Monday, November 12, 2007

I'm sort of (really a lot) fascinated by how people spend their money

I've been spending a fair amount of time lately browsing realtor.com and utahrealestate.com. Last night I found this little number for sale in Alpine, UT.







Dang it. I don't know how to make these images larger. Can anyone advise me? Seriously, though, check out this palatial residence. Look at the pantry, the master closet, the laundry room. The house has 28,000 square feet, a ballroom, a Louis Vuitton chandelier. I am fascinated.

Tell me you're not fascinated and don't want to know more about these people.

Also, not to draw comparisons or be judgmental, but I'm also fascinated by the rich person in this scenario: anonymous donor gives $100 million to charities in Erie, PA, population of 102,000. Wow.

Incidentally, if any of you are ever bugged or offended because I like to talk about money and watch what people do with their money, I'm sorry. But if by chance you think people should be more open about money because half the universe doesn't know what they're doing and could use some frank discussion and tips, and because it's a fascinating topic, I'd love to talk. I seriously love the observations brought about by money. It is (cannot justify finding a different adjective to use here) fascinating!

Not that I necessarily love money or am obsessed with it, but I would rather watch the pundits analyze the stock market than watch HGTV. Which is probably why I don't know how to rearrange furniture. So when we make an offer on that house (we'll probably low-ball it, see what they say), will somebody come over and help me decorate the library and the music room?

24 comments:

Andrew & Heidi Dixon said...

Wow that house is unbelievable but I'm curious: why go thru all the blood sweat and tears of building that for your family and then sell it? I can't imagine trying to find my 2 year old in that house.
I agree with you--a lifestyle like that is very intriging to me and I'm always curious how they make their money, etc.
And before you "move on up" to this mansion, could you email me your current address? I'm trying to update my address book for Christmas cards--my email is dixonha@cox.net

Sarah said...

Yes, I too am wondering why sell? The pool of prospective buyers is small. It is too much, on every level.
And I don't think anyone is offended with generic money talk. I like that you are frank with friends about how to have a budget, etc. People who are looking for help know where to turn. You should charge a one-time service fee. And put that in the budget.

Neil and Diana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Neil and Diana said...

I think Isaac and Norah might get lost in that house! Why don't you study to be a financial consultant -- then you'd make a ton of money to boot!

Abby said...

You are my personal Dave Ramsey.

If you bought that house you could throw a Sound of Music-style ball and wave goodbye to your guests from the top of the staircase.

Steve said...

If they accept our low ball offer, I think we should flip it. And fast. Because we probably couldn't afford a single month's utility bill, not to mention taxes. How long has it been on the market? We might have to accept a low ball offer too (i.e., when we sell), but it's the margin that counts. That's what I know about money.

Andrew & Heidi Dixon said...

Speaking of money, I want to know what an associate GC at BYU makes!!!!!!!!! -andrew dixon

Andrew & Heidi Dixon said...

By the way, I think this is Keith Barton's old house. One call, that's all!

Angela said...

That house is rediculous. After a few shots all the rooms started looking the same to me. Maybe Lindsay Lohan will buy it, since she talked about moving to Utah during rehab. Is there a good club near by? (or on the premises?)

Emily said...

Emily, I couldn't agree with you more. Why are people so gun shy to talk about money (and sex...sorry, but let's call a spade a spade,) when those things are at the root of SO many problems in families and societies?
I'm fascinated by the way people spend their money, too--and am trying to turn that same fiscal attention to my own spending. I've been thinking a lot lately about living (and spending) deliberately. I guess it's easy to look at that palatial estate and think, "what a selfish indulgence! And to think that money could have gone to philanthropy!" -- but i think it's equally important that we analyze our own spending (ie the little ticky tacky treasures I "can't resist" at Target) I know that's on a much smaller scale, are the principles not the same? I dunno. Just food for thought. I'm here. Let's talk money. (although, i'm not sure I can keep up with you and the pundits; I like HGTV :)

Becky said...

Emily, I just have to say "ditto" to everything the Emily commenter above me just said because, honestly, I agree with her word for word! And we haven't even met!

That house was molding run amok and I don't think my sofa would exactly fit in with the French chateau decor.

Why are they selling? Maybe they over built????

Let's just hope we are all donating to charities, too.

And you are awesome with money and we love that you love the pundits!

Nancy said...

I'll come decorate, because you know I'm watching HGTV!

Alice said...

That house seriously makes me sick to my stomach. What a terrible waste... of money and space. It would seem obvious that the owners can't afford it (nor do they need it).

On the other hand, "Anonymous Friend" has the right idea.

Kalli Ko said...

Em, I know the real estate agent listing this place and he is a merv the perv if I ever knew one, sad to say. The simple fact that the homeowners would list with him in the first place tells me plenty. He gave me the heebies within the first 30 seconds of meeting him. I'm shivering right now. Oh the stories I could tell...

On a more serious note, seeing such ridiculous purchases like this one does make me scrutinize how I spend my money, and it makes me feel better to know that even if I did have enough money to do something like this I never would. I don't want to have to use an intercom to find my husband in my own house.

Steve said...

Andrew, they require us to take a monastic vow of poverty. I think that's what's got Emily thinking about money these days.

But the benefits are great.

c jane said...

They were really going for the Von Trapp look weren't they?

Anyway, does anyone know if the watermelon comes with the fridge?

Chelle said...

Emily(Anne's) comment above was so true that it made me uncomfortable. That's what happens when someone speaks a truth that forces you to face your own blind spots (mine would be Target trinkets, little girls clothing in general, and other lil things that I can't seem to resist). But they all cost money and it adds up. aaaiiieeee.

Most people don't want to talk about money and sex because they are spending too much of one and are afraid they're not having enough of the other. True? True.

p.s. On an unrelated note... Did you start a book group? Is there room for one more? It's worth an ask, I figure.

n said...

big house + sex = big love?

Natalie said...

So the house is a monstrosity. No one is arguing that. However, some talent went into perfecting it and it was, in it's own elegant, uncomfortable way, really pretty. I too shop for crap at Target too often. Couldn't you have done this post after the holidays. It just took the fun out of stocking stuffers. Lastly, I didn't know that you were such a little Suze Orman! I have a trade for you. You be my budgeter, and I will be your decorator...because I love HGTV. I also love Court TV but I hear you have connections with a good lawyer. Anyways, up for a trade?

lys said...

Ditto to what everyone else has said about that ridiculous house.

FYI, I calculated the mortgage payments & they'd be just over $85,000 a month. I don't even want to think about what it costs to heat the place. . .

Alice said...

As someone who "grew up" in the home-building business, and who worked in the industry for over 10 years, I just have to say that the spaces are poorly designed in that house. Not to mention everything is ridiculously over-the-top.

Emily said...

Diana, that's a good idea. I just may do that. You know me so well.

Chelle (Cjane and I spoke kindly of you last night and I now know your name is pronounced like Shellie), there is a group of cool girls who have talked about doing an online sort of book club, although it hasn't really taken off yet. You are certainly welcome and can go here for a little more info. We're reading The History of Love. However, I would still really, really love to get a meet-in-person-have-lunch-and-discuss kind of monthly book club going. It would be fun to do it with you!

Neil, that was a lovely song. What does it mean?

Natalie, absolutely! I'm a good budgeter. Email me if you want some tips, seriously. emilygcraig@hotmail.com.

Alyssa, yeah, that's probably why Steve was right and we'd have to flip the house fast. We'd probably default on the mortgage in the first month.

Everybody else, your comments and opinions and conversation are always delightful to come upon. Thanks! Now (as I wave from the balcony), "Good-BBBBYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEE!" Just call me Leisel.

Becky said...

Emily, I'm just commenting again to tell you how much I liked this post. Really, its got me thinking a lot. Really. Have you thought about starting your own online financial management seminar group or Target Addicts Anonymous Club? Sign me up. I want to be in your book club, too!!

Richard said...

Sadly, it would cost an additional $4,000,000 to downgrade that home to make it livable.

The largest home I have ever been in was 12,000 square feet and it felt like you would never find the end of it. This one is more than twice as big. You'd need a Segway just to get around the interior.