose ten or fifteen years of collecting interest from you...I don't think so. Just make sure to ask about what all of your options are. Anyway, sorry that was probably a major over share. But, if it helps just one family out of this mess, then it was worth writing the post.
If you're wondering where I got all of my numbers/dates, you need to meet my best friend... this amortization calculator.
Also, if you feel like you're the only homeowner struggling to stay afloat out there... you're not alone. Stay strong and we'll get through this together. I'm shutting up now.