Friday, July 13, 2012

Tom Knapp teaches me something vitally important to know about long-term home mortgages . . . .

. . . which is that they didn't even exist prior to the 1950s.

No. he's not kidding.  Prior to the New Deal, the average home mortgage ran only 3-5 years, and yet 40% of Americans managed to own their own homes.

Read the whole thing; it's not long.

My favorite part is the conclusion:
On the other hand, I marvel that something that's only been around for 60 years or so -- my parents were adults and my older brothers were born or about to be born when long-term mortgages came into being! -- is for all intents and purposes portrayed as an immutable, inalienable entitlement, part of "the American Dream" from the get-go. When George Washington returned from the French and Indian Wars, the first thing he did was call Countrywide Financial's toll-free number to get an adjustable rate mortgage on Mount Vernon with 20% down, and if we can't all do the same thing on our 19th birthdays, the terrorists have won, etc.

1 comment:

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