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a quick history...the mortgage crisis

Emily Oster


As a continuation of the first time homebuyers series, I thought I would do a quick history of the mortgage crisis - haha just kidding. But what I do want to do is direct you all to the two part series entitled The Giant Pool of Money and Return to the Giant Pool of Money created by the radio show This American Life. For those of you who don't already listen to This American Life, it is a weekly public radio show broadcast that has a theme to each episode and presents a variety of stories on that theme. 

The Giant Pool of Money episode first aired in May of 2008 and presents an amazingly thorough and easy to understand explanation of the housing crisis. The second episode in this series aired in September of 2009 and does an equally great job of following up with the original stories. While it has been almost six years since the stock market crash and five years since the first episode aired, the stories are still very relevant as they provide a context to the post mortgage crisis environment that first time homebuyers are operating within. And again, I am not an expert so I will not go into detail about what characterizes the post mortgage crisis environment but I think we all can agree that times have changed. 

When I think about buying now (which in all fairness I didn't think much about buying a home prior to 2008 as I was 20 years old) I feel an immense amount of fear. Fear of taking on a mortgage that is too big for us, fear that we won't be able to sell the house when we are ready, fear that we will have to take a loss when we sell and the list goes on. I know that when we do decide to purchase we will try to be educated as possible and hopefully will be able to reduce (but not eliminate) some of this fear but buying a home seems to be a pretty scary thing these days.  I try to balance the feelings of apprehension with thinking about all the positives of owning your own home and there are a lot. So my recent homeowners/lookers, how do you feel about it? Would love to hear your thoughts!