Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Gimme A Break!

Here is a bit of old news from last week. I had seen it on the MSNBC headline page, but didn't have a chance to click on it. Then, yesterday, I wanted to check out the local road conditions (not that I'm able to travel anywhere because our old Toyota, with over 250,000 miles is, more than not, dead--RIP). The combination of a fire spanning many miles and the unending rain of the last week has caused some small landslides and road closures in San Diego.

So I went on the San Diego NBC affiliate's web site and the article about the homeowner suing her real estate agent popped up again. I didn't know that it was a local story, but I should have figured as much. This time, I couldn't resist the temptation. Although, I did have to stop what I was doing so that my youngest son could sing the entire "Twelve Days of Christmas" to me, as he read it from one of his books. He's still learning to read. It was a bit painful at times, but we all got through it. When he was done, my middle son wanted to sing me the version that he made up. That was interesting. Then I heard the seven most dreaded words from my preschool daughter, "Mommy, I'm going to watch the baby." Whew! Averted another disaster.

OK, I finally get to read the article. It's strikes me as it does most, I'm sure. Maybe some people think that real estate agents will finally have their day of reckoning. And I'm not a fan of most agents. ("Mommy, I'm pushing the baby on the horse now!"--another alarming phrase.) But my first, and strongest, impression is that these buyers are doing what people in this country are conditioned to do from the day they're born---play the victims and place the responsibility of their actions on someone else.

Maybe the New York Times analyzed this news item in more detail, but the story I read doesn't explain if the appraisal pointed out the alleged lower comps. Or was the appraiser working for the agent and not the bank? Come on, Folks! This lawsuit is ludicrous. These buyers made major errors in judgement and now want their real estate agent to pay for it. Did he tie them to a chair and force their hands to sign the loan documents as he "rushed them to close the deal"?

It's almost impossible to embarrass me, as you may have realized if you've read my blog for any amount of time. But I have to admit that I'm embarrassed. I'm embarrassed that others may associate me with them just because I've lost money on my investments. As a buyer, I'm embarrassed that they're blaming their lack of purchasing savvy on their agent and not themselves. As a taxpayer (well, not literally for the past seven years), I'm embarrassed that tax money is being spent to hear this case--even if it's just to dismiss it.

Maybe this couple wants their 15 minutes of fame and they know that anything "real estate market downturn" will grant them the publicity that they so desire. I don't know. Let's just hope they wake up one day and realize that the only people to blame for buying a house at it's peak are themselves.