Friday, May 30, 2008

Housing Problems

I know the housing crisis is awful. I know lenders were predatory and gave loans when they shouldn't have. I don't mean to blame the victims, for whom I feel truly sorry. But the couple featured in this article bought their "dream house" for $535,000. They earn about $65,000. Looking at those numbers, no matter the financing, the decision to buy a $535,000 house on that income just seems like -- how do I say this? - it sounds like a bad decision. Amid the terrible loss and financial ruin to normal people that the housing crisis has brought - does it also shed some light on our messed up sense of value and proportion -- like it all can be and should be ours, even if the numbers don't add up? And why does having it all and living in a dream house have to mean spending a lot of money? I know it's a little naive to ask this, but I still think it's worth asking.

2 comments:

roni said...

I live in San Francico and can't afford to buy a miniscule condo, much less the vacation home in Florida, as mentioned in this article. Totally agree with you that many people have bought into this idea that if someone will finance it, you can afford it. (I also wonder how many people who got into their mortgage mess were inspired to start buying and flipping houses based on the advice of the "Rich Dad Poor Dad" charlatan.) Here's hoping that people who are struggling to keep their only house find a solution and that a new president leads the effort to reform our credit and lending industries.

Robin Aronson said...

I'll eat some chocolate to that!