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'A Gold Mine in Your Home'

September 30, 1988

In response to "A Gold Mine in Your Home, a Sense of Community Lost," by Samuel Pillsbury, Op-Ed Page, Sept. 18:

As the owner of a 75-year-old home in one of Los Angeles' older inner-city neighborhoods I feel that I should point out that the recent sharp rise in real estate prices does have at least some benefits to the community at large.

As I look out on my street I see many of my neighbors--white, black, Hispanic and Asian--are spending lots of time and money restoring and refurbishing their houses. This is keeping the neighborhood a desirable place to live, something which is important to the city as a whole. Their investments of effort and expense make sense only because these people know that their properties are likely to increase in value over the long term.

The money we are spending restoring our homes is not simply "tied up in housing" as Pillsbury states. It is going to pay building contractors, hire skilled craftsmen (many of whom are recent immigrants to our city) and to local suppliers of all kinds.

There are certainly problems caused by rampant speculation in the housing market, but to the extent that people perceive their homes as things of value to be preserved, I believe that is only to the good in a society which often seems hooked on the "throw away."

DAVID R. AXELROD

Los Angeles

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