Skip to main content

View Diary: “Ownership” Societies – Part I (40 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  My financial advisor pointed out that real estate (0+ / 0-)

    value was not growing as fast as most investments - little more than cost of living, over time.

    Even after the housing bubble collapse, he recommended that I open a home equity line of credit - I said no. That was the ATM view of home ownership. I would only do that to finance major repairs or improvements, not to enable spending unrelated to maintaining the house.

    I did not buy my house as an investment with an expected return, but because I thought that $730/month for a 4-bedroom house with growing equity was a better deal than $550/month for a 1-br apartment with no equity.

    I also had a reasonably secure job.

    I paid off my mortgage 7 years ago, and life without rent or mortgage is what has gotten me through the recession. This was my ultimate goal in buying a house - to end monthly payments for housing. The actual market value of my property only has meaning for tax and insurance purposes. (it hasn't really lost that much value after the bubble collapsed)

    But cheap and stable housing comes at the price of having a job market limited by transportation. Taking a job outside the range of my personal transportation would involve more economic complications than changing apartments.

    For others, the foreclosure problems and tightened credit could prevent them from moving at all. Shorter terms of employment also make such long term financial commitments a more difficult choice.

    If I had approached home ownership with the expectation of selling again in a matter of years, I would have been looking for reasons to sell instead of making extra principle payments each month.

    I might have upgraded my house, and lost it in the recession.

    But a more transient home owner also makes a less stable neighborhood and community. The sense of belonging diminishes.

    The first 7 years I lived in Minnesota, I had 3 different apartments. I have lived in this house for nearly 25 years.

    Small changes in a community are healthy for it, but large-scale changes affect the identity of a community. A more transient population discourages the residents of the hour from making commitments to the community. If carried too far, this could destabilize society.

    There used to be a sense of pride in being a long-term resident of a neighborhood.

    The sense of community is migrating from the real world into cyberspace and social networking. Ironically, social networking may be the means to rebuild the physical community - with political activism leading the way.

    Supply follows consumption. You cannot stimulate consumption by crushing the consumer. Deal with it.

    by Zera Lee on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 10:04:26 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site