The importance of hope, faith and trust in an uncertain world.
The personal stories of one Realtor’s battles and triumphs in the highly-competitive Bay Area Real Estate Market, seeking to illuminate and humanize the very real ups-and-downs of homeownership.
All week long I’ve been pondering the phrase, “hope is a discipline,” which I heard in an NPR interview last weekend regarding the ongoing struggles around civil rights and reparations in the U.S. (We’ve a long way to go.) But the concept of hope as a discipline aptly applies to global warming, gun violence, “Black Lives Matter,” “Me Too,” the attack on Israel, the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, the war in Ukraine, 60 million refugees worldwide, rising crime, homelessness, addiction, food insecurity, book banning, reproductive rights, equality, lack of education, clean water, etc., etc., etc. (Pick your battle; there’s no shortage of problems).
In a world that seems increasingly hostile and full of despair, “hope” can be hard to muster.Nor, admittedly, is it my natural inclination to move into “hope,” when world events seem hellbent on destruction, (I much prefer control, thank you very much). But perhaps this is when we need to call on “hope” the most, which is why the radio guest described “hope” as a discipline, rather than a feeling or an emotion.
Digging deeper, I found that there are eight positive emotions we should all be practicing to improve our mental health and they are: awe, love/attachment, trust/faith, compassion, gratitude, forgiveness, joy, and hope. Together, they form a sense of spirituality. (It’s just easier to be angry.)
Do I practice these disciplines on a daily basis? Almost never. But then I take my dog for a walk on the beach, and I’m at least pointed in the right direction. (Dog is God spelled backward.)
With news that 84% of Americans polled in Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey said it was a bad time to buy a home, and most weren’t expecting mortgage rates to come down anytime too soon (we agree), we may very well be looking at a declining market ahead. Moreover, affordability is at a 40-year low, and Buyer demand is at a 30-year low. Without going too far out on a limb, I think we’d all agree that those figures don’t suggest higher prices in the near term. However, a softening marketplace is an opportunity for Buyers . . .
It’s also when Buyers pull back.
Why? They’re hoping for further declines.
But here’s the fault in that thinking.
The difference between hope and wishful thinking
Given that houses in our area are unique value propositions, waiting for the market to decline while you pass on the perfect house that fits your lifestyle today AND for the foreseeable future is a miscalculation. Remember, Real Estate is a LONG-TERM investment. It’s going to go up; it’s going to go down, and for some of the time, it’s going to hold steady, but it’s your home. It’s NOT your portfolio, and shouldn’t be treated as such. Trying to “time” the market to hit the lowest or the highest possible moment is an impossible task. Those who did so got lucky.
Still, Real Estate has proven to be a savvy investment for most Homeowners in California; however, it’s the “time” element that makes it so. If you’re going into real estate for the short term, my advice is that you rent. If you need a home and can afford to purchase property, it’s time to buy.
Should we “hope” the market will improve?
Yes, we should, as it’s been proven time and again that the Bay Area is often buffered, but it’s not immune from corrections, so “hope” shouldn’t be the overriding strategy. Everyone experiences higher prices at the gas pumps and at the grocery store, and with interest rates approaching 8%, Buyers can afford less – that’s the simple math. Consequently, Sellers should adjust their thinking and expectations to match TODAY’S realities, because no one, no one, NO ONE knows what tomorrow will bring.
That being said, we can certainly “hope” for humanity, kindness, compassion, peace, and love. Hope is a discipline.
How can we help you?
Julie Gardner & Sarah Abel | Compass Realty
Not just Realtors, but consultants in all things house and home, we’re here to educate, explore, examine and refer . . . In short, you may count on us to take care of your home as if it were our own and anyone who knows us, knows we take pretty darn good care of our homes.