2016 was, as Frank Sinatra once sang, “A very good Year.” From a work standpoint, I reached my goal of selling 30-40 homes. We closed 31, sold 16 listings, assisted 18 buyers with their purchase and helped 3 sellers and buyers come together to complete trades for $24.7M in sales. I just received word that I will appear in San Diego Magazine this coming March for the 10th year in a row, they have only been awarding for 10 years in San Diego, announcing my inclusion in The Best in Client Satisfaction Award as nominated by my clients after their transactions this year. I am one of only 51 brokers in San Diego County to win the award 10 years straight. Disappointing to my industry as a whole, as service should be something that comes easily, but very glad that I am a stand out in this department! I was also just awarded the Recognition of Excellence by the San Diego Association of Realtors for my annual production in residential real estate sales at the Gold Level, for selling over 25 homes!
I continued to appear on local radio and TV this past year and had two speaking opportunities. The first came at the end of May when I spoke from the stage of the San Diego Convention Center to 3,000 real estate agents and industry support partners at The Big Event hosted by Craig Sewing of The American Dream Show. The second opportunity was just earlier this month when I was invited to be on a panel of 4 independent brokers, or agents with independent companies, to speak at the Keller Williams Metro office in front of 65 of their agents. As I advance in my career I enjoy these opportunities to share ways of doing things that will truly benefit those with less experience in the long run just as people have done for me. It always feels good to give back! The reactions of folks afterwards as they share appreciation for the time invested and my sharing is extremely humbling.
I am very appreciative of all that Kristine does every day to afford me the ability to do my work and to invest the time into building rapport with past, present and future clients. In addition, she saved my life this past May when I passed out for 7 minutes at the dinner table at our house in front of the kids with a 104 degree temperature from what we later discovered was the flu. She called 911 and took me to the hospital. Kristine has continued to make huge strides with her business and the development of solid relationships with people in a handful of different social groups. We are blessed with our health, the people around us and to have each other to share our journey!
I jumped into coaching with the Poway NFL Play 60 organization in both the spring and fall this past year. It has been a great experience to share with Blake and the family. He is playing flag football, basketball in the winter, and for this year, flag football again in the spring. There is talk that lacrosse may take over next spring, but no pressure! I will continue to coach flag football and help out with lacrosse next spring if that is the direction Blake chooses. Blake received some relief from his asthma symptoms this year through acupuncture. We have 2 wonderful eastern medicine experts if anyone needs a referral! Otherwise, he enjoys the occasional TV appearance with dad, helping out with open houses and having fun with the neighborhood kids!
Lolly and I found that we have a new hobby in ice skating. There is a new rink that opened in Poway that plays music and has a Jumbo Screen TV with music videos. It is a great way to spend time together. She still holds my hand for most of our Walk to School Wednesdays and is taking Art Classes at a local Art School in Rancho Bernardo. She is interested in getting back to dance, doing round 2 of the Father Daughter Dance and always busy drawing and using her creativity. Whether it is through crazy outfits or making something at school she is definitely my creative one. Her teacher has suggested that she get back into sports too, so Kristine and I will be looking into soccer and softball which Lolly has shown interest in.
Most of all, I am thankful for the gift of balance and focus in my life. I appreciate all of you who have worked with us, continue to keep us in mind and refer us to your friends, family and co-workers. Rather than become a figure head for a brand, I prefer to meet with, plan, negotiate and help you navigate your individual real estate strategies. I will continue to treat each person and transaction as that, a person and the most important (usually the largest) financial move that you make in the game of life. You have my commitment to continue to take my time and invest my many years of experience into each of your undertakings. When other companies talk about how many leads they can generate, treat home purchases and sales like bar codes on file folders, we remember all that it took to save for and purchase our first home. We remember the feelings and emotions that we felt selling our home. We are very thankful that you rely on us to guide you through your transition!
As I enter my 22nd year of actively selling residential real estate every day in San Diego, I have a lot of people that ask me my opinion going into the new year. I a few weeks we will have a new president in office intent on expanding the American economy and he comes to the table with a heavy dose of real estate experience behind him. Pushing the pedal to the medal on the economy will result in higher interest rates for borrowers. At this point, that is healthy for the economy. Rates have been low for quite some time and we would benefit from an increase along with sustainability without band aids like quantitative easing and the like. With the real estate focus that this president has, I feel fairly safe that things like the primary resident tax exemption will not be altered in a way to cause detriment to the industry.
Our local market is strictly forecasted based on the most simplistic economic principle, supply and demand. The San Diego Association of Realtors reports that we have 2.2 months of detached inventory currently and only 1.3 months of attached inventory. Builders can’t build fast enough to keep up with the housing demand and we do not have enough land that is “urban convenient” for home to be built. The rental market is also feeling the pressure of the need for more options. The situation will not adjust overnight. I am seeing that we are reaching the max prices in more areas of town. The increase in interest rates will in turn increase monthly payments and qualifying requirements for bank approved loans. This is where the pinch will lead to a swing in the market. Historically, the years after an election year have recognized increases in appreciation. I see 2017 being a year of moderate increases with homes staying on the market longer before going to contract, inventory building and our market shifting in 2018/2019 into a buyer market with lower prices and higher interest rates.
My advice, if you are planning to sell do it 1st or 2nd Quarter of 2017. If you are planning on buying and living in the property for 7-10+ years buy sooner than later to take advantage of very low interest rates and lower monthly payments. If you are renting, do what you can to save, plan and purchase now with low rates or positon yourself with a very experienced broker to prepare and plan to purchase in the next 12-36 months if your longevity in the property post purchase is very uncertain. Kristine and I are here to help!
May you, your family and friends have a very warm, fun filled and safe Holiday Season together!