Jill's away on vacation in Marblehead which leaves me manning the store alone. Even on holiday, she couldn't resist sending me a photo of a charming seaside building she spotted while out on a walk with her girlfriends. It makes for a good Instagram Post to be sure, but as your Realtor, I wouldn't recommend such a purchase unless you're ready to take on a major "fixer.'
Zoom in and it's not nearly so charming after all. I don't mean to be judgemental (uh yeah, I do) but someone needs to replace those windows and power wash the shingles, post haste!
While Jill collects seashells at the seashore, I've just put a darling young family into contract on their first home in Alameda. It's a bit of a "diamond in the rough" so it's no surprise that it comes with a few issues that require attention, some of which are immediately apparent (dated kitchen and bathrooms) and some which are not (dry rot, galvanized pipes, termites).
I'm not a fan of the current administration, much less the inappropriate behavior displayed by so many of our political leaders, on either side of the aisle, so imagine my surprise when the President's protestations of "fake news" actually hit home last week and I had an opportunity to experience the concept of 'false claims' up close and personally.
For the last month and a half, my COMPASS colleague, Sarah Abel, and I have been marketing a beautiful property here in Piedmont and we were thrilled when it went into contract on schedule with a professional young couple buying their first house together.
We were less thrilled when we received an email 10 days later from their Realtor, saying that the Buyers had decided to back out of the purchase based on an engineering report that recommended substantial improvements to the seismic and drainage systems of the house, adding up to a fair amount of additional costs. (Who wouldn't pause and take note?)
"No!" the instructor screamed at the flustered woman who had unknowingly volunteered for the afternoon's literary exercise and was struggling to figure out what - exactly - this New York literary agent was asking?!?
"I'm not interested in hearing how your character's mother felt about it. I want to know how Lottie feels" he said. "Do any of you care what I had for breakfast?" (Not now, we don't.)
"Let me understand this, you want me to pay you for representing YOUR INTERESTS on the purchase of this home?" I said, frankly dumbfounded.
"I've got a gal in Lafayette that will work for 1%," the Buyer said. "Your answer will affect who we choose to work with."
"Where is that Agent now?" I asked, wondering why I'd spent the day working on his behalf.
"I don't make her schlep me from house to house," he said. "Our deal is that she writes up the offer once I do the work."
Correction: ONCE I DO THE WORK!
Julie Gardner, has been writing The Perspective for 15 years and has published more than 500 essays. She is also a frequent contributor to the Sound Off column in the Real Estate section of The San Francisco Chronicle.