Since I am stuck down here at my mother's house for the next five days (away from my familiar real estate . . . Maryland), I have little to do but plan my week's activities for when I get back, watch the news (ugh) and catch up on Active Rain. Both of the latter made me hot under the collar today and in Real Estate, you really have to stay bi-partisan . . . you know how hard that is for me?
1. Formal Announcement that GM is filing bankruptcy and tax payers now own 60% of a failed company. Why we would want it NOW is beyond me. But the Government is getting their piece, Canada is getting it's piece and the union (who helped make sure it failed - the only ones besides our Congress and the President who get health benefits for life). The "other" stakeholders get what's left, which isn't much of what isn't much.
2. Obama's announcement that he wanted to "get in, make the company viable again, and get out." After a big guffaw, I wanted to throw a brick at the screen. Obama is currently building the biggest federal defecit in our country's history and HE'S going to fix GM? With what? A long, direct stare?
3. Obama's $23,000+ dollar date (okay, I'm picking on Obama because NONE OF US can afford a date like that, yet we're paying for it!)
4. The fact that there are people who still think this is all Bush's fault (maybe the media could run, just one more time, the senate debates over how Fannie and Freddie were in good financial health).
I'm beating a dead horse, but I feel beating a live one would have PETA on my case. (I wouldn't anyway. I love horses)
My post yesterday on the Homeowners' rescue package made me realize that even the ones who loved what this administration is doing, are among those that are going to get crushed under the weight of the responsibility this deficit will cause.
I really don't think that Real Estate is the cornerstone of our economy (uh-oh! Now I've said it). You can't buy a house unless you have an income. I've had six families in my church lose their primary source of income. Of those six families, four of them were small business owners. They just went under.
One did custom concrete work.
Another did inner city and HUD restorations
Another was a broker for lumber, molding and millwork to independant lumber yards. 30 of his 49 customers either closed locations or went out of business altogether.
Another did siding and roofing.
Another sold cars (five dealership closed down shop in Harford/Baltimore County from one family owned franchise alone).
Okay, so that's five . . . I can't count. Three families left the area to be with family and I guess share the burden of trying to find work together.
My husband was the wholesale lumber and millwork salesperson for another company. His whole division got shut down.
Chrystler hasn't existed in Baltimore for several years now, Bethlehem Steel is gone and a whole generation of Dundalk/Middle River residents are living on borrowed financial time.
The prayers are flowing in our church. Regardless of who you want to blame for this train wreck, the fact of the matter is, we are going to get hurt. Every one of us . . . whether you are conservative, liberal, republican or democrat . . . unless you are working directly with the White House, you are going to get hurt and if it hasn't happened yet . . . it's coming.
The best advice I can give you is remember what's important. Those very people you may have a disagreement with are the ones who's support you are going to need. Set aside your difference, forget about who's fault it is and let's just do what is right for each other. The government is not going to help you (unless your name is Bank of America or AIG). We have got to get each other through this.
As real estate agents, we have a responsibility to just do the best job at fulfilling the needs we were hired to fulfill. Remind those facing short sale on their homes, or foreclosure that it's not their fault and they are not the only ones.
Agents, we also have a responsiblity to each other. Our market was dealt an unprecedented blow as well. This is why Active Rain has been invaluable to me. We have to take care of each other. Team up and send referrals to each other. Help the rookies and in doing so, you become "referrable" (I liked that from another post that I read, so I'm using it.)
I'm glad my rant from yesterday is over, but now it's time to get to work. Many potential customers need our help. And other agents, lenders, title companies need your support and comraderie.
And stop watching the news. It's depressing!