Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I want it all.....NOW!

Other than being a Tubes song, this was also a story reported by Edwin Newman on NBC in the seventies about Marin County, CA. Basically it showed a hedonistic lifestyle of hot tubs, pop psychology and plastic surgery of affluent people occupying the suburbs of San Francisco just across the Golden Gate Bridge. (The 1980 serio-comedy, Serial with Martin Mull, Bill Macy, Tuesday Weld, Sally Kellerman, Christopher Lee and Tom Smothers ran with that theme.) The NBC story led to Marin residence symbolically “plucking the NBC peacock” by displaying peacock feathers in their homes as protest.

However, it is a good theme for the impatience we are experience in this socio-economic transition in which we currently find ourselves.

One piece of ancient wisdom comes to mind: forcing change always meets with much more opposition than removing the factors that prevent and resist change.

This is good advice for any “hot-button” topic in the news these days: Real estate market decline, the automotive industry crisis, financial crises, political polarity, same-sex marriage, alternative energy, etc.

President Obama in his Notre Dame speech last week use a modicum of this philosophy in being conciliatory and opening dialogue with those who share an opposing opinion.

Bringing this philosophical tenet down from the level of the sublime to the mundane, we see how the real estate market is starting to transition in many areas of the country.

Price resistance and lack of confidence and credit availability but the brakes on the expanding market. Now we beginning to see a market “bottom” being defined in the statistics in some of the worst-hit areas on real estate prices. Some areas showing this trend are Southern California, Eastern communities of the San Francisco Bay Area, Atlanta, Texas, and Sacramento, CA

This dynamic is the result of factors downward pricing pressures and real estate availability overcoming fear, uncertainty and, of course, high prices, giving first time buyers and investors the initiative to dive in to take advantage of financial decisions that simply make sense for them.

This accounts for about 50% of the current buying trend and is in contrast with the mechanism that fueled the real estate “bubble” to begin with: trading up in equity to buy more house than was economically prudent. The potential for appreciation gains on paper created a boldness that resulted in imprudent leveraging. This then trickled down to those who did not want to get left behind who dove in to a market they could not afford out of fear of being left behind and goaded to action by easy credit.

And since the new administration took office under a banner of change, everyone wants change NOW!

Unfortunately the change will not come all at once.
It will not come in a guise that will please all of us.
It will not come in a package that is free of pessimism and criticism.

Grand edifices of social, political, or economic change come about as trends that gain momentum gradually.
They are ideas that eventually take hold in the minds and hearts of people and the attitudes of markets, they are not suddenly found on the morning landscape after a dark night like manna.

Those who exhibit impatience with the situation and attempt to force change too quickly will meet with a resistance opposite and equal to what they are exerting.

It's not “good”, it's not “bad”, it's just the way It Is
So everyone take a deep breath, keep you eyes and ears open for opportunities, whiffs of change in the direction of the winds, and take advantage of opportunities that appear where there was only resistance before. You will already notice hints of new scents in the breeze and be reassured.

After all, we wouldn't be able to handle it all now.

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