Buy High, Sell Higher

November 19, 2004

After a few re-fi’s, we turned around and sold it in 2004, leveraging our appreciation to get a better house with a little chunk of change left over for improvements and upgrades. I remember the day we listed it. In the morning, I put out a little decorative plate on the kitchen table for realtors to place their cards in when they showed the house. When I came home that night, there were no cards in the dish; over 30 were scattered all over the kitchen table. On the first day. We got calls every morning and evening for a week. It was insane.

The week went by and while driving over to our realtors to weigh the offers, I heard a KGO news report on the housing market. "Some sellers are getting over 40 offers." He could have been talking about us; we had 42 offers. So long story short, we enjoyed our short period as real estate barons before having to look, beg and plead. Yeah we saw some beauties and some dogs. We settled on this place, got screwed sure, but we're in a great neighborhood, on the block I grew up on, down the street from my folks, with a nice pool. We’re getting into the fun part of home improvement: the window treatments, furniture, artwork. Too bad it's winter and we can't have people over to swim.

I read today in the paper that the median price of a house in Santa Clara Valley is $600K. It sounds absolutely ridiculous but that’s what we thought back in 1999. And if we can do it—me in journalism and her in community college career development—anybody can.