November 26th, 2008

What a difference a year makes!

Last year at this time, my portfolio was up about 14.5% over the previous year!  Joy!

This year, it is down about 13.5% over last year. Wow!

I guess I shouldn't feel to bad tho, it could be worse, since the S&P500 is down about 35% over last year.

Also, house prices here have fallen about 30% over a year ago: so I could actually buy a house if I
could ever get myself to take the plunge.

I've kept about  $300k on the sideline for that purpose,  so I might actually to it within the next year.

It is hard to decide tho: some  economists says  house prices could still drop another 20% around here.

So I'll be making low-ball bids, trying to get that 20% off the  asking price.

Another thing I'm trying to decide is whether to get something fairly nice for $600k, and then get a $300k loan,
or if I should get something that is not as nice and/or fancy, for about $300k, and either pay
cash or get a smaller $150k loan.

Since I might be   working another 3 or 4 years until they offer me early retirement, I could make
the payments on a 300k loan.  However, a smaller 100k loan I could make the payments on
whether I'm working or not: in case they offer me early retirement much sooner.   But unfortunately,
I'm go valuble to THEM,  and I don't think they're going to offer me  it for a while.

Another thing is: I've gotten very comfortable where I'm at.  The bay area is such a darn good place to be!
The only thing I miss is a nice house where I can garden and do other "stuff" that home owners are
always able to do.

Decisions, decisions!