Of myself, there is very little that I don’t, or that I won’t, share here. I tell you about my struggles and about my successes. I tell you of my disappointments and of my points of pride, and I do this so that you’ll know me and see that I am nothing more than a guy who knows Lake Geneva extraordinarily well, who also happens to want to sell you your own piece of this lake so that you, too, may live the life that I tell you about living. It really isn’t that hard. If I sold you something every second of every day, where would the discernment be? If I lack discernment, how can I claim to be a valuable asset to anyone searching or selling here? If I lack opinions, and I try to make my timing your timing, then how could I consider myself a trusted advisor and not a simple buy-this-NOW salesman? That’s why I tell you about my life, and that’s why I’m telling you about what I’m considering now.
It is no great secret that I have taken to fly fishing like my dogs take to the shade on a hot summer afternoon. I find peace in this particular pursuit, and I enjoy it so very much. I am not in any danger of becoming my cousin, the one who decided to move to Montana to be a fly fishing guide, because I like Wisconsin far more than I could ever like Montana. Montana is for cigar chomping bankers, the ones who like to put pictures of large, colorful trout on their office walls, designed to foretell their experience and their proficiency. Wisconsin is for someone like me, who enjoys the challenge and skill necessary to work for that success. It requires effort and patience, and solitude- the latter two both being things that I need more of, at least at times. Further, a land purchase in Wisconsin allows me to live in Lake Geneva, to work in Lake Geneva, to do what it is I love to do most of the time while fleeting away some of the time to grab that skinny graphite wand and wait for the dimple of a rising trout.
This is why I’ve been slowly looking for some land in these trout areas. I started looking casually, just peripherally. One eye open to the thought, but mostly only considering such a purchase on a whim, or in moments of fancy that were not held on to for all that long. But more recently the thought has progressed from fancy to actuality, and I have been cruising the MLS not solely for Walworth County, but for this other county as well. What started as a possibility has become a strong desire, and in this I have submitted myself to the same process that my cherished clients have endured, or are currently enduring. It’s our thoughts that drive these moves, and when the thoughts become too much, action follows. It’s the same if you’re looking for a lakefront home on the South Shore or a piece of land with a small stream running through it.
So what would I do with this land? Why would I buy it? Well, I’d do very little with it. I’d treat it as city people treat farm land, perhaps that land that they bought as a hedge or land that they inherited from a prior generation that viewed that land in an entirely different way that would have considered casual ownership a shame. I’m seeking to buy land because they aren’t making more of it. I’m seeking to buy land, not just any land, because I see the scarcity of it all and sense that future values will improve. I’m buying land to stand on, to fish on, to look at, to consider. I’m buying land because I’ve made up my mind that I must have this thing that I really don’t need.
The exercise of doing this has given me lots of insight into the struggles of anyone considering a property purchase at Lake Geneva. The idea starts off as a dream, slowly becomes a reality, and possibly, over some length of time, becomes a tedious nightmare before turning into the sweetest of weekend dreams. I have now felt the formation of location preferences, of pricing sensitivities and insensitivities- that process through which an idea starts off as a $500k lake cottage and ends up being a $2MM lakefront purchase. This happens often, and I understand it, though I am in no danger of pushing my pricing limits for land that isn’t all that usable, in a place that isn’t all that close to here. I see, however, how property acquisitions evolve, and it’s been a valuable lesson. I love owning real estate, which is why I move constantly, but would you have it any other way? Who wants a Realtor who doesn’t enjoy the process of real estate? Not me.
Perhaps most importantly, I have been learning patience. I have been off and on with this hunt for more than a year, and I may be closer now to a purchase than I was then, but who could tell? Am I nearing the finish line in this hunt or just barely beginning the process? Am I about to buy something or about to be forever a looker, intent to wait to find the perfect thing and not, in the mean time, buying the sort-of-perfect-thing? I’m sensing the patience that is required to buy something that you don’t really need, and it has me thinking about my clients again, and moreover, my would be clients. I have been searching, contentedly, for a long time. I have been patient, and as the Realtor for my own interests, I see the immense value in patience.
Perhaps if your agent doesn’t see the value in discernment, and in the value in dreams slightly deferred, maybe that means you should have another agent. Don’t get me wrong, I’d really like you to buy a house from me, like yesterday, as my 2015 volume numbers are a bit miserable, but do I want you to buy a house from me or would I like to help you buy the house for you? Do I want to sell you something, anything, because I need volume and I crave it? Or do I want to help you on your pace, calling out value when it presents, and telling you to jump but understanding if you don’t? The answer has always been obvious, but going through my own purchase exercise I’ve seen the value in dedicated patience, and I’m more committed to it than ever. But, like all matters of real estate that require patience, I cannot know what I should do to help you in your personal search if you don’t tell me what it is you’re looking for.