Should I Stay or Should I Go?
Let me start by saying I'm a realtor, so house hunting is a bit of a habit for me. A habit that I'm addicted to. It doesn't really matter if I have clients or not. I like to see what's new on the market in the three counties that are my market on a daily, sometimes bi-daily basis. What if I find the most perfect house or farm for that client I never hear from, I think to myself. Perhaps I will stir their interest again and maybe they will buy something. You have to be an optimist and a gambler to be in real estate. I realize I might have a problem with the both of these traits.
I'm an optimist firstly. And I live by the “every no brings you closer to a yes” sales philosophy. Really? Well,maybe. I will always return a call the day I get it, if it involves real estate. Well, you never know what that call could turn in to? There is always potential, but in actuality a small percentage of calls/leads leads to cold, hard cash in my account. But that's ok, when I do get paid, and clients are happy, I realize this job is a good fit for me.
Over the last couple of years, I perused Craigslist for other housing options. I currently rent. Seems odd that a realtor would rent, but here's why. I have owned houses when I was married and they take a lot of work. If you aren't handy and neither is your partner, you better have some money to throw at service people to do it for you. When I got unmarried, I rented a small house in Pittsboro. It suited my needs and was very energy efficient. I have two kids and thought I would only be here for a couple of years. Now I'm looking at 6+ years and wonder where the time went. Real estate turned it's back on all of us for several years, so buying another house was not an option for me. The bright side was that I had a great landlord, great house, great location and great rent. Why would I trade it? Especially as I see my cohorts (realtors) putting their houses on the market.
Then I think about the only way my generation is going to have retirement is through real estate investments or money from rich relatives. So, I feel I should buy a house. That's what I am supposed to do, right? Well, maybe not. Do I plan to be in the area forever? Maybe not. What if I want to move in the next 6 years? That's not a whole lot of time to make money on real estate....not anymore.
So, in my fence-sitting time, I decided to clean out my house. I got rid of clothes that I haven't worn in several years. Let's face it, I don't look good in the clothes I bought a decade ago, no matter how many laps I swim. I cleaned out closets and drawers, put new liners in them and basically got rid of everything I don't, won't and haven't used. I'm tired of fooling myself into thinking my life will change in such a way that having 3 differently sized melon-ballers or several platters that service parties of 15-20 people will be worth storing or moving them. You're welcome thrift store. I cleaned things in my house you only clean when moving into or out of a house. Good times and thank you Vodka. I want to be light on my feet in case the perfect living situation comes around. A clean soul not hampered by material things (or at least not as many material things.)
So the questions remains..should I stay or should I go? I'm going to wait it out. I'm tired of feeling like the right thing is what society wants me to do. Or even my industry. Real estate is a good investment if you have money, time, skills and patience to recover your outlay. When you start really thinking about buying, clean out everything and be realistic as to what you are “housing.” Don't just buy a giant storage unit with heat and air for you and your stuff to live in. There's plenty of people who will buy your crap and good organizations thrive on your donations.