Monday, July 10, 2006

Strange Investment

This is my single car garage. It's seven blocks from my home.

I own the garage, having bought it while in Barcelona in 2004. (Actually, my stateside real estate attorney bought it while I signed some papers at the embassy, and got a home equity loan. HM observed the proceedings with skepticism.) In high-density urban areas, you can do things like own a garage.

It wasn't cheap, and I must also pay property taxes and condo maintenance on the garage.

My original plan was to rent it to someone as a parking spot. I'd do quite well on that, and home equity payments, taxes, and maintenance would still cost less than the income.

But it didn't work out that way. Turbo helped me install a storage rack, and instead of making money on it, I use the garage to store my stuff and my thousand dollar car, Henry the 1990 Ford Taurus. It's empty right now, though I'm about to drive Henry over and leave him there for the week. All of my possessions are in my apartment, because I am currently using them.

But when I go away for months at a time, I rent out my condo. Removing my personal stuff from it gives me the homefront security I crave when roaming the world. I don't have to worry about careless tenants breaking my grandmother's Depression Ware, or my fax machine, or pilfering my CD collection. The garage is the best investment I ever made, because it gives me the freedom to roam without worry. Even though it's a money-loser.

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