The fundamentals of real estate investing – Even my seven-year old daughter “gets it”

My daughter Aleah loves board games.  I think of some of them as “bored” games, but I do try to indulge when I can.  I am usually hoping for a quick game that doesn’t require too much thought, like Chutes and Ladders, or a game that I actually sort of enjoy, like Yahtzee (at least there is some skill involved). 

The other day, she was begging me to play a game with her, so I asked which one she wanted to play.  Then I heard the dreaded response: 



I used to torture my own mother by making her play the long version of the game, which we would have to leave set up for days on end, it seemed. 


Aleah is seven, and her patience wears somewhat thin, so I am not yet required to endure marathon sessions of this game. 


The other night, she wanted to play her own special version of the game, which she called simply “Mario Version”.  There was a box with Super Mario on it that served as the jail, and two small figurines of Mario and Luigi that we used as our game pieces.  If you went to jail, your guy went into the box, much like the famous scene in “Cool Hand Luke”:

WARDEN: Any Mario character caught landing on the Go to Jail space, spends a night in the box!  Any father who won’t play a board game with his daughter….spends a night in the box! 

If you haven’t seen the movie, I apologize for the obscure reference.  If you have seen it, you are likely laughing now.

At any rate, I noticed that my daughter is very aggressive when it comes to real estate investing, usually buying any property within her means as she makes her way around the board.  To be sure, I would LOVE it if there were any properties with Monopoly-level pricing, because I could absolutely make a killing.  However, they would also have Monopoly-level rents, such as the paltry sum brought by Baltic Avenue (which I think is $6, if memory serves). 

Aleah once decimated me simply by buying all of the available properties that she could, even when it seemed unwise to the outside eye.  I am hindered by my adult “wisdom”, while she forges ahead with impunity. 

What can I learn from this?

Well, most of the richest people that I know own a lot of property.  It doesn’t really matter if the property was a steal when it was originally purchased.  Looking back over time, real estate is THE MOST SOLID INVESTMENT available.  I have some clients who purchased their first home in Cedarhurst, New York in the early 60’s. 

They paid $66,000 then – it is now worth about $1.2 million. 

Monopoly was patented in 1935 according to Wikipedia.  Even so, I find it hard to fathom that you could buy an upscale property (like Boardwalk) for $400.  However, property values have absolutely skyrocketed since this game was devised.  Heck, they have skyrocketed in most places since I got into the business about 12 years ago. 

It appears that my daughter is far wiser than most would realize.  Even if it isn’t necessarily the perfect time to buy, real estate is a solid investment for the long-haul.  I think you would be hard-pressed to find anyone to tell you differently.

If you are considering investing in Austin Texas real estate, I would love the opportunity to help you find the right properties.  Please feel free to call or email me anytime with questions.  I hope to hear from you soon.  Thanks!

Copyright 2008  Austin Real Estate   Jason Crouch

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