During my morning blog routine -- which has gotten lighter as of late because of little things like work -- I came across this, from James Lileks as he dismissed growing concern over the softening of the housing market, particularly as it relates to people who borrowed out the wazoo to buy "too much house."
Me, I avoided taking out a home equity loan to build an underground bowling alley. I don’t have a lot of sympathy for people who bought too much house with some financial instrument based on alchemic jiggery-pokery.
And here I thought it was impossible to buy any house or condo over the past six years or so without resorting to some sort of mortgage-based alchemic jiggery-pokery. Though I'll note that "jiggery-pokery" sounds like something you would do if the Crew Club put in a dance floor. Anyway, I'm sure the market was crazy in Minneapolis as well, but I remember looking at houses with Cavin two years ago in Virginia and D.C. when literal shitboxes were selling for $350,000-plus. A working toilet added $100K to the asking price. Panicked buyers automatically bid $25,000 over the asking price -- or more, if they really wanted it.
If I hadn't married well, I don't think I'd ever have moved out of a rented apartment, just because real estate seemed to have become a game of chicken for rich people. Even with the market slowing, I don't see how, on my own, I could ever have afforded a house within 100 miles of my office in a neighborhood where I didn't risk getting mugged on the way from the bedroom to the bathroom.
Eh, that's enough whining about other people dismissing the concerns of poor, downtrodden and still-somewhat-newly-suburban me. Since I'm sending you to Lileks, go here as well -- the scary thing is, I remember all the Star Trek ads. Geeky personal secret: I still have the Star Trek books I bought at Paducah Mall's Readmore store circa 1978 in a box in the spare bedroom.