Under the Tuscan Sun
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m an avid reader. I usually read an average of 2-3 books each week as I’m always reading mulitple books at one time. I normally read a business or sales related book (which right now I’m just finishing “How to Be A Power Agent in Real Estate” which is UNBELIEVABLE) as well as one or two fictional books. Very rarely do I even talk to people about the fictional books I’m reading as I really do it for pleasure and rarely is there any lesson learned that is important for me to spread. This week I’ve been reading a book entitled “Under the Tuscan Sun” by Frances Mayes. It was published in the mid 1990′s and there was eventually a movie made about it. It’s a very casual read… something you’d take to a beach. This morning as I was crawling through chapters something really profound hit me. This book is about a husband and wife who buy and restore an abandoned villa on the Tuscan countryside. It speaks to the enjoyment, hard work, and accomplishment in owning a house. It speaks to the sense of wonder at the history and memories built into ones home. I’m not quite done with this novel but it has enlightened me to look at my own home in a very different way. Yesterday my house was just a place where I slept and an investment in my future. Today my home is something that I made… it’s a place to build memories and to sculpt a future.
Ok… so where am I going with this? As an owner of a successful real estate firm I can’t help but notice that most of us have really gotten away from appreciating what it means to own a home. The newspapers, television, and even us real estate agents speak about the value property has today like it’s a dollar bill we’ve found on the ground. What’s this house worth today? How much was it worth last week? Has the market bottomed out? Should I buy today because what if my house is worth less next year? HAVE WE ALL GONE CRAZY? We are speaking here about the American Dream! Homeownership has become a currency like a share of stock in Google! When our grandparents and great grandparents bought homes did they sit there and struggle about how much they could sell it for in three years. Absolutely not. They saved and saved every penny they had so that they too could have the opportunity of owning their piece of the dream… a place where they could raise families, have barbecues, eat family dinners…. a place to laugh, cry, and honor time as it slipped on by.
I don’t think we are all that different from our grandparents who really appreciated a home for what it represented. If we were, stores with the likes of Home Depot and Lowes wouldn’t be cropping up on every corner. I do, however, feel that as an industry we all need to concentrate less on the monetary value of real estate. This is not a share of Google we are talking about folks, it’s one’s little postage stamp sized spot in the world where memories are built and futures are molded.