House Hunting Journal – Hidden Clues


Real estate in the bay area is a bit surreal. Words and phrases often have subtle subtext that isn’t obvious if you haven’t been steeped in it.

One thing that you quickly learn is that the price often isn’t what they want the house to sell at.  Clues to this are prices that are too precise.

For example, knowing that you can afford $700K, you can be looking at some great properties that seem to fit. Great yard, good neighborhood, nice kitchen, and big enough. Cool, $699K, you can afford it.


Your agent breaks it to you gently. It will sell well above $700K. This is the game as it is played.

Or, how about this, you have been watching a listing, it hasn’t been plucked (closed in a few days) so you think you might have a chance. You drive by, you do all the research you can.

You finally call your agent, and he tells you that they will accept offers Thursday, and they are expecting 10 or more qualified offers.

Sigh, you are positioned to lose again.

The glory and curse of the Internet. You have access to Zillow, Trulia and, but key details are missing, only accessible to agents. I am sure this is to maintain their iron clad grip on the MLS listings, but it sucks for us small fish.

All I want is a house where I don’t fear for my safety, have “enough” room, and it is comfortable for my dogs, all for $700,000 dollars. Is that too damn much to ask for?

Apparently so.

Oh, and my doctor told me to lose weight. Add that to the “shit I already knew” pile…

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By geoffand


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January 2015

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