In the current housing crisis, two sort of counter-intuitive things puzzle me:
In my close-in Portland, Oregon neighborhood there are several older houses being entirely gutted and renovated by new owners, five within two blocks of me. All for mid to high six figures I’m sure (on top of high six-figure purchase prices), plus some smaller five-figure remodels or additions. Many of the owners are younger (30s+) creative class professionals. So if there’s a fiscal crisis, where are people getting the money? And why are they doing this if the value of houses is expected to plummet?
Second, in the last couple of years there have been a half dozen new home and garden type magazines launched here, from the wonderful Portland Spaces, to the blah Ultimate Northwest, to the over-the-top Luxe Northwest, to the down-to-earth Oregon Home. They’re all part of local or national chains. But why would advertising vehicles for high end accessories be a good idea now?
It could be that these are both just poor timing, residual effects of the housing bubble – although Portland didn’t bubble like Las Vegas. Or is there something deeper going on? Is this happening elsewhere?