No. of Recommendations: 5
There is a reason why "Location, location, location" is so critical. Boston is physically constrained wrt real estate development, making existing properties a high demand low supply investment. But Boston too has it's ups and downs. My brother bought a fixer-upper walk to T in Cambridge that required about a decade of rising property values before he would break even between initial and improvement investments.

I just looked at the other houses we have owned across the last 30 years. According to Zillow, every single one of them has recently sold for, or is comped at more than when we sold it. None have appreciated as well as Boston, but the others are suburban, not physically constrained in any sense.

What they are is "good properties" in "good neighborhoods", and especially with "good schools." Because Mrs. Goofy and I were in a volatile industry and knew we would be moving every 3-5 years, "good schools" was the most important factor, even though it meant higher taxes (and we have no kids to take advantage of the schools.) But we felt there would always be demand for better schools, so that's what we did.

The ants will always be much in the minority, with the grasshoppers wanting to feast on our savings.

Oh baloney. I know this is the Conservative view of the world, but it just ain't so. A little less than half of the population depends on Social Security for the majority of its income. More people actually do save and plan than do not. (This is not a big change from the 1920's, prior to Social Security; the difference is that then the people who did not plan lived in poverty or in the 3rd floor attic of the son or daughter.)

After 2033, Social Security could pay three-fourths of scheduled benefits using its tax income if policymakers took no steps to shore up the program.

Again, that's worst case. Maybe the number will be 95%. Maybe 87%. Maybe 100%. People have been predicting the collapse of the system since the day after it went into law in the 1930's. At the moment there are 2.8 workers for every recipient. Looking into the worst years of the baby-boom, the very very worst, there will be 2.1 workers for each recipient. That, of course, assumes that we continue our insane immigration laws, which keep that number lower. Allow more immigration - and more important - get those incomes on the books, and those numbers get back into even better balance.

Why is it the fault of the lender if the buyer decides to buy more home than they can realistically afford?

Let me rephrase. Should a business knowingly take advantage of a customer for short term profit, knowing that both the customer and the lender will be harmed in the process? Welcome to 2008 Florida and California. Who had regulations preventing this? Canada. Texas. So if you propose that the fast-buck artist should win, well, bully, but the rest of society took it in the shorts too for the benefit of a few.
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