Thursday, January 22, 2009


by Jan Bellamy at

Welcome to another year of adventure in the Real Estate business! There will be lots of changes and lots of opportunities, both good and bad changes and opportunities.

I have been selling Real Estate since 1984, that’s 25 years of experience with many changes in laws, technology and business practices, but 2008 to 2010 will easily bring two decades worth of changes in a couple of years.

Good News First! We live in Central Florida! We will survive and flourish again. Get ready to tighten your belt, trim the waste and cut the fat. Decreased spending and lower property values mean lower taxes and fewer services. The media will tell us how terrible it is, how deprived we are, and that it’s somebody else’s fault. THE DAYS OF ENTITLEMENT ARE OVER! We need to redefine basic necessities.

A house is a place to raise your family. If you need to sell your current home and get back to basics, call me. There are plenty of affordable houses to buy or rent in Polk County in very desirable areas. This is the silver lining of the current crisis. You can get yourself out of debt!

My family won’t suffer if mail was only delivered to my house two times a week instead of six, and the garbage picked up once a week. If I need daily mail, I’ll rent a P.O. Box and pick it up myself. If I accumulate too much garbage I’ll drop it off at a designated dumpster in my area. The school system could implement a program to compensate seniors who need to work but don’t need benefits, in order to fill non-instructional positions. Since more people will need to work from 65 – 75 years of age, let’s make it a win-win for children and seniors. The seniors could ride the school buses to and from work, saving them travel expenses, and perform many functions at a savings to the School Board, and ultimately, the taxpayers.

Bad News! Like the Great Depression, this didn’t just happen. It’s the result of more than two decades of economic abuse during which time Americans speculated in the markets. Government borrowed to expand; businesses borrowed to expand; and consumers borrowed to expand. Now all three: government, businesses and citizens will have to change quickly, sacrifice together and hold each other accountable while coordinating their efforts to contain this disaster.

As Americans, we forgot that you don’t really “own” anything that has debt, whether it’s a house, a car, a business or a country.

Let’s not assume our leaders know how to deal with this situation. In fact, at least one local bank received the TARP funds, and has no intention of making loans, but is keeping the money in case their bank needs it to get through this. You went to work. You and the business you work for gave money to the government with no strings attached, and they gave your money to banks all over the country with no strings attached.

OOPS! Well, they had to react fast to this financial crisis that’s been coming for 20 years! Not to worry, we voted for them, we trusted them and now we the American taxpayers will be asked to pick up the tab. The average Polk County family understands the basic economic principles and discipline of spending better than our elected officials and government employees.

In a meeting with Adam Putnam in October, I asked him to appoint a task force/think tank, including government officials, business owners and concerned citizens, to educate each other and the public on the issues, and propose solutions that will benefit us all, especially at our local level. There will be cuts in programs and services, at the national, state and local levels. With our input, they can be the least destructive to our community and its citizens.

As we learn to live on less, wouldn’t you like to “choose your less” rather than be told you’ll pay for something you don’t want or need, and you’ll lose something else you do really need? After all, it’s your money, taken on every purchase, taken out of your paycheck, paid in property taxes, sales taxes, income taxes and all with no strings attached. If you have input, contact your city, county, district and state officials. Get involved or be a willing victim, your choice. If you put your input on our blog at: we’ll send your message to the right people.

Jan Bellamy is broker/owner of RE/MAX Experts
Coming soon - Short Sale FAQ's (frequently asked questions)