Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Homing Pigeons

A desi of my acquaintance recently became a first time home-owner. Not content with making this leap of faith from renting to owning in these confusing times, he was determined to show me what his new home looked like. I was given a tour of all three floors of this brand new home, told how much the whole thing cost him, what he and his wife would be paying towards mortgage plus month and of course only an absolute dim-wit would still be renting.

He pointed out sagely that any money in the bank was good for toilet paper at best if the currency was USD. His brand new home in a small-town American suburb on the contrary was equity that would keep growing forever and more. How the two statements can mutually coexist and both be true was beyond my ultra-limited grasp of the subject matter so I held my peace and absorbed the bounty of knowledge that was so generously being bestowed upon me.

This is not the first time a desi had impressed on me their superior financial savvy not to mention innate intelligence. I am painfully aware that I am clueless about anything to do with money so it does not help for the well-meaning brethren to rub it in. Each time I have tried to make some financial decisions, the debating punditocracy on either side of the issue have confounded me to the point where I have retired hurt without making any choice at all.

The brethren clearly feel for me and try to illustrate by means of easy to understand examples. I appreciate their efforts and concerns but do also wish they would leave me to my devices as unsophisticated as they are.

Their eyes pop up wide with disbelief when I say I hate living in the sterile suburbs and would like to buy an old house somewhere downtown - in a vibrant neighborhood with some unique of character; that I don't think the so called "good schools" are worth spending all that money over in home prices and property taxes - I would rather save mine, buy a cheaper place and work-partime so I can take over J's education to some extent. They look at me like I have completely lost my mind and look at J like they feel sorry for a perfectly good kid like her to be stuck with an uber-crazy parent like myself. I absorb the pity and condescension the best I can and retreat to my corner until the next purposeful desi comes along to shepherd me along in the right direction.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

LOL at the USD down and home equity up. Just chill. Downtown any day beats the soporofic existence and boredom of a suburb.
Cheers
SK.

PS: Been a passive reading for a year now. Could not help myself from commenting on the financial nugget that seems to eluding everyone.

catch22 said...

Very well said...Suburbs are dying..This article says it well..
http://www.businessinsider.com/suburbs-are-dying-and-cities-are-back-2009-7

ggop said...

I'm sure your friend belongs to the same club of people who were mindboggled I liquidated my entire stock portfolio for a down payment 9 years ago :-)

("But But the NASDAQ will cross 10,000 you can borrow much more!!", they said)

Heartcrossings said...

Anon - Thanks for the maiden comment on my blog :) Do write back again.

catch22 - I agree. The burbs always looked dead to me only now its official.

ggop - LOL @ NASDAQ crossing 10,000. People always know so much more about this stuff.