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Debt And Termites In America

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I've been privy to the house purchasing experience of an old friend of mine who now lives near Atlanta, Georgia, US.

She decided to buy a house. At the beginning of this I should point out, she was perfectly happy, a school teacher on an average school teacher wage, renting a very respectable almost luxurious sounding property. Life was clearly going well. She is middle aged, intelligent, extremely well educated, and adores her job.

Anyway, I asked her all sorts of questions about why she wanted to buy (not always well received :)). To sum up, there was zero knowledge of "the housing market" or financial implications, and lying beneath all discussions was one belief that trumped all arguments - that she felt like a failure if she didn't own one.

So, she went off to buy. What I expected to be a lengthy period of searching ended 2 days later. She had apparently found the perfect house. We keep in touch occasionally, so I was getting updates over the next couple of months as papers were signed etc. To summarise this period, I witnessed a happy, healthy individual plummet in self-esteem, confidence, and security.

I started getting seriously concerned the day she stopped buying food.

This was apparently necessary because her account was going to be checked by the lender. She had clearly been bullied by the mortgage rep but I couldn't extract the details. Her desperation to be accepted was extraordinary. Whatever he had said to her, the result was she was literally only eating what she got at her workplace or from friends. This went on for an entire month. Then the deal mysteriously became in danger of falling through at the last minute. Her dad stepped in to "rescue" it, so he has now stumped up an extra deposit or something like that. I tentatively suggested it sounded a bit like scare tactics, and was the house really worth all this? She didn't even know what I meant. The mortgage broker was such a nice man, after all. He was "really doing his best" for her, and she was "extremely lucky" to have been accepted.

Yesterday, we spoke briefly, and I could hear her teeth chattering, and I asked why. Turns out she can't afford to heat the house now. Talk turned to money, and I pointed out (not for the first time) that she had become a debt slave.

"What?", she replied indignantly. "I'm not in any debt!"

Having recovered from hearing that, I patiently explained what debt was. After some lengthy discussion which she apparently found very patronising, I discovered not being in any debt meant no debt other than a mortgage she clearly can't afford, and "just a few more payments on the car". However, as she triumphantly pointed out, she doesn't spend at all on credit cards. Except, as she later added, for larger items.

Last night I heard she now has to pay for an expensive treatment to stop the termites eating the wooden walls. She is going to be taking out a loan for it.

I despair. When is this misery going to end?

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Asuming the purchase is recent she should have got a good deal. Prices have tumbled in the USA.

That said, when the purchase started to get sticky you should probably have introduced her to the concept of gazundering. ;)

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Asuming the purchase is recent she should have got a good deal. Prices have tumbled in the USA.

That said, when the purchase started to get sticky you should probably have introduced her to the concept of gazundering. ;)

Yeh it was latter part of last year, I hope you're right and in the long term it may turn out ok (if the termites dont destroy it and rates dont go nuts though I dont really know what the score is with that in the US at the moment). What continues to flabber my ghast though is the attitude to, and effect of, debt.

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This person is a teacher????

Yup, and like I say, well educated. She can own people in all sorts of debates. Two blind sides, debt, and don't even consider criticising the president of the united states. We fell out over that one big time.

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One of the great things about receiving a Kindle as a gift is the opportunity to revisit for free those classics I hadn't read in fifteen years or more. So today I am reading Balzac and I came across this:

"One rule holds good of most young men - whether rich or poor. They never have money for the necessities of life, but they have always money to spare for their caprices - an anomaly which finds its explanation in their youth and in the almost frantic eagerness with which youth grasps at pleasure. They are reckless with anything obtained on credit, while everything for which they must pay in ready money is made to last as long as possible; if they cannot have all that they want, they make up for it, it would seem, by squandering what they have."

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Yup, and like I say, well educated. She can own people in all sorts of debates. Two blind sides, debt, and don't even consider criticising the president of the united states. We fell out over that one big time.

There's probably a third if she's a.septic even though she sounds crazy left wing. try singing borat's version of their national anthem and watch their reaction.

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you are portraying your friend as a victim who has been taken into the clutches of the giant mortgage ogre who is going to eat her up. but actually she is a greedy person who is also desperate. if things go tits up, she is going to undergo some stress but the taxpayer takes up majority of the tab. so i would advise you to tell her to keep servicing her debts because property always go up and now that she is on the ladder she is made for life

also, with obamamessiah in charge, what could possibly go wrong?

Edited by finallysold

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Yup, and like I say, well educated. She can own people in all sorts of debates. Two blind sides, debt, and don't even consider criticising the president of the united states. We fell out over that one big time.

teachers' and other public servants' unions in the USA have been very well served by the Democrats, I understand

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  • 312 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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