The Last Days of Disco Yes, the market has slowed. Someone turned on the lights. It appears that the insane, real estate party days of the early millennium are fading like Studio 54 into a new era of moderation. Some realtors and short-term investors are seeing giant spiders as their systems flush from all the fast times, wild prices and what seemed to be an endless supply of buyers to party with. When it comes to the area?s real estate market, I think we?re all still a bit hungover, and it?s hard to smile when your head?s pounding and all you can remember about the last few years is making lots of money and a blurry recollection of a closing with a married advertising executive named Jim ? or was it John? The straight-laced party poopers who stood on the walls and predicted a crash while the rest of us were getting down are feeling vindicated. Those of us who thought the party would never end are relieved that the heart pounding dance music was just replaced with something much slower, but still good for a romantic groove ? say from the Studio 54 version of ?If You Could Read My Mind? to the slower, but still somewhat danceable original by Gordon Lightfoot. As usual, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle, neither crash nor booming market, neither up nor down. Just as the seventies generation moved from cocaine to Prozac, the area?s real estate market seems to have done the same - no longer the life of the party, but now at least responsible enough to hold down a steady job. Perhaps now, we can all get back to what life was like before the party, and if we have any brain cells left, we?ll remember that it was actually pretty damn good. We?ll remember that real estate was a good long-term investment, not just financially, but an investment for our families to enjoy and build memories around year after year. We?ll remember that there was plenty of fresh seafood, great fishing, open air concerts and festivals to enjoy. We?ll remember that our beaches were among the most beautiful on the Gulf of Mexico and that water was as blue as any you?ll find north of the Caribbean. We?ll remember that dinner conversations didn?t totally revolve around soulless subjects like ?flipping? or ?simultaneous closings,? but about days at the beach and the books we?d finished reading and how clear the water is in October. We?ll remember that cities like Nashville, Atlanta, Birmingham and New Orleans were less than a day?s drive away. We?ll remember all of the unique and wonderful things that, unlike our car keys, we didn?t lose at the party. In short, we?ll remember all of the things that made all of us feel like partying to begin with, and I think that?s a very good thing.