I am married to a woman that has never made a quick decision. She thinks and analyzes every choice she makes. Now, I have never seen the charts and graphs she uses, but I am convinced she has some sort of complicated system in place.
We can start 10 deep in a fast-food line that has had the same food on the menu for 40 years, and guess what? When it’s our turn to order, Mary Jean will always turn to me and ask, “what do I feel like eating today?” To say this makes me want to run in circles and scream while pulling my hair out is an understatement.
Mary Jean and I could not be more different. It does make sense that opposites attract. I have said many times that I have never taken over 20 minutes to decide something in my life. Whether it is a big decision or a small one, it’s a quick decision. Does that mean I am always right? Not at all. It just means I decide quickly. Anyone that can remember some of my many blunders can attest to that.
Today we can all agree that everything we purchase is almost double in price then what it was just a short time ago. This is true for not only items we need, but the items we just want. Our government as well as our entire country is spending money we do not have and spending what we have foolishly. If we want it, we get it.
Several years ago, I worked for a very wealthy man. He achieved his wealth on his own accord and at a very young age. He used to tell me: “You should never carry your money with you. You can hire armed guards to protect it to keep it in your pocket, and somehow you will still find a way to give it to someone.” Is this true? Are we all from the youngest and most naive to the oldest and savvy, just like kids in a candy store? We just can’t wait to give our money away. Is it just me or don’t we all have things we own that prove we shouldn’t carry money at all? Things that seemed like such a good idea at the time to purchase. Things like blue velvet Elvis paintings, full-size night statues, and the monkey thing with the symbols. Yes, I think we all do.
My chosen career path has been as a realtor for the past 16 years or so. It’s my job to either sell someone’s home or to help them find one that fits them. I tell all the buyers I show homes to that now is not the time unless you just must move. Homes are just selling way too high in the present market. I also feel that everyone deserves the right to be a homeowner, but not everyone should.
I see this happen often. A family has just purchased a new home. They qualified for a 100 percent loan with no money required for a down payment. Most buyers will only need to pay the first year of insurance, and money for the home inspection should they choose to get one. These loans can be an excellent way to purchase a home. So, what’s wrong with this picture? So many times after the closing, most buyers do not have $100 to their name. Those of us that have owned a home know that stuff happens. Things break. This new home will need repairs and maintenance. Where will the money come from to do that? Timing is everything and no one should be a homeowner if they are not prepared to handle the unexpected. Life can and will happen to us all.
There are also certain loans that will require a very large amount of money for the buyer to pay in closing costs. Yes, the amount is added to the loan, but it still needs to be paid back with interest. That’s not always a wise decision. The outcome is not always worth the cost.
If you talk to anyone that’s in the retail world, they will tell you that sales are up. We as consumers are buying everything, either on credit or we pay for it. But I must ask, just because we can, does it mean we should?
We all need to start planning for that rainy day our grandparents talked about. It will rain on us all at some point. Will we be ready?
We also must ask ourselves: Do we need to make more money, or do we need to correct our spending habits to be ready for the rain?
Randy Butler is a lifelong resident of Highland County and a licensed real estate agent for Classic Real Estate in Hillsboro.