Economics of Dog Ownership

My mom Cathy was discussing Richard Florida’s book, Who is Your City.

“Florida’s right about home ownership,” she was saying. “He says home ownership restricts mobility. He’s got some good ideas about revising rentals.

“But,” she went on, “he missed some other factors that keep us from being mobile. Health insurance is a biggie.”

Right. But what was his greatest omission?

Richard Florida says that communities who welcome gay and lesbian couples enjoy greater economic prosperity than those who don’t.

But what about cities who welcome Canine Urban Princes and Princesses? Seattle would rank Number 1 – and it’s one of the most prosperous cities in the United States. Lots of jobs. Ridiculous property values.

When Mom wanted to move from New Mexico, she chose Seattle because the city is more dog-friendly than her other choices. She’s never been crazy about the rain. But she loves the dog parks and the fact that I’m welcome in all sorts of places. She loves taking me on buses.

And when dogs are welcome, owners spend more discretionary income.

At one time, our favorite coffee shop, Uptown Espresso in Belltown, allowed dogs. You’d see me and my canine friends, snoozing away under the tables. One lady even brought me a muffin because I was so good. (My mom refused to let me eat it, of course.)

Then the Health Department stepped in. No more dogs! Now Cathy makes her own coffee at home most of the time.

It’s not exactly scientific. After all, I’m a dog. What do you expect – controlled experiments?

Maybe Richard Florida’s next book will have a place for dogs. If they need cover art, I’m prepared to pose naked, with or without a moving van.

Dog and Owner Wondering if We Should Buy a Condo In Seattle

Every so often my mom thinks of buying a condo. She qualifies for what sh thought was a nice chunk of change.

“I’m trying to decide if I want a condo,” she said to someone at my networking lunch.

“I can recommend a mortgage broker. She’ll tell you if you can buy…”

“No, I’ve got a broker. I’m trying to decide if it’s a good investment with the Seattle market still high.”

“A real estate agent specializing in condos…”

“No. What I need is an economic forecast.”

I accompanied my mom as we  looked at 3 condos. We would have looked at 4 but Cathy rejected one before we got to the stairs…no elevator. Looks like a remodeled Motel 6.

One condo had bright yellow walls, just the color of a ready-to-eat tangerine. It also had the ugliest carpet I’ve seen in a long, long time.  A dog ie me could A northern exposure and a few small windows.

Another had a bizarre floor plan. Two mid-size bedrooms. Kitchen set up near the window…blocking off the living area.

Then Cathy brought the agent back our apartment. It’s not that big — it’s just got a fantastic layout with well-used space. It’s on the 3d floor, southern exposure, sliver of a view of the Sound if you look out the window at an angle. Fantastic location. Soundproofed.

All her optimism faded. “You’ll have trouble finding a place this nice,” she said.

See, Cathy’s apartment building was built to be a condo unit.
She’s not that young (don’t tell her). We might both be gone before the place goes condo. I sure hope so.

Or maybe I’ll move to a city where the real estate values are declining.