Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fr. Don Talafous and the Selling of Our House

I was all set to use the following as my next blog post:

There’s a big lie you’re not being told.  The recession may not have impacted you, or so you think.  You’re not lost your job, and have remained fully employed.  You income could even have gone up.  The belt tightening that we’ve all had to do turned out not so bad.  Life’s good.  At least until you try and sell your house.  The dirty little economic horror story that nobody is discussing is the absolute shambles in which the real estate market has been left.  Oh, you can look at what sold around you, and tell yourself tales like “that is a good comp to me because of X so I’m OK” or “that is a bad comp to me because it obviously had to be a foreclosure,” but the fact of the matter is you have no idea what you’re sitting on in terms on home value until you put it on the market.  Your perusal of real estate transactions can’t tell you.  Your county assessor can’t tell you.  Your real estate agent can’t tell you.  Only the market can tell you, and unless you’re entry level, new construction, a foreclosure, or $1,000,000+, what the market will tell you is that you are screwed.  Royally.  What you think your house is worth isn’t even close to what it’s worth, and if you were counting on that equity as a retirement buffer, security blanket, or a means to fund your kids’ college, you better find another money pile, bucko, because the one you’re living in has burned away to ashes. Caveat venditor.

I subscribe to a daily newsletter from Fr. Don Talafous, a priest that was a part of my freshman and sophemore years at St. John's.  I strongly encouage you to subscribe - he has fabulous insight. 

The very next day after writing my house screed above, I get this message from Fr. Don:

What we can and must do is trust in the value of our commitment and not let such disappointments lessen our generosity or good spirit. We have been blessed with closeness to God and Christ, with life in the body of Christ and with the assurance and strength this brings. Rather than wailing over what isn't and dreaming of some other time, we need to give the present our best, our gifts, our hope. Whining, nagging, complaining self-pity, grumpiness, bitterness, silence, are not, as Paul would say, the fruits of the spirit but of the flesh, of a short-sighted attitude. Rather our true following of Christ shows itself in joy, kindness, forgiveness, respect for others' conscience, trust for the future, perseverance in prayer and worship.

Hence, I retract my whining above, and continue to put my faith in the fact that things will happen when and how they're supposed to happen.

Thanks, Fr. Don.  Again.

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