I just came back from a ride through suburbia. I was just kind of cruising along through some of the housing developments near my neighborhood. (I’m the “bad element” in this neck of the woods).Anyhow, I was surprised to see how many McMansions had for-sale signs in their front yards. These are houses that were built less than five years ago. One neighborhood only one block away had 3 houses in a row up for sale.
I wonder why the whole neighborhood decided to move away…..
Maybe the owners are those foolish people you hear about who got the biggest adjustable-rate mortgage they could afford and now the rate ‘adjusted’ and they can’t afford the payment.
Maybe it’s because of the price of gas? Doubtful. I mean, we are a whole nine miles from downtown Harrisburg, and it’s less than one mile to a bus stop.
My hypothesis is that these are people who commute to Baltimore from here. It’s 80 miles to Baltimore.
Let’s see… an 80 mile commute each way is 160 miles. Assume they have a half-decent car that gets 30mpg. That’s 5.33 gallons of gasoline per day. There are about 20 working days per month, so these people are burning thought 106 gallons of gasoline per month, just in commuting.
At $3/gallon that’s a gasoline budget of over $300 per month.
Of course many of these people drive faux military vehicles which get about 15 miles to a gallon.
I guess maybe it’s both the interest rates and the price of gas. If they are already squeezed on mortgage payments, an extra $300-$600/month on gasoline could really mess up the finances.
That seems a little bit insane to me.
I hear people bitching at work about this stuff. Apparently they “worked real hard to get where they are” and it’s “not right.” I feel sad for them. Thier entire notion of ’success’ hinges on a totally ridiculous concept of a ‘dream house’ in the suburbs.
There are better things to dream about than vinyl siding and sheetrock.