Hermits Rock

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I told my dad last week that we were looking at the possibility of buying a house. Without much thought, he said, “Nobody is giving out loans these days. You’ll need at least 30% down.” I said we realized things were tough, but IC was never very bubbly—housing prices were never exorbitant, and the university has kept the market fairly stable—and there are several strong local banks and credit unions in town. We were also intrigued by the recent stimulus package’s first-time home buyers’ tax credit. But as usual, he wasn’t especially interested in hearing any details, so when we did go to the loan officer to learn this probably isn’t our year, I didn’t bother to tell him what we had learned.

So it was with some surprise that he called this weekend. “I have some good news for homebuyers,” he said to my voice mail, and for an entire second I thought he might have decided to give us a chunk of money. I called him right back.

“The stimulus package is a huge crock,” he started, and I immediately knew where it was going. “I can’t take advantage of the payroll tax break, but J—— says there is this a great deal for buying a house…” He explained all about the tax credit, and said he was counseling his sister-in-law to move to Tennessee now and buy a house with her daughter as the signatory. He said it would be a great plan to take advantage of.

Then he paused, and I was about to tell him about our trip to the credit union and that, while the tax credit sounds nice indeed, we would need more capital to make it possible. “We actually went——”

“We’re getting a lot of snow here,” he interrupted. “We were able to dig ourselves out this morning, but we’re not even going to try tonight.”

We talked about weather and birdseed for the rest of the call.



ah, the joys of conversations with one’s father.

That should be:

ah, the joys of conversations “conversations” with one’s father.