My Dad, The Price of Gas, and a Lesson on Relativity

May 12th, 2011 by Katie K Team

By Sharon Sikkema,
Realtor and Closing Specialist, Katie-K Team

Just like me, many of you who are reading this are at an age where you have or are currently helping and caring for elderly parents or grandparents. My Dad (a/k/a “Coop”) was one of my best mentors throughout life, and although he became  physically frail toward the end,  he remained one of the smartest people I’ve known. His humor and wit were sharp as a tack, and I’m still learning from his wisdom everyday.

I remember one of my visits with him where I mentioned that the price of gas had just reached an ‘all time high’ of over $3.00 per gallon. One would think that to someone who was at the time 93 years old, in a nursing home, and hadn’t filled his car up with gas in at least 10 years, this would have come as a huge shock. Rather, “Coop” shrugged indifferently and replied, “Ya, but then everything is relative . . . I remember the days when you could get 10 gallons for a buck, but then I didn’t have a buck!” Today, with prices hovering over $4.00 a gallon, I suspect he would be equally nonplussed.

As I was tuning into NBC’s national news coverage that same night and once again heard the “gloom and doom,” about the US housing market, I couldn’t help but compare this situation to my Dad’s rationalization about the price of gas. Is the fair market value of your home less than it was five years ago? Unfortunately, yes. That’s the downside of the real estate market these days. But, there is a logical upside to this! If you choose to buy a home today, the fair market value of that home you want to buy will also be less than it was one or two years ago. And the “Up-Up” side is, interest rates are at historic lows. Not only is it a great time for first time home buyers, now is a great time for anyone to buy up or buy down! I have to admit, I’m a news junkie, and I love watching and reading the news. However, I believe that many times when there’s a positive side to a story, we only hear and read the negative spin, and that negativity only becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Maybe good ol’ “Coop” could give the news media a lesson on relativity!


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