Monday, November 22, 2004

Ask Skor: Buying a House?

It's been a while since the last Ask Skor. The letters just aren't coming in. Come on people, step it up! Email Skor with your pressing questions! See my profile for the email address.
Dear Skor,

My wife and I have been married for three years, and we're beginning to tire of apartment life. I mean, it's not all that bad, but sometimes the sound of the overweight ladies upstairs doing their 6:00 aerobics gets old, you know? Or the aroma of Mrs. Fendelmore's "Tuna-Tabasco Surprise" every other Tuesday morning... Anyway like I said, we want to buy a house. But the thing is, we've heard all these people talking on the TV about a housing bubble or something, and we're afraid. So, should we buy a house now, or should we wait for the bubble to burst?

Doug
Raleigh, NC
Hi Doug,

What a great question! There has just been so much talk about the so-called "housing bubble" lately, that I'm glad I finally get to address it. Really there are two ways of looking at this, and large groups of people that ascribe to each:
  1. The only people talking about a real estate bubble are the ones who don't have any real estate. Land costs money. Butt-loads of it. Get used to it.
  2. Any day now housing prices will plummet, and you'll be able to buy the Gates Mansion for a mere three-hundred-thou.
Unfortunately, there's really no way to tell which of these groups is correct. As Mr. Dogbert recently opined regarding politics, "highly intelligent and well-informed people disagree..." and this is also the case here. So, here's what Skor suggests you do: Find out what neighborhoods in your area are home to lots of old people. Take a Saturday, and go door to door offering to buy their houses for $500 cash, on the spot. Eventually, one of them will probably take you up on it, and then you're set! Who cares if the bubble bursts, because you only laid down five Benjamin Franklins for your house! It's foolproof. In fact, it's how I intend to get the Gates Mansion, in 35 or so years (do the math) whether the bubble bursts or not.

Glad to be of service,

Skor

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