Sunday, August 16, 2009

You can't lose buying Real Estate - Right?

We are toward the end of the biggest recession since the Great Depression. All the equity (in our area) that has built up since 2005 has evaporated. Prices of property have slid 22% in the last 26 months.

It used to be that you couldn't lose buying Real Estate. The last two years you pretty much couldn't win buying real estate. Our biggest local developer, Mike Mastro, owes $500,000,000 and has multiple banks suing him for unpaid payments, and the attorneys are probably going to take him into forced bankruptcy.

In the Bible story today is a real estate deal much worse than any of these. There wasn't a 22% loss. There was a 100% loss. And the buyer knew the end result before he bought the property! Where was his agent? Where were his attorneys?

6 -7Jeremiah said, "God's Message came to me like this: Prepare yourself! Hanamel, your uncle Shallum's son, is on his way to see you. He is going to say, 'Buy my field in Anathoth. You have the legal right to buy it.'
8"And sure enough, just as God had said, my cousin Hanamel came to me while I was in jail and said, 'Buy my field in Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin, for you have the legal right to keep it in the family. Buy it. Take it over.' "That did it. I knew it was God's Message.
9 -12"So I bought the field at Anathoth from my cousin Hanamel. I paid him seventeen silver shekels. I followed all the proper procedures: In the presence of witnesses I wrote out the bill of sale, sealed it, and weighed out the money on the scales. Then I took the deed of purchase—the sealed copy that contained the contract and its conditions and also the open copy—and gave them to Baruch son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah. All this took place in the presence of my cousin Hanamel and the witnesses who had signed the deed, as the Jews who were at the jail that day looked on.
13 -15"Then, in front of all of them, I told Baruch, 'These are orders from God-of-the-Angel-Armies, the God of Israel: Take these documents—both the sealed and the open deeds—and put them for safekeeping in a pottery jar. For God-of-the-Angel-Armies, the God of Israel, says, "Life is going to return to normal. Homes and fields and vineyards are again going to be bought in this country."'

Hope in the future. That is what gives appreciated value to real estate. Jerusalem was under seige. Jeremiah was telling the people they were going to be overrun. Their economy crushed. Their property taken over by the Babylonians.

But some day. Some day God was going to bring them back to the land and as they followed and worshipped Him and Him alone, God was going to bless the land and the people again.

The real estate deal? Cousin Hanamel got full price. All cash at closing.

And Jeremiah? He paid market price - in cash for the property. Within a few months the Babylonians took over and his property was worth ZERO!

Think about that next time you complain about the value of your house going down 22%!

16 -19"And then, having handed over the legal documents to Baruch son of Neriah, I prayed to God, 'Dear God, my Master, you created earth and sky by your great power—by merely stretching out your arm! There is nothing you can't do. You're loyal in your steadfast love to thousands upon thousands—but you also make children live with the fallout from their parents' sins. Great and powerful God, named God-of-the-Angel-Armies, determined in purpose and relentless in following through, you see everything that men and women do and respond appropriately to the way they live, to the things they do.
20 -23"'You performed signs and wonders in the country of Egypt and continue to do so right into the present, right here in Israel and everywhere else, too. You've made a reputation for yourself that doesn't diminish. You brought your people Israel out of Egypt with signs and wonders—a powerful deliverance!—by merely stretching out your arm. You gave them this land and solemnly promised to their ancestors a bountiful and fertile land. But when they entered the land and took it over, they didn't listen to you. They didn't do what you commanded. They wouldn't listen to a thing you told them. And so you brought this disaster on them.
24 -25"'Oh, look at the siege ramps already set in place to take the city. Killing and starvation and disease are on our doorstep. The Babylonians are attacking! The Word you spoke is coming to pass—it's daily news! And yet you, God, the Master, even though it is certain that the city will be turned over to the Babylonians, also told me, Buy the field. Pay for it in cash. And make sure there are witnesses.'"
26 -30Then God's Message came again to Jeremiah: "Stay alert! I am God, the God of everything living. Is there anything I can't do? So listen to God's Message: No doubt about it, I'm handing this city over to the Babylonians and Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. He'll take it. The attacking Chaldeans will break through and burn the city down: All those houses whose roofs were used as altars for offerings to Baal and the worship of who knows how many other gods provoked me. It isn't as if this were the first time they had provoked me. The people of Israel and Judah have been doing this for a long time—doing what I hate, making me angry by the way they live." God's Decree.

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