Is War the New Normal?
This weekend is Memorial Day and for many it is the start of the summer and vacation season. There will be many thousands of picnics and visits to the beach all across America. There will be reminders that the real meaning of Memorial Day is to recognize those who were killed serving our country in the many wars we have fought throughout our history.
Certainly as the world has evolved, so has the definition of war. In the past, wars had a defined start date and ending date. The impact on the economy was great as our defense spending went up significantly during war time and when wars ended, we had members of our armed services returning home and starting families. On the other hand, today, we seem to be in a state of war which is threatening to be perpetual. And these wars are not just by land, sea and air–but in the cyber world as well.
How does a perpetual war with no definitive start date or ending date affect us today? Certainly, it is no less costly with regard to defense spending. But there are psychological costs to a continuing war as well, especially one in which combatants change over time. This type of war requires innovation, patience and perseverance. It can also be taxing to our economy as resources are spread thin –resources that could be put to use for many more positive purposes. Our current period of economic stagnation may not only be a result of the recovery from the Great Recession, but affected by this new normal we face as well.
Some first-time buyers are finding ways to cover the costs of homeownership by purchasing a multi-unit home that can accommodate a mother-in-law apartment or another rental unit. The added money can then help them cover their housing payment. “Renters like the privacy and homey feel of an accessory dwelling over renting a room in an apartment complex,” notes a recent article at RISMedia “Thanks to this demand, savvy buyers know they can rely on a steady stream of income from a rental unit. Many homeowners use this money source as a way to save for retirement or pay down their loan.” What’s more, at resale, buyers stand to net more for their multi-unit home. According to an article in the New York Times, 15 percent of buyers say they are willing to pay extra for a home with an accessory dwelling. These buyers say they want the extra space for a tenant, relative (multi-generational households are growing), or for a detached home office. Taxes can also work to the advantage of multi-unit home owners. For example, owners may be able to deduct expenses from their taxes like repairs, maintenance, insurance, supplies, and travel. Still, buyers of these properties likely will need to expect to pay more. Multi-unit homes tend to sell at a premium. Some fully permitted units fetch up to 60 percent more than single dwelling homes, according to some surveys. Also, buyers need to carefully consider whether they truly are ready to step into a landlord-type role and the responsibilities that can hold.Source: RISMedia