How much aggravation are you willing to put up with to get a great deal?

Last time I was in San Francisco, shortly before the darkness of the lockdown set in, I saw a guy wearing a T shirt that read “I’m not gay, but $20 is $20.” Even in the super sensitive world we live in, laughing at it did not give me a guilty conscious that it would offend anyone, which somehow made it funnier. But it’s also analogous to getting a loan in the current market. Yesterday I told a client that he could get a 10-year interest-only loan at a rate below 2.5% if he were to go through the Fannie Mae “Green Program,” which requires some basic energy saving upgrades that are very easy to implement such as low-flow shower heads and LED lights. His response was “It sounds like a lot of aggravation to deal with the government.” My response was “how much aggravation are you willing to deal with to get a sub 2.5% interest-only deal, for ten years?” He thought about it for a second and said “Well I guess quite a bit.” We all have our own tolerance for what we are willing to do to make a buck or save a buck. My grandfather used to drive to three different stores to save a couple bucks on dinner ingredients (he never thought about the fact that his Cadillac got 11 miles a gallon and was drinking most of his cost savings with all the extra running around) and at dinner he would announce that it only cost $3 per person to create the meal. That’s more aggravation that I am willing to put up with and hopefully more time than I will ever have to myself, but to him it was worth it.


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