This human endeavor of creating and finding a home ( both practical and yet every bit motivated by the same spirit that is the impetus for rearranging the furniture or planting a flower garden) will not cease simply because an article in the Washington Post wants to paint the DC region in broad strokes of crisis. (The District home prices ares down only 2% overall and actually higher than 2006 for two months in the fall--- if you read the fine print!)
Building a home (or buying and establishing a home) is a fundamental human endeavor. There are many creatures who participate in the act of building their homes. Beavers come to mind, as do birds. ( But foxes are more renovators than builders of new.) At the beginning of human civilization when homo sapiens generally ceased to be nomadic, food surplus from the expansion of subsistence farming allowed a diversification of societal roles and the development of specialized jobs. Art began to flourish, writers recorded events, trade skills for the building of homes in villages and cities became respected and permanent unique contributors to society. The need for shelter, basic for human existence, now was not just a practical concern but a channel for human expression and beauty, lasting tributes to the growth of civilization. I think of the mosaic tile floors with their testimony to Roman life among the flourish of colored pieces requiring much time to assemble. I think, too, of the Greek adornment of the Corinthian column and in the later years the expression of humanity in the great cathedrals—many planned and constructed during periods of economic crisis.
Finding a home as a human endeavor is very much like funeral industry. We are down to basic human activities that go to the root of being human: birth, living and death. That second one requires a home of some sort. Humans must build their world, unlike the wild animals whose instincts take care of the living. So we build our homes. They are expressions of humanity’s search for happiness. We never take a break for or search for happiness for ourselves and our families. (Just watch HGTV for an afternoon!)
So I am not giving up on my career of helping people find the home that makes them happy. I am confident that people will continue to want:
A change of place
More space for a growing family
Less space and more decoration
Less space for a shrinking family
A place to not have to mow a lawn
A place close to a grocery store and a bank
A place that has more windows and light
A place to own
More comfortable living
A change of perspective
Saving the environment
Taking control of one’s life
Building a family and a future
Creative and aesthetic building is a human endeavor
All my listings from 290 k to 600 k have regular activity at this time. While it takes longer to come to agreement on price, I have made a living in this last slow year and 2008 for me has started out with more activity than 2007!
Let’s hear it for humanity!