Lately it seems impossible to turn on the TV or open a news publication without seeing everyone blame everyone else for the current housing and mortgage fiasco we have in America.
Blame FannieMae and FreddieMac…
Blame Loan officers…
Blame Wall Street…
Blame real estate agents…
Blame Congress… (okay, I’ve gotta admit that one is pretty tempting)
Blame, blame, blame, blame. And to what end?
Who benefits from this blame game? Certainly not the consumers who are struggling with trying to figure out how to keep a roof over their heads, bills paid and food on their tables!
The fact is that a case can be made to assign blame to any of a number of different parties depending on the specific circumstances present at the time. But I just don’t know that there is any real value in that, especially considering our current conditions.
Looking back over the “good years,” I don’t recall anyone forcing anyone else into making any decisions they didn’t want to make. The economy was good, housing values were rising almost weekly and there didn’t seem to be any end to the prosperity in sight. Unemployment was low, interest rates were low and ‘creative’ financing was available for just about everyone. A large percentage of the population was living the American Dream.
Could anyone have foreseen what was to come? I don’t think so… sure, we all had our guesses based on the information present at the time and probably most rational people knew the boom wouldn’t last forever but most people figured that the appreciating values would just kind of taper off and things would revert back to ‘normal.’
The lenders and buyers we personally worked with through those good times were all well-meaning, honest folks from what I could tell. Everyone was making a profit and enjoying the benefits associated with the economic growth. I never met one person who seemed intent on encouraging anyone else to make any decisions other than what they felt comfortable making.
There are always exceptions, of course, but for the most part, the people who bought real estate felt that they could afford their purchases and fully expected to continue to prosper. They never dreamed that the economy would come crashing in on them and that they might lose their jobs or become ill or experience some other tragedy in their lives. But, even if they did have contingency plans for such events, they certainly didn’t factor in having their home values fall like a meteor crashing to earth.
I think there’s just too much blaming and too little search for solutions to the existing mess we’re in… and I really think that there is just too little empathy for the people who’s lives have been turned upside down in the wake of it all.
Blame isn’t going to change anything. It is past time for some creative problem solving to take place by those in leadership positions and as for the rest of us… perhaps we would be served well to remember the sentiment of the English Reformer, John Bradford: “But for the grace of God, there go I!”
We just want you to know that we understand and we honestly do care. We do not sit in judgment of anyone but, rather, we consider ourselves as partners in helping you find solutions to your unique situation… solutions that meet your needs, not ours. We look forward to meeting you and to doing all we can to help you with your real estate needs.