Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Sex, Politics, Religion, and House Prices?

I've never really been one to conform to social norms..... My upbringing never taught me that some topics are off limits....of course my mom left out some other important details, like the fact that I am not supposed to double dip at I guess that's not saying much.

I have had to learn the hard way what topics are amenable to polite society. I never understood this taboo. It also makes for very boring conversation (and I hate small talk).

So my question is this....Is it okay to ask someone how much they paid for their home?

It's publicly available information if you are even the least bit internet savvy.

One time I was listening to some moms, and they seemed horrified that someone asked one of the other moms. In general, I try not to pry too much, but as a numbers gal shopping for a house, I didn't think this question was that offensive. Now that I own, I don't mind people asking, but I no longer see any need to ask others.


PeonInChief said...

I've never understood why people didn't talk about politics. What would you talk about otherwise?

But to your question. It depends. If someone bought a house in 2005 it's probably not a pleasant topic and I would skip it. Even more if they tell you that they aren't planning to stay until their ARM adjusts. Just don't go there.

If you want to know how much someone paid without seeming to pry, and they bought the house in 2000, or last week, you can say something like, "You probably got a really good deal," and see where that leads. If they did get a good deal, particularly if the new owners paid half what the person who bought it in 2004 paid, you will soon know more than you ever wanted to--the sighting, the negotiation process, etc. etc. If the person isn't forthcoming, go home and look it up.

Jacob said...

I don't ask. Just like I wouldn't ask how much someone gets paid. If they want to tell me, fine, but honestly I don't care.

If I asked and found out someone paid a lot less than me I would be pissed that I paid too much, but if they paid a lot more I would feel bad for them. Seems like a lose lose for me.

Buying Time said...

For most of the reasons Jacob listed, I basically forbade my husband to openly discussing our home purchase with our neighbors. Since many homes here were bought between 2005 and 2007.

People definetly used to brag about their RE several years back it seemed less of a taboo topic. But these days, I think it is just too sensitive to discuss, since it is the source of difficulty for many families.

Bryan said...

I prefer to stick to less sensitive questions like how much they weigh (and does the scale go that high?), and how much they spent on my birthday gift.

sacramentia said...

Did you guys see that the conforming limits for the SAC MSA are back to 580k?

I don't care if people ask me since it is public record information, but I don't ask others because like Jacob pointed out it is a lose-lose question.