Sunday, December 26, 2010

Bristol Palin's real estate anecdote 

According to the New York Times, which has apparently and without irony calculated that the Palin family is of great interest to its readers, all Phoenix is "abuzz" that dancing daughter Bristol has bought a house there. Somehow I doubt that even Phoenix is such a celebrity-deprived backwater that it is in fact "abuzz" over Bristol's arrival -- more probably this is just another example of the Gray Lady's bottomless capacity for projection -- but the recent transactional history of her new house does tell an American tale:

Property records from Pinal County show that Ms. Palin bought a brown stucco house in the Cobblestone Farms development several weeks ago for $172,000 in cash. The price was not bad considering the house has 3,900 square feet and a three-car garage and sold for almost $330,000 four years ago.

The house went into foreclosure in January and was bought by investors from North Dakota for $137,200. They spruced it up for resale.

That right there, Gentle Readers, is how we will get ourselves out of the present real estate jam, one house at a time. There are going to be big losers, including the people who paid too much for their homes and the people who own the default risk on the mortgage loans, and there will be big winners, too: "Investors from North Dakota" and their ilk, people who do not yet own a house. Young folk who are just starting out and have managed to hold their job a save some money -- a tall order, to be sure -- are getting far better deals than their older brothers and sisters did a few years ago. Good for them.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Dec 26, 04:12:00 PM:

This is a excellent article! My wife and I were able to buy into a Bergen County neighborhood that neither of us could have purchased prior to the down-turn. We the savers have benefited, when others have lost.  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Sun Dec 26, 05:27:00 PM:

"We the savers have benefited, when others have lost."

... at least until government-sponsored inflation kicks in, a policy consciously designed to bail out the profligate while screwing those of us who manage our money carefully and wisely. That's what "QE2" is all about.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Dec 26, 06:47:00 PM:

Hats off to Ms. palin, but honestly, how many 19 year old unmarried mothers have $175K to buy a house? Banks need to start doing what they are suppose to be doing: lend money. Even sound borrowers are having to jump through major hoops to qualify.  

By Blogger clint, at Sun Dec 26, 09:07:00 PM:

Interestingly, it sounds like her stint on Dancing with the Stars paid for her house.

(Google tells me that the gig pays something like a quarter of a million dollars before taxes if you make it to the end.)  

By Blogger Georg Felis, at Mon Dec 27, 12:09:00 AM:

Since she grew up in Alaska, I can see the appeal in having a house in Arizona. Heck, I'm nowhere near that far north and I can feel that unfunded tug every winter.  

By Anonymous Jeff, at Tue Dec 28, 04:51:00 PM:

I live in the small Arizona town Bristol alledgedly purchased a home in (Maricopa, AZ). No one here is talking about it. Or no one in my neighborhood, anyway.  

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