Domesticated Pests

I wasn’t as early to the office as I have been these past days, which gave me a little extra time to spend at home. My first order of business was to make sure everything was readied for my closing this afternoon which also went over closing date, and only due to the bottlenecking caused by all many abstracts being continued these recent months.

I just found out today that another couple who’re in their late fifties having recently purchased a very large and expensive home which always makes me scratch my head while asking myself, “Why?”. Their children are raised and gone, and the home they lived in was already almost too big for them, but to bump up in size and price at such a late stage in their lives makes no sense to me. But, there are always those who think they have to show the world they can afford such dwellings while only using about a third of them on a daily basis.

Perhaps it sounds like I’m being too broad with my categorizations, but what seems to be a general pattern with those buying such pricy McMansions at such a late stage in their lives, are those wanting to experience what it’s like to be living in something they’ve never experienced, and mostly due to the continuously struggling families they came out of. The couple I speak of, is yet one more example, because I remember them and their near dirt-poor families very well.

Even that around-the-telephone-pole “peeker” I spoke about some months ago, did exactly the same thing by buying something staggeringly expensive and far too large for two people to be rattling around in. At ages when retirement is on their horizons, a willful want to spend upwards of $300K in our community for homes containing only two people is just too much for me to figure out because if I were them, I’d be paying my home off, making necessary updates on it, wait for retirement, and then rent something in the Sunbelt for two or three of our winter months. Oh well, everyone has their own idea as to what they want and don’t want, and to hell with practicalities.

Several years ago a dear friend of mine purchased a rock-solid home for a very low price compared with today’s, and nearly every time I talk to her, I remind her that it’s not only a soft-landing for her retirement, but also her 401K. Of course she’s one of the rare ones who’s practical as well as willing to follow thru with soulful advice. That home of hers would make 100% sense for anyone heading into retirement. If she only knew how many homes like it I’ve sold for very elderly people who’ve lived in them for decades and only being sold when they couldn’t take care of themselves any longer. Yes, those smaller homes have worked very well for the many hundreds that’ve gone before us.

Just this afternoon when visiting with a colleague, we somehow ended up on the subject of this great difference there now is with first-time buyers versus say thirty years ago, as back then the parents would be the ones chewing on my ears about their being of the belief I was talking their children into buying something they couldn’t financially afford. Believe me, I did just the opposite, for back in those days, I personally pre-qualified my buyers and did everything I could to keep them from being at the top of their debt to income ratios.

Now reeling forward, there’ve been more times than I care to remember where when showing first-time buyers a home, and if their parents were along for their second viewings, they’d be saying just the opposite and insisting I find them something more expensive that would be more suitable for their “babies” to live in. Believe me, I’ve stopped arguing with those enabling parents years ago, and realizing I just had to go with the flow of it all.

My buyer of yesterday’s closing is a good example of a younger person making a good judgement call with her purchase to where I believe she’d make one heck of a good buyer’s agent due to her research and analysis abilities. The few times I work with young buyers like her, I’m given a little more hope for our Country’s future to where their numbers will be growing to the point where it’ll be considered almost comical for someone to be buying a home for the most glaringly un-practical reasons.

For years I’ve driven past a particular home on nearly a daily basis which has been owned by the same couple for at least 25 years. It’s a smaller home that appears to have been built in the 1920’s or 1930’s, but oh how they’ve maintained it to where it looks even better than it did when first built. I swear there’s never been even a blade of grass crosswise in their yard, and not a strip of peeling paint or a weed to anywhere be found.
I rarely see the two of them outdoors which means they’re likely out there while I’m at work, but you can bet, the inside if it is in similar condition. Now that’s real-life practicality in action.

I stopped over at my private garden to check up on those tomato and pepper plants having only a handful of hidden tomatoes and peppers remaining which the demon deer can’t reach. I’ll be watching over them until they’re fully ripe and then pick them, take out their seeds, dry them, and then hold them over for next year’s garden which is going to have an impenetrable fence capable of resisting those “it’s free for the taking” feeders.

I’ve come to the conclusion that we’ll all be learning lessons all the way up to our last breaths because people are changing, our weather’s changing, and our wildlife’s evolving into domesticated pests which have nearly no fear of humans. I’m still convinced we have far more than 35 million deer running around in our towns and countrysides.

Tonight’s one-liner is: Those who occupy their minds with small matters, generally become incapable of greatness.

Joe Chodur

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