Listening to Myself

Friday, March 18, 2005

Land of Sidewalks

It is extremely nice to live in the land of sidewalks. With the weather being as lovely as it has been for the last couple weeks, Emma and I have been walking or biking to the park, library, or other destinations almost every day. One of the things I most disliked about living in the Santa Cruz mountains was our inability to go out the door and go places. I wasn't sure I would take advantage of the sidewalks, bike paths, and bike lanes once we moved to suburbia, but we have, a great deal. And I really don't think I want to give it up now that I have this ability to get around easily and safely without a car. I think this is the biggest downside to moving somewhere more rural - even though you feel like you are living more in nature and all, you are completely chained to your car if you want to do anything off your property. I like to ride my bike, run, and take long walks with Emma in the stroller, and I think all those things would be impossible to do in a more rural area, as I really don't want to do them in the narrow shoulder of a country road.

I guess what I'm saying is that I really would rather stick with living in some sort of town or small city. Really, I'd be perfectly happy staying where we are because I really like it here. Not only is my family here, but we genuinely like the town and I've met some really nice, neat people. If housing prices weren't so completely out of control, I think there's a very good chance that we would stay here. I know that Matt would like to be closer to the mountains, but at least we're not so far away that a day trip is out of the question.

Last week I saw a cute little house in an ok area of town (probably a 1300 sq. ft place with 3 bedrooms, about 15-20 yrs old, and a nice little yard) that had just gone on the market. Out of curiousity, I called the realtor and found out that it went on the market on Monday, and sold on Tuesday for 649K, with 24 offers. I didn't know if I should laugh or cry. At this point, I think all we could afford is a condo in a place like we're already living... but why should we pay almost twice as much for a mortgage as we are currently paying in rent to live in the same place? Yes, yes, I know mortgage deduction and all that... but I've run the numbers, and we are still saving massive amounts of money by renting.

Is it wrong to hope for a housing market crash? Or at least a nice slump? And I guess another important question would be... why does it feel so important to own a home anyways?


  • I know how you feel. While hoping for a housing market crash maybe a bit extreme, I certainly wouldn't mind a "correction." I'd settle for a leveling off at the very least. I like living in suburbia too, but owning a house in this area just seems more and more of a pipe dream
    for me.

    As for owning a house, I'd figure there's a lot of emotional investment (American dream and all that) tied up with the practical side. Having not run through the process and run the numbers myself, I can only take people's word for it that it comes out well. They also talk about "equity" and "resale value", and "investment" but then again my family was burned by the housing slump of the late 80's.

    By Anonymous charlie, at 12:03 PM  

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