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What is a Box and One?

What is a Box and One?

(In case you’ve tired of real estate, I’ve included a non-real estate tale at the bottom.)

Box and one, no, it’s not a small home with one bathroom.

Congratulations to the women’s (South Carolina) and men’s (Kansas) NCAA basketball champions crowned Sunday and Monday respectively. I’ll end my real estate/basketball metaphors for the season with this newsletter.

Friends occasionally ask this ex-basketball player and coach: “What is a box and one defense?” Or, “How does a team attack a 1-3-1 zone?”

To understand basketball, it’s important to understand terms and flow, the process. The same is true for real estate.

Young homebuyers are living in an economy where it’s difficult to get ahead. Covid, income stagflation, student debt, high rents and the cost and lack of available homes are all cause for concern for first-time homebuyers. Fearful and confused, many don’t know where to begin – a tough place to be when making the largest financial decision of your life.

Marquette Coach Al McGuire used to tell a story about meeting with one of his players in the player’s dorm room. The player, lying in bed, asked Coach McGuire, “Coach, what’s the secret to success?” McGuire replied, “The first thing you need to do is get out of bed.”

In these difficult real-estate times, I’d suggest home buyers “get out of bed” – daily – stay the course and follow a game plan, a path and process.

A good starting point? – terms and process. Said another way, understand:

1. how real estate has changed in the past two years,

2. the risks of buying a home,

3. costly mistakes to avoid in the home-buying process,

4. the best approach to increase your odds for success.

We don’t believe there is one correct way to buy a home; rather, individual circumstances and the specific home dictate the process.

To the point above you may have noticed Zillow made news last week when it reported a loss of $881 million on its home-buying business last year – remarkable because home prices rose dramatically for much of the year.

Economists might blame “adverse selection” and “imperfect information” for Zillow’s problems. Any time you’re working with imperfect knowledge and trying to operate a business on a large scale, you’re likely to run into this kind of trouble.

We don’t work on a big scale. (Zillow could have used our advice.) Our goal is to not sell you a home. Our goal is to answer questions and provide information to help you make the best home-buying choice you can.

Sometimes our advice is: “Don’t buy that home” but before we can give advice we have to listen, which is the purpose of what I refer to as our “coffee talks.”

In my coming newsletters I’ll write on numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4 above in the hope they will provide insight and help in the buying process.

Remember, we don’t sell homes, but we’ve learned a great deal about the market and industry in 35 years of work. If you are considering selling and buying; contact us for an objective discussion of the market and how best to sell – and buy – while limiting risk.

A Beach and a Bird – Bonus story

We (my wife Terry and I) sat on the beach yesterday, kicked some sand, drank some wine and people watched. An older man and his wife walked by, he with a leashed cockapoo and she with two walking poles. The gentleman paused to allow Terry to pet the dog. I said “Nice win yesterday, glad to see Indiana get one.” The dog didn’t respond, but the gentleman wearing an IU hat did.

I mentioned how I’d snuck into a Bobby Knight practice around 1985 and that I was in New Orleans when Indiana’s Keith Smart hit the game winner from the corner against Syracuse in ‘87’. I noted I was from the land of Al McGuire and watched Marquette win it all in Atlanta in ‘77’.

He mentioned he’d been to a Knight practice. I said, “That’s interesting because I know Knight liked closed practices and let very few people in. “Oh,” he said, “I’ve been to a few of them.”

The man’s looks and gait were as I’d expect an 85 year-old former basketball guard’s look and gait to be.

By now, we’d talked for 15 minutes, his wife and walking sticks were long gone down the beach. Before moving on, he paused and took a ring from his hand and gave it to me to hold.

It was a large ring, the kind champions wear. The ring had a # 33 in the middle encased in green, maybe emeralds, surrounded by diamonds, heavy.

“33,” I said, “I play tennis with a guy, Steve Kuberski, who left all sorts of points in that jersey when he retired from the Boston Celtics.” “I know that name”, he replied.

As I returned his ring he quietly said “I coached Larry Bird in high school and he gave me this ring as a thank you.”

With his ring returned, the old ball coach continued up the beach in search of his lifelong teammate, the one with the walking poles.

Thanks for reading,
Michael D. Holloway

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Homebuyer Associates
1835 N. Riverwalk Way
Milwaukee, WI 53212
Phone: 414-254-4129