Last Days of Disco

Discussion in 'Real Estate' started by WaltonUndercurrent, Nov 8, 2005.

  1. WaltonUndercurrent

    WaltonUndercurrent Beach Lover

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2005
  2. Rita

    Rita margarita brocolia

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    How very cleverly written, Walton Undercurrent. :cool:
     
  3. Mermaid

    Mermaid picky

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    Your last paragraph is why we bought. I feel sorry for everyone who bought for all the other reasons you mention. They are missing out on an awful lot. :sosad: And they'll probably never know, either.
     
  4. Miss Kitty

    Miss Kitty Meow

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    This mermaid speaks the truth. I feel so lucky.
     
  5. SHELLY

    SHELLY SoWal Insider

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    Undercurrent,

    Nicely put. Only someone with a portfolio that isn't overweighed in real estate can know such peace.

    But it's so sad how the greed and land-grab of the "disco years" left our state in ruins. The lights are on, the music has stopped, but there are many still on the dance floor too buzzed to realize the party has ended. There is not going to be an overall, nationwide POP of the real estate bubble--but for those who got too greedy and have overextended themselves, their own personal BANG is going to be deafening!
     
  6. Miss Kitty

    Miss Kitty Meow

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    SHELLY...hasn't this always been the case in real estate? Greed is here to stay, I'm sorry to say.
     
  7. redfisher

    redfisher Beach Fanatic

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    While "Walton Undercurrent" has told an entertaining story, makes a few reasonable points and while I realize this response will be unpopular, it surprising to me how many people seem to be hiding behind this notion of "I didn't REALLY buy for the money, I'm here for the beaches, the memories and I love Red Bar"...It wasn't memories or beaches that changed hands at the closing table...It was bucks...

    It was these very people, US, sitting at the dinner table talking about "how much we've made and simultaneous closings"...We have now become the "we hate greedy speculators and my community is left in ruins" crowd...Is this a way of making ourselves feel better for letting money dominate our thoughts or not selling at the high or are we just "better people" than they...According to some in this thread, others "Will just never realize what a jewel we have down here"...I'm curious as to whats wrong w/speculation...I'm also confused by the condescension of the "how big the bang is going to be" line...if we're all such noble people, what difference should it make?...

    And what's this business of "land grab", did someone break the law or act unethically...Is their a reason that your "down in the mouth" because they exercised their right to speculate? We loved them two years ago...Who are we to tell them their buzzed?...If it were to fall another 50% from here and the rentals dried up, I wonder how many of US might rethink how great the beaches are...

    I realize we love it here, the kids have a great time, Christmas is lovely and Red Bar is awesome...blah, blah, blah...but check nostalgia at the door, its just a beach...
     
  8. Miss Kitty

    Miss Kitty Meow

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    I'll take the first shot at you refisher, but just wait until Mermaid sees this! Maybe we are the exception, but we have purchased one property in SoWal and it WAS for the "feel good" reasons. Yes, our property has increased in value...but so has our home here in Dallas. I am not one to look at paper and talk about how "wealthy" I am because of a real estate investment. In fact, to me anyone who feels the need to "brag" about what a killing they made in real estate, stocks, etc. is not someone I would spend anytime with.

    We have begun to look around SoWal for a larger place for the future (married kids and grandchildren)...We should be so lucky to find another place to love in SoWal!!!!

    Your blah, blah, blah says it all to me...You my fellow poster....just don't get it!
     
  9. Mermaid

    Mermaid picky

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    Sueshore's right! I DO take exception to your views. There are many lovely people on this board who feel the that way Sueshore and I feel: that the beach is about love, first, money second. Yes, many of us are lucky enough to have the money to purchase down here. But to imply that we are a wee bit, how shall I put it delicately?--hypocritical, is silly and misguided.

    The fact is that while you own down here, you're losing money. Even if you rent. That makes a little dent in expenses but you will never come out ahead by sharing your home with other people. It only helps.

    The real money is sitting on your investment and selling at a profit. I won't deny that there is profit to be made in the selling. And yes, that certainly does figure into why people buy beach property. And yes, again, that's the primary reason that some people buy. I say, more power to them. It's a free country. There's no law against flipping property, even though many of us dislike the concept.

    But what about the many of us who buy on the beach for love? Can you really say that those of us for whom the beach is about family and friends are merely using that as a "smokescreen" to hide our real (monetary to you) interests? I'm sure you don't honestly think that! Nor can you say "oh but there's holes in your argument! Look, Sueshore admitted she's looking into selling..." Sure, we may sell--I might even want to sell my itty bitty postage stamp for a bigger place, and I'll be very happy to make a good profit on my labor, thank you very much--but please don't say that our families aren't the very first thing that comes to minds when we make the real estate decisions.
     
  10. Sheila

    Sheila SoWal Insider

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  11. Rita

    Rita margarita brocolia

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    Mermaid, You are much too kind!

    When we bought our house, we were buying something we had dreamed about for years. We were in no way sitting at the closing table thinking of the money we were going to make, but we were thrilled to finally be progressing toward a dream. Everyone has different dreams. Not everyone's dream is to accumulate as much money as possible in the shortest period of time. If that is your dream, fine. But don't belittle others' dreams and ways of enjoying life.

    "Is this a way of making ourselves feel better for letting money dominate our thoughts or not selling at the high or are we just "better people" than they..."

    Money may be dominating YOUR thoughts, but you are way out of line generalizing in this way. Did you even think seriously about what you wrote?
    :blink:
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2005
  12. KISH7374

    KISH7374 Beach Fanatic

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    I am not an owner on the beach but still feel like it is a part of me. If I could afford a place in So-Wal, I would not hesitate to purchase. The reasoning behind this is to enjoy the beach and possibly be able to pass it on to future generations. I had the opportunity to take 2 of my grandchildren to the beach this past August. It was the first time my granddaughter saw the ocean and she fell in love with it. One of the most cherishes memories of this trip was walking with her on the beach before anyone else was up and to see her eyes and her expressions at all of the new things in her life. This is what the beach is all about. I do not own but still feel like I do and the beach will always be a part of my life and now my grandchildren.
     
  13. KISH7374

    KISH7374 Beach Fanatic

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    And another thing. To some of us, wealth is not measured by material possessions. It is measured by family, friends and good times. The beach is surely one of the best times. Don't get me wrong, money is nice but at what price happiness. All the money in the world cannot buy happiness.
     
  14. kathydwells

    kathydwells Darlene is my middle name, not my nickname

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    that doesn't need people there that don't love and respect it for what it is, a beautiful beach, a wonderful community, a place to make memories (yep, for notalgia's sake). I don't own a place there, but I am so thankful for the one's that do own, for the sake of the beach, community and what it has to offer, and not those just out for the almighty $$!!!!!
     
  15. WaltonUndercurrent

    WaltonUndercurrent Beach Lover

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    I moved to South Walton in 2000 because I bascially grew up down here and liked it. In fact, I left a successful career just to do it. It's not "just a beach" to me, it's been my home - an attachment based more on friends, childhood memories, family history and familiarity than simple topography. The crazy real estate boom that followed I never expected or predicted. It was great, and I benefited from it as both a "flipper" and "simultaneous closer" while the party lasted - icing on the cake. My point in the essay simply was that even if the party is over, I at least still have the reasons that brought me here to begin with. For me, this was a place I wanted to live, not primarily a stock or bond or commodity. For others, it was simply a good investment, and there's nothing wrong with either. How you felt about this place, what drove you here to begin with, will determine how you feel about it now that the market has slowed.

    But it's silly to discount the beaches or quality of life regardless of why you own here, investment or otherwise - without them, South Walton would never have been a place that people wanted to invest to begin with. Until appreciation drove appreciation, what drove it was all the characteristics that Redfisher refers to as "blah, blah, blah." By remembering this and the continued marketing of the "blah, blah, blah" there's no reason to believe that it won't continue to be a good investment for years to come - and therein lay my point - one I am suprised was particularly controversial.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2005
  16. Mermaid

    Mermaid picky

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    KISH, that's exactly what I meant, and you summed it up perfectly. I'm thinking that there might be a little bit of sour grapes somewhere in Redfisher; hence the tone of that post. S/he obviously does not have that "sense of place" as we all do about SoWal. :sosad:
     
  17. Miss Kitty

    Miss Kitty Meow

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    Miss Kitty sez...Pssssss Pssssss! We are both boycotting redfisher.
     
  18. KISH7374

    KISH7374 Beach Fanatic

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    Mermaid, I would not trade the fun and good times my family and friends have had on this beach for anything. Our vacations down to So-Wal are looked forward to for a year starting the day we leave to go back home. I love it, my kids love it and now the grandkids are part of the mix. What more can you ask for?
     
  19. Sheila

    Sheila SoWal Insider

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    Not a thing! That's what it's all about.
     
  20. Miss Kitty

    Miss Kitty Meow

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    KISH...I can still remember that feeling of pulling away in the car to head back home....I get a lump in my throat just thinking about it. The anticipation of going down was so palitable...I could hardly sleep for days leading up to the day we left for SoWal!
     

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