Money III

by zenquaker

I got my assessment in the mail yesterday. Around here, they assess a third of the county every year. Since I bought about three years ago, this is the first new assessment I’ve had since I bought the place. When I bought the place it was assessed at $195K and I paid $185K ($190K – $5K back for carpeting). The assessment I got today was $70K, not much more than my original down payment. So in the past three years my condo has lost 62% of it’s value.

On the one hand, that’s gorram not-Scottish. I knew I was underwater. It’s hard to estimate my condo value from recent sales, but I was thinking $95K. I still owe $103K, but I’ve been getting promotions, raises, and bonuses at work while at the same time simplifying my life (which keeps costs down). That means I’m currently able to double pay my mortgage, and I expected to be out from under by the end of the year (2012 that is). Now it will be some time in 2014 before that happens. Until then, I can’t sell. Work frustrations are making me think about quitting on a fortnightly basis. If management messes up the reshuffling of our offices (Our management? Screw something up? Naaaaaah.), we will likely be moving the office to Prince Georges, which could be a pain to commute to. Not being able to sell makes it hard to move in either case.

On the other had, it’s not that big a deal. Part of the idea of simplifying my life was to lower my attachment to money and things. It’s worked. Even if anti-government fervor or ignormanagement cause me to lose my job, default on my mortgage, and become homeless, the main thing I’d be worried about is my medication. Even without that I’d survive, just as a guy with such a bad hormone imbalance no one would want to get near me. Given how much people avoid the homeless anyway, I doubt I’d notice. And if I end up with a job somewhere else, I could stop the double mortgage payments, use the extra one as rent on small place near work, and leave this place completely empty without real financial hardship. And if I could find decent renters, I could keep the double mortgage payments up.

On the gripping hand, the DMV is supposed to be a good housing market that has weathered the worst of the bubble collapse. If I lost 62% around here, what have other people lost? 75%? 85%? We know many lost it all in foreclosure. Some of them probably weren’t able to find another home, and are probably not as sanguine as I am about homelessness. However much I think I might be able to manage it, I’m sure it sucks in ways I just can’t comprehend. I’m doing a lot better than a lot of people out there, and for that I thank God. Really, it’s nothing a good pizza couldn’t cure. Which is why I ordered one.

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