📈🏡 Surging home prices suggest many who are working from home or desperate to escape the city are in the market for a new house.

But given all the uncertainty, buying real estate right now is actually a terrible idea trib.al/fHwXIzX
Record low mortgage rates have enticed new buyers, while urban virus hotspots drove people out of cities.

In July, there was a 📉56% drop in Manhattan property sales and a 📈44% increase in nearby suburbs trib.al/fHwXIzX
But regret is already in the air.

One survey of 1,000 mortgage holders found that most people who bought houses after March 2020 already regretted taking out a mortgage trib.al/fHwXIzX
Buying in a sellers’ market is not a good move.

Home sellers are taking their once-in-a-lifetime moment to sell their house substantially over asking prices trib.al/fHwXIzX
Owning a home might be beneficial over the long run if:

🏠The house price appreciates more than a financial portfolio
🚗You don’t have to move
💍Your marriage lasts
🛑If neighborhoods stay the same

These things aren’t guaranteed, especially not right now
But many buyers forget to budget for home repair and maintenance, which typically costs 2-4% of a house’s value per year

Then there’s all the weekend time spent mowing the lawn and cleaning the gutters trib.al/fHwXIzX
Another advantage to renting is avoiding the down payment.

Putting $50,000 into a down payment forgoes earning higher returns on a low-fee index fund, which is more liquid and less expensive to manage trib.al/fHwXIzX
Renters have more flexibility than homeowners, and that’s good for employees, especially in a time of so many uncertainties.

Renters can more readily move for a pay raise or new job trib.al/fHwXIzX
While there can be certain tax advantages to owning a home, these may not last forever.

Government support for policies subsidizing homeownership may wane as future Congresses look for new revenue to forestall soaring deficits trib.al/fHwXIzX
A pay cut or job loss might even lead homeowners to sell assets in their retirement accounts to pay their mortgage.

That’s a terrible setback: Some of the worst-hit families lost their jobs in the Great Recession and were stuck in their homes trib.al/fHwXIzX
Wait to buy a home until the economy, the virus and Congressional politics stabilize.

Sharing a small space is tough. Paying for a bigger one is even tougher trib.al/fHwXIzX

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More from @bopinion

23 Sep
It’s tempting to view QAnon’s rise as a threat to democracy – especially with a believer poised to win a seat in the House of Representatives.

But history suggests that conspiracy-based movements have been a part of America since its founding trib.al/jv8J56V
Long before the modern Republican and Democratic parties held sway, fringe movements surged, often embracing some pretty bizarre conspiracies.

Eventually, the QAnons of the past were absorbed – or alternatively, excommunicated – by mainstream parties trib.al/jv8J56V Image
In the 1790s, the New Englander Federalists became convinced that Illuminati members headquartered in Europe were plotting to destroy the new nation.

A strange coalition of politicians and Congregational preachers joined together to sound the alarm trib.al/jv8J56V Image
Read 15 tweets
22 Sep
After six months’ experience with Covid-19, medical researchers have learned a lot. But there’s still a big open question:

How many people who’ve been infected will suffer lasting symptoms and health problems? trib.al/DB6VXOZ
Like other illnesses, Covid-19 can cause enduring problems, even in those who were never ill enough to be hospitalized.

Victims have reported serious symptoms weeks and months after infection trib.al/DB6VXOZ
In a survey of more than 1,500 patients by Indiana University Medical School researcher Natalie Lambert, nearly 100 different problems have been reported, including:

😖Body aches
🌬Difficulty breathing
👁Blurry vision
💇🏻‍♀️ Hair loss trib.al/DB6VXOZ
Read 9 tweets
21 Sep
On 9/11 in Times Square, the giant billboards still flash, but there are no Elmos or Sponge Bobs, no Spidermen or Batmen, no Lady Liberty on stilts, no slow-moving crowds to dodge, no souvenir peddlers.

It would be wonderful if it weren’t so awful trib.al/zTfegR1
At the corner of Broadway and 42nd Street, a sign marks the beginning of the Lincoln Highway. @FSBarry once spent an hour asking passersby where the entrance was located:

“Never heard of it.”
“You mean the Lincoln Tunnel?”
“Lincoln Center?”
trib.al/zTfegR1 Frank and Laurel in Times Square on 9/11
The Lincoln Highway was dedicated in 1913 as the first road to connect the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, from Manhattan to San Francisco.

Calling it a highway was stretch — the roads were mostly dirt — but the suits had a slogan: See America First trib.al/zTfegR1 A man selling cider to a motorist at a roadside cider mill o
Read 16 tweets
20 Sep
Oat milk is going public. Sweden’s Oatly is reportedly considering an IPO at a valuation of as much as $5 billion. Investors include:

✨Oprah Winfrey
✨Natalie Portman

Is this the end of semi-skimmed milk? bloom.bg/2FL3DJ7
The dairy industry appears to be going vegan, too:

🌱Canadian dairy giant Saputo is acquiring a plant-milk business
🌱Arla announced its own oat-milk brand
🌱Danone spent $10 billion in 2017 buying plant-based WhiteWaves Food bloom.bg/2FL3DJ7
Part of this is simply chasing consumer demand.

Seeking a source of tasty fats with a smaller carbon footprint than the cattle industry is a justification for consumers to switch, and self-diagnosed lactose intolerance appears to be on the rise bloom.bg/2FL3DJ7
Read 11 tweets
19 Sep
In yet another massive public health failure in the U.S., we still have no clear messaging about the relative risks and benefits of going to the doctor trib.al/gUmlqzX
Medical professionals have taken great care to keep patients safe — giving everyone a mask, for example, and using temperature checks at the door.

But for some patients, telemedicine is still a better option trib.al/gUmlqzX
That’s not because the office visit is particularly dangerous, but because telemedicine was a good option even before the pandemic started.

For many kinds of visits, it saves everyone time trib.al/gUmlqzX
Read 13 tweets
18 Sep
Fifty years ago this month, Milton Friedman published his famous essay in the New York Times Magazine arguing that: “The social responsibility of business is to increase its profits.”

Two @bopinion columnists lay out their arguments for and against shareholder capitalism Image
Today’s critics misunderstand the 1970 admonition to put profit first, argues @MichaelRStrain.

Corporations that have publicly moved away from shareholder capitalism are inadvertently demonstrating its durability trib.al/42CfPae
The concept misconstrues what an economy is for, counters @opinion_joe.

Companies have laid off their workers, manipulated earnings, lied to customers and avoided taxes -- all in the name of maximizing shareholder value trib.al/TColsna
Read 4 tweets

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