Wednesday, July 6, 2005

The 2025 Home Buying Guide

Home ownership has been a big topic in our house lately. A pair of friends recently bought a new home, another friend just sold his, and a third friend and her boyfriend are in the market. As for us, we're not in the market for a new home, but since everyone else is spending money, we're slurping up our home equity at an alarming rate as we launch an ever growing renovation project. It's gotten me to thinking.

What's going to happen to our children when they graduate from college? Short of sending my son to a farming school in Iowa with a one way plane ticket and a Des Moines Apartment Guide, the expectation is that one day, he will graduate from college, as will any future child we have, and come back home to live.

This is not a good thing. A child returning to the DC metropolitan area after college will be living at home with his or her parents for the rest of their natural lives, or until they have a sordid affair with a congressman and sell the story rights to Hard Copy. Tempting as it might be, I am simply not going to sign my children up for summer camp at Sidwell Friends to ensure they meet the right potential future lovers.

Currently, the average cost of a home in the DC area hovers somewhere between Stupid and Crazy. We have enough equity in our home to buy a five bedroom colonial in Charlotte, NC, completely outright. I know this because I've checked. Never mind that we'd need to actually live in Charlotte to pull this off, I'm illustrating a point here.

One assumes that my son will spend a great many post collegiate years living in an apartment with five other young adults with equally questionable housekeeping skills, but eventually, he will want to own a home. Short of attaining great personal wealth, or borrowing money from his parents (a pox on the latter, please), I think he will need some hints. So without further ado, I present: The 2025 Home Buying Guide. Free of charge.

To Buy A Home In 2025, simply follow the instructions below.

1. In 2020, begin cutting back on costs. Switch to all rice meals, allowing yourself the luxury of one added bean per month.
2. Stop going to the movies, and instead walk to Dupont Circle and amuse yourself people watching.
3. Consider the clothes washing power of the Potomac current, as opposed to laundromats and costly washing machines.
4. Move into a 10x10 apartment with included utilities. With four roommates.
5. Launch a career as a brain surgeon, but sell real estate on the side.
6. On weekends, bag groceries at the Harris Teeter

If followed closely, within five years one should have a tidy nest egg, with which to place a nice down payment on a four million dollar one bedroom condominium in Ballston.

Right down the street from home.

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