Finding Home if You’re Living in Mom’s Basement
Perspective + Information = Hope
IKEA can only help so much when you hate where you live. Ditch the snarky jokes about doomsday black hole of bumming on your crib: You Can Do Better. Whether it’s a crappy apartment, a condo from hell or the bedroom you grew up in, if you hate where you live there is a way out. No magic bullets or magical thinking, happiness is not a new paint color away, its finding out what works to get a place of your own.
We have been force fed the failures of the last generation who screwed things up trying to get rich in the housing bubble. “Flippers” bought crap, gave it a gloss and ripped off those who thought there was no way any owned home could ever be worth less than they paid for it. Developers made bad building expensive with hype and painless rip-off financing. Real Estate Agents went along for the ride as long as the checks cleared. Bankers, – well, we all know what unnatural acts they committed on the whole world’s economy.
Boomers and the Greatest Generation got screwed when Magic Equity evaporated, leaving only Real Debt, but Millenials, Echo-Boomers, and anyone under 40 who had not bought in is left with the Depressive side of a BiPolar Manic/Depressive housing boom-bust bubble. They have tons of academic debt, no home equity, live like undergrads in commuter schools – or just with undergrads in shared apartments: They are pissed, bored and hopeless about where they live.
They eat out every so often, buy cool shoes, but never think that where they live could be somewhere they love. But they are no different than the 1979 family confronting 22% mortgage rates or the 1987 couple that lost its down payment in the stock crash or the 1999 guy who saw his sweet condo walk away when his “equity” in a tech start-up became vaporized.
The big difference now is attitude: no one believes it’s possible to overcome a gigantic black hole of value that is the housing market, but even the “Me Generation” found out they did not invent a New World Order. The New Paradigm of home ownership is really the Old Timey Way: – if you want it badly enough, you can get to a place you love to live in: but the old saws that comforted the 1979, 1987, 1999 homesteaders are bogus:
- It’s not “Location Location Location” – its finding crappy sites in great locations.
- It’s not “Contemporaries Never Sell” – its Good Design Always Sells.
- It’s not “Good Schools Raise Property Values” – it’s spending the right amount in any community.
- It’s not “Resale Value” – its spending at a level you can live with, now and in 10 years.
- It’s not “Never spend less than twice or more than 3 times the lot cost on a new home” – its thinking about what you can spend now, in five years and 10 years and what you can ultimately have.
- It’s not “Curb Appeal” -it’s designing a landscape and an interior that is truly useful (and lovable) – because if you do, others will.
- It’s not “Architects cost too much” – its defining how much design is worth to you, and getting a designer who is transparent.