Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A Solution to My Real-Estate Woes


New York is an expensive place to live, and no matter how plainly I state that I don't think I can truly convey to out-of-towners just how exorbitant living expenses are here. I have what is considered to be a "fantastic" rental deal in Brooklyn. And yet, I pay what in other cities would amount to a king's ransom, for a bedroom with ceilings so low my knuckles scrape when I remove my shirt at night. And that's only the rental market.

To BUY in New York -- where itsy bitsy studios start at upwards of $250,000 -- you normally have to put 20% down and have a year's worth of "maintenance costs" (usually at least $800 a month) in the bank. To even buy a tiny mouse-ridden hovel, I'd have to scrape together $60,000. That's in the neighborhood of my entire pre-tax annual salary some years (Go ahead and laugh -- it's all I can do myself, now that I've cried out all my own tears of poverty and toil). As you can see, it's entirely possible that if I keep living here, I will rent until the day they throw my body into a pile in Potter's Field. This is unfortunate, since I truly feel that paying rent is the equivalent of gently placing my hard-earned dollars into a toilet bowl, urinating on them, and pressing the flusher.

But today on BoingBoing, I think I found my solution.

The treehouse you see here retails for the bargain-basement price of $18,499.99. Later on this year I'm expecting a paycheck somewhere in that ballpark, so soon, this treehouse may be mine!

The treehouse has approximately 78 square feet of living -- or, swashbuckling -- space, which means it's retailing for about $237 a square foot. Not bad for the New York market. Look out, Corchoran. Plus, I get to sleep in the fake hull of a plastic ship. I'm sure this will attract a "certain type of guy," if you know what I mean -- the type of guy with an eyepatch! The peglegs, meanwhile, will be deterred by the ladder that runs through the middle of the hollowed-out tree down below.

Costco's website not only lists the size and other specifications regarding the treehouse; it also lists the more esoteric "Benefits of owning a treehouse." These include:

• They add value and curb appeal to your home. (Sweet! Nothing like asset appreciation!)
• They provide a reason to go outside and engage in activities that promote physical strength, balance, confidence, coordination, social development, imagination and more (Check, check, check -- I approve of all of those things!)
• They are incredible conversation pieces. Your friends and family will line up for a tour (Awesome! I love having parties!)
• Every time you see your tree house, you'll smile a little, feel a little younger, and be a little happier (Who can argue with THAT? Worth the price tag alone.)

Now, about finding that empty lot...

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