I just read an essay from our own fabulous neighborhood college admissions counselor, Dane Copeland, entitled "Life Interruptus" that struck a chord. (If you're not on her list, she's worth the read.) To be clear, my boys have both graduated from college, but good writing is good writing so I enjoy her blogs even though that segment of my life is now blessedly over (thank goodness). Her optimistic message is worth passing along, given the sea of negativity that continues to mount day after day after day . . . . For those of us who choose to stay positive, we can feel as if we are swimming upstream. On the other hand, bad news tends to cling, and let's face it, there's no shortage of bad news.
Which makes Dane's message all the more profound. In essence; life is not linear and a life interrupted does not translate to a dead end. Let me repeat that last part because it's incredibly on point right now: "A life interrupted does not translate to a dead end!"
Let's just start with a collective sigh . . . and then take a deep breath. (I think we've earned it.)
With news that the vast majority of us are "non-essential" (that hurts) and consequently, are mandated to "Shelter in Place," it's clear that every segment of society is going to be affected by Covid-19, no matter who we are OR how we pay our bills. While fear of contracting the virus has been rampant among many (my 94-year-old mother-in-law isn't leaving her recliner), the resulting stock market losses will take much longer to resolve, and potentially, cut much deeper. In short, we all need to get back to work before industries (and people) can begin to heal, and there is a LOT of healing to do! (Were it only that simple.)
It's not hyperbole to suggest that we are in unprecedented territory, but as for how "Shelter in Place" applies to Real Estate . . . is it tough to sell a house remotely? (Yes, it is.)
I want my hour back! All week, I've felt as if I've been scrambling, because I have. I blame it on the clock; I really need and use that extra hour in the morning . . . when I wake at 7am instead of 6:00, I'm already well behind.
But it's not just the hour I'd like to retrieve, I'd like to travel back in time please. With news that the Coronavirus will likely get worse before it gets better; that trade and industry has essentially halted in much of the world; that travel has virtually been shut down; that concerts and sporting events have been cancelled; that schools and universities have been suspended; that borders are closed, and that the stock market has dropped precipitously, there's no wonder there's a fair amount of anxiety and fear among the populous. We've been spoon-fed nothing but alarming news, AND to be fair, it IS rather alarming . . . . (Heck, even toilet paper is sold out.)
It was inevitable I suppose, what with the nightly news of Coronavirus and its global spread . . . that Real Estate markets might soon feel the effect. Now that it's come ashore in the U.S., Buyers and Sellers are anxiously wondering if home values are set to finally correct??? And to this appropriate inquiry, I can only reply, "I don't know." (Wouldn't it be great if I did?)
And while it's unclear why Coronavirus has created more media concern than the flu which kills approximately 56,000 people a year and hospitalizes more than 200,000, according to the CDC, there's no doubt that Coronavirus has not only, sadly, resulted in the loss of lives, it has essentially halted travel, caused widespread panic, resulted in steep-market declines, and has put a real crimp in industries worldwide. Talk about a wet blanket!
If windows are the eyes to a home then doors must be its smile. Nothing’s quite as cheery as a brightly painted front door, as noble as double-doors, or as inviting as glass doors. Whether French, sliding, or Nano-folding doors, the ability to see through these partitions immediately brings the outside in, the inside out, and creates a beautiful transition from home to garden; wouldn't you agree?
Thus, when asked, "What do you think we should do to update our home?" I often suggest the Homeowners consider installing a new front door, especially if the property looks out upon a spectacular view or vista.
“Hey Julie,” came the Sunday evening text, “ we visited a house earlier today and the Agent said the Seller is accepting ‘offers as written.’ We think we’d like to submit."
In a market that often requires Buyers to wait a few weeks in order to create a blind-bidding war, ‘offers as written’ provides a nice change of pace. It’s a quicker pace to be sure, but It’s far more likely to deliver the house to the qualified Buyer who is willing to step in and pony up. (It's not for the feint of heart, the insecure, or the neophyte.)
Happy Valentine's Day. I hope you find time to celebrate the occasion with someone you love, OR use the opportunity to reach out to a long-lost friend, OR perform a good deed, OR decorate your home with a cheerful bunch of tulips (skip the hot-house roses), OR walk the dog, OR just take a moment to be kind to yourself. From where I sit, Valentine's isn't just for lovers, it's for all of us . . . so embrace the day and celebrate the love!
In the spirit of Valentine's Day, today's topic is ALL about love; specifically, how to get MORE LOVE when it comes to Real Estate.
It's official; the daffodils are in bloom, the days are beginning to warm, and the Buyers have arrived en masse as was abundantly clear with our super-charming listing at 68 Oakmont Avenue in Piedmont we successfully traded earlier this week. If this Storybook home created the template for what lies ahead (25 disclosure requests, seven highly-competitive offers, and a RECORD-SETTING RESULT !!!), then the Spring Market promises to be VERY robust indeed.
With respect to our local market, Sarah and I invited several Compass colleagues to join us for coffee and cake at my home (because who doesn't love cake?) with the intention of sharing upcoming listings and inside information. Because my co-Agents agree that we work best in tandem, the gathering was well attended and I am pleased to report that there are more than two dozen terrific COMPASS Piedmont listings coming to the market in March, April, and May, at every price point! Our competitors will no doubt have their own listings, but if I were you, I wouldn't list my house without seriously considering a Compass Agent first.
Sunday marks the 54th Annual Super Bowl and this year's epic battle is between our own San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs. Like many of you, I'll be plopping down in front of the television come Sunday afternoon to watch not only the game, but the Super Bowl commercials as well. As an added bonus, Jennifer Lopez and Shikira are slated to be among the half-time performers so it's sure to be a dynamic and entertaining afternoon.
(Please note that most Open Houses will START AND END EARLY to accommodate Sunday's Super Bowl game.)
Meanwhile, Jill, Sarah and I are in the midst of our own Super "Bull" which consists of prepping several properties for market simultaneously. Because we are juggling several listings, we need every available minute. As soon as the Sellers move out and give us the green light, we move in . . . AND like the proverbial BULL in the China shop, we're not exactly delicate.
There's no doubt that moving creates incredible stress. And let's just be frank, the longer we've been in our homes, the tougher it becomes to make a move, not just physically, but emotionally as well. That's probably why I choose to move so frequently; I don't want to be overly attached to my home, OR to the things in it. (People, yes. Possessions, no.)
I should preface this story by explaining that I'm the girl who didn't keep her wedding dress, who didn't save my children's soccer trophies, and who, when these same boys were heading off to college, handed them a single, solitary storage box and said, "If it's important to you, keep it. If not, I'm giving it to Good Will!" But that's just me . . . granted, you're likely to feel differently and no doubt, you are probably far more sentimental . . . and a much kinder person.
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.