I am Morally in a Mess Writing about Real Estate for my Book about Retiring Abroad

I am in a moral conundrum, I want people to go live abroad, but do not want them to buy real estate, but how do I stop them, and are they responsible.

I am writing this page for myself, not for you, it is written in a journalizing manner, I want to try to understand how I shall go about recommending moving abroad. I know that by recommending to people to go live in another country, that about 30-80 percent of the people will make stupid homes purchases, and in the course of 10-20 years squander their lives savings, but maybe die not caring. They will never know how bad their decision were or are, until they try to sell the property, and they will never tell, because the only way to get out of the stupid deal is to sell it to another person moving abroad.

I am at the end of writing my first book, and I never anticipated sitting around dealing with moral issues would be a show stopper -- (slowing down, not stopping.). I will write for days, maybe 1000-2000 words, not a problem, then I start thinking about Real Estate.

My Years as a Real Estate Broker and Investor
From 1984 until 1998 in a period of 14 years, I purchased over 60 houses in the USA. During this time, I became a licesed Broker and eventually licensed to teach the Broker Classes. Sadly or magnificantly i started to sell Real Estate and slowly worked my way up to a high of selling 88 properties in one year.

The average Real Estate person sells seven, I was as one person doing the job of 10-15 people.

Real Genius

What is Genius?
a. What is Real Estate Genius?
b. What is Traveler Genius?
c. What is Retiring overseas Genius?
d. What is living abroad Genius?
e. What is writing Genius?

First a joke --- it is a word I worry about, I am acutely afraid I will spell it wrong, I just cannot get a handle on how it is spelled.

True Genius

What is Genius?

I would defind it a "unprecedented insight," you can read the definition from Wikipedia.org below. If you look at the image above, there is a simple one, and a complex one. A simple thought is easy to understand, and all the pieces of the understanding can be thought about at one time.

Unprecedented Insight Can Be Learned
All people can become genius, what I mean, if a person devote 10-20, 30 years of their life doing something, they may have some "unprecedented insights" into one specific area.

I have Insights about:

a. Real Estate (14 years)
b. Travel (14 years)
c. Retiring Overseas (14 years)
d. Living Abroad (14 years)
e. Writing (12 years)
f. Management of Internet site (12 years)

Long Term Insights and Short Term Insights

"That is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you've understood all your life, but in a new way."
--Doris Lessing

ALL Real Estate Buying and Selling is a Potential Scam

Scam Defined: A confidence trick is an attempt to defraud a person or group by gaining their confidence. A confidence artist is an individual working alone or in concert with others who exploits characteristics of the human psyche such as greed, both dishonesty and honesty, vanity, compassion, credulity, irresponsibility, naivety and the thought of trying to get something of value for nothing or for something far less valuable.

The United States of America 20-30 Year Real Estate Scam

"The belief that Real Estate always goes up in value" has been the combustionable advice, and belief that is causing the World Economic problem today, November 13, 2011. People paid a little more, and a little more, and a little more than the true value until all the homes on the world market were being sold for 2-10 times the raw cost of materials to build the homes, plus the cost of a lot were 20-100 times the real value.

The Wisest Insight I can Every Say about Real Estate Agents

The value of a Real Estate agent is only known on the day you sell the house, a house can appear to be a great buy for years, and proved a bad purchase when you try to sell it. If the property was purchased at the proper price, the buyer will always be able to sell the property in a reasonalbe time period, say less than six months, with a reasonalble amount of appreciation. (I believe reasonalbe is the inflation rate.)

I wrote a letter to the Editor of the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette paper over 20 years ago, stating the 30 year mortgage could cause a depression. The games they have been playing with the "money lenders" in the last 20 years is criminally negligent. However, in defense, 99 percent of people are not intelligent enough to analize the what was happening, therefore politicians, mortgage companies, and all the players went into this believing on one level they were being OK in their actions. They did not have the raw genius or insight to understand the long-term implications, and they was making money, and everyone else was in agreement that the world was in good order.

Simple versus a Complex thought, and the genius, the insights.

There is no way a genius can dumb down a complex set of variable to a level simple enough for an average person to understand and grasp.

Kings, Queens, Dictators, and Presidents are Land Operators

My family, the Graham family I learned, were most likely part of a group of highland Scotland Graham clans cleared from the land starting in around 1782 in Scotland, so we fled to the new world and searched for land.
http://skyelander.orgfree.com/clrchron.html

We got to live on land in Scotland, farm it, at the mercy of the Lords who really owned it in a way, or they claimed it by brute force in relationship out of reciprocity and mutual benefit. One day the Lords realized they could make more money, (As I understand, and I do not understand that well.) by selling sheep, so they evicted us, we went to the new world.

SAD, SAD, and MORE SAD

I am truly sad, that all the developed cultures of the world have evolved to a place where there is a never-ending social need by to own land. Society defines a sane and upstanding person as an owner of a home, and anyone who does not own as being less than.

If there is one thing the amout of foreclosures, in the USA and Europe should prove, is that land is NOT always a good investment.

For about 500-800 years, the serfs have been fighting to have land, enough to grow crops, live, die, squat, and keep the land. Even after the land stopped making them money by farming, or grazing, they still socially consider the land and house valuable.

Whether you live in a home, or you own the home, the quality of the living experience is the same. What really happens when you buy a home is it takes longer to force you to move your things, in way, all a home is for it to be a warehouse for your things.

Stuff, more Stuff, and more Stuff

There is a never ending, continuous, and frightful fight by the human race to accumulate stuff, 90 percent of the time of the average person is used in the accumulation and hoarding of stuff.

A house is a place to hoard our stuff, without the stuff you become free.

The Idea of a Contribution to Society by Writing a Book

I want people who are near me, people who listen to me, people who read what I write to become a little better than when they met me. I hope they feel more, and not less, but I want the evil people who enter my world to feel shame and anger and run from me, in a way it is biblical, I want my brothers and sisters to enriched and feel warm, and all bad spirits to run for the door.

I plan to write a book that opens to many a new lifestyle, an insight into living that has never been possible until the last few years. I realized even while writing this book, that family is something more precious to humans. When everything else is in chaos, people will go make a family, and they do not want to leave their families

World Communication now allows for families to stay close even when on the other side of the planet.

Children, Daughters, Sons, friends and family can live further and further away and retain an sense of intimacy that has never been possible. I can live anywhere on the planet and still remain friends with my long-term friends. Now, most of my friends and family are too stupid, they keep the door closed by their ignorance, but soon they will open the door, by the year 2015 all communication barriers will be broken, people will know they can talk with people anywhere on the planet.

The World is a Social Network

If you go to a party, people will float from clic to clic, talking, buzzing, and moving around at the party. In reality, this is the world, we have always went around and about in the neighborhood, talking with people, but never going too far from our "stuff," or from our "family."

Now, we can roam very far away from our family, I can talk on Skype.com, look at my mother and father, and talk, only being in a different time zone cause a problem, with the Internet all conversations are possible. What is not possible is hugs and kisses, yet I only need that from a mate, I do not need that from my friends and family on a daily basis to be happy.

So as the world become similiar to big party, we can roam between bigger and bigger clics, or groups. I can hang out in the Thailand group, while maintaining contact with my friends and home.

Only the protection of stuff is a problem.

Solution, maybe a conclusion

I think I have to take a stand, buying a home overseas is lunacy. Although there is alway a price, maybe at 10 percent of the asking price, where a person can never go wrong, the purchase of real estate, and the amount of work it takes to protect the real estate, and the almost ineviatable social desire to hoard stuff is too big a risk to happiness.

The only way for me to stop being happy is to buy real estate.

There is only one way for me to lose my present happy lifestyle, that is by buying Real Estate, then to become fearful that I will lose the money I paid. I need X amount of money per month for food, shelter, etc.

I can alway live cheaper, I can always move into a cheap place to live, providing I do not accumulate stuff that I refuse to throw away.

How to discourage or change a culture from buying a house to accumulate stuff?

I must make one rule, "Do not buy a house, or you kill the dream lifestyle."

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Genius Defined: genius is something or someone embodying exceptional intellectual ability, creativity, or originality, typically to a degree that is associated with the achievement of unprecedented insight.   There is no scientifically precise definition of genius, and indeed the question of whether the notion itself has any real meaning is a subject of current debate. The term is used in various ways: to refer to a particular aspect of an individual, or the individual in their entirety; to a scholar in many subjects (e.g. Isaac Newton or Leonardo da Vinci) or a scholar in a single subject (e.g. Albert Einstein or Stephen Hawking). Research into what causes genius and mastery is still in its early stages, but psychology already offers relevant insights.

Ariadne's thread (logic) Defined: Ariadne's thread, named for the legend of Ariadne, is the term used to describe the solving of a problem with multiple apparent means of proceeding - such as a physical maze, a logic puzzle, or an ethical dilemma - through an exhaustive application of logic to all available routes. It is the particular method used that is able to follow completely through to trace steps or take point by point a series of found truths in a contingent, ordered search that reaches a desired end position. This process can take the form of a mental record, a physical marking, or even a philosophical debate; it is the process itself that assumes the name.

Scam Defined: A confidence trick is an attempt to defraud a person or group by gaining their confidence. A confidence artist is an individual working alone or in concert with others who exploits characteristics of the human psyche such as greed, both dishonesty and honesty, vanity, compassion, credulity, irresponsibility, naivety and the thought of trying to get something of value for nothing or for something far less valuable.

tokoro

Andy,

Great article about the "dark side" in contemporary human society, stuff and the compulsion to keep and protect it by buying real estate! I enjoyed the Carlin segment too. I'd never seen that routine of his. Thanks.

I am looking forward to more insider insights from you about this topic.

When I prepared to leave the Far East for the Middle East in 2009, after nearly two decades in the Far East, I had a lot of stuff or "crap" hoarded in a 70 meter-squared, 2 bedroom apartment. As a single guy, I didn't (and don't) own any real estate, but I had hoarded up so much crap it was unbelievable. I got my "stuff" down to a bit over 1 meter cubed in a process that took about 6 months.

It was very hard at first, but "letting go of crap" got easier and easier as the process continued. In the end it was a very liberating experience and process.

I recommend the experience, even if you aren't planning to move anywhere! You can create a space in your place, for a whole new "home" by letting go of your "stuff". My living space changed almost weekly during the 6 months of letting go of crap! At first it felt uncomfortable, things changing so often, but then, it became liberating and finally "normal".

If you can get your stuff into a cubic meter, it can be shipped anywhere fairly cheaply in a container or, if necessary, stored fairly cheaply.

Idea: some good friends and I are considering ownership of "converted containers" in 3 or 4 locations around the world for our retirement "homes". If we decide the political or social climate sucks where they have been placed, we can always put them on a ship to a new location.

We could time-share the locations, and live/work out of them for a while, then switch. We could get a better deal from a container conversion company, by getting 3 or 4 at once, and making sure they are all the same design so the only "difference" would be the locations.

However, local leasing/maintenance fees, and location swaps and timing would need to be negotiated and signed off on in advance by all parties. What do you think about the idea of owning "moveable" homes but renting/leasing the real estate they are located on?

The container homes would be more like "live-in moveable storage units" for our stuff and ourselves! They could be close to nice beaches, ski resorts, lakes, cities, whatever in cheap countries with nice people in the neighborhood.

Also, what about the idea that there is a conspiracy in banking/financial circles of power, to keep the ordinary person living in 'fear" and needing "real estate" investments to feel "safe"?

I watched "Inside Job" about the 2008 Financial Crisis. The "criminals" who changed the US banking regulations so the greedy profiteers (bankers and investment bankers/brokers/speculators) could gamble with ordinary people's savings and investments are NOT in jail or even under indictment for what they did! Those criminals wouldn't appear on screen for interviews.

They each got millions in payoffs and cushy jobs in the financial sector after they did their dirty deeds while in government positions. Something smells bad on Wall Street!

Cheers, Tokoro


Lazybeacher

I am pleased to say that in my career of selling real estate, the most I sold in one year was 20 homes, so I am happy to be above average. I do not and did not consider myself a genius by any stretch of the imagination! I was just doing something I enjoyed doing at the time.
Now, I am enjoying getting rid of the stuff that we have accumulated over 30 years of marriage. Our plans are Guatemala. If we can unload the house, and the stuff. The markets sucks, and we are stuck until it improves. We have no fear of moving to Guatemala. After having spent 7 months or so there, I look forward to a simple life. No accumulation of the stuff that we have here. Renting a property is fine with me, there are many beautiful places to select from. The people are so genuine and friendly, and maybe we will be able to help some of them a little along the way. It will be like doing a new puzzle everyday, trying to figure out what we need, and how to get it without buying it.
Your writings seem to be improving. There for a while, you were kinda spaced out. Not sure why, but you are back to being entertaining.


walkinlove

I am surprised you did not add photography to your list. Your photos tell stories and in some aspects are just as thought provoking and powerful as your writings. As a visual learner I really appreciate being introduced to new food, cultures and travel ideas through your lens and videos.


Kitsune

Alright. I've ghost-written your real estate chapter for you.

Chapter title: Real estate

Don't buy real estate. Rent.

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Begin next chapter here:

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Its a little light on word count but I think it solves most of the problems -- moral issues, buyers remorse, debt slavery, market vagaries, etc.

The end.


tropicalguide

KISS































if relocating 'overseas' *I am already there, overseas, I guess, but it is far cheaper to take a bus or fly to USA than taking a boat, and there are no passenger boat services available anyway* RENT, just like at home I have rented furnished rooms and small apartments, or rented a small room or apt. in a large house, only once in 25 years did I have a problem and most of the time I got back all or part of my one month security deposit, after a year or two living in the same country, if you find a homeowner you know and trust and wishes to sell at a fair price to you, no middlemen, go for it.


Nuck

Andy,
You are SO right.

Also the Native American Indeans had it right.
They believed it impossible for a human to own land, the land owns us.
We are all just a small part of the world.


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