So the other day I was just chillin’ to the max at my girlfriend’s house when her older sister starts asking me about real estate. Weird.
She goes on about how her and her boyfriend are looking at a house.
Now engaged, they’re ready to move on with their life and move out of mom and dad’s place. I can’t blame them. But what really intrigued me is what she said next.
“Oh my God, you wouldn’t believe how big of a loan we were approved for.”
I played along, “Really?”
I mean, they’re both gainfully employed, but they are still 20-somethings, and first time homebuyers. I had an idea of what they earned, so I multiplied it by 3 and figured that would be the number.
I was close. She announced the amount, looked at me, then just kinda smiled about the ridiculousness of the lending industry.
Then there was the bombshell: “There’s no way I’d borrow that much; that’s what got everyone into trouble in the first place!”
Now look, I’m not one to judge, but even she’d admit that personal finance isn’t exactly her forte. But on this day it was. Not only did she realize that the maximum that she could borrow wasn’t how much she should borrow, but also that overextension on a first home was a certain pathway to failure.
She later admitted they were looking in range about half of their approval amount.
And that just makes me all giddy inside. If nothing else, it took a real estate crash, millions of unemployed, and virtually a full decade of recession to finally shake some people to the core. And lessons have been learned.
Sure, we’re no “greatest generation,” and we certainly wouldn’t label ourselves as such like the old folks have. Plus, unlike my (still) depression-weary grandpa we probably won’t be scoping out $.50 savings on a package of hotdogs, or collecting rain water to save money to water our gardens.
But we are learning. And it’s awesome. This is the American dream, man. We’re finally—finally!—learning from others’ mistakes.
Have you noticed any changes in attitudes toward borrowing by those closest to you?
Any stories you’d like to share?
Photo by: audi_insperation