The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Home Values, Who Pays Attention?

Perception is very subjective but what else is there? There are, it seems to me, very few truly objective observers in the world.

Consider a poll I saw the other day about various things, one section of which concerned personal financial status over the last 12 months. Here's what I learned:
Overall financial security - 35% say it's better , 14% say it's worse, 45% say about the same.
Job security for workers in your household - 23% better, 14% worse, 45% about the same.
Retirement savings - 28% better, 17% worse, 41% about the same.
The market value of your home - 30% better, 13% worse, 33% about the same.

I'll be as honest as I can. My Overall financial security is about the same as it has been. I am retired so job security does not apply. And the market value of my home? I have no freaking idea. That might be because it is paid for and I am not inclined to move anywhere nor think I will have a need to in the near (5 to 10 years) future. If I was thinking of moving, I would pay more attention to that value, I suppose. But it made me wonder why so many seemed to pay attention to that home value. Only a few said it "did not apply" or "not sure." What about renters? Do they pay attention? If so, why? I mean, as a renter (and I was one for many years) the only concern I had was about rents going up and that concern only made me ask new renters how much they were paying. I had no thoughts at all about the actual real estate value of the places I rented.

When I first purchased a house, I was worried that the place would not be worth the total of interest and principal of my mortgage payments. Within 5 years, its market value exceeded that amount (a statewide real estate boom did that... lots of speculators... much like the bubble that burst in 2007) but then went flat for the next decade. My ex-wife probably made quite a bundle when she sold it many years later.

I did well because of that real estate bubble that burst in 2007. I sold my old home for about three times what I paid for it. The equity paid for my current home. I was not clever, I was not prescient, I was merely lucky. When I retired, I had already decided to move to somewhere that I could live more cheaply than where I was living at the time.

It is probably not the only time I have been fortunate enough to take advantage of circumstances but it was probably the best one. Most of the time, I paid a price for needing (or wanting) to move.

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