As a first-time homebuyer, I bought a condo in West Los Angeles. I worked hard and put 20% down on the $465,000 price and took a 30-year fixed mortgage. My credit score is 700 plus. I'm a lender's dream - you would think.
But the value of the condo has dropped 20%, which isn't terrible. I'm still slightly on the plus-side, supposedly, but there's no market; no one is buying. Meanwhile, my income - I'm an executive recruiter - has dropped 75%.
The kicker is that banks won't refinance my loan. My savings are almost exhausted, and I'm considering walking away. It's interesting that I can't get a refi from my original lender
I've always been a hard worker, paid my way through college and scrimped to save for a downpayment. If I could get a refinance to lower my interest rate - I'm paying 6.25% right now - and extend the term out to 30 years (I have 27 years left on my mortgage), I could save $400 a month.
If I walk away, I would look at it as a business decision. But I also look at it from a responsibility viewpoint, and as long as I can afford my mortgage, I'll pay it.NEXT: Considering: Ben Franklin