It’s your home, not a bank.

My parent’s generation scrimped and saved and bought a home when they could afford to do so. After the purchase they focused their attention on paying the house off sooner rather than later. What did they know that we don’t? Having lived through the depression and/or its after effects they knew that the good times (think the Roarin’ 20’s) don’t last forever.

In current times too many people buy more house than they can afford and then continue to borrow every time they have built up a few dolllars of equity. When values begin to drop, as they have, the bottom falls out or at least becomes very shaky.

So why am I preaching about debt and spending? Mortgage rates have dropped slightly and once again the rush is on to refinance. How can I tell? For the last two weeks I have fielded dozens of calls from clients that need tax return copies and personal financial statements for their refinancing applications.

Whether you are refinancing or buying your first home to take advantage of some of the lucrative federal and state tax credits, remember that your home is just that, your home.

Your home is a place to sleep, a place to gather with family and friends, a place to raise your children, and a place to make memories that will last a lifetime. It is not a piggy bank to be used to pay for expensive cars, luxury vacations and fancy jewelry. Don’t use your home to keep up with the Joneses. The Joneses don’t care about you, they are too busy dodging the bill collectors.