On Sunday I was returning from a show outside Albuquerque. Do I need to tell you it’s in New Mexico? I think we all know where it is. When I say “just outside” I mean 120 miles which in terms of distances in the southwest is “just outside.
I get to the airport and I have to get a newspaper. I’m a dinosaur in that respect, I like the ink on my fingers and I like doing the crossword puzzle on the plane. When I travel I usually read The New York Times and before you get your shorts up in a bunch, my conservative friends, it is really the only option for a national news paper with a decent crossword puzzle on the weekend. I have to admit I like reading the Times, too. One of my favorite things to do is to read between lines in the stories to uncover the liberal biases of the writers or to see the obvious that they have overlooked.
On the way to Minneapolis I am reading the “Week in Review” section. Right next to the musings of Maureen Dowd and under an article about a guy who was thinking about buying a pillow was a story that caught my eye. The title was “Romancing The Home” If you want to read the whole story here is a link, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/08/opinion/08kolhatkar.html , but if you trust me I will give you the Reader’ Digest version.
The author, Sheelah Kolhatkar, who is an editor at Conde Nast Portfolio, laments that her friend Tony Fungrai may be losing his house in Bedford-Stuyvesant. Her take is; here is a good guy who due to some misfortunes and this economy may lose his American dream. According to Ms. Kolhatkar, unlike all of those greedy speculators and reckless folks who piled into homes they couldn’t afford for her friend, “home ownership was a romantic obsession, something he fantasized about and worked toward for years. The tremendous effort he put into getting his brownstone and staying there is emblematic of how powerful the idea of owning a home is.”
Here is the problem, this guy bought a house for $785, 000 and is now saddled with a $4700 a month mortgage. He has to work 75 hour weeks to make ends meet. I guess I’m supposed to feel sorry for him but this guy is a moron! In order to afford that kind of nut ever month this guy should be making somewhere around $240,000 a year. He has a good job but apparently no one ever told him about the 25% rule. No more than 25% of your gross income for your house and that should include, taxes, insurance and utilities. He works hard but he better be careful if he gets a few more hours of overtime Mr. Obama will classify him as rich and raise his taxes.
Here is the kicker; he counted on the rent from the three apartments on the upper floors to help him make his payments. Unfortunately for Tony, two of his tenants haven’t paid rent in a year and they are still living there. That must make for some tense conversations in the hallway! He can’t evict them because of the liberal laws the City of New York passed to protect “renters rights” Now these freeloaders are helping to send him to rent from someone else where he could move in and not pay his rent for a year or two. To quote that great mid level philosopher, Yaakov Smirnov, “What a Country!”