SHOOT THE DOG AND SELL THE FARM

I read this story of a sweet old lady, who lived in the country and was getting older. Her daughter had moved to the city, and had produced what was hopefully to be the first of many grandchildren. She asked her accountant, if he thought it would be wise for her to move to the city, closer to her daughter. Not really knowing the answer, the accountant helped her work out the pros and cons over the phone. She decided, that yes, she would move.
A few days later she called back and said that she wouldn’t be able to bring her dog with her because none of the apartments allowed pets. She had decided she couldn’t live without her dog. So with her accountant’s input, she came to the conclusion that, she would stay in the country.
A few days later she called him back asking whether she should change her mind. This went on for several weeks, back and forth, move or not move, dog or no dog. Finally she called one last time. Her accountant, in utter exasperation and not being infinitely tolerant of indecisive people, said, “Look lady, just shoot the dog and sell the farm.”
So what is the point of the story? No, I am not advocating shooting your dog, or grandma. Rather it is an observation, that for many people, the biggest single obstacle to success is their indecisiveness.
To quote Israelmore Ayivor “Your decisions determine where you will or will not be in later days to come. Rise up and direct them well!”.
Whether it be buying property, choosing a life partner, taking a job, clearly you need to do your research. So I am not advocating making rash decisions, however to be getting ahead in life, you need to be constantly making decisions, and with a degree of confidence.
The world is full of uncertainty, and it’s easy to be paralysed by a fear. Whether it is what’s happening in Greece or China, where are interest rates heading, what is happening on the work-front, etc.
In a property context, I see people sitting on the sidelines, sometimes for years. They are worrying or hoping the property market will collapse. Pondering all things from interest rates to politics.
However it is ironically worth reflecting on some of the negative views. RP Data’s Chris Joye is saying: “Australian home values could fall by between 8 per cent and 17 per cent if discounted variable mortgage rates rise as far as 7 to 8 per cent”.
So here you have one of leading property experts, cautioning against the property market, but at the same time he is identifying that the worst case really isn’t that bad. An 8% fall seems to be his base case and only if interest rates ratchet back up.
I would argue that residential property is a 25 to 30 year investment. If Chris Joye is correct and the property market is say 10% overvalued, is it going to make much difference in 25 years, if it turns out you have paid 10% too much for a property?
By Danny Doff

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