Friday, August 24, 2007

Erie Days

So I took two planes and drove a hundred miles from Cleveland, OH to Erie, PA to visit my cousin who just had her second beautiful baby boy. That's right! This post is coming directly to you from the great State of Pennsylvania. I am sitting on the first floor of her beautiful 3 bedroom Colonial. It is huge. The street has a fantastic island down it's length that has gorgeous mature trees. If you look closely, you can see some chips in the street where the original brick shows through. It's like a fairy tale. And, I could have all this for one year's salary. I am weeping openly right now.

Also, I am wondering why the good people of Ohio do not think it is necessary to put lights on their highways or roads. Strange. And, who exactly is in charge of radio programming between 11:30 pm and 1:00 am in Ohio? Because I am not pleased. To keep awake I had to sing the following songs (which were the only ones on the radio that I could even recognize). Ready:

(1) Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana)
(2) Chances Are (Johnny Mathis)
(3) She Bop (Cyndi Lauper)
(4) And I tried.. oh my god how I tried (?) (Concrete Blonde)
What's Up (4 Non Blondes)
(5) Give me the Simple Life! (Tony Bennet)
(6) Sister Christian (Night Ranger)

Yeah. It was pretty bad.

Anyhoodle, here's a sample real estate listing in Erie:

This house would cost what in Sherman Oaks? $3M? But in Erie, it's $360k. Just kill me.


Kate Fan said...

What's up with those assholes at L.A. Land? If they don't like your column they should read something else.

Kate said...

Eh... everyone is entitled to their opinions. I think a lot of the angrier commenters are Realtors who don't like to hear negative things about the market.

And some other people really want a total and complete boycott so they hate anybody who is even considering buying.

And then there's a weird group who think I'm Paris Hilton or something and scream about me being spoiled and entitled. I have no idea why.

It is what it is.

Anonymous said...

Wipe your tears and just try to find a good Mexican meal in Erie. Or any meal, for that matter. Also, visit Erie in the winter. Then that house might really seem worth 300-some k.

Anonymous said...

In the heady dot-com days I knew someone who lived in an apartment in Silicon Valley but owned a "castle" in the midwest. It wasn't huge or anything, but there was a moat.

Tim K. said...

Actually, I like that kind of music! :)
Seriously Kate, no big deal. Just get XM radio.

I'm not trying to be negative here, but I think perhaps you might enjoy relocating out to Ohio. Or Austin, or even Nashville. These are wonderful places compared to Los Angeles and you don't have to worry about housing costs. Life is too short.

This downturn is going to last a VERY long time. I predict it will be unti 2012 until we are *done* with the price declines, and even then, it will stagnate and many of the places you know and love in LA will probably be horrific freak shows. I don't know how old you are, but you may not even *want* a home at that age. You will probably be starting to consider retirement, and things like single story buildings and proximity to hospitals will be things you will want to consider. I'm not saying you're old, but if you're say, 30 now, and at 40 you are buying your home, it's less than 10 years away from some serious body degradation.

You should take this time now to travel. Recessionary times are great for this - there is less competition for overseas flights, and Europe and South America are fascinating places to go. Visit Asia if you can - it gets harder to climb the great wall of china when your joints get older. Do an African safari - you can tolerate the weird bugs and diseases from the camps better.

I know you wish you had a house, but maybe this is a blessing in disguise. Enjoy the responsibility free experience of living in an apartment and have the romance of your life with Mr. Kate. After all, isn't that what life is for?

Anonymous said...

I am a Realtor and not angry about your comments. I appreciate them. I believe they are in line with most of the buyers that I am working with in this market.

Everyone is afraid and is looking for a good deal to make them feel better. I can't blame them. My wife and I are looking as well and I am scared as hell.

Terri said...

So are there equivalent jobs for you and Mr. Kat in Erie, PA? and what do they pay?

One of the reasons that my husband and I are here is that equivalent job for him does not exist unless you are here in the LA area or up in Redwood City and an equivalent job for me would pay about half what I make here.

Kate said...

Yeah, I know. Neither E nor I could find comparable jobs in Erie. And there is definitely a shortage of fish tacos!

But they do have nice big houses! Just like EVERYBODY says.

Alas, these are uncertain times. Who knows what will be.

Anonymous said...

If you want to see inexpensive but beautiful housing follow the 90 up to Buffalo.

We just moved from there where we lived in a beautiful, two story victorian with hard wood floors, leaded glass windows, pocket floors, and copper pipes built at the turn of the century. The house next door to us (different style but similar features) was sold to our neighbors for $3,000. That's right...three thousand dollars.

It's probably not even fair to say it was "sold" to them. The city gave them the house. The 3K was simply to pay the back taxes that the previous owner walked away from.

Kate said...

Anon in Buffalo:

Wow. That's incredible.

But what I really want to know is: do you watch Confessions of a Matchmaker? And, bonus points if you've actually seen Patty Novak around town!

Anonymous said...

"(4) And I tried.. oh my god how I tried (?) (Concrete Blonde)"

FYI, that song is "What's Up," by 4 Non Blondes.

Kate said...

So it is! I stand corrected.