Saturday, March 07, 2009

The Housing Market: Willing or Able?

The Globe says there are people who could buy homes... but just aren't. I look around local real estate and there's plenty of available homes for rock bottom prices. I saw one condo a stone's throw from the beach in Lynn (in the Diamond District) for 40k. It was small and a 1 bedroom, 1 bath, but still, that's 1 or 2 year's salary for a condo less than a 2 minute walk from the beach. The mortgage on that would be less than a lot of people's rent. That wasn't the only 1 bedroom condo in Lynn for 40k -- and some of them were much bigger (though, without the beach).

But is it really a bad decision for someone who may want a house and could hypothetically afford one to stay away from the market? Many people who aren't unemployed or underemployed (14% of the country) are afraid of losing their jobs. A lot of those people have good reason to be. None of those people should be burdening themselves with homes that could endanger them in the future.


Slightly off topic, but I'm not sad to see the housing market crash at all. My parents bought the house I live in for ~25k in the 1970s -- less than what my Dad actually earned as his yearly salary (granted, he played in the NFL back then). I remember going to college and thinking I'd never be able to buy a house, short of being married.

Now, I look at the market and see hope. If I weren't one of the above 14%, I would be calling up the local real estate agent to see that Diamond District condo, looking forward to walking my dog on the beach on a daily basis. Alas.


Anonymous said...

That is the beauty of the system. Those willing to take a gamble and buy now should be rewarded in the future. Those who bought over the last 7-8 years shouldn't be rewarded, they paid way too much for what they got. There's a chance now to be a millionaire in 10 years.

Anonymous said...

People should get over the idea of everyone having the American dream, a picket fence and a house. Not everyone deserves a house, or a car for that matter. You earn things. But everyone can have a cell phone, just check out TracPhone. I pay extra so poor lazy people can call from their mattress to have pizzas delivered.

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