Monday, November 19, 2007

Forty Acres and a Gap in Wealth - New York Times

Forty Acres and a Gap in Wealth - New York Times: "15 of the 20 descend from at least one line of former slaves who managed to obtain property by 1920 — a time when only 25 percent of all African-American families owned property."

As a point in the argument of to rent vs buy, this is fascinating.

Admittedly, his study sample size is very small and not randomly selected but since he is backtracking it ends up being very large He is looking back 5+ generations, that is a lot of people, and they all started out pretty much in the same place, as former slaves.

Property ownership seems to be one of those things that changes a person quite radically. Just about everyone who buys their first home says they feel different about things afterward.

The effects of property ownership also obviously echo down through the generations. The attitudes that you have you pass to your children and then to their children and maybe further.

Another effect that can be in operation is compound interest. Over the long term compound interest is vastly powerful. By keeping property in your family for a long time it generally appreciates and can by used later to powerful effect.

We may be renting right now as we re-establish ourselves but our goal is another home of our own. Because it is important to us and it will be important to our children and their children.

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