Although I believe I’ve said this before, once again I ask you to please pardon the interruption to our regularly scheduled blog posts while we play the game they call Real Estate. Grabbing one of the few opportunities available to me, I’m posting this quick status update so we don’t fall off the face of the expat blog earth. Simply put, California makes selling a house an enormous pain in the ass by running a “broker’s tour” on the Tuesday before your first weekend open house. While technically open to the public, most people work for a living and can’t spend their weekday afternoons at open houses. Instead, 45 real estate agents trounced through our immaculately clean house and left stains, pizza boxes and dirt everywhere along with their business cards.
For our troubles we received a total of four showings during the rest of the week. Convincing us the intention is to create a bidder’s war by receiving multiple offers, it seems like a huge waste of time to me but according to everyone it will be worth it. Having sold a house in Canada after one three-day open house open to the public, this week of living on pins and needles is frustrating me to no end. Along with disappearing on a short notice, you have to leave on every light in the house, make the bedding perfect every day and shower at the gym. Hoping this weekend solidifies the deal with two real open houses, our agent has set Tuesday morning as the deadline to submit offers and remains confident we’ll have multiple offers above asking price.
Feeling like an eternity and three extra lifetimes have passed, The Experimental Expats have finally taken the first baby step towards retirement in Malaysia. Exactly 487 days after being rudely “downsized” from my crappy but reasonably well-paying job, we met with our real estate agent last night to discuss the pricing of our home. Probably one of the most exciting feelings, it’s actually not as easy as it sounds. Using comparably similar houses that sold in the last year (comps) as well as a series of minor mathematical calculations about price per square foot, our agent gave us a recommendation that was within what we’d be hoping to receive. With 41 days to go until we can file our MM2H Visa, the anxiousness is getting intense.
Our spruced up home ready for sale
Those of you following our story for the last five months know that the boss (Diane) has laid down the rules about not posting our personal finances and I’m contractually bound to respect this request (Basically, this means our marriage contract may as well be void if I violated these rules). Understanding curiosity and a wish to identify with the story, I offer this link as a general guideline to the Overpriced Land of The Sellers Market otherwise known as The San Francisco Bay Area. I have no idea why this magical land of Utopia trounces the national average for home prices by at least five-fold other than the claim that “we have the jobs”. While statistically true, the “affordability index” is also dead last for all 50 states which means 95% of all buyers are simply living the typical American dream that requires working to the grave and two-hour commutes. And that’s just fine by me.