News & Research Archive

Pulse Of The Market (Pulse 85 - American Dreams)

Nov 05, 2010


In many ways, the game of baseball is not only a metaphor for life: often times it is a metaphor for real estate. As kids, we dream of standing at the plate and making the hit that scores the winning run. As young adults we dream of owning our own home. Both are bedrocks of the American Dream.

What a great Series! As the afterglow washed over the City, I reflected on how lucky I was to participate. I also reflected on day-to-day real estate.

It started just after we beat the Phillies to gain a spot in the World Series. That was a Sunday morning, and as I was having my morning coffee and reading the New York Times, I thought about the Series and whether I should buy some tickets. So I called my cousin Richard, a doctor in Atlanta (whose Braves we beat in the Playoffs) to ask his counsel. I told myself that tickets would be too expensive. “Look Malcolm,” he said, “it is a once in a lifetime opportunity. You will not get a second chance.”

Making it Happen

So fortified with new resolve, I immediately texted my daughter in Seattle (she’s really the baseball person in the family who taught me how to score the games) and asked whether she would fly down if I were able to get tickets to the opener. She replied that she was 90% sure. That was enough for me to suck it up, go on line, and bought two tickets at Stub Hub at outrageous prices. Five minutes later, I texted her that her 90% had better be 100% since I had just taken out a third mortgage to afford the tickets. This was now reality.

Once in a lifetime!

Once in a lifetime!

Dreams and Assets

The improbable Giants made it happen. Many of them are like buyers and sellers I see every day. I know I am stretching things a bit, but stay with me. We don’t get to play and win the World Series every day. It’s once in a lifetime, right? Like buying a home – part of the American Dream. The Giant players are real assets, just like real estate. And like valuable real estate, they are limited in number and therefore valuable.

Take Edgar Renteria. Though only 34, with a two-year $18.5 contract, he was theoretically washed up. He plays flawless defense and hits a three-run homer to provide the winning margin in game five. He reminds me of a rundown house, past its prime and labeled a “fixer’ by real estate wags. Though he inherited a talented body at a young age, he had to invest time and effort so that he could not only play at 34, but rise to be MVP of the Series.

Take Buster Posey, a special talent, and most everyone’s Rookie of the Year. He is all of 23 and has the wisdom of a wise old man, able to guide extraordinary pitching talents to unprecedented heights. He’s like a sleek new penthouse in South Beach with an outrageous view of the Bay Bridge and the downtown skyline; a real standout.

And take Barry Zito, the highest paid member of the Giants and a player not selected from the active roster to participate in the Playoffs or the Series. He is like the $25 million mansion in Pacific Heights that came on the market in 2008 and did not sell.

Can Barry Zito retool himself so that he is able to throw at 90+ mph and mow down batters the way Timmy, Matt, and Madison do?  Like the mansion with good bones and a great location, to realize superior value, he needs to invest in reworking his mechanics. He has the talent.

All of these guys, and many more, had dreams of being in the World Series, and even winning it. They sacrificed and invested along the way, particularly the older players who were washed up and were discarded before they landed with the Giants in 2010. Their stories are legion.

Pursue the Dream

Did you hear Joe Buck, the Fox announcer, in game five, when he showed an aerial shot (like below) of San Francisco with AT&T Park in the foreground and the Financial District in the background? “San Francisco is the most beautiful city in the country!” I wonder how many people from Texas and elsewhere heard that pronouncement and want to realize their dream of owning a home in San Francisco?

Image courtesy of Hawkeye Photography

Yes, I hear all the talk about it makes more economic sense to rent than to buy (it doesn’), prices are still going down, unemployment is still going up, etc. etc. While many are at least half-true, you can’t turn your rental property in the home of your dreams nor can you give your rental property to your kids. More importantly, your home is an asset that can appreciate to build wealth. Like the Giant players, it is the land that is valuable because it is limited. Stick with the Dream. Call if you need a Dream Maker.

Written by: Malcolm E.A. Kaufman


Starboard TCN is posting this article on its website and blog with Malcolm E.A. Kaufman's approval.

Malcolm E.A. Kaufman is Founder of PulseFactors™ LLC. He refers you to his website,, where you can see recent issues of Pulse of the Market© and learn more about him. He invites your comments, suggestions, and questions.

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