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Peering Through the Bubble & Climbing the Palaver Tree!
"We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! "
1 Corinthians 13:12 Quote from Message Bible
On any given sunny day, all along the African coastline, discussions range from the mundane to the serious, but without fail, the colorful, often loud and lyrical prose of spirited discussion usually includes at least a little of what is known in colloquial terms as "palaver" . As a child, I was warned not to create "palaver" an admonition which usually occurred when I was about to involve myself in some major mischief. I always equated palaver with confusion and trouble. However, a recent google search revealed over 813,000 results for this enigma of a word.
One thing is clear, palaver is generated by people. It's an oral tradition which affixes meaning to events sometimes with little relevance to the actual facts at hand. It is also closely related to tribal wisdom and strives to create sense out of the insensibility and foggy events of everyday realities.
For a couple years, the chieftains of media have pronounced the source of all the mischief in the real estate industry. The palaver was re-packaged in western terminology as the bubble. The trouble was the bubble...whatever that was....it was growing too big, it was in danger of exploding and creating even more trouble...more palaver. It took some doing, as palaver often does; for palaver usually requires a catalyst or initiator to really get it going. So as the bubble, which the media chieftains defined as the healthy real estate industry, grew more rotund it needed more and more hot air to make it grow larger so it would finally do something...like burst!
In regions like the Midwest and communties such as Grand Rapids, Michigan, the whirlwind gathered gusto and grew the bubble, such as it was, very large. The furor was fueled by wars, and rumors of wars, lay-offs and corporate closings and finally the auto makers joined the fray in announcing record losses. Just like the childhood story of the big bad wolf that huffed and puffed until the house fell down, the bubble began to wobble and dance and shimmy dangerously...definitely the stuff of palaver.
But is palaver real? According to wordhut.com, palaver can be described as "
1. (n) loud and confused and empty talk; "mere rhetoric"
2. (n) flattery intended to persuade
3. (v) have a lengthy discussion, usually between people of different backgrounds
4. (v) influence or urge by gentle urging, caressing, or flattering; "He palavered her into going along"
5. (v) speak (about unimportant matters) rapidly and incessantly
As, I reviewed the sales statistics of the last year at the Grand Rapids Real Estate Board, there are mixed results. The last 2 years have been challenging, but to hear folks talk at the water cooler, this year was definitely worse than last. The statistics show something different. In comparing the last 2 quarters of 2005 with the last 2 quarters of 2006, Kent County had a POSITIVE correlation in the average price listed to average home sale price. (2005 - 85.4% to 2006 - 91.3%). This means that although there were more homes on the market this year, home purchases in the last 2 quarters of 2006 closed for almost 10% more than last year. This is good news. I heard a newscast in December which mentioned a 3.4% increase in sales activity nationwide. In Ottawa County, the difference was not as dramatic, but it was still there (2005 - 82.6% of List price on average vs. 2006 - 85.3% of list price.) While it's not raining "hallelujah" yet, things could be a whole lot worse!
A wonderful Mentor has always encouraged me to look for the trends that "whisper" long before the loud broadcast begins. We are still in the midst of a correction here in Michigan, but not a bubble. There is nothing to burst, as we have always had a conservative, balanced increase in our market which averaged between 3-5%. In December of 2006, single family home sales increased from 605 units to 682, a 12.7% improvement over 2005. So, in 2007, let's AVOID the palaver, Realtors on the ground, doing transactions daily are not "peering through a glass dimly" or trying to cajole meaning through the warped frame of a bubble. We can choose to create a solid reality through our diligence and hard work. I think that when the weather clears, we will all be surprised to see the changes the wind blew in!
African tradition also incorporates another very different framework for the word palaver. It is referred to in the context of the Palaver Tree. In this forum, the very best of indigenous African culture and oral tradition can be experienced. The Palaver Tree is the African "tribal council", a forum where the issues and problems of the day are discussed with input and wise guidance from village elders who may be men or women. In this way, problematic issues find resolution after much discussion and debate. It seems to me, that the Active Rain Network and Realtown Blogs are modern cyber versions of the Palaver Tree!
Lola Audu, is the Designated Broker & Owner of Audu Real Estate. Our company specializes in helping people buy and sell homes in the greater Grand Rapids, West Michigan area. You can contact us via e-mail @ firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 616-791-0511. Thanks for visiting our blog. Here are links to some of our most popular posts for you to enjoy!
Grand Rapids, Michigan real estate information including houses for sale, rent and home buyer/seller tips. Also includes wisdom and insights from Lola Audu, CRS Associate Broker.
Grand Rapids, Michigan Real Estate
Grand Rapids Real Estate
West Michigan Real Estate
Buying A home in Grand Rapids, Mi
Selling Your Grand Rapids, Mi Home
Downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan
Grandville, Michigan Real Estate
Relocating to Grand Rapids, Michigan
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.