Waterfront, lake properties and wooded acreage real estate for sale in WI and MI

To buy or not to buy

I hesitate to make a list
Of all the countless deals I've missed.
Bonanzas that were in my grip-
I watched through my fingers slip:
The windfalls which I should have bought
Were lost because I over thought:
I thought of this, I thought of that,
I could have sworn I smelled a rat.
And while I thought things over twice
Another grabbed them at the price.

It seems I always hesitate,
Then make up my mind much too late.
A very cautious man am I
And that is why I never buy.

How Nassau and how Suffolk grew!
North Jersey! Staten Island too!
When others culled those sprawling farms
and welcomed deals with open arms-

A corner here, ten acres there,
Compounding values year by year,
I chose to think and as I thought,
They bought the deals I should have bought.

The golden chances I had then
Are lost and will not come again.
Today I cannot be enticed
For everything's so overpriced.
The deals of yesteryear are dead:
The market's soft-and so's my head.

Last night I had a fearful dream
I know I wakened with a scream:
Some Indians approached my bed-
For trinkets on the barrelhead
(In dollar bills worth twenty-four
And nothing less and nothing more)
They'd sell Manhattan Isle to me,
The most I'd go was twenty-three
The redmen scowled: "Not on a bet!"
And sold to Peter Minuit.

At times a tear drop drowns my eye
For deals I had but did not buy:
And now life's saddest words I pen
"If only I'd invested then!"

Farm and Land Realtor Magazine
October 1917


Almost everyone has had the experience of adding up their fictitious losses suffered by not acting on a potential investment when the opportunity presented itself. How many times have you heard "If only I had bought that property last year," or "It was only $36,000 in 1976, I just can't justify paying $195,000 in 1985." Now let's look ahead to the year 2005; you can bet people will be scratching their heads with the same hindsight, $400,000... "Why didn't you buy in 1985 for $195,000?"

What you have to remember is that real estate prices are relative to the economy of the time. True, the sooner you invest, the more profit you will realize, but remember, the prophet ladder continues to rise and it's never too late. You can get on the ladder at the first step, the third step or the ninth step and there will be an infinite number of rungs to that ladder above you. What hurts you is not getting on at all.

The above poem was published in the Farm and Land Realtor Magazine in the year 1917, more than 80 years ago. It could have been written yesterday. Erase those thoughts that yesterday was the last day that I could have bought and made a profit, as tomorrow may be just as good.


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