are forced to change, drastically, their lifestyles, seldom for the better.
Most obvious victims of the current downturn are the foreclosed home owners
who have either already lost their house to the bank or are caught in a home worth a lot less than they owe on their mortgages. If they are lucky enough to still have a job, the burden of keeping the family sheltered is brutal, but what are the options? I suggest that the fragile recovery does not bode well for economic security for anyone, so it might be a good idea to begin to get it together for the hard times that are always lurking.
The housing market is in the tank, big time, and that could prove an
advantage, if played right. If you can walk out on your current mortgage and
live cheap for a couple of years the cash you save can be a big down payment
or even a cash buy on a new home. The trick is the cash, and a possible reuniting of your scattered family. Bring the kids and the grand kids back to live in an economic collective, sharing the costs and pooling the wages and
earnings of all. With several incomes and the decreased costs of living together, (food, utilities and transportation), the chances of disaster from someone being fired are diminished, and the financial power generated can give you an edge. Pay off the house first, then look into buying other, smaller homes nearby as
rental income. Distressed properties that can be repaired and resold are a
good plan, particularly if you carry the mortgage yourselves, with full
foreclosure if the debt is not paid timely. Again, the secret is the melding of
income and investment in the close family for mutual security in a harsh economy, should it persist.
Many of America’s current shortcomings are laid at the feet of the disintegration of the extended family. Our society has encouraged children to go out on their own as soon as possible and the idea of independence is oversold to the young. Nobody mentions the fact that aging parents will need close support and care in their dotage, but having a grandparent in house makes the care easier, and allows the homebound seniors to help with the kids leaving the working adults free for productive activities, like doing the
dishes and mowing the lawn.
The disintegration of the family is, unfortunately, reflected in the architecture of the last half century, with tine developer designed two bedroom cottages and no yard for gardening. On the other hand the real estate bubble of the 1980s fostered the overbuilding of so called “MacMansions,” many of which are among the deserted foreclosures in many cities and suburbs. Five bedroom, four baths and a guest suite are easily had for less than a quarter million, and can house an extended family with ease.
It is entirely possible that economic Armageddon will not continue, but on the off chance, remember, “Buy land, God isn’t making any more of it!”
“Travus T. Hipp” is a 40-year veteran radio commentator with six stations in California carrying his daily version of the news and opinions. “The Poor Hippy’s Paul Harvey,” Travus is a member of the Nevada Broadcasters Hall of Fame, but unemployable in the Silver State due to his eclectic political views. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.