Boom ends. Dream ends.

imagesHalf our friends in Sedgefield are two to four months in arrears on mortgage payments. One family has had their house repossessed.

I know it’s a common story, but like most disastrous scenarios it only seems real when it happens to you or those you know well. They aren’t high-living, cool swingers – a night out usually means the annual school concert. All they did was borrow more than they could afford to pay back if, and when, the fan was hit.

Two years ago stretching to borrow just a bit more than was comfortable seemed like a smart move. The building boom was on, there was too much work for locals to handle, and property prices were doubling every year or two. The risk seemed to be not getting in while you could still (barely) afford too.

Not only have they lost money and their primary asset, they’ve lost the dream of the life they wanted for their family. A simple life where boys could mess around on boats and mom’s could make jam from home picked fruit. Yip, it’s corny. But it’s also seductive. Now it’s gone.

Jake on Sedgefield lagoon

Jake on Sedgefield lagoon


1 Response to “Boom ends. Dream ends.”

  1. 1 shoreacres July 11, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    The gap between the pain of economic realities and the serenity of Jake’s photo is just astonishing, and so sad.

    As you suggest, it’s one thing when it happens to the high-flyers who did know better but were arrogant or narcissistic enough to think it “couldn’t happen to them”. It’s quite another when good people who stretched on the advice of others or a misjudgment of where the trends were going get clobbered.

    There’s nothing corny about boats and jam. For a lot of us, that is the good life.

    Mom was thinking about an assisted living place, mostly because she wanted to free me a bit. But now, since she’s able to stay in her own home with my assistance, we’ve made the decision to go on that way for a while and save the money. Things are just too iffy to risk it.

    Yip, it does seem to be the ordinary folk who get hit hardest for making the wrong decisions. Waterfront properties here are still changing hands for record prices – cash – so it’s not as if there’s no money. But, like over there, banks here are just not lending, making it impossible for people who need loans to buy property. A situation where there are buyers who want to take advantage of lower prices being unable to get financing. The same people who would have got an unsecured 100% loan a few years ago to buy a very overpriced house!

    Sounds a very sensible plan to keep sharing with your mom and cut costs for both of you. If there ever was a time to batten down the hatches, Lord knows, it’s now. . .

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