Friday, February 27, 2009

You can't go home again

Has anyone read that book?
Well, in this book the title character goes home. He has been living elsewhere being a bachelor in a bigger place etc, and he goes back to his quaint little hometown. The book is set in the roaring (down) 20s, and when the guy goes home he is shocked to find that all the people in the town are selling their homes for crazy amounts, the guy wonders who in the hell is going to buy these houses in this small town, when are the people who are selling the homes going to actually see their money, and where are they going to live when they sell their homes, and they cannot afford to buy another in their own town.
Look forward to 2006. Andy and I sold our house in Durham. We made a bit of money, so we went looking for another house in Graham. I was approved for a big a$$ loan from the credit union based on 60% of my state salary (my alarm bells were ringing). Of course, I have the wherewithall to understand, that although the bank might want to loan me that much, I would never want to pay 100% of my after-taxes salary every month to pay a house payment hmm hmm.
So we started looking for a house in the 150,000 dollar range. The amount is important or I would not put it in here. That is the amount Andy and I could afford to finance and have a decent house payment. The realtor started taking us all around the back woods of Alamance county showing us MODULAR HOMES with the kind of cabinets apartments have, and eat-in kitchens. I was ill, astounded, shocked, disappointed, all bad feelings. I could not help but wonder--this is how much Andy and I can afford, we both have decent salaries--who is buying all these 200,000 dollar houses? Who can afford these? I was sickened, I also knew that I would not buy any of the stuff we were being shown--I would not finance particle board cabinets or an eat-in kitchen, no thanks, I could just rent that. :)
So....I started asking--who buys these houses that were selling like hot cakes and were severly over-priced in my opinion.???? who???
Who could afford to finance 200,000? Answer: firemen, secretaries, store clerks, on and on...those people also could not afford the houses.
So, I started to think about the book, you can't go home again...the houses "selling" for so much money etc.--when really the town had no economy and people did not have jobs etc.
Then I stared thinking--we are screwed.
We are going to have another Great Depression--by this time it was the fall of 2006 into 2007..
Then in the fall of 2007 I sort of panicked. I thought, if we do have another Great Depression were would I want to be???--Answer: where my Daddy is. He 1. cuts wood, 2. grows food, 3. can make anything work 4. collects appliances and old stuff no one wants and always has --or his buddy has-something you might need.
So, we speedily made plans that we would move home..
And here we go spiraling into the Great Depression numero dos.
Yes. I think too much.
I swear all of this is true.

But I have to disagree with Thomas Wolfe--If you are from here you actually can go home again. We are glad to be back. It is relaxing to go to the grocery store and see people you know, and to let your kids run around and not have to worry so much.
People recognize me b/c I look like my Daddy, that is fun. :)
I recognize kids at school b/c they look just like their parents. Today at the grocery store I saw three people I went to school with. :)

Okay--enough nerdy I told you so ..
Ojala que haya un episodio nuevo de The city en H^lu. :)


Bethany said...

I am so glad you wrote this b/c I have been so wondering why you went home. :) And? Oh my lord sign you up for the Treasury, you predicted it with your NC home-buying mini-model. Totally. We were asking the same thing, why are there 30 yr old people living in these mansions? What do THEY for a living? But we will not go home again, even though you surely can, huh.

Moore, Moore, Moore! said...

I LOVED reading this post! I agree with you, I am glad to be home again too :) Although I wished we lived closer to each other, I miss you and our Chapel Hill and Durham days :(