Recession-What is it Good For?

Making Lemonade out of Lemons

This is my first impactful recession and frankly, I’ll be glad when it is over! Having worked in real estate for twelve years, I have seen normal housing markets, insanely wild housing markets and now a depressed market. A home that I sold in 1999 for $150,000 sold for $389,000 five years later. Nothing had been done to the home, but housing prices had gone up that quickly. Prices were artificially high and loans were available to those who had not qualified previously. The bidding wars were unbelievable and for the first time in my life as a real estate professional, I wrote escalation addendums (offering more than the next highest bidder, not to exceed a certain price). Appraisals were based on those sales, so home values kept rising. Adjustable rate mortgages were dirt cheap and the rules around home buying were loose.

Then the market changed. New home construction started to slow down in the summer of 2005 and it went downhill from there. In 2007, I could feel the metaphorical brakes burning from the sudden shift in the housing market. Homes, even with low interest rates, were no longer affordable. The three year adjustable rate mortgages of 4% rose to 8% or higher, and many people did not have enough, if any, equity in their homes to refinance. Short sales and foreclosures became a big part of our reality.

Many of us have been caught up in this nightmare ever since with people losing their homes, their jobs, their retirement and their savings. I have lived through every minute of this pain and know it has been incredibly heart breaking for many, many people. In real estate, greed took over the whole industry and we are still paying the price for that mistake. It’s going to take time to work our way out of this recession for there is no magic bullet.

Now to make lemonade out of lemons…While earning far less money, I have learned to live much more frugally, and have realized that a good friendship is far more valuable that an expensive toy. I spend out of necessity only, look for sales, try to help others in need and save every penny. My life is more peaceful and I appreciate the most modest of pleasures. Don’t get me wrong, I have to figure out a way to earn more money and a lack of funds is stressful, but overall, I find the lack of complexity a pleasure.

One consistent remark I have heard in the many interviews of various people over the years and around the country, is that we need to come back together as people helping each other and become less selfish. It seems Americans know what is fundamentally wrong, and it is not something a politician can fix. It is our value system. For some reason, humans usually have to suffer before getting the lesson. My hope is if we align our personal priorities to a simpler, kinder and less selfish way of living, it will flow up, for individuals run corporations and governments. I have heard it called a shift in consciousness, but whatever name we put on it, I hope we make a fundamental change for the betterment of mankind...and soon!

More by this Author

  • Try Patience? Do I Really Have Time?
    8

    While contemplating exactly what patience meant with my young nephew, he summed it up rather well. “It’s waiting for stuff even when you don’t want to.” A simple, but accurate description,...

  • Some "Old As Dirt" Southern Sayings
    34

    Many of the sayings I grew up thinking were nothing unusual, weren’t……if you lived in the south. To this day, I can’t figure out which sayings are purely southern until someone giggles and...


Comments 21 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

I LOVE THIS HUB and hooray for you. I always love your hubs and the practical language you use to say what we all should inherently know as humans. Yes, times require a change in value system and consciousness, and those who expect the political system to fix things are in for a very long wait. I have had to completely break down my concepts of what I thought was important and start with the very basics...and I have never been happier...I hope this hub is read by many and thumbs up!


picklesandrufus profile image

picklesandrufus 4 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va Author

thank you so much billybuc! I'm so appreciative for your commnets.There is hope!


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

I think this recession has been good for us for a lot of reasons. We've always been a very wasteful people, and it's taught us to recycle and to be frugal instead of being wasteful. Being in the RE business you might enjoy my Hub on makeing your mortgage payment when we can no longer make the payments. Goodnight.


Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

well Pickle I love your hub.. very useful and interesting. and since you work in the Real estate business you would know what you are talking about. But I think it is awful that house can be that expensive in just five years. it is a shame. great hub.

Voted up

debbie


picklesandrufus profile image

picklesandrufus 4 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va Author

thanks Deborah. The whole bubble was a shame and the suffering hasn't ended. Greed is a very bad vice. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


Linda Morgan 4 years ago

Really enjoyed your hub! It is so true~ as difficult as this has been, this recession has been a reality check for not only the people who caused it, but also for our children. Lets hope we have learned a lasting lesson. Ah, the simple life!


picklesandrufus profile image

picklesandrufus 4 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va Author

thanks for your comments Mary and Linda! I will check out your hub Mary.


Julia 4 years ago

Excellant Article. Always look forward to your hub pages!


picklesandrufus profile image

picklesandrufus 4 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va Author

thank you Julia!! Appreciate the comment.


Ivona Poyntz profile image

Ivona Poyntz 4 years ago from UK

Totally agree that friendship is so much more important than any material accumulations. What better than to while away an afternoon over a coffee with a set of good friends.


picklesandrufus profile image

picklesandrufus 4 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va Author

I agree Ivona. The simple pleasures are the ones I usually find myself thinking about later.


stephaniedas profile image

stephaniedas 4 years ago from Miami, US

Very hopeful and idealistic (I use idealistic in a good way, trust me!). I've enjoyed this hub and hope that lots of people see it, so we can have more people thinking like you!


picklesandrufus profile image

picklesandrufus 4 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va Author

thanks so much Stephaniedas! I really appreciate your comment.We must be the change we want to see if this world is to get better.Well this is my opinion and I'm sticking to it!


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

A great hub Pickles and leaves much food for thought.

An up up here without a doubt!!

Take care and enjoy your day.

Eddy.


picklesandrufus profile image

picklesandrufus 4 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va Author

thanks so much Eddy!! As always, I appreciate your comments!


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

Hi pickles;a great hub and I have to award it my up up and away.

Take care and enjoy your day.

Eddy.


picklesandrufus profile image

picklesandrufus 4 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va Author

thanks Eddy! And, thanks for stopping by!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago

Your article is terrific! You hit the nail on the head with these words:

"I have learned to live much more frugally, and have realized that a good friendship is far more valuable that an expensive toy. I spend out of necessity only, look for sales, try to help others in need and save every penny. My life is more peaceful and I appreciate the most modest of pleasures."

Amen!


picklesandrufus profile image

picklesandrufus 4 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va Author

thank you James! I really appreciate your comments. I hope others feel the same way.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

Pickles.. i sat here and I read your hub twice.. I love the title and I thought it was going to be a sugarfest.. but I was wrong.. it was fantastic!


picklesandrufus profile image

picklesandrufus 4 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va Author

Why, thank you so much Frank! You made my day!!

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working