On Monday, Cliff and I celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary. (Happy Anniversary, Honey) That's about half as long as my parents have been married, but certainly enough years to have to have set down roots, to have established a family (the boys are practically grown now) and to have built an incredibly rewarding life together.
Anyone who's walked down the aisle or stood in front of a Justice of the Peace, can tell you that it's not always easy. Marriage is a journey of ups and downs, rewards and challenges, and unexpected turns; it's promises kept and forgotten, commitment and duty, and a great deal of acceptance along the way (okay, I'm still working on that part). Above all else, a successful marriage involves a great deal of love, respect, and compromise.
Truth be told, most of us marry one another on "potential." We don't really have a clue what's in store for us in the long haul, but we take the plunge anyway with faith and perseverance, secure in the belief that love and laughter will pull us through (note to my boys, marry someone who makes you laugh and whom you make laugh, in turn - it does!) Add children to the mix, and it's a whole NEW opportunity for growth . . . Still, on balance, it's a journey well-worth taking. I guess it would be fair to say: I've been"lucky in love."
Nevertheless, "luck" has less to do with love, than do faith and perseverance. The same can be said with respect to Real Estate as well. First and foremost, you have to believe in the marketplace and you have to have faith in the security of your investment; faith in the concept of future appreciation, AND then you persevere . . . Successful Buyers believe in the "potential," whether in the "fixer," or in the "turn-key" opportunity, whether in an UP or DOWN marketplace, and whether in a secure or a volatile economy. They also, believe in the dream, which is why real Buyers are often willing to battle time and again before securing the perfect property. (Well . . . almost perfect.)
As of late, there have been a fair number of homes sold on "potential" and in most cases, they have gone in incredibly competitive situations, which means the "lucky" Buyers weren't just lucky, they were prepared AND to my point, they had also persevered. I've spoken to preparation and perseverance many times before and it has never been more important than it is in today's highly charged, incredibly challenging marketplace. Speak with a local lender, get a pre-approval letter qualifying your credit-worthiness, and be prepared to go to war. (There's no point in writing offers that don't stand a chance.) Meet with a local Realtor, tour the area, identify the communities that you desire, become familiar with the inventory, track the sales prices, and then commit fully to the process. If you need to sell first in order to purchase, start that process right away: prepare your home for sale, investigate, inspect, and disclose (a real act of commitment) and then make your next move. BTW - while the majority of capable owners can handle many of these steps on their own, aligning yourself with an agent UPFRONT gives him/her the legal capacity to aggressively step in and take on much of the stress buying or selling a home entails. In other words, put an agent to work! (We're more than happy to earn our fee and your trust along the way.)
Hey, I'm here to help you set down roots, meet your goals and take the next step. After many years of practice, I've gotten very good at supporting dreams (that's a mother's job). It's also your Realtor's. Please give me a call.
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.