Pick any one of these doors. Go through neighborhood after neighborhood in your own hometown. Knock on the door. In over 90% of your visits, you will be greeted by a resident. If you turn around and look over your shoulder, there won’t be a sign out front advertising the home for rent and/or sale. This is not a dream, this is a fact. Oh, and yes, the calender does indicate it is late February in 2009.
The amount of people that are still paying their mortgage or their rent on time far exceeds those that can not do so. It is also important to note, those that can not do so include a very, very minute group that chooses not to do so.
The housing crisis is real.
The solution to the problem is being worked on. Do not let the headlines hide the fact that most people that bought a home are paying for that home…on time. Most people that have rented property are paying their rent on time. If you were to believe the press and the political pundits and the elected officials, you would think that a depression, dust bowl, boarded up towns situation was right around the corner.
If home ownership were compared to the human body, the current problem would be nothing more than a cut on the finger. Everything else may feel fine but that finger seems to control you. A tiny paper cut reaches out and creates a sharp pain that rivals the loss of a limb. In the grand scheme of things, it is just a tiny cut on the finger.
- the cut could become infected, and if not treated could become something far more serious.
- you could “bump” the finger and the resultant pain might cause you to lose focus.
- you could spend all your time focusing on the finger and neglect other important things.
- you might be convinced that there has never been a cut finger like yours and lose focus on history.
- you might run around showing everyone your cut finger and they would never see your healthy parts.
If the cut finger analogy doesn’t resonate, let me put it another way.
This is a picture of a full crowd at FedEx Field, located just outside Washington, D.C. . The stadium has a capacity to hold over 80,000 people. Now, if everyone in this picture was invited because they owned a home in the D.C. area or because they rented a home in the D.C. area, until everyone of those seats were full, it would look like this.
Now, let’s say that everyone that is paying their mortgage and everyone that is paying their rent were asked to leave. After they have all left the building, you have a photographer do a fly over and provide you with a picture of the people that are left, you end up with something that looks like this….
Oh, the building is certainly not empty. If you look real hard you might see one or two of those people that remained. After all, only about 80,000 people left the building. It is hard to see those that could not leave. It is hard to understand how so few could create the illusion that they were so many.
Emotions run wild… fears are flamed… it is the end of the world as we know it… all of the sudden it seems like everyone is going under… every block has several homes for sale… everyone is folding.
It is not true.
After the great depression had all but destroyed the American spirit… President Roosevelt introduced a recovery package. The merits of the package will be debated by the highbrows ad infinitum. The facts are obvious… America recovered. It was not necessarily only the recovery package…there are many that believe the simple truth led the way out of the depression and into the future.
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
For sure, this current crisis has grown from within. The reasons are as varied as the differing points of view. One thing is very clear. We did it to ourselves. This crisis was not the result of some foreign nation’s attack and it certainly was not the result of any one facet of those involved. Roosevelt’s statement from his first inaugural rings true today, but we have to add the Pogo caveat…
“We’ve seen the enemy and he is us.”
The President’s job is to mix both messages and lead us back to prosperity.
While he deals with the problem, we can not lose sight of the fact that all the gloom and all the doom overlook the fact that the vast majority of people that bought homes last year or in 2007 or in 2006 or in 2005 or 2004 and beyond… are still paying the mortgage they agreed to pay. Most home owners are dealing with the ups and downs of ownership by continuing their lives, going to work, paying bills and enjoying the comfort of Home Sweet Home.
Knock, knock… who’s there… in over 90% of the cases… the American Homeowner.