Real Estate Lesson from Uncle the Fisherman
Recently, the house next door to us was for sale. Aunty wanted it. Wanted it bad. We put in an offer that was higher than asking price with generous concessions and a very big mortgage. With some rehabbing and modifications, this house could be rented out with a little bit of a positive income.
The owners decided to go with another offer and sent us a counteroffer which they would use as backup. Aunty was devastated and feeling desperate. “Call the agent! What will it take to get the house?! Do it now!”
That night was one of anxiety and frustration, and great disappointment.
In the morning, Uncle’s picture of his oio catch many years ago (before we got married) was propped in front of Aunty while eating her typical breakfast of Honey Bunches of Oats and coffee. This was a favorite picture. In it, you could see the joy of the catch in Uncle’s whole being.
The ones that got away
Uncle loved the ocean. In his younger days, he would surf, surf, and surf. Later, he would surf less and fish, fish, and fish, always from shore since he didn’t like fishing on boats.
Most of the time, he wouldn’t catch a thing. Sometimes he would catch a great haul, sometimes a little haul.
However, the ones that gave him the greatest pleasure were the big ones that took his line out and got away. These, according to Uncle, were HUGE (and they got bigger with each telling).
Uncle was always very thoughtful in his decisions. Aunty usually does not think and would let emotion and instinct rule. We were quite the opposites and perfect for each other. Aunty would jump, Uncle would hold the bungee cord.
Owning the house next to us would have been great (JUMP), and it would also be a big financial burden with potential cash flow (BUNGEE).
Lesson from the fisherman
While gazing at Uncle’s picture, a realization dawned on Aunty. Not getting the house next door was like the big fish that got away. It was okay. Maybe even, better than okay.
In the morning light, looking at Uncle’s broad smile, peace and acceptance washed over the disappointment of losing the house. It was time to cut the line and enjoy the process.
There will be always be other opportunities. Sometimes you catch a good one, sometimes not.
As for the big ones that got away – just keep on fishing for an even better one.
September 2015 update: TWO more really great properties came up on the market – one was THE picture postcard from Aunty’s google page – beachpark frontage with grassy lot and busted up old house with a little lanai on the beach side that could take all of your cares away. Another one on a special street in Kaimuki with an old cute house in a killer location and HUGE pirie mango tree on a level lot that would have been perfect as Aunty gets older. But alas, they also got away.