Most know that the very first thing that happens when you buy that used (or new, for that matter) car off the lot, is that it loses a ton of value. But we buy that vehicle anyway because we need it to get to work, take the kids to school, go shopping for food, and run around this great big world without having to utilize our feet anymore than advocated by our favorite podiatry artist. Heck, it's plain convenient in the world in which we live. We know it going in, buy it, and meander along the merry trail that is our life.
Has buying a home been any different in recent years? In reality, probably not. However most of history and especially years prior to the proverbial bubble getting a nice dose of a needle, told us that buying a home was an investment. Well, in comparison to buying a vehicle of any kind, I maintain that buying a home reeks much larger in the aspect of returns. But is that really why we bought it?
I'll share my story and try to keep it pithy, parsimonious, and pragmatic. I bought my first home in 2006 under peculiar circumstances. I was roomies with a guy I worked with who signed a lease to purchase agreement and then bailed without any notice. And people wonder why silver lays upon my locks ...
Left with Utility Bills that would make the comforts of Death Row (and electrocution) look rather cheap ...
I worked out an agreement with the owner then to buy it myself in a year and I did. I made every cardinal mistake in buying the place (no inspection was my every cardinal mistake) and to the races I went. If I ran for Political Office manana, all bridges (and floods) over troubled water I've had would be found. It's still the proverbial work in progress, as I liken myself to the Yogi Berra of Homeownership ... it ain't over, til it's over.
I ask myself daily of why I bought this house. It was affordable and I didn't know about the other things that would ever get in the financial way of that reality. If I was renting, I would have experienced the same situation.
But I put some time and money and time into this abode. Was it an investment? At the time, I can honestly answer that I felt it was. But that is not why I bought it or am still here.
This is my home. I need it to get to work, take my kitties to the playground, store food for my shopping, and live comfortably in this world without having to utilize a tent and yet another Oliver Stone reference to how bad Capitalism can be.
They bailed out banks, introduced HAMP, and have kept interest rates lower than my own IQ after a night of drinking with a former B-Music Celebrity. Yup, I drank Hootie of the Blowfish under the freaking table.
Is any of that helping? I'm not sure, perhaps. But I don't really care. Because it's not about what "they" do in regards to what is going on. It's about what I do. And if I lose this abode tomorrow, maybe I'll be out to sea chanting "Wilson" like Hanks from Castaway ... but I won't be doing it without ensuring that my used car won't be one left alone just because the value went away in Zillow's Mind.
Nope. The value is why I bought in the first place. As hard-core in spirit and in reality as I like to pretend to be, having a home is a nice thing to have. I want that ...
... used car.