The couple bought in 2002, as the boom was beginning. At its peak, the house was worth more than three times what they paid for it. But they refinanced and took cash out to do upgrades on the house, and then they refinanced again because — well, Quinlan isn't sure why.
She's learned this about lenders and loan agents: "They make it look like they are trying to do all this for you, but the reality is that it was mainly for them. They got their chunks out of you, and then they put you out to the wolves."
now I understand why we should bail these "homeowners" out-- how were they to know that nice loan shark was out to make money off of them? He seemed like such a nice guy! You mean he wasn't really just cold-calling because he cared about my self interests?!?! You mean *I* was supposed to read those forms, that, um, well, *I* signed?!?!
Wait, this gets better:
At the top of his street, next to the charred shell of a house that mysteriously burned a few months ago, is a house for sale. The house immediately next door is on the market too. A few doors away from De Leon's home in the other direction is a third house looking for a buyer. Some owners are trying to rent their places out, advertising with little signs on the front lawn.
De Leon fears what will become of his neighborhood if it becomes dominated by renters.
"You get people who don't care about the neighborhood and don't take pride in it," he says.
He's hardly alone in that view.
"If people start to rent, that's when you start to worry," says De Leon's next-door neighbor, Jose Serrano.
Serrano, 34, grew up in Long Beach. He saw friends die in Long Beach. He still commutes there every day to work on the docks for Toyota Motor Corp. It's an hour in the morning and two hours coming home, a grind he suffers for the sake of his three young kids.
Oh, so the following people are good for the neighborhood:
- People who commit mortgage fraud (Not enough income? Just "State" it!3)
- Gamblers (I'll take out the most loan I can't really even afford, since this house will triple in value in two years!)
- People so totally irresponsible that they lose hundreds of thousands of dollars of equity
- People who "mysteriously" burn their house down
- People who forsake time with their kids for the ability to "own" their homes. (3 hours/day is 750 hours/year! 31 days you could have spent some other way?)
- People who don't repay debts ("you are in default")
- People who rent money from the bank to "own" homes.
The following people are BAD for the neighborhood:
- People who rent houses from people
Keep an eye out for those bastards. Once they start moving in... there goes the neighborhood!