The inspiration for Renters Win, Home Owners Lose: Revealing the Biggest Scam in American essentially started in 1996. While sitting in an economic class for a Bachelor of Science Degree, it occurred to me that most people in the United States are broke. By that time, many of my fellow students had admitted, in one way or another, that they were borrowing money for college—thousands of dollars in student loans that would take years to pay back. Furthermore, during my course of business, I noticed that more and more people used credit cards for purchases instead of cash.
Interestingly, I was in the same financial predicament. I was using credit cards to pay for things, not because it was convenient to do so, I simply did not have the cash available. At the time, I had recently separated from the military and had difficulty finding a job without a degree that paid more than the minimum wage. My six-dollar an hour job was barely enough to pay for essentials. To make matters worse, I was receiving foreclosure threats from my lender who was demanding money to bring the mortgage current. Meanwhile, my credit card balances were skyrocketing.
“Struggling to keep my head above water,” as we often say, I considered filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy. After graduation, approximately two years later, I found a job as a financial management specialist. I spent roughly ten years in that position conducting workshops, training, and private consultations for members of the military, government employees, and others in the community.
I enjoyed my work. Assisting my clients plot a course for financial solvency was emotionally rewarding. However, there was another side to the job that troubled me. As a result of my own financial experiences, combined with that of thousands of my clients, it became more clear to me that, as a culture, our personal financial problems are bigger than what most people are willing to admit.
I began to research the problem and discovered a widespread issue. Various surveys showed that most Americans are broke. Close to 90 percent of working adults live from paycheck to paycheck regardless of income, education, or career position. More research revealed that while the root problems are many, nothing devours more of people’s hard-earned income than the homes they buy. When the final numbers are tallied at the point of sale, assuming that they get the opportunity to sell the house, most home owners end up losing money on the deal. This is mostly because of inherent costs associated with the property—costs which are either ignored or not understood prior to purchasing the home.
I was determined to improve my own financial situation and felt equally concerned about helping others do the same. I began to address the issues affecting our personal financial performance in my first book, Are You Financially Checkmate? You live in an economic culture designed to keep you broke. Discover how to take control and free yourself from financial bondage. The book was released in 2005, but it’s now being revised to include more information and title change.
During my first writing project, I decided that the “home ownership” issue needed special attention—a venture that should be handled separately. Hence the book, Renters Win, Home Owners Lose: Revealing the Biggest Scam in America. The work was published towards the end of 2009 and is now available for purchase in all books stores around the country and major online book retailers.
Tom Graneau is a personal financial management coach and author of a new book, Renters Win, Home Owners Lose: Revealing the Biggest Scam in America. If you are tired of the bondage of debt and want REAL answers to personal freedom and financial independence, begin by turning things around with a no-nonsense approach to your housing option. http://www.renters-win.com/