Tuesday, May 01, 2007

struggling with adulthood

I've got two things going on these days that are really stressing me out, both of which are endemic solely to adulthood.

The first is that Amanda and I have started to look for a house. I know it comes as no surprise to anyone that houses in the Bay Area are insanely expensive. Just for the sake of comparison:

Here's a $775,000 house in San Bruno, CA:

Here's a $760,000 house in Philadelphia, PA:

Why not compare two $775,000 houses? I couldn't find one listed for that much on Craigslist in Philly. $760k was the most I could find for a 4 bedroom, 6 bathroom mansion.

So this is what we're dealing with. Last night we drove around in San Bruno trying to find affordable places. And just so you know, San Bruno is the shittier, dirtier, more affordable cousin of San Mateo. But even here, the $600k-$700k houses were in the middle of industrial shitholes - streets littered with old Buicks, old tow trucks, and abandoned auto part warehouses that literally sat underneath the 380 freeway. I'm not going to spend $600k to live in that neighborhood when $600k in the rest of the country gets you acreage.

The second thing I'm trying to deal with right now is figuring out my 401k. I've been at LucasArts for over four years and never enrolled in my 401k. Stupid, I know. But it's something I'm remedying right now.

Unfortunately, when I start to look into the Mutual Funds that are offered to me through the company, I find that I don't actually want to invest in any of them. I feel like a complete hypocrite. Here I am struggling to buy American, donating to Barack Obama's campaign, and being the good lil' politically minded San Franciscan that I am ... and yet the Mutual Funds I have to choose from would have me investing in companies that I have serious moral objections to like News Corp (the parent company of Fox News) and Wal-Mart, who yesterday was named a major worldwide Human Rights violator.

Yes, I need to start making investments so that I can have retirement money in my old age. But I don't want to just turn a blind eye to what I'm investing in, bitch about companies that I feel are hurting the world, and then hypocritically make money off of them anyway.

I don't know what to do - about either issue, really. Housing or investing. I feel like I have shitty choices no matter what I decide.


EmoRiot said...

There's books on ethical investing.

And as for houses, first of all... is 700K your price range!?!

And, why not consider a kick ass condo over a shit-hole house?

Amanda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amanda said...

We've considered condos. Ideally, we'd find a single family home, because even though they're not all that nice, they don't require a $300-400 HOA payment that's essentially throwing money in the garbage. And in a SFH, you don't have to argue with other people about what kind of windows you want to install, or when you can paint your house, or how some people aren't capable of throwing their garbage *into* and not *near* the dumpster. (Sorry, that's just a short list of issues my friends are dealing with in their condos.)

Unfortunately, there are precious few single family homes in this area with 2-3 bedrooms that are under $700k, which is, of course, the problem. (Note here that we still live in an apartment, even though we'd like to be in a house.)

Anyway, we're just looking around right now.. trying to figure out what we need/want, what areas we like, etc.

Russ said...

Holy hell. Why am I going to move out there?