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22 February 2009


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As much as I live my adopted City By The Bay, I have never entertained the thought of buying a home there. SF's real estate market is, as you say, one of the most expensive places in the country to live. I've always carried the notion that, when I do get to buy, it'll be back in Oregon, where the housing prices have always been cheaper, and I can have land under it, instead of sidewalk. At the present, that's not looking too good.

Things will turn around. They always do. This time, it's just gonna take longer.

Barbara Ruth Saunders

Your situation is an example of why I am irritated by people who insist that people's problems in this market are caused by "living beyond their means." As you so eloquently express here: many people who followed the most "responsible" strategies possible still got caught up in this, and the reality in a place like the Bay Area is that just about everyone is living "beyond their means" by any sane definition of that phrase.

As a New Yorker, I'm also often annoyed by the stigma that exists here about not owning. Middle-class NYers live in rent-controlled apartments. Here, the conventional wisdom is that any- and everyone should just "get in" to the real estate market at any cost.

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