Daily Archives: August 21, 2005

Real Estate is a lousy investment

The NY Times had an article yesterday about the true investment returns on real estate. In the long run you are much better off buying a house you can afford to live in, and investing in the stock market. In spite of the run up in house prices in recent years, the actual rates of return over time when you factor in inflation are actually pretty poor:

When Marti and Ray Jacobs sold the five-bedroom colonial house in Harrington Park, N.J., where they had lived since 1970, they made what looked like a typically impressive profit. They had paid $110,000 to have the house built and sold it in July for $900,000.

But the truth is that much of the gain came from simple price inflation, the same force that has made a gallon of milk more expensive today than it was three decades ago. The Jacobses also invested tens of thousands of dollars in a new master bathroom, with marble floors, a Jacuzzi bathtub and vanity cabinets.

Add it all up, and they ended up making an inflation-adjusted profit of less than 10 percent over the 35 years.

That return does not come close to the gains of the stock market over the same period. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index has increased almost 200 percent since 1970, even after accounting for inflation.

Definitely read this article before you go out make a speculative real estate buy.

BTW if you are using Firefox (you are using firefox aren’t you?) go grab the bugmenot extension so that you don’t have to register at sites like the ny times and other papers.

War is profane 2

Cindy Sheehan had a good post on Dailykos.com today.

“I got an email the other day and it said, `Cindy if you didn’t use so much profanity …. there’s people on the fence that get offended.’

“And you know what I said? `You know what? You know what, god damn it? How in the world is anybody still sitting on that fence?’

“If you fall on the side that is pro-George and pro-war, you get your ass over to Iraq, and take the place of somebody who wants to come home. And if you fall on the side that is against this war and against George Bush, stand up and speak out.”

I don’t understand how anyone who is paying any attention could possibly be on the fence about this war. Shrub and his posse lied to the American people from day 1 and continue to tell lies about what is going on. They lie about anyone who dares to criticise their policies and they lie about the situation in Iraq. Anyone who is hesitates to support the anti-war movement just because someone happens to speak bluntly and uses some strong language needs to get their head out of their ass and take a look at what is really going on. The situation in Iraq is not improving and people will continue to die until we walk away and let the Iraqi’s fix their own situation. We cannot fix Iraq because we are not impartial and don’t really understand the culture of the region.

You should also read Frank Rich’s column today in the NYtimes about how the bushies are trying to slander Cindy Sheehan and all other critics.