I hate real estate

I was walking in my hood the other day and passed by a house that was for sale, and I thought to myself, "Self, knowing this neighborhood, we obviously would not be able to afford that house." But if I could, this place would be perfect. It's nothing fancy; just a little three-bedroom job, clearly built a long time ago, near Metro, basically equidistant between my office and my wife's school. It probably needs some fixing up, but it's a nice old little house where I could, on a day like today, grill up some hamburgers in the yard while listening to a ball game on the radio.

Out of morbid curiousity, I looked up the house's listing on the "information superhighway," figuring the asking price would be in the $350K-$450K range.

Wrong. $665,000.

For real. Oh, and it's a 73-year-old house. Thanks a lot, "Ron Cathell Team." You suck in large quantities.

Yeah. $665,000. That's great. Let's see, if I pool all my savings together and sell every drop of plasma in my body, I could scrape together about a... 0.02% down payment*. That would be a fun mortgage to pay off.

*-Actually, it would be more like 2%. But I really need my plasma.

I hate to say I have housing envy, but... well, yeah. Clearly I do. Every once in a while, when I realize that I will never ever be able to afford a house for all of eternity, I'll start wondering, "Where did I go wrong?" I worked so hard in college and grad school so that I'd be comfortable later in life, only to be stuck in Scuzzy Arms for the past four years with little hope of escape. How did this happen? Who can afford these $600K houses?

Then I read this article about the lobbyist Gold Rush. That explained a lot. I don't make enough to compete with people who get paid by businesses to bribe Congress. The starting salary for the especially well-connected is $300,000; of course, that's not including the various "gimme five" aspects of the job.

What a ridiculous industry. It doesn't even produce anything, except bullshit and, I guess, millionaires. If only I were willing to screw democracy up the ass, I, too, could be a lobbyist. Or maybe not.

Basically, it all makes me feel like a chump. I'm feel like I'm paid pretty well, but it still seems to get me nowhere. And I'm getting frighteningly close to that scary grown-up round-number age (don't make me say it), at which point I'm going to feel especially super-lame if I'm still living like a college student.

So I don't know what to do. Except to adopt the rallying cry, "Ramen noodles forever!" Bleh.


  1. Hey, Don't blame the Ron Cathell Team. Blame the market, and blame the people that ask so much for the home.
    It's scary really. I bought my little crackerbox duplex 13 years ago for 153,600. It's now worth over half a million. Go figure.

  2. I agree with "anonymous" - You are so off base to blame the entire real estate market and economy on one real estate agent. I've been a Maryland REALTOR for over 30 years, and recently referred a client to Ron - it was a PERFECT transaction that went off without a hitch. Texas, Illinois, and Kansas are a few of the places that may have homes with prices that meet your expectations. NOT N. Virginia or suburban Maryland!

  3. Ever hear the phrase "any publicity is good publicity"? You are helping to promote Ron Cathell and real estate in general.....are you on the payroll?

  4. AnonymousMay 12, 2007

    realtors suck balls.

  5. AnonymousJuly 19, 2007

    I just had to put it out there - nearly two years from your original post (which I applaud 100%) you see a couple Re-litters defending themselves. Slow times eh? Where's the love now that people are upside down in their homes, right? Wonder what that home is worth now...

  6. Unfortunately I have nothing good to say about the Ron Cathell team...they have been buying up houses in Arlington and then turning around and immediately renting them out without hardly if any maintenance (thereby devaluing the neighborhood as the houses and land over time become unkept and dilapidated)...they should be responsible property owners/people and respect the home/land/neighborhood/neighbors.

  7. Hello, You are absolutely correct. The agent is trying to scam you on this property. DONT BUY IT!!

    "Do NOT do Business with this realty company!! Save yourself the time and the hassle. This gentleman is peddling low quality housing at an inflated value. I lived through a horrendous experience with this agent and I WILL speak about it! They are a cheat down to the very last dollar and will not budge even when offered good judgement. The house had no working heat, infested with termites, and had water damage on the floors so bad the bath tub was falling through the floor!! Dont make a mistake on your housing decision!!"