On Tuesday, I met with my weekly BNI lunch group (Business Networking International) and because Valentine's Day is dedicated to "love," most of the 30-second introductions went something like this: "I love my job because. . . '
So by the time my turn came to stand and finally identify myself, I played along and jumped in with "I'm Julie Gardner with McGuire Real Estate and I lovehomes and I love Buyers who love homes, who love ME showing them homes, who love the process of home ownership, who love me guiding them through that process, AND I love Sellers even more . . .
It's been an interesting week for me. I put 150 Fairview Avenue in Piedmont into contract, (with seven offers, it had an incredible result, thank you very much), met with homeowners who are interviewing several Realtors before deciding whom to work with (me please!), gave a tour around town to new clients, showed an "off-market" home to repeat Buyers, and created a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) for my Seller's neighbor. My day is never quite the same - nor is it ever boring.
"Hey Julie," came the email, "congratulations on controlling 50% of Piedmont's real estate marketplace!" (Too funny.)
With only two listings currently on the market - and one of them being mine - it's the first (and probably the last) time I'll be able to claim this rare distinction.
With less than 4,000 homes in the whole of Piedmont, the stark reality that there are only two properties currently available for sale is sobering news to many Buyers who have been anxiously waiting out the holiday months in hopes that inventory would pick up again after the new year. Take heart, it will.
While sitting with a good friend at Olivetto's last week, we were commiserating about the generation of young workers who have unrealistic expectations as to what a REAL job looks like, and just exactly how hard they are going to have to work to get ahead. (That includes our own naive offspring and yes, that makes us old.)
"Do people really work 9-5 every day?" my younger son had complained last year, after taking on an ambitious summer internship in The City and discovering rather quickly that he'd need to get up even earlier to catch BART, and arrive home much later than he intended. (Life's rough.) Happily, he got up to speed rather quickly.
My friend's story was much better . . .
"Do you think we really need staging?" the Seller plaintively asked? "What's that going to cost?" (It's a legitimate question that almost always comes up.)
"Yes, I do," I answered with no hesitation,"dollar for dollar, staging is likely to be the best return on your investment and as most Buyers now begin their search on the Internet, photos have never been more important." (All true.)
That's the polite way of saying it.
Like many of you, I was violently jolted awake at 2:40 am early Thursday morning. At which point, I blearily opened Twitter to confirm a 4.4 magnitude earthquake centered in nearby Berkeley. (Twitter was exploding with Tweets, even at that early hour.)
I grew up in California; the recipient of thousands of seemingly unregistered tremors, so earthquakes don't usually faze me much, but this one did.
The holidays are upon us and the New Year is just ahead. To that end, today's newsletter skips a personal anecdote and moves directly into the Piedmont Year in Review. (I'll return to embarrassing my husband and kids come January.) For a detailed look at 2017 sales, as listed on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), click here.
"Your lights look a little anemic," my sister Jill said, looking at my sad little row on the porch railing. "If you like, I can get someone to come over and help."
She was right, my lighting job had been a little underwhelming, especially when compared to my neighbor's dazzling display, but paying someone to hang Christmas lights works against my Sacramento roots. Still, it was an idea worth considering.
I woke from my sleep the other night just in time to watch my husband take a terrible spill. Back lit by the SUPER moon; down, down, down he went (followed by multiple expletives not fit to print)! For the record, Cliff rarely cusses, but it was one of those awful slow-motion moments where you know the outcome isn't going to be good.
I'm back from New Zealand after visiting our younger son in Dunedin who was studying abroad at the College of Otago (and by "studying abroad," I mean that Tristan was exploring the Kiwi lifestyle with far more gusto than he was attending classes.)
"That's okay," a client reminded me,"I did too, and it's one of the absolute best things I've ever done. Classes weren't always my highest priority either, but wow, that's where I learned to really stand on my own, travel and explore as a responsible adult, and feed my curiosity about other cultures."
Julie Gardner, referred to as, "the pulse of Piedmont," has been writing The Piedmont Perspective for 11 years.