Wednesday, April 27, 2005


Gotta Find a Scapegoat

HP is cutting jobs at its plant in Boise, ID, by offering employees generous severence packages. Employees who have taken these packages and who are considering getting out of town to head for greener pastures have been talking to realtors about selling their homes. One agent is quoted in the Idaho Statesman as follows
"They're all saying: 'How much can we get for our house?' " She said most HP homeowners she's spoken to hope to sell their homes and relocate for new jobs, a potentially money-losing proposition despite Boise's strong housing market.

"When I tell them how much (closing costs) will be, many of them can't afford to sell," she said. "Many had a second mortgage to pay off credit card debt and buy all the Boise toys we all seem to like — SUVs, snowmobiles and boats. They already took all the equity out."

Budell said she tells clients they could pay 9 percent of their home's sales price or more on commissions and the common practice of helping a buyer with closing costs. She said she wonders how some families will swing it and worries about "seeing a lot of foreclosures."

This situation seems like a excellent example of being controlled by money and debt rather than being in control of them. Folks have purchased themselves into a hole despite the rise in equity they've seen in their investments. They'd have been better off if they hadn't realized until they needed to sell that their homes had appreciated.

I'm sure they'll always have the mortgage company that offered them the home equity loan to blame for their misfortune.

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