Back in the 1960s, I was not the least bit interested in the bizarre Celtic-Christo-Pagan religious events that led to our weird Halloween activities. I was much more concerned about my costume choice and, more importantly, which of my neighbors consistently offered the best candy. (That meant to me anything that was not NECCO wafers!)
TV shows like The Munsters and The Addams Family gave me costume ideas back then, but I was always more of a traditionalist. It was Dracula, the Wolfman, the Mummy and Frankenstein that inspired my ghoulish garb. The classics never went out of style … much like homeownership.
Today, my Halloween traditions consist of being crotchety “Old Man Gongaware,” listening ad nauseam to Jumpin’ Gene Simmons’s 1964 hit “Haunted House”, and offering boxes of raisins to the neighborhood kids. (Oh the horror!)
I also like to regale the surprisingly “veteran” trick-or-treaters trolling through my ‘hood with strange and disturbing stories about housing. After all, what Millennial still trick-or-treating for groceries wouldn’t be terrified by these chilling tales?
- The median asking rental rate has increased every year for the past 25+ years and has gone up at or higher than the rate of inflation. (The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University)
- A homeowner’s net worth is 36 times greater than that of renters. (Federal Reserve 2014)
- Mortgage rates are projected to rise to 5.4 percent by Q4 2015. (National Association of REALTORS®)
- A homeowner’s net worth is more than $195,000 … while a renter’s net worth is a meager $5,400. (Federal Reserve 2014)
- A rental agreement may prevent the tenant from making any cosmetic changes to their abode. I hope you like mauve paint, a pink bathroom, faux paneling, and the droopy, dusty valance that now resembles Cousin Itt. Frightening!
Now I realize that not every neighborhood is awash with 20-somethings still trick-or-treating – some of whom may be living in their parent’s basement. But just in case you know one, you should warn him or her. Basements with a musty smell more pronounced than the occupant’s socks may have a mold issue. That, in turn, leads to bugs and other creepy creatures, bizarre growth on beams and floor joists, and insulation that looks like a stalactite. Scary stuff.
So, those are your real estate tales of terror for this year. But I have one more suggestion for you to dissuade night visitors on Halloween. Only offer orange NECCO wafers as a treat … or orange-flavored chalk. They both taste the same.