Working as a professional actress has taught me many things: tenacity and humility for one. (Ha!). Along with the starring roles and the smaller roles come the understudying gigs. They’ve kept me on my toes, fully insured and employed. Largely the experience hasn’t been in the glamorous, deceitful, clamoring-for-fame vein portrayed in the 1950 film classic, All About Eve, mine have had been more in line with the Girl Scout motto.
Three decades in the industry has kept me ambitious, created a strong work ethic and instilled a somewhat healthy insecurity that feeds my drive. Pounding the pavement, perpetually prospecting and practicing persistence is the perfect training ground for a career in the real estate business, but nothing could have prepared me for spring of ’13.
After Romeo & Juliet, my first foray into the First Folio, I was looking forward to a seasonal ramp up in the real estate world and my end of season gig at the Denver Center Theatre as understudy in “Other Desert Cities”. Shoulda been a cakewalk, it was not.
The rapid acceleration of the Denver housing market coincided with my ascension from understudy to starring role and the first audience in just eight days. (Actually it was a 5 character ensemble play, but ‘starring role’ does sound, well… more dramatic). Time to drill down and focus on my lines; stringing together the beads of this complex and demanding character would come later. I was hitting the wall as we hit our “10 out of 12”, theatre speak for long-ass day, when an offer came in on my hot Congress Park listing. Negotiating a deal and my way around the stage, I had to find my clients a replacement home. Dinner breaks became showing appointments, opening doors as my lines streamed through my headphones, I existed on chocolate bars and power naps until… “You’re on, Eve.”
The show opened, the clients closed on their new house and the actress/Realtor spent a week in Vail recuperating, which is important as the pace has not slowed. The message of my Girl Scout leader, BE PREPARED, has a whole new meaning with the real estate market at a break neck pace. “Prepared” to drop what you’re doing to snap up a showing on a snappy place, “prepared” with a purchase contract ever-ready on the tablet, “prepared” to list a home on Thursday, hold it open on Saturday and present offers on Sunday. “Prepared” went from having snacks and water in your ditty bag to performing the above tasks for multiple clients, sleeping very little, and loving it. If you’re looking to buy or sell a home, or both, I still have some treats in the ditty bag. Mostly chocolate.
New listing in Denvers HOT, HOT, HOT WHITTIER neighborhood! Close to everything, the block is on fire with homes going in the 500s, this half-duplex has recent comps above 200. The perfect solution for the renter who wants to build equity or those who want an alternative to condo living with a sweet little back yard for your tomatoes or your ‘doodle’. 2438 Gilpin will be open Saturday 12-4.
I used to give my sons a box of Crayons and some newsprint, now it’s a zip file and video software.
If you’re like me, you suffer buyer’s remorse any time you get a new pair of jeans. So what happens when you plunk down a quarter, half or million dollars for a house? Here are some great “homeopathic” remedies to help you avoid (or reverse) that bitter pill.
1. Before you start, imagine your life after you close the deal & move in. What are you trying to accomplish? What lifestyle are you creating by this move and how does it change your daily life? Write down everything that is good and what is changed, including the financial aspect. Write down your wants, needs, musts and deal makers/breakers. The more detailed you are, the more you will have something to compare your actual house to. Does your dream house a reasonable match to these things?
2. Ask yourself “How does this decision make me feel?” This is a highly emotional process, a decision made with head and heart. Approaching it with only reason or emotion might land you somewhere you don’t want to be. Check in with yourself about how the idea of living in a particular home makes you feel. Now ask yourself how you’ll feel when the mortgage is due or the water heater breaks. (I can feel really good about those jeans until I get my Visa bill.)
3. Don’t get caught up in the worry. If you hated renting and can’t wait to be a homeowner, take care of the details (like turning in your paperwork to your lender, finding homeowners insurance, etc.) and relax into the process. If you have a calm real estate agent*, that should rub off on the whole transaction. It is natural to be nervous and “high-center” as you move from contract to close, so practice gratitude. Stay in the remembrance that you are fortunate enough to own your own place on this earth and say lots of thank yous, it really helps. [*Don’t let my vivacious exterior fool you, I’m very calm under pressure.]
4. Stay grounded in reality. Getting lost in the illusory great deal you could have gotten last year doesn’t help you close the good deal you have today. Remember, home-prices are rising but interest rates are still at historic lows and that’s where your real savings lie.
5. Remember Rule #1: There are no stupid questions in real estate. If something doesn’t look right, feel right or seem right on your contract, with the inspection, or you don’t understand the loan paperwork ASK! Then ask again and keep asking, until you understand or it’s fixed. One thing real estate pros can forget is that it maybe perfectly clear to someone who does this all day long, but not for the one who’s doing it once.
6. If you’re planning to remodel, live there for a few months before you go all HGTV on yourself. Unless you know exactly what’s up and you can’t move in until the reno is done, I suggest habitation prior to rehabilitation.
7. Run your numbers and take responsibility for them. Over-spending on your home is as fashionable as acid wash jeans and a scrunchy. Just because I met George Clooney, doesn’t mean he wants to marry me. The best counsel is to find out the most you qualify for and then buy what your monthly payment says is comfortable.
8. If you still have post-purchase regret, try to resolve it systematically. Make a list of what drives you nuts and what you can change and work to change those things. Go back to the list you made in step one, the gratitude you had in step 3… If that doesn’t help, go buy a great pair of jeans. You never know when Clooney’s coming round the corner.