Wednesday, June 29, 2005



This week my wife and I will spend a lot of time preparing for the big move (Time for just a blog or two each day). We will hold a moving sale this week end. It is amazing how much "stuff" one can accumulate in 33 years of married life. It is emotionally draining to make decisions about what to keep and what to sale.

We hope to travel extensively the next couple of years. There is not much point in our owning a "first" home during this time. We will likely rent a small apartment or condo to serve as home base. We will spend a few months each year in our "second" home at Myrtle Beach. We will work online where ever we go.

In 1986, Stan Salvigsen, the Chief of Research at Merrill Lynch, sold his home and rented it back. Five years later he was able to buy it back at a discount. He invested his equity for five years and doubled his money in the markets.

My wife and I are down-sizing. Our children are grown. We do not need a 4 bedroom 4.5 bath home. We do not believe we are at the top of a real estate bubble but we believe price increases will be relatively modest in comparison to the gains of recent years. We expect to make more in the markets than we would by renting the house for the next few years. When we settle down again, it will be in a cluster style community with amenities for "seniors" (we are currently 55 years of age).

The baby boomers are currently 46 to 59 years of age. Both my sisters and brothers have started shopping for "retirement homes". My older brother is considering the purchase of two cluster homes each near a set of grandchildren.

Marilyn and I will visit a number of "hip" retirement communities in the next couple of years. Everything from Aspen Colorado to Whistler British Columbia. Just because we have sold and are selling a substantial portion of our real estate holdings, does not mean that we have lost interest in studying and learning about real estate trends. Those who were smart enough to buy in Aspen 30 years ago have made a killing. We hope to identify the next "hot" communities in the next cycle. We think the current cycle is getting long in the tooth for speculation. Again, we do not believe a bubble is about to pop but we seen better opportunities in the stock market.

The fact that the current market is treading water, does not mean the BULL is over. Everyone from Greenspan on down is confused by the strong economic growth and low long term rates. It was about 500 years ago when the printing press changed the world. The internet is just as revolutionary!