Have I Come Full Circle - Or Am I Right Back Where I Started?

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Solutions and RE/MAX House of Brokers NRDS #2000172379

Turning 40I turned 40 today.  Yep - the "BIG 4-0."  It really doesn't bother me.  I subscribe to the theory that 40 is the new 30.  My boyfriend took me shopping for new clothes for my birthday.  As we walked into Macy's I was struck by a "deja vu" moment.  I can remember standing in that EXACT spot, staring at the EXACT clothes, EXACTLY 20 years ago.  Of course, back then it was Famous Barr, now it's Macy's.  I had a flashback to my senior picture where I was wearing stirrup pants and a large sweater that swallowed me.  Staring at the clothes racks now....same thing.  Only now we call them leggings, but the same oversized sweaters are still there. 


Something else struck me.  EXACTLY 20 years ago, we were going through the S&L crisis.  In 1989, I didn't pay much attention to the S&L crisis.  I was a 20 year old who thought she knew it all.  So, after shopping, I came home and looked up the S&L Crisis on Wikipedia.  Some of the similarities I saw were frighteningly eerie.  Here are some excerpts:

  • '80's S&L CrisisIn an effort to take advantage of the real estate boom (outstanding US mortgage loans: 1976 $700 billion; 1980 $1.5 trillion)[citation needed] and high interest rates of the late 1970s and early 1980s, many S&Ls lent far more money than was prudent, and too-risky ventures which many S&Ls were not qualified to assess. L. William Seidman, former chairman of both the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Resolution Trust Corporation, stated, "The banking problems of the '80s and '90s came primarily, but not exclusively, from unsound real estate lending."[4]
  • The ultimate cost of the crisis is estimated to have totaled around $160.1 billion, about $124.6 billion of which was directly paid for by the US government—that is, the US taxpayer, either directly or through charges on their savings and loan accounts[1]—which contributed to the large budget deficits of the early 1990s.
  • The concomitant slowdown in the finance industry and the real estate market may have been a contributing cause of the 1990–1991 economic recession. Between 1986 and 1991, the number of new homes constructed per year dropped from 1.8 million to 1 million, which was at the time the lowest rate since World War II. [2]
  • While not part of the savings and loan crisis, many other banks failed. Between 1980 and 1994 more than 1,600 banks insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) were closed or received FDIC financial assistance.[16]
  • From 1986 to 1995, the number of US federally insured savings and loans in the United States declined from 3,234 to 1,645.[7] This was primarily, but not exclusively, due to unsound real estate lending.[17]
  • The US government ultimately appropriated 105 billion dollars to resolve the crisis. After banks repaid loans through various procedures, there was a net loss to taxpayers of approximately $124 billion dollars by the end of 1999.[18]
  • Some commentators believe that a taxpayer-funded government bailout related to mortgages during the savings and loan crisis may have created a moral hazard and acted as encouragement to lenders to make similar higher risk loans during the 2007 subprime mortgage financial crisis.[19]

So...here we are...20 years later.  The details of how we got here may not be the same, but the economy is nevertheless.  And I have to wonder:  Didn't we learn anything?  How did we end up back here again?

I don't want to think that I'm destined to keep repeating the same cycles in life.  But I think I have managed to learn a few life lessons in the past 20 years:

  • Hard work always pays off.  Maybe not immediately, but eventually it will.
  • What comes around....goes around.
  • Sob stories are like belly buttons - everyone has one.
  • True love begins with yourself.
  • Unanswered prayers are usually the greatest blessings we receive.Life Lessons
  • Everyone has dues to pay in life.
  • Never judge anyone...most likely you will find yourself in their shoes somewhere down the road.
  • When you see someone finally get what they having coming to them, it doesn't make you feel any better.
  • People who brag about their money almost always don't have any.
  • There is no glory in being a victim.  Glory comes from picking yourself back up after you've been victimized.
  • Just when you think it will never end....it does.
  • When the dust clears, if you still have your loved ones...nothing else really matters.
  • When I was 20....I didn't know squat.
  • My parents actually did know what they were talking about.  (I hope my mother isn't reading this).

Growing up, I always wondered where I'd be and what my life would be like when I was 40.  Now I know....it's not a lot different than when I was 20.  Only now, I'm qualified to say Been There....Done That.


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Erica Ramus
Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA - Pottsville, PA
MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate

Happy Birthday! I'm 41 this year, and 40 didn't REALLY bother me that much. 50 though... ask me in 9 years.

Oct 02, 2009 12:32 PM #66
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

HAPPY BDAY RENEE! Ditto what I just said. HA.


Oct 02, 2009 12:38 PM #67
Patricia Aulson
Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes

congrats and Happy Birthday.

Age they tell me it's just a number so who cares what the number is.....ya right!! LOL



Oct 02, 2009 12:49 PM #68
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

Happy Birthday...  and I'm not buying that whole "40" thing.  Just not buying it...

Oct 02, 2009 01:13 PM #69
Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities
Charlemagne International Properties - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A.

Looks like you are accumulating much wisdom as you live your life and that's so much more important than the number of years. 

Oct 02, 2009 01:15 PM #70
Keller Williams Select Realtors-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC - Bowie, MD
I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES

Happy Birthday Lina. You are definitely younger than your age. You are hilarious. I am glad you are one of my new people here on Active Rain that I am following. Have a great weekend. Great post.

Oct 02, 2009 01:39 PM #71
Carol Pease
JP & Associates Realtors - Bastrop, TX
CRS, Broker-Associate 512-721-6320

Happy Birthday Lina!  40 is the new 30.  50 is the new 40.  Oh to be 40 again and know what I know now! Wouldn't that be great?

Oct 02, 2009 01:47 PM #72
Joel Weihe
Realty World Alliance - Wichita, KS
Helping you to use your VA home loan benefits

Happy Birthday! Just remember to save whatever you bought today so you can have it ready for the 20 years from now fashion re-cycle.  Scary to think that we haven't learned from the past crisis and that we might not learn from this one.  Remind me to retire in oh... 19 years.

Oct 02, 2009 02:29 PM #73
Gina Chirico
Lattimer Realty - Fairfield, NJ
Real Estate Agent - Essex County, New Jersey

Happy Birthday Lina!  I enjoyed reading your post.  I'll be 38 this month so only two years behind you and I remember those stirup pants all too well!  LOL! 

Oct 02, 2009 02:46 PM #74
Donna Bigda
RE/MAX Alliance - Branford, CT
Greater New Haven CT Real Estate

Happy Birthday Sending Happy Birthday wishes your way!  I'm midway between 50 & 60 this year and can't get over the styles in the stores today that were so treandy and fashionable back in the 80's.  I wish I could be like H.G. Wells in the Time Machine to see what the future holds in the next twenty years.

Oct 02, 2009 03:17 PM #75
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Lina, in life there is a lot of deja vu all over again. I have been doing circles at least three times that I can recall... I think 40 is the new 25 myself!! Happy Birthday...

Oct 02, 2009 03:21 PM #76
Lisa Ludlow Archer
Live Love Homes-Keller Williams, Charlotte, NC Ballantyne Area - Waxhaw, NC

Happy birthday Lina. You look great. Since I just turned 30, I would say that 40 is the new 30 and 30 is the new 20, hope your day was super special.  Blessings for a great weekend.

Oct 02, 2009 03:41 PM #77
Harry F. D'Elia
Real Estate and Beyond, LLC - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

Happey Birthday and I wish you many more to come. Thanks for sharing your successes.

Oct 02, 2009 06:10 PM #78
Dan Quinn
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty - Silver Spring, MD
Dan Quinn

Ah...I remember 40.  40 didn't seem so bad until I turned 50!  Happy birthday!

Oct 03, 2009 06:40 AM #79
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Happy Birthday!  I'm staring the big 4 Oh in the face in just a few months.

And, like you, I see a lot of deja vu.  I remember the S&L crisis pretty clearly.  My mom's been in real estate financing since the mid 70's., and things did seem pretty similar though I didn't know nearly as many details as you posted.

Hopefully, big hair isn't coming with it ; )

Oct 03, 2009 04:28 PM #80
michelangelo vasco
mvp realty inc. - Manhattan, NY

Happy birthday, you need to do some shopping in NYC, styles have changed more than you think, just kidding but you would enjoy a trip to Sacks and Barneys

Oct 04, 2009 05:15 PM #81
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Linda, wait!  I thought that 60 was the new 30!  It's nice to know that the old clothes I haven't thrown away are coming back in style!  And you do seem to have learned life's important lessons.  I think most of us take a lot longer than 40 years to figure it out.  So congratulations, and happy birthday!

Oct 05, 2009 02:05 AM #82
Bob Souza (925) 513-3400 & Leilani Souza (916) 408-5500 Souza Realty - Real Estate Broker in Placer County, California
Souza Realty - Roseville, Rocklin, Granite Bay, Loomis, Penryn, Newcastle, Lincoln, Auburn, Meadow Vista (Placer Coun... - Roseville, CA
Homes & Land, Real Estate Investments and Rentals

Happy belated birthday, Lina! You look terrific, btw...and no need to change your photo if you like the professional one better, IMO. ;)

I really enjoyed reading your blog post and having just turned 38 myself, I find it interesting to compare us - you've come full circle and I am nowhere near where I was at half my age. However, the life lessons we've learned are pretty much somewhat similar! Thanks again for the great read...I loved it! :)


Oct 05, 2009 07:48 AM #83
Trey Thurmond
BCR Realtors - College Station, TX
College Station , Texas Homes


Happy belated B-Day. I think this is a terrific post that says a lot about life and business.

Oct 05, 2009 03:14 PM #84
Delete Account
Clermont, FL

You don't look 40 at all. I would have guessed maybe 30!

Oct 06, 2009 01:55 AM #85
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Lina Robertson

REALTOR® Serving Springfield, Nixa and Ozark, MO
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