I don't often plagiarize other people's points of view, but this week we received such positive news from our COMPASS founder (and Berkeley native) Robert Refkin, that I thought it worth passing along . . . .
Take it away Robert:
"Last week I was on CNBC’s "Closing Bell" to share my outlook on the real estate market and the initial positive signs we are seeing in 2023 (click here to watch the full segment). For the first time in 10 months, all of the statistics I looked at are trending positively and I wanted to share them with you here . . .
"Your column this morning resonated with me," a colleague said. "My daughter gave me her lovely Restoration Hardware sofa, which then made everything else in the room look old and worn . . . so now I've had to update the den, paint the walls, and buy a new rug." (You're preaching to the choir.)
Hey, I'm just glad to know I'm not alone. (Turns out, there are lots of us home-centric addicts in need of a 12-step program.)
"You're doing WHAT?" my husband, Cliff, asked, his patience clearly tested.
"My clients have offered me their 60" double oven Wolfe Range at a bargain rate," I said, pleased with my "find." "Our kitchen has always NEEDED a second oven," I added, "and now we have the opportunity to finally "get it right.'"
Of course, "getting it right" isn't quite as easy as I make it sound.
Accommodating a much larger range means removing a bank of drawers and relocating the microwave. Additionally, I'll be eliminating overhead cabinets for the 60" hood (included in the sale), and retiling the backsplash as well (a slight miss from the get-go). And I've added pantry-depth cabinets on the opposite wall to house the items that will need a new home. But why stop there? I've had a custom butcher block extension built for the island, AND because the island has grown considerably, I've had to replace the current lighting with three large pendants to anchor the room. (They look AMAZING.)
Yes, Alice, I've fallen down the rabbit hole . . .
Tuesday marked the first COMPASS meeting of the new year, so in spite of the torrential rain, hail storms, and frightening thunder, a friendly and familiar group of Realtors® came together at the Berkley office to discuss the market and the coming year . . . (Spoiler alert: none of us knows what's going to happen.)
As it'd been several weeks since we saw one another, we also talked about the holidays and how we'd spent the time off??? As many of my colleagues read "The Perspective," I was greeted with inquiries of "How was Egypt?" (Egypt was fascinating, thank you very much.)
But if I'm being completely honest, after the third or fourth ruin, I'd come to the conclusion that the pharaohs must all have worked with the same designer . . . turns out the pyramids were the track homes of the Ptolemaic Period. (Who knew?)
Happy New Year! Cliff and I celebrated with dear friends in the City, stayed at The Palace Hotel for the night (elegant), enjoyed John Mulvaney at the Masonic Temple (a gifted comic & storyteller), followed up his performance with a late-night dinner (too much food), and stayed awake long enough to welcome in the new year (way past my bedtime).
Despite the heavy downpour, the skies had cleared by the time midnight rolled around, allowing us to leisurely stroll back to the hotel via Union Square, which was alive with glow-in-the-dark balloons, sparkling partiers, and families with young children determined to stay awake. All in all, it was a festive and lovely way to bring in the New Year. I couldn't be more grateful.
Now that the holidays are behind us, it's time to get our heads back in the game . . .
Cliff and I are off to Egypt this week, so today's blog is my last of 2022. (Time to float on the Nile.) In light of my impending date with the sphinx, what better way to end the year than by looking back at 2022; a year that started out hot and heavy and ended decidedly cooler. (Grab a cozy blanket and some warm cocoa.)
Given that most people prefer NOT to move during the holidays, the market is seasonally quiet; however, what's less typical is that we expect to see this slowing trend continue well into 2023. In fact, the ballast may not return to the marketplace until 2024, according to many industry experts.
Sadly, I received a call from a friend who recently lost her loving and devoted husband of 51 years now and needs a current real estate valuation for her exceptional family home. Known as a "stepped-up basis," evaluating a home for value involves a quick walk-thru of the house, a discerning eye, a deep-dive market analysis, and ultimately a REALTOR'S®/Appraiser's professional opinion. However, the time to get a "stepped-up basis" is limited. Consequently, the estate attorney's sage advice to act sooner, rather than later to establish a new base value is timely. . . and Sarah and I are more than happy to help.
For those unfamiliar with the concept, a "stepped-up basis" creates a new baseline value for a property, as opposed to the purchase price on the tax records, often from years ago. . .
It's been an interesting year, to say the least, beginning with a rapidly escalating marketplace, only to end up with one that's clearly correcting.
Even so, Sarah and I are grateful for ALL the work that's come our way, whether it's been educating Sellers with respect to the changing dynamics, or helping Buyers secure homes at what's proven to be a much higher interest rate than the market delivered previously. We are here to be of service and to help navigate your next chapter.
That's tougher to do when the results aren't nearly as jaw-dropping as they were the last few years when EVERYTHING sold in quick time, and often with multiple offers that pushed the final sales price well beyond anyone's expectations.
"Unless we can get 'X' for our house, we're not gonna sell it," has been a repeating refrain on many of our listing appointments as of late.
Fair enough, it's your house, and you're the captain, but if "X" equates to last April's potential outcome HAD you sold the property in the spring of 2022, good luck achieving that unlikely, unrealistic, and ASPIRATIONAL expectation. In short: "that ship has sailed;" "that window has closed," and to be perfectly blunt, "you missed the boat." (Take your pick from any of these well-worn metaphors.) In other words, HINDSIGHT is 2020 . . . & 2021 & 2022! (See how I did that?)
No sooner had we arrived at our cabin to celebrate Cliff's birthday last weekend, when Jill texted, "I think you have a problem at the house," (never an auspicious start) "there's water dripping down the fireplace in the apartment below. . . " (How can that be? There'd been no rain for months.)
By Sunday evening, the drip had turned into a much larger concern and when the plumber, Andrew, began to open the ceiling looking for the root cause, buckets of water literally poured down on him before hitting the floor (that's probably gonna cost me extra).
Julie Gardner, has been writing The Perspective for 18 years and has published more than 670 essays on life and real estate.