Author Topic: Ever wish you could see a "Google map" version of people deeply in debt near u?  (Read 2647 times)

kevj1085

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I'm sure this sounds negative, but do you ever wish you could see just how in debt each house is around you, or who is in the positive by how much? I feel we are doing quite well (32, net worth 306k soon to be over 350k), but when I look around I notice we live in the smallest house of neighborhood, and see tons of other huge houses w boats, multiple new trucks or big suvs, big toy haulers and quads all around. At times I almost get ever slightly discouraged like all these people must just be killing it in life, but I wonder if my perception of them AND myself would change drastically if I could see house by house just who all is in debt vs in the positive and by just how much. I would never wish a troubled situation on anyone, but hopefully I'm not alone in ever feeling this way. I'm completely content w the way we live our lives so essentially it doesn't even matter as long as we are happy, it just blows me away that I feel we are doing well but can't seem to even hold a candle to the insanity I see all around me.

Jon_Snow

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I'm sure this sounds negative, but do you ever wish you could see just how in debt each house is around you, or who is in the positive by how much?

No.

I would never wish a troubled situation on anyone, but hopefully I'm not alone in ever feeling this way.

I actually do hope you are pretty much alone in feeling this way.


ohmylookatthat

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I just opened an IRA

bacchi

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I'm completely content w the way we live our lives so essentially it doesn't even matter as long as we are happy, it just blows me away that I feel we are doing well but can't seem to even hold a candle to the insanity I see all around me.

There was a recent thread titled, "Comparison is the thief of joy." You are still comparing.

elaine amj

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Yes, we have felt that way. DH is sometimes pretty bad at this and my teen DS constantly talks about how rich so and so is. I find the solution is to count our blessings. There's always going to be someone richer/more fortunate. All we can do is focus on ourselves, all that we have and then whatever we have to do to reach our goals. And to be happy for the good fortune others experience. But, every once in a while (ok - sometimes too often), the green eyed monster rears up its ugly head and I spend a bit too much time thinking about how all these people must be in debt up to their ears.

When DS was little, there was a time he was whining constantly about how so and so has such and such. I spent the next few months making him focus on his blessings and eventually the comparisons faded. He still compares occasionally - but he also understands why we live the way we do. I do admit to sometimes feeling guilt that I make him live such a simple lifestyle mostly for my own benefit (so we can retire).

My journal: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/realigning-spending-to-match-our-future-goals-a-canadian-journey/

Camp Mustache Canada 2017 was everything I dreamed of and more. Super excited that Camp Mustache Canada 2018 is now a thing!

triangle

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That would be a great dating tool/app for those who are single. :-) 

While I do find it annoying that those who project wealth (but are really just in debt) appear more successful and therefore achieve higher social status and incur some extra benefits (even if short term) by being in debt I am not really interested in seeing specific people/households called out. I do think it is very helpful to know how much debt or wealth different parts of the city/state have in aggregate. Especially as politicians debates tax policy, new spending, servicing existing public debt, new bond proposals, etc.

triangle

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I would also add that I think this thought is quite normal for a 32 year old person. Someone who is trying to balance their income, spending needs, spending wants, savings, etc. While they will have peers whose finances are in total shambles but are perceived to be making it in comparison. While it is not good/healthy to totally focus on comparing yourself against another person, it is human nature to want know where one stands in the progress of their life. To help them know if they are working hard enough, saving enough, learning enough, etc.

MrThatsDifferent

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How fucking cruel!!!  What about a Google map of everyone that has cancer, or was assaulted as children or suffers depression?  No, never, I donít hate myself enough that I have to drink the tears of the suffering.

Roe

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How fucking cruel!!!  What about a Google map of everyone that has cancer, or was assaulted as children or suffers depression?  No, never, I donít hate myself enough that I have to drink the tears of the suffering.

Getting cancer, being assaulted as children or suffering from depression is nowhere near similar to being in debt from overspending on Starbucks and new SUVs.
Beans&rice, my love!

Roe

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Its an interesting thought experiment. How would it effect our society if debt from the things you mention was public knowledge?
Beans&rice, my love!

SwordGuy

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I suppose you want something like this, but down to the household level?

https://lendedu.com/blog/new-york-city-financial-study/

FI4good

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I do sometimes wonder about others net worth,

I have something infinitely more valuable though the wonderful power of knowing how much is enough for me.

Some people will forever live in a place of craving for the next big thing , the next big achievement , more , more , more . people who couldn't possibly retire on less than $2,000,000 because they are such crazy spendypants world resource consuming appetites of consumption on legs.

Me , meh !
Gimme some sunshine near the sea and the financial resources to pay the bills , keep the weather off and deal with emergencies .. if i have a surplus i'll probably buy art or hand craft stuff with it because i like artisans and they get to live a life of non-drudgery with a bit of patronage . 


Liberty Stache

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"Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labor wears, while the used key is always bright" ~Benjamin Franklin, The Way to Wealth

plog

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I assume everyone crapping on on kev has never been to this sub-forum:

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/antimustachian-wall-of-shame-and-comedy/

And is actively petitioning to get it removed from the site. 

frost7777

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2013 data, but this map gets you close to what you are looking for.

https://www.arcgis.com/home/item.html?id=af3241d137a34b0cabfbcb1a37d3486a

bacchi

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I assume everyone crapping on on kev has never been to this sub-forum:

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/antimustachian-wall-of-shame-and-comedy/

And is actively petitioning to get it removed from the site.

There is a lot of schadenfreude and smugness in that category but there is also a difference between thinking "That person is very pretty" and going about your life vs.
thinking "Is that person prettier than me? I think she is. Oh, why am I not pretty?" and going home and crying about it.

lexde

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Dude... stop comparing yourself to everyone else. You just made a post asking if your net worth was "good" and now you want to compare it to everyone around you once someone posted you were in the 90th percentile?

You will find much more happiness building your own 'stache and using it to help others and improve the world around you. Comparison is the death of contentment and is really not what mustachianism is about.

I honestly wish you the best of luck building your stache and hope you find some contentment in the process, not just the end product.

dycker1978

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Dude... stop comparing yourself to everyone else. You just made a post asking if your net worth was "good" and now you want to compare it to everyone around you once someone posted you were in the 90th percentile?

You will find much more happiness building your own 'stache and using it to help others and improve the world around you. Comparison is the death of contentment and is really not what mustachianism is about.

I honestly wish you the best of luck building your stache and hope you find some contentment in the process, not just the end product.

+1

If you cant find happiness in how you are living then you will not continue on this path.  You seem very worried about everyone else, worry about getting as much as you can in the retirement accounts and pull the pin. 

MrThatsDifferent

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How fucking cruel!!!  What about a Google map of everyone that has cancer, or was assaulted as children or suffers depression?  No, never, I donít hate myself enough that I have to drink the tears of the suffering.

Getting cancer, being assaulted as children or suffering from depression is nowhere near similar to being in debt from overspending on Starbucks and new SUVs.

People commit suicide over debt and finances, donít underestimate that.

MrThatsDifferent

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Dude... stop comparing yourself to everyone else. You just made a post asking if your net worth was "good" and now you want to compare it to everyone around you once someone posted you were in the 90th percentile?

You will find much more happiness building your own 'stache and using it to help others and improve the world around you. Comparison is the death of contentment and is really not what mustachianism is about.

I honestly wish you the best of luck building your stache and hope you find some contentment in the process, not just the end product.

Preach. If your success makes you tacky, youíve failed at something.

Bicycle_B

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2013 data, but this map gets you close to what you are looking for.

https://www.arcgis.com/home/item.html?id=af3241d137a34b0cabfbcb1a37d3486a

No, but this map is very interesting!  I live within a mile or two of census blocks with average household net worth $12,000 and of $153,000.

Strongly agree with the don't-let-comparisons-get-you-down sentiment, though. 

Think of it this way.  Everyone is the star in their own show.  The neighbors don't care about you much anyway, except as a prop, so don't buy fancy things because of them. 

Still, let's analyze comparatively since that's your initial thought.  Other people bought fancy props.  You are buying the ability to write your future scripts.  FOMO is Madison Avenue's way of turning the human capacity to relate into a manipulative trick.  Mad Ave is in turn a mere tool of Wall Street, which is in turn... your tool, as an investor.  Don't be hurt by your own employees.

The neighbors' toys would not bring you happiness, only make other people jealous.  Be you.  If you want to be sure you're richer than your neighbors, move to a poorer block. That wasn't my intent, but I've lived the last couple decades closer to the 12k people than the 153k ones.  No pressure to keep up with the Joneses.  I'm richer than either group but on a lot of days you couldn't tell by watching.

Science, old people, and people on their deathbeds (I've known several recently...) all say that relationships bring much more joy than things.  I don't actually recommend moving as a way to remedy feelings.  A better suggestion would be to focus on relationships - with spouses, friends, neighbors, coworkers, community members.  You'll probably forget all about who has the prettier car if your day consists of finding ways to enrich these relationships.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 04:04:14 PM by Bicycle_B »

spokey doke

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I totally agree with the "don't compare" responses, but I think such a map could be used - not for comparison in the sense of establishing status, but as an educational tool...a "word to the wise" sort of tool for helping people understand that while things may look super rosy down the street, they are really struggling, so don't be like them and go max out your cards on new toys.  One could also use it as a source of trying to better understand and empathize with those around you (even if you think them unwise in their financial decisions)...
ďThe best thing about graduating from the university was that I finally had time to sit on a log and read a good book.Ē
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NorCal

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I would say that I'd be curious to see something like this, but for entirely different reasons.

The financial demographics of the bay area are just so weird that it's hard to comprehend sometimes.  My immediate neighbors have consisted of a hedge fund manager, an older plumber, and a high school teacher (young couple).  Based on the years they all moved into their houses, I wouldn't be surprised if they all have similar ratios of housing expense to income.

Here's an extreme example of the disparity in CA property tax rates for a super-spendy zip code:  http://www.burbed.com/2015/06/15/prop-13-real-examples-of-property-taxes/

Roe

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How fucking cruel!!!  What about a Google map of everyone that has cancer, or was assaulted as children or suffers depression?  No, never, I donít hate myself enough that I have to drink the tears of the suffering.

Getting cancer, being assaulted as children or suffering from depression is nowhere near similar to being in debt from overspending on Starbucks and new SUVs.

People commit suicide over debt and finances, donít underestimate that.

You are absolutely right about that, being insolvent is a horrible thing to live trough. Even if you are more at peace with life than Gandhi and not stressing about it, there are many practical implications. And few of us are so zen that only the practical consequences effects us. Probably none of us.

But Kev wasn't talking about that phase, he clearly talks about the Starbucks and SUV and "flaunt it if you got the credit for it!" phase. Of course there can be mental health issues behind that aswell, but as a thought experiment on something that he isn't advocating as a good idea to implement, it's not cruel to be curios about the neighbor with the big toys actual net worth.

Beans&rice, my love!

markbike528CBX

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Yep, just for fun/curiosity though.   I look at Zillow (real estate guestimations) for a similar purpose.
We are pretty stealthwealth.   The cars are hidden in the garage. So we have few external cues ourselves.

Duchess of Stratosphear

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I don't think it's cruel or weird at all to be curious about this. I would not want to know the specifics of my neighbors' situations, but some aggregate numbers would be interesting just to satisfy my curiosity and as an educational tool, as someone else pointed out. Average net worth and consumer debt numbers in specific neighborhoods, for example. Not that I really need the reinforcement, but I suspect it would make me feel like I'm doing better than I sometimes think I am at being frugal and building my stache. We all compare ourselves to others at times. It's human nature. What we should strive for is not to let those comparisons bother us or affect our behavior.

Dicey

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I don't think it matters which "phase" the OP was referring to,  I think lexde nailed it.

Here's another perspective: What if that map revealed that someone had $2.5 million of assets invested and no debt? What if she lived in a very nice clown house in a HCOLA that had no mortgage? What if there were three paid-for, older but still good-looking cars in the driveway? You'd think she had it made, wouldn't you? Maybe you'd even be a little envious.

What yoour map wouldn't reveal is that she has Alzheimer's and can't enjoy any if it. And she lives in her FI son's house but thinks it's hers.

Comparison is the thief of joy, indeed. Carpe diem.
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TartanTallulah

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I'm sure this sounds negative, but do you ever wish you could see just how in debt each house is around you, or who is in the positive by how much?
I'm completely content w the way we live our lives so essentially it doesn't even matter as long as we are happy, it just blows me away that I feel we are doing well but can't seem to even hold a candle to the insanity I see all around me.

I don't feel this way at all about the people in the houses around us. We live in a LCOL area, not all of the houses are owner-occupied, and it's the sort of location where nobody is impressed with outward signs of wealth. BUT I know a lot of keen amateur sportspeople, I mostly know what they do for a living and what their domestic situation is, and I often wonder how people with an average income and a spouse and children can afford to enter triathlons and high profile running races and cyclosportives week after week, often travelling overseas and staying in hotels. Just out of sheer ghoulish curiosity, I would like to know who is getting into debt pursuing their hobby.

But I don't think about it much, because it's none of my business and it's not as if I could go barging into their lives and try to change their behaviour based on my own current personal values.



pk_aeryn

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Commenters are giving you crap, OP, but I think I know what you're saying.  I also live in a modest house on the block and my Corolla is parked amongst many Mercedes and the like.  Our neighbors are particularly have terrible inconsiderate backyard karaoke parties that start at 11pm and frequently, I kid you not, have video game party buses for their kids birthday parties. I didn't even know that was a thing until it used up "our" curb space in front of our lawn.  Our other very nice neighbors told us "leave a spare car in the driveway so thieves think you're home" Uhh ... we don't have a spare car.

So yes, call me bosy but I am VERY curious as to how much in debt our neighbors are, even though we are happily debt free and are literally the only ones on our block to mow our own lawn.  We're also the youngest, however, and I think are sadly having to put way more to a mortgage payment than others who bought years ago.

WranglerBowman

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Yes, I wish that info was available instantly, like a pop up that came up on people while you're walking down the street.  It would put a lot of people in a different light for the average Joe, and confirm a lot of my speculation. 

In most states you can look up information contained in public legal documents about real property, court cases, or anything that has a deed.  I look up property info frequently to see what people paid for what, what they owe on that property, etc.  I was wondering how our neighbors were building additions, buying new vehicles, RV's, so I looked up their info.  They take out a home equity loan every time they want something and have equity in their home.  They bought their home 20 years ago and owe twice what they paid for it 20 years ago!
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Slee_stack

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I think the OP is being unfairly lambasted.

While personally I don't have that much interest in knowing the debt of my neighbors (definitely not individually...as that could be awkward), but strictly for academic discussion, in groups, it could be interesting.

Comparison is bad...in general context.

However, I'm not sure where everything went black and white and why it has to stay that way.

Comparison CAN be good depending on the net action/result.  We choose our own role models by comparing ourselves to them.  We take action to be more like them.  Why?  They have positive tendencies or habits that we wish to emulate.    We do precisely the same thing throughout these very forums.  We learn from others by comparing our own behaviors to others.  What brought success?  What tended to bring failure?  Its called learning....the easier way. 

Is comparison then, universally bad?  Of course not.  Many of us would not strive to be better without it.  We might assume we were already 'as good as it gets'' otherwise.

Cut the OP some slack on this one.  It certainly could be used as Negative reinforcement...but it could just as well be used for positive too.

What I do find far more interesting is that the majority of respondents jumped to the most negative scenario.   A comparison in self-righteousness perhaps?   :P

boarder42

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Yes, I wish that info was available instantly, like a pop up that came up on people while you're walking down the street.  It would put a lot of people in a different light for the average Joe, and confirm a lot of my speculation. 

In most states you can look up information contained in public legal documents about real property, court cases, or anything that has a deed.  I look up property info frequently to see what people paid for what, what they owe on that property, etc.  I was wondering how our neighbors were building additions, buying new vehicles, RV's, so I looked up their info.  They take out a home equity loan every time they want something and have equity in their home.  They bought their home 20 years ago and owe twice what they paid for it 20 years ago!

could be a sound strategy if they were pumping it into VTSAX
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forumname123

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The mob mentality around here is pretty gross sometimes.

The first poster shits on the OP and everybody jumps on. If the first response would have took the side of the OP, I bet this whole thread would have a very different tone.

BlueHouse

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Of course and I think everyone has at some point in their life.  Around 30, I recall feeling that way the most.  Just out of my 20s, I felt that I should be an adult and have adult things, but I was still driving a piece of crap car, while almost everyone else my age was in a BMW (or so it seemed).  Actually, my car was great, but it was a Toyota and seeing so many of my peers with expensive fancy cars made me think I was doing something wrong. 

To get through it, I just had to assume that all of those people were up to their eyeballs in debt and that I was making better choices.  I was secretly smug and satisfied with my choices.  The alternative would be to resent everyone or spend carelessly. 

Think about how you would feel if you could see the financial information of all your neighbors and found out that yes, in fact, they are doing so much better than you and they have no debt at all.  Then you'd probably feel like a total loser.  It's a possibility, especially if you lived in a neighborhood full of mustachians!
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Slee_stack

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Yes, I wish that info was available instantly, like a pop up that came up on people while you're walking down the street.  It would put a lot of people in a different light for the average Joe, and confirm a lot of my speculation. 

In most states you can look up information contained in public legal documents about real property, court cases, or anything that has a deed.  I look up property info frequently to see what people paid for what, what they owe on that property, etc.  I was wondering how our neighbors were building additions, buying new vehicles, RV's, so I looked up their info.  They take out a home equity loan every time they want something and have equity in their home.  They bought their home 20 years ago and owe twice what they paid for it 20 years ago!

could be a sound strategy if they were pumping it into VTSAX
Yeah but but but....my mortgage isn't paid off!!!

I was actually thinking the same thing...debt is one side of the equation.  We are so deathly afraid of debt here!

Goldielocks

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How fucking cruel!!!  What about a Google map of everyone that has cancer, or was assaulted as children or suffers depression?  No, never, I donít hate myself enough that I have to drink the tears of the suffering.

Getting cancer, being assaulted as children or suffering from depression is nowhere near similar to being in debt from overspending on Starbucks and new SUVs.

May I point out that maps of cancer rates, people with child molestation convictions, and even some diseases, like depression, can now be found on the internet?  (by zip code, not individual household).  Depression (suicide) rates by occupation and demographic has long been widely available, so why not by zip code?

I used to wonder often about the debt others have, because I could afford so little, while they (with estimated similar or less salaries) owned so much...  I deliberately moved into a lower net income community, which made my lifestyle in line with the neighbors around me, and I stopped wondering.  *

Anyway, I clicked on this thread to find the link to the map that someone must have posted by now, so thank-you mmm angel for linking it!  Yep!  I am still curious and I love maps.

* Not entirely true...After moving, I did have a WTF moment when I saw other parents buying up the fundraiser crap and pricey wrapping paper.  I loved that paper but could not justify it at all on my budget at the time...   I also have a lot of WTF moments still surrounding my SIL's finances, I mean, both her kids take 7 ballet / dance lessons a week, (each) yet their income is between $60k and $80k (fluctuates) with a $400k mortgage. and two cars..but I am doing a much better job of not thinking about it.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2017, 04:23:05 PM by Goldielocks »

boarder42

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Yes, I wish that info was available instantly, like a pop up that came up on people while you're walking down the street.  It would put a lot of people in a different light for the average Joe, and confirm a lot of my speculation. 

In most states you can look up information contained in public legal documents about real property, court cases, or anything that has a deed.  I look up property info frequently to see what people paid for what, what they owe on that property, etc.  I was wondering how our neighbors were building additions, buying new vehicles, RV's, so I looked up their info.  They take out a home equity loan every time they want something and have equity in their home.  They bought their home 20 years ago and owe twice what they paid for it 20 years ago!

could be a sound strategy if they were pumping it into VTSAX
Yeah but but but....my mortgage isn't paid off!!!

I was actually thinking the same thing...debt is one side of the equation.  We are so deathly afraid of debt here!

I wouldn't say we are there is a contingency that believes I. Properly leveraged debt.
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Goldielocks

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2013 data, but this map gets you close to what you are looking for.

https://www.arcgis.com/home/item.html?id=af3241d137a34b0cabfbcb1a37d3486a
I spent some time on that one, I was surprised by two things: 
1)  How large the state of NY is.  In my mind I had thought it was only 50% larger than VT...
2) How many homes with net worth >$500k there are around Detroit.  It is like city limits, then a solid ring of wealth extending quite far.

I also looked up my old stomping grounds, and the high net worth makes sense, I guess, given the home appreciation there.  The map is a bit of a map of rental apartment locations, however...

Dicey

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Yes, I wish that info was available instantly, like a pop up that came up on people while you're walking down the street.  It would put a lot of people in a different light for the average Joe, and confirm a lot of my speculation. 

In most states you can look up information contained in public legal documents about real property, court cases, or anything that has a deed.  I look up property info frequently to see what people paid for what, what they owe on that property, etc.  I was wondering how our neighbors were building additions, buying new vehicles, RV's, so I looked up their info.  They take out a home equity loan every time they want something and have equity in their home.  They bought their home 20 years ago and owe twice what they paid for it 20 years ago!

could be a sound strategy if they were pumping it into VTSAX
Yeah but but but....my mortgage isn't paid off!!!

I was actually thinking the same thing...debt is one side of the equation.  We are so deathly afraid of debt here!

I wouldn't say we are there is a contingency that believes I. Properly leveraged debt.

I wouldn't say we are. There is a contingency that believes in properly leveraged debt.

FTFY, b42, I think ;-)
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SnackDog

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A guy worth nearly $100B lives in a modest midwest house he bought in 1958.  I don't see any quad bikes, toy haulers or water ski boats parked in the yard.  I do think he owns a Cadillac, so he could be worth your green-eyed envy on that count.

http://www.businessinsider.com/warren-buffett-modest-home-bought-31500-looks-2017-6

Meanwhile, the guy who ordered 50 of these vehicles (then backed out) has been involved in six bankruptcies...

http://autoweek.com/article/wait-theres-more/when-donald-trump-and-cadillac-joined-forces-build-most-opulent-limo-ever
« Last Edit: October 19, 2017, 04:02:14 AM by SnackDog »
The habit of saving is itself an education; it fosters every virtue, teaches self-denial, cultivates the sense of order, trains to forethought, and so broadens the mind. ĖThomas T. Munger

BlueHouse

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May I point out that maps of cancer rates, people with child molestation convictions, and even some diseases, like depression, can now be found on the internet?  (by zip code, not individual household).  Depression (suicide) rates by occupation and demographic has long been widely available, so why not by zip code?

....  Yep!  I am still curious and I love maps.


I love maps too.  Here's a map of the street trees in Washington DC.  I'd just like to point out that the tree in front of my house is the biggest (diameter) on the street. 
http://dcgis.maps.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=fea6079cf9bc4310a8b6c94f8c2bf1da
See?  Comparisons are everywhere! 
Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand

SwordGuy

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A guy worth nearly $100B lives in a modest midwest house he bought in 1958.  I don't see any quad bikes, toy haulers or water ski boats parked in the yard.  I do think he owns a Cadillac, so he could be worth your green-eyed envy on that count.

http://www.businessinsider.com/warren-buffett-modest-home-bought-31500-looks-2017-6

That's NOT, repeat NOT a "modest house."  It is very large, over 6000 sqft.