Housing hasn’t traditionally been a hot topic in presidential elections, but with homeownership financially out of reach for many Americans, the candidates vying for the Democratic nomination have been eager to discuss the issue.
A perennial, permanent complaint is that housing costs too much – unlike the good-old-days when housing was far more affordable. Of course.
We bought a junked home – literally – because that is what we could afford. We had to come up with a 20% down payment and assume loans with a combined interest rate of 11%.
The home had been a rental for 8 years and owned by 8 out of state landlords. The property had been vacant for 9 months. The yard was overgrown – about 8 feet thick of plant growth. It was not possible to walk from the front yard to the back yard along the side yards as they were solidly filled with overgrowth. The fence was falling down due to the weight of plants growing over it. To buy this, we assumed the two existing loans on the property, a 1st and a 2nd mortgage. The combined mortgage rate was 11%, and the 2nd loan was a huge interest-only balloon payment loan. That meant within 5 years we had to refinance to pay off the entire 2nd loan. Our eventual refinance bought us an 8% 30 year fixed rate loan. Yeah, 8%.
We spent 3 years working weekends and nights, after our day jobs, repairing and fixing the place and then hired a contractor to add 2 rooms.
As you can see, back in the good-old-days, buying a first home was really easy and interest rates were super low. Right.