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Sleeping on the Couch Costs $700,000?

By - 2007

Sometimes I have to wonder if people are aware of the housing choices they have. It sure doesn't seem like it at times. My wife and I were watching a program about buying a condo on one of the cable networks the other night. Deepak Chopra, the famous writer and teacher on spiritual topics, was shopping for a condo in Hawaii, near the beach. He had to choose one quickly due to limited time, so he was shown several that ranged in price from about $600,000 to $1,300,000.

When it comes to the price of things, everything is relative, so while it is crazy for a middle class couple to pay a million dollars for a condo, it makes perfect sense for someone who is wealthier. Also, it really is nobody's business what a person spends his money on, right? But on the the other hand, it seems fair to say that we gain the right to ponder those choices when they choose to make them on a national television program.

Deepak finally decided on a condo that cost about $700,000. This may seem expensive to some of us, but it makes sense, because you look at your housing choices differently when you have more money. It is true that a nice condo on a Lake Michigan beach might go for as little as $300,000, but if you want a Hawaiian climate and you have the money, why not? $400,000 more may not be that much for you.

$700,000 and the Kids Sleep on the Couch!

On the other hand, it's difficult for some of us to understand how with that kind of budget, the kids still have to sleep on the couch in the living room. It's true. He chose a one bedroom condo, not even on the beach (but with close access), and in the course of the program, we hear Chopra and the real estate agent discussing the view and then how the kids can sleep in the living room on the couch.

It makes you wonder how much money you have to spend to have a condo with a nice view and a room for the kids. The answer is actually a lot less than the Chopras spent. Obviously they chose the view and location over space for the kids. Spend an hour on the internet, and anyone could find a dozen places with great waterfront condos - with a room for the kids - for less than $700,000.

Again, it isn't anyone else's right to say what someone should buy with their own money. However, a story like this does make one wonder if sometimes people lose touch with what housing choices exist. Perhaps all their friends buy in a certain area, or buy a certain type of housing, and that is all they see.

What are some of the housing choices available for $700,000? Here are a few:

- Four beautiful condos for around $175,000 each in four great locations around the globe. Don't think this is possible? Look harder, they are there.

- If you had the cash, you could buy a beautiful condo on a lake somewhere for $400,000, and invest the other $300,000 to pay for a $25,000 round-the-world vacation every year until you are too old to travel.

- A little shopping in Hawaii might mean a $600,000 condo with two bedrooms. The kids get a place to sleep and you have a lower payment (or $100,000 left over if you had cash).

There are many other housing choices possible, but in the end people have their own ideas about this. People will continue to buy their $700,000 or million-dollar one-bedroom condos, and you and I will be left to wonder if they really considered all the options they had.


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Houses Under Fifty Thousand | Sleeping on the Couch Costs $700,000?