I regularly meet a colleague (and a very good friend) a couple of times a month for breakfast and an exchange of information beyond The GRUBB Co. and the MLS inventory (Multiple Listing Service). Often, we swap stories about our buyers and what they are searching for. "I need an all-level living situation on the Piedmont Side of Montclair," she might say and I'll respond with "I need four bedrooms and two baths here in Piedmont under $1.2 million." "What do you know?" we say to each other almost in unison, as we professionally "beat the bushes" for what might be coming down the road.
Last week, over eggs and oatmeal, we talked about how Buyers often aren't clear about what they truly desire until they happen upon it - which can come as a complete surprise to everyone involved in the hunt - especially the Buyers! I shared a story about a very selective client who had wanted "a sophisticated contemporary with a view" and instead, purchased a "fixer" in the woods. Maureen countered with a tale about recent clients who were committed to buying in the Oakland Hills but unexpectedly fell in love with an Eichler in Walnut Creek just a few weeks ago. (Discovered at a Sunday Open, they are now happily in contract!) Sometimes what attracts us most, is a complete and utter surprise!
I have always LOVED to dance and swore I'd never marry a man who didn't love it too, so when I started dating my clever future husband and asked him if he liked to dance, he proudly replied "My dancing's often been compared to Michael Jackson's." "Really?" I said, a big grin spreading across my face. At which point he quickly responded,"Well . . . not favorably!"
I married a man with humor instead!
Twenty years later, we're still laughing. As for dancing, I now take salsa lessons on my own and he plays tennis with his friends. It works. He doesn't have to suffer - and neither do I! (Cliff's beat suits humor better than it does dance! And one and two and three and four . . .)
As it turns out, we have laughed through both good and bad times these last 20 years and humor is an attribute I have learned to value much more. My point is that when we stay open to the unexpected gifts, life often delivers us a greater reward!
So with respect to real estate (and husbands or wives) keep your options open and you too, might be pleasantly surprised!
Happy Valentine's Day! (I hope you dance AND laugh in equal measure.)
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.