Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Economy Shmonomy

So, the gov't bailed out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - whoopie. They were essentially run by the gov't anyway. But, AIG?! Um...I can almost hear the coin jars emptying around the country. With gas and food prices on the rise, the housing market struggling, unemployment rising and the stock market declining, it seems like a scary time to get taking out money and renovating. Or, is it? There is something to be said about putting money into your home as a safe investment, though the flip side side if you are either borrowing that money or taking it out of another investment. Pile on top of this a weak housing market and the question comes of whether a return on your investment will be granted when the time comes. McMansions, flat-screens, and kitchens with granite counter tops and stainless steal appliances have seemed to become an average rather than an exception. Now that we see those who obtained those commodities floundering, what will the new market look like? Will we see prices falling in inflated areas over a longer period rather than just the "slump" we are currently in?

In many ways, renovating a home is a luxury. In most cases those who do it are not buying an inhabitable building or renovating for safety or functionality - it is mainly aesthetic reasons. In our case, the house is perfectly sound. Yes, there are phone and cable problems that need to be worked out - but the house is functional and secure, just not the prettiest of all spaces.

It will certainly be interesting to see where is all leads. With programs like "flip this house" and other home improvement shows on the rise, the amount of jobs and businesses within home renovation have certainly expanded. I realize this is just one of the areas that is going to be compromised by our economic standings, though it is one I think about on a daily basis when running to the hardware store or writing checks to contractors. While the trend fall from travertine and back to ceramic? Will flat screens fall... flat? I guess we will all just have to wait and see.


Brooklyn Row House said...

There some interesting debate about this on the Old House Web forums now:

The real question is, where do you draw the line? Up next is probably WAMU and Citibank. Do they get bailouts too?

Katie said...

Craziness. Since it is the taxpayers money bailing out private enterprises, I am surprised more people aren't up in arms. Just craziness.

first time reader here - love the contrast of GREAT home renos and the serious stuff...keep it coming!

NV said...

I think you're right! We decided that with everything as it is in the economy, that it’s probably not financially possible or practical for us to sell and buy a better house. (I’d rather have a low-maintenance condo.)

So, now that it’s paid for, we’re going to focus on putting in it what we can afford to make it a nice place to live.

Injuries Obtained

  • Sprained Toe/Foot: 1
  • Blood Blisters: 2
  • Splinters under fingernail: 1
  • Bird Shit on me: 1
  • Eye Injuries: 3
  • Burns: 0
  • Falls off ladder: 0 (this is because we don't have a ladder yet)
  • Headaches: too many to itemize
  • Broken Bones: 0
  • Bandages Needed: 5
  • Electric Shocks: 2
  • Stiches: 0
  • Bruises: way too many