I Moved to My Vacation Destination & Have Never Looked Back

While in graduate school (after my children were launched) – (yes, I am old as dirt – one of those annoying Babyboomers who litter the landscape), I decided to move to the beach where I had the romantic notion I would finish my dissertation in peace and tranquility.

Well, after three years of writing, I threw in the towel, but I have never looked back from making the move, even though my course subsequently changed so dramatically. Previously, I had lived in suburbia – never my intention, but once there, it seemed important to raise my family in one neighborhood in an attempt to provide roots through continuity. I truly feel suburbia is a stiffling dead-end in more ways than one (the subject for another blog rant), but the wonderful thing about where I live now is there is no part of Santa Cruz County that is truly suburbia (well, there are a few neighborhoods that might count, but the preponderance of homes are very individual and unique). That is one of the key features I love about Santa Cruz.

It is very cool to live in what used to be your vacation destination. Santa Cruz County has so many wonders I’d have to be six people to do all of the interesting things there are to do. It’s so nice to be able to easily make every walk a walk on the beach. These days I favor East Cliff Drive, just above The Hook and Pleasure Point. On those days where life gets the best of you, seeing the vastness and beauty of the ocean puts everything into perspective. And the rhythm of the waves and salt air are not just cliches – the combination is just magic in terms of a relaxation elixer.

Living in such a beautiful place makes me wonder why anyone would settle for less or live in areas that are not aesthetically pleasing, if they have the means to live elsewhere. I am sure there are a million reasons ranging from family roots, to job accessibility to obliviousness to one’s environment. I could never go back to suburbia (never say never, but I MEAN it!). I love the diversity and beauty of Santa Cruz County. debryman.com


Incomprehensible California Real Estate Prices . . .

Is it just me, or can you really grasp the actual dollar-for-dollar value of homes beyond $800k  (or even up to $800k, for that matter)?

I bought my first house in the early Seventies for around $22k. A few years later, I purchased the second house for somewhere in the neighborhood of $37k.

Fast-forward thirty-plus years and the same houses are going for $700k to $900k. As a Realtor, I know how to price homes, but what I find oddly perplexing, is what these prices really mean.

In my market at this moment in time (early 2007), double-digit appreciation on an hourly basis seems to be a thing of the past and values are stabilizing. I think this is a good thing (otherwise no one would ever be able to afford to buy a home – it is difficult enough for the middle class as it is).

When viewing properties, I really scrutinize prices above $800k to determine particular variables. Up to $800k, the number of bedrooms and baths, lot size and square footage of the house, along with the condition of the house and where it is located make pricing it based on comparable sales information pretty standard (if there is such a thing in Santa Cruz County, which there isn’t because the most of the houses are not “cookie cutter” – they mostly have very different characteristics).

Can you really fathom the value difference between $800K, $825k, $850k, $875k, $900k, $925k, $950, $975k, $1,000,000, $1,250,000, etc., etc. (and all of the increments in between)?

How about the difference in value between $1,250,000 and $1,400,000? It kind of gets more and more vague as to what these differences are (could be location, architecture, or just throwing a number at the wall and seeing if it sticks).

I just marvel at the abstractness, at some level, of it all. debryman.com

Cocooning – Why It’s a Good Thing, Even in Real Estate

It has been an unusually cold winter in Santa Cruz. I have been thinking about getting cozy, cocooning, and introversion. I am an INTJ on the Myers-Briggs Inventory, so the introversion part comes naturally. In researching the phenomenon of cocooning, I was surprised to see the negative connotations, i.e., references to Agoraphobia and anti-social traits. I guess from an Extravert’s perspective, which supposedly the bulk of the American population is, that might make sense. But I have always thought of cocooning as positive: recharging, regrouping, revitalizing, going on retreat, taking a break to recharge my batteries.

If I were to guess why most Americans are said to be Extraverts, I would think it might have something to do with the pioneer mentality (exploring and settling land is not the work of introverts!), informed by a combination of Puritanism and Capitalism’s Calvinistic roots – which have a basic tenant that leisure is sinful.

Most people perceive real estate sales people as necessarily being extraverts, but many of the tasks of real estate are solitary (in fact most of the tasks are solitary, with the exceptions of prospecting and meetings with clients).

For me, cocooning is necessary and vital in allowing me to go inside to process information, rest, recharge, think, and explore my imagination.

Every year I look forward to making my New Year’s collage, which I view as a visioning tool for the upcoming year. This  is right up an introvert’s alley – it is the perfect cocooning activity performed during Winter, when the natural inclination is to go inside and get cozy.