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The Price of Tomatoes: Priorities in Real Estate and Life

“So what’s the price of tomatoes?”  You might only care about the answer to this question if you need or are in the market for “tomatoes.”  I buy them periodically and I love to grow my own, but I have to let you in on a secret.  I don’t actually eat tomatoes.  I cook with them and I love tomato sauce (and I have to confess my family did call it “gravy” when I was a kid.)  I love adding them to a salad, and to dress up so many other dishes that I enjoy preparing.  I think that they look beautiful on any plate.  If, however, I was told that I could never buy them again at any cost, my life would still go on relatively without interruption.  Sometimes it comes down to what you want, what’s important and how much you are willing to pay for things.

With Real Estate it is similar.  Not everyone wants to buy a house.  Now paradoxically in the United States 66% of the population say baloney because that’s how many people stepped up and said I am a homeowner.  I personally think it is an essential step toward healthy adulthood.  Owning a home makes you a better citizen all around and does more to improve your personal wealth and security than just about anything you can do. Today we see so many things that just make me shake my head and ask, “what could they be thinking?”  

Millennials especially think that it is outrageously important to suck down that 5 buck a day cup of coffee from some Seatle based cafe.  Do the math on that over a year’s span and I have to think, this is some seriously bad prioritizing.  How many car payments could they have made instead?  I just returned from a trip to Italy and learned that Italians have an interesting standard of prioritizIng as well.  After rent and food, the number one budget item for the average Italian is something that doesn’t even exist for an American.  Their most important thing is how they are going to find the money and what they will do for Ferragosto. That is the month-long holiday they take each August.  Yeah, the entire country pretty much shuts down in August.  A month-long vacation with the family is not a cheap thing in Italy either.  But it is of paramount importance if you live in Italy.

It is no great secret that interest rates for new home purchasers are twice what they were last year so the price of a mortgage payment has gone up significantly.  Over the years I have seen a roller coaster of interest rates and oddly enough during that time I have seen many people become buyers who thought they couldn’t become one or who thought they couldn’t afford it.  Some other people simply took themselves out of the market while others stepped up and did what they needed to do. This latter group might have skipped a night out on the town once a month, or tightened their belts in other ways buttheir priority was becoming a homeowner and getting out from under the rent TRAP.  Make no mistake here. Rent can be a serious trap for a lot of people. If you live in NYC and you are renting, you are pretty much cooked for too many reasons to consider today.  But I can remember trying to sort out the lookers from the buyers over the years and it always came down to priorities. I learned the familiar Real Estate maxim. It sounds cold but here i is: 

     “Some will, some won’t, NEXT.

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Author Brendan J. Cunningham is a New York Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, lead of the Platinum Team at HusVar Real Estate, as well as an accomplished writer, Shakespearean trained professional actor, and podcaster.
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