Something Old, Something New

Life keeps marching on, she says with a sigh… I was in church last week and the Pastor said “…it’s been 2014 years since…” And I was taken aback by the additional 14 years! It’s not just “2000 years ago…”, it’s “2014 years ago…”. Where did the last 14 years go?!

And like everything else in life, as time goes on and many things change, many things stay the same! I earned my Real Estate License in 1990 – and a lot has changed since then!! I could write a whole article on price changes over the past 24 years, but I think it’s more fun to look at how our business has changed.

Something old – When I started in Corporate Real Estate for Taco Bell in 1990, there was no internet. I was home based with a laptop – all VERY new, but no internet!! I wonder now what I did all day!?! We still managed to develop over 600 Taco Bell Restaurants in the Northwest Region, but without the internet – how?!? We got to know our FedEx guy REALLY well!

When we bought our first home in San Mateo, we paid $240,000 for it and our Realtor lugged around a big thick phone book looking thing with pictures of all the homes that were for sale. The book was printed once a month!!

But what hasn’t changed is that even though my husband and I were BOTH Licensed Realtors – he Commercial and me Corporate, we still used a local Realtor to help us find our first home. Granted we didn’t have access to the information that all consumers have at their fingertips today, but we knew enough to know we didn’t know enough about buying a house! I still remember Pat Gill from San Mateo like it was yesterday! She did a great job for us – and that’s the kind of relationship you should have with your Realtor!

Our oldest boy, Charlie, was born in 1988 – it was the next year that the Loma Prieta earthquake hit and the Eastern span of the Bay Bridge collapsed and needed to be re-built for earthquake safety. Well, that just opened months ago. Took a while, but it sure is spectacular!! I especially love the view we have now of the new Bridge with the old bridge, looming like an ancient Dinosaur behind it. It will be gone soon, and all will be much prettier, but it is a stark reminder of Something Old, and Something New.

As I was driving to work last week, I cut down Railroad Ave in Danville to miss the pedestrian heavy Hartz Ave. I saw the commotion of a big bulldozer, so pulled over, parked my car and walked across the street to see the old Danville Hotel come down. A moment later, and I would have missed the whole thing.

When we moved to the East Bay in 1992, the “Historic Danville Hotel” was a proud downtown landmark. Of course most of it wasn’t historic at all – it was built in the early ’70s, and had the funny fake facades of an old western movie set!! I was glad to see that the truly old buildings, from the late 1800s, the ones that front Hartz Ave., were saved and will be renovated.

The new building will be a mixed-use complex with retail and restaurants on the bottom, and residential on top. How fun would it be to live THERE!?! With only 16 units planned, it will be very interesting what the demand is. On the one hand I would think the demand will be HUGE – which may push prices up, on the other hand, most people in the little town of Danville like it because of its big yards, and room for Rover to roam. We’ll see. If you want to know more about the new development, contact me and I’ll get you more info. nancy@nancybenvenuto.com

There has been a lot of “out with the old, in with the new” as we crawl back from that nasty recession that halted almost all development in the past decade. I’ll miss the chickens roaming the corner of Diablo Road and El Cerro Blvd. But there will be a new little enclave of lovely homes. And the people next door will still have their chickens. They just won’t be quite as “free range”!

Finally, what hasn’t changed is that in Real Estate, whether it be Corporate, Commercial or Residential, there is an absolute necessity for local, micro knowledge of the area being served. As much as some might try, it is simply not as effective to try to use an out of area Realtor. Remember the old mantra that Real Estate is all about “location, location, location”. That hasn’t changed one bit over the years. And probably never will.

Have a great week, please contact me if I can assist in any of your Real Estate Needs!

The highest compliment my clients can give me is the referral of their friends, family and business associates.

Thank you for your trust.

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