The driver of tomorrow is not thinking Green...

The driver of tomorrow is not thinking Green...
He's thinking Classic. (click on photo)


Blog Archive

Jun 24, 2009

Our Story about the times.

This isn't a story about a neighborhood or business thriving. It is a story about a family of 7 surviving job loss this year.

In the Spring of 2007, we were forced to look for a new home when the one we had been leasing for 2 years was sold. We also needed to move into the school district our children were attending and this was the push to move. My husband had a great job with a very decent salary, I worked part time and we decided to find out if a home purchase would be an option. We met with a mortgage broker and were told that we could qualify for an "Interest Only" loan that would keep our payments barely above our budgeted goal. We had very minimal debt and our goal with the move, whether to rent or buy, was to keep our living expenses at a level that we could still support if either of us lost employment and to avoid the increased stress of trying to manage normal living expenses on half of an income. Obtaining an interest only mortgage was nothing either of us ever really considered so as we walked out of the mortgage brokers office, the fact that they were downloading our credit reports and messing around with the reporting to create the portfolio the management wanted to see, did not lead us to believe this was the step for us. We weren't going to put ourselves in a risky position for the sake of owning a home.

We decided to forget buying a home at that time and continued to look for a lease that fit in to our budgeted plans. We had to really work hard at finding a lease that met our budget. Our kids attended school in one of the more expensive real estate areas of Woodinville and it was not going to be easy to find something in the price range we were looking for. At the last hour, on the way to lease another home not in the area we wanted, a house literally fell in to our path that fit all the requirements of what we needed for our family and budget. It was a true gift.

15 months later, in October of 2009, other departments within my husbands company started to suffer employee cuts. "heads are rolling on the hill" was the term being used. In November my husband's department started to go through quality efficiency review and a month later, even though their department had been told they would not suffer any cuts, the decision came through to cut - and my husband was laid off, despite excellent performance reviews and recommendations from the department director. We lost health & dental insurance coverage for the family and half of his income, which was the base salary for our living.

We look back at the decisions we made in 2007 to lease, instead of own, to keep our living expenses at a manageable level for a situation like this and we know it was one of the most solid decisions we've made together. We are a blended family, have custody & raise together our combined five children. The children were covered by a secondary insurance through their other respective parent. Now that secondary insurance becomes primary and WA state medical coverage we decided to apply for becomes secondary. With a $2000 deductible per child & 80% coverage under the primary, the state coverage became a financial saver when one of our kids was diagnosed with a serious disorder a few months ago and has required extensive medical care. My husband & I, however, have no insurance, cannot afford the COBRA even with the stimulus package supplement and simply hope neither of us gets sick while we are in this situation.

6 months later, interviews and job applications submitted & submitted & submitted, there is no work to be had in a dying industry - printing. My career is in the commercial real estate market, which has been hit hard by the economy this last year, yet my employer keeps me on and mysteriously enough, business finds it's way through the door. My employer has a reputation of integrity and hard work which I think keeps him in mind for those that are looking to work a deal during this time. My husband & I do worry about what will happen if he is unable to find a position in his industry by the time the UE extensions run out, the consideration of losing 20 years of experience or start over at mid life with 5 kids, 2 entering college in a few years themselves. We can't even think about if there will be Social Security funds for us at retirement. Right now we live day to day with a thankful heart that we are able to raise our own children and endure this period of time in our country, with the hope that work & provision will continue to flow through the door.

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