Taking a different turn today.
My wife and I are looking into buying our first house. Not the most straight forward process in the world – its similar to my theory on college that it’s not so much about what all you learn but its more about jumping through all their hoops and putting up with it for several years on end – that’s what they’re looking for.
It struck me as we’ve been going through the process that in order to buy a house these days you need to pay $1000 a month for 30 years… Doesn’t that seem a bit absurd? The next thirty years of your life – just to own a shack of a place on a small plot of land.
We live in a BEAUTIFUL town in the Cascade mountain range where people from across the country and globe come to visit. As such real estate is at a premium, I understand that. We can barely afford an 85 year old house. A house we loved was snatched up investors who could over $50,000 more than us.
From all this I can understand the Old Testament Jubilee period (probably popularized by Shane Claiborne), where every 49 years the land was allowed to rest from farming and properties were returned to the original owners (that’s a very abbreviated list).
Now obviously it would be a total collapse for our society to try to embrace even a fraction of this, so I’m not suggesting it. However maybe they were onto something – because I am now seeing the build up of hundreds of years of property ownership and control – where all of the land is purchased at a high price and only the wealthy have a shot at it. The common person is at the mercy of the rich, who because of their wealth are able to invest and perpetuate their riches nearly endlessly.
I’m not sure if I’ve got some big lesson or question to leave lingering. This is simply a lament that our systems slant and that the solution, a Biblical one, is totally out of reach.
Go ahead and tell me not to store my treasures up in heaven by worrying about this house. I’m probably still going to buy one so I’m not paying someone else’s mortgage.