Monday, September 04, 2006

A Slice Of Life In These United States

When our sizable family migrated to the US over a quarter of century ago, the statistics then showed that house owners stayed in their homes for an average of over 10 years before moving on to other houses/locations.

But the intervening years have seen that drastically reduced to less than six years. Credit that to the phenomenal surges in the housing markets and the rapid development of outlying areas, giving rise to what is derisively referred to as urban sprawl.

Our own experiences show that we have lived in three residences over the last 26 years, getting an average of 8 plus years per residence. Not bad. However, we have always maintained the original residence that we had purchased all this time. Home-grown sentimentality made us quite reluctant to part with it.

But now inevitability has set in so we are now prepared to part with it. Thus, for a good part of the current year, we have been moving out stuff that we have accumulated all these years. Stuff the entire family, parents and kids, have stowed away in the little 1100sq.ft two-storey building that was home for the growing years of the kids. In the same neighborhood highlighted in this previous post.

Selling an old house is a rather involved and at times a tedious process, especially much older houses that predate the passage of building codes that now apply to and cover modern buildings.

For this purpose, I have seen myself in the past two weeks immersed in various types of house work/repair to get the place ready for market. Not unlike a late-term bride, getting all dolled up and ready to be marketed to her prospective groom. Serious cosmetic touch-up of the exterior, with sealant and paint. Sprucing up of the interior with a fresh coat of paint and deep grooming of the carpets in the rooms. And of course, a new layer of impressive and shiny wood laminate flooring for the living/dining area to add crucial points to its overall ambiance.

And now, here she is all set to go – to the highest bidder!

Does anybody know how skewed the housing markets are? Try guessing how much this little shack can command in the present markets.


  1. Your pictures remind me of when I was a kid. The first house that I remember living in had
    hardwood floors in the living room and dining room. When my father first bought a console radio it was placed against a wall in the dining room. I used to sit on the hardwood floor and listen to the radio. The music on the radio was pretty mellow in those days. And then one day I was sitting on the hardwood floor and the radio announcer introduced a new record by a new singer. It was by some fellow named Elvis. Listening to music was never the same after that. I couldn't get enough of this "strange" new music that was starting to be played over our local radio station. Well 50 years later, I still love the music from that era that started with the king.

    Still listening to real rock and roll,

  2. hey fellow taga-east county and atenista (i suspect), i can relate with your entries.

    keep them coming!

  3. Any house in the Bay area, as long as its not too crime ridden, is inflated. I lived in the Bay area twice in the mid to late 70s, and I would never CHOOSE to live there. High taxes, traffic and crime. I never felt safe passing through much of it, whether in Alameda or Richmond and areas in between. But you said you now live closer to MOdesto? Are you anywhere near Pleasonton? I have retired Air Force friends there...

  4. Sorry, all. For the delay. Just completed three weeks of hard labor trying to make the old house ready for market. I can now heave a big sigh of relief.

    Tubby, you bring me back to the halycon days of youth. Pouty, hip-swiveling, loud and brash Elvis was introduced to us on radio, with the raw, I Want You, I Need You, I Love You. And I can still sing it from memory. I have Elvis songs on MP3s of about 8Gigabytes - from albums, to different versions, to outtakes, to home recordings, to the first two songs ever put on acetate.


    Thanks for visiting and I have gladly returned the visit. I shall revisit your two blogs in depth later on. Yes, On Crusaders Ateneo! Are you from the Ateneo, too!


    How true, but at this time when I am selling my old house - I have no complaints.

    Tracy is past Pleasanton going east and taking I580. A married son lives in neighboring San Ramon. Two sons are in the same county, Contra Costa County, in Concord. But you will be surprised real estate prices in all these areas are astronomical - compared to national prices.

  5. Yes, crime and housing prices are major considerations. Here at the asylum, we don't have to worry about housing costs
    because we are housed free. As for crime, we asylum inmates are protected by one of the strongest group of crime fighters that exists anywhere.

  6. Hi, M.C.:

    Good, we share the same favorite music.

    What about Marty Robbins?

    And some other oldies like Jimmy Clanton, Buddy Knox, Gene Vincent, etc.

    And maybe, Tommy Sands? Whose Elvis connection may be that Tommy Sands was once married to Nancy Sinatra. She was also rumored to have been a gf of Elvis.

  7. Amadeo,

    I Love Marty Robbins' music as well as music by every single person you mentioned. Trouble is a "Party Doll" can be a "Devil Woman" (wink).

    If you want some wild music fun (I guarantee it!) go to Laurie's Blog and find out what your music theme song is for the day you take the quiz. And if you like share it in Laurie's Comments. Be sure to read the other comments for the quiz.

  8. st. ignatius developed "mutaciones" for his jesuit brothers. in the 1600s, his missionaries travel far and wide with only few things on their back. they have to learn "detachment" to be fullu avaiable for god's greater glory.

    these days that spirit is still practiced. jesuits, every so often, usually 6 months or one year, do change rooms or residences. they mimic the missions that used to take place in the earlier days of the society. by moving around constantly, even for a short distance, they get to determine whether they are accumulating "material" things and beginning to be "attached" once again. usually, it is hard to let go because of sentimentality, but to be free and detached for others is also something to thank for.

    just sharing.


  9. Zimm, thanks for sharing.

    Indeed, the Jesuits are noted for practicing ascetism in their everyday lives. We witnessed this in our daily interaction with them in school.

    The Spiritual Exercises compiled by St. Ignatius and which each Jesuit is bound to follow is one such proof.

    Personally, I continue to read daily, Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis, gifted to us during high school.

  10. Tubby:

    Visited Laurie's blog.

    While I recognize some of the songs mentioned, they appear quite estranged from the genre that would appeal to my rather ancient taste.

    Growing up, westerns were a favorite fare, especially the singing cowboy types.

    Thus, Tex Ritter with his soulful, O Bury Me Not On the Lone Prairie. Or Rex Allen's Crying In The Chapel. Gene Autry was also a favorite, but his singing was way too laid back. And his voice, not sufficiently remarkable for me. Roy Rogers' was a notch better.

    But I do agree that songs in a very real way reflect on a person's overall mood. For some unknown reasons, sharp nostalgic emotions are attached to songs that we know and continue to sing or hum.


Welcome. Your comments are appreciated.