Houses and pick up trucks have high prices. That’s a fact. My friend Ray used to complain about the price of trucks and all the new stuff that they put on them. He thought a pickup truck should be single cab with an eight-foot bed. That’s it! He didn’t want a radio in the truck or an air conditioner. A truck was meant for work. Anything shorter than an eight-foot bed wouldn’t hold a sheet of plywood. If you really worked, you got in and out of the truck all day. If you went from air conditioning to heat all day you would catch a cold. He complained to the end of his life that trucks were getting too expensive. When he died, his family rode to his funeral in a four door tricked out truck that cost more than his first house.
I know the feeling. Another friend of mine is buying a new truck that cost twice what my first house cost. It seems incredible but that’s the way inflation works. All that sounds strange but it happens all the time. We forget about some other stuff.
Houses that were relatively low priced have gone up in price. I know a guy that bought a house for $11,000. He got 30 years to pay for it. He cried after the closing because he thought he would never be able to pay for it. He paid it off. His taxes and insurance cost more than his payment ever was and he has lived there for almost 50 years. He can almost sell the house for the cost of a new pickup.
Looking back at my first house, trucks and cars had few options and didn’t cost so much. At least it seemed that way. Now all vehicles have radios, air conditioners, Wi-Fi and other things that run the cost up. A vehicle is almost the same as buying a house. We seemingly forget about the difference in trucks and houses. Houses seem to appreciate in value and the trucks seem to depreciate. My original house has gone up quite a bit in price and my original truck is in the junkyard.
Many years ago a real estate guy told me that the car salesmen were getting rich. He had been selling houses that sold for $7,000. He would sell about a house a month and was doing well in his business. Now the car dealers were selling $7,000 cars and selling one every day. They had to be making a killing!
Well, you don’t now if any of that is true. All that money you spent on going out, getting your first car or first house is not coming back. If you hadn’t had a house payment or a car payment would you have saved that money? If you had all that money and no house and car what would you do now?
Vehicles and houses really are the American Dream. “All I ever wanted was a wife and a truck. Now look at me. Wife, truck, house and kids and I’m a half a million dollars in debt.” It’s an old story. “There’s a pretty little baby on the cabin floor-a little horse colt playing round the door.”
I’m excited for my friend’s new truck. I can’t wait to get a ride in it. Even if the thing costs more than my first house costs, I bet it will be nice. The real problem is the hindsight that comes with stuff like this. I should have kept that first house. If I had kept it, I could probably sell it now and buy two trucks.