Forget the House, I’ll Take the Hotel

We’ve been talking a lot for the last several months about how housing inventory is crazy low. Because I live in Alamo, I check Alamo inventory every morning as I wake up to my morning coffee. Padding out to my home office in my jammies and slippers, I’ve seen the number of ACTIVE homes in Alamo shrink from a Spring Normal of about 180 Active properties to a pathetic 41. In early “Sprinter” (that time of year the rest of the country calls Winter, but I’ve always felt like it was Spring here, January, February and early March), inventory actually dropped into the 20s – an all time low of 28 homes for sale in Alamo. 28!! Of our approximately 4200 roof tops – that’s less than ½ of ½ a percent. YIKES!

And it was the same in Walnut Creek, Lafayette, Danville, Pleasant Hill, Orinda and every other community in our Tri-Valley area. Inventory is BAD. I have many clients who are ready to sell, want to sell, know they will get a great price for their home…but, where will they go? If they got seven offers on their house, what’s going to keep them from being one of seven offers on their buy-up or buy-down house? Nothing, I have to tell them. It’s just that kind of market.

And rentals are scary crazy too – not only are there not very many of them, they have gotten VERY expensive because of the – you guessed it – lack of inventory. Economics 101 – supply and demand.

So when the Mom of a good friend of mine sold her home in Alamo a couple of years ago, I asked where she was planning to go? She wasn’t sure, but she wanted to sell and have her proceeds before she even began to look. Her home was spectacular, but very unique, and high end. So it could take a while to sell. And it did. She was fine moving to a rental for a year while she looked.

She was fortunate to have a quick close – and to accommodate the new buyers, she didn’t ask for rent back while she secured a rental. She just moved her things into storage and took up residence at the Hyatt House on San Ramon Valley Blvd. and Crow Canyon Road in San Ramon. It was just a temporary move until she found a rental.

I saw her out looking at homes with her Realtor recently. She said she was still looking – and going on almost TWO YEARS at the Hyatt House in San Ramon!!

This older woman has been living in a Hotel for almost two years while she looks for a house!! Now I don’t mean to scare you – as I think this is an exceptionally rare set of circumstances, but I thought it was so crazy, I had to write about it!!

Here’s the funny part – she is paying $2100 a month (way below market rents in our area!), she gets breakfast every morning, happy hour every night with a light dinner, a pool and cleaning service every day! She has laundry service once a week, and she was able to keep her beloved Golden Retriever with her!! She has decided this Hotel is better than anything else she’s found! She recently took a fall in her suite, and the breakfast staff thought it was odd that she hadn’t come down for breakfast – so they sent someone up to check, and sure enough, she needed an ambulance!!

We were howling with laughter when our friend was telling the story of his Mom, living in a Hotel for almost two years while she looks for a house to down size to. Now THAT’s a crazy Real Estate Story!!

House hunting really isn’t all that bad, and as inventory loosens up, it’s getting better. So rest assured that if you are considering selling, now is a great time to do it. You still need to price it right, and get it properly prepared – but you will sell, likely with multiple offers. Then we will find your go-to house and we’ll make sure you are the successful bidder!


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