Friday, April 8, 2016

First World Problem of the Day

April 8, 2016
Calculated Risk: WSJ: "Housing Bust Lingers for Generation X"

A decade ago I was arguing one of the tragedies of the housing bubble was that many first time buyers would sour on homeownership for a long time, if not forever. Unfortunately that has happened.

One of the tragedies? Really?

I shall openly ponder my personal "tragedy" for the amusement of others.

The year was 1989. I rented a small cheap apartment. I had to carry my laundry to another building and use coins to power the machines. Woe is me. Right? Not so fast. I loved living there. They had a pool which I used daily in the summer. Bliss!!

The year was 1991. I rented an even smaller apartment. I mean, it was tiny. And cheap! My heating bills were next to nothing. I paid no property taxes, at least directly. I could do my own laundry inside the unit (no coins required). Woe is me? Hardly. This place had an indoor basketball court, multiple pools (one indoor that I used year round), and plenty of workout equipment. Loved it!!

The year was 1995. While still driving a cheap Hyundai, I opted to live in downtown Seattle in a small apartment. It was a bit more expensive, but had a view of the waterfront. The best part was that I found myself walking around that waterfront every single day. Just took the elevator down a few floors, and tada, there it was! It's almost impossible to have a bad day with that much salt air filling one's lungs.

The year is 2016. I live in a house that I "first" bought in 1997, at the age of 33. There are currently two big holes in the backyard. I used a shovel. I'm planning to replace two septic tank lids. Just need to get properly motivated. Yay. Oh, joyous day when that task is done, lol. Sigh.

I'm not even going to bring up the roof replacement, the upcoming window replacements, the kitchen remodeling I'm pretty much forced to do since the built-in microwave no longer works and the built-in stove on the countertop only has one working burner left. I won't mention the endless mowing or the weed pulling. I won't bring up the heating costs or the property taxes. Under no circumstances will I ever mention hypothetical rats that may or may not have existed in the crawlspace. No, sir. Not going there.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy owning a house on most days. It would not be a tragedy if I went back to renting though. Not even close. In fact, if you can't be happy renting, then you simply can't be happy. Owning stuff is definitely not the path to paradise, and if you think it is then you will be sadly disappointed. That's especially true when it comes to housing. Ownership? Can you truly own a house if it has a mortgage? Or is it the bank that owns it? And even if it is paid off, you are still kind of renting it (in the form of property taxes).

Tragedy, my @$$. If you want a real tragedy, consider the plight of Syrian refugees. I can't even imagine what that must be like.


Shookie said...

Soon, I will have my house repaired and up to date enough to sell. I just need one more month to save enough money to...

Stagflationary Mark said...

I think it would take me a year, lol. Sigh.