Our new TV brought me an “Ah Ha” moment

Dated: October 20 2019

Views: 170


Humans are willing to spend money irrationally for an anticipated future perceived convenience. I want to share with you a clarity in thinking that may have immerged in my life recently about luxury and real estate.

First some background.  Gail and I live in a large two 3000sf house with a gorgeous.  Large, picket fenced yard facing old Fort Myers Golf Course. We have a fire pit deck, a swim spa, with lots of shade and gardens that we relax and putz in. The garage is greatly oversized, has a workbench and tons of storage and lots of space for, well, stuff. 

We are looking to downsize, however. We want to downsize to a one story (I have only one working ankle and we are concerned that someday the stairs may be an issue for me), and we want to downsize financially as well to prepare for my eventual retirement. We will spend more time at our mountain cottage (www.ottercottage.rentals).   Since I joined EXP Realty I no longer say that I will work through lunch the day they bury me.

We have been looking at homes to potentially buy or build. Among other things on our short list has been an oversized, even a three-car garage, a driveway longer that a car and a half, and a lot that has some privacy in the back – either preserve or water – or both.  We also want a newer home for the lower cost of owning.

Over the course of the last few weeks three things happened that influenced our thinking. 

The first thing that happened is that our TV died, and we bought a new OLED TV with all the latest technology. “Do we need to get a new TV Mount?”  Gail asked.   I assured her that the existing one would fit.   Well, the mount fit all right, and the holes all lined up, but the screws didn’t fit. “No problem,” I offered with a small inward smile.  I went to my oversized  garage, Went to my manly sized workbench that took up part of my oversized garage and sorted through various drawers and coffee cans, until I  came up with the right screws that fit.. twenty minutes later the TV was mounted properly AND I DIDN’T HAVE TO GO TO THE HARDWARE STORE.  My manhood was validated once again. My need for a large garage was validated, because once, or maybe twice a year,  I can go through the stuff that is stored there to save a 30 minute hardware store trip.

The second thing that happened is one of the first documentaries that Gail and I watched on the new TV was MINIMALISM, A Documentary About the Important Things.  The authors were extreme, but I highly suggest you watch it.  It gave Gail and I a better perspective on what our past and future lifestyle and can become. In my TV mount example above, a few trips to the hardware store a year could be traded for the need for a $15-$25,000 option on our new home for a third garage.  In our cottage in North Carolina all my tools and stiff are one chest the size of a footlocker, and we get along just fine with the amount of “stuff” that I store up there.

Yesterday I started throwing items out from my garage; mostly “stuff” and indeed some “things”. Stuff is normally something that has no immediate purpose that I can think of  (like an orphan screw)  but may become  a “thing” eventually.,  A “thing” very clearly has a use, but not just now. (Like an ice cream maker we have not used to 8 years since we lived here).


My aha moment was: I don’t need the space and things I think  we need and perhaps Gail and I can really downsize after all.

I’m not ready to give up the yard just yet.  By the way, what I often day about Otter Cottage: “It’s got a great campsite, just a small tent.”

If you are looking for a new home, you may need less than you think. Check out movie in the link above.



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Gregg Fous

Real estate has been my passion since I took my first Al Lowery class on real estate investing in the 1970’s. I vowed during that class that I would buy one property a year. Over the next five ....

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