Many of you have seen the Bad MLS photos that I post here from time to time. They’re hilarious! There’s a link down there below so you can see them. Today in the San Francisco Chronicle online there’s a story about bad home inspection photos. Equally hilarious! I was unable to copy them onto this blog, but it’s worth hitting that link below to see some of these! A great many of these are the product of some sellers do-it-yourself projects. How about the electrical outlet placed inside the stall shower! Or the door that’s cut to allow it to be closed through a toilet. These are some really great pics…but the story accurately discusses just how much DIY was in play in the last few years since homeowners endevoured to save some money. It’s actually extreamely rare around here to see a home listed without inspections, but I agree that it would be truly crazy to buy a home without one. Anyway, hit that like below for some fun:
OK, I really do like Thanksgiving. I love that Turkey, which we really don’t have more than a few times a year and it’s a great treat. I suspect lots of you are of the same mind set as I am here, huh? Thanksgiving is actually a wonderful holiday. I like the big family get together, I like football on most of the day, I like the interaction all of us have whether we’re at our house or somebody elses. I like that fact there isn’t this great big huge lead in to Thanksgiving. Christmas lights and shopping are all over us since Halloween, yet Thanksgiving sort of just arrives in the midst of it. I have to say Friday will not be one of my favorite days. I just can’t imagine lining up to go shopping early Friday since I’ll still be in a sort of food coma.
The best thing about Thanksgiving is that it gives me a minute to reflect on the multitude of things that I’m really, sincerely thankful for. There’s a bunch! Here’s a few that leap to mind right now in no particular order:
* I’m thankful for a wife and daughters who love me and who I love deeply
* I’m thankful for being fortunate enough to live in a wonderful home in one of the greatest areas in the world
* I’m thankful for the many clients that have trusted me and have allowed me to build a successful business
* I’m thankful to have wonderful friends and coworkers that I trust
* I’m thankful for each and every one of you who read this blog
* I’m thankful for the San Francisco Giants who’ve taken us on such a fantastic ride for the last few years
Of course, there’s tons more! I could actually go on for hours if I wanted to. I’ll be if we thought about it most of us could. I have a friend with terminal pancreatic cancer who posts on a Caring Bridge blog site. His posts are always filled with gratitude and thanksgiving. I’m thankful to him for giving me perspective. My complaints sure seem small in comparison. I hope you all have a wonderful day tomorrow and a great weekend! See you again this Monday.
Well it’s finally here. Doesn’t it seem like this campaign started just about the time the Giants won the World Series? In 2010? Two Billion Dollars spent by both candidates bringing us to this point…too bad about 90% of that didn’t go toward deficit reduction instead. I guess I’m amazed at several things about this election but maybe the biggest thing is the twitterization of how folks (me included) now see everything. Seems like everybody’s opinion is a sound bite, a tweet. I don’t really hear that much substantial, thoughtful commentary about this election and I REALLY hate the Facebook posts some of my “friends” put up. Obama’s the most evil person on Earth for not personally saving the Libyan Ambassador’s life. Obama personally chose to abandon him? Sort of like George W Bush was personally responsible for Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath. If Romney’s elected, senior citizens will all collectively be separated from Medicare and/or be thrown into the street. That kind of thing. I guess I really think that both Romney and Obama are honorable men who love their families and their country yet have differing positions on what’s best for our futures. I really don’t think either none of them have evil intentions.
I had a client who was about to write an offer on a house in Foster City a week or so ago who asked me if it was my opinion that the real estate market would collapse if Obama was re-elected. That’s what he’d heard from folks at work. Me thinks not. The 2012 market did, after all, get hot while Obama was President. It’s also funny to me how folks on both sides seem to often have overlapping philosophy’s that are contradictions. We had a nice night with friends on Saturday who are staunch conservatives and their whole argument was that government would only cause problems, was a drag on productivity and the smallest possible government certainly would be best. They were appalled by the deficit and strongly advocated a basic Tea Party perspective on taxes and governments role. A while later we were talking about our kids and it came out that their troubled 15 year son has been sent to a closed boy’s school in Utah following a couple of run ins with the law and drug use. The cost of the school…$8500.00 a month. “Wow, how can you afford that?” we asked. “Oh, it’s paid for by the county.” they said. I guess discomfort with government has some limits?
I don’t know, I guess I just wish we could all have some more objectivity when talking about the candidates. We all seem to be alot like baseball fans talking about our teams. We’re always right and they’re always wrong. I have a cousin who’s a Dodger fan and she steadfastly refuses to acknowledge ANY Dodger weakness..when we all know that they’re glaring! the Giants on the other hand are flawless. Isn’t that obvious to everybody?
I’m not sure why exactly, but I’ve never been an Elvis fan. He never moved me, maybe it’s because he was a tad before my time. Maybe it’s just because of the enormous amount of hype that follows Elvis image. Whatever, we’ve been visiting family in Memphis for years and I’ve avoided the big Graceland tour every time because I figured it just wasn’t for me. I think we’ve hit every other museum and tourist attraction in the area too…but not Graceland. Until today that is. Unbeknownst to us, this week is the 35th anniversary of Elvis death. Today, is actually the date. When we arrived I got on a rental car shuttle van along with a gentleman from Germany and the gal who was driving said; “So, y’all in town for Elvis or just business?” I chuckled since I thought she was joking. The German guy said “Elfas!” She then begin describing all the foreign Elvis tourists she’d been driving all week. Stupid me…I said, “Is there some kind of Elvis event in town?” The German guy looked at me with barely veiled contempt and the driver said; “What? You don’t know this is Elvis week and it’s the big 35th Anniversary?” Mr. social faux pas…that’s me.
For the next few days it seemed like everywhere we went we saw Elvises. I actually saw an Asian Elvis! So many black hair dye jobs and long sideburns you woundn’t believe it. On top of that, so many older women with Elvis tattoos! It’s a freakin’ cult! Well…we got caught up in it. Heck, the Today show on NBC did a story about it this morning! So we bought tickets and went to Graceland this morning. You know what? It was a BLAST! Cult or not…Elvis was amazing! So was Graceland. We spent hours wandering around the house, the grounds, the miles of gold records and awards, the incredible automobile collection, the custom airplanes, the enormous number of European tourists…many of whom were trying their best to look like Elvis! OMG…the shops there selling everything you can imagine! Elvis bought Graceland in the 50′s for $100,000. I’ll be just one gift shop alone took in $100,000 while we were there! We saw a leather jacket for sale for $3500.00. Replica’s of those kooky rhinestone suits Elvis wore in the 70′s were available for purchase for $1975.00. The funny thing is that after 3 or 4 hours we were beginning to get hooked! Even Lesley started contemplating large purchases…and she was less interested in Elvis than me going in.
It was a great time, honest. If you’re in Memphis don’t miss it.
We, I at least, get swayed by the prices, values and energy that exists around our area and forget that we’re simply a small part of a bigger world. Every few years we go back to visit family in Tennessee…specifically Munford, TN which is about 35 miles north of Memphis. The place boggles my mind for several reasons. First of all is SO friendly here it’s almost oft putting! It takes me a few days to get used to it…and then I’m sort of ashamed for being SUCH a Californian. Everywhere I go people are just gushing and helpful. Genuinely too! Then there’s the prices here. Yesterday I bought 2 bottles of water and a bag of peanuts at Munford’s little grocery store, the bill?….$1.51. The bottled waters were .20 apiece! That, of course, brings us to the subject of houses. See that place in the picture up there? It’s a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house that I’m guessing to be about 1750 sq ft on an acre that’s listed for $114,000. Sort of about the same size house as Rumana Jabeen’s new listing at 208 Killdeer in Foster City that’s listed for $888,000. Much smaller lot in FC though.
Also yesterday, I went with my wife, our girls and Lesley’s aunt to get mani/pedi’s. Yes…I got one too! It was actually kind of nice experience. Anyway, the young Vietnamese immigrant who owns the nail salon had just made an offer on a 1560 sq ft house on 11 acres that’s a foreclosure listed for $76,000. He had offered $70,000. While he was doing my daughters nails he got a call from his agent who told him the bank was countering him at $75,000. he wrestled with it a minute and told the agent to counter him back at $72,000. All this while painting a little daisy on Christina’s pinky. I had outed myself as a realtor before this phone call and when he got off he ask’s me “What do you think?” “I should hold out, huh?” What do I know about Munford real estate? We chatted awhile about it and finally I told him that I didn’t think it was worth it to lose a deal like this over a couple of thousand dollars. Who cares if he gets it for $75,000 or $72,000? A house on 11 acres at either price blows my mind!
I ended up telling him that I’ve seen many clients who’ve made the deal more important that the house…and that’s a mistake. It’s the house that will make you money. If a couple of thousand dollars makes a difference in the long-term investment value of a property then why buy it? Never the less…imagine paying $75,000 for a house of any kind? Amazing!
Today we’re eating more BBQ, Going to Sun Records, and the Civil Rights Museum. On Thursday we’re going to Graceland. Maybe before we leave I’ll get another pedicure! I liked that foot massage!
My wife, Lesley, is a flight attendant with United Airlines and every once in a while we get to take advantage of her benefits and do some traveling of our own. Last week we had an amazing time…my daughters and I tagged along on a trip she worked with a 3 day layover in Seoul, Korea. I didn’t really have much in the way of expectations, but it was a free trip so I figured, what the heck?
I have to say…Seoul was really, really fantastic. It’s a very dynamic, modern city. Just to begin, the airport is the most modern facility I’ve ever seen! It’s gorgeous! Everywhere we went was very upscale and affluent. We stayed at a large Marriott in the city that was the nicest inner city hotel I’ve ever been to. If you sat down in the rather enormous lobby a waitress greeted you and asked if you wanted food or drinks. Every one of them was wearing a floor length gown. That went for the lady bartenders as well. I’d say 75% of the people we saw were extremely well dressed. I was the only man wearing blue jeans for three days. Some other observations:
* There seems to be a cultural imperative for men, regardless of age, to have their shoes shined at all times. I’ve never seen anything like it and it caused me to clean up my own act.
* The women, again regardless of age, were VERY well dressed, hair and makeup flawless and very, very stylish. It all reminded me of what it was like here when I was a kid. Everybody dressed well.
* Young teenage girls like a sort of unusual fashion accessory…they all seem to wear eyeglasses. We saw several large groups of young girls all of whom had glasses on and at first we thought Koreans all had vision issues…until we saw some girls buying frames with clear plastic lenses at some street kiosks we walked by. Sort of funny…it’s cool in Seoul to wear glasses.
* The subway was the cleanest public transportation I’ve ever seen. I thought these trains were just put into service last night! Spotless floors and walls. The seats, which appeared to be velvet (couldn’t be, right?) were spotless. No stains or marks of any kind. There’s 9 lines that crisscross central Seould…9! SF has one BART line under market street. Some of the lines had to be 300 feet underground requiring 2 separate escalator rides to get to them.
* I’m really not sure why this is, but there didn’t seem to be any trash on the streets anywhere. There also were very few trash cans! I couldn’t really figure that out…I guess people simply hold on to their trash until they get home or to work? When I bought a coffee and carried it out I would always seem to hold onto it forever until I found a trash can to dispose of the cup in. Again…there’s no trash on the streets anywhere.
I love traveling like this…and I also love discovering just how much we have to learn from other cultures!
Even in this really kooky year, I’m very thankful today. Among other things I’m sure thankful for all of you have read this blog, have made it successful and have broght me business as a result. I truly hope that you all have a great day tomorrow! Happy Thanksgiving! By the way, this time it’s planned. No Foto Contest on Friday. See you next week.