This is Price-Reduced.com where we talk a lot about real estate and a little about life.
For you visual learners, you can go to price-reduced.com and click on the “transcript” category on the right side to read today’s episode. You auditory learners might go there just to learn more by clicking on the links.
Where in the world would you expect to find the world’s largest shopping mall and biggest Chinatown, not to mention the tallest building in the world? How tall is tall? 828 meters which is 2716.54 feet. As you math wizards know, that is just over ½ mile tall.
Learn more about the City of Dubai as it is now, with rising prices, and as it will appear in 2020 for the upcoming World Expo.
Do you know where prices have increased 30% over the last year? In the Cayman Islands of course. Thinking of selling your place in the Cayman Islands? The Cayman Islands Real Estate Brokers Association has posted the Commission rates charged by their members.
Heading north on the other side of Cuba and closer to Miami, China Construction America built the $3.5B Baha Mar Resort in the Bahamas and is working on a $2.1B contract for highway construction in Argentina.
Speaking of South America, Geoffrey McRae wrote an article on South American Land Prices, including Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, and Brazil. He discusses land cost, risk, return, taxes, and laws regarding foreign investors.
Expatistan is a website where you can compare the cost of living in Latin America by looking at their map or going down the page to a list of fifty different cities which uses Prague as the baseline. For example Buenos Aires Argentina has a score of 60 whereas the Cayman Islands has a score of 246.
Just so you know, the Expatistan website doesn’t stop there. Their website says they get information from 227 countries covering 2300 cities. If I wanted to compare Paris France to what the cost of living is in Portland Oregon, this website has a category for food, housing, clothes, transportation, personal care, and entertainment. It would cost about 9% more to live in Paris than Portland, however Personal Care products would cost 50% less in Paris. Dream a little. Where would you move to?
Do you know what U.S. age group gained the most in net worth, mostly through home ownership, since the crash of 2007? The same group that lost the most during that time. Learn more from this MarketWatch article in regard to what those born between 1965 and 1980, known as Generation X, have gone through. It also includes a great graphic from the PEW Research Center comparing Gen X, Millennials, and Baby Boomers.
The National Association of Realtors is a great resource for real estate stats in the U.S. They have an article entitled “Metropolitan Median Area Prices and Affordability”. Included is a map which has balloon markers for many metropolitan areas. If you click on a balloon it will tell you the median price for that area and percentage change, in value, over the last year.
They also have a link to an alphabetical list of hundreds of cities and their metropolitan areas. They show how much income you would need to qualify for a median priced home in that area with a 5%, 10%, and 20% down payment loan. In Urban Honolulu Hawaii with 5% down, you would need to earn $189,899. In San Jose California you have to earn $ 335,524. and in Decatur Illinois it would take $23,140.
Want to know what the price reduced picture is like across the U.S.? According to Zillow 14% of all U.S. homes for sale in June reduced their prices. In San Diego it was 20% of all homes had prices reduced in June compared to only 12% the same time last year.
Price reductions or not, the average U.S. homeowner saw their homes value rise 8.3% over the last year.
If you want short updates on the U.S. economy and other interesting facts, sign up to receive email updates from “The Bowtie Economist”, Elliot Eisenberg, PhD. He calls his updates “70 Words on the Economy. Daily”
I Don’t See It
I may be looking for something and my wife, Patti will say “it’s in the closet.” Well, it may be but I sure don’t see it.
Or when I ask where something I want for lunch is, she will say “in the refrigerator.” Now, I would like to think my eyesight is good enough and my concentration long enough, that I could find what I was looking for. Some days I am equal to the task. Other days those items seem to be using a cloaking device to make them invisible.
So, what is really happening? Why can’t you see it either?
The New York Times has a great article that talks about “Why we miss things right in front of us”. It is engaging and interactive so be sure to read it.
Sources of Insight does a good job of sharing the keys points of Tony Robbin’s Unlimited Power: The New Science of Personal Achievements Book. It goes over the concept of “schotoma” which literally means “blind spot”. Because we know, or believe something is not going to be found where we are looking, we don’t see it, even if it is sitting right in front of us.
A variation of that is called “Functional Fixedness” which was proposed by Karl Duncker in the 1930’s and discussed in the Harvard Business Review. We see an object based on its common use, not how we could creatively use that object in other ways. When the Titanic ran into the iceberg, did you know there was a way more passengers could have survived. Floating nearby the sinking Titanic was an object estimated to be between 200 and 400 feet long. A gigantic, or you might say, Titanic sized life boat. If it was available to use, why wasn’t it? Who would think to use the very object that the Titanic ran into, and was causing it to sink, as an object of safety rather than danger.
Whether in real estate or in life, we need to recognize we will have blind spots, things we don’t see or pick up on. We also need to recognize that the thing that is causing us such great pain or danger, may actually also be the life raft that provides us safety or life changing benefits down the road.
The sometimes painful path to home ownership can lead to a roof over our heads and become a source of financial security with the passage of time.
Thank you for listening to Price-Reduced.com and always remember, financially speaking, “When it comes to real estate, the best time to buy or sell, is when you don’t have to.