The extent of my pizza knowledge is that it’s delicious and I love to eat it. But there’s also this New York economics idea called the “pizza principle”. In a normal functioning economy, a slice of cheese pizza will always be the same price as a subway ride. Since 1980, it’s actually been fairly accurate—rises in pizza prices have indeed been able to predict price hikes in public transit.
Until now, that is.
Prices for plain slices are now $3.14 throughout NYC while subway fares are frozen at $2.75. Inflation has hit pizzerias particularly hard at a faster than usual pace with soaring gas bills (gotta keep those pizza ovens running), much pricier ingredients, and major hikes in labor costs.
And it’s having a real impact on people’s wallets. And stomachs, which let's be real, is the biggest tragedy of all.
Halloween is coming up, and there's nothing scarier these days than navigating the real estate market in a pandemic world. Inventory is low and demand for Zoom rooms and outdoor space is so high that not even a highly contagious virus, ravaging wildfires, a volatile political climate, or a crucial election that will decide the fate of the world (PLEASE GO VOTE!) will stop a determined buyer from the house of their Covid dreams.
Given the craziness of the market, business has been bananas lately. In the last three months, I've sold 15 homes with 3 more in contract and 6 listings ready to go, while still showing and writing offers for eager and excited buyers who just want a place to live. The market is moving so fast that my days are starting to blur together and suddenly months have passed without sending out a single newsletter and now you know why even though you didn't ask. Needless to say, it's been a bit of a whirlwind lately, but I'm super thankful for it and wouldn't have it any other way. :)
Is that like the biggest oxymoron or what? But we are in strange times, so let's just roll with it. Between a global pandemic, a collapsing economy, political and racial unrest, a mind-numbing mask-wearing debate, the second wave of coronavirus, the re-shutting down of businesses, not to mention this is all happening during an election year where Kanye West is apparently running for president (seriously, what. is. happening!), June/July has been one crazy year.
Yet, despite the chaos, the real estate market is making a dramatic recovery. Mortgage applications are at an all-time high, interest rates are dropping to record lows for the third week in a row, and I have been really really busy (probably not a good data point but you get the idea).
In an effort to save the world in the most anti-climactic way possible--literally just sit on the couch and do absolutely nothing--somehow a frenzy of chaos and mayhem have followed.
It turns out we are so interconnected in a domino effect way that when we cannot be in close proximity to one another, we cease to function as a society altogether and madness ensues. Jobs are evaporating into thin air (but at least the government is giving us a whole $1200 check to live off of?). We panic buy toilet paper (not me though, I'm dangerously down to my last 3 rolls). And worst of all, as if shelter-in-place wasn't hard enough already, we spend our time at home challenging each other to do push-ups online! (some of us are physically unable to do ten pushups okkk?)
But on the upside, when we don't have the usual busyness of everyday life to distract ourselves, we have time to slow down and reflect on the truly important things in life (liquid soap and hand sanitizer, apparently). We pick up new creative hobbies (eating while cooking is so underrated). We take time to virtually connect with each other (mostly out of sheer boredom but still, that totally counts). And some of us even have social distancing dance parties (full disclosure: I only read about them online because I'm not cool enough to be invited to one in real life).
My long-winded point is this: we actually need each other to have some semblance of normalcy and to simply survive. In order to take care of ourselves, we have to take care of each other, and vice versa. Just like this whole disease spread from one person to the entire planet seemingly overnight, I think kindness, compassion, and shaming people into staying at home can be just as contagious. Once everyone is happy and healthy again, we can finally leave the house and stop doing pushups once and for all!
While a part of me secretly loves living my best quarantined life, I can't wait to purposely see people in real life again. Until then, please feel free to call, text, email, or shout at me from a socially acceptable distance if you ever need anything. I'm here for you, mostly because I have nowhere else to be. :)
Is everyone else finding it impossible to read the internet or take part in a conversation without the coronavirus coming up? Well, this post will be no exception.
As someone who thoroughly enjoys the occasional night of self-quarantine (thank you DoorDash and Netflix), the coronavirus is the excuse I've been waiting for my whole life to stay at home wrapped in a blanket for hours on end without feeling guilty. But it turns out that buyers have other plans.
While everyone everywhere seems to be in panic mode—avoiding large crowds, eating out less, working from home more, washing their hands often (ok maybe it's not all bad?), and stocking up on toilet paper like it's the end of days, Bay Area buyers seem unphased and are still going to open houses in droves, determined as ever to make their next move. Maybe it's the ridiculously low interest rates, lack of inventory, rush of activity after holding off last year, ambitious 2020 goals, or all of the above, but buyers have a renewed sense of energy and are back in the market in full force.
Which means the bidding wars are making a comeback, as evidenced by these extreme examples:
This mid-century modern house in Montclair got 21 offers.
An Adams Point penthouse with a 500 sq ft roof terrace got 26 offers.
And one charming house in Fruitvale even got 42 offers. That's FORTY. TWO. OFFERS!
It truly is (March) madness out there, at least for now. With the spring market approaching, virus fears spreading, interest rates falling, important elections coming, stock market rollercoaster-ing, stay tuned to see how everything plays out. TO BE CONTINUED...
And it's not even February yet!
A week into the new year, Climb announced an unexpected shutdown, and just like that—the place I called home for the last 3.5 years is now sadly no more. It's crazy how an office that was once bursting at the seams with vibrance and energy could just cease to exist overnight the way it did. But, life goes on (is what I was told after reasonably and rationally claiming to be homeless and jobless forever and ever).
Needless to say, things have been a little nuts. In the span of ten extremely long days, I learned the news about Climb (devastating), scrambled around interviewing with different brokerages (exhausting), continued working as though my work life had not just been turned upside down (grinding), bought an investment property on an aggressively tight timeline (stress-inducing), found my new real estate home at Compass (exciting), and lived happily ever after (hoping). While I will always carry a piece of Climb with me wherever I go (literally because this pop socket with the Climb logo stuck to the back of my phone is impossible to take off), I'm super excited for these new beginnings and what's in store for me at Compass!
Besides a change in my email address (please please please save email@example.com to your address book!), everything else will be business as usual. The only exception is that I now have more tools, more resources, more support, which ultimately allows me to have more time for you and your referrals. ;)
Bad news: Rent is still as unaffordable as ever.
Good news (for buyers): The housing market is finally starting to slow down.
Isn't real estate so much pun?
All things real estate.