“Next time you’re found, with your chin on the ground There’s a lot to be learned, so look around
Just what makes that little old ant
Think he’ll move that rubber tree plant
Anyone knows an ant, can’t
Move a rubber tree plant
But he’s got high hopes, he’s got high hopes He’s got high apple pie, in the sky hopes
So any time you’re gettin’ low
‘stead of lettin’ go
Just remember that ant
Oops there goes another rubber tree plant”
This happy little song sang by Frank Sinatra (written by Writer(s):
Cahn/Van Heusen) became the campaign message back in 1959 and captured the vision of a great America by the charismatic and successfully elected, President John F. Kennedy. Though that dream was shattered in Dallas, the “Apple Pie” aspirations of the American dream was resurrected in the 1980s by President Ronald Reagan in spite of double-digit interest rates. Due in part to such inspiring leadership, Americans, myself among them, did not despair, but got to work and set in motion ingenuity and innovation that would change the world as we now know it a few decades later.
Back in the Reagan-era, I built my first home at 20 years old with my husband through a work-equity building company in the Twin Cities.
Upon completion, after months of invested labor we owned a home with an appraised and actual worth more than what we owed in spite of a mortgage rate at about 14%. At that time, I also worked at a company on the cutting edge of technology on a new machine called the Wang Word Processor, and while that dates me in my old age, the important point is that interest rates that high alone should’ve been enough to shut down the housing and technology industries, but it didn’t. By contrast today, with interests rates so low that that ant from the High Hopes song could crawl under them… the doom and gloom has loomed over the housing industry during the recent recession and it’s just now, in the Spring of 2012, that cautious optimism has returned to the American Dream.
This past week on “Trend On”, the Linked Local Network show that I co-host every Wed. morning live at 10:00am with Heidi Feemster, our guests were the “Real Estate Duo” of Terry Donahue and June Herman from Prudential Absolute Realtors in Oconomowoc, WI, who began working in the real estate business back in the day of the ’80s. Confirming the Spring housing trends that interest rates are still low and optimism and confidence in the real estate markets is increasingly high, Terry and June provided insights into the changing landscape of the real estate business, including the influence of the internet and social media, in addition to practical information on what the sunny forecasts mean for buyers and sellers, both affected by the past years of the housing industry downturn.
Bringing their 30 years experience with efficiency, innovation, expertise, unity, and fun to their real estate business, Terry and June agreed that there are definite signs of improvement for the first time in awhile with houses moving again on the market and both buyers and sellers working on successful transactions. Buyers had the luxury of more control over the market as anxious sellers saw few options other than having to drop listing prices to keep deals together or generate interest in their homes in the first place. But Buyers have also had to learn to be cautious in how precarious the financing for a potential sale can be with credit and financing being much more challenging factors. Terry and June attest to the changing role of the real estate professional as a financial advisor and counselor with their clients. Housing offers have unraveled, they said, because a buyer bought something prior to a housing purchase closing that turned out to be a last minute deal breaker when the banks pulled the financing.
In spite of the stricter financing, the especially good news is that warm weather is welcome not just by those like me who hate winter (but live here anyway) but by everyone involved in the Housing industry as the mild weather really did help jump-start the 2012 Spring Housing Season. As my own kids are now as old (or older) than I was when I built my first home, I’m encouraged to have a sense of optimism and confidence returning to the American Dream of home ownership.
For more, on the discussion with the “Real Estate [Dynamic] Duo”, go to: