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Bubbles, Balance
And Boredom!
Written Sunday 06/12/05 by Joseph Rossini

By now, you are probably just as tired of hearing the pundits warn about a real estate bubble as I am. Once the media gets a hold of an idea of interest to the public, they will over analyze it 24/7 on TV, radio, magazines, books and newspapers. The front cover of almost every business magazine I subscribe to features a headline mentioning the real estate bubble. But like all predictions that are inevitable such as this one, no one really goes out on a limb to pinpoint the exact time that this bubble will burst. Authors and reporters just want to be able to tell you later on, that they were right in their predictions, to help the sale of their next book or improve the credibility ratings of their future articles.

I often wonder why human beings become so bored with a life of balance and stability. We seem to know that balance in all systems is the optimum method for sustained success and happiness. Through experience we learn that when any system gets out of balance, a correction must occur to avoid an impending catastrophe. However, it's easy to get caught up in the greed du juor or the latest health gimmick, en-route to creating unrealistic and unsustainable bubbles in all facets of our lives.

Real Estate just so happens to be at the forefront today. So what do you think? Are you out there gambling, hoping to make a killing by flipping a few properties like so many others are trying? Or are you taking a more sensible attitude of enjoying and preserving your hard earned assets? Just like the stock market bubble of the late nineties, average people are betting everything they own and borrowing even more, with the hopes of making a quick profit. Unfortunately, when everyone is doing the same thing like a herd of sheep, you probably are already too late for any real opportunities. You are also prone to the herd mentality that leads to bubbles and catastrophe.

Throughout my lifetime, my wife and I always purchased the homes we owned to enjoy them with our family. We never looked at any home as our silver bullet to prosperity. We bought properties that we could afford with the intention to enhance the lifestyle and comfort of our family. Over the past thirty years we purchased homes that we loved to live in and thoroughly enjoyed them. We never bought homes we couldn't afford and paid very little interest to banks. We always improved our properties, enjoyed the improvements while we lived there, and finally sold each house in mint condition to another happy buyer. We profited from each sale consistently for over three decades, while our family enjoyed the happiness and comfort they provided. Remember the American Way?

What we see happening today, is the exact opposite of what I described in the last paragraph. Individuals have turned home buying into a casino game. They borrow heavily from the banks or mortgage companies and bet that they could make a quick profit before they run out of time or money. In my magazines I read about individuals buying 4 or 5 properties at a time in other states, sight unseen with very little of their own money – with the hopes of flipping them quickly. It resembles a pyramid scheme of old, where you play beat the clock and hope you are not the last one to enter the game before the bottom drops out. This approach is similar to the strategies of day traders in the stock market around the year 2000, who ended up broke and frustrated.

Asset preservation should be at the top of everyone’s consciousness today. If you want to buy a beach house at the shore or a retirement property in Florida that you can afford; and will enhance your lifestyle and promote the health and happiness of your family – I think it still makes sense to purchase and ENJOY. If you are buying homes to gamble and flip them – I say beware! The right intentions and using sensible knowledge to make sound decisions, represents BALANCE. The buying and flipping strategy, while it may yield short term gains that casino player’s experience, could lead to financial catastrophe in the long run. New gamblers often experience beginners luck. However too often they get hooked on an easy money game; bet more and more against the odds; and finally end up broke and in debt. Better to practice the BALANCE method for the long term.

Even though BALANCE may seem boring at times, you will not develop insomnia from it like gamblers. Balance promotes health and happiness. Gambling destroys it. Beware of the advertised temptations to get rich quick from casinos; lotteries; day trading stocks; and now flipping real estate investments. Don’t be fooled by a few boasting winners. Make sound decisions and never compromise your values regarding every aspect of your life – and MAKE THE BEST OF ENJOYING EVERY SINGLE DAY!

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