Monday, December 19, 2005

Be it ever so humble.............

The Sunday addition of the Sac Bee featured a front page story on the real estate market. In case you missed it, the essence of the story was that high-end homes were not selling as quickly as they did a few months ago. What a surprise! If you’re a regular reader you know that I have been predicting a slow down in the upper end market for the past six months. Homeowners don’t need to get too excited but investors that planned on quickly flipping an investment property and make a killing……. aren’t.
I don’t feel too sorry for investors who bet their financial future on an asset that they can’t liquidate easily. Real estate has always been a long-term investment. I am not really sure that a person’s home should be classified as an investment. It’s really a home. Yes, it is great that when it appreciates in value but when it doesn’t or drops a little, it makes front page headlines.
I was getting a little bored anyway with the main topic of conversation at social functions centering around how much someone’s home has increased in value. Do I really care that your home is worth $100,000 more than you paid for it? That’s really great but how are the kids doing? When did you go on vacation and how is the job? I think all the emphasis on a home’s appreciation rate, tax shelter and ATM abilities, detracts from why we have one in the first place.
Unless we are planning on selling our home in the near future, it should make little difference that its monthly value floats. It is not a life threatening event. I know people who spend more time keeping track of the monthly value of their home than they do their kids. So what’s up with that?
The lines between real estate investors and homeowners should be more distinct. Traditionally they have been, but some of us have gotten too caught up in the investment part and less on the home part. Traditional values have taken some hits recently by the politically correct constituency. Maybe less emphasis on our home’s potential profit margins will add more appreciation to its intrinsic value. Less can be more.


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