Students stream to the Boston/Cambridge area from all over the world to obtain top-notch educations. A large percent go from Freshman Orientation through completing their dissertation to landing a job, finding a partner, and buying a home steps away from where they first entered a Freshman classroom.
The first child arrives. The second bedroom that was used as a joint study becomes the baby's room. (You're) in luck because your past/present college ties increase your child's chances of finding an affiliated daycare program. Pre-school looms; talk revolves around another child and you toy with the idea of moving to a larger condo or into a single family with a backyard where your children can play and you can entertain on those long, lazy days of summer. Your trusted agent helps find you a larger home with amenities you've dreamed of. Life is great!
The quick walk to public transportation turns into a car commute for the job, entertainment, and shopping. The second child arrives and so does the larger automobile that gets at least 20 mpg. On one of those rare nights out, you and your partner see "An Inconvenient Truth." You ramp up efforts to join the Green Revolution and shop for a hybrid car that is large enough to ferry your children, their friends, and sports equipment to after-school practice. You do all the right things: conserve water, electricity, recycle, chair local committees to conserve wetlands, participate in town clean-up days,
The price of gas climbs, drops, surges forward, and doubles. The daily on-line news headline adds "price per barrel" alongside the Dow and NASDAQ. You have a vague recollection of the price of oil being at $10. When was that??? It's over $120 and climbing. Before the dot.com bust when a main topic of conversation was an impending IPO and self-congratulatory nod to a burgeoning stock portfolio, the price of oil probably didn't play a huge role in your plans to move to a larger home, longer commute, and backyard barbecues.
Ah, rethinking priorities. Of course there are variables in any discussion. What's do you think? How will the price of gas impact housing and demographics in your area? I wonder if the Boston University professor who drives a four-hour round trip from an idyllic Maine retreat to to teach a few times a week will move closer to her students or secure another professorship near home? Or will she - like you (and your clients) - get used to it?
Have a great weekend!