So as I mentioned in my last post, I have been trying to figure out some way that Hubby and I can get out of our current mortgage, credit unscathed. I've decided it's not going to happen. If we don't want our credit to take a hit, our only options are to stay here and continue paying our mortgage as is, or rent our house out.
We recently submitted a refinance application, thanks to the FHA Streamline refinance we can do this even though we're underwater. I'm still waiting to hear back on it. While it's going to lower our payments by a couple hundred dollars a month, it's still no consolation for the fact that we're about 25% underwater, and we're down in value by 30% since we bought the house just 4 years ago. We had debated about just paying our same payment as we do now, basically making an extra couple hundred dollar payment each month and watching our principal go down. But then I did the math and if the market doesn't drop any further (which I'm really thinking we're not at the bottom of this crap market yet), it would take almost 5 years of extra payments to make up the difference. That's 5 more years of sinking money into this house that is too small for us right now, 5 more years of not having another child, and 5 more years of arguments over how to handle our situation.
If we decide to rent our house out, our situation doesn't look a whole lot better than staying here in the short term. But long term, it could pay off if we find quality tenants. But the mortgage lenders will see this as a liability until we have stable rent coming in for 2 years. And even then, the liability is still there, they just discount it by 70%. Which is a great number, but that's the whole, stinks in the short term part. We'd have to rent, or buy a house for the same price we paid for this one. In our target area, we're not talking about a much bigger house or much bigger land, unless we settle for a house that is beyond a "fixer-upper." And it's been proven with this house that Hubby has no desire to take on any serious renovation AT ALL, so there will be no fixer-uppers in our future, unless I find a best friend who is a contractor and willing to work for free.
The part that really eats at me is, we would qualify for a loan for our dream home if we didn't have this mortgage. If we could get out from under this with our credit intact, we could actually qualify for our dream home with no problems. And it would only take us maybe a year or two to get the downpayment together, if we didn't have our mortgage. Shoot, even say we keep our mortgage, it would be 2-3 years. At least then there would be a light at the end of the tunnel. Right now it just feels like we're falling further and further down.
I don't understand how everyone who is doing everything wrong and making poor choices are getting assistance and those of us who made the responsible choices, and are doing the responsible thing now, are being told there's nothing they can do for us. I'm tired of having SUCKER tattoo'd on my forehead. I'm not talking about those who have lost their jobs because of the economy or for medical reasons and are on the brink of losing their homes. That's who those programs are there for. But what about the guy a few doors up from me? He bought his house shortly before we bought ours. He paid a little more than we did. After 4 years, he just walked away and let the bank foreclose on his loans. I found out the other day, he qualified for a mortgage somehow and they have a nicer, bigger house not far from here. How?! And why can they do it, but we can't? I just know if I did something like that, it would all of a sudden wreck my credit for 5-8 years instead of how they claim 2-3 now.
I'm so tired of being tired and stressed over this house. I'm so tired of not having help nearby when I need it. I'm tired of arguing with Hubby over this house and our situation. There isn't anything I can do to make this better in the short term. Any solution we have is a 3-5 year solution. I'm not going to last that long in this house, in this situation. Something is going to have to give, and I'm thinking it's going to have to be our credit scores. We've worked so hard since we were 18 to build good solid credit, and now we can't even say that means anything. It's not going to get us a better mortgage. It's not going to get us out of debt faster. It's not going to get us better paying jobs. I know I'm complaining a lot about this, and I'm very happy and thankful that I have a roof over mine and my family's head, that we both have good jobs, and that we're making it without the degree of difficulty that is way too common right now. I just wish for once in my life, doing the right thing actually got me a reward instead of someone standing there waiting to tell me that I have to just take whatever is dished out because it's the "right and responsible thing to do."