My wife, Tara, and I live in Pass Christian, Miss. We began building our `dream home' in mid-2007 in one of the nicer, new subdivisions on the Coast. Halfway through construction, the house appraised for about $835,000.
In June 2008, we moved in and sought a permanent mortgage on the house. We owed $640,000 on the construction and had a loan-to-value ratio (the amount owed versus the value of the house) of 76.6% until the bank's re-appraisal came in at $575,000. This put us underwater. We owe $65,000 more than the house is worth. We seriously considered walking away from the house and letting the bank take it.
But doing this is not in my nature. I borrowed the money. I built the house. I owe the money. As long as I have the means to pay it back, I plan to do so. I believe it is sad that people see an easy way out and simply do not lie in the bed they made. I believe I am a classic case for a walk-away, but what's `right' about doing that? I could have easily walked away and contributed to the economic mess we are currently in. This would have helped my family out financially but it's not the right thing to do.NEXT: Considering: Pat Conroy