November 2021 | Smoke Hoses Wallpaper, not Discriminating
Fall is fun. The market hasn't cooled that much.
This month: Cigarette smoke in houses, unhooking hoses, wallpaper, not discriminating, throwing a back, and deleting Facebook.
Next month: 2022 market predictions. For now, spend some time watching this video that covers almost everything I have been telling my clients. And, everything’s going to be about the inventory.
Smoking Is Bad For Houses
If a house smells like cigarette smoke, that should be disclosed in the MLS. I’ve never had a non-investor client spend more than five minutes (and that’s a stretch) inside a house that smells like smoke.
Lifetimes ago, I smoked. (And my wife still married me!) When I quit, it was between seasons. When I unpacked my winter clothes, I was shocked that they smelled like smoke. “But I never smoked inside,” I said to my wife.
I had no idea, but today, it’s my role when representing sellers to tell them if their house smells, as well as offer advice on how to fix it before going to market.
In September 2017, I deactivated my Facebook account, and reactivated it a couple times a year.
A couple weeks ago, I read this tweet, “When Facebook tries to convince you it practices ‘privacy by design’ then you read this six years later…” While deactivated accounts are not visible to others, Facebook handles them just like an active account.”
I’ve not yet deleted the RealCrozetVA Facebook page, but I never login, and I still have the two Instagram accounts, but I’m getting closer to deleting them all; F̶a̶c̶e̶b̶o̶o̶k̶ Meta is evil.
Related comic from The Oatmeal. Build your own place rather than someone else’s.
Unhook Your Hoses
Last year a client told me that her rule is that when she starts wearing sweaters, it’s time to unhook the hoses.
A client moved to Charlottesville from the West Coast, they built a house, and moved in in the fall. That winter we had a brutal cold spell, and one night he woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. The primary bedroom carpet was soaked because the hose was attached, had frozen, and burst.
They’d moved from a climate where freezing was never a thought in their minds.
When you start wearing sweaters, unhook your hoses.
Learn through experience, they say.
When we walked into the townhouse and started up the stairs, I remarked that they could easily take down the ugly wallpaper and paint the stairwell to brighten it up.
One of my clients looked at me and kindly rebutted, “Why? I love it!”
My clients often tell me that one of the things they value about working with me is that I share my opinions – humanity is one of the things separating what I do from what the websites offer. But since then, I tend to ask what my clients think about décor before offering my thoughts.
In my defense, when they sold, they took the wallpaper down, painted the walls a nice white, and it looked fantastic.
And they kept a swatch of the wallpaper because they liked it so much. :)
Can You Afford A House Now?
Probably a decade ago, I was working with a client and we were looking for homes in the City of Charlottesville for under $100K. We looked tirelessly and unsuccessfully for many months, then we took a break.
A few months later, he reached out again to restart the search. With trepidation he asked me if I would be comfortable working with a same sex couple. I had known him for quite a while outside of real estate situations, looked at him, and said, “Can you afford something now?” He smiled, laughed, and said yes.
He and his husband were great clients when they bought, and when they ultimately sold.
I’ve long said that I do not discriminate because it’s neither nice, profitable, nor legal, and I mean it.
Threw out my back. My awesome wife drove me around.
I posted some great pictures on Instagram after a ride recently. What you didn’t see is how I threw out my back two miles from home, and how my amazing wife drove me to meet clients that afternoon. And the next day. And the next.
My clients saw me and I told them what had happened and what my wife was doing for me.
What you see on Instagram is never the whole picture.
As ever, if you have questions, or are seeking representation, I’m here.
What I’m listening to
Intel Attempts a Turnaround; Plus Zillow, Utopian Cities, and More. This has one of the best takes on Zillow’s exit from the flipping homes space - Zestimates didn’t previously have to be empirically precise, but just directionally precise. When Zillow admits that Zestimates aren’t accurate enough to make buying and selling decisions, maybe we should listen to them.
What I’m Reading
Good. This market is not good long-term (and even short-term for a lot of people)
The Internet’s Unkillable App (it’s email)
This is a bonkers story.