Thursday, June 21, 2012

Survey Shows More Reasons to Buy Than Rent

According to the National Association of Realtors and Fannie Mae’s March 2012 National Housing Survey, 33% of Americans say they expect home prices to rise in the next 12 months, the highest level in more than a year.

The number of people who say now is a good time to buy is also on the rise, increasing to 73 percent—also the highest level in more than a year. The percentage who said it’s a good time to sell a home also increased one point to 14 percent in March.

Meanwhile, more Americans expect rental prices to rise and are projecting an increase by 4.1 percent over the next year, the highest number recorded to date.

“Conditions are coming together to encourage people to want to buy homes,” says Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist. “Americans’ rental price expectations for the next year continue to rise, reaching their record high level for our survey this month. With an increasing share of consumers expecting higher mortgage rates and home prices over the next 12 months, some may feel that renting is becoming more costly and that home ownership is more compelling house choice.”

Friday, June 8, 2012

Tragedy Precipitates Growth

It's impossible to try to predict events that occur in your life and the paths you'll be lead down as a result of them. It's all in how you respond to those events that comprise who we are as people. Whether that event was horrible, beautiful, depressing, or wonderful, you keep your head up and move forward regardless. Never forget the past because it helps shape us, but focus on the future and the bright things to come.

As many of my friends, colleagues, and client's know my son Madden passed away a year and a half ago. I received so much support from everyone. Even client's at the time, who were relative strangers extended warm sympathies that I will never forget. Many of them will be friends for life as a result. 

I had never experienced anyone in my life close to me passing away until he left me. I found it unbearable at times, especially when I had to put a smile on my face for work. A month after he passed, my grandmother on my mother's side passed away from pancreatic cancer. She had been fighting for so long and promised me she wouldn't give up until she met my son. It hurt immensely that I was never able to make good on that promise. I never got to introduce them, but I know she's taking care of him in heaven. 

Shortly after that, my grandfather on my father's side passed away from cancer in the scalp. It just seemed like one crushing blow after another over that year. I went from never experiencing tragedy to having three gigantic losses in the same year. Like I never had a chance to recover. It just kept stacking on top of my shoulders and eventually I didn't know how to handle it anymore. I just became so emotionally numb. I felt like crying, but I just couldn't anymore. I didn't feel anything inside. It made me hate myself that I was unable to externalize the emotions I knew I should have. I bottled it up and didn't share my pain with others, not even my wife. I can advise you now, that isn't the right thing to do. I've recognized that now.

It's true what they say, you really have this sense of invincibility until something bad really does happen to you. I never thought I would be the one who loses their child. It made me so bitter with life and the world for awhile. That people who don't even want a child and treat their bodies so horribly through pregnancy, so often get a healthy child. Then there is my wife and I, who do everything the way we were told. Don't stand next to the microwave, no fish with mercury. Full-term, baby born, looks beautiful, gone in 5 days from breathing complications. You just want to scream that it isn't fair. Why does something so beautiful have to be taken when you've done nothing wrong? But that's how life goes. Impossible to predict.

The important thing is to remember that life goes on and there are always brighter things on the horizon. God has a plan for our lives and sometimes that plan has a few bumps. Tragedy precipitates growth. Life will always throw you curveballs. Learn how to knock them out of the park and win the game of life. My wife is now pregnant with our second child. I am beyond excited. While I'll never forget Madden and how much I loved and wanted him, I look forward to my turn to have a child and people be happy for me instead of feeling bad for me. There is so much I can't wait to do. Pass on my sparkling personality and laugh with him/her over an inside joke that mommy doesn't get. Play in the park, read to them, tuck them into bed. Kiss them and tell them how much I love them. I can't wait for the future.