0 4 min 7 mths


by Mish Shedlock, The Street:

Here’s an interesting letter from a reader regarding utilities, property taxes, and heating expenses on a house owned by a family for 80 years since 1941.

Reader Holly Writes 

Dear Mish,

Recently I came into possession of the financial records of my grandfather. I plugged a bunch of the numbers into a spreadsheet just for kicks. What is most interesting about these numbers is they start in 1941 when he purchased the home. It was left to my mother, and then to me in 2020 (80 years of finances for the same home!)

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My Grandfather was in the same job and same house his entire life. He maintained the same standard of living in all the years I knew him.

The numbers show that the cost of maintaining a stable standard of living reflects a much higher inflation rate than any of the indexes I have compared it too.

After my grandfather passed in 2003 until I acquired the home in 2020 I had to approximate some expenses. I took the records I had from 2020 and 2021 and filled in the missing gaps.



10-Year Incremental Changes 

Annual Expenses for the Same House for 80 Years incremental


Thanks Holly.

I am sure all my readers will appreciate you sharing your story and data.

I am in contact with Holly and will post the city, square feet, number of bedrooms, purchase price and sales price if I can get them.

Notice the distinct jumps in inflation. The last big acceleration started with the housing bubble in 2000.

More Details

The home is in Wellesly, Massachusetts. 3 bedrooms, 1677 sq. ft.

Over the years Wellesley homes got much bigger and pricier.

The home was purchased in late 1941, so the real estate taxes were probably part of the closing, same as the water bill. They were connected to sewer in 1980 (I found dated pics of the torn up back yard).

The phone bill were cell phones in 2020 , I am not sure what year the actual switch over was, so I just used an estimate and filled in the gaps back to 2003.

I believe the home was purchased for $3,000 in 1941 but that is from memory, so I could be wrong. He paid cash, so no there are no mortgage records to check.

My mother let the home go into a state of terrible disrepair, and it had to be sold as a tear down. The estimates to repair the damage were 400-600K!

I sold it last year for 860K, I couldn’t afford to keep it.

Three Related ideas

  1. The Homeownership Dreams of Zoomers and Millennials Shattered by Prices
  2. Every Measure of Real Interest Rates Shows the Fed is Out of Control.
  3. Real Hourly Wages Have Risen Less Than a Penny a Year Since 1973

The Fed is truly out of control and has been for a long time.

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