Have you heard? Cliff and I are officially in escrow and we close next week. More to the point, our 'home sweet home' sold in only four days and with multiple offers!
"Wow, I feel so lucky," I told my sister, Jill, "the perfect Buyers came along at exactly the right moment and totally 'got' our home . . ."
"Except that it wasn't luck," Jill reminded me. "You worked really hard on your home and your property is stunning." (Thank you, we did and I'm glad it shows.) "I think you need to acknowledge that your amazing result didn't come about by accident." (I appreciate that.)
It certainly didn't hurt that our listing coincided with a break in the weather, a fantastic team of dedicated professionals, excellent market timing, TECH DOLLARS, an exceedingly motivated Buyer, a value proposition, and very gifted Realtors on both sides! (Well done.)
Or as one colleague remarked, "Your home is the perfect example of when 'Preparation meets Opportunity'."
In fact, Cliff and I haven't just been busting our humps for the last few months preparing our property for market (although we ramped it up considerably and by "we," I mean "me") our house has been a work-in-progress for the last decade.
Ten years ago my husband and I essentially fell in love with a garden and a gazebo and knew that with time and vision (and money!!) "potential" lay in the mix as well. Regrettably and in a market not unlike today's, we had spent MUCH more than we anticipated with the firm understanding that any home improvements were at least five years away. And so we waited . . . and waited . . . and WAITED. (For those of you who know me personally, you know that 'waiting;' isn't exactly my forte.)
Having finally put our hearts and souls - and a sizable investment - into this exceptional home, I now leave it in the appreciative hands of the next stewards with the knowledge that we have loved it well and that they will very likely make it their own - as they should. It's my deepest wish that the new owners will find all the joy and happiness; all the love and laughter; AND all the tennis balls Buck left behind. Enjoy!
And as if that weren't news enough (drum roll please . . . ) Cliff and I are now in contract on the next "fixer" with "potential." Yes, folks, we finalized the contract yesterday and call us crazy, but we will be renovating yet another home with "great bones." It's absolutely everything I SAID I wasn't going to buy this time around, but here we go again . . . (there isn't a 12-step program for this addiction, but maybe there ought to be).
So, I'm proof that like most buyers, we tend to gravitate towards the same style over and over. (This will be our sixth project together, NOT counting the boys - a 'project' like no other). I suppose that when it comes down to it, Cliff and I like the 'promise' these less-than-perfect homes offer, and after nearly 25 years of projects, we've gotten quite use to the process as well.
Happily, this is the first time that we won't have to live in the construction site while the work is underway. (Hey, I need a rental now! Who's got a lead?)
For the record, the last few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity - both personally and professionally. I've probably never been more in tune with the current marketplace and with the emotions that my Buyers and Sellers must navigate to be successful in competition. So here's my lesson for the week, having been in the THICK of both ends of the buying and selling process in what may be the most heated real estate market the Bay Area has ever experienced to date.
(Listen up for what it's worth . . . ) I started this journey with the majority of my friends asking "Where will you be going?" and the plain truth is, we didn't know. Unexpectedly, circumstances had thrown a curve ball in our plans, and the fortunate market timing seemed a golden opportunity to adjust, but that didn't mean we weren't incredibly conflicted about selling and letting go. Like anyone who sells a home they truly love, saying goodbye is never easy.
"WHERE are you going?"
"I'm taking a 'LEAP OF FAITH'" I told one curious friend after another until it practically became a mantra (leap of faith, leap of faith, leap of faith . . .).
I said it, but I wasn't quite sure I meant it. "I find," my friend and colleague, Christian, wisely said, "that when I become willing to leap . . . a NET appears." And so we leapt . . . and so it did.
Maybe life is nothing more than "potential" and what we make of it along the way. . . (A heartfelt "thank you" to everyone for their encouragement and support; AND understanding, and empathy and patience, and . . .)
None of us achieves success alone. I guess it really does take a village - (and a net)!
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.