Dear Trump Voter #9

Dear Trump Voter,

This letter is going to be a bit personal, I hope you don’t mind. My partner and I have owned our house for six years now. We’ve been meaning to re-finance our mortgage for the past … I dunno … eight months. What can I say, we are not always the most prompt when it comes to tasks involving paperwork. We are looking into re-financing for a lower rate and to borrow some additional money to do renovations we’ve wanted to since we moved in.

These are fairly big renovations. A large deck with enclosed storage area below, kitchen remodel, interior painting, replacing the front stairs, and possibly a bathroom model/addition. This is at least 3-4 weeks of work for a general contractor and several sub-contractors. This re-financing would create good-paying, construction jobs locally. It would also stimulate a local credit union (because of all the closing and other re-financing fees).

But, as we were going through the paperwork, I was researching how to select from various options when re-financing. There are all sorts of “rules.” Everything from deciding between option with higher points and a lower interest rate vs no points and a higher interest rate, to how to shop around. Many experts advise that when re-financing to lower a monthly payment, the savings (between the old/higher mortgage and new/re-financed mortgage) accrued in 18 months should cover all the closing costs (i.e. if it costs $2500 in fees to re-finance, you should save at least $139/month on your mortgage payment for the first 18 months). If you sell before then, it would have been better to stay in the original mortgage because the costs incurred when re-financing would overshadow any savings. But, I didn’t come here to bore you with my version of Mortgages 101.

The point is, I had a moment of pause. Will we still be able to live here in 18 months? What will the country be like for a middle-aged lesbian couple just trying to live in a small house and keep it in good working order. Will it be safe? Should we tie up money in a house? What if we need money to pack up and leave quickly? You voted for Trump – are these questions you are asking yourself?

Anyway. This means that our list of construction work and potential jobs are now on hold until we decide how safe we feel. I can’t imagine we are alone in this situation. I imagine people who perceive no safety threat at all might hesitate based purely on concerns about the volatility of the stock market, the housing market, the overall economy, etc. once Trump takes the reins (since there has already been some volatility). Trump promised to put America back to work, promised jobs. Particularly good-paying jobs that don’t require a college degree, e.g. construction and manufacturing jobs. But I wonder … how many jobs are being lost right now because of the election. Your thoughts?

Very truly yours,
Confused Coastal Elite

 

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