Looking at 50 years, and as always, thinking about real estate …
I’m just back from Atlanta and my 50-year high school reunion. I remain shocked that I’m actually as old as I am, but aside from that, it was an excellent weekend. And there was a big insight … Life is now!
Nothing I didn’t already know, but the weekend really drove it home. Time changes everything. And nothing.
I and my classmates are heavier, grayer, more wrinkled, and less steady on our pins, but we are still “us”. The nice kids are still nice, some of the snooty ones, still snooty. And some of the snooty ones turned into nice people – likely what they were all along, just paralyzed by adolescent angst. We were pretty smart, and we stayed smart. At the party, despite a good bit of drinking – can you blame us? – there were substantive conversations aplenty. I’m impressed by how we have deepened and matured. Despite many of us beginning retirement, as a group we remain interested and engaged.
The conversation did veer into nostalgia here and there, but it stayed amazingly current. We talked to each other about now. “What’s up these days?” “What’s your next step?” “What are you reading?” “What are your kids doing?”
So, does this apply to real estate? Of course! There’s always a connection …
If life is about the present, so is residential real estate.
Buyers can get derailed by the past, obsessing over what a seller paid for a property, assuming they are getting hosed if the seller paid a lot less than the asking price. Totally beside the point. That was then, now is now.
I’ve seen buyers get derailed by the future, too, with toop much focus on potential appreciation. If you are buying a primary residence, and plan to stay more than a couple of years, appreciation is a secondary consideration.
And there’s age. There’s usually absolutely nothing wrong with new construction, but sometimes older is just as good – or better. With appropriate care, a good house is a good house, despite its age. It may need updates (no question there’s been a facelift or two among my classmates) but if the fundamentals are sound, the house is sound. And character can accumulate with the years (again, witness me and my classmates).
As with the rest of life, a real estate deal is much more pleasant, and usually more effective, if done in the present. If you like a house, and it meets your current needs, and it looks like it might do for a few more years, and you can afford it –
Live in it!