HomePersonal SituationAm I A Complete Hypocrite? Or an Opportunist?

Am I A Complete Hypocrite? Or an Opportunist?

I am not sure why, but there is one topic that I have almost never discussed on this blog and that is my housing situation.  The Wife, The Boy, My Dog and I live in a two bedroom, one-half bath townhouse which is organized as a Condominium on Long island’s north shore area.  Despite only owning about 1,400 livable square feet I pay over $4,500 in just property taxes (all you mid-westerners can pick up your jaw)  and over $350 a month in common charges.  Those two painful facts have nothing to do with the post.

I “won” this house; actually I “won” the opportunity to purchase this house.  There was a town sponsored lottery with over 300 applicants for 28 homes and I was given the opportunity to purchase the residency for $250,000, which sounds like a lot for some readers but I assure is not when compared to my neighbors.

Well my home was dramatically undervalued as it was a joint venture between a local nonprofit/my town/builders.  If I had to guess what really happened was that the builder went to the town and said we want to build about 100 55+ town homes, and the town said, “we’ll push your permit application through if you build 28 homes for first time home buyers.”

On the way in it is an amazing deal for me and my 27 other purchases, but I am finding as people are trying to leave the way out is a huge pain in the butt (since you can only sell to first time home buyers who make less than $XX,XXX amount).  As mentioned the purchase price was dramatically undervalued (if I had to guess probably about $150K undervalued) but on the way out my maximum price is capped too so don’t think I am making away like a bandit.  I am hoping for about a 20% gain within 4-5 years during the worst real estate crash in American History.

So what’s the point?

Am I a Complete Hypocrite for Taking Advantage of This Housing Program?

Whether it is when I am complaining about liberals or Congressional ineptness it isn’t hard to find my libertarian political views on this website.  So, when I was complaining to a buddy the other day about how ridiculous the Occupy Wall Street people are…he responded that I was a Hypocrite.

My response is that I am an opportunist looking out for myself.  I have paid a lot into the system so if there is a program I qualify for, why wouldn’t I apply?  I would like to believe that I would have forgone this opportunity if it meant that other wasteful government projects were also removed from the system.

So I ask you am I a complete Hypocrite or just an individual that is okay with taking advantages of opportunities that come around?



  1. Taking advantage of something that is available to the public is not being a hypocrite. NY property taxes are rediculous! I live in California where taxes are set at 1.025% of the sales price. It can only increase a max of 2% a year.

  2. I say:
    an individual that is okay with taking advantages of opportunities that come your way!

    On opportunity is an opportunity, and to waste that opportunity would be dumb, especially since you qualified for it!

    Kudos to you, nice move!

    • We don’t come close to qualifying for it anymore. Actually the only reason we qualified was that The Wife and I weren’t married at the time so they didn’t count her income

  3. This seems like a perfectly reasonable action to me. I think it would be hypocritical if you suggested others don’t participate even though the program was ongoing. But there is a huge difference between arguing for a different policy and living with the existing policy.

    This seems obvious to me though many don’t seem to understand that Warren Buffett can argue a better policy for the country would raise his taxes. They tell him to pay more taxes if he wants. His argument is not having whoever wants to give the government more money should do so, he argues the country would be better off with a tax system that had higher tax rates for multi-millionare earners than those working at McDonald’s.

    Arguing for the government should have different policies doesn’t require you to act as though it did to be consistent.

    This can get less clear cut if you argue about the moral failings of those who act in x or y way. If you say those taking welfare are lazy scammers stealing from society or something, for example. Then you are claiming it isn’t the government policy that you object to (or it isn’t only that) but the character of those taking advantage of the policy. In a case where you accept charity when you disparage others for doing so then the argument for being a hypocrite would exist, I think.

    • John,

      Next time this comes up I am using your example. I love it! If its good enough for Warren it is good enough for me.

  4. I don’t think you are a hypocrite at all. You got lucky by winning the opportunity to buy the house. It was all fair, and you would have been foolish to pass up the opportunity for the supposed ‘greater good’. You qualified, you won, all is good.

    (I assume it is 1.5 baths? Not being picky, just clarifying that you really do have more than a half bath, right?)

  5. I think it might be hypocritical. If the government stole from someone else (taxes), than it is hypocritical. If the business made the chose to take a hit on these properties, so they could make more money on the others, than it isn’t hypocritical. I am not how that non-profit worked in the deal and if they take government assistance but that could affect my decision. Although I am pretty sure this is hypocritical, I think it would be impossible to live life right now in the US without having the government steal from people for you. For example, driving on roads paid for by tax dollars would also be hypocritical. I am not sure anyone could get away with never being on a road. Another issue I would like to bring up, is that I disagree with the mentality of if it is offered I should take it. If the government offers to give you unemployment forever, that doesn’t mean you should take it. This only leads to bigger government because more people are taking what they are offering. If I was in your place, I would have taken the cheaper home and I wouldn’t feel guilty about it because although I believe we can live without government, we currently have a government so you have to play within those “rules.”

  6. I don’t think you’re a hypocrite in your home purchase. There were rules. You played by those rules. You bought the house. We have a winner!

    It was you.

    Unless there is only a half bath. Then I believe you need a shower….

    You may be a hypocrite in your opposition to the Occupy Wall Street folks. These people want to change the rules. Maybe you don’t agree with their stance, but they are lawfully expressing the desire to extricate corporate favoritism from government policy.

    I think.

    Sometimes I’m fuzzy about exactly what they’re protesting. But I don’t oppose them. I wish them well because I love people entering the debate. We need more people to wake up and pay attention.

    Anyway, congrats on the condo. Hope you make a killing on it. It’s the American way.

    And I hope you have a shower.

    – Joe

  7. As noted above, it was a lottery and you had as much chance to get the opportunity as everyone else. had you gamed that lottery so that only you and your closest friends/business partners could “win” that lottery, then you would be acting more like governments and businesses and could be accused of a lot worse than hypocrisy!

  8. Hypocrite? Sounds like it. Does this cut both ways? Taking advantage of tax breaks and other opportunities (welfare for capitalists) but denigrating those who take welfare at the other end of the spectrum?


  9. I don’t think you are a hypocrite at all. For where you live, that is an incredible deal on a home. You have a family, you work and the town put absolutely no requirements or limits on who was able to apply for the lottery. You saw an opportunity and you took it. There’s nothing wrong with that!

  10. To me, you sound like an Opportunist. I would have done the same thing if I’d had an opportunity like that. 🙂

  11. It would be foolish to not take the opportunity. If you were laid off, wouldn’t you file for unemployment?


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