My heart breaks for would-be homeowners priced out of housing markets across the country. We need to do something to bring the price of all houses down, except the house I own and plan to sell for one (or many) million dollars.
People deserve to buy a home at a price they can afford, a price that will somehow also cover my entire initial investment, three decades’ worth of repairs and home improvements, allow me to purchase a new condo in an expensive coastal city, and fund the next two decades of my retirement. It’s that simple.
Take a look on Zillow and you’ll see how wildly expensive housing has become out there, and by “out there,” I mean “on my property.” Just look at my asking price; sort the list from “Most Expensive.”
Don’t believe me? Look at the lines of would-be buyers outside any home that just hit the market. I can’t believe how many people are fighting for the same house, and that’s exactly what I said to my realtor after telling him to jack up my asking price. The market is so hot, papa needs some sunscreen.
The fact of the matter is this: it’s so important that new housing is affordable, because there’s no way in hell I’m accepting anything less than a 20 percent return on my own home.
Some people say we should throw up as much housing as possible to lower prices, but we can’t let big developers reap the rewards of our housing market. I should reap those rewards; I’m the one who purchased a new home in a redlined suburb on a week’s salary in 1975.
Maybe prices will go down a bit, but we’re supposed to cheer when the price of a house goes from $500,000 to $300,000? That doesn’t help people who can’t afford a $300,000 house or people who would rather shave themselves bald and jump in a freezing pond than sell for anything less than seven figures. These groups surely have compatible interests.
We must balance those interests, like the desire of millions of people to have shelter, and my desire to go “Boca Mode” in a South Florida condominium called “El Regalo.” These things can’t exist if we don’t simultaneously ensure housing is cheap and abundant, and also an incredibly scarce resource so I can sell it for a king’s ransom.
A house is so many things. A refuge, a sanctuary, an investment so important to me that I’m willing to destroy an entire generation’s chance at housing in order to lock in my own profits.
But I’m also a reasonable person. If it’s absolutely necessary, I will support building new housing to lower prices, just as soon as my own sale clears escrow. Once this snowbird leaves town, they can build a chocolate castle for all I care.
I hope that in the future all housing can be affordable, and that all of it can be built anywhere except in my backyard.