Mortgages Gone Wild
1997-2001: Chicago - population 9,505,747
2001-2006: Kansas City - population 1,985,429
2006-present: Louisville - population 1,233,735
July 2008: Humboldt - population 4,452
Ha! How about them apples?
I have been planning on moving to Des Moines for some time. I was setting up an office there and making arrangements with hospitals etc. We even found a house to rent. Then the subprime mess hit. I don't own a home so I don't have a subprime mortgage. In fact, I don't have any credit card debt and I drive a cheap used pickup. I have excellent credit. Even so, the banks aren't loaning money right now. I was offered financing for my practice but at interest rates that make the mafia look generous.
At the same time I got an offer to join my father in Fort Dodge. Trinity Regional Hospital has been trying for some time to get a special designation as a "Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence." The problem has been finding a surgeon qualified and willing to offer backup call for bariatric surgery. Although I am not planning on personally performing bariatric surgery, I am qualified to do so by virtue of the fact that I am a board certified general surgeon. I am going to be the 'back up call' surgeon for bariatrics so that TRH can get is special designation. I don't really have to do that much, just be available for his patients when my father is out of town.
We'll share office space, saving both of us money, and eventually I'll start an office on my own. Its a win for us and a huge win for the hospital. Not only do they get a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon on staff, but they can get a center of excellence without having to pay anything for the backup surgeon.
So why Humboldt? We looked for houses for rent in Fort Dodge. There really aren't any houses for rent that meet our needs. To quote a real-estate agent "its a very tight market right now." It just so happens that my grandmother has a perfect house for rent in Humboldt. So there you have it.
Why rent as opposed to buy?
1) The housing market is crashing everywhere, even in small towns. I don't want to buy a house and have it be worth half as much as the mortgage in 3 years.
2) Its been 15 years since I lived in Fort Dodge. I don't really know the neighborhoods anymore. Also, when a few houses foreclose on a given block, what do you suppose happens to the formerly nice neighborhood? Add to that the difficulties with buying a house while living 10 hours away.
Now the purpose for having a food blog and learning to cook all of the delicious foods from all over the world becomes very clear. One of the things I will miss most about the cities I have lived in will be the food. Now I can bring it all with me.