My St. Louis Economic Stimulus Plan

aka "How Hugh Tried to Localize His Own Pain!"

Back in 2008 we personally tried to do our part to stimulate the then sluggish economy by, yes, buying a reduced price, older house in the St. Louis area and having it fixed up for us to live in (no, we did not try to "flip" the house!) Instead of spending all our money on electronics from China, or a giant gas guzzling SUV, or pointless trips out of state, we spent our money on local contractors who fixed up our house (kitchen, floors, brick/concrete work, plumbing) and yard work too. Much of it was labor which translates into actual pay going into the hands of laborers who live directly in the St. Louis area. We did quite a bit of the work ourselves too (honestly, mostly my wife did it!)

So that was Hugh's St. Louis Economic Stimulus Plan. I think we personally did quite a bit to stimulate the economy, but unfortunately we are just one household! There are still a lot of great homes in the St. Louis area for people to buy at very reasonable prices. If you are sitting on the fence, and afraid to buy, you may really lose a great opportunity once home prices and interest rates start going back up. One great site to see how houses in St. Louis are selling and for what price is at St. Louis BlockShopper.

If you are a prospective first time buyer and are kicking yourself since you did not get to buy my previous house, you can still help the St. Louis economy by buying a different house in the St. Louis area,. The St. Louis housing market is a very affordable market for first time buyers, and interest rates continue to stay at an extremely low level. I know people are trying to find the "bottom" of this market to buy a home, but remember that if you pay rent year after year, you are 100% guaranteed to be throwing your money away, whereas if you buy a home now you can start building some equity right away even if your home's appreciation is not immediately guaranteed.

Another way we helped the St. Louis economy was a byproduct of our house sale. Since we spent and will continue to spend money locally on our newly acquired home, we are spending more time (and money) right here in good old St. Louis. Why go anywhere else when there are so many great places right around the St. Louis area to visit and to eat? Let's keep our spending money right here where we live!

Hugh Chou
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