If it’s too good to be true, then…

Published May 5, 2015 by AntiqueMystique1

It probably is.

Work from home scams, trying to achieve the American dream of home ownership and trying to make it ‘do-able’ on a shoestring budget.

Let’s start with working from home. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Oh, if only there was that ‘dream job’ where the money just rolled in and all I had to do was fill out some surveys, maybe become a ‘mystery shopper’ or write a ‘Evergreen’ blog that won’t go stale one-hundred years from now where I’d get paid for my blogging then I’d be filthy stinking rich.

Would I? Highly unlikely.

I was curious to delve into the realm of getting paid for submitting articles. I soon discovered, however, that “AI” (artificial intelligence) reads through many, if not, millions of submissions every day, and there have been a lot of disgruntled writers because their written articles don’t meet the criteria that includes a slew of micro-managed guidelines.

They say it’s to “fight off spam”, but… the world of getting paid to write pretty much went by the wayside way back in 2010, I know from past experience trying to make a dent in that.

And what if you want to delete your account with —–, then what?

A common reply, “Oh, come on now, don’t be shy. Just keep on writing and you’re bound to get something published even if you don’t get paid for it.”

Eh, I felt sorry the poster in the help section, who seemed genuinely honest wanting to delete their account. I’m glad I don’t write articles that would go stale before their expiration date or be boring to the tech geeks and have very limited intriguing content.

I kept on reading, reading and—yes, even more reading. I didn’t agree to giving out my personal contact information just so a grammar-Nazi website could verify I wasn’t a spam bot trying to submit a post. I gave up blogging after reading a massively long FAQ’s more than fifteen-pages long that gave me a headache.

I focused my energy into the one thing I would like to see myself achieve in my life time: a home of my very own.

I spoke with loan officers, realtors, calculated a do-able price range for a three-bedroom that I fell in love with… well, okay, it was the age of the interior this house had going for it. I can’t say anything spectacular for the neighborhood or the house itself because…yikes, the house was smack dab in a crime-ridden, drug-infested and property damaged neighborhood. No, thanks, I’ll stay where I’m at.

I suspect my chances of moving up in this grim economy are really slim, if at all. I am grateful that I have a roof over my head, a place to sleep, food and clothes on my back. The fundamentals for survival, basically.

What do I know about the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac foundations? I know enough to be very leery of them. And I know these two first-time home buying lenders are what essentially brought down the realtor/ housing market several years back. And here’s what I gleaned from what I read in the news back then:

People (unemployed, low-income, etc.) were getting loans on huge homes that they knew they couldn’t afford sometimes with no down payment money required. These two lending companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac created what’s known as toxic loans and tried to dump them off on to banks. When the people couldn’t pay their excessive mortgage payments, they were fore-closed on and kicked to the curb. Bankers and realtors got burned really bad because of this crooked scheme.

Years pass and it remains a good reminder to me who not to go with when trying to buy a home for the first time. And my choices aren’t many to begin with. I got my hopes up when I was presented with a grant option that might be able to get me into a better home with low monthly payments.

No debt? That poses a serious problem right there.
You need to have a line of credit and down payment money to qualify (under normal conditions).
You must have a credit card.

You need to do this, go here, ask for this person and then let me know what you find out.

I knew not to set my heart on something I know just can’t be possible for a person in my situation because there’s just way too many rules and regulations that prevent me from saving as much as I want.

And I don’t want to be like the Jones’, I remind myself.

I could care less about current trends, electronics, technology, hybrid ‘go green’ vehicle, fashion trends, hairstyles, the next ‘must-have’ or ‘to-die-for’ items, dish network, two phone lines (I’ll get into that a little later), what’s popular on the music charts and last, but not least, “What’s for dinner?” Fast food or pre-processed meal in a can, box or frozen dinner? None of the aforementioned. I prefer to scratch bake, home cook and grow my own food.

I return home after getting the phone call that I simply knew was to be expected. I do not qualify for a grant from either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

I’m not asking the loan officer on the other end if they ‘know’ a certain fact, I’m simply trying to explain to them (under simple terms) how the rules are and what I must abide by so I don’t get myself in trouble. And maybe I can’t express myself clearly enough. I don’t know.

I fix my favorite meal, Lentil hard shell tacos and a burrito and wash it down with sparkling seltzer water. I definitely told myself I have champagne tastes on a beer budget. I will rejoice when I can replenish my supply of fruit and nuts throughout the month and never have to worry about inflation. I would still complain like the rest over the high prices though. With the way prices are sky-rocketing at the grocery store, I’m grateful that I can afford fresh produce, mixed nuts and seltzer water at all.

And I’m glad I don’t drink or smoke. I don’t party. I don’t do drugs. I don’t go to night clubs or hang out in bars. What I do see when I look around me are upwardly mobile people my age that appear to have it all and they planned their lives better than I did. But did they really? I don’t know that for certain.

It never occurred to me they might be in debt up to their ears and living on credit cards to get by in life. They might be broke as a joke or shacked up with someone who doesn’t mind paying their way in life and who knows what else.

I continue to look to the bright side: I have my health, all my teeth and my two semesters of college (that’s a year and a half). So I don’t have a degree. I really can’t get ahead in this dwindling job market without one. But I’m too overqualified to get a stepping stone job and flip burgers and still I wouldn’t come out a head in the long run.

I continue to bide my time. What does a lady want with an “As-Is” older home? Surely not to actually live in, right? Right?!

The Eastlake molding and Bulls eye trim might match the furnishings, but that don’t mean anything.

It has a finished attic that my cat would love to claim as her own.  She’s just nice enough to let me live with her.

And the asking price is do-able for my small budget.

“How much down payment money do you have saved up?”

“I’m working on gathering the funds.”

“You know this particular house might not qualify for a grant because it is “As-Is” and it will have problems. And any repairs will come out of your pocket. A bank won’t loan you any extra money. And it certainly won’t pass a strict 21 page inspection, either.”

I get what you’re telling me. It’s a lost cause.

Why can’t you just be happy where you’re at? I can just hear it now.

I just wanted to have a better floor plan, maybe a second and third ‘guest’ bedroom or and actual living room for when company stops by for a visit. Is that too much to ask for? Sorry I even mentioned it, then.

Well, one can always dream and pray, I guess or sell off all their personal belongings to make their dream a reality. And from what I’ve been told, even that won’t get me a grant. There’s got to be a paper trail in order to apply.

Alrighty then.

Oh, and the call from a high-pressured Internet salesman wanting me to upgrade my already astronomical overpriced service to include a land line and TV package irked me the day before.

“I don’t want a dish,” I simply stated. “I don’t even watch TV anyway.”

”Then how do you get your favorite shows, live stream?” He was deeply offended.
“Sure.” Why is it so important people must have TV and be couch potatoes?
“Oh, Netflix, then?”
“Yeah, sure.” Whatever [rolls eyes].
“Well, since you are an outstanding customer we have a deal with dish, land line and cell phone bundles and its $199 for the first six-months.”
“Not interested,” I meant it. “Besides its a strain on me finanically to pay for internet every month. I’m on a limited budget.”

“Oh, I understand…”

No, you certainly do not understand where I’m coming from because you’re not me. Be glad.
“What if the cell phone towers were to go down during an emergency?” the salesman was now almost to the point of angry and demanding.
I half-laughed and said, “Well, if the cell phone towers are down, then land lines won’t do much good, now would they?”
Long pause of silence. Yep, buddy, you do need to process that a lady fired back a realistic reply.
“What if you needed the police—fire—”
“I live just a block from them and know how to get from point A to point B on my own just fine.”
“Thank you for your time. Have a good day.”
— End of conversation.

I don’t watch TV at all and never want to bother with the hassle or the expense. I do occasionally skim through documentaries on YouTube, but like to go enjoy the outdoors more than being inside. And an enormous bill from the internet company is something I don’t want to ever want to see in my mail box. I pay way too much for internet service as is and it’s a chunk of money I could be setting aside for a down payment. But all the same the internet is a necessity.

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4 comments on “If it’s too good to be true, then…

  • So true!! Several people have asked me “What about all those work from home jobs?” and I’ve given up explaining to them that they are the career equivalent of buying weekly lottery tickets: All expense with almost zero chance of any meaningful return. And as for pushy salespeople…. I do have to keep reminding myself that they are all working on commission, so I shouldn’t really bite their head off or be rude, but nevertheless it is not MY job to keep them viable in THEIRS. 😉

    I do have tv service but only the lowest priced tv/internet package (which is still shockingly expensive) because cable/satellite is the only way to get the Turner Classic Movies channel which IMHO is the only reason to have tv in the first place. 🙂

    • Yep, I realized the sales person was likely working on commission and if there’s no sale or sign up with any customer (be it long-time or new), then the sales person doesn’t get paid from what I understand and its an extremely high stress and toxic work environment, too. I decided years ago that I would be content to watch movies and shows on DVD and cut down on the expense of a seeing an astronomical TV bill every month. I was quite sad to see the old analog stations go by the wayside, but that’s the times we live in nowadays. Thanks again for your post! 🙂

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