This morning, the blogs are again filled with bubble talk. We have a housing bubble, we don’t. The market is going to crash and burn, it is only correcting. Marlow at the 360Digest has some great links this morning if you are feeling a bit masochistic.
I am getting more than a little fed up with the Bubble Babies. We have beat this horse here on more than one occassion. So, this morning, I decided it was time to dust off a post that Steve wrote months ago and which has been sitting in Draft status. The catalyst? My teenaged daughter. Anyone with a teenager knows that there are days when they transform from little darling to anti-Christ. This morning, her eyes were in rolling-back-in-the-head mode at the obsurdity of my very existence and, I swear, I was expecting her head to rotate 360 on her shoulders. (Exorcist, anyone?) Why? The underlying answer is that our children seem to have this sense of entitlement that we never did, which leads us back to the Bubble Babies. When did home ownership become a divine right? For many, refreshingly, it is still considered a privelege worth working toward. With that, I will give Steve the air time his post deserves.
This morning I was thinking back over the past year of transactions and for no particular reason whatsoever I was struck by the diversity of clients we have represented. I have no idea if this is an anomaly or if other agents have encountered anything similar: Specifically, the number of buyers and sellers who were not born in the USA, but who now live here in San Diego. Off the top of my head, I can think of our clients whose origins were: Afghanistan, Korea, Pakistan, Iran, China, India, Israel and Vietnam.
In thinking about them I realized that, while from vastly different places, they all shared several remarkable qualities. Beyond the fact that they had all immigrated from somewhere else and English was their second language, they were all well-versed; all were decent and honorable people (a joy to work with); all had a strong work ethic (most working 6-7 days a week); and all had extended families with whom they were very close. More than anything, they all shared a burning desire to live out the classic American Dream – to own property. Now we all know San Diego is not considered to be an affordable market, which made their goal even more challenging. None of these people had the advantages that most of we “native born” Americans had or have. They just set their goal and let nothing stop them in their pursuit of it. They are not worried about where the market will be tomorrow as their goal is long term ownership and they have saved every bit of money they could to be able to have a decent down payment. No 100% financing for their deals. Their transactions ranged from $350,000 to over $1 million. There’s so much more to their stories, things they shared with me but are private. I just wish I could relate them publically because we could benefit from them.
I’m not even sure why I mention this except that I guess it reminds me a bit of the way things used to be in this country. Fewer things were taken for granted and there was a much greater appreciation of what can come out of hard work and determination. I have a lot of respect for anyone who can make something out of nothing, but my respect for these people goes beyond the norm. All I have to do is think about how difficult it would be for me if the situation was reversed.
At least for me, when my kids say, “Dad, I can’t do that”, I have some great stories for them.
That is, assuming they will hear you.
(On a related note, Christine at NYHouses4Sale talked about how it is OK to start small, and I couldn’t agree more).