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Taxi ride down memory lane

Posted by Rona Fischman February 26, 2010 01:49 PM

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“I see you know the short-cuts” I said to the cabbie as he turned down a side street that most people don’t know is there.
“Yeah," he answered, "I grew up here. Really. Right here. That one!”

“So you are one of the many who have roots in [neighborhood name deleted,]” I said.

Then he tried to figure out where I fit in. He asked, “Do you know the [name of the family that owned my house two owners before me] there were a lot of them.”

“Not that many,” say I, “Four kids. The boys came by after we moved in and introduced themselves. They are electricians, so I still see the one who works for [deleted] from time to time.”
The cabbie’s sister dated one of those electricians, so he knew the family well. I learned a little more about that family as we headed to my destination.

Then I heard the real estate story that I hear far too much: The cabbie is about my age. His parents sold the house when the nest was empty, too soon for the Boston real estate market. “My parents sold the house for $105,000 – for a song,” he says. “[Someone else] got $605,000 for a house just like it down the street… I really miss that house. This isn’t my neighborhood anymore.”

Throughout the greater Boston area, there are large chunks of the population who cannot own – and some who cannot rent -- in the same kind of housing that they grew up in. They are economically shut out of the city and the suburbs. The market has passed them by when prices tripled or more than tripled in the past 15 years.

Please join us for the virtual book club discussion of The Two-Income Trap by Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Warren Tyagi. Ms Warren and Ms Tyagi explain how we got in this mess. Book discussion starts March 22nd.

For today, let’s talk about what happened to your parent’s house? Was it sold for a song? Was it sold at peak? Did housing work as an asset for them? Did you parents always rent? Are there regrets?

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About boston real estate now
Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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