Monday, April 06, 2009

Thoughts on our buying a condo

*Alan Greenspan manipulated credit markets not to help the economy but to make more people homeowners and supporters of his personal ideology, capitalism. In a sense, it's worked on me - it's now a lot harder for me to support ending the regressive and environmentally destructive mortgage tax deduction. I'd still support a gradual phaseout though. Otherwise, though, I don't feel any more inclined to Greenspan's stupidity than I did before.

*There's a large tax credit for first-time home buyers that we'll get. Thanks, taxpayers! While we're not wealthy, I think there could be better uses of the money. Along the lines of Jonathan Zasloff's consideration of whether straight supporters of gay marriage shouldn't be married until everyone can, I suppose we could refuse the tax credit. As with marriage, I don't think that's going to happen. Maybe we should up our donations some, though.

*Fannie Mae charges a fee of 0.75% of the mortgage if you're buying a condo instead of a house, waived only if your downpayment is 25% instead of 20%. While I'm sure they have their financial reasons, it's a disincentive to smart growth.

*I believe increased residential mobility is environmentally beneficial, as in several years ago when I moved to cut my work commute to one-tenth the time. On the other hand, I've just been reminded what a complete time-wasting pain in the neck it is to move, one that gets worse as you get older and hoard more stuff. I'm not planning to move soon.

*We decided to clean our old apartment ourselves rather than spend several hundred dollars. Over forty hours work later, I'm not sure that was a great idea. Still can't figure out how it could take so long.

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