in the lone star state enjoying double digit temps and the warmth of a family hug. all good on the road as the boys enjoy what i think is called the “mid winter break.” almost shakespearean, the name of the break… but the true place for the intrigue of a shakespeare play is the chicago housing market where aspirations rise and fall with the daily tally (limited) of what is available and who pulls the trigger first and with the greatest velocity…
as we headed out of town friday my day started with an early morning trajectory on the front end of two closings – one of a condo in lakeview (my listing) and the other a new construction home in elmhurst (my buyer). both rolled according to form, without a hitch and new keys to new doors presented at the title company table. this, of course, does not sound the least bit like the old bard (unless you consider selling a luxury condo full price during a holiday week a bit of a dramatic downstroke).
i suppose friday’s drama was limited to the road we drove out of town between bloomington-normal and st. louis where a veneer of snow married to a stiff wind left the road way clotted and slick and punctuated by cars in the ditch and jack-knifed semis. odd to drive by at a crawl and spot a prius in the median, elbow deep in snow and the windows fogged by a driver still in the driver’s seat… glad to report that we were observors and not participants.
the other drama of the day was the back and forth with an offer on my listing of an oak park single family. amid the din of five agents trying to get in from friday through monday we had a strong offer on the table that needed only a final push to execute… and so we did somewhere on interstate 55. and in keeping with the frenetic nature of the market the inspection occurred the next day as we made our way over clear roads and rising temps to lubbock, tx.
again, all clear as we made our way to what my son jackson so very much yearned for… a family dinner. weeks earlier he mused to my wife whether the family sat down every night for dinner. and while maybe not every night, communal dining occurs often enough to sate that yearning that most of us have to belong, to connect to be part of as opposed to apart from… and so we dined.
speaking of community, in the midst of the driving and arriving i exchanged phone calls, texts and emails with several clients contemplating houses which we did again sunday morning. and afternoon. and evening. and in the midst of all of this come sunday morning my wonderful clients from the city of light opted to offer on a lincoln square home. in the course of the next 24 or so hours we reached agreement just as another smart and savvy couple i represent opted to submit an offer on an old irving home that even as we speak is inches away from execution.
earlier i mentioned shakespeare and the idea of drama in the real estate marketplace… where it arises is multifold… the landscape of inventory is thin, a reality that, when something desirable comes up, motivates the many people looking to tighten their laces and get ready for a sprint, hoping their dash brings to them the blue ribbon of the home they desire. with multiple parties vying it becomes critical to not only act, but to act with sense, reason and a sense of purpose.
in short you have to know the market well enough to make an informed decision. i welcome people who want to overspend when i am listing a home. but when i represent buyers we do our math en route to making an offer. and so a few weeks ago my clients willingly lost out on a multiple offer for a lincoln park townhouse that listed $30k higher than a similar transaction last summer and added to the price tag a $24k special assessment. we considered the numbers and made what we thought was a solid bid. someone else prevailed. it turns out, though, that the winner stepped out from the deal last week, making the property available again. i received a call asking whether we would be interested… and i reiterated our last offer which they opted to not accept.
and so it goes. my clients wanted the property but not badly enough to overspend. but given our proclivity as humans we kind of always want a good deal… and so when a transcendent property hits the market as a glenview home did yesterday my advice to my clients who saw the home hours after it listed is to come in as strong as possible… sometimes this is list… sometimes this is higher… sometimes there’s another barter piece like timing that affords us a chip of some sort.
at the end of the day what happens is similar to the picture above… like kids at the gift case we gather and look at the magic inside… and so folks looking at homes have similar sentiments… we all want something different and unique… but we all want some thing… and while we stand at the edge as we look, when we spot what we want into the pool we dive… often headfirst… with fury and sometimes with abandon… but beneath it all is the fundamental reason that we want home… and like my son jackson as we traverse half a country to gather with our family for a sense of belonging and community…
until the next time…