Counterpoint to buying a house

I suggest everyone go to this website http://www.salemfive.com/cobrand/CALCULATORS/index.html, they have a great set of calculators for different financing things (we are using it in my finance class up at WWU). I by no means am an expert, however, there were a few little facts I have learned recently in my accounting degree that have indicated buying a house is not as valuable as investing free money.

Here are two fairly common (and I am sure wiggles can verify the numbers aren’t that out of line) house loans.

APR: 6.900 %
Payment Term: 360 Months (30 years)
Total amount financed: $250,000.00
Monthly Payments: $1,646.50
Total payments: $592,740.60
Finance charge* $342,740.60
Amortization method: Normal

This is for a fairly standard 250,000 house. So in the end you are paying over 150% worth of the house’s value in interest alone. This is only for a 30 year loan.

Now, you want to make it a little cheaper, go for the 40 year loan:

APR: 6.900 %
Payment Term: 480 Months (40 years)
Total amount financed: $250,000.00
Monthly Payments: $1,535.45
Total payments: $737,022.67
Finance charge* $487,022.67
Amortization method: Normal

So in the end for a 250,000 house (which seems low to average for Whatcom County) you are paying almost 3/4 of a million dollars, you are saving 130 a month, but paying 165,000 dollars in interest extra to save you that 130 a month. YOU ARE PAYING ALMOST 3 TIMES THE VALUE OF THE HOUSE.

Now, if you were to invest this money, say 1,000 a month, and then spend the other 600 for rent (which apartments run in the market) you can earn this by investing that supposed house payment into real things like stocks/bonds/etc. Here is what you can earn.

APR: 6.90%
this is pretty average return, stocks can go as high as 10% which increases the amount you earn alot
Monthly Payment $1,000
Payment Term 360 Months (30 years)
Amount of Return of Investment: $1,196,170.35
Amount this will have Grown to in 30 years with that return:

Now lets do this for 40 years.

APR: 6.90%
this is pretty average return, stocks can go as high as 10% which increases the amount you earn alot
Monthly Payment $1,000
Payment Term 480 Months (40 years)
Amount of Return of Investment: $2,552,250.79
Amount this will have Grown to in 40 years with that return:

So what we are saying is either A: you can pay 592,740 for 30 years to own a house (or 737,022 for 40 year mortgage). and have a house not worth to even close that.

Or you can invest that money in stocks/bonds/mutual funds/ cd’s get the 6.9% fairly easy and make after thirty years 1,196,170.35 in the bank (at $1,000 a month) or after fourty years make 2,552,250.79 at 1,000 a month investment.

Sorry, houses are only good for people that can buy, and then turn around and sell them for a profit in a relatively short time.

None of this takes into account the bubble bursting, which there are signs of in New York and Boston. One of the ways the realty people are getting around the bubble bursting now is by offering 50 year loans back east.

In addition, that monthly house payment of 1600 DOES NOT INCLUDE INSURANCE OR TAXES which are pretty hefty in themselves, there is an additional 500 a month at least that could be added to your investing (which more then 150% bonus to investment  with the way returns work) or can get you an $1100 apartment which is pretty nice.

Seriously, whats a better investment, pay for a house, that you have to worry about paying off for 30 or 40 years (or if your really stupid 50) and have to repair out of your own pocket, or rent an apartment, and invest that money to get 1.1 or 2.5 million in the bank.

WTF?

This morning I got up and started channel surfing. Of course there are a ton of religious programs. Four of the programs I watched stated we are in a religious war and we need to fight it out. One of them (Jimmy Swaggert) said the Koran is not written about love and that we need to end the religion. JS was quoting we need to go to war with Muslims in order to fulfill biblical prophecies. The other three Fundies were quoting almost the same thing.

So, did I read a unreal copy of the bible. I am pretty damn sure Jesus said love your neighbor, judge not, and obey the ten commandments (one of which is Do not Kill, not “do not kill a christian” just do not kill). 

What the fuck is wrong with Christianity (not everyone follows this, but almost unilaterally the fundie preachers do). Yes, once again I am reminded why I am a deist, not because I don’t believe in god (I do), and not even that I don’t believe in Jesus (I do, but I also believe god approached us through buddhism, hinduism, etc, etc, not just Christianity) but because organized religion is the bane of real spirituality.

Organized religion is about power, not about spirituality. Its about arbitrary rules that Jesus or the ten commandments never said. Hell Jesus boiled it down to one commandment. Love your neighbor. This “go to war, burn the homosexuals because its wrong, and perform the death penalty” type attitude is the opposite of anything I read from any of the prophets, but especially opposite of Jesus.

My opinion:

Christianity is the anti-Christ, leading poor hapless unthinking individuals in the opposite direction Jesus preached. Love and forgiveness has disappeared into a dark pit of capitalism, rigidity, and pride.

I am pretty sure Jesus preached that the biggest responsibility of man is his fellow man. However 99% of Christians I have ever met don’t give regularly to the poor, let alone do what Jesus said (when he told his followers give away your riches, if someone asks for your shirt, you give it to them).

Christianity as a general rule (there are exceptions) is the most hypocritical of religions I have ever seen, Jewish, Muslim and Buddhists I have met actually follow their religion closer then most “american christians”. If you don’t give to the poor, if you don’t believe in loving your neighbor and not judging and if you are not against killing others no matter what reason (talking Iraq and even Death penalty here) then you are a hypocrite.

Oh, I am feeling a rant coming (lol not like this isn’t already a mini-rant) so I will stop.

WHAT THE FUCK, 3 of the 4 fundies just said Islam is our enemy. GOD DAMN HYPOCRITES.

Did I miss the memo?

I have been thinking a lot recently of the Conservative Christian movement (and God Warrior is the one that sparked it).

When did Jesus say it was ok to kill someone for any reason? I am pretty damn sure Jesus doesnt want anyone killed for any reason, not for your own safety, not for your family’s safety, not for any reason at all.

I am pretty sure there is a commandment stating “Thou Shalt Not Kill”. I am also sure that its not “Thou shalt not kill, unless its a terrorist or a non-believer”. So at what point did the memo go out to the Republican Christians that invading another country for the safety of our own (and I wont even go into the fallacy of that, nor compare it to Germany invading Austria for its own defense). Did the Republicans get a memo from Jesus that said ignore my message of peace?

I am also pretty sure Jesus said give the clothes off your back to the poor, walk away from your riches and follow his message, yet most of those Conservative Christians make a lot of money and don’t really do any good with it.

I am also sure that Jesus said “Render unto Ceaser that which is Ceaser’s” (indicating taxes), but the Republic Conservative Christians are the first to cut taxes, find loopholes or hide their money from taxes or at the very least complain (I have never complained about taxes, nor have I ever refused to pay or tried to hide money).

Where is the memo, I must have missed the Jesus II: The Clarification memo?

Sorry, this is a small rant, I wish I had time for the one that is in my head.

Oil Barons

Oh, its confirmed, the oil companies this quarter have broken historical records of the largest profits in a single quarter in all of corporate history. Exxon led with 9.9 BILLION profit, with the other four large companies right behind.

Yesterday representatives of all five went before Congress, when a republican senator asked for them to be sworn in, the head Congressman in charge of the investigation refused them and told them that they would not allow forcing the CEO’s to be sworn in and be held under oath on why they charge what they do, hmm can we say oil money bought him. For some reason even with all the supposed problems and storms, their profits are actually officially up 62% since last year.

http://money.cnn.com/2005/11/07/news/economy/oil_hearing/

http://houston.bizjournals.com/houston/stories/2005/11/07/daily40.html

fucking thieving corporate assholes, I so can’t wait until the oil runs out and we have to go to biodesiel.

Halloween Sadness

I remember growing up in the ’70’s and early-mid ’80s. Halloween was the best holiday ever. We would get dressed and by 6pm my parents would take us out to hit up the neighborhood.

I remember getting home around 8ish, with an entire pillowcase full of candy. Even though we would eat so much candy on Halloween that we would get sick we still always had enough candy to to last late into November.

I remember the smiling faces of people handing out candy, and the race to hit all the “good” houses before they ran out. This nebulous running out almost never happened but we were always worried. Up until I was 11 we would hit up our 80 unit apartment complex and then venture out into the projects (we lived in the projects, but for some reason we never thought of our complex as part of the projects, then again my friends who lived in “the projects” never thought their places were in the projects but that I lived in them).

It was such a cool experience, a lot of the older people went all out with decorations and would always talk with each child about their costume. I remember a couple of older couples that gave out full size candy bars, not the weeny little bars, they of course were our childhood favorite places to trick or treat.

For the last 10 years we have gotten almost no trick or treaters to our door. Yes the whole poison and razor blade scare freaks people out. But as it turns out all of the poison incidents turned out to be family members of the victim. Yet the media hypes the fear and erodes our trust in our neighbors. Unfortunately this is just a sad symptom of the rest of society’s paranoia and trust.

For the last five years the only trick or treaters were my nephew and niece and once we had a little boy in a tiger suit. LOL of course he got almost a whole bag of candy from us (we had like 4 bags and no other trick or treaters) he was so cute.

I am kind of sad about what is happening. Sure the mall is neat, but the entire outlook of taking your kids around the neighborhood was such a cool thing. Sadly enough I kind of looked forward to decorating the house, having candy and maybe even setting up a way to scare the little trick or treaters. At least that was my desire when I got too old to trick or treat myself. But here I am 18-20 years later since I went trick or treating myself and I no longer really try and decorate and this year is the first year I didn’t even buy a “just in case a kid shows up” bag of candy.

It really does sadden me. I don’t think the reason trick or treating stopped is because there was any real danger, rather I think as a society we have gotten so scared and so overly paranoid that its destroying what actually made us a great society.

I never thought I would ever think of the “good old days” but at least with Halloween that seems to be the case (of course its great its my wedding anniversary as well, but just sad about the whole trick or treat thing).

Personal Revelation

A few months ago, my wife mentioned she thought my beliefs sounded a lot like Deism. Up until that point I had only heard of deism in the fact that several of our founding fathers of this country were deists.

Since then I have done a lot of research. Looked through the various christian religions, asian religions (including buddhism and hinduism), and even have done a bit of research on Judaism and Islam.

After months of looking around I think the wife was right. I think I am a deist. I do believe there is a god, I don’t believe any organized religion to date has it right (they are mostly hypocrites), I also am horrified that many religious people totally ignore science and instead refer to a book (that is a good guide of conscious in some cases) that has stolen many of its stories from other religions (such as Noah was actually a Babylonian Myth in the Epic of Gilgamesh that was written 2000 years before the bible) and that many many of the parts of the bible contradict each other.

I do believe both scientific reason and god can coexist. I do believe that like science says with the law of conservation that things are not destroyed they just change (meaning I do believe there is more to our lives then right here right now, just have no idea what to believe will happen after we die, but unlike many religions say about science, that science does not say there is no afterlife, just no way to know what it is).

The biggest specific reason I think I am deist is the belief that a “revealed religion” is not accurate. The reason for this is a revealed religion (christianity, buddhism, etc) is not direct from god, rather a revelation happened to a person and that HUMAN passed on the information to other humans. We have all played the game telephone and with just a few people the message changes drastically. I do believe personal revelation is the only way, on top of this I believe that this revelation needs to coexist with science. I do believe god shows his wonders through our environment, biology, chemistry. Many religious people I know kind of dismiss this in favor of miracles (which can happen, I am not saying they don’t) but just the fact that plants can live off the sun is a miracle itself, but the miracle can be explained, just because I can explain the process of photosynthesis does not make it non-god or not miraculous, rather it just shows the power of a creator to create such a hugely vast universe. The entire universe is a giant miracle, but it being a creation does mean it still has its own laws and effects, and that science is the way to determine how god operates.

The biggest gift god ever gave us was Reason. To not use reason and instead you follow dogma someone else told you to do is a lack of use of god’s greatest gift. Reason needs to be applied in all context, if someone tells you a message from god that does not meet reason, then more then likely in my belief, that person is misguided at the least and at the most is intentionally distracting you for some other reason (usually to get you to give them money or do something they want).

I feel a huge rant coming (as can be seen by my orderly post getting more and more unorderly). I will stop now, just reaffirm that I do think I am a deist.

Also a warning, in the future I will be posting some of my arguments against religions. Everyone is welcome to respond (or not read if you got a thin skin), I just ask if you debate with me, you do it in a polite manner and try and use sources, I generally wont accept a response of “well my pastor told me”, don’t rely on your religious leader, I suggest you do your own research, even if you have the same beliefs after the research, at least then you can feel more secure in your beliefs because you looked into them yourselves instead of relying on one of the parasites that calls themselves a minister/priest/pastor.

Home Owning Observations

My sister got a loan, made me think about home owning, read at your own risk, its long and not really that interesting.

My sister recently was approved for a home loan, she was excited, as many people believe she thinks it’s the way to save money and to get ahead in life. As my family was talking about this I began to think about the real value of owning a home. My conclusion is that it’s a myth. It doesn’t increase your value, and if nothing else it actually limits you due to your inability to move or sell quickly.

I am told constantly how people waste money renting, however after doing more research I discovered on average, if you wish to actually invest money, the smarter idea would be to rent. Here are my reasonings.

First and foremost, this does not include closing costs, realtor fees, repairs, or any extra fee. This is purely a monthly payment comparison between the house and the rental, AND this does not include money on the actual loan, THIS IS PURELY PAYMENT IN TAXES, INSURANCE, and INTEREST on the payment (basically the money that doesn’t go towards the value of the house, rather the money that is lost to excessive fees and does not actually pay off the primary loan).

First I took the average amount of $258,000 (average cost of a home in Bellingham according to http://www.bellingham.org). The average property tax is 1.4% (range is 1.2-1.6%), so you multiply 1.4% x 258,000 = $3,612 a year. She is paying 7% interest rate, that means 7.0% x 258,000 = $18,060 in interest alone on the house loan (none of it goes to the actual amount). Finally average home insurance (10 quotes I looked at for that value) was $820 a year. That means the totally yearly payment of her $258,000 home is $3,612 + $18,060 + $1220 = $22,892 dollars a year. If you divide that into a monthly payment that comes out to be approximately $1907.00 per month. NONE OF THAT GOES TOWARDS THE LOAN, that’s just the “cost” of having the house.

Now if you compare that to the average rental of a 3 bedroom home of $1050 (costs run $900 to $1200). If you take the rental cost of 1050 and subtract the Loan cost of $1907 = means renting you are saving $857 a month alone just in loan fees (plus the several hundred you would pay on your actual debt). Instead of wasting close to a $1000 a month extra plus the actual debt payment, you could turn around and invest that in some serious 401k, or invest it in other opportunities that are more portable.

So, my conclusion is you are throwing away an average of $857 a month in excessive fees to be able to say “I own this”. Of course this does not include the other advantages of renting, you do not have to repair or replace appliances (that is the responsibility of the landlord), rental insurance is only $15 a month, and utilities are generally cheaper in apartments (which btw are an additional $400 a month cheaper then the rental house).

If you truly want to invest, the best way to go about it would to be either rent an apartment and invest your extra money. Or do what the wife and I did, by a $20,000 mobile home (1/14 th the cost of House or go for a cheaper one) then pay $350 a month in lot fees that include w/s/g and cable (which is a savings of about $1600 a month over a house payment).

Just something I have been thinking about, useless rambling 😉

PS. My Insurance for the home is off, I mistakenly did a quote for $150k, not $258k, that means its actually a bit more expensive then $820 a year

PPS. This also doesnt even indicate that the average wage in Bellingham is about $28k a year, thats almost 60% of your pay, and it doesn’t even go to the actual debt.

PPPS This only includes starting buying a house from scratch (my sisters situation) not someone who has the ability to put down a downpayment 🙂

Dreams 7-12-2005

I had a horrible nights sleep last night. I think this is partially a bit of worry about my dad, he has to take care of some health things and until I hear the results worries me a bit.

The dream started with me and two other people in a car. We were someplace lonely at night and I noticed two other cars parked by us. One was right beside us with a couple in it and the other was a single guy in a car on the other side of where I sat.

I kept trying to tell the driver of our car we needed to leave, that something bad was going to happen and we needed to leave immediately. Thats when the single guy in the car beside us started mouthing off to us and then he brandished a knife. I kept telling the person driving our vehicle to leave.

All of a sudden the guy mouthing off pulled out a portable power saw that was attached to some sort of arm brace and he turned it on threatening us. I am not sure why but all of a sudden I got out of the car, took the saw-glove out of his hand, put it on mine and then slowly cut his head off. I then turned around to the second car with the couple and drew the saw across the woman’s belly and then plunged it into the guy (taking my time with both)

I woke up sweating and a bit confused.

That was a fucked up dream.

Ankle, Dreams and RIP

I woke up at 4:34 this morning, I felt something pop in my ankle and that was enough to wake me up.  It burns now, but actually it feels more stable. We also found out yesterday that the two fractures in my ankle are older ones (one from age 14 and the other from 2002), but it looks as if my fall on the porch flaked a piece of bone off that newer fracture. I am now wearing a huge stormtrooper looking boot when I am outside, but it is unfortunately way to small so I don’t wear it at home. I am supposed to go in Tuesday to seen an orthopedic Surgeon. The ARNP was worried about my ankle and the future of that ankle.

Unfortunately I am poor with no insurance, I have had an unhealed fracture in that ankle since age 14, I put a second fracture in it because it was weak in 2002 and for the last three years there have been two unhealed fractures. This time it just flaked a piece of bone off. Unfortunately its going to stay this way til I have a miracle occur or win the lottery. Life is pain and its relatively easy to get used to. At least this explains why since high school I can’t run more then two or three blocks without my ankle swelling up (lol guess running on fractures is bad).

Now for the dream:

I had been dreaming that I was on some sort of starship that was parked on a forestry type planet. I had to POV, one was being outside in the grass in front of the ship with some sort of rifle (I think it was supposed to be a Shuriken, but my asleep mind didn’t picture one right) and a group of aggressors were approaching the ship. Evidently we knew them as there was a girl on the other side that was apologizing for what they had to do. I apologized back and didn’t fire at her but started taking out her buddies coming up to the ship.

My POV then changed to inside the ship, the ship rocked a bit from being hit and the fishtank in the ship (about twice the size of the 46 gallon fishtank we have in real life)spilled water out, meanwhile for some reason the snapping turtle we had inside the tank quadrupled in size and ended up filling up most of the 96 gallon tank. The next room was a huge swimming pool and somehow the entire room there was half full of water (not just the pool). I became worried how we could take care of the turtle now that it was so big until we realized we would just let it live in the room with the pool. However at that point in time I realized the ship was listing (I think one of the landing struts was taken out and all I could think was we wouldn’t be able to take off.

I then woke up, got up (sure I woke up W accidently, she has been so fucking good to me its not even believable, I love her so much). I wandered into the living room, fed the cat and the big tank. I turned on the smaller tank’s hood light (the 30 gallon that Lenny and Eve live in) and noticed a problem. Lenny was unmoving behind the driftwood (as in no mouth moving, which is super unusual considering he is always trying to eat 24/7) at the same point Eve had retreated from the light and kept trying to swim under the gravel. I am pretty sure Lenny is gone, and Eve will probably soon follow.

God damn it, I really did like those two, its stupid but I always love my pets, even the fish and its sad to lose them (I have lost tetra’s but they are so small and numerous they count as an overall pet, not as individuals). Damn, Eve was going to rule the fucking world and Lenny was just cute always kissing. Ok, now I just saw the saddest part, Eve keeps trying to push Lenny and swim under him. Lenny used to always have swim bladder problems (he would float upside down, not move, etc) and Eve would always come over and push him around and he would eventually swim with her. Its the saddest thing to see Eve pushing on Lenny (no she isn’t trying to eat him) and he is just there not responding.

God damn what a fucking way to start my day.

No Good Deed – AKA The Day of Suckage.

First and foremost I want to make it clear that I am not complaining about my friends I am doing this for, so please read through, chuckle but don’t think its being said in a way that indicates I am upset with you two.

My day started at an early 5am. I got up and balanced my check book, sent Geico the insurance payment until next January, paid the cable bill and prepared for school. At 7am I had realized I had watched this episode of “the Pretender” (yes I am sad) so I figured I would go check on the kitty’s at Ashcake and Talkswithwind. I have agreed to feed the pretty kitties once a day for a week and then for three more days on the 4th of July and on. I had figured I would get this out of the way so I am driving to Sudden Valley (about a 20 minute drive). It’s not a bad trip out, I enjoyed the ride. 

I then pulled up to the in question house, low and behold I see the “scardiest cat” of the group on their front porch. I went through a quick mental inventory and verified it was her (I had a hard time comprehending why would she be outside as we left all four of them happily eating the night before). I slowly approached hoping I could slide by her and open the door to let her in. As I walked up the stairs she jetted by me and around to where the garage is. I checked the door and it was still locked from yesterday, I figured I would draw her in by leaving the door open and making sounds like I was feeding the other three cats. She did not respond and I did feed the other three cats in order to get them into the side room so I could shut the door and focus more on the outside fourth cat.

I realized that the window over the patio was partially open and the corner of the screen was pushed outwards, A-HA!!! I had discovered the likely escape route. 

As I finished filling the bowl I heard a low throated growl, Jez was watching me and growling. I kind of stood there stupidly trying to figure out why she was growling (although when I got there all three were acting growly and upset, probably because their fourth member was outside the door trying to get in). I put some of the “tasty paste” on my finger and offered it to her. I realized at the last second that was a mistake as she launched herself onto my hand, putting three deep punctures on my left middle finger. I got her off of me and retreated out of the room.

Meanwhile I attempted a third time to call Ashcake but my phone kept dropping the calls. Eventually I called on their land line and she gave me directions to attract the fourth cat. I tried for an hour or two like this (by now it was 10:30 and I had  been here since 7:15 or so) Eventually I attempted to open the garage to let her in but that scared her out of view. I went back out to the front porch and as I walked across the entryway rug on the porch I heard a “crack” and my foot rolled into the hole that now appeared. There was a bit of pain and as I pulled my foot out and walked back into the house I realized my ankle was hurting. I called Ashcake back and explained I hurt my ankle and we agreed I would open the patio door and hope the fourth cat came in on her own.

I then proceeded home where the wife said she believed I had fractured that ankle again. It didn’t feel like that to me but I agreed and we went to Interfaith. I arrived at Interfaith, the doc looked it over and then sent me for an X-ray, she believed it was only a sprain and maybe a torn ligament and gave me an air splint and some meds(plus now I have to take antibiotics for the cat bite because evidently they have really gross bacteria in there). I got an x-ray, they gave me the results and referred me back to Interfaith. I contacted Interfaith (a public health clinic for lower income) and they said they can’t help me, because I would need an orthopedic surgeon, the cheapest way to see one is go to the ER. It turns out that on top of the already “unresolved fracture” from age 14, I now also have a cat bite and a flake fracture of the tip of the lateral malleolus, can only really be fixed by surgery (plus its sprained and probably retore the ligament I tore three years ago on that same ankle.

Well I am broke so I cannot afford the ER nor can I afford to have pins put in my ankle (the needed surgery for my ankle) FUCK AMERICA AND ITS FUCKED UP MEDICAL SYSTEM. So the wife and me went to Hoagland’s Pharmacy, picked up three different scripts, a set of crutches, an otoscope and batteries.

So, in the end, the cost of today.

1. Not enough sleep (thats my fault)
2. Missed all of my classes today.
3. Had to spend a ton of money
     $15 X-ray fee
    $30 medicines
    $30 crutches
    $50 in misc medical supplies (such as ice bag, etc).
  and still an unknown amount owed to Interfaith for seeing me.
This was an expensive day ($135+), and I am tired.

Time to nap now, (btw I dont begrudge watching the kitties, just was a long ass “Ernest Goes to Camp” sort of day).