My wife’s mother was born and raised in Santorini, the famous Greek island.
Old times were hard times. She first tasted an orange in high school and that split at four.
Not like today that Santorini island is among the top global tourist destinations.
Back then, the rich were those who had land and could farm.
The advice her father gave her back then was: “A house large enough to fit and a land big as far as you can see“.
Santorini’s grandfather, unbeknownst to him, was giving basic advice and life lessons:
- Invest and emphasize what can be productive.
- Do not invest more than necessary in passive assets. (The home is passive in economic terms because it doesn’t produce anything, instead it consumes resources).
- Invest as much as you can in productive structures and processes.
In recent decades, the wise grandfather’s rule has been reverted to “land just big enough to fit a huge house inside it”.
People bought large caged apartments or maisonettes with loans from banks that were filling all the land they were put on.
No provision for production. The aim was to show off false wealth (?) and a life far from production and real values.
And a little gossip about how Santorini’s real estate was evolved
In those days (around the 1960s), fathers gave the boys the pieces of their property that had value. And these were the fields at the back of the Santorini island. That’s what they lived off of and that’s what was valuable.
To the girls, they gave the barren fields. The fields that were in frond of the caldera.
But time had turned and with the development of tourism, the barren fields of the caldera became gold, while all other fields lost their value. At least temporarily. devalued.
Today, everything in Santorini is Gold.
The caldera for tourist development and the fields for the uniqueness of the products produced from the volcanic soil, like wine and the famous Santorini’s tomatoes.