Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Changes are in the wind

Things could get interesting, boys and girls....

So, my sister and brother-in-law (more my sister, actually) have come to the conclusion that there's a very slim chance they will be able to hold onto their condo. For some reason, lending institutions would rather have them walk away from their condo and their mortgage than negotiate down to an interest rates and terms that they would be able to meet, and keep the place. They keep getting information on this kind of loan and that kind of loan - but you either need $12-20K of equity (they have none) or cash (ditto) to refinance. They have not been able to find anyone willing to simply renegotiate the interest rate to something that they could live with.

(Interestingly enough, once they turn the deed over to the mortgage holder, there is a market for buying distressed mortgages, at 70-80 cents on the dollar - but so far, no one we've found is interested in offering that same principal reduction to the current mortgagee.... another blessing of our capitalist system.)

So, they are starting to look at rental property that they could afford and get into before their credit goes way south. And we are once again looking at winnowing down the stuff of our lives into something that they can deal with moving. Not what I would choose to be doing, to be honest.

It's so freakin' sad, and yet it's no different than a million other stories, across this broken land of ours. "Going to hell, on easy credit terms" is what one old grand-dad used to call it. Well, the devil seems to want his due.

At almost the same time, Chris has gotten word that there may be an opening at his dream job, working product support for Horizon Hobby in Champaign, IL (central Illinois). Horizon has been supplier to the hobby stores Chris has worked at, and one of his favorite vendors for RC airplane and RC car parts and accessories. There is nothing so firm as a job offer at this point, but it's sufficiently positive that Chris and I will be journeying to the Champaign/Urbana area over Labor Day weekend. Since my work can be done from anywhere I have a solid Internet connection (Caribou Coffee, for instance), I should be able to transition there fairly easily. It's a college town (a lot like Bowling Green, from what I can tell) surrounded by a lot of corn. But that's not so different than things out here in Ohio - except the economic image seems somewhat better.

So it seems there could be another scattering of the family in the weeks or months to come. Chris' lease is up December 31st, but the temptation would be to be out of here before then, or perhaps not until March. (We'd really prefer NOT to be moving over year-end, as we were last year!) Still, it is possible that a job at Horizon could make life a lot more pleasant for Chris, who is now working 2nd shift at a mid-sized hotel about 10 miles from here. My sister and her husband really need to make a decision in the next month or two, while he's still working and has a job for a rental reference.

So - my favorite state of mind - uncertainty, anticipating change, and disrupting the status quo. Just what I would have picked... But, at least, we are doing the right things, and trying to do what we can. So for now, it's the Serenity Prayer that is at the center of life, and we will work toward the best.


wilsonian said...

It sounds like you (all) have the opportunity to vastly improve your quality of life, without this crushing financial burden. I don't know how they've done it up until now!

And the paring down thing... it's good to do regularly anyway :)

hennhouse said...

His dream job! That is amazing. My brother and sister-in-law have lived in Champaign for a few years now and they seem to really like the small-town feel of it. He attends the university and she works there.

To be honest, I don't understand the whole mortgage industry--the ups and downs and no-way-outs.

Michelle Willis said...

I'm sorry to hear about your sister and brother-in-law's condo- getting all too common these days. On the other hand, I went to U. of I. for undergrad and really liked Champaign/Urbana while I was there! It would be a lot easier to visit you! I always come down for at least one football game every fall! GO ILLINI!

Black Pete said...

And God be with you every step of the way, Steve man.