The second third of life

Cannondale F5Singing Phil Vassar's song Tim McGraw tells us:

I think I'll take a moment, celebrate my age
The ending of an era and the turning of a page
Now it's time to focus in on where I go from here
Lord have mercy on my next thirty years

I'm measuring not in 30-year spans but in a third of life spans. Having just put up the score card on the first third it is time to turn to the second third. My family was very nice and procured some long-desired toys that will help focus my next third on staying in better shape. The Cannondale parking area now has another member. Sadly, it is also the first Cannondale that I have owned which does not bear the "Made in USA" label. The last Cannondales I purchased came with a manual declaring their proud factory and a video telling the company's tale. Granted the video was a VHS tape which I would have to hunt for a way to play now days but it remains a sad marker on the changing of the times and I contributed to it. Cannondale and Trek among others do still make bikes in the USA but they are the higher end bikes.

Being busy is a good thing. Having made the transition to working for myself being busy is great as it means there are clients who are paying for work to be done. Of course at the same time being "out sick" is not the option it was when one had "sick leave" and vacations are "times where I'm not paid" instead of purely relaxing. It is all to easy to be completely consumed in work in this environment. However, one of the things that I have neglected is spending enough time at the gym and in other pursuits away from work. It is easy to believe that if I work ten hours a day that somehow working 20 hours a day would be twice of good. Of course it isn't. Any productivity will tell you so. One of the great reminders of these new toys is just what good thinking and helpful ideas come from the "rest of life" that get lost in the work-a-holic world.

As a quick example it was while I was out getting feed for the horses and listening to Marketplace on the radio when it finally hit me. The big deception that the local Boise media has been spoon feeding consumers about the Real Estate market. Sure we're used to real estate agents who try to spin the market into some reason to be buying. It's appalling just how many agents are telling the "it's not very bad here" tale. Yet talk to anybody in the business, contractors, builders etc. and you get a very different story. The real issue, which I'll be writing more about soon, is gaming the system with relistings. Relisting a property is the practice of taking it off the market and putting it back on so that some unknowing dope of a buyer will think "this has only been on the market for 45 days" when it has been sitting for months or even a year or more. The Real Estate associations here turn a blind eye to this practice and blithely report the number of days that a house was listed before it sold.

Markets have changed. In a normal market relisting is a gimmick that might help with a sale. If a buyer has a decent agent it won't do much as the buyer will be told what the game is. In this market, however, there are developers with houses sitting and sitting. Things aren't selling. Not in the 45-days or 70-days that the news tells us the real estate people provide. The massive numbers of relistings are serving to provide a falsely positive picture of the market in the Boise area.

Some areas of the country, according to the Marketplace story, do more to prevent this practice. Here, however, the game is being used to deceive the public into believing things aren't as bad as they really are. So not there's one more thing on the to-do list which is going to take some digging to put together.