Schadenfreude With Facts and Figures
Is anyone else as gleefully excited by the housing bubble burst as I am? I mean far be it for me to delight in the misfortune of others, but—
Ah, who am I kidding? I revel in the misfortune of others (especially if those on the receiving end are well deserved morons) and this real estate crash is punishing fiscal idiots left and right. Trends like this are how I know there’s justice in the world.
One of my favorite things to do is to go to open houses for the many, many McMansions in the area. Often, I am the only one to show up and the strained, panicked look on the realtors’ face pleases me to no end. They actually think I’m dumb enough to buy one of those dumps!
When are people going to realize square footage is not indicative of a nice house, but instead, a hindrance? What is the point of a dinette and a formal dining room? How many times a year do you actually use the formal one? Once on Christmas and once on Thanksgiving? What about a den and a great room? I’m sure you get... tons of use out of that great room, don’t you? How about a four bedroom house when you only have 2 kids? I bet that’s useful, huh? Three and a half baths? How often does everyone in your house need to use the restroom at the same time? Sunroom? Library? Playroom? Two offices? Three car garage and only two cars?
All ridiculous status symbols disguised as sound investments. I hope your neighbors are... [thanking you big time]... considering how much you’ve paid for the address, buddy.
If you need further proof that owning a McMansion is financial suicide, try the following experiment. You will need:
1. First, calculate the total cost of living in a house of your size including mortgage, taxes, electricity, insurance, and gas. This is number A.
2. Using your measuring tape figure out the square footage of all the rooms in your house that are not in use daily. Subtract this from the total square footage of your house.
3. Now, using your telephone, call and find out the total cost to own a house that is the smaller square footage. Include the mortgage, tax, average gas and electric bills. This is number B.
4. Again, use your calculator to subtract number B from number A. Write down the dollar amount.
5. Now, go to an ATM and using your debit card, withdraw the dollar amount you calculated in step 4.
6. Bring the money home and put it in your kitchen sink. Using the lighter, set it all on fire. You heard me right. Set all that money on fire.
Oh. You don’t want to do that? Why not? You’re doing it now every...[fricking]... month.
Don’t stop there; you’re not finished yet! Now you’ve got to calculate the cost of furniture to put in all those rooms you never use. Go ahead and set that money on fire, please. Oh, and the pictures on the walls and the window...[fricking]...treatments? That’s right, into the fire pit with that money, too.
Feel good about that McMansion yet? I guess now is not a good time to remind you that even rooms that you never use still need periodically cleaned, dusted and vacuumed. I’ll let you just calculate that little inconvenience all on your own.
The icing on cake is that people who didn’t calculate the full cost of their status symbol before putting themselves into debt are now forced to sell in a market where houses like theirs are sitting empty because savvy homeowners want no part of them.
I guess the neighbors...[didn't thank you well enough] after all.
Thanks to the reader who sent this in.