My MID-life Crisis
A Friday Funny by Homer Guthrie
Posted by: RET Staff
My wife and I had just settled down in front of the TV the other night when the saddest advertisement came on. A grandpa was sitting with his grandson on the steps of their home, talking about how he hoped homeownership would still be around when the little kid grew up. I thought I could see a tear in the old guy's eye. I was so upset that it ruined the whole first half of Dancing With the Stars for me.
Who in his right mind would want to get rid of homeownership? It's as much a part of the American Way of Life as consumer debt, outlet malls and cell phones. So I asked Ernest S. Crowe, my mortgage guy, and Bea Meriwether, my real estate agent, over coffee the next morning.
"Oh, Homer. It's just code," said Bea.
Now I was really confused. "Code like spies use?"
"No, silly. When real estate people say they want to preserve homeownership what they really mean is they want to preserve the mortgage interest deduction. 'Homeownership' is code talk for the MID."
Now the mortgage interest deduction is something I know all about since I'm an expert homeowner, but when Felicity and I bought our first house 20 years ago, we had never heard of it. On the day we put a contract on a house we went out to dinner with my parents and my father gave me a little knowing wink, the kind of guy-to-guy wink that usually refers to something mysteriously naughty.
"And just think of the tax benefits," he whispered. Tax benefits? That didn't sound naughty to me at all.