Here’s the opening line of the Yahoo report:
“A man who spent years sleeping in a cardboard box by a bus stop found a bank account he had forgotten - with enough money for the deposit on a house.”
If correct, that means he needs to get a mortgage. And we’ll assume it is, since the word “rent” is not used in the article.
So, let me say that again, a homeless man needs a mortgage.
Yes, it is a dramatic turn of events and I dearly hope it is the catalyst for helping John Helinski to never, ever spend another night in a cardboard box.
But c’mon Yahoo. I'm not trying to be a wet blanket, but let’s look at this critically.
Do you honestly expect Mr. Helsinki to qualify for a mortgage in today’s environment?
This is the tragic definition of homelessness: No income. No job. No asset.
It also describes the lack of underwriting criteria for a NINJA mortgage, a mortgage product not seen since the subprime bust, and never to return.
So despite the best efforts of Yahoo to bring to light this story of hope, it still smashed into the hard wall of reality.
Here’s another line from the Yahoo report:
“When Helinski found [the bank account] again, it had enough money for the deposit on a house.”
“Helinski is now in temporary accommodation - but has enough money to buy himself permanent accommodation, and plans to move out.”
So, things actually sound more like Mr. Helsinki will have to rent.
He has enough money for a deposit, then, and not a down payment.
Unless he finds a mortgage lender willing to issue a NINJA mortgage.
The truth is, no one is going to give this guy a mortgage, which basically makes the entire Yahoo tale-of-hope somewhat questionable.
I sincerely hope that Mr. Helsinki is able to find permanent housing, whether it involves buying a home (however unlikely that may be in today’s environment) or renting.
Homelessness is a scourge in our society, and as far as I’m concerned, any time someone who is homeless becomes someone who is formerly homeless is something worth celebrating.
Hopefully in time, it will be something we don’t have to celebrate anymore.