Tuesday, December 2, 2008

the A.R.M

We coulda been a statistic -- seriously. You hear about all of these people who are running into trouble affording their monthly mortgage payment, and as I listen, I can't help but thinking about how lucky we are that we got out of our trap when we did. In our previous house, which was our first, we were in a trap-mortgage, which I believe was a 7-year ARM (adjustable rate mortgage). That means that after seven years, the mortgage company would adjust (raise) our interest rate. And, to make matters worse, we had a home equity loan to make up the difference of what we had been short for our 20% down-payment. That, we learned over the months, was not a fixed rate, either. Our payment on that was higher each month, which was tons of fun. Fortunately for us, we sold our home when the market was high, and we made money to have a solid down-payment on our current home, and our mortgage is fixed -- for the next 25+ years. But when I think back to our previous situation, I get sick. We always knew we would refinance, but never thought that the market might be so bad that refinancing wouldn't really be possible. I feel for those who weren't/aren't so fortunate.

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