You're all wondering if I got my shelves for Mother's Day, right?
Well, I'm happy to report that I did!
So what if I accompanied my husband, Cliff, to Costco to make sure that he bought the right units and that they made it home intact? (Think of it as "together" time, honey).
OR that I micro-managed the project from beginning to end as Tristan and his father put the new shelves together?
OR that I had to physically drag our college-age son, Case, away from the televised Basketball games and throw a broom into his hand as he ignored my none-too-subtle pleas for assistance? (I love him, but I'll gratefully put him on the plane to Wyoming on Sunday as he heads to his summer job.)
Eventually, my family managed to get everything off the floor of the garage and organized into clear bins that now sit neatly alongside the sleeping bags, paint cans, and lawn chairs that we've collected over the years.
Would it be overreaching to declare that order has once again been restored to the Universe? (Maybe just a tad.) At least one of us in my household went to bed happy that night. (No, it wasn't Cliff and perhaps in hindsight, I might have been a wee bit controlling.) I guess the point is that each of us has specific needs and wants when it comes to a household and our own criteria for making it a "home." I need a garden, and Cliff wants a batting cage. I need to get the cars off the driveway and Cliff wants to keep ALL of his old outdated sports equipment. I need some semblance of order, and Cliff wants a nap . . . . (Sometimes, our "needs" and "wants" actually coincide.) Lucky for you Buyers, here in Piedmont, we don't live in a cookie-cutter community. If Mediterraneans are your thing, there's certain to be a Spanish style home that eventually hits the market. Ditto for Tudors, Victorians, and Brown Shingle Traditionals, which all sit side-by-side in our picturesque little village of one-of-a-kind family homes and estates. (It really is special here.) Occasionally, we will even be treated to a fantastic Modern Contemporary, as the fabulous spec-built home on Hagar displayed just last week (now pending!). If you are ambiguous or still uncertain as to what you really want, write out a "wish list" and then number each item's importance. You'll quickly find out what trade-offs you are willing to make - and what you are not. Then with information firmly in hand, you will be much more focused with respect to your next home purchase (and I'll have better guidance as well).
However, if it's location above style that you seek (as it is for many Buyers) that's a reasonable, albeit more difficult, expectation. The available housing stock in the center of town tends to be slim and you will likely pay a premium for it, but if that's your undeniable preference, hold out. Understanding that every home requires some compromise, clarify upfront what's negotiable for you (sometimes, you may need to identify what won't work, before determining what will) and then follow the course. As long as you allow yourself some flexibility, with patience and with fortitude, you will eventually find the right "fit." Speaking of "fit," everything, including our two cars, now fits neatly into our garage! Maybe by Father's Day, Cliff will actually get his nap. (He more than deserves it!)
Julie Gardner, has been writing The Perspective for 15 years and has published more than 600 essays. She is also a frequent contributor to the Sound Off column in the Real Estate section of The San Francisco Chronicle.