Friday, June 10, 2016

$641,880 over the asking price

$641,880 over the asking price.  How ‘bout them apples?

I went to lunch not long ago with my friend Sally.  She and her husband run a real estate cum construction business in San Francisco.  I mentioned during our conversation that a house on my street had just sold for a quarter of a million dollars over the asking price.  I thought she’d be impressed.  “That’s about normal, these days,” she said.

You’ve got to be kidding me.  Normal?

I just can’t keep up with the bubbles.  Not that long ago – eight years ago, was it? – we nearly all went to the poor house nationally because the money people who run the Republican and Democratic Parties and the rest of Washington, and pretty much the rest of the country as well, got caught with their pants down, offering houses to people who couldn’t afford to make the mortgage payments.  All fall down.

And instead of fixing things, instead of getting people like Robert Reich and Elizabeth Warren in there, Obama put the foxes back in charge of the henhouse, and here we are again.  Same old, same old.  That’s why I wanted Bernie Sanders to head the Democratic ticket and not Hillary Clinton.  I was – still am – convinced she’s of the “same old/same old” variety.

These days, now that we have no choice – because Donald Trump is not a choice – we have to support her and hope for the best.  Hope Bernie has pushed her far enough toward the center to bring some equity back into American political and economic life.  That all remains to be seen.

I’d like to stand up and cheer these real estate prices in the San Francisco Bay Area.  My house is not in one of the pricey neighborhoods – it’s in South Berkeley, where you can still get a house for (I blush to admit) under a million dollars.  But on paper, at least, I’m sitting pretty.  Or would be, if ever I decided to sell my house and go live in rural Saskatchewan.  If I sold my house and tried to stay here as a renter, I couldn’t afford the rent.

This is just crazy.  How can we live in a country where there are people buying houses for two-thirds of a million dollars over the asking price – not the asking price, but over the asking price?  And we can’t get everybody medical coverage, can’t get everybody educated, can’t fix the roads and keep the libraries open?

We’re all focused now on the madness of Donald Trump and on the fact that Hillary is our only hope.

And we’re missing the point that the reason two of the three candidates – until Bernie drops out and makes it two out of two – represent either the rich or the status quo, where the rich tell the rest of us we need more guns and less environmental regulation, and we all flick the homeless off like a piece of lint from our clothes.

The donut, folks.  More donut.  Less donut hole.

 $641,880 over the asking price!

photo credit: The house is an artist's rendering of the place that just sold for $2.625 million in Berkeley.  Source and details can be found here.

Not to cast aspersions on the house or the people who are going to live in it - I have no doubt it will make these people a great home and I wish them every happiness in it.  But the artist's rendering above, with the delicious white halo above it, is only one way to look at it.  Another way, if you google map it, is by an actual photo:

That's what you get for  $1,983, 120  $2,625,000 in Berkeley these days.

No comments: