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The world is filled with misinformation. In 2007, I journeyed to the Super Bowl in Miami since my Chicago Bears were playing Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts. I went with my friend who to this day has not told his wife of the $2,300 payment for the upper deck seats. That was the first bit of misinformation. The second came later. Devin Hester ran the opening kick back for a TD. Bears fans and myself went nuts and I was hoarse after 3 minutes. The best play and most excitement and fun I’ve ever had at a sporting event. The remaining 4 hours were the worst. The temperature of 64 degrees with 20 mph gusts and an inch of rain felt like it was 38 degrees. I had jeans on which were soaked. My Disney World rain suit I put on didn’t fit because I accidentally took my son Sam’s Mickey Mouse rainsuit which we got him when he was 6 years old. I tried to stretch it out, but it ripped, and blew away up in the air like the sail in the movie Cast Away. Desperate for a rainsuit, I heard rumors that one was available for sale in the tunnel concessions. At halftime I ran the whole stadium, only peeking out for 45 seconds of Prince singing, Purple Rain. I’d get to one stand, and they would tell me another had them. Just bad information. Six fumbles and me yelling at QB, Rex Grossman and his small wet hands, only left me with a hacking cough for the next six months.
Real Estate is also filled with misinformation and this week I saw a prime example. A major national news outlet reported that there was a mass exodus out of Flamingo Park right here in West Palm Beach due to massive insurance hikes. First, insurance is having some effect but not to the extent that some are reporting. I talked new September numbers and insurance costs with the Palm Beach Post on Friday about this. While people now ask if the roof is new before gawking at the sexy kitchen, it hasn’t resulted in a mass sell off at all. Furthermore, flamingos have been in the news as one of the hurricanes made some Caribbean Flamingos end up in Kentucky and Michigan and Wisconsin. However, I never heard about the residents of Flamingo Park flying out of town so much.
I looked and saw 8 homes on the current market which isn’t much different than other periods of times. Insurance hikes and tax increases are having an effect but not in a lot of selling. You know that because inventory was down 5.3% (3765 in 2023) in September compared to last year (3977) and sales volume was down 5.8% in the same time period (1102 sales in 2023 versus 1170 sales in 2022. Single family home prices are even up 3.4% in Palm Beach County. If there was a giant exodus, there would be a lot more than 8 homes on the market and the inventory would be up, not down. 0% income taxes, 3% homestead, and no new land available is proving the market won’t break despite 8% interest rates. There will be some who can’t afford to stay or buy here but the laws of low supply and so much increase in population demand and with no prime land left will keep things in check. Long term with new insurance regulation it should take 18 months to have a stabilizing effect and eventually the interest rate drop should result in big home price increases.
Now hopefully my friends wife won’t find out about the $2300 Super Bowl tickets. Mum is the word on my part as I don’t want my buddy to be be flapping out of town like the the displaced Flamingos if Larissa reads this! (oops).
Jeff Lichtenstein, originally from Chicago, got his start in the home furnishings textile business where he traveled over 35 weeks a year selling fabrics. After the family business was sold, Jeff moved to Florida and became a real estate agent. Today he is the owner and broker of Echo Fine Properties, a luxury residential brokerage voted best brokerage of the year. Jeff manages a non-traditional model of real estate that mimics a traditional business model. Echo has 80 agents, an average of one million dollars per transaction and over 500 million in annual sales. Between traveling for work and annual family trips to national parks with his wife and 2 now adult children, Jeff has visited 49 states. He is also one of the few Chicago White Sox fans you’ll ever meet. Some publications he has been quoted in.
Author of business & leadership book How Making a Sandwich Can Change Your World – The Amazing Success of the PB&J Strategy – Available to Buy Now!
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