Have you ever puzzled over why so many people choose to buy homes at outrageous prices that require 20-30 year mortgages even though they are often poorly built, made with materials that offgas hazardous substances and readily burn in house fires? In addition, these conventional houses are usually energy inefficient, require expensive ongoing maintenance, cause untold environmental damage and are largely devoid of redeeming value. Why doesn’t everyone switch to simpler, lower cost natural building methods such as earthbag, strawbale, stone, pole building and adobe?
1. Housing rules and regulations generate massive profits for the building, banking and insurance industries, and ensure government taxation and control. These entities benefit handsomely and work night and day to prop up the current system at your expense.
2. People lack awareness and understanding of viable alternatives, and so they think it is more practical to buy a typical contractor built house.
3. Complex modern building methods and materials discourage homeowner involvement. Traditionally, most people throughout history built their homes up until the last century or so.
4. It seems easier to buy a home outright than to spend months building it yourself, although homeowners are then burdened for decades trying to pay off the mortgage (which can equal several times the original cost).
5. People push aside their doubts and concerns about going deeply in debt for the bulk of their lives in order to pursue the illusory American dream (or something comparable in other countries).
6. People want to use their home as an investment vehicle to profit from, even though millions are now upside down on their mortgages with no financial relief in sight.
7. It’s somehow comforting to know that your house looks almost exactly like hundreds of thousands of other houses.
8. I saw it on TV so it must be true, right?
9. It’s important to keep up with the Joneses… isn’t it?
10. Inability to think clearly and make rational decisions that are for their best interest.
11. Housing prices will always go up, right? (I threw in a bonus for the fun of it.)