Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
The Manteca Bulletin’s Managing Editor Dennis Wyatt hit one out of the park in answering a question put to him in a recent Home Scene supplement: “Why, the reader asked...are you still in your home if you paid $189,000 for it in March 2008 and the assessor says it is worth only $102,000 as of January 1, 2009?”
Mr. Wyatt began his response by asking the question, “have you ever bought a new car? If you have, the second you drove it off the lot it dropped in value, substantially in most cases. Does that justify walking away from your obligation with the lender financing your car?.... Value and worth are two separate things.” He patiently instructs. The car will serve as transportation regardless what it’s worth. A house continues to be a home whether property values increase or slump. He uses a good example of a guy that paid $15,000 for a house in 1961; the guy’s “rent” has remained the same enabling him and his family to enjoy the fabled middle class American life style. Even if he took a second mortgage at some point along the way during the stable and sane not too distant past, he’s still not bad off. This all strikes a personal chord with me because the Great Recession of 2008 with its attendant housing value slump has enabled us to escape from being rent slaves with increases practically every year.
The expert help of a good real estate lady (Karen Neuer), has enabled us to stay in the same neighborhood, moving just around the block into a comparable 3 BR 2 bath house, trading our monthly rent for a stable house payment which is half as much, and will remain so. Even with various improvements (done by Manteca contractor Carl Dumlao) the total is far less than half of what the last house on this block (Morada Court) sold for. Grace is the precious nectar of Almighty God to whom all thanks and credit are owed. And thanks to you too, Dennis, for your good work over the years; even when I disagree with some position you take I’m always thankful for our First Amendment Free Press; and congratulations on your new home, really! It’s far more valuable than it’s worth and may be worth a lot more sooner than any of us can imagine.
Sept. 19, 2009