Finding Hope in the Real Estate Market and the U.S. Economy
A few days ago, John Zolsky wrote a post titled If I Were John Rockefeller... On that post, I left a long comment, asking for an opinion, agent-to-agent, since I knew that both of us had knowledge of the pre-construction condo markets' collapse here in the Daytona Beach area, that occurred after the boom years that lasted through 2005. (Refer to the chart for full real estate sales in each city, or read my original blog titled "Daytona Beach area Real Estate Sales Report for 2000-2008".)
In response to my comment, John replied with a very thoughtful response that indicated he had experienced the same concerns I had, when we saw real estate buyers as well as other real estate agents buying pre-construction real estate that they could not actually afford, unless they were able to "flip" the pre-construction purchase before they had to close on the mortgage. But after leaving his comment, John then wrote another blog post titled Evicted from Paradise. It seems that many of us are still trying to figure out what the heck happened!
So after leaving a second comment, my head was still full of so much more. However, my thoughts had now reached the point where I already know that John and I have drastically different beliefs. So out of respect for John and his blog space, I'm blogging my remaining thoughts, instead of commenting them.
But before I get to the part that I believe will help many people in these trying times, I need to add one last bit of ...new word coming up... Blogalogue aka blog dialogue (LOL) between John and myself, which was about our shared experience of trying to advise certain clients to NOT invest in pre-construction condos, that they planned to flip and make a profit from, without ever actually closing. It was here that John and I each had a similar experience. But the reaction of Johns' client was far worse than what I experienced from a friend, whom I had given the same advice. In Johns' case, he had calculated the amount of money his client would owe if everything didn't work out as planned, and presented the data to the buyer... and got a very adverse reaction in return! In my comment I told John "You were doing your job, to advise your client, from your own expertise!" .... "If we're the professionals, then obviously we're going to have foresight that the public does not have." But in Johns' words, his client "believed that my calling on this earth was to provide him with the heavenly lifestyle, and that he was a deserving person", after which the next portion of my comment was... "Unfortunately, this has been the attitude of most Americans for many years. The change in the economy has thankfully, knocked the arrogance levels down a few notches."
Before I continue, I want to say that my heart goes out to anyone who's experiencing the unbelievable difficulties that so many Americans are now facing, and I apologize if that last sentence sounded inconsiderate. But I encourage you to keep reading, because there's hope to come. Just like in life, there's always hope if you know where to look =)
Now for the harsh reality; that can lead to the greatest victory!
I've been praying for several years, that God would "turn the hearts of the people back to Him". Ironically, when the bottom fell out of our economy, that's when people suddenly remembered "Oh yeah, I could pray!" Now that people are desperate, they're praying for any kind of bailout. I've heard so many people say "I don't understand why God would allow this to happen to me". I'm always tempted to (and sometimes actually do) ask them if they prayed about their decisions in the first place. On the few occasions that the person who is now in over their heads actually did pray about what they were about to do, in actuality they had already made their decision, and just decided at the last minute to throw in a quick prayer. The last minute prayer was not sincere. They weren't waiting for an answer. It was never their intention to actually wait for an answer from God. (Please don't stop here. There's hope to come.)
Now one thing I want to make very clear... this does NOT apply to everyone who is struggling in this economy. Because to make that assumption would be forgetting another aspect of Gods' personality, and why He allows us to struggle. How quickly we forget the many biblical, historical stories of the most Godly kings and prophets. They NEVER fulfilled their destiny until AFTER they had endured many hardships and tribulations. So if you're in a time of difficulty, have you asked yourself what God is setting up for you? Have you thought about what you're being prepared for? Have you considered what lesson there is to be learned through this? Here are two scriptures, from some experts on the subject of hardships...
Romans 5:3-5 (NIV: From the Apostle Paul) 3... but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
James 1:2-5 (NIV: written by James) 2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
I love those 2 passages! It's the reassurance that we don't live in chaos, even if it appears that way. God has a plan in motion! Even if you didn't consult Him in the first place, it's never too late to start asking for His help! (He's cool like that.) :oP
I'll finish with this... If you don't know how to hear God's voice... if you don't know how to be sure of His answers... think of this simple formula. Do you feel like you HAVE to do (or not do) what you're praying? Or do you feel peace in your decision? Do you feel pressure to act now? Or do you feel a gentle leading and guiding toward your answer? The latter is God. The former is the Enemy. From personal experience, I can tell you that I feel very anxious and agitated when I'm leaning in the wrong direction from the way God wants me to go. What does it feel like? Here's a more detailed explanation...
I know that when I pray about something, if God is telling me "no", I get an uneasy feeling in my stomach. It feels a lot like my conscience. But it's stronger. It's a gut reaction to something that feels very wrong. It's a strong intuition. Once you know this feeling, it's practically impossible to go against it. It's the Holy Spirit within me, giving me my answer. Remember what God said? John 10:27 (NIV) "27My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." Analyze this scripture just a little bit. It says "sheep", not lambs. Think about that. Think about how a shepherd cares for lambs and sheep. The baby lambs spend their entire lives hearing the voice of the shepherd as he protects them, guides them, saves them. By the time the lamb becomes a sheep, it knows the shepherds' voice without hesitation. So I guess a little bit of practice is involved in learning how to know Gods' will. But bear in mind, He can answer through scriptures; through other people whose wisdom you trust; and through any way He chooses. But the gut reaction is an almost foolproof "no". Otherwise you'd have peace.
So, getting back to the reasons for our country being on the brink of economic collapse; for people losing their homes; for people losing their lifes' savings; for people wondering "why me?" .... just pick a category. Or better yet, pick up a bible. God WANTS you to know His will for you. He WANTS you to have a fulfilling life. He WANTS you to know His voice.
Jeremiah 29:11 "11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." See? It's NEVER too late! Because God still has a plan for you, and He never gives up on you.
So whatever trouble you're experiencing now, it's the catalyst God is using to bring about the awesome future He has planned for you. So don't lose hope!