Letters from the heart.

20 years ago I started a simple mailing to my client list - I wanted to try to make this not so much about real estate, but about life and it's ups and downs and maybe a little real estate included.  20 years later I am still mailing this letter and I have clients tell me that they actually look forward to this little letter.  I now mail out about 300 of these things and the response is wonderful!

I decided to put it in a blog in hopes of reaching more people and to let you all know that there is a big heart on the other side of this real estate practice.  

 

I hope you enjoy and please feel free to leave your comments.

 

with much love,

Rasa

May 12, 2021

Welcome to the Big Top!

 

 

 

Markets up, and markets down.  Interest rate charts looks like an EKG.  No inventory, some inventory, inventory that won’t sell, then in a matter of a weekend has ten offers.  Welcome to the real estate market circus of 2021.  

 

Photo by Golnar sabzpoush rashidi from Pexels

 

About a month ago I decided to commit to reading the Wall Street Journal every morning with my coffee.  I do like the financial news - and I am particularly fond of Marketplace on NPR, but never have I made it a point to read the WSJ cover to cover every day, until now.

 

I love the Leisure section.  I love the Mansions section.  Front page and the column down the left side - particularly handy for the up to the minute - or day - news.  Editorials get my blood pumping and I argue audibly with the writers, in fun in my pajamas, but I still do.  Then comes the market section - the famous Section B with all the graphs and stats.

 

I have never claimed to be a math person or anything related.  Econ terrified me and statistics was just learning an alien language.  However, I persevere through Section B every morning and what I have realized is that these poor schmucks are just as confused as we real estate agents are.  The backtracking is mind-blowing because just a day before they predict a sector of the market skyrocketing and then the next day it plummets to earth like a deflated weather balloon. At least in real estate we get a few months, not minutes.  

 

This brings me to  Bitcoin.  As I sit here typing away on a basic word processing program, someone, elsewhere in the world is writing code that becomes currency.  I am crafting words, and they are crafting cash.  And as we sit here - at this exact moment, one single Bitcoin is worth $58,808 dollars.  And apparently you can go to your local car dealership and buy a car with this.  But this is the crazy part.  I am writing this letter to you on Monday, April 26th at approximately 9:24pm.  The number I quoted you is $58,808, at this moment.  

 

On April 23, Bitcoin had $200 Billion in losses and the price plunged below $50,000.  ($200,000,000,000.00) - get your head wrapped around that number.  I can’t.   Then, at the opening of the markets-  not sure which market - it rose again to $54,000 making up 10% gain to settling in at the $58,808 mark as I am writing this.  Now, whoever thought this up is genius.  Do you wake up in the morning and say, I think I am going to create some new money so I can avoid international currency exchanges?  Avoid taxes?  How does one just make this happen?.  It gets traded, out in the open.  Just like that.  The IRS can’t even figure out how to tax people on this yet, and somehow they - not sure who they is -  just lost $200 Billion.  Poof.  

 

So, for those of you, like me, who can’t just seem to get their heads around this either, stop and think for a moment.  You may be getting frustrated with our current real estate market because of a lack of inventory, and that there is nothing for you to “move to” and things are getting really expensive.  Or, maybe, we are  just seeing the real value in the area that we live in.  Either way, we aren’t going to see the volatility in the real estate market like the rest of the investment world and we know that land is still just as priceless as it has always been.  

 

Glad that the WSJ has solidified my belief in real estate.  We can’t write code to create more dirt..yet. 

 

CNBC - UPDATED FRI, APR 23 20214:06 PM EDT 

 

April 2, 2021

Secrets of Southeastern North Carolina Revealed

Secrets of Southeastern North Carolina revealed…

 

There are some days that I really think about where I live.  I have lived here my entire life.  Don’t get me wrong - there are plenty of places I could easily live and I have explored a lot of options.  There were times in my life that I wanted OUT of this area for various reasons, but my heart continues to come back here.  Every time.

 

When I was a kid, there were posters of North Carolina in the little barbecue restaurant we went to weekly, and those posters somehow supported my belief that this really was the best state to live in.  There was a poster of Linville Falls in the autumn glory, there were posters of the beach with cutesy bathing beauties tossing a beach ball (we all know that beach balls here are futile) and there were pictures of Raleigh and the downtown glamour. I was smitten by the fact that I lived here, in this state, that had really cool posters. 

 

I grew up in Kinston, North Carolina surrounded by tobacco fields and tons of trees.  I could ride my horse from the barn where she resided, to my backyard and have lunch.  I rode dirt bikes up and down trails that had no risk of any danger outside the obvious dangers of riding without a helmet.  I didn’t have a cell phone.  My mom didn’t worry about me getting abducted by bad people or aliens.  I just knew to come home when it was getting dark for a tomato sandwich.

 

 

I cross three bridges every day to work and look over the mighty Cape Fear and still imagine the old ships and saw mills that once lined the shores.  I walk around Southport’s old cemetery and imagine what life looked like in coastal NC in the 1600’s.  I can still find a quiet beach in the early morning for my dog to chase pelicans and shorebirds with no one around. 

Meara

I still look out in awe when I fly out of Raleigh and look down over the landscape and see all the glorious, hardwood trees and forests that still incredibly exist.  I still watch the hawks fly overhead and slow down for the deer that are grazing on the side of the road.  I’m still smitten.

 

As I had mentioned in my earlier letter, my word for the year is JOURNEY.  It was an interesting choice because we are all usually looking at the destination, but this word is keeping my perspective in the moment and looking at what is in front of me.  This state has held my heart for 50 years.  I am such a proud North Carolinian.  I love that my birth certificate says Wilson, my daughter’s says Cary.  I have lived through the hot summers of eastern NC, I have stayed through hurricanes, I have paddled by huge alligators, had more than my share of sunburns, mosquito bites and dirty bare feet.  I have looked for lost dogs by horseback, I have caught fireflies in a mason jar.  I have been fishing for catfish and bream and had a fried fish feast later in the day and I make a mean cornbread.  

 

I now know why NC is the top destination for the rest of the country, and I hope that everyone who moves here understands what it is to really live in NC.  It’s not just a lifestyle.  

 

I am proud to bear NC on my soul and I just may never leave.  I am home.

 

 

 

 

March 30, 2021

Sometimes, I guess, there just aren't enough rocks. - Forrest Gump

This quote often haunts me, as I have been in many situations in my life that hurling a rock at something would feel incredibly satisfying.  This is one of those times for me.  

 

This past year has been so full of moments to pivot.  With the changes in our lives brought about by this pandemic, I wish there was a huge rock that I could throw at this whole thing on so many levels.

With that said, I also am grateful for the opportunities that have been presented to me and that on a business and personal level, I have found the way and the means to navigate this new world order.  What HAS transpired is an abundant amount of growth.  

 

Our challenges are doing and succeeding in different ways.  Succeeding in different ways.  Every day I wake up and realize that in order to meet a challenge, make a difference and create the life that I want to lead, I have to do it in ways that I had never imagined.  

 

Now, I am having cocktails on Zoom with my clients, I am making sure that I have extra time at showings to allow myself the time to wipe down door handles and faucets that we may or may not have touched to provide safety for the next people coming through or the sellers coming home, I am working remotely with my team, and instead of all the classes being in person, I am making sure we all have scheduled time together.  I am using my beloved technology more and more than I ever thought I would.  I am forced to lean on things that before I just thought as a luxury.   

 

On the personal level, instead of doing shows at the local theatre, my dog and cats are the audience (but I am finding music that I never knew about).  I am socially distancing but having better conversations.  I am driving less, spending less (except for Amazon) and enjoying movies, series and online chess games - things that I never did previously.  

 

My life has definitely taken a different path.  I watch movies pre-pandemic and crave the life without masks.  Party on the beach without a mask in sight!  Wow - what would that feel like?  I used to forget my mask and have to turn back around to get it out of the car.  Now it’s just habit.  Not one that I particularly like, as it’s a constant reminder of our current state of affairs - and that’s where that HUGE rock I would like to hurl would really come in handy.  BUT……

 

What if all of the things that were forcing us to do things differently, succeed differently, were not all bad?  Longer conversations, taking more time for ourselves and our families, purposefully going through each day and planning - which we are all doing more of - makes us better humans?  We are witnessing loss of loved ones and learning more empathy (at least I hope so), we are all learning to navigate this new world. 

 

There are not enough rocks right now.  The only way I know of to navigate this is to wake up every day and just be creative enough to pivot and change and keep hanging on. 

 

July 31, 2017

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