The Rockford Files

Stand My Ground

Purchasing a house in a city with double-digit unemployment and some of the highest property taxes in the country may well be a definition of insanity.  Buying such a house on foreclosure, unable to make the purchase contingent on the sale of your current home, undoubtedly is.

Yet here we are—considering taking that leap into an abyss that all rational calculations indicate may well have no bottom.  At age 44, my wife and I are about equally distant from the halcyon days of college and the Elysian fields of retirement, and common sense says that we should spend the next 20 years consolidating and slowing growing our meager nest egg, not taking on a 30-year mortgage when we have only ten or so years left on our current one.

We would be leaving behind not only some portion of our economic security but a solid two-and-a-half story house that we’ve constantly improved and that’s filled with the memories of nine years.  Every one of our children has spent at least half of his life there, and the last four have known no other.  They have wreaked destruction on the walls and floors and even ceilings, and, as they have grown older, they have put their own sweat and elbow grease into sanding and painting and plumbing.  Someday, they may even look back on that work as time well spent, when they’re ordering their own children to find a monkey wrench...

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