I’m a stranger here myself. In this Have, Have-Not and Have-Too-Much world. It came to me a few weeks ago when I was reading the business section of the Sunday, New York Times. It’s a little pricey, the Sunday edition of the Times, and it takes me all week to get through it, but it’s a college education. Read it every week for a year and the knowledge you can gain is equivalent to six college credit hours. (I’m well on my way to a PHD in Old Coot Studies).
But, back to the business section, where I had my epiphany. Every week, they compare three homes in different parts of the country, “What you get for $400,000 (or some such amount).” It used to be fun to look at it, a ranch house in Arizona, a Brownstone in Brooklyn and half a duplex in Philly. You could see how much you got, or didn’t get, for your money. See how a house in an urban setting compared to one in the country, or one in the mountains to one on the water. And, chuckle a little, about how much more houses cost in metropolitan areas versus where we live, in what the elite call flyover country. A chance to be a little smug over the good deal we got, compared to the houses featured in the Times.
Little by little, the “What you get for” price escalated, while the house I live in has sustained a long, steady slide into an abyss. I finally lost my interest in the “What you get for” section. Several weeks ago, it compared three houses on the market for $1.2 million: a 3,600-square foot contemporary in Santa Barbara, a 4,800-square condominium in Denver and a five bedroom Tudor in Wayne, Pa. The following week it was three houses “You can get” for $1.9 million (Richmond, Va.; Truro, Mass.; and Varshow, Washington). Nice houses for sure, but no longer relatable. I was out of the game, sidelined by soaring prices.
Then, the coupe de etat – a Business section article about the most expensive new house on the market, a 38,000-square foot monster in Los Angeles with a $250,000,000 asking price. (I included all the zeros to emphasize just how much $250 mil really is.) Yes, it has a lot of goodies: an 85-foot-long, glass tiled infinity pool, a four-lane bowling alley, a 20 foot, 4K resolution TV and the thing that perked my interest, an enormous garage that comes stocked with a $30,000,000 classic car collection. Staggering? Yes! But, then the article ended with a description of an even pricier house, also going up in L.A.; that is expected to list at $500,000,000 in two years when it’s completed. If you are interested there is still time to get in on the bidding. I’m truly a loser in the game of who ends up with the most toys. But a happy (and somewhat smug) loser.
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