Trish Stone bought her cozy Tacoma home in 2005, when she was just 23.
“I’ve always been a good saver,” she said. “Some of that down payment was tooth fairy money.”
She put 20 percent down and moved in. It was 900 square feet, three bedrooms and one bathroom, and it was perfect for her and two dogs.
She upgraded windows, doors, cabinets and crown moulding.
“I still love it. It’s just not meeting our needs,” she said. In 2011 she married Dana Stone, also adding his son to their family. Now they’re trying to have a child.
“I thought in 10 years I’d have a husband and two kids, so the idea of putting money down and having instant equity — it’s now just washed away. It’s sickening to think of,” she said.
She owes about $118,000. She’s current on her loan. Refinancing isn’t possible because it’s not backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, so her lender has no incentive.
“I felt lucky for many years. I was on my own while my friends were still living with their parents, and now they’re scooping up houses at all these great deals,” Stone said.
“But I know I can’t have the market both ways,” she said. So for now, she said, “we have to be happy with what we have. It’s not about our house but what’s in our house.”