My travels in real estate feel like a lesson in sociology. I love to observe and to learn from the inspiring clients I get the honor to work with every day.
I still remember a time so many years ago when I happened to be standing in the driveway of a house that was about to go on the market, and the sign company pulled up and the installer dug a hole in the grass and planted a FOR SALE sign in the lawn. A neighbor noticed the sign, ran and grabbed on to the post, and started screaming, “NOOOO…” She was practically in tears saying she would grieve her neighbors moving away. I experienced that again this week – not so tactically with a neighbor hanging on to a sign but with an owner requesting notice before a sign went in her lawn so she could call her neighbors and break it to them gently because they would all be so sad that she’s moving. At a different house in escrow, the neighbors are so excited for the new buyer to join their little block family. People sometimes ask me if it’s lonely to live in Los Angeles. Relationships are the time and effort you choose to invest into them; it’s not the city but the individuals and their choices. Lots of neighbors are choosing to love their neighbors and it’s a beautiful thing to witness.
I got a call recently from a woman who asked if I could call all the property owners who have houses with yards that could connect to her in-laws’ yard – north, south, and west – and to inquire if any of them would sell so she could make an opening in the walls between the properties’ yards and be so close to her mother-in-law. I called her neighbors and none of them agreed to sell. It was interesting that one neighbor said the only way she’d move is if she left the city but she’d only leave the city if her in-laws moved with her because she wouldn’t live far away from her mother-in-law. A buyer in escrow on one of our listings now is specifically buying the house because of its location so close to her mother-in-law. The conclusion of my very narrow limited case study is that many mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law are choosing to love each other and it’s beautiful.
I’ve been noticing lately that when a house goes into escrow, there’s some similarity between the buyers who are attracted to the property and also between the buyer and the seller. For example, we recently sold a house where the owner had a strong love for everything European and she traveled to Europe often; the multiple buyers who wrote an offer on her property were from Europe. I’m finding the same at multiple properties. It’s interesting that our houses are so personal to us and a strong representation of who we are. When they sell, it’s not just a house purchase. It’s more a human relating to another human and finding their home where someone with similar affinities found the same.
On that note, I’m SUPER excited for our new listing at 606 N Martel. The owners (as represented by their house) are hip and cool. Their house is not only beautiful, it has a perfect floor plan – open and spacious and so full of sunshine. It’s truly California living at it’s finest – light and clean with perfect indoor/outdoor flow and an amazing outdoor space to entertain by the pool. I can’t wait to meet the buyers who will be attracted to it!
Corona made the housing market go crazy not just in our neighborhood but I think in neighborhoods everywhere. The reason people are moving is mostly not financial; it’s the human thing of wanting to connect in a different spot. One buyer currently in escrow is coming from another city and moving to live closer to her sister in Santa Monica. We have several sellers moving to live closer to family in another state. Even local people moving are looking to find a better space in which to live and connect to the people who live in the house with them. Where we live and how we live is so central to our human experience. Corona, and it’s “Stay At Home” order, shined a light on where we’re home both geographically and spatially and it started a movement of change in home, which is causing a spike in house sales everywhere. Because moving right now is so central to a buyer’s human experience, the motivation and drive to move is strong and it is reflected in the sales prices of houses today. (And low interest rates help too.)
Corona times can try our patience. We had a seller experience frustration this week when his moving company just didn’t show. Buyers and sellers alike are legitimately frustrated by lenders with too much work to stay on track with agreed upon timelines. It’s cool to see people sail through and overcome frustrations with dignity and grace and strength. So much strength is often needed by all of us to get through some of the challenges of Corona times.
I always loved to be a student. Real life lessons before my eyes in Corona are the most humbling, the most fascinating, and the most important of all times. I’m learning and I’m grateful!