Cliff and I closed on the cabin at Fallen Leaf Lake earlier this week and it's been both exhilarating and nerve wracking to finally realize the dream we've aspired to for more than 30 years. The thing is that when you buy a vacation property, it typically comes with the furnishings, accessories, dishes, and the linens inside - lock, stock and barrel! That's all well and good, but what we hadn't expected was 20 years of accumulated "stuff" that the Sellers (and their renters) had left behind . . . cabinets, and cupboards and closets, OH MY!
"We're not convinced the price-per-square foot comps out to other sales in the neighborhood," the text said, "but we know that comps are usually hard to parse, and often bear no relationship to what the market will bear."
Thank you, I couldn't have said it better myself.
If price-per-square foot was all that was required to sell a home, Realtors would have gone the way of the Dodo long ago . . .
"We refer to the time before the fires as the 'good old days' when we ONLY had the pandemic!" Sharon's text message said. "We thought we bought a view; we want our money back . . ." (This photo wasn't filtered - it really looked like this!)
And so they did. In fact, their condo in Hiller Highlands has SPECTACULAR City and Bay views, but you sure wouldn't know it based on the apocalyptic skies we've been experiencing this week. (This photo was taken on their balcony.) Who'd have thought that California's spate of bad news could get worse??? And yet, it did. I think we're all ready for a break.
"Write this down," I said to the Seller, as he was dutifully filling out his Seller questionnaires, "Oakland is home to many animals, including but not limited to: deer, wild turkey, opossum, raccoons, skunks, squirrels, rodents, hawks and many other birds and insects."
"That's ridiculous," he said. "I've never seen turkey in my yard and I'm not writing that down."
"Just do it." I said, "I guarantee you that the new owner (or their dog) is going to cross paths with some of these animals and you're going to want it in your seller disclosures before it comes back to haunt you. (Trust me on this one.)
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.