To Be or Not to Be – That is the Question

Should You Invest in Real Estate? Shakespeare Did!

New Place – Shakespeare’s Home; the second largest in Stratford – upon- Avon
Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/internetarchivebookimages/14804882903/


William Shakespeare penned the famous words for his play, Hamlet, sometime between 1599 and 1601. He was already a successful poet and playwright because in May 1597, he purchased the 107-year-old “New Place” to be the home for his wife, Anne, their daughter Susanna, and twins, Hamnet and Judith. He was 33 years old when he purchased the enormous 20+ room house with five gables, two orchards, and two gardens.

Shakespeare’s Birthplaceconverted to an income producing pub
photo credit: By Diliff – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22120641

In 1601, Shakespeare inherited his parents’ house, his “birthplace.” He enhanced and added on to it and turned part of it into an income producing pub.

In 1602 he purchased 107 acres of land from which he received handsome rental returns. Stanley Wells, professor and editor of the Oxford Shakespeare, is quoted in an April 18, 2014 Financial Times article by Annie Maccoby Berglof, “He bought New Place; a lot of land in 1604; a cottage in Cottage Lane. For much of his life, he was investing in property,”

In Shakespeare’s society, using “other people’s money” was well accepted. He used a mortgage with which to buy the Blackfriars Gate House in 1613.

In addition to being a savvy real estate investor, Shakespeare invested in other profitable ventures as well as in his performance and theater companies.

To recap, for most of his professional life, Shakespeare invested and acquired real estate. He made his initial capital from acting and writing plays. Then he diversified.

“Money buys lands, and wives are sold by fate.” Merry Wives of Windsor, Act V Scene 5
Photo credit: Public domain

Why does this matter and how does this translate to our lives today?

Mark Twain and/or Will Rogers are credited for saying, “Buy land. They are not making any more of it.”

Did you know that more than 90% of today’s wealthiest people made their fortunes in real estate?

You can enjoy tremendous benefits by investing in real estate –

  1. Appreciation
  2. Favorable tax treatment
  3. Leverage
  4. Borrow more through refinance
  5. Others repay your principle
  6. Income
  7. Land always has value

There is nothing new under the sun in 425 years!  Should you consider diversifying and adding real estate to your portfolio?