I have been holding open house lately. It makes me remember why I got into the real estate business….I really like meeting people! Yesterday was a typical day in paradise and I was in the perfect spot to enjoy it. Sitting on the lanai with a direct beachside view, it was no surprise that I had plenty of company. Several couples dropped by during the course of the afternoon and each time, the conversation inevitably shifted to the economy and I started to notice a pattern.
The first visitor of the day was a wonderfully gregarious 7o-something retired Doc…”yes, we come every year, we love kauai…how’s biz…must be real bad in these economic times…in all my years never seen it this bad….we will never dig out…it will take years, life in this country will never be the same!” I can certainly understand that point of view. Hardworking successful folks enjoying the golden years are now experiencing the shrinking of assets that they are living on and at this point not seeing much chance to make many adjustments at this point in their lives.
Enter couple number two..forty somethings…”oh this is lovely how much?….that seems pretty low, has the price come down? …really? wow that’s a good buy, this market is producing lots of good buys… better prices than we have ever seen! With interest rates so low this seems like the right timing. In their forties, this generation has worked hard and are seeking some of the better things life affords those who do. Over the past few years second home purchasers have been seeing prices climb and climb and everything,while atrractive, seemed a bit out of reach. This generation, in their peak earning years are young enough to bend and feint to the economic changes and see this current cycle as a window of opportunity worth taking seriously. They are mature enough to really understand that fundamental economic fact….”what goes up will surely come down and yes what goes down will again surely go up” and at 40-something are still young enough to be able to strategize another one or two of those cycles to their best advantage.
Couple #3 were baby boomers like me…young baby boomers in their 50’s and it went something like this: …Gosh we are glad we can still come on vacation to Hawaii we are working our tails off, harder than ever before just when I was hoping we could slow down a bit and slide into retirement but it looks like we will have to postpone that for a few years. It looks like things have started picking up all over the place. I might have to work a few more years than I was planning to but if I play it right things will shake out just fine.
Then the thirty somethings show up, sunburned from the beach bright white smiles and boundless energy (Immediately took pictures of the view from the lanai of my open house with their cell phones and sent them to friends back home to make them jealous). Wow this is great honey…why don’t we buy this and move here …you work on line from home anyway so what difference would it make if you here instead of downtown LA?
At first I didn’t really notice the pattern but it is pretty evident to me now. When you are 79 maybe the last economic expansion will be the last they will see in their lifetime. They are old enough to remember the hard times of the early 20th century and are bit more pessimistic than others. The boomers are hoping for the best and playing their cards close to the fist and giving it everything they got to try to adapt….the gen-xers are just now coming into their own and really know how to bend and roll with things whatever comes at them and the gen-y’s are moving at light speed and will grab life by the handful. They will be the creators of the next economic order on terms the rest of us are having a hard time adapting to let alone thriving within. One thing is for sure, life goes on and we will all learn to live with the current state of being. My vote is we all, no matter what age have something valuable to learn by those thirty somethings!
Interesting to observe, this human condition…anyway here’s a shot of the view we all enjoyed thoroughly all day long….a hui hou!