January 02, 2010
Movin' on up
Originally published June 8, 2004
I see another family down the street from me is moving out of their home today. I've seen a lot of that lately. People bought these homes in lovely Hampton Creek subdivision because they were reasonably-priced starter homes. (Hampton Creek, by the way, runs right down the back of my property line. It is a 10-foot wide sandy ditch that stays as dry as a popcorn fart even after a heavy rain. The kids ride bicycles in it.)
I bought the Crackerbox NOT because I was charmed by the house or the name of the subdivision. I met Young Jack while I was waiting for the realtor to come with the keys and when I told him that I had a boy about his age, he was very excited. He wanted me to move in across the street so that he would have someone to play with. He sold me on the house.
The houses here sold in the $80,000-$85,000 range (mine was $82,500) three years ago and every one is now assessed at well over $100,000. Young families are cashing their equity and moving up to bigger and better things now.
I don't intend to sell the Crackerbox. Fate may dictate otherwise if the BC continues to roast me over a slow fire financially, but I like living here. Besides, the boys and I have trashed this place so badly that I could NEVER get $100,000 for it. (Not without a team of Merry Maids, two Stanley Steamer carpet-cleaning trucks, a fully-equipped Haz-Mat team and Martha Stewart along to supervise the Superfund cleanup.)
In my younger and more blissful days, I house-hopped all the way to a BIG home on five acres of land. Jennifer and I bought as much house as we could afford, fixed it up with some elbow grease and a few visits to Home Depot, then sold it for a considerable profit as property values rose and interest rates dropped. We then moved up to something better.
I envy the people I see doing the same thing today. They have dreams and they are working to make them come true. That's the American way.
I don't dream like that anymore. What for?
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