March 2nd, 2010
So, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this, but Meaghan and I are buying a house.
We’re under contract now and closing is in about six weeks. Now comes the metaphor for an overwhelming amount of paperwork, inspection, appraisal, more paperwork, lawyers, agents, and well-meant meddling. They’re keeping me busy, everything is on track, and barring a personal catastrophe, we will be homeowners on April 14th.
Home ownership is a big thing, you know, and it’s not something we’d be entering into unless we found a perfect house for us that we can imagine ourselves at for at least five years, hopefully more. (And since this will be my fourth move in less than three years, I’m looking forward to no more of that for awhile.)
But I’d be totally lying if I said I wasn’t motivated by the $8000 tax credit for first time homebuyers, and the mortgage interest tax deduction, which are both poor public policy. (They both serve to inflate property prices, which then behaves like a transfer of wealth from borrowers to sellers, who tend to be richer already.) Basically, without those policies, I’d be paying at least 10-20% less for this property, but since the government is stepping in with these incentives, and I get to borrow the money to buy the place and pay a few bucks more a month for the price difference, I shrug my shoulders and get over it.
So, what did it take to make me a total hypocrite? An adorable and well-maintained 90 year old mill house in a historic neighborhood, and the look on my wife’s face when she saw it. Worth it.