Monday, September 15, 2014
House Hunters: Spoiled People Looking for Property and Status
The other day I was watching "House Hunters": for me, it is a glance into the middle class and upper class world where status, granite counters and stain-less steel appliances rule. This is foreign land to me, as my adulthood has been lived in grotty white-walled apartments. This one manages to leave grotty land but my feet rest on a 9-year-old Berber carpet that seems to inhale dirt like a kid playing in mud.
Watching these people is entertaining. I find myself thinking if societal conformity brings the better jobs as they all whine and carry on about the same things. One lady ranted about "mushroom lights" on the ceiling and I found myself wondering if she had faced some trauma with a mushroom light staring down at her, another told us she had to have a granite counter no matter what!
It is interesting to me to see these types parade through perfectly functional bathrooms and kitchens, waving their hands about yelling, "This all must be torn out!". Perhaps this is a selling function for HGTV itself where house redecorating floats so much of the business. Some choose not to buy houses because a kitchen is older or has the wrong color cabinets.
When I was young, my parents constantly worked on houses, we always ended up moving out of. I saw it as a useless enterprise as none of these little mini-suburban empires were ever permanent or long lasting. What was the use? They only made a little money on one house and none on the others. The other day on a nostalgia trip online, I looked up my high school home on Zillow, and all the redecorating efforts my father sweated over for hours, and yelled at us to bring him tools were all gone in the pictures. Not one room remained untouched. What was the purpose? Only the slate floor in the foyer remained -- but that had come with the house orginally.
The Reckoner and I are not into house decorating. We have never lived in a house. At times I have wanted to try and rent a house but to get one we could afford, always meant leaving the safety of the bus lines. For a disabled person that is insanity, because there's no 10-mile walks in my future. Maybe we were spared a lot of work and effort. Hot water heaters seem to fail like clockwork for my friends in houses.
Watching "House Hunters" can be a sociological trip into the upper classes and corruptions of the real estate market. Notice in the video on top -- how one buyer is excited to lay down half a million on an a flat, and she takes one look at the graffiti full neighborhood and says, "Hey, wait a minute!". Everything is overpriced. Even in other countries, I imagine everyone living in cardboard boxes or favelas as every piece of property is very small and even a USA level small income won't pay for it. Maybe Mexico and Romania are still cheap but the rip-offs that exist in France, England and places like it are evident. One sees the future of the increasingly overpopulated world with every serf in a tiny house or 10 foot box like in Hong Kong. Watch out for the tiny house movement! It's for suckers! They want to make your domicile, coffin sized!
Back to the video, one thing I think about apartments and condos, and in one essential way they are very much the same. White walls, square boxes. The expensive San Francisco apartment doesn't thrill me, I think I may have more square footage in small town America, but in Chicago I know my apt here would be a palace. It looks like you pay heavy for a less than dangerous neighborhood, clean smooth kitchens and hardwood floors. The place probably has stairs to climb, too. Did he just tell her she had to do laundry at a laundry mat? In some states she could buy a mini-mansion for half a million.
Real estate -- what a joke. Another market that doesn't match the flat wages. Our rent just went up a notch. Funny how the income never does. --The Squawker