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Suzanne Macdowell's Blog

By Suzanne MacDowell | Agent in 07856
  • The only thing we have to fear is fear itself

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Morris County  |  August 6, 2010 5:14 AM  |  300 views  |  No comments

    “I’m afraid.” I hear those words so often these days.  “I know I should buy a house, (or invest in that property, or buy that piece of land for development), I WANT to buy, in fact, I know if I don’t buy NOW I may never be able to buy, but I am afraid.”  I understand. I really do.  Every day I hear stories, heart breaking stories, of good people who have lost their job, whose unemployment benefits have run out, people who are losing their home, can’t find a job and can’t pay their bills.


    Fear is a good thing.  It has a purpose.  Fear tells us, “be careful, this might be dangerous.”  But fear is only an emotion.  It is not a fact.  And it can not only protect us from harm, it can also paralyze us and prevent us from making good decisions and moving forward with our lives, if we let it.


    Let’s take a step back here and look at this objectively.  There has NEVER been a better time to buy real estate, whether it be land, commercial property or a home.  Interest rates are at an all time low.  Prices are unbelievably good right now.  In spite of what you hear on the news, banks ARE lending, at least to people who are a good credit risk, and there are indications that the housing market is beginning to recover, property values are going up.  So, what is it that we are all afraid of?


    Here is a perfect example, I know of a residential building project, and if everything in real estate is ‘location, location, location’ then this project is a slam dunk, a no brainer, a sure thing, a “can’t lose” proposition.  I’ve gathered the data.  I can prove that the number of sales in the area have increased dramatically in the past 12 months.  I can prove that property values in the area are going up.  If I had the wherewithal I would buy this project in a heart beat before someone else could beat me to the punch.  I’ve done the math and I was so thrilled with the findings, I had it reviewed by a friend (a math whiz with a PhD in Physics) just to be certain, and, guess what, his analysis showed the numbers were even BETTER than I thought.  I get all tingly just thinking about it!


    But what do I hear from every developer who has looked at the project?  “I’m afraid.”  Afraid of what?  Success?  Making money?  What? 


    Well, I am afraid, too.  I am afraid that we have allowed fear to paralyze us and prevent us from making good decisions.  I am more and more convinced every day that the only thing preventing an economic recovery in our country is fear.  If we do not conquer our fear and start making good decisions, we may never move forward.


    Franklin Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself -- nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”  I am not suggesting we act recklessly.  Get the facts.  Do the math.  Plan carefully and build in a contingency plan in case unexpected issues arise.  But, then, if, and only if, the numbers add up, take action.  Act in spite of fear.  It’s time to turn retreat into advance. 

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