Home is where...

So I was listening to the radio this morning and then this story came on NPR about a brother and sister, both of whom had had to drop out of college and move into their family home. Their mother had passed away when they were both in high school and the eldest racked up some debt in college before they both decided they'd move home and try to get jobs in order to save the family home and keep up with mortgage payments.
The sister, Natalie, came back and was working as a secretary until she got laid off at the start of the recession.

They both need that one job — the one that will get their plans back on track. But neither of them can find it.

Chris is selling TVs right now, but it's part time. Natalie got laid off again. They pool what income they have, allocating it on a triage — to the credit cards, to Chris's dental work, to the house.

"Natalie and her brother, they don't want to sell the house, or they can't sell the house — if they do, they take a major loss," Rogers says. "So in a way, they're limiting their search options."

But while a lot of people out of work are stuck where the jobs aren't...

So I was thinking about them stuck in their house, in an area where maybe it's difficult to find a job even if you have a college degree. A lot of people are there right now, barely making it on part time income or a lower paying job than they wanted and unable to move to find a job because their underwater in the house. Seems like it's only the upper middle class schemers who are walking away from their homes, maybe the rest are scared about the problems with filing for bankruptcy or hear the stories about banks coming after those who short sold telling them they still owe extra money. Or maybe they don't want to throw away their investment, or maybe they want to do the right thing, or maybe they just want to keep their home.
I stepped outside and scared the bird that's decided to nest above our patio. It's right across from the door so every time we come and go it's a game of trying to not disturb the bird enough that it freaks out and flies away to the trees out front. It probably looked like a good place to settle down. The patio makes it relatively protected against the cats but mostly crows that go after small birds' nests. It might have been setting up on a day we were mostly out for a long day at work, it didn't necessarily know two bipedal mammals would be disturbing it a couple times a day.
So it's a lot like a lot of the homeowners right now. Probably just laid its eggs and can't just move the nest. Not always easy or possible to pick up and move where the jobs are. Sometimes you make the best decision you can at the time and can't predict how things will change. Sometimes it's still a good home and worth keeping even if there are problems.


  1. it is a super hard time right now... we're going through it too. one of the most emotionally tough things i've had to deal with. sucks.

  2. I caught this segment on NPR yesterday as well. I couldn't help thinking how sad it would be if after everything they've given up they would lose their family home anyway. For there sake I hope someone hears their story and gives them a job. And I agree with you, I imagine there are many people trapped in homes they can barely afford yet can't afford to leave. Great post.