2009---Simplify

By
Real Estate Agent with Douglas Elliman Real Estate 30HA0800896

I don't know about you but I have just gone through the most tumultuous financial time of my adult life this past year.

After watching my retirement savings disappear, customers disappear, and a general malaise set in with the real estate business, I decided to go into a self evaluation that has lasted almost 3 months.

 

I have emerged nervous, fearful and in general, a changed person. My life had taken a turn in recent years, that in looking back, I will call nothing short of  extravagant.....there was nothing that I wanted  that was unattainable. I own a wonderful house which  I rent out in the summer for top dollar; I have a fabulous automobile; my business has been a flourishing one---that is until now.

Fearful

November, 2008 is when it all came to an abrupt end. I had just sold and closed on a very large property in September and I had cleared up my outstanding credit card debt, started making arrangements for a debt free existence and it all skidded to a stop--I lost 3 deals that were scheduled to close over the next 2 months. My service people came out of the woodwork asking for more money--because of the cost of gasoline! Everyone I had lined up as a regular service provider had their hands out, telling me their costs had to be passed on to me.

                                             Good Work!!!

 

Now, I am more than happy to pay my fair share. If someone who works for me needs money I am even more than happy to slip them some extra funds...People who know me well, know this. This year however, I can't give anyone the customary holiday "tip" for work done over the past year. This bothers me a great deal because I know they can use the extra money. I, however, don't have the money!

So, now I have made the biggest decision of my life: No longer will I be looking to hire people to do the things that I am physically able to do; I will mow my own lawn, clean my own house, make my own repairs where I can and cut out all the service people that I had become so accustomed to using....maybe I can find a replacement for the pool company that overcharged me at the end of last summer! Or better yet, learn how to vacuum and clean the pool myself!

These may seem like unusual "give ups" to others---I am a very fortunate person to be able to own my own house and to have been able to do several "big" deals in the last 2 years...but my days of excess are now over!!!....and I can't begin to tell you how good I feel!!!  I may even use the little corner of my back yard to grow some tomatoes this next summer..........

 

 

 

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Rainer
11,219
Thez Santos
Thez Santos RE Brokered by eXp Realty - Daly City, CA
" Assisting buyers find real estate bargains! "

Those where the days..  when we  spent money like water..., remember when the majority bought five homes , all brand new, three were vacant for 3 years , paid the mortgages month after month after month, utilities, alarm systems,  how about association dues ... the irritating mails with matching pictures showing weeds that needs to be pull out... gggrrrrrr...  

We enjoyed the ride too... and now that the good days were over ... we just have to get adjusted with the weather ...

Nice post!!

Thez Santos

Jan 03, 2009 05:54 PM #49
Rainmaker
500,969
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

THOM AND RAY: Thanks for your comments---and you were able to do it with a real sense of humor!  Every morning, as I unwrap my self from my dreams, I find myself going over and over the things I can do to improve my lot. Then I turn it all over to the "Forces"; there is not much else one can do but turn it all over........and hope for and trust, that things will all work out. They will, you know!

THEZ: Boy! You were right on the money! Thanks for your input and lets, all together now, take a deep breath........ and..........know that things always do work out the way they are supposed to be! It just may look and feel different than what we are accustomed to....but things do always turn out.

I  like to think of the saying: "Everything has it's appropriate order"....it certainly applys now; as we adjust to the way things are, lets prepare for the way things will be.

Thanks to all for the valuable examples and experiences that you have shared with me---what a time we are living in!

Jan 03, 2009 10:44 PM #50
Anonymous
imin

Congratulations on getting a head start with your own 2009 simplifying! I appreaciate your comments and look forward to filling everyone in on my progress as we go through this wonderful, enlightening year....

 

http://company-catalog.info/Keywords/happy/Default.html

Jan 03, 2009 11:01 PM #51
Anonymous
Ana Ramiscal

Hi Paula: Best of wishes for you in the New Year. My husband and I are doing this same thing about cutting back.He is in the automotive industry so we are getting a double dose. One of the things that has helped tremendously is in the way we buy groceries. No more trips to the specialty places. We hav discovered Aldi and if you do not mind bringing your own shopping bags and packing your groceries, the prices make up for the hassle. Last summer we started mowing the lawn and I have become my dogs groomer.Next thing on my agenda is trying the local beauty schools to get my haircuts.

Hang in there. The ones of us who are waiting this out will come out on top at the end and we will be a better agent for it.Good luck with your closings and I will keep you in my prayers.Ana Ramiscal.

Jan 04, 2009 01:31 AM #52
Rainmaker
500,969
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

ANA: Please accept my heartfelt thanks for your sweet reply and your valuable input. These times will ultimatey define us and I can see that you are in a great place already! Thank you so much and have a happy new year!

Jan 04, 2009 01:40 AM #53
Rainer
3,315
Jack "Doc" Holliday
West USA Realty - Fountain Hills, AZ
MBA, GRI

Hi Paula,

A great post that just about sums it up, not only for REALTORS, but for the rest of the country as well.  I had the same experience...doing very well and then BAM!  Business dried up.  We have simplified in our household too and I am redirecting my efforts to helping buyers and sellers in short sales and forclosures.  Also, it's a good time for me to do a better job in staying in touch with friends and past clients.

Great job.  Thank you.

Jan 04, 2009 05:33 AM #54
Rainmaker
500,969
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

JACK: I appreciate what you are going through! The key for me is to keep a smile on my face and bring my mood up when it sinks....get good feelings flowing again by thinking of the possiblities in this different market. It sounds like you have the same spirit and attitude--keep up the good work; it will all pay off in the end.

Jan 04, 2009 06:46 AM #55
Rainer
35,653
Myra Spano
BHHS Towne Realty - Virginia Beach, VA
Real Estate Broker

Thanks! Sticking to the basics... what a great reminder!

Jan 04, 2009 07:05 AM #56
Ambassador
606,096
Brian Schulman
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552

Hi Paula,

These days we have to do whatever is necessary to survive financially.  You're certainly not alone!(trust me)

Jan 04, 2009 10:47 AM #57
Anonymous
Anonymous

Hi Paula;

Wonderful post.  It would be life changing if we would just slow down and sit still to listen to the loving voice within.  We would steer clear of some things we call challenges, only if we take the time to "listen."

Happy New Year.


Rosa Addison

 

 

Jan 04, 2009 11:04 AM #58
Rainmaker
500,969
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

MYRA AND BRIAN: Thank you both for the words of support---this year could be the one where we all find comfort from our fellowmen/women...it feels good, yes? Happy New Year!

ROSE: I fully agree with your observations...listening and paying attention to the "clues" that come up for each of us as we listen. I call them clues because the information is all there for a perfect life. What a wonderful thing to discover! Thanks for your comments...

Jan 04, 2009 11:41 AM #59
Anonymous
Anonymous

Paula-

Looks like you hit a hot button.

I have always lived by the adage "you either have to make more or desire less".  I ,like you, had simply made more.  I feel now that I squandered a good deal. Since I can't go backwards, I make a pack with myself - make more And desire less.  The time to stop making more is when it costs more to maintain.  I a few years I may simply choose to desire less.  Have a Great 2009 and I wish you peace.

Jan 04, 2009 11:50 AM #60
Rainmaker
500,969
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

I don't see your name on the comment so I will just say: I think you are right on the mark; my goal is to be very careful in what I take on personally. I think you can be just as extravagant in ways other than financial. If I had put my efforts into the more important things ie, volunteering, spending time with my family and friends, writing more--maybe even a book, maybe I would not be here now---but then you know what?--this is what I have at the moment so I will do my best with this!

Thanks for your response.....

Jan 04, 2009 01:12 PM #61
Rainer
3,248
TRACEY COLE
Keller Williams Realty/ Birmingham's Best Real Estate Group - Helena, AL

Me Too to all this. It feels good to get back to reality doesn't it. We did not realize how Blessed we are. I bet you this I do now. It kills me to clean my whole house, but I am going to love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This was a good one. Thanks!!!!!!!

Jan 05, 2009 01:27 PM #62
Rainmaker
500,969
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

TRACEY: Thank you so much for your comment; this is a fabulous time when you get right down to it..I love it too and I am so happy you appreciated reading my post!!!

Jan 05, 2009 02:07 PM #63
Rainer
60,386
Patty Peck Flagstaff Real Estate
Realty One Group / Mountain Desert - Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff REALTOR

Paula -

Your post hit home. 

My motto is "Change is Good" - yes, the word change has become such a huge buzz word, but it is a concept that every human being needs in their lives.  Everything that we go through - the good, the bad and the ugly, comes to us to initiate our growth and it seems the deepest growth comes from tough times - so I'm embracing them and hoping the heartships our nation is experiencing will help us grow, not only individually, but as a nation. 

For me - "the more you make, the more you spend" attitude has become a burden and a cumbersome way to live.  Giving away my power to other people is no longer acceptable and I applaud your honesty and initiative in making and talking about your "changes" - we can do pretty much anything we put our honest efforts into!

Best to you

 

Jan 23, 2009 02:42 AM #64
Rainmaker
500,969
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Patty: Thank you for your response---I see you have had a similar "epiphany"! The changes I have made have created such a difference in my life that it is almost indistinguishable from my old life!! It feels so good....Thanks again for the input!

Jan 23, 2009 02:07 PM #65
Rainer
60,386
Patty Peck Flagstaff Real Estate
Realty One Group / Mountain Desert - Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff REALTOR

Paula - Thank you.  Check out my most recent post on my blog - I think you'll appreciate it.

Jan 23, 2009 02:12 PM #66
Anonymous
Karen Hedrick

WOW!!!!  And I thought I was alone! 

I have read each and evry post and realize that we are all in the same boat.  Simplifing in ALL areas of life, not only including financially but every aspect of our lives.  Clutter, ...it is mentally draining as well as physically draining.  Getting back to basicx in our real estate business is also rewarding. 

Thanks for the post everyone!  God Bless!

Feb 21, 2009 01:20 AM #67
Rainmaker
500,969
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Karen: You are so right---everybody is feeling it! Thank you so much for taking the time to read every response to my post---I just re-read them and what a fabulous thing AR is; we can talk to each other and share our "plight"---just like family therapy!

Feb 21, 2009 02:14 AM #68
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...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons
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