Being First or Best?

Being First or Best?   In Real Estate or life, getting advantages for being first is just a human thing.

Way before moving closer to downtown, and before any serious retirement planning was being done by yours truly, Gail and I lived at Harbour Isle, a gated riverfront boating community in South Fort Myers. It was our initial taste of both condo living and waterfront living and we loved it.  Mike Sheeley designed it, BBL built it, and Nauman developed it. Two condos to a floor,  over 3000 sf of living space, a garage, private elevator, and a boat slip to boot.  I still measure all other riverfront condos against the high standard set by Harbour Isle. (I have a pocket listing there by the way.)

A very short walk from our home at Harbour Isle was the amenity center that housed the gym. For an energetic period of my life I got up early every morning and worked out. When I arrived at the dark and empty gym, I would flip on the lights and tune the TV to Fox news and spend the next thirty minutes on an elliptical trainer while I caught up on the news.  For three weeks this became my routine. Then one Monday morning as I arrived close to the gym I saw the lights on as I approached.  As I entered I saw a strange woman on a treadmill and the TV was already tuned to NBC news (not FOX).

Thanks goodness she was not on my elliptical trainer!  I suffered though the next thirty minutes with my mind wandering about thoughts of what “being first” meant while my morning routine was shattered by a distinctly human civilized trait of allowing someone to have control simply because they were first!

I watch my two dogs ignore this “first” thing: if little Katie has snared a bone and Sasse comes along: first shmirst!; it’s being bigger and meaner that matters;  Sasse gets the bone. Darwin talked about survival of the fittest, not survival of the first!

I remember thinking as I was working out that morning, ” Hehe….wait a minute, I’m bigger, I’m stronger….                     but manners kept me watching NBC.

How about getting in line the day after Thanksgiving a few days ago for the bargains being offered by the big box retailers?  First counts there as well.  In nature we would be able to buy our way to the front of the line, or at least bid for the merchandise. Somehow rewarding being first is an unnatural thing, the weaker may get rewarded just because they get up early!

Those of you that know me know I get up early. To me this is because beds are very dangerous places – after all most people die in bed.  But I’m not sure getting up early ever got me any advantages, however. I will tell you one thing: the early bird gets the worm – but only if he finishes eating it before a bigger bird catches him in the act!


Being first in Real Estate has advantages – sometimes.


If a new listing that has just come out late that afternoon and your agent or YOU is paying attention and happen to catch it.   Within 30 minutes of the listing being on the MLS you can make the offer.   Being first will not necessarily get the deal – especially in bank owned properties –  but in this case it probably will – she offered slightly over asking price (it was not an REO)

Gail and I found a house on the MLS in North Fort Myers we wanted to add to our own portfolio.  We spent an hour at the house estimating renovation costs. (Link to the home here). We visited the comps and decided how much we would bid. Unfortunately it was on, an auction site.   Being first was of no use to use. But we were thorough. Our “highest and best” was $68,000  ( Buy for $68,000 plus $3400 buyers premium, add in $35,000 of improvements needed and our all in cost would have been $106,400 . I had the market value pegged at $135,000, cost to sell would have netted us $124,200 or a profit of $17,800 with a three month hold period. The house went for $93,000. Not to necessarily the first or the smartest bidder.


Being First or Best?  Sometimes being first gives you more choices. Coming later to the game , however, gives you time to learn from the quick-starts. If you bought  early in the boom market you most likely have emerged from the bust unscathed.. The late comers paid too much.


For me?  I cover all the bases; I believe in survival of the fittest, the best, the strongest, the richest,  and the most competent. but just to give myself an edge, I think I will continue to get up early!!

What’s happening in the local real estate market? Homes under $350,000 are getting scarcer. (link here). I continue to run into functionally obsolete homes (article here) and these homes are pushing buyers to buy new it outlying areas.

We are just about complete on the infill home off McGregor we are building   (See it here). Infill is a trend I believe we will continue to see.

Should real estate be in your retirement investment portfolio? I say YES. Read here for more.

I hope your Thanksgiving time was enjoyable and stress free.



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