Middle of the month already? Damn! Missed my shot at April Fools. Could’ve regaled you with fun stories ripped straight from the real estate pages of the National Enquirer.
Surprised Seller gives birth to four unit duplex! Struggling Country Western singer uses woeful short sale letter to pen lyrics for chart-topping hit! Swell of Santa Cruz homeowners invoke new rally cry: ” Can’t pay the mortgage this month…Surf’s Up!” Experts predict “cash for keys” will soon exceed total payment of “cash for kilos” in underground/underwater economy.
Clearly I’ve also missed my shot at April Fool’s Day 2.0 as well. The 15th. Tax time. Our annual opportunity to render onto Caesar that which Caesar is going to use to make late payments on his own negatively-amortizing debt. Mort- gage. Comes from French words. Just another name for death-tax and nothing left to lose these days.
No excuse for my lapse though. You wouldn’t believe me anyway. Even if I said I was still recovering from the harrowing listing appointment I had out at Pajaro Dunes on the very same day that folks were running for the hills fleeing the threat of the Tsunami. There I was sitting on a couch bragging about how I could pull in more potential buyers to view the flood of places for sale out there, when I noticed neighbors outside, scrambling for their cars. A Surreal Estate moment for sure.
Does it say something about us as human beings that so many people were racing up to the Summit while so many others were alternately hurrying down to the beach for front row seats? Sounds kinda like the real estate market doesn’t it?
Buyers and Sellers and Agents running around like chickens. Fools rushing in. Others rushing out. Me? I’m just trying to find a little middle ground. Some semblance of equilibrium. As opposed to a mega-dose of librium ordered from www,canadapharmacy.com and slipped surreptitiously into the local water supply.
We’re on the eve of the next installment of real estate stats – soon to be released. The March Numbers! Bound to get all the spinmeisters jockeying for position. Yammering hues and cries. Plenty of sound and fury signifying… what? Signifying that it’s no longer so easy to tell what the market is doing. The talking heads have stopped making sense.
When we try to check for a pulse out there, whose necks are our fingers touching? Necks stretched too far? In the noose? Necks retracted turtle-like into their own shells? Erstwhile ostrich necks looking for convenient holes to hide and look the other way in?
Is that the carotid artery we are feeling? Or the jugular vein? Is oxygen-rich blood flowing up toward the collective brain. Or is all the depleted stuff heading down towards heavy hearts? Are we in the midst of an inhale or an exhale? Or simply still holding our breaths?
Where are we on the Kubler-Ross 5 Stage Cycle of Economic Grief anyhow?, Denial? Anger? Bargaining? Depression? Acceptance? Depends on who you are and who you talk to. We’re spread out across the board.
There used to be 8 Million Stories in the Naked City. Now there are 8 Billion – counting Facebook and Twitter. So what’s your story? What are you telling yourself about the continuum of beliefs you are wired into.
Are we at the bottom yet? Past it? Prices going up? The long predicted double dip finally upon us? Are we kicking the can down the road further? Dragging our feet? Did the recession really end in the summer of 2009?
Maybe this is a great time. Are you one of those who genuinely sees opportunity in difficult times? Flipping foreclosures? Making a ton of bucks? Listing lots of short sales and experiencing a meteoric rise in your career?
Maybe you are scared to death but doing your best not to let anyone see you sweat. Maybe you are a zen rainmaker going about your personal tea ritual, sending balancing ripples out into the universe.
Maybe you think this is another Great Depression. Or just one more cycle of up and down like all the other cycles that came before. A familiar reincarnation of the early 90’s. Maybe you think this is the Mayan Calendar of Real Estate. The Singularity. The defining paradigm shift signaling a change in the world forever.
We are swimming in a sea of stories. The narrative thread has unraveled. Tangled and wrapped itself around the tower of Babel. We’ve lost the plot and we are all searching for a new kind of calculus. One that will make all the stories add up into something believable again. Numbers that don’t make us dumb or numb-er.