Wednesday, July 04, 2007
I hope you're enjoying the 4th of July to its fullest. The #1 thing I appreciate about this country is that no matter what socioeconomic level I'm at, I can say anything I want. Eat anything I want, or drink anything I want. :) I do appreciate that that.
We spent the day organizing our place. It made me realize, in 12 to 18 months... someone will downgrade from a house and move into an Apartment. Now, we're renting a decent size townhouse, but will ex-"homeowners" be able to even rent granite countertops? ;) (Hey, if you cook like we do... they're worth it!)
Due to trying to settle into our townhouse, I just haven't had the time to do decent blogging. But one thing I've learned is the value of apartment dumpsters. Some of you had counter-comments when I wondered if all of our stuff would fit into our apartment. (It did.) But we've since been opening up the apartment.
What does this have to do with real estate? Simple, Americans have over consumed for the last few years and are going to have to pay the price for it. Now, my savings rate has been high... so I don't feel to bad.
But when you merge homes you have two choices, have duplicates of everything, or get rid of the surplus (do donate what is of value). But most Americans today... will store it in the garage and buy new (after forgetting they had it). No wonder we have a negative savings rate.
Ok, somethings its worth having duplicates (e.g., cooking tools that fit my wife's hands are like toothpicks in mine. We simply cannot share certain knives, spatulas, etc. But quite a few of my pots and pans made it to the dumpster. Heck one knife I use for "delicate work" she uses as a chef's knife.)
Why do we accumulate so much? Why do we have such a hard time either renting, sharing, or borrowing? I personally think we've lost most of the lessons learned at great cost during the 1930's. Sadly... we're about to relearn many of them.
Most of the townhomes in this complex have half a garage full of "stuff." We've resisted doing that. Actually, we're really only storing moving supplies in our garage (boxes, "peanuts,") and cleaning supplies. Both of our cars fit in the garage.
On a personal note, our living room is now ready for us to go out and buy a new couch. :) Sadly... the "office" doesn't deserve that name yet and we still call it the "box room." We're getting there. I just have to accept that my boxes of books have to be culled...
On a more real estate level...
Just more and more coworkers awakening to the reality that prices will drop.
However... I also know more and more people preparing to move down to the south bay if/when prices drop. Don't expect prices to drop to zero. But they will drop to affordable.
Hopefully you've had such a good 4th that you don't get to this for a few days. ;) Its a day where I celebrate being an American. I really do appreciate what we have.
Despite the sheeple... (Grrr...) But I cannot help but notice there is a mime going through work of being more frugal. Now, I work with engineers, so this mime is probably six months ahead of most places. But I'm still flabbergasted as to how much most of my coworkers are cutting spending. 40% are dramatically cutting spending. 40% are status quo. Only about 20% are accelerating spending. Normally I can tell you what they're accelerating spending on. Now? Its just random today (horses, travel,cars...). But the one oddity... No one is buying airplanes. Normally aerospace engineers are pining to buy an airplane (my company subsidizes flying lessons)... Not one of the people I work with is buying a plane... or boat. So frugality is in.
But then again, the sheeple don't follow the bond market. So they'll be "surprised" pretty soon.