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Listen to Your Elders

The past week has been a whirlwind for me. Last Thursday, I had major surgery. I tell you this only as an explanation of how I came to write this week’s blog.

I have been in a rehab facility for a couple days and what is most impressive is how the other patients are so upbeat and social. Now, most of the residents here are seniors and they are quite engaging and inquisitive. As they see me working on my laptop or hear me on my phone, they always ask what I do. When I talk about being in the mortgage business and my interaction with real estate agents, there is no shortage of opinions on these topics. But what I found most exciting was the universal belief in homeownership and that now was a great opportunity for young people.

“My wife and I bought our home in 1967. We raised a family and paid off our mortgage. It’s going to be the only real asset we will pass on to our kids. But really, that house IS our family- all the memories. Buying a house is the best thing a family can do.”

“We paid $29,000 for our home in 1969. It’s worth about $500,000 now. We should have sold it for $600,000 a few years back, but still, it was a great investment.”

“We refinanced our home twice- once for improvements and once to pay for our kids’ college education. It was the only way we could have afforded college in 1985. I can’t imagine how people pay for it today.”

“When my husband passed here years ago, I took out a reverse mortgage to help make ends meet. I was also able to give some money to my granddaughter to use for a down payment on a new home for her family. I like seeing the results of my giving, while I am here to enjoy it.”

It was great to hear those who have done it are glad they did. If you are still debating a purchase (with these great prices and low rates), maybe you need to sit and chat with some seniors- people whose experience you can learn from.

PS – I am going home tomorrow. One week after surgery. Doctors and nurses are amazing.

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9 replies
  1. Joanne
    Joanne says:

    Great blog Dean. I am glad you are feeling good enough to wright your blog … as for the content, the elders are right. Just think what their lives would of been like if they never took the leap and bought their homes so many years ago. Purchasing a home is not only a step most people take in their lives, but a necessary one for a family.

  2. Janet
    Janet says:

    I absolutely loved your post today, real words/opinions of real people that have experienced not only home ownership but tough economic times in the past. Your blog has inspired me to go visit with some elders in my community to gain their perspective about their home owning experience, then to pole a younger group of individuals (maybe college students) to compare their perspectives.

    I hope your speedy recovery continues,

  3. Ruthmarie Hicks
    Ruthmarie Hicks says:

    Get well soon!  A lot of younger people are too obsessed with getting a steal — not a deal.  That’s a problem because the bargain is already baked into the cake…and with super-low interest rates and low prices – that’s a nice fat slice they are getting.  Their elders understand that opportunities like that don’t grow on trees, but many think they can out-fox the system and instead the are outsmarting themselves. 

  4. Cindyslettevold
    Cindyslettevold says:

    I am glad you are doing well and will be going home. I am new to your blog and already love it. Thank you for your commitment and insights. And thank you for such a great post today!


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