People often ask why I visit so many properties when its months or years even before I plan to buy. Scrolling through the listings on my computer or going in search of the open house newspaper on Saturday mornings is as ritualistic a behavior to me as having my cup of coffee in the morning. I love it nearly as much as I love and appreciate that first sip of coffee. It’s the favorite part of my day. So enjoyment plays a role for sure, but so does discipline. Life is full of big decisions. They can seem scary and dangerous. You might seek out the advice of people you trust implicitly, but in the end you must be the one to decide. How do you do that? Do you trust your own intuition and what is that anyway?
How could one understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning? Some refer to it as an “inner voice”, or “divine intervention”, Malcolm Gladwell calls it “rapid cognition” and in yogic tradition it is referred to as the “third eye”, the seat of our intuition. The bringing together of the mind and senses, instinct and reason, the conscious and the subconscious.
This practice of visiting these properties sharpens my awareness of what is out there, which locations garner the most money per square foot, what people value more – a parking space or a roof deck, A/C or a well ventilated bathroom. Tour after tour, the information is absorbed, the questions that others ask are processed, and catalogued along with the lessons I have learned through experience.
You’ll remember I visited a property on Appleton Street not long ago. I liked it very much. I am all about location – it will never fail you. My GUT told me the seller would get over asking price. I was right. It was listed at $907.34 a foot (a very high price as you might recall based on the work that was required – new bath and significant modifications to the kitchen). The owner closed at $926.57 a foot. There were two other factors that led me to believe that a bidding war might ensue, the first being the number of properties on the market – hardly any, and the second being the asking price – in terms of dollars it was low. Remember, while I go in looking very closely at square foot cost, another type of buyer doesn’t necessarily care about that, they care whether or not they can get approved for a certain amount and if they can afford their monthly payments. Based on the price, I expected many would qualify in category two, and would move right in without doing any work.
This knowledge of the market, the inherent value that a property has, and the demand that exists connect my own instinct and reasoning. It is what allows me to remain resolute in my decision, to back away from a deal when it is not right, and/or to move forward with one knowing that I have created a win . win for the players involved.