@notetoself I'm far from an economist but we are definitely well, well overdue for a massive housing market crash. The price of property has been outpacing wages and CPI for about two decades. Owning a home is deeply ingrained in the national character, which was fine, until property investment became the national pastime. I have had several homebuying friends of my age (early 20s) say to me, in a heartbreakingly earnest tone, that property is a good investment "because it always goes up in value." People of my generation haven't been locked out of the market, exactly, but I would rather rent in a decent neighbourhood for the rest of my life rather than buy a display home in a treeless suburb in Deer Park or Fountain Waters are whatever other crummy development 50 k's out of the city first homebuyers are living in these days.
I continue to be flabbergasted by how cheap it is to rent in the US.
This series is really interesting. I'm surprised by how many people move into a place by themselves so early. I would get way too lonely. I live with my best friends at the moment, because one of them bought a house, but it's a crap house in a crap area and it's been a year, so I'm looking at places to move out. I'm looking at houseshare places on gumtree (craigslist) because I would feel way too lonely living by myself (also, as this series attests - super expensive!)
"Sorry about all the gas your truck uses — but we drive a Prius." Obviously this isn't the main thrust of the article, but if you're worried about the environmental impact, don't be. Shopping online involves way less shipping and handling than bricks and mortar stores. ONLINE: Manufacturer > Distributor > Courier company > You STORES: Manufacturer > Distributor > Store > You (who drove to the store and back) Which doesn't seem like it's cutting out much, except that stores never sell 100% of their stock. The (book)store I worked in as a stock manager definitely sold less than 20% of the stuff that came in the door. The rest got returned to the distributor, where it was presumably either destroyed or resold. So in addition to the chain above, there's the endless cycle of being shipped back and forth between the company warehouse and various different stores. Or even just being shipped back to the warehouse and pulped. Stores are basically middlemen, like real estate agents or recording companies. They've been rendered obsolete, but it will take another generation or so for them to die out completely. (And yet there's still a lot of people in retail who think this online shopping thing is just a fad...)
When you throw out a figure like $500 for rent, are you referring to monthly or weekly?