Home ownership is not for everyone

By The SE Texas Record | May 20, 2013

Like a college education, home ownership has been oversold. 

It may be nice to have a college degree and the title to a house, but the idea that everyone should have at least one of each is unrealistic.

Not everyone is cut out for college. Some people have neither the aptitude or the desire, but go to college simply because it’s expected of them.

How sad it is, several years and tens of thousands of dollars later, when they reluctantly abandon the hapless quest and find themselves much further behind in life than they would have been otherwise.

Not everyone is meant to own a home, either. This is another taboo statement that should be shouted from the housetops (or from the roofs of apartment buildings).

Some people lack the credit, income, stability or responsibility to buy and maintain a home. They even might prefer to live in apartments, were it not for our culture’s constant touting of the supposed superiority of home ownership.

Somehow they qualify for a mortgage and buy the home they think they have to have -- and then they lose their jobs, the house requires major repairs, or something else unforeseen goes wrong. Eventually, they find themselves living in an apartment again, trying to recoup the losses from a house they no longer own and never should have purchased.

Nathan and Janna McKinney of Jefferson County would have been better off if they’d never bought their home in Groves in 2008. Thanks to an unexpected bout of unemployment, they soon had trouble making payments. In June 2009, they learned that the bank might foreclose. In August, Nathan committed suicide.

Nearly four years later, still struggling to keep her home, McKinney filed suit against the bank she says contributed to her husband’s death.

Maybe she would be better off if she found an apartment and got on with her life.

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