Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Ya Gotta Have Faith

My sister and her husband have lived in South Carolina for over 12 years or so. They started out in Spartanburg, built a fine house, added a pool, then a two-car garage with a workshop. After a bit, they felt that need to move into something else, so off to Greenville, a little south of where they were, and into a brand new home. In goes the pool, and all the fixin's. Garry, my sister Patty's husband, started his own pool maintenance business about 5 years ago, and it has grown a great deal. He maintains pools and fountains of private residences, and businesses such as hotels and hospitals. I guess they are doing OK despite the economy because they have started another new adventure: they're building another new home.

The new house they are building is about 30 minutes away from where they are now, in the foothills.

Imagine, building a new house in these times. Now, I know they aren't millionaires, but they both work very hard. So, why do folks take such a risk during these times?


They are going on with their lives despite the current conditions because they have faith that their house will sell in the current market for a fair price, and the price they are paying for the new house is not going to nose dive further once they move in. They are risk takers. To sit on ones hands, and wait out the economy is such a passive act. Doesn't accomplish much of anything except to promote hope.

I have to admit that each time I have taken a risk in my life it has paid off. It is just getting the brass to take that first step. I have to admire them.

That same risk taking is seen here in town. Everyday folks taking a risk and going on pure faith that they will succeed. My post from yesterday tells of just such a risk taking endeavor.

During hard times it is easy to take the passive road, and wait out the storm, but to succeed, and move on with ones life, one needs to open the door and walk out into the gale. If more people swallowed hard, and did this it would begin to have a ripple effect that would affect others in theses hard times. Realtors would begin to smile again, as well furniture stores, home improvement stores, appliance shops, well, you get the picture.

"But, I'm upside down in my mortgage!"

Well, no one expects to take a major loss, but today one has to expect to lose something. If you are fortunate enough to break even it makes it that much easier. Work with your bank is the best advise. Even if the banks are not handing out mortgages as they did two years ago, at least try. Work out something that covers the loss on your existing home, and can be rolled over in the new mortgage. With the cost of houses way, way down during the past three years the amount you finance may still be a less than what the home will be worth in few years as the market recovers.

Take the risk. If you've outgrown your home, and you are stuffing kids into hammocks over the washer and dryer, then don't wait. Have faith that your home will sell for a fair price, and that you will find a larger one at an equally fair price as well.

I know, I know, everyone else is holding tight, staying put, not moving on. So? They are living on hope, and there is nothing wrong with that, but to move on one needs to add faith to the mix.

Each day I get an email from a local realtor of homes in the area for sale. I have read them everyday for a few years, and watched the market. Although we only bought this home almost three years ago, I continue to look for that special house, and if we find it, then we will talk, and make the move I am sure.

It is hard when external forces control what you can do in your life, and even harder to overcome them, but when we do, it is so worthwhile.

So, despite our loving our current home, we still look for that house on a hill with a view, and some land, or maybe on a lake. Maybe even a weekend retreat, a cottage near the ocean, or inland on some water. When we find it, we'll know, and then I'll see if I still have the brass to garner the faith to make a change like Patty and Garry, and Nicole and Andre, and buck the trends.

So, if you stumble on a house as I described, let me know. Ya gotta have faith as George Michael sang years ago in a whole different context, but still appropriate.

Either way, it's a fine anthem to get stuck in your head during these times.

Faith - George Michael

1 comment:

  1. Wally,

    You are exactly right. "FAITH" Everyone needs to have faith and take a chance in their lives. As you stated we had moved here 14 1/2years ago and back then we started with having Faith. We quit our jobs, sold our home and moved south for a new adventure. For us, it was the right thing to do. We are never in a rush here. Everyone has time to stop and "smell the roses" Our first home here was just that, we planned to only be there for about 5 yrs. We ended up stating for 7 yrs. We moved closer to Garrys work, found a nice home and started to put our touches in it. Thank God for HGTV. We realized that all the work we had done was mainly done for us although it would help when it came time to sell. I wasn't ready to pack up again and move. A few more improvements here and there and we find that we over improved for the neighborhood. The recession started and we could see the impact very much here in South Carolina. Many houses around us were now in foreclosure. The owners of these properties were scammed to begin with. They were promised the world for little or nothing down and were never given explanation as to a balloon payment. And it only got worse from there.
    We believed that once our new president took office things would change. It has to. The american people should not have to live like they did in the 1930's. We as a country have come so far to let this happen again. We all have to
    So faith has once again made us consider finding a bigger home for us and our dogs.. We wanted to make sure that we had enough room for our holiday dinners when the kids and grandchildren came. That no grandchild would be "banished to the kids table"
    Our home has been on the market for a little over 30 days, we have had some showings but nothing great. Yesterday a couple was shown the home and they fell in love with it. They were back again today to measure rooms. Making sure that their kings size bed would fit and that their other furniture would also fit in each room. Monday is suppose to bring an offer. If we can agree on a price we will be packing up again and moving in 30 days.
    So, I say to anyone who is thinking of buying a new home. Take
    the chance. People are still out there buying and it only takes that one right person to buy your home. It may take time but....
    have faith.
    Wally, I do know of a home on the lake even on a hill if your interested, it would mean moving south!
    Oh, and by the way, what are you and Mary doing 30 days from now?
    We will supply Beer and Pizza.

    Love ya.


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