The Human Example
So the Washington Post has article #6,891 about the obvious and ongoing real estate bubble, which is interesting only if you’ve either missed the previous 6,890 articles or enjoy pre-gawking at car crashes that haven’t yet happened. But the part that gets me is the inevitable kicker paragraphs at the end. After a long article presenting piles of evidence that home prices are doomed to fall, we get this:
Nonetheless, Jennifer Tyler isn’t worried. She just took out a 10-year, interest-only loan to keep the monthly payments affordable on her new Capitol Hill house.
“Anything can happen in 10 years,” she said. “I can move, I can re-finance.” She said that her interest-only mortgage, where no principal is paid for the entire 10 years — and thus she builds no equity unless the house value increases — saved her about $200 a month and made the difference between buying and not buying.
“Anyway,” she said, “the house will almost certainly appreciate, too.”
Poor Jennifer Tyler! Obviously, she never would have said that if she’d just finished reading the article. Probably, she wouldn’t have said that if she’d even been vaguely aware of some of the facts in the article. But because of the placement of her quote, it ends up looking like she deliberately and foolishly is ignoring every damn thing the article is saying. And you just know that for years after the market crashes, coworkers are going to be posting little clippings on her cubicle or snickeringly saying, “Well, obviously, the house will almost certainly appreciate...”
Note to self: Never talk to a reporter.