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Congrats to all Graduates!

Congrats to all Graduates!

Drive-through twelfth grade graduation this week was sad. The fun in life is community, connection, joint accomplishment, inspiration and motivation. A graduation should include all those things. Instead, immediate family punctually drove through the balloon arch during our 2.5 minute time slot to grab a diploma, snap a picture, and continue down the line. We weren’t even allowed to honk. The graduates figured out their own parties. A meaningful ceremony and rite of passage graduation ritual was missed.

Instead of going out to eat, my high school graduate wanted to do an outdoor activity together. We chose to go scuba diving in the Avalon Dive Park on Catalina Island. The boat from Long Beach to Catalina Island was packed with mask-wearing travelers. The weather was spectacular. The highlight of the dive trip was a 450 pound sea bass 25 feet below the surface. Anyone age 10 and above is welcome to dive. There was something crazy about strapping a tank on a 12 year old little girl’s back and guiding her down to the depths of the ocean. But it’s crazy cool down at the bottom of the ocean.

The people on Catalina Island weren’t as afraid as the locals to say “hi” or to smile (with their eyes through their mask) at strangers passing by. It’s fun to say “hi” and to smile at strangers – even if everyone is wearing a mask. It will be fun when our city goes back to people smiling and saying “hi” to strangers again.

I’m trying to wait patiently for our new listings to be prepped and ready to go on the market. Our signature service is selling properties for top top dollar by preparing them for sale (with a careful strategy of spending the least to net the most.) If a buyer can move right into a house at the close of escrow, it makes sense for that buyer to pay a higher price for the house. To sell a house for a higher price, we help our sellers prepare their house so that a buyer can move right in at the close of escrow. To get a house move-in ready, we help coordinate moving all the seller’s stuff out (identifying what goes to storage and disposal), and then we paint, landscape, change light fixtures and bulbs, spruce up floors, and we stage (with rented furniture or the owner’s own). Depending on the size of the house and the scope of the necessary prep work, it can take some time to prepare a house for sale. My general philosophy in life is that good things come to those who work hard; in the case of selling a house, working hard before the sale means top dollar from the sale. We pride ourselves on doing what it takes to net our sellers top top dollar from their sales.

On the buyer side, it behooves buyers to shop around and get familiar with the different lending packages available and the programs lenders offer. Interest rates are very low and buyers are aggressive about pushing limits to qualify for loans. Lenders are slammed with the overwhelming demand for their products. Their time tables are sometimes long – more so when buyers are aggressive about pushing limits to qualify for loans, Doing research in advance and understanding all of it before finding a house to buy is smart.

The housing market is active because Corona is making many consider life changes. People are wanting to move closer to some family members and farther away from others. People are wanting to get together with new people and to separate from old people. People want to switch coasts – in both directions. I think states and countries closing borders and restricting travel is making people realize that if they can’t be mobile, they want to be stationed in a different place.

I hope our local stores replace the boards in their windows with glass soon. It’s cool that The Grove opened again. It’s fascinating how many people are outside jogging, walking, and biking through our neighborhood at every hour of every day; it feels like Corona put being outdoors on everyone’s priority list.

I’m so excited for some of the cool houses we have coming up… and for the opportunity to work with the super cool people who own them. Corona shined a light on all the things that are truly my favorite and selling houses is all the way up there at the top of the list!

Congratulations to all the graduates who missed formal ceremonies this week. We drive past your houses and when we see the announcement banners and notices on your front lawns, in our hearts we wish you so much success in your next endeavor. We also wish you the opportunity to celebrate your next milestone with an incredibly satisfying ceremony and ritual that makes up for the one you skipped during Corona. The things we miss shine a light for us on the things that matter. As graduates, you matter and your accomplishment matters. We look forward to so many public celebrations with you in your future!

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