Real Estate Questions Answered Here
by Art Santellen, REALTOR®
Note: This is a special issue of Hispania News. It's the Cinco de Mayo issue and it's time to celebrate! I hope to visit with all of you at the Cinco de Mayo Fiesta to be held this year at Memorial Park on Sunday, May 6th. I'11 be in the booth sponsored by the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals. We expect to have a drawing for a television and other neat stuff. You'll also get a chance to practice your golf swing at our booth for more chances to win that television. Finally, you'll be able to talk about real estate with real estate professionals who care about you. Yes, we'll even discuss credit issues and how much money you need to save to buy a home of your own. Please plan on coming by our booth. I look forward to meeting you.
Because this is a special issue, I want to write about a special topic: home ownership. This past week I was again reminded why the rich get richer and the poor stay poor.
Buying a home is not like buying a car or a pair of shoes. The poor, like me, have a built-in mentality that works against us and only insures that the poor stay poor. I am not a social scientist or a psychologist, but I see this mind-set every time I work with first-time homebuyers who also happen to fall below the area median income. I wish, with all my heart, that someone really smart would study the decision making process of the economically poor. Perhaps that study will lead to some national solutions so that the poor would not be "always with us." I think we can rid poverty if we would only teach our people to think like the rich.
The rich view buying a home a little differently than the poor.
The rich view a home not only as a place to live and raise a family but they look at buying a home as an investment. An investment that will increase in value in the future. An investment whose value can be tapped from time to time to help them get richer.
The poor view buying a home as a place to love, cherish, raise a family, and be the basis of their estate. An estate which will be used by their children and grand children as a place to love, cherish, and raise another generation.
I used to simplistically think this difference in thinking was cultural. You know the European white people subjugating the land for their own use. The mestizo brown people (drawing upon their Native American heritage) honoring and respecting the land for the benefit of the pueblo. What nonsense.
I've learned that the rich see real estate differently than the poor, regardless of race or national origin. So, when a client of mine decides to continue renting her tiny apartment rather than buy a home of her own because the seller refuses to replace a broken window.... Well, I know who is rich and who is poor. When a client of mine decides to continue renting because he finds that clearing up his poor credit requires hard work and time.... Well, I know who is going to stay poor.
In all my half century of life, I have not yet seen an apartment or house that I'd prefer to rent. In all my half century of life, I have not yet seen a home I would not want to buy.
I am not rich, but I can see the value of buying a home and letting it increase in value. Then, selling it for a profit so I can use the money to buy my dream home. Yes, I'm talking about a sailboat. A sailboat tied up to a pier that leads up a hill. A hill, on top of which sits a house. A house with windows from which I can see the ocean on one side and a view of my vineyards on the other side. Here and there I can see my grandchildren playing in my garden. And from time to time, I cook gourmet Sunday dinners for my now humble ex-wives who let me slip through their fingers.
This vision of mine starts with cleaning up my credit. Then, it continues by buying a humble fixer-upper.
The poor, who are destined to remain poor, cannot see past the mega deal pizza offered by Domino's.
Q: OK, smarty-pants, and what does it take to buy a home and start thinking like the rich?
A: You need 3 things: vision, ganas, and the next 11 issues of Hispania News.
Vision. That's my word for having a dream. A dream that includes owning a home of your own. A dream that includes not having to live from paycheck to paycheck. A dream that includes financial security, family love, and commitment that continues from generation to generation.
Some people have never had such a dream.
Some people, who've had a similar dream, have been put down by so many people (even members of their own family) that they now believe their dream was only a hallucination.
Next, you need "ganas". "Ganas" is Spanish for "sticking to it, no matter what". Besides a vision in your mind, you need a fire in your heart. A fire that will not let you sleep until you realize your dream. A fire that consumes you so that you will clean up your bad credit, start a savings account so you have a down payment, and change your way of thinking.
Here's a test. When you can describe your dream in the same detail that I described my dream.... you're half way there. When you can see that paying rent is just another way of flushing your paycheck down the toilet.... you're half way there.
Next week, how to get rich in real estate.
NOTE: As you can see, I really do get questions from the public. To add your question to this list, please send them to me at the address listed below. Thanks.
The answers to these, and other fascinating real estate questions will be answered here, in Hispania News, next week.
When you're ready to buy or sell a home, see a REALTOR®
Art is a REALTOR® with Heritage Realtors in Colorado Springs.
If you have a real estate question you’d like answered, please send them to:
Art Santellen, care of Hispania News
PO Box 15116
Colorado Springs, CO 80935