"We've spent so many wonderful years at Fallen Leaf Lake and hope your cabin is safe," the email read. "We're sending our prayers."
Thank you; we appreciate that. In truth, I hadn't been paying much attention to the fires until that unexpected email arrived, followed closely by several others. (Ignorance is bliss.) Now, Cliff and I are checking the fire reports regularly.
"I live around the corner," the gentleman said while visiting me at last Sunday's Open House (the real reason Realtors host Opens). "I'm not sure if we're selling or staying put, but we're getting ready to make some improvements and I wondered if you'd come over and give us your thoughts before we do."
While doctors gave up the practice of "house calls" years ago, Realtors are asked to make them all the time, and not surprisingly, we've no shortage of opinions about what we think is a wise investment with respect to your return on investment: updated kitchens, bathrooms, primary suites, custom closets, indoor/outdoor space, ADUs, and what isn't: wine cellars, hot tubs, billiard rooms, and swimming pools.
It's a given that when Cliff and I cross the Bay Bridge, he will invariably end up in the slowest toll lane possible. (That drives me crazy.) It's a given that I'll wake up every hour on the hour the night before we travel, even though I've set the alarm. (That drives him crazy.) And it's a given that the moment the "sale pending" sign goes up on your property, your neighbor is going to start objecting LOUDLY about property boundaries if there has ever been a dispute regarding the line between your two lots. (That drives us all crazy.)
Jill, Sarah and I will take a breather from Opens this weekend as nearly all of our properties are currently in escrow. That's no small feat, given our recent volume, and one that couldn't come at a better time as Sarah heads to her daughter's graduation in LA for the weekend, and Jill is off to cheer-y-o London to visit her daughter for 10 days, leaving me to sip tea alone.
However, just because we're heading towards the finish line on several properties, it doesn't mean I'll be getting much rest while they're away (turnabout is fair play).
Julie Gardner, has been writing The Perspective for 17 years and has published more than 650 essays. She is also a frequent contributor to the Sound Off column in the Real Estate section of The San Francisco Chronicle.