Wow, over 63,000 looks at this site. I realize that’s peanuts compared to other popular sports blogs but I must say, I never thought there would be so many folks visiting when I cooked this up. I realize it could mean that three people with no life and an internet connection have been checking in 50 times a day over the last few years. It could also mean that over 63,000 people have taken a peek and then … run immediately to the toilet to retch uncontrollably... or somethng in between. At any rate, it is a surprise to me and I will do my best to do a better job at generating ‘content’.
Our special visitor? Well I was actually referring to someone who stopped by yesterday: an appraiser, to take a look at the ranch so she could pluck some number out of the air to tell other people that this piece of the earth has a dollar value. Such an abstract concept, one step short of the notion of ‘owning’ a piece of the earth’s surface.
We are trying to refinance out home. So far we have been unceremoniously turned down by the mega-finance corp. that originally said “Sure, well back you on that!” And the credit union who more politely said, "It would all hinge on an appraisal and given the market and that comp report we got from the realtor, … probably not."
So we went ‘refinance hunting'. You know that TV commercial where they say something like “Just drop your name into this hat and in no time people will be bidding for the opportunity to refinance your home loan!” Well, we did something like that and sure enough a finance company called. We did the protracted finance mating dance wherein we supply endless bits and bytes of information and they string us along until we got to the point of “Now, it all depends on the appraisal.”
We are in the doldrums of the refi trade winds. If we were going down the toilet, upside down, underwater, bad credit, with an ARM that had adjusted up to 22%, shoot, there is a ‘product’ for that. If we had missed the last few payments and were at risk of foreclosure or short sale, shoot, there are plenty of ‘products’ that. By the way, where do these people get off calling their service a ‘product’ anyway? They don’t produce anything; they are in a service industry. It might help them see reality with a little less distortion if they looked through the right lens, you know, something about providing services to customers. Might also help with the attitude.
But we are not ‘blessed’ with any of these circumstances. We have stable employment, excellent credit, and more than adequate income. Our misfire is that our home has lost enough value that we don’t have sufficient equity to meet many of the lenders’ loan to value requirements. Didn’t seem to be a problem when we bought the place, and if we were looking for financing to buy this place now, we would have lenders slobbering all over us, laying their ‘products’ at our feet.
So of course I’ve had a slightly elevated level of ‘anxiety’ recently but really, … only slightly. It is not like we are at risk of being put out on the curb with the cat in a cardboard box. We can certainly continue to pay this place off, I‘d just like to pay a little less for the ‘product’ and apply the difference to the price of the house.
Our mortgage lender is one of the 13 banks that I personally gave a 7 trillion dollar late Christmas present to so that they could continue to do what they do (including giving out MULTIMILLION DOLLAR BONUSES to the idiots that got them in trouble to begin with!) In my last conversation with the ‘account representative’ I let him know that I didn’t appreciate them taking my money and not being willing to share the love. I am not asking them to forgive my loan, I’d just like to have the interest rate reduced to reflect current reality. IT PISSES ME OFF that the mega banks get a golden parachute (thanks to you and me) but seem to be unwilling to do anything for Joe Paycheck who makes his payments on time and just wants to take advantage of lower interest rates. YOU GOT THAT VIKRAM PANDIT?
WE NOW RETURN YOU TO YOUR NORMAL PROGRAMMING … and normal volume control …sorry for shouting).
So, the appraisal was a bit of an anticlimax; she was here and gone in 45 minutes. But I did tug at her coat sleeve enough to learn a few things. You see, this refi business isn’t the whole story, it is only one of the jaws of the vise I feel like my head is in. Just a couple weeks ago we got a love note from my pals down at the county assessor’s office. They too are interested in keeping up with the financial times and were pleased to inform us that property values here in Oakville are just soaring, up by 53% since 2006! Seriously! This of course means they are obliged to raise the tax assessment on my precious piece of the earth … by over 36%. Reminds me of that old redneck joke about the value of a good hunting dog: “I wouldn’t take a million dollars for that dog, … and I wouldn’t pay 10 cents for another just like him."
I need to go for a ride.