All real estate is local. Every state, and even counties have particular laws and practices governing transactions, and one state doesn’t always agree with another. What’s interesting about Weltanshuung is that we are all provincial. 

I lived in Manhattan for over 20 years, in South America for 8 and back to Minnesota. Each place has a very different view of life. New York is tolerant, diverse, but in your face. It has no time for slackers. And in their defense, where else do you have people from all over the world, most of whom don’t speak English, talk with their hands, and yet make it work?

South America is full of 3rd world contradictions. What you see is not what is going on, you have to learn to decode fact from fantasy. Government disfunction is a given, and yet people are generous and hopeful. 

Here in Minnesota, often referred to as God’s frozen people, culture dictates to be polite and play by the rules, but be remote. (You can’t really blame them for being chilly in subzero weather for months at a time.) They won’t say ‘No,’ but will roll their eyes. While cable TV in Peru provided channels from Italy, Germany, MTV, Chile, Venezuela, Columbia, Ecuador, Brazil and Bolivia, when I got back home all we got on cable was sports and movies.

Is a world view even possible? I believe it is if we pay attention and are open. It is less about my opinion versus someone else, and more about how many ways can we put this transaction together. Opinions are not facts, just opinions. It’s said that 80% of what we learned before 1980 is no longer true (which leaves Millenials completely out of the equation). I’m keenly aware that it cost many immigrants risking their lives to come to the US. In NY a friend from Indonesia literally swam to shore. He jumped ship to avoid customs and rose to be the head accountant of one of the top NY financial institutions. I also worked with a number of people who survived concentration camps.

Their experience of life had scarred their souls.

Our job gives us access to a whole world of people. One time I was involved in a land sale where the listing agent had everything wrong. The legal description was off, MLS said it was zoned for single family while it was agricultural, and the survey was 40 years old.  My buyer wanted a new survey, the listing agent argued, “Trust me, it will be fine.” Nope, we at least need it staked and we each would pay half. She was angry. My buyer was being difficult, “I want to see stakes, I want to see stakes, I want to see stakes,” over and over. It was already been staked. When we got to closing, we were tense. The seller came in singing, smiling and greeting everyone. He started joking with the buyer about both of them being Swede, and how awful they were. She started laughing, her husband was laughing. All I could think of was, “This guy is totally brilliant!” He got out of the way, put everyone in the room at ease, and we all went home happy. He is my guru.