I’m super excited for Mark Levien that his house at 613 S Mansfield is sold! Mark bought the house when it was just built by a developer in 2014. The house was listed in 2014 for $2,599,000 and Mark bought it for $2,600,000 with 32 days on the market. 8 years later, without further capital improvement (because the house was brand new construction), we listed the house for $3,699,000 and it sold for $3,715,000 with similar days on market. I love Mark’s text to me when the house sold, “I think I may pass out from happiness.” It’s fun to work with people who are present, alive and passionate from beginning to end.
I have been in contact with Mark about selling his house since August 30, 2018. Reading through the texts, Mark was toying with the idea of selling, tracking the market, figuring out options, and asking lots of questions of me on and off for almost four years now. That’s kind of typical behavior for sellers whose houses we ultimately sell. Most owners don’t just wake up and on a whim decide to sell their house. Most need to ease into it slowly and make sure they’re perfectly comfortable before actually making what’s a really massive move. It’s partly why it’s also kind of typical for people to pass out from happiness when the idea they’ve been mulling for years actually happens and their house is sold!
The history of California Real Estate has always been that it appreciates. For most people, there’s no way to buy (or sell) without being terrified of so many things – of making a mistake, or paying too much, of signing up for a too-high interest rate, of a better house coming up for sale after their commitment to purchase. No doubt in 2014, when Mark bought 613 S Mansfield, it was very scary to buy. Jumping in and buying anyway, and pushing past the unavoidable fear, means that 8 years later, just by holding and carrying a house that served as a primary residence, the appreciation is over a million dollars!
Last year, in 2021, so many buyers were scared to buy because there were multiple offers on every house and it felt out of control that houses were selling so quickly for way over the asking prices. This year, in 2022, buyers are scared to buy because interest rates were lower in 2021, the stock market was volatile this year, there’s inflation, and living costs have gone up. In truth, every time I’ve personally bought a property, there’s always a legitimate reason to be scared. I’ve always been scared of all the things. For real. But, if you can’t push past the unavoidable fear, you don’t get to buy. And if you don’t get to buy, you don’t get to pass out from happiness when your house appreciated one million dollars while you lived in it.
I absolutely LOVE Oxnard. I love that it’s just a close drive but it feels like worlds away once you arrive. I love pulling over to the side of the road on the way in, and buying fresh flowers and fruit straight from the field before your eyes. I love how deserted and empty it is on the miles of beaches, except that the very few people who are there are so cheerful and friendly. I love the velvety sand (not littered with garbage) and the green blue ocean water and the white crests of the breaking waves and the sea foam that’s left in their wake. I love the views across the water of the Channel Islands to the west and tall mountain ranges to the north. I love the fishing boats and sailboats, especially at sunset when the sun slowly drops into the clouds and the whole sky is pink. I love the salty air and the whistling wind. The sun shines but there is a perpetual cool breeze. This weekend I walked solo for two hours, through Hollywood Beach and Mandalay Bay, studying the houses both from the street side and then from the ocean side, because houses and ocean are both my favorite things. Even though I love to board planes and to travel far away, Oxnard is one of my favorite places in the world.
My proud moment of the past week was when 14 year old Esti called me from camp in Israel to share that on her day off she got a ride to Har Hamenuchot, where my Mom is buried, and Esti spent some time alone at my Mom’s graveside praying, reflecting, and connecting. I also wish I could have been in Philadelphia at Seth’s parents’ house for this weekend, when Dovid and Avigail hosted all the kids, organizing and arranging a potluck so each could contribute and they could all spend some time together and with their grandparents. Chassi made the Jim Leahy New York Times No Knead Bread I always make, Dovid made my overnight slow cooked ribs, Raizy made my quinoa and avocado salads, Dovid and Avigail brought my favorite for summer – cold crisp watermelon and plump juicy cherries. They all sang Happy Birthday to Mordechai, and Grandma and Grandpa especially loved the birthday cake.
I’m absolutely savoring all the social media posts of everyone’s travels through Europe! It feels like the entire Los Angeles (world?) is in Italy and France right now and I find it so generous and informative when people video all the highlights of their trips so all of us back home can watch, learn, and feel so happy for them! It’s amazing that travel is back and our world is back in business, better than ever before!
Wishing everyone a glorious Los Angeles picture perfect week ahead!!!!