Category Archives: commentary

A Life Wasted, Others Tested? Difficult People and Depression

“We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

[edited slightly on Jan. 12, 2013]

My son is sleeping now, after having not slept last night and feeling ill for a couple of days. He’s a teen and visits his dad, and they had a roommate that was an older man and who was often difficult to deal with – though my son and him talked all the time.  My son last saw him yesterday before 1 pm. It was to be this roommates last day at the house and he was packing boxes (the dad told him he couldn’t live there anymore – part of my son’s stress-related illness, I believe). When my son and his dad came back, the roommate was gone but his stuff was all there. The dad got a call from the Sheriff’s department saying that the roommate was at the hospital, but upon contacting the hospital, and going there, nothing could be found out about the roommate. He couldn’t be visited and the hospital staff said they couldn’t relay any information until the next of kin were contacted.

Doesn’t sound good.

Some background about this older man. He’s a veteran with epilepsy, and while he had health care through the veterans program, he had to drive far away to get care. He had married a few years ago, but after he and his wife both lost their jobs and their house, his wife filed for divorce.  He didn’t have a place to live and ended up staying in a room at my son’s dad’s house.

He called his ex-wife everyday but it seems that she didn’t really care for him (she lived very far away, too). While he seemed happy enough, he argued a lot.  He snored loudly.  He had an old dog that kept peeing everywhere because it just couldn’t hold it in.  The dog was in bad shape but the roommate hadn’t had the nerve to take the dog to the vet yet . . . who knows how much he could afford, as his work was off-and-on.  He had taken to sleeping with the dog.  I imagine he was saying good-bye to it, and making his last days as good as they could be.  His dad had died a few days before Christmas and the funeral was on Christmas day; after this he became ill.

His dad just died; he lost his job, house, wife (I’m so sickened that this has happened to a lot of older people in our country); he was older, with epilepsy; he was sad that his dog was dying and he had to deal with that; he was kicked out of his residence.  Is there some reason why you would think that this person was actually dealing with life OK, even though he didn’t want to talk about stuff much? As Christians, are we to just keep going our own way and not actively asking and helping people who are having a difficult time in their lives? As Bonhoeffer said, we need to look beyond the superficial stuff in people’s lives, what they do, what they hide, and reach out and help the suffering.  Does a curmudgeonly guy deserve help any less than a sweet woman? No.

I’m not trying to say in this essay that I wouldn’t have wanted the roommate to move, I wouldn’t be able to say.  But I am saying it seems that more could have been done to ease this person’s burden, emotionally at least, so that he could deal with life’s circumstances better.  I think I and others need to try and live what the NT writer said more proactively:  “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.  Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus . . .” (Phil 2:3-5).

I don’t know for sure that the roommate is dead. I just don’t know why my son’s dad wasn’t allowed to see him or find out anything about him if he was alive. But I will update later. Thanks for any prayers.

Update (Jan. 12, 2013):     The roommate died in surgery.  He had suffered a severe epileptic event while driving, which resulted in a very very bad accident.   We are not allowed to know the details of the accident, other than his car rolled over many times.  Apparently the roommate forgot to take his epilepsy medicine that day.  Both stress and age can contribute to forgetting things like taking one’s medicine, though my son thinks he may not have taken it on purpose (he had never forgotten before).  Anyway, his wife (or ex-wife) had come to see him before he went into surgery, so I’m glad of that; he used to call her everyday.

Update (Jan. 29, 2013):  I keep looking to see if a death notice or obituary is published, but there has been nothing.  I don’t understand this.  Can’t anyone who knew him or is related to him file something, out of respect?  This world is fallen, indeed.  It is easy to find two notices of when his dad died, but nothing about Dennis, but it’s as though he never existed.

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1927 Mass School Murder the worst in our history. Could it have been prevented?

Michigan 1927 school killing was worst in nation’s history

Did you wonder, after the horrific Connecticut school shooting, what actually was the worst school slaying event in our nation’s history that kept being mentioned in the media?  Here’s the story of it, and it’s crazy and gross.  Read the whole thing.  I know that serial killers are often considered to be nice and contributing members of society, but they are socio- or psychopaths.  This guy wasn’t a serial killer but was nice and contributed to society too, but he just flipped out after life became too against him.  If he had gotten help with his issue, like we should help with our neighbors and community, then I don’t think that this 1927 tragedy would have occurred.

Skyrim: Dragonborn DLC, a Christian’s View

Seeker from Bethesda
A Seeker in Apocrypha. Copyright, Bethesda.

The “Dragonborn” addition to the Skyrim video game, which came out earlier this month (December 2012) for XBOX, has – I think – the most “Christian” oriented content overall (in Skyrim, not the other Elder Scroll games).  I wish I had written down certain dialog as I played it with my high-level character, but I simply wasn’t expecting anything out of the ordinary to takes notes on!  (If I start a new game, it will be some time before I can get to those dialogs again – for now, this commentary without quotes will have to do.)

This latest DLC adds additional land mass via a large island known in the Elder Scroll series as Solstheim.  (Update of Dec. 24:  it appears to be playable from the beginning of a new game, as I went to Soltstheim at level 6, after I fought my first dragon and made my way to Windhelm).  It is no doubt loved by Elder Scroll fans since it brings in elements from Morrowind (the home of the Dunmer, or Dark Elves), and indeed, the flavor of the place is quite a bit different from Skyrim (the home of the Nords).  There are various quests to be found and accomplished, but the main quest involves the defeat of the first dragonborn, Miraak, who still exists after ages because of his service to Hermeus Mora, the powerful spirit being of knowledge and fate.  Miraak desired power and thus made a “pact with the devil” – a safe allusion to Mora and his top minion.   The DLC takes place when Miraak has used his powers to enslave the sleeping minds and bodies of the denizens of Solstheim, whom he is using to build a temple to himself.  Miraak has only a small amount of dialog, but that small amount sounds an awful lot like satanic desires and promises.  In addition, he has his hypnotized followers say things that are a copy, and thus a sick mockery, of true spiritual expression.

What’s interesting, from a Christian-in-the-current-world point of view, is that Hermeus Mora’s realm is called Apocrypha.  (“Apocrypha” are extra-biblical writings of various qualities some are legitimate but have some textual or factual issues, while others are outright forgeries with false “witness”).  It is dark and hazy and is made up of books (literally – the walls are made of books), and all underneath and around walkable areas is a very black sea.  This “sea” has black slithery arms coming out of it all of the time, and they will whip you and hurt you if they can.  The most dangerous creatures that stalk the place look very much akin to the old “creature from the black lagoon.”  The other dangerous creatures are “seekers,” whose hideous appearance includes a lamprey-like mouth where their stomach is.  These seekers of “knowledge” are never satisfied, but devour what their gut desires and not what their heart and mind discerns as true.  This is my take on them, anyway, which I see as the problem with seeking and using secret – usually false – knowledge, and which is the point of this dark and eery place.

When it comes to Christianity, God chose to communicate with man and it was His desire to be known and understood.  Those who purport to have “secret” knowledge of Him in order to steer someone away from God’s revelation, are not working within God’s desires for mankind.

On the other side of the coin are the Skaal of Solstheim.  They are Nords of the ancient way and claim to have been given Solstheim by the All-Maker.  They believe in one creator God, and the way they talk about creation and how we are to be in it, generally fits in with the Judeo-Christian biblical message.  You can have an interesting conversation with Wulf Wild-Blood of the Skaal, who asks you if you can find his run-away brother whom he believes turned into a werebear (like a werewolf, only a bear).  His brother could go down that path only be rejecting the call of the All-Maker.  While the Skaal have beliefs that mesh with scriptures, they have others that do not – they believe in reincarnation.  Conversations with fellow Skyrim players  about how reincarnation doesn’t at all mesh with a loving creator God, and how it is wholly incompatible with Christ’s message and work, is a possible real-world benefit of playing this game.*

If, as a Christian, you will only play games that have pure Christian messages and signs, then Skyrim and Dragonborn aren’t for you.  But if you want to play a game that actually gives a nod to God and certain Judeo-Christian beliefs and virtues in today’s world, then Skyrim is an OK game for that.  I wrote about Skyrim earlier, here.  That review by no means covers all the aspects of Skyrim.  There are things about the game I don’t like and scratch my head at, wondering about the game maker (Bethesda) every time I think of them (there are aspects of the game you can only play if you decide to do bad and dishonorable things).

Hopefully I’ll be able to flush this review out in the future, with quotes and such.  In the meantime, enjoy the Dragonborn and listen to the new leader of the Skaal:  do not follow Hermeus Mora, but follow the path laid out for you (and to the Skaal, this would be by the All-Maker).

* These last two sentences were edited in after the initial posting of this review (12-20-12).

A post that updates, or adds to, this post can be found at Dragonborn DLC Playability and the Skaal Religion.   Thanks!

Adam Lanza’s Possible Motive (link to article)

EXCLUSIVE: Fear of being committed may have caused Connecticut gunman to snap | Fox News.

How utterly sad and unfortunate.  People need to be more involved with their families.  Why was Adam’s brother (and father, apparently) so aloof?  Why did the mom have to take this all alone, and support Adam all alone?  No doubt the family dynamic influenced Adam for the worst.  In any case, here is another reason why we need to change the way dangerous mental health issues are not dealt with in this country.  Adam’s mom should’ve been able to do something sooner, before Adam had time to smoulder about it.  (All this is said with the idea that the information in this article is true.  There has been so much misinformation made public in this case that I don’t fully trust anything about it anymore.)

“I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother:” Finally, great article (with link and comment)

‘I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother’: A Mom’s Perspective On The Mental Illness Conversation In America.

Yes, so glad to see some perspective on this and past violence by those with mental challenges.  US – please lets wake up and get these people some care BEFORE they kill people and end up in prison.  It’s SO absurd that families and communities are having to deal with this alone, and even sacrifice their very lives.

Open Comment to US Representatives Regarding Gun Control

I’m not a member of the NRA, the Republican party, or any such so-called group of nutty control freaks.  I do, however, want my right to own a firearm preserved.  I deserve the right to protect myself and those around me from others who threaten or attack with a firearm.  And making them illegal will not stop violent people from having them.  Nor will it stop nutty violent people from killing others.  Men in China have slaughtered children in schools with knives . . . bombs are apparently easy to make . . . .   People who are bent on killing others will find a way to do so.  The problem is partly or mostly a social-cultural one (the rest is a problem of individual psychiatric imbalance) (as a Christian, I believe in the forces of evil, but this is not a post to get into how that ties in here).

Our culture promotes aggression and greed – selfish behavior.  It’s all about self and money.  Do things YOURSELF, do it ALL YOURSELF.  Also, we are into letting people do things all by and of THEMSELVES, so we don’t do anything about crazy people.  We just leave them be until they go totally nuts and kill people.  The guns the shooter used in Newton were and are inanimate objects.  They are dangerous, to be sure, but not evil in themselves.  It was the shooter’s evil that caused the deaths of all those innocent people.

When are we going to start being a more community-oriented country, instead of one where everyone has to pull themselves up by their bootstraps (even if they have some bad disease or ailment)?  Where so many people can’t pull themselves up, anyway, because there are fewer and fewer full-time jobs, and most things are more expensive while we make less, and where executives and do-nothing investors keep making more money while we make less?  It is kind-of amazing to me that more protesting, rioting, and violence hasn’t occurred.  Keep people too tired, worried, but also entertained with sports and games, and not too much happens . . .

Anyway, I have the right to defend myself, and many persons with firearms in this country have indeed stopped violent attackers from harming themselves or others.  When shootings like Newton occur, it’s so awful and tragic that people have a knee-jerk reaction to gun ownership.  Maybe there’s a way to make it harder for unstable people to use or acquire guns, and I would be for that.  In the case of the Lanza’s, would any new regulations have helped?  There is not enough known yet, but from what I’ve seen so far, I have my doubts.  We need to be more proactive, as people and a nation, in addressing the needs of those with mental health issues in our communities.  Quit ignoring THAT, and maybe we’ll all be a bit safer (yes, it’s OK to butt into other people’s business if it means saving lives).  More so than if you take away good folks’ defense against armed criminals and deranged folks.

We need to be more community-oriented, period, which means being more socially loving and showing concern for our neighbors.

(Imagine the change in this country if corporations actually started acting this way . . . we need to start fixing our cold, aggressive, greedy, selfish hearts, rather than taking people’s rights away.)

[A little bit of food for thought:  Obama sheds fake tears]

A PS:  Is anyone else seriously tired of all the conflicting “news” in the news (like, the shooters mom worked at the school, but now she doesn’t, and no other info is given?  Or that his dad was found dead, but then he wasn’t?)?  All day I’ve been checking back to see what the motive of the killer was, since early on it was reported that investigators had good evidence for the motive.  But now, I’m seeing new articles (like in the Huffington Post), that say they don’t know the motive . . .  So tired of US media and whatever goes on with censoring.  If you want to know some more detailed news, or any news at all, check out foreign sources.

A PSS:  “The victims of the shooting were shot multiple times by a rifle, a medical examiner said Saturday . . .”  Yet no rifle was found in the school; Lanza killed himself (apparently) in the school at the time police arrived – he didn’t run back to the car, dump a rifle, and then go back in and kill himself.  Quote (not my commentary) from: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/12/16/at-least-26-dead-in-shooting-at-connecticut-school/#ixzz2FF4cyFTf

Gun Control at Just the Facts

Thoughts on Singing and Evolution

Cover from the “Voice of the Blood” cd, Hildegard of Bingen (from Amazon.com).

In church last weekend the thought came to me that the beauty of human singing is an example of a God given gift or virtue.  How can singing, beautiful singing, be considered a trait that evolved?  Our voices are so varied to begin with that it’s hard to think that somehow that variety evolved, but then there is also singing.  Can you imagine a chimp or ape singing?  The thought is laughable.

The theory of evolution is based on the survival of the fittest.  Surely that works at a basic level in any environment with any species.  But there are many problems with the time frame for species to actually diverge and develop (despite what basic level text books say . . . they make it sound like all is fact when it is not); and it can easily be shown that there has not been enough time for humans to have developed to their present state from their nearest assumed ancestor (for more on this, see “Science and Human Origins” Informational Review).

So besides all the other differences between us and the very small and very ape-like ancestor of ours, singing had to develop somehow, right?  As already mentioned, environment plays a factor in who lives and who does not.  But a biggy that evolutionists use is sexual selection.  I’m not writing a scientific discourse here, but am going by my past studies (I have a degree in anthropology with an emphasis on human evolution and archaeology).

Here’s an example.  Why are human female breasts so big (usually, and compared to other primates)?  Well, you can imagine the answer:  males had more sex with females with bigger breasts, producing more big-breasted females.  And you might reflect on how that answer just doesn’t seem valid based on human sexuality, that while many men find large breasts attractive, most men wouldn’t care about that when it came to the chance for sex.  And if you imagine it from a purely scientific, non-Christian viewpoint, “evolving” men probably cared even less and raped more.  At any rate, scientists may try to argue that human singing is a result of not survival of the fittest in the environment, but survival of the most reproduced based on attraction, just like the breast example.

Do you think that could be so, really?   A good singer (or any other charismatic person, for that matter), may have more sex partners – which in the past would result in more offspring.  But, considering how beautiful good singing is, wouldn’t we all be great singers by now?  Or, wouldn’t some populations have a very high per cent of great singers by now, and some have mostly lousy singers?  And, of course, this type of argument can’t account for the amazing nuances/differences of the human voice itself.

No, we were created with these traits.  Singing is often, if not always, associated with the spiritual.  I don’t mean that singing is always spiritual, but that is has always been used in spiritual contexts as far as I’m aware.  Singing is emotional, it’s often spiritual, it can induce or promote thoughts of love.   We as humans think musically and mathematically, with thoughts of the music of the spheres and the singing of angels.  This all coming from the survival of the fittest?  I don’t think so.  When we see human aggression and greed, the survival of the fittest makes sense, but when it comes to beauty like human singing, it does not.

[Edited on December 23, 2014]

Couldn’t have said it Better: Christians persecuted throughout the world

Western media generally ignores Christian persecution (photo by baikahl, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/250630).

There is now a high risk that the Churches will all but vanish from their biblical heartlands in the Middle East.

Wow.  I just wanted to share this article (below, in part) because I certainly couldn’t have said all that better myself.  I’ve been bad about not posting persecution updates, and it is partly due to the fact that the persecution is just so persistent and depressing.  The killing, maiming, threatening, imprisoning, etc., of Christians goes on everyday in just so many places, that I pray generally for my persecuted brothers and sisters.  It’s a tough one.  Jesus told us we’d be persecuted, so it’s natural to the faith; we are told to take joy in it, since the persecutors are really persecuting Jesus – it’s an acknowledgment of the truth of our faith and of the truth about God.  Still, it’s sad and horrible on an emotional level, and we are to pray without ceasing . . .

Here is the first part of the article by Rupert Shortt, as published in The Telegraph yesterday.  Please click on the link that follows it to read the rest of the article.

Imagine the unspeakable fury that would erupt across the Islamic world if a Christian-led government in Khartoum had been responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Sudanese Muslims over the past 30 years. Or if Christian gunmen were firebombing mosques in Iraq during Friday prayers. Or if Muslim girls in Indonesia had been abducted and beheaded on their way to school, because of their faith.

Such horrors are barely thinkable, of course. But they have all occurred in reverse, with Christians falling victim to Islamist aggression. Only two days ago, a suicide bomber crashed a jeep laden with explosives into a packed Catholic church in Kaduna, northern Nigeria, killing at least eight people and injuring more than 100. The tragedy bore the imprint of numerous similar attacks by Boko Haram (which roughly translates as “Western education is sinful”), an exceptionally bloodthirsty militant group.

Other notable trouble spots include Egypt, where 600,000 Copts – more than the entire population of Manchester – have emigrated since the 1980s in the face of harassment or outright oppression.

Why is such a huge scourge chronically under-reported in the West? One result of this oversight is that the often inflated sense of victimhood felt by many Muslims has festered unchallenged. Take the fallout of last month’s protests around the world against the American film about the Prophet Mohammed. While most of the debate centred on the rule of law and the limits of free speech, almost nothing was said about how much more routinely Islamists insult Christians, almost always getting away with their provocations scot-free.

Can the Real Estate World get any Weirder?

Traditional Iclandic home. Photo by criscris1 (http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1400630).

Recently I wrote a bit on homes on Land-lease land  to warn anyone who is looking to buy and is wondering about this kind of place.  In our pursuit of owning instead of renting, and being lower-income, I have learned some more about real estate and mortgages, and I must say, the real estate world doesn’t make much sense right now.  And, the only group of people who are benefiting – in the low-end market, anyway – are the investors.

So we had this whole mortgage debacle and the recession (depression), and rules were changed as a result.  When new rules and regulations are made, it’s because someone out there was greedy or mean or evil, and “safeguards” are put into place.  These “safeguards” normally end up being a real pain in the posterior and make good people work harder, work more, pay more, etc.

Our personal background is important here, since getting a mortgage is tied to one’s last two years of work.  I couldn’t get a job during the recession/depression because no one would hire someone who hadn’t worked in a while (I stayed home for quite a few years to help my son with his learning issues); in fact, many employers wouldn’t hire someone who wasn’t working already!   In addition, I was either over qualified or under qualified, depending on where I was applying.  But I was finally able to land a job – a very part-time one.  I have had this job for about 15 months now and my boss is happy with me.

But, for Fannie Mae to consider my income at all, I have to have worked for my boss for at least 24 months.  Wow . . . that really helps people who are trying to get back on their feet . . .  So, we’re lower income and trying our darnedest to buy a home, since our monthly costs will be LESS, but we can’t because Fannie Mae says we’re just not responsible enough . . . !  Isn’t pleasing a boss and sticking with it for 15 months responsible, as well as trying to live more within our means??

Coupled with the amount that we can borrow relative to our income that actually is  “acceptable,” well, it’s just crazy.  See, they will give us a loan that shows that we can pay 50% or more of our monthly income on our housing costs.  As a lower income person, how can I do that???  If I pay for health insurance, car insurance, and my other needs, I couldn’t afford to pay out 50% for housing costs.  So it’s as if they want people to fail.

So, my good part-time income can’t be included when trying to get an ARM loan, BUT, they are willing to loan us a bunch of money under a higher-interest conventional loan under the condition that we pay about 50% of our pay toward housing costs.

As an example, the mortgage on a conventional loan of $200K for us would be almost the same as an ARM mortgage of $250K.  See what a difference a little interest makes?  We have the same credit rating, but getting different rates; I have excellent credit, but they won’t use it.

Meanwhile, my agent tells me, investors are having a feast here in Southern California.  They gobble up, with cash, all the lower end places and then rent them out; these new land owners are from places like China, too.  For people like us who can only afford a lower end place, either we simply can’t compete, or we have to end up moving into a complex that isn’t kept up, is over-crowded, won’t resell well, etc.   I don’t get how we can continue to allow foreign investors to buy our homes, places our own citizens ought to be able to buy and live in.

The rich are favored in this country in the name of freedom.  You are free to make a better life for yourself here if you’re wealthy or if you cheat (if you haven’t heard of the level of cheating that goes on in universities and on resumes, then you should check it out).  A “free” country can’t work when people are only into it for themselves, otherwise those who are power hungry and greedy will naturally percolate up and come to control whatever they want.  While our country’s history has not been perfect by any means, it was founded on Christian ideals.  Freedom can only work in this type of “love your neighbor as yourself” context.

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.  Matthew 7:12

In Christianity, you are supposed to give to the poor, not take from them or oppress them.  God commands in the Old Testament to not collect usurious interest.

In you men accept bribes to shed blood; you take usury and excessive interest and make unjust gain from your neighbors by extortion.  And you have forgotten me, declares the Sovereign LORD.  Ezekiel 22:12

And, we are to love our neighbors as ourselves, just as Matthew 7:12 already pointed out.  And who are our neighbors?  Everyone, really, as the story told by Jesus of the good Samaritan alluded.  Certainly, we are not to be naive concerning cheaters and frauds, but our country favors the wealthy and aggressive and keeps down those who don’t want to climb the ladder to riches.  How else do you think we keep having these financial debacles that make everyone suffer and damage the whole economy?

America the Greedy: Homes on Land-lease land

In Anaheim one day.

Hello everyone – how are you all doing?  It’s been an unusually long time since I made a blog post, but looking for mortgages (loan shopping), looking for properties, taking cars into shops and looking for a new car, etc., surely takes one time up!  Since I’ve been in this mode and have learned some new things, I thought I’d pass a little of my new-found knowledge along.

So we are low-income (and recently lost some monthly income) and our rent went up.   But we have some funds to use for a down-payment, so it’s time to buy a condo if we can find one.  Why?  Where we live, it costs less per month to pay a low-end mortgage and homeowner’s association fees (HOA), than it is to rent.  Seems silly, huh?

Leaving the vagaries of renting vs paying a mortgage aside, there’s this thing that exists in our country called a land-lease (not all states allow this for condos/houses, apparently, and for good reason).  I have read a number of realtor’s comments and articles on this and this is what I have to say:  don’t buy into the idea that there are good reasons to buy a condo or house on leased land.  Buying a manufactured home in a mobile home park MAY be worth it, but I’m not talking about mobile homes.

Ok, so this came as a shock to me that you could BUY a condo on land you don’t own.   The lease tends to be a lot, and they also have high HOAs.  So how, possibly, could this help anyone but the leaseholder?  But wait, you might say.  What if you buy the home and the lease is finally paid up – don’t you own it all then?  That would make sense, right?  And it would make up, maybe, for paying the lease for all that time (up to 99 years, I’ve seen).  But NO, you BUY a condo, but when the lease is up it’s NOT YOURS.  This is what I’ve read; this is my understanding.  If you buy a condo or home on leased land and you want to sell and get your money back from the investment you made in the property, you might be dreaming.  If the lease is almost up, no one in his/her right mind is going to spend their good money on a home that will be “theirs” for only few years!

I saw a condo here recently that was very attractive, very cute, in a nice area (it only had one parking spot, however).  They were asking a fairly low price for the condo itself ($139K), but the lease was around $3,300 annually right now (this is actually a low lease), with scheduled increases to $6,814 annually by 2031.  The HOA was a very high $584 per month.  Another listing didn’t provide either the lease cost or the HOA.  Ok, another is one of those deals where the listing agent sucks in unwary people:  a nice condo listed for a ridiculously low price (about 25% of comparable ones in the area), with a bit higher than average HOA, and NO mention of it being a land-lease.

Finally, one in the city where I live.  An OK looking condo for not all that cheap of a price (in a perhaps an OK area, but not a great area), with $412 HOA and no lease price provided.  Let’s say you were able to put down 20% on a mortgage for this place (but good luck with even finding a bank to give you a mortgage for this type of property).  The monthly payments would be about $780 per month.  Property tax would be minimal.  There’s the $412 HOA, and the lease is . . . what?  Just for the heck of it, let’s provide a lease that is kind-of average for a mobile home lease in the region: $1,000 per month.  That would leave you paying $2192 per month for you basic housing needs.

We’re looking to buy a small regular condo and our monthly costs will be between about $1,025 and $1,420, and that includes property tax.  So how does the land-lease option help lower income people, or help to save on monthly costs?  It doesn’t; it only helps the landowner.  And you will not gain equity in that home.  You will be lucky if you get the same amount back for it as you paid.  This is what I’ve read from real estate agents and others.  One good side to owning, some people try to suggest, is that the place will be better maintained and generally nicer than a cheaper condo or apartment, so it’s better for families.  Well.  I say don’t throw away your hard-earned cash and be patient, do some more searching, etc.  (Build good credit; it’s kind-of astonishing how much of a difference one-half of one percent makes on your monthly payment.)  Save that money for your kids’ college education and don’t just throw it at some land-owner who’s sitting back making all kinds of cash off you for simply roosting on his land.