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Indebted Young Couple Shows What’s Wrong with America

Articles like the one I’m referencing below demonstrate why there are still bubble home prices in certain areas. This particular article also shows how poorly people manage their own finances, and does a good job showing how much the country’s people are still relying on inexpensive and easy money to obtain debt. The article is called “The Financial Fix” (that ought to be in quotes, btw, because it is anything but a “fix” that this advisor gives them) that appears in Money Magazine, September 2011 issue, Page 42.

Where do I start??

This 31- and 32-year-old couple are $783,000 in debt! The debt is made up of a mortgage on a townhouse, a mortgage on a condo, plus car and student loans. First off, that is a terrible position to be in. They are in way, way over their heads. But it gets worse.

The wife is expecting their first child so they only have the husband’s $93,000 / year income. They say they are “barely breaking even on [his] salary”…uhm, no, you are not breaking even at all. You are losing ground (to debt and financial slavery), and fast. If they could apply all $93k of his income toward all their debt, it would still take them 8.41 years to pay it all off! OMG. That’s atrocious.

“They decided to keep their old condo as an investment, but so far it’s been a cash drain.” Silly people, you ought to stick to consulting or whatever it is that you do. “Real estate” as an investment is often highly overrated, as the returns on residential real estate have, on average over long periods of time, only barely beaten inflation.

What are you doing buying a $410,000 townhouse in Leesburg, Virginia? Anywhere in Virginia, for that matter? That’s bubble pricing if I’ve ever heard it. Making matters worse is that they still own a mortgage on a condo. Why does a young, white collar dual income (previously) no kids couple have to buy a townhouse or condo in Virginia? Because we are still in a significant housing bubble in multiple areas of the country…and Leesburg, Virginia is definitely one of them.

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