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March 26, 2008

Keeping up with Joneses

After having read the article regarding the $1 million-plus houses that have had falling property values and even foreclosures (3/23, A-1, “An abrupt end for high life”), I am trying to figure out how I should feel about this. How does one even begin to compare a person driven by status and image when buying such a house to people who overstretched themselves just to finally be able, for the first time in their lives, to own a home?

Perhaps if the former had bought within their means and purchased a used Hummer or a “pre-owned” Mercedes, they would not have ended up in their current predicament. The basketball court and the spiral staircase might have to wait a bit also.

Wait a minute. I just figured out how I feel. Disgusted.

Rick Henderson
Leawood

Comments

NoMoreMrNiceGuy

You are correct Casady, but they could save costs by getting rid of it as it is not needed according to the KU graduate that is a finance expert.It will not be easy to find employment without having internet.
It really is damn near a necessity. Cable TV maybe not but then you get stuck being network TV'd to death with ignorant shows like American Idol (more consumerism and vanity). Actually why waste money on college, you can go to the library, use the net there for free, self teach yourself the subject matter and roll the tuition savings into a Roth.

Casady

It may also be worth noting that a lot of campus housing is wired for broadband and WiFi and the cost is buried into room and board.

NoMoreMrNiceGuy

I have a $200/mo cable package, my work covers 1/4 of that. So what?
I work for it and it provides entertain ment. We HAVE to have broadband due to my work situation and multiple users in one household that are on at the same time.
My situation is probably pretty common amongst married parents. We can bikcer about persnal preferences of finacnes, cable does not cause foreclosure. Having too much house and a bogus ARM scheme or financing 125% of an inflated value does.
So does over taxation (an uncontrollable).
You must be pretty young and inexperienced just graduating and all. You are right about being frugal, i give you that, nothing wrong with it.

NoMoreMrNiceGuy

Oh geez another Jayhawk, just great.
If your BIL can afford the $200 what do you care? In your opinion students do not need internet, I would beg to differ.

Lost_In_Ambivalence

My brother in law spends $200+ a month on cable + movie channels, high speed internet, x-box live and a couple other digital subscriptions. My wife and I spend $40 a month for the phone. Academia doesn't require you to purchase internet. I recently graduated from KU and did just fine without paying for it. My wife (a teacher) survives without it. I agree with the extras but you seem to justify a lot of garbage as necessities or "not the real problem". As I said before, any one habit isn't the issue, it is the culmination of many habits.

NoMoreMrNiceGuy

Academia nealry requires internet access, dial up costs more then broadband.
I unedrstand your point but cable is not why people are not making their mortgage payments, especially someone with a $500k house. Cable is the least of their worries.
People can get by without season Chiefs tickets, soccer camp, football camp, basketball camp, wrestling camp, leadership camp, etc. They can get just fine without $100 sneakers and designer clothes. Stop buying the name brand food stuffs. Stop running little Timmy down to the ER when he has a runny nose then claiming that you spend sooooooo much on healthcare (everyone in the US is deathly ill). The bottomline is that people need to live reasonable. Cable is not the issue. It's cheaper than going to Blockbuster. Basic cable and broadband is not $200 a month. You can get a decent package with no movie channels and broadband for $60/mo.
A cell phone is cheaper than a land line and free LD. Just budget your peak calling.
It all comes down to budgeting. Some of us have to budget and hold to it, then there are those that end up short every month because they want to play vicitm and blame someone else ( I won't say who)

Lost_In_Ambivalence

While I agree that any particular service probably won't break the bank, when you add them up, it is a couple of hundred bucks a month. And it is easy to get by without a cell phone, cable, drive through beverages, high end cars, high speed internet and much else that people view as "needs". We get by with only a teachers salary so I know that most people could do it if they really tried.

NoMoreMrNiceGuy

This is great, DCSE is basically has been caught with thier hands in the cookie jar and not willing to correct their wrong.
Most of you think this is perfectly okay, how pathetic.

http://www.dss.mo.gov/news/csaudit.pdf

NoMoreMrNiceGuy

This is great, DSCE is basically has been caught with thier hands in the cookie jar and not willing to correct their wrong.
Most of you think this is perfectly okay, how pathetic.

http://www.dss.mo.gov/news/csaudit.pdf

NoMoreMrNiceGuy

LIA here is some of the supposed hype you claim I have no grounds on. Note - This is current from the State Auditor's office.

Truth-telling Missouri child support auditor Susan Montee (pictured) is under fire from the child support industry after�revealing her finding that 27% of the state's 240,000 child support cases have incorrect balances. She points put that when child support transferred cases from an old computer system to a new one nearly a decade ago, many of their figures were incorrect, and now--nearly a decade later--they still have not corrected them.

According to Montee's figures, 65,000 cases have incorrect balances, some with phony arrearages of several hundred thousand dollars.

Director of Missouri Family Support Division Janel Luck has struck back at Montee, calling her "highly irresponsible" and accusing her of "misleading the public." As I've pointed out on numerous occasions, child support enforcement agencies are notorious for their computer errors and bureaucratic bungling. Many innocent fathers have been wrongly targeted for enforcement action--including driver license suspensions and jail--as a result. Frankly, if anything, the 27% figure seems low.

To learn more about the Missouri controversy, read and/or watch the KOMU TV report by clicking here.

NoMoreMrNiceGuy

I doubt broadband is causing people to go bankrupt although I understand your point. Luckily for me, my employer pays for my digital phone and broadband as they are necessary for work ( I work remote of the corproate office). I invite you look at most suburbs and you will see that it is not easy to find houses for under $100 and those at $100 generally need work. Bosh appliances, I agree, many people go overboard. We had to buy a new stove when the one that was here died, same with the frig, we hardly purchased units with Blu-Rau players and built in tanning beds. We didn't by the bottom of the line but a bout a step up from that, nice but but not vain.
Cell phones, again, while consumerism is rampant, cell phones are pretty standard issue. A decent plan for about $50-60 a month is not going to break the bank for most married dual incomers. Granted it can get out of hand, just like anything else.
GYCL - When we purchased we look for 2 years to find a decent property in a decent nieghborhood. We wanted a fenced yard and not on a main drag. We purchased a house for under $125k as well, more than reasonable. I get your point but $150k is not anywhere close to ridiculous. You go above that it starts to get vain.
stone- yeah, the baseball player. Apparently he is some guru in business. Invested in a chain of self named carwashed, initial investment of about $5M, sold all of them several years later for upwards of $50M. He also is making a killing investing. It was entertaining to watch his interview. Granted he started with some cash but still it was pretty amazing because I guess he is upfront about his not being too book smart and even has a reading problem.

Lost_In_Ambivalence

And in case you are wondering. We live in the boundries of the newest Olathe Jr. High. So it isn't like we are in the middle of nowhere.

Lost_In_Ambivalence

NMMNG

Actually, there are many nice homes in JoCo of all places for well under 150k. Will it be in the new neighborhoods with a 3 car garage and all new Bosch appliances? NO. Can you get a nice 3 bed 2 bath house with a basement and a small yard for 115k? YES. Get over it. We bought a house that we could very comfortably make the payment on.

Maybe if people would give up their cable, high speed internet, unlimited cell phone packages and morning Starbucks, they could make their payments.

stone

NMMNG-
Lenny Dykstra? The former baseball player? Is that who you are referencing? Or did I miss something... just curious

NoMoreMrNiceGuy

70-80k house? Not in the suburbs. $150k house is UNDER the median priced home and not out of line. It's the financing of 125% of an already infalted "value" that is one of the scenarios. People buying a $200k house with an 800 FICO and household income of $60k, another prblem area. Then the bogus ARMs, a useless financial vehicle in any scenario. Someone buying a $1M house then losing their a$$ day trading, I have little sympathy for. Not everyone is as talented as Lenny Dykstra.

Gary

The ideological bent of the letter writer is all too obvious. Well off people want to buy a house. Poorer people want to own a home. In reality, rich or poor, they want the same thing.

Lost_In_Ambivalence

Rick

At the end of the day, all these people did the same thing. They bought more house than they could afford. Most of these foreclosures are not on $70k and $80k houses where their mortgage would be around what rent costs. A lot of these people were told they could qualify for a $150k mortgage so they went and found a 150k house. My wife and I "qualified for a 160k mortgage and bought a $130k house with 10% from our own money. It is well within out ability to pay (and pay extra each month to boot).

NoMoreMrNiceGuy

There only out would be if they are a single parent, then it would fall under the entitlement clause. Afterall, some father making $12-15/hr should be able to afford all of those necessary things and if not too bad! As Judge Judy says, "Go pick up cans!".

 
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