Wednesday, November 19, 2008

It's the Economy, Stupid

There's a new poll in the right sidebar. Take!

Essentially, I want to know how the current recession (let's just call it what it is) is affecting your ability and/or desire to break up with your current city and jump into bed with your dream town. My hunch is that homeowners and renters will have very different responses.

Speaking to a good friend last week, she described feeling stuck as a homeowner. In short, she didn't think there was any way she and her husband could sell their home and move as a result of the down market. There would be no takers. Then there's those in "upside down" mortgages - meaning, who owe more than their home is currently worth - who couldn't sell even if there was a buyer because of the huge loss. An estimated 12 million Americans are in that predicament, according to this sobering article.

But renters may be more apt to move, I suspect. Layoffs and declining business could drive those not tied to a home to areas with better job prospects or a lower cost of living. For me, the economic crisis has only underscored why it just doesn't make much sense for me to live in the city with second-least-affordable housing in the US.

You see, LA and I just don't have the same financial values, and we all know that's a deal breaker in relationships. LA believes in million-dollar mortgages and mountains of debt. I don't. And frankly, I can't. I'm self-employed, which means my income can fluctuate. Therefore, the lower my overhead, the greater my ability to weather any storm.

Fortunately, excepting a handful of cities, anywhere I move is going to be cheaper than LA, and I can have the things I want (oh sweet, sweet spare bedroom) without paying (much) more. Now that's an equation I can get behind. Hurray for telecommuting!

Got a related story? Think my theory has holes? Please chime in. But most importantly, take the poll!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think there are a lot of people who would consider moving if they didn't have a mortgage. However, I was hoping that since our wonderful congress agreed to this $700 million dollar bailout, that a lot of homeowners would have received the help they needed without having to move. The more people are able to afford their homes, the more willing they are to shop. I can't believe it is ok to help the banks take the money, but not help those who will be paying for the bailout?