Thanks Debe for another great post. It doesn't do any good to blame at this point because that won't change a thing. It all began with credit cards instead of lay-away and financing the downpayment on a home with a equity line. Oh, how we needed to keep up with the Joneses.
After reading numerous posts & publications over the past two years--real estate agents blaming lenders, politicians blaming everyone, lenders blaming the government and real estate agents...blah blah blah! I'm not one for stirring the pot and I'm not trying to here but, I have to say that I've been becoming more and more agitated with complacency - especially lately - and the blame game that we continue to play. It seems that few Americans see what is really going on in America now because everyone is so busy blaming one another for what's wrong in the US- specifically, what's wrong in our business.
I honestly never agreed with the philosophy that everyone is ENTITLED to the American Dream, as was mandated by our President back in the 90's. I'm a bit old fashioned so, even during the 'hay day,' my clients were strongly encouraged to save in order to make a 20% down payment before purchasing their first or second home--after that, most buyers know they need the 20% and generally have plenty of profit after a sale or two--at least back then they did! (And now, I'm sometimes leaning toward putting less cash down in some circumstances but, that's a whole other post)!
Buyers review finances with their lender, then with me. Perhaps it's the 'mom' or the 'nurse' in me but, my motto, which all of my clients will tell you I preach to them is, I want you to live IN your house not FOR your house! I want them to enjoy vacations and luxuries in life that otherwise cannot be enjoyed if they are over-extended with their mortgage. I don't take ANY blame for what happened but, I AM paying the price, just as every other agent in the US is. However, I am surviving and still preaching similar financial strategies to my clients.
My frustration lies in hearing the repeated accusation, "It's not our fault, it's YOURS!" Here's a novel idea--why not put all of that negative energy that you're using to blame one another, into something positive? We can't go back and change any of this; all we can do is focus on something more positive--turning this around and doing everything that we can possibly do to educate the consumer so that this never happens again (in our generation or any that follow)!
Lay off of the blame game and focus on strategies to overcome the challenges that we face in our business. The worst could be yet to come if we don't.