Our realtor friend Lori called and told me about a young woman, Katie, who is an abused 26-year-old mother of three. She lives with a boyfriend who fathered one of her kids. While Katie is at work her boyfriend smokes and drinks her paycheck so she has no money to buy food. When she is at home he abusively yells at her. He has some sort of condition which affects his moods and he is apparently under-medicated. We didn’t want to take on the burden of giving a fourth large loan but we can and someone needs help that we can give without extending ourselves too far.
Lori described how Katie broke down and cried when looking at what is her dream house. My eye sees a fixer upper that is worth more than the asking price. My wife Cathy actually wanted us to buy this particular house for us to live in. Part 7, the last in this series, will describe where we decided to live and why.
We agreed to help without ever meeting Katie. In this case the house is a good investment. Yesterday, in Part 5, Bill the vet was what we are investing in. We did meet Katie at closing and she is a lovely person worthy of our help. I have no idea how she handles her money or her bills and we will take that as it comes. We like the property so it is a no brainer looking at this purely as an investment.
I’m having a very mild moral dilemma with what we are doing here. I have now covered four instances where we are taking a household with financial and other life problems and putting them in a better place. No problem there. But from another perspective are we not preying on people in need for our financial advantage? Are we not being predatory?
I frequently preach that paying interest is wrong. For God’s sake the Bible forbids it! I guess Bill’s evaluation of me is correct, that I see things in black and white, but when it comes down to it I can compromise. The terms of all four promissory notes allow for paying off the loan in part or in full and I have assured each party that if they find a better deal they should take it, nothing personal. I guess that’s the best I can do.