A Brave New Year!

Welcome to a Brave New Year folks. If not another installment in the Brave New World of Real Estate. The place where realty is stranger than any realm of far out fiction we could possibly dream up.

If there are non-believers in the sheer, overwhelming surreal-ness of it all, still left out there, don’t worry, we’re going to be digging up that time capsule we buried back in 2005 soon. Wonder what we’ll find in there?

Thirty-five rabid offers on the first day? Hundred thousand dollar overbids? Median prices in the mid 700’s? 100% Subprime, Easy Qual, No Income No Asset Verification Loans with extra l0% Equity Line layers of icing on top for good measure?

Seems like a million years ago now. Bubbles Bursting? Toxic Assets? Credit Crunch? Bailouts? Short Sales? And according to RealtyTrac – at least another 6 homes that will be repossessed just in the time it takes you to read this. Who would have thunk it or sunk it so low back then?

But I’m back on board for another merry go round in 2011. If not as an official journalist, then as your intrepid, ad hoc, Sentinel advertorialist. In for the duration. Fully embedded with the rest of the real estate troops. Going out on sorties and daily intelligence-gathering missions. Slogging around out there in the trenches. I’m prepared to pay the price. both literally and figuratively since these weekly flights of fancy actually cost me a bundle.

Each morning I’ll rise at the crack of dawn. Download all the dream home data from the cloud. Sift through the avalanche of spam in my in-box that never seems to sleep, looking for a few worthwhile bytes. I’ll polish my Realtor lapel pin. Charge my super-duper supra-key lockbox opener thingy. Strap on my 4G Smart Phone. Set my GPS map coordinates stalwartly ahead for the future. And don my infra-red market goggles designed to prevent too much blue sky from discoloring the truth.

I promise not to spend your time or my money, hyping my hype or selling my sell. My strict vow of celebrity chastity still stands. I’ve weaned myself off my real estate success addiction for good. I’ve been thoroughly deprogrammed. Honest. I’ll never-ever mention the bazillions of dollars of real estate I’ve sold over the last two decades or the tons of awards that I’ve won or taken the liberty to bestow upon myself. Oops. I mean never-ever again after this that is.

This is part labor of love and part sanity check for me. Lifting small corners of the veil. Shining tiny lights into the cracks. Musing on the game within the game. Inflicting humor. Going against the grain. Frowning at all the smiley-faces. Subverting the most pregnant paradigms. Going counter-clockwise against the spin. Searching for the grail. Navigating the maze. Wading into the flow of the flux with my own steady stream of consciousness aka Real Estate of Mind.

You get the idea. Together we’ll do the best we can to make sense out of it all. Improvise and adapt. Follow the trail of bread crumbs on the fairy tale path through the real estate story – hoping it all leads us eventually back, closer to home. Or at least to a better understanding of what home means.

Real estate circa 2011 is going to offer up more than it’s share of strange bedfellows. Odd events. Competing ideas. Conflicting feelings. Strong stirrings. Unusual juxtapositions. Be prepared.

F. Scott Fitzgerald once said: “The true test of a first-rate mind is the ability to hold two contradictory ideas at the same time and still function.” I’m going to amend that for our post-millennial world of post-postmodern real estate. It’s the ability to hold six or eight or more seemingly random contradictions without going totally off the deep end that is going to be required of all first-rate, functioning minds in the coming year.

We are each going to be asked to fashion a meaningful mosaic out of the jigsaw pieces doled out. A stained glass window spun out of slivers and fragments of good and bad news. Hopefully a year from now we can say that we aren’t still seeing through the glass darkly.

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