JUL 23, 2022
The semester I took Islamic Philosophy, was also the semester I began to doubt God.
Now that I think about it, I don’t even remember the details of the professor, or the syllabus — but I remember thinking: hm, so it’s ok to question things. I realize that as I get more comfortable in my own skin, I seek the company of others that also enjoy questioning the status quo.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean questioning norms and beliefs like an anarchist that wants to burn down the system. I mean more like, asking why & how when someone has a different opinion; while trying to understand where they’re coming from. I suppose being able to question your beliefs without sacrificing your sanity has a lot to do with empathy. This would probably also explain why I feel more spiritual than religious.
My relationship with God transformed from a collective belief, to a more individual connection. I believe God is more than what we can fathom, both an idea and a story; within that territory of belief comes the oscillating doubt in God. I remember the professor challenging us — Did God not create this world, with both believers and non believers? So what are we but vessels of his creation.
Last week was a lot of fun — I felt the market changing for the first time in my life. You know how when you’ve been doing something daily for a while, you can tell when something feels different? For example, sometimes I’ll know I’m forgetting something when I’m on the way to the gym — only to realize that I left behind socks, a water bottle, or something else random. It felt a lot like that.
It’s no surprise that the raise in interest rates over the last several months have been spooking buyers, but what I’ve started to notice is sellers are also adjusting their expectations down from the hysteria. Price adjustments have become more common and sellers are willing to negotiate openly at the start of the offer process. This was unheard of up until maybe last month.
Take a look at the chart below, they focus on the Absorption Time for the 3 areas of NY that I’ve worked in: Jamaica (Queens), Levittown (Long Island), Baldwin (Long Island).
Absorption Time is the amount of months left of the current inventory to get consumed by demand. It’s one of the most insightful ways to measure the balance between buyers & sellers in a market. The higher this indicator, the more time it’s taking for current houses to be sold, meaning demand < supply.
The chart is pretty self explanatory: the tide is finally shifting in the favor of buyers after a long sellers market. I can feel it in my daily interactions as well since I’ve noticed stale listings that haven’t moved in months, and empty open houses (even in my own firm’s inventory). Weirdly enough, there’s not a whole lot of agents that are actively doing anything about it — which puts me in an advantage.
I believe the FED is going to raise rates again to erode demand & curb inflation. If you’re in real estate, you could look at this as the end of the world since now you’re unlikely to find both willing buyers & sellers. Or, you could look at it from my perspective in that now’s a great time to start the buying process if you’re a strong buyer: prices are going to slide down, putting you in a better position overall.
Although the last few months have been a struggle, they’re still rewarding because of how much I’ve been learning. It’s weird to think about how this is a recurring theme, but even though there are days I feel exhausted and completely tapped out — there’s usually one moment that makes up for it and keeps me going.
For example, it often feels like I’m no more closer to buying my first apartment building than I was a year ago — and then, something happens. I’ll get a call from someone who was referred to me as a client, or a cold message from a real estate forum member asking me for advice. These little things that result directly from my full-time participation in the world of real estate really keep me going because it means I’m making progress slowly, but surely.