Betting We’re Going to Lose: Wading Into the Housing Market

I’ve never owned a home and the last time I lived in a single-family house was growing up years ago in New Mexico. But I’ve decided it’s time to take a look at the housing market. Part of it is my age. Having an asset later on in my life that could be turned into cash might be important. Will I want to be renting a microhousing unit when I’m 75 years old? Maybe. But it might also be wise to be paying a mortgage rather than rent for all the obvious reasons. And here’s another thing: if the City Council keeps doing what they’re doing to housing, buying now means I’m sure to make a tidy profit down the road. Owning a house in Seattle or even nearby will be sure to pay off. We’ve said it over and over, the more rules and restrictions and barriers and costs added to the creation of new housing in the face of rising demand means the value of existing housing will, as the Seattle Times loves to say, sky rocket. So from time to time I’ll give updates on the search.

My first foray into the market took me to the unincorporated outskirts of Seattle, places like White Center, Shorewood, Boulevard Park, and Top Hat. I saw small houses from about 800 to 100 square feet, a couple fire damaged houses, and a weird 1970s townhouse in Glenacres a gated community right under the flight path of Sea Tac. It was a very first trip around going from listing to listing with no expectations. But what I realized is with what I can afford I won’t be able to be very picky. I’m ok with small. I’m ok being under the flight path. I’m still trying to decide whether I want a detached single-family or a condo. I’m not even sure yet how to make that decision. The good news is that I am the only one making the decision and I’m not in a big hurry.

What I do know is that if I’m successful, and things keep going the way they are, I may end up losing the lonely fight to save the Seattle housing economy, but I might do a financial favor for myself. More later. And any advice is welcome.

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