4 thoughts on “NPR’s Relentless Cheerleading Might Make You Presume…

  1. It is odd. I keep up on the economic news, and it is very bad. There are no ‘green shoots’. We are looking at high unemployment and low growth forever, as far as I can tell.
    Yet when you listen to the news — and it’s not just NPR — they emphasize anything positive they can think of. This morning I heard a report that construction was at the highest point in four years, and they mentioned, at the end of the report, that most of the construction was apartment buildings. New home construction is at a near record low.
    In a nation with a vast over supply of single family homes this is bad news. It means that people don’t have the capital to buy a house, even with low mortgage rates and low house prices. Either that or they have the capital but they don’t think that real estate has hit bottom yet.

  2. What I find scary is the possibility that the desire for a single-family home is being extinguished in the housing market. I bought my first house in the early ’80s when a single-digit mortgage interest rate was unheard of and belived to never return. So did many others. Not a great market, but there were sales made.

    My current home just took another $30,000 devaluation in my latest tax statement. I’ve been there over 20 years and will not likely leave it while I’m alive. I don’t care. Home prices and interest rates are both down. Maybe the likely buyers out there just aren’t interested in home ownership.

    I find this disturbing because it could be a sign of an increasing desire for collectivism – “it takes a village” (again), the desire to live under someone elses care (landlord, maintainance company, etc.), or the inability of many to undertake the skills it takes to maintain a house (fix things, make things, or problem solve).

    Mom and dad divorced before dad could teach the kid how to use tools, the ever-sacred single mom couldn’t be expected to teach those skills, or the baby-daddy disappeared long before the kid was even born. Sorry for the sexism, but it’s usually the father who teaches these skills.

    I’m sure the market is just plain bad. At least I just hope so. On the other hand, European-style flats might be quite appealing to our latest generation of grown-ups.

  3. Mom and dad divorced before dad could teach the kid how to use tools

    Yeah, Hi. That ^^^ is me. I taught myself bike maintenance and assembly, and basic car repairs. I can change brakes just fine. I’ve replaced head gaskets on 3 different Ford Escorts (after a phone tutorial by my 30+ year mechanic father). However, I don’t have the knowledge, tools or facilities to know how to rebuild an engine or a transmission. I do know enough not to get taken by a mechanic. Home repair/handyman stuff? I can change a light switch and a doorknob/deadbolt. I can hang a door. But anything beyond that (ESPECIALLY more complicated wiring)? I’m at the mercy of whichever contractor I hire.

    That said, it will be a SUB-ARCTIC DAY IN HELL before I willingly move into the tyranny of an HOA.

  4. Bill C., I’m on the other side of the coin. My dad could fix or build anything. However, he never taught me how to do the same. Plus, I’m not very good at that stuff – my wife is though. I do know enough to get by and when to call it quits and hire it out.

    I still wonder if that interest, or drive to be self sufficient is going by the wayside?

    In my late dad’s case (he’d be 100 next month), he was able to ease into slowly developing technology. In my case, Iwas great with cars until I couldn’t find the spark plugs and the carb went away. My residual knowledge still keeps the repair person at bay, but I rarely open the hood. Computers, which impact everything, are lost to me. When mine die, I’m finished.

    It doesn’t take too long for a behavior to become extinct. Maybe the mechanical complications of your own home are too overwhelming to a generation who can only fix things important to them by pushing buttons and rebooting.

    Perhaps that’s why immigration is such an easy sell. These people know what a wrench is for and aren’t afraid to use it. I’m rambling. Sorry.

    In any event I hope that I’m wrong and that the single-family home is still part of the “American Dream.”

Leave a Reply