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Down payment, purchase price aren't only costs of owning home

Program targets Spring Hill March 3 article

Buy a home, be prepared to pay

Putting qualified families into Spring Hill foreclosed homes sounds like a good idea. You stated, "But for families who cannot afford to fix a foreclosed home, don't have money for a down payment or are not needy enough to qualify for assistance, a home may still be out of reach. A program to help is just around the corner." Is this really the answer?

Cannot afford to fix. Don't have money for a down payment. May be out of reach. These are not just a group of words to form a sentence but a condition that has put some of the previous owners of these homes into a foreclosure and the next group of owners looking to go into the same boat.

If you don't have a down payment and cannot afford to fix up a home from the beginning, how can you find the resources to do it after you move in?

No money down tells me you have no savings and savings is a direct discipline that results in "delayed gratification," which is an oxymoron in today's "qualified" buyer status.

Years ago, lenders demanded a down payment, proven saving accounts for emergencies, and stable or clean credit. Water tanks burst, plumbing backs up, roofs leak, appliances break and on and on. These things happen and for someone just making it these normal events that happen with home ownership can be a disaster in the form of another foreclosure.

If lenders want to utilize the foreclosure market and ensure that buyers are indeed qualified, a few old basic principles should be in order.

Lures of no down payments or payment for years to come are some of the reasons we have a population that has never looked beyond the next month's bills. We are witnessing that just several months without a job or a decrease in hours can break you, and you don't have to be a home­owner to attest to that. Renters are evicted, too.

As a volunteer who tries to help those in our community who are in financial straits, I see this on a regular basis. Often disaster is less than 30 days way.

If money is available to implement programs, why not go back to basics and teach those who want the American dream bad enough how to save, plan and anticipate?

Learning basic skills in money management is not only a life-saving skill — it can be a money-saving answer to the needs of those who find themselves in financial crisis and the real bailout that is needed.

Lois M. Spatuzzi, Brooksville

Extra-steep bills seem suspicious

Will everyone who thinks they were ripped of by the Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative last month please raise your hand?

I am well aware we had more than a few days of cold weather, but when the bill doubles, there is something wrong. In some cases, I have heard of the bill tripling.

We try to economize by having only efficient bulbs, turning off all appliances when not in use. We turn the heater off at night, just add another blanket. If we are going out for the day, the heater is off.

We who are on Social Security and fixed incomes just cannot afford these exorbitant bills.

I am sure there are many more in our boat. The situation is bad, so please raise your hands.

Joyce Adams, Spring Hill

Just a reminder: Littering not okay

I feel that I have to respond to the letter from a lady who complained about litter. She actually walks the neighborhood picking up what she can. I commend her for that. There should be more like her around. My complaint is not with her; she is part of the solution.

More and more people are becoming oblivious to those around them, throwing trash out the windows of their cars as if it is an accepted practice.

Why do smokers feel it is okay to throw cigarette butts out the window while driving, or empty their ashtrays onto the roadway while stopped for a light? These are not acceptable practices and contribute to a declining quality of life for all in the neighborhood. I'm not just picking on smokers; I've seen people, mostly young, tossing their fast food wrappers out the windows as they round the corners.

The unfortunate part of all this is that there are fewer and fewer people who actually take the time to pick up after others, and they shouldn't have to. You can't say anything to them in this day and age because you may be attacked.

Enforcement of the antilittering statutes in the county would be a step in the right direction. I am a retired police officer and I know how difficult enforcement of quality-of-life violations can be.

With more pressing problems facing the county, it seems unimportant. It's not! It is, however, depressing to see litter along the swales and medians and the total lack of respect for others displayed by those who litter. It's difficult to have pride in the neighborhood and county in which you live when roadway conditions are so bad.

I ask all of you, please consider others and don't litter. Be part of the solution.

John Cemonuk, Spring Hill

Re: Bidding for beach rights Feb. 21

Keep good vendor at Pine Island

Here we go again — more of the same. Our illustrious county commissioners discovering yet another way to put their hands in the cookie jar, groveling around for those last crumbs in the bottom.

Pine Island has been a complete, workable, beautiful little paradise for our area for 18 years, so now it's been discussed to open the bids for a new operator. Parks director Pat Fagan is quoted in one paragraph as saying, "It needs to be looked at with economic conditions to see if we can get more money," then admitting, "Sometimes it's not always about the money," in reference to Willie Kochounian being a top-notch vendor and having no public complaints.

So which is it, county commissioners? Have you just discovered another way to make more money from us common folk for the "county coffers" you refer to? Or does 18 years of good rapport and service speak for itself?

Heed the saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Because we can bet our ever-shrinking middle-class paycheck that once our bureaucratic peanut gallery gets their "lunch hooks" into this latest scheme, our little oasis will become just another politically incorrect, backbiting, personal agenda tug-of-war. Simply because an individual can bid more money than you're now harvesting from Willie Kochounian does not ensure a better job than he has given us for 18 years now.

Do us beach lovers a big favor — leave it alone. Don't you people have enough issues on your plate to finish and clean up first?

Mary Kay Bratt, Spring Hill

Down payment, purchase price aren't only costs of owning home 03/07/09 [Last modified: Saturday, March 7, 2009 10:32am]
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