David Saks: My Home

David Saks - Real Estate Broker - The Real Estate Mart of Tennessee, Inc. - 4040 North Watkins-Suite #4 - Memphis, Tennessee 38127 - Phone (901) 357-4663

My Home

I love my home.

It's cozy.

Warm in the winter.

Cool in the summer.

It's in an old Memphis neighborhood.

Satiated with crime, racism, poverty, illiteracy, and blight.

Somehow or other I've been spared the horror.

But not the awareness of it.

Many of the homes around me are boarded up.

Many abandoned.

Some burned, looted and trashed.

Some with vagrants.

Bank owned and foreclosed.


Here's a picture of my backyard in the winter.

My backyard in winter

You can see how peaceful it is.

It's kind of an escape from the reality of the street that's only a couple of hundred yards to the west.

Gang violence, drugs, prostitution, robbery, burglary, auto thefts, home invasions, mental illness, hunger, domestic assault and murder, poor schools, bad cops and politicians, high taxes.

It's all there.

Just on the other side of the fence.

Hard to believe, isn't it ?

Even tougher to believe that the peace of

the photo above could be shattered.

But it is.


My home was built in 1952.

Harry Truman was the president.

My father was selling real estate.


But here's the reality of the neighborhood in 2013.


Some sleep in the churches with their children.

Some in their cars.

Some on the street.

Some in the parks.

Many foreclosed.


Some use their resources for

drugs, gambling, whiskey and wine.


Not for housing.


But I have a home.


I see children walking from school

and wonder if they have homes.


Or if they linger in the streets

because they're afraid to go back

to what they call home.


I grew up in Memphis.

& feel like I can't change anything sometimes.


So I watch, listen and hope that my neighborhood

will be a good one again one day.


I think it's another reason why I keep my real estate license active. 

Not to sell homes, but to help those around me who want to save the homes they live in from unscrupulous criminals who work in this profession.


With poverty comes hunger, desperation and illiteracy.


Many poor Americans work hard and lose everything because they don't understand the home buying process.


There are still lots of predatory real estate agents and lenders out there waiting to be taken down by the good guys.


When you close the door and find yourself

inside the comfort of your home tonight be thankful.


And be one of the good guys and gals.

Someone needs you.




David Saks

Time&Temp Memphis

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May God bless you.

Comment balloon 40 commentsDavid Saks • October 01 2013 03:30PM



No place like home, I think its really imporatant to give back to the community and help when we can.That's what makes a great community. You learned your lessons form your father well!

Posted by Adrian Willanger, Profit from my two decades of experience (206 909-7536 AdrianWillanger-broker.com) over 6 years ago
David, this is a very gripping piece in why you love your home despite or maybe even because of it's surroundings. Definitely something to think about!
Posted by Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES, Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living (Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch!) over 6 years ago

I'm not sure about that, Adrian. I didn't have much contact with him after he left Memphis 43 years ago, and haven't spoken with him in many years. I left home when I was seventeen and never went back. No regrets. I survived.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 6 years ago

I understand the environment, Silvia. I've been surrounded by it all of my life. I don't have much respect for it in it's current state, but you have to approach it with caution, like a dangerous, wounded animal. And then try to help it with compassion, understanding and patience. I used to jog regularly through these streets. I'm more apprehensive about it now. An 11 year old was murdered by a gang in the park across the street from me a few months ago while walking home from school. Drive by shootings and home invasions are common. North Memphis is very dangerous.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 6 years ago

"When you close the door and find yourself inside the comfort of your home tonight be thankful." I am very thankful... I'm blessed to have my home.


"And be one of the good guys. Someone needs you". I try very hard to be one of the good gals.

Posted by Nancy Laswick, Your REALTOR® For The Valley Of The Sun (United Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Beautifully written post, David.  Thank you.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) over 6 years ago
A great post and I am thankful for my home. This is so well written and enjoyed reading your post.
Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®, Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate (Vision Quest Realty) over 6 years ago

You are one of the good gals, Nancy.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 6 years ago

Thank you, Gabe. Hope the day is going well for you.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 6 years ago

Happy to hear from you, Rebecca. Thank you for your kind comments. Have a great day ahead.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 6 years ago

What a wonderful message! Tonight I will stop and think that I am lucky to have such a wonderful home that is a safe haven for myself and my loved ones.

Posted by Trisha Bush-LeFore, Providing Realtor Services in the Walla Walla Area (Preferred Properties Land & Homes) over 6 years ago

I enjoyed reading your post. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) over 6 years ago

Thanks for sharing this heartfelt story with us.  Keep up the watchful eye for both the good and bad!  I hope that over time things turn around for the better.

Posted by S. Leanne Paynter ☼ Broward County, FL, Davie, Plantation, Cooper City & Weston Specialist (United Realty Group, Inc.) over 6 years ago

David, this is very touching and incredible about Memphis.....I believe we are all here for a reason and to share and put forward what can help someone else...you too are doing your part...

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in Southern RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) over 6 years ago

David this was a well writen piece about the reality of life in your neighborhood.  It is amazing how we can find delight in our home even if there is choas outside.

Posted by Jennifer Fivelsdal, Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection ( JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571) over 6 years ago

Thank you, Trisha. It's always a good time to stop and reflect on your many blessings.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 6 years ago

Thank you, Gita. It's always great to hear from you.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 6 years ago

I do too, Leanne. Happy to hear from you. Thank you for your kind words.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 6 years ago

Thanks, Ginny. You're a great agent !

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 6 years ago

Thank you, Jennifer. I'm always grateful for your knowledgeable input and always happy to hear from you.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 6 years ago

Wow, this post really tugs at the heartstrings...  Of course we can't live in a perfect world but it's a relief to take a moment and just image what that would be like.  We who have a place to call home should not take it for granted and should count our blessings every chance we get.

Posted by Matt Kombrink, Your #1 Source For Real Estate (RE/MAX All Pro) over 6 years ago

Thank you, Matt. Glad to hear from you. Have a great day ahead.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 6 years ago

That was a wonderful post David, if it wasn't already featured I would suggest.  I think we are all pretty grateful you made us think.  Now we need to act...like one of the good ones!

Posted by Evelyn Johnston, The People You Know, Like and Trust! (Friends & Neighbors Real Estate) over 6 years ago

I'm happy to hear from you, Evelyn, and I thank you for your kind comments.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 6 years ago

Absolutely beautifully written post.

I might be wrong, but it is like strait from your heart....with love, and hurt, and hope.

I hope, that very soon your neighborhood will be back to normal. In my area REOs and SSs are almost gone, few here and there and between, no more boarded houses, prices jumped up to 30% comparing to last year.

Wishing you well:)

Posted by Inna Ivchenko, Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA (Barcode Properties) over 6 years ago
David, A very moving post. I'm sure very few of us can really understand the level of frustration you must feel having watched your neighborhood gradually deteriorate while you actively try to make a difference.
Posted by Bill and MaryAnn Wagner, Jersey Shore and South Jersey Real Estate (Wagner Real Estate Group) over 6 years ago

I know you are musically inclined, so I felt this apropo...for you, your ears and mind, amidst the beautiful mess you contemplate.  Put some headphones on for this one. 


At 3:18 into the song....these lyrics below are what went through my head as I read your post.

"Did I forget to mention
Forget to mention Memphis
Home of Elvis and the ancient Greeks
Do I smell, I smell home cooking
It's only the river, it's only the river

I'm checkin' 'em out
I'm checkin' 'em out
I've got it figured out
I've got it figured out
There's some good points, some bad points
Are those things real? Denied"

Read more: Phish - Cities Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Actually, song written by David Byrne.  Originally done by Talking Heads

Until soon, David.

Posted by Joe Kerouac, Real estate agent and writer over 6 years ago

Hi Inna.

Another slap in the face for Memphis came to pass, this past week, when the National Center for Healthy housing ranked Memphis at the bottom of the list in it's most recent study.

Here's the report:


Many thanks for your kind comments.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 6 years ago

Thank you, Bo.

I live by the advice in Irving Berlin's song, "Count Your Blessings".


Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 6 years ago

Great song, Joe. David Byrne is a lyrical genius.

Your book, "Out of Commission" is outstanding.

Hope all is well with you this fine day !

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 6 years ago

What a wonderful and inspiring post.  That you help your neighbors save their homes and shield them from predators is awesome. Hopefully, your neighborhood will eventually be even better than it's ever been before.  Partly that will happen because of you and people like you.


Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty) over 6 years ago

Thank you, Kat. Best thoughts for you.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 6 years ago

David, it's never easy to watch your neighborhood turn for the worse. It's even harder to keep the hope that it will one day turn around again. Here's to hoping it does.

And if it doesn't, just stay on your side of the fence :)

Posted by Suzanne Otto, Your Montgomery County PA home stager (Six Twenty Designs) over 6 years ago

What a wonderful, heartfelt post.  It's clear you have a passion for what you do - and your neighbors and clients are fortunate to have you in their presence.  p.s.  I love your backyard!

Posted by Susan Haughton, Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results. (Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545) over 6 years ago

I haven't electrified the fence yet, Suzanne. Don't plan to. Nice to hear from you.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 6 years ago

Thank you, Susan. Hope all is well in beautiful VA.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 6 years ago

This is an amazing post because I have a wonderful 3,800 SF yellow brick beauty in a less than desireable Southwest Atlanta nieghborhood suffering from similar ills as you have so eloquently penned.

I love my house which looks like nothing from the street.  I have come to enjoy people's reactions when they step inside and without fail the words "It doesn't look this big from the outside" finds an audience.

It is just nice to hear that someone else finds themself at peace in the midst of madness.  "How can you stand to live over there?" is not an uncommon question to which my response for the past 14 years has been "I can't see myself anywhere else".

Posted by Janice Traub, #1 Fabricator of Solid Steel AC Security Cages (West End Cages / http://www.WestEndCages.com / (770) 676-1645) over 6 years ago

I can certainly understand, Janice. And I thank you for your kind thoughts.

Providing metal cages to protect HVAC systems (which are especially important because of copper theft) as the focus of attention for you, speaks volumes of your safety concerns for homeowners.

My home has never been burglarized throughout the many years that I've been here.

My immediate neighbors are nice because I mind my own business,

Proverbs 26: 17-19 says it best for me.

Until something comes my way that has to do with blight, predatory taxation and lending, and real estate fraud.

Then I get mean.

Quietly, of course.


Like a shark.....

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 6 years ago

David, what a beautiful and peaceful back yard!    Good for you to assist others less fortunate!  Stay safe.

Posted by Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time (House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373) over 6 years ago

Thanks, Joan. Have a great weekend.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 6 years ago

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