My favorite part of the week is when I hear back from you after sending out The Perspective on Wednesday. Admittedly, more of you respond when there's a contest involved (see below) but each of you brings something new and relevant to the discussion that I really appreciate and value. It isn't easy to be the trumpeter in a market where people want (and need) to hear only good news. But I know that your future decisions are often based on what you can realistically expect today.
One complimentary reader summed it up best, "The only thing worse than cranky pessimism is blind optimism . . . you remain upbeat but realistic." Thank you LK, I'm doing my best (and I really appreciate the kudos although my husband might say that "cranky" applies a little more than he'd prefer.)
Still, there are good reasons to be optimistic right now. The super-conforming loan limit of $729,750 is once again available (though only through FHA for the moment) making homes on the higher-end of the scale more attainable for many. Homes priced below $1,000,000 are truly going to enjoy the "sweet spot" for the next several months.
I barely had time to mention the new listings on Buckeye and Broadway Terrace in Rockridge last week, before they went pending in quick order! Meanwhile, I was very busy negotiating for the successful sale of the stately home at 34 Manor Drive in Piedmont, aggressively listed for $950,000 (under $1,000,000 - the magic number!).
In ALL of these cases, buyers did not wait for validation or for permission from other buyers - they stepped in and took advantage of the momentary lull. Paying attention to their own internal starting gun, they capitalized on a fantastic purchasing opportunity. Smart! (Or as my Brooklyn born mother-in-law would say, "Schmart!")
What's the moral of the story? (This is the part where I get to speak in metaphors - and who doesn't love a good metaphor?) 'A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush?' No. 'Don't beat a dead horse?' No. 'A rolling stone gathers no moss?' No. 'He who hesitates is lost?' Yes! That one will do nicely (as will - 'A stitch in time, saves nine').
In other words, don't wait when you find the home that meets your needs or you will risk losing it to more aggressive buyers OR potentially end up paying MORE in competition. Note, even the most seasoned pros haven't figured out how to "time the bottom." Whoops, there it went! Now for those of you willing to play along, send me a metaphor I haven't used that applies and I'll spring for lattes at Mulberry Market to the first ten respondents. (Chad and Laura, can you set me up?)
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.