The good old days???

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Home Team


The 70's


Most of you are probably younger than me.  You probably weren't in the real estate business in the 70's.  Heck, some of you weren't even born yet.  But I fondly remember the adventures of selling real estate in the late 70's.

Interest Rates:  The highest interest rate on a house I sold was 17 1/4!!   I remember the house and the buyers very clearly almost 30 years later.  The nice folks refinanced later at a much better rate of 14%.  Seriously.

Gas/Oil:   We'd have been happy to pay high prices for gas and oil.  Unfortunately there wasn't enough of it and gas lines were a way of life.  And you could only buy gas on certain days of the week depending on whether your license plate ended in an even or odd number.  Here in New England oil shortages were a major concern since most of our homes were heated by oil.  Homes with wood stoves and solar power were in demand and builders started to build with electric.  When oil shortages ended, homes with electric heat became hard to sell and still are.

Qualifying Buyers:   I'm not sure how it was where you live, but here we did our own qualifying of buyers.  The age of the mortgage officer hadn't arrived yet.  You set your buyers down, got all their financial information and did your own qualifying.  You wrote the contract and the buyers to the local banker. This tended to eliminate agents who couldn't do math. 

Dress:  Men agents wore suits.  Woman agents wore....yep, suits.

I'm sure there is more to remember but I'm getting older now.  What was I saying?




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Derek and Mariana Wagner
Springs Top Agents- Keller Williams Premier Realty - Colorado Springs, CO
Springs Top Agents - Colorado Springs REALTORS®

What a fun post! ((I kind of remember 1977...))

... and we still do our own buyer pre-qual/qualifications before referring to a L.O., gives us a little more control of the deal. 


Oct 22, 2006 03:14 AM #34
Melissa Mullany
The County Land Company - Saint Charles, IL

Love the post..Although I was born in the 70's but my mom has told me the stories of the interest rates and the gas shortages and expenses. That's why I can't understand why people are gawking at interest rates of 6 % or 7%! I missed the late 70's and 80's as an adult, but I still appreciate our interest rates today. All those buyers out there, gawking at our interest rates have either forgotten the late 70's and the 80's or there parents haven't passed that torch...



Oct 22, 2006 03:59 AM #35
Tracy Santrock
Fonville Morisey/Santrock Realty Group, Inc. - Cary, NC
Raleigh - Cary Realtor/Broker In Charge
I wasn't in the business but I do remember interest rates during the Carter era..thanks for the cute post.
Oct 22, 2006 04:26 AM #36
Kay Chappell
American Dream Properties - Oxford, NC
Like many, I wasn't in the business in the 70's, shoot, I'm over 45 and under 50 (that's all I'll say about age), but I drove a Vega.  Who remembers those???  However, (don't be jealous) it was a DELUXE (haha!)  Had a black vinyl top.  Did I mention that it was ORANGE!!!!  Kinda wish I had it now, what with Halloween coming up.   I remember well the days of Royal Typewriters and  IBM Selectrics were state of the art!!!!  Yep, I miss some of the simplicitly (never locking the doors at home), but I don't miss carbon paper, taking shorthand and 8 track tape players!
Oct 22, 2006 05:13 AM #37
Home Design
Alpharetta, GA
Home Design and Real Estate
My parents tell me about the "tough times" of long ago.  We are spoiled now compared to 20-30 years ago.  Even most of us in our 20s will admit that.
Oct 22, 2006 01:04 PM #38
Drew Monaghan
The Private Exchange Group, Inc. - Coral Springs, FL
1031 Exchange Coaching and Resources

Today we have lower rates, but higher prices which are affecting cash flow for real estate investors.  Even with the high interest rates of the 70s, you could you still get properties to cash flow, right?

Oct 23, 2006 02:58 AM #39
Dave Rosenmarkle
Highland Realty - Arlington, VA
31 years of providing fully satisfying service!
It sounds like I got off easy with a 13 1/2% 1st and a 15 3/4% 2nd! Great post!
Oct 23, 2006 02:59 AM #40
Linda Davis
RE/MAX Home Team - Gales Ferry, CT
Yes, you are correct Drew.
Oct 23, 2006 03:13 AM #41
Jay McGillicuddy

Hi Linda,

            My dad had his own business back in the 70's and I took it over in the late 80's. I can remember  him saying that fax machines were a waste of money and  that his agents had to hand carry paperwork to the co-broke agents or to their buyers or sellers. He always wanted his agents to have that personal touch. When cell phones came in he liked that but was furious about computers. I think he paid about 10K for their first PC with about 20mb. How times have changed. I can't wait to see what technology will do in the next 10 years.


Thanks Jay 

Nov 02, 2006 09:22 AM #42
Rebecca Savitski
BSR Real Estate Group - Cary, NC
NC Real Estate Listings

HI Linda,


What a fun post? Thanks

Nov 02, 2006 09:44 AM #43
Maureen Francis & Dmitry Koublitsky
Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel - Bloomfield Hills, MI
Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel
Congratulations for a great job in the Carnival of ActiveRain.
Nov 03, 2006 10:44 PM #44
Kristal Kraft
The Berkshire Group Realtors - Denver, CO
Selling Metro Denver Real Estate - 303-589-2022

Linda, Great work,  I can remember those days fact...

Recently I was pondering over an old photo album of my girl friend's.  She had pictures of us in High School when we were on a school trip to N.Y. (to the country).  I was wearing a SUIT!  We never worn slacks, always dresses and skirts.  Such a hoot!

Nov 04, 2006 12:14 AM #45
Jay Thompson
Zillow - Seattle, WA

Great post! Congrats on the Carnival win. That's what I love about this Carnival... I missed this post the first time around. 

I grew up in the 70s (High School Class of We're so Fine We're '79)

My first car was a 1968 Volkswagen Bug. You could start it by sticking a screwdriver in the key slot. My girlfriend had a bright orange 1976 Vega. Remember Vega's? The engine block was aluminum. It was a piece of junk. (KAY, I just saw your comment about your orange Vega. Were you my girlfriend? I don't think hers was a DELUXE though..)

Rock concert tickets were $9. I remember being appalled that I had to pay $30 to see the Rolling Stones/ZZ Top concert. THIRTY DOLLARS for a concert?!?! The Stones will be in Phoenix Monday. Ticket prices were $99 - $350... The wife and I would have gone, but $700 for tickets seems a bit steep.

I made $2.05/hr working at McDonald's -- we advertised you could get a burger, fries and a Coke and get change back from your dollar.

I was quite upset when gas went over $0.40/gal as that meant it cost me almost five bucks to fill up my tank. Oh the humanity!

I added your victory to my Carnival post on the wanna-be famous Phoenix Real Estate Guy blog. 

Nov 04, 2006 02:56 AM #46
Linda Davis
RE/MAX Home Team - Gales Ferry, CT
Thanks Jay!  Your blog rocks!  You can cross of the wanna-be part.
Nov 04, 2006 03:02 AM #47
Carol Williams
U.S.: I specialize in helping agents who have been in the business 2 years or less create a thriving business. - Wenatchee, WA
"Customized Mentoring & Marketing Services"
Hi Linda,   I remember those days.  I wasn't selling real estate but I did own my first home.  It was on an "assumed" loan at 8%.  I remember the gas lines and staggered buying days, based on the number on your license plate.  Wasn't that about 1974?  I also remember dress codes.  How archaic is that?  :-)  And, I remember running to the bank to refinance my home down to 10%. Wasn't that in the early 90's.  Oh times have changed.  Wonder if 30 years from now we'll be calling these the "Good Old Days"?  Yup!
Nov 04, 2006 03:05 AM #48
marti garaughty - Montreal, QC
a highly caffeinated creative type...
Great post Linda, thanks for the memories. Having turned 50 a few months ago, I'm old enough to remember buying Coke in those green tinted bottles for 5 cents and running home after school to catch the latest episode of Star Trek.
Nov 04, 2006 03:53 AM #49
Philip Turner
Mortgage Banker Since 1980

Congratulations on your Carnival of Active Rain win.  Unfortunately I remember everything you mention.

Nov 04, 2006 06:31 AM #50
Kaye Thomas
Real Estate West - Manhattan Beach, CA
e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA

Linda Great post.. Oh my do I remember...We all wore false eyelashes and hairpieces... 

 I started selling  fulltime in June 1979.. by October rates were going up daily.. I think the highest  rate was 18%.. We were so creative with our financing.. All we needed to hear was that a buyer fogged the mirror and we found a way to make the deal work. 

The deposit receipts were one page with a very small area to write all  the contingencies.. We all owned pens with extra fine points.  All documents were hand delivered.  If a buyer or seller was out of town we used telegrams from western union.

The good old days.. glad they are old days



Nov 04, 2006 09:44 AM #51
Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans

Linda.... this was funny.  And congrats on the win.

In regards to what you stated about the fact that loan officers didn't come into play back then....that you qualified your own buyers..  Well, 2 programs back then.... 30 yr fixed and 15 yr fixed... lol  Now...over 400 loan programs.

 Again....  good job and congratulations.

Nov 04, 2006 10:51 AM #52
Being born in 1968, I remember from about 1974 on. Waiting in long gas lines on your even or odd day depending on your license plate.  My mother drove a 1974 Lincoln that got about 4 MPG.  Also those were the days when you would get up on a Saturday, go play outside around 830-900 and not come home until dinner or later. My parents would never think twice to come and look for me. It was just the time we all lived in.  It was also the era when The Fonz was cool and going to McDonalds' was actually a HUGE deal, not a daily or weekly occurence for most of the kids today.  Great Blog Linda!
Nov 07, 2006 02:07 AM #53
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