Happy belated birthday, Udo!

Udo Dirkshneider

Today was not Take your Kid to Work Day, but sometimes when you’re really busy, you just have to take your kid to work for a minute.

I needed to have my buyers sign an inspection addendum real quick today, and mid-afternoon was the only time they were together and available. I was taking Vincent to the dentist from school, and Dave & Fran’s house was right in between. I asked them first if they wouldn’t mind me having my unlicensed assistant along, and of course they said of course not. Dave & Fran are hip– I wouldn’t drag my son into a meeting with just any client, no matter how brief.

Dave & I repaired to the kitchen counter to review the language in the addendum. Fran offered Vincent a seat in the adjacent living room, and asked if he’d like a snack. He politely declined, and Fran struck up a conversation about one of any teenager’s favorite subjects– themselves. 

I wasn’t listening to their conversation, but apparently Vincent was listening to ours. When Dave paused after initialing the addendum to ask today’s date, I said “I think it’s the 5th.”

“No Dad,” said Vincent. “It’s the 6th. It’s Udo Dirkshneider’s birthday.”

“Is that a friend of yours from school?” asked Fran earnestly.

I couldn’t see Vincent from where I was sitting, and he couldn’t see me. The living area of Dave & Fran’s rental house is small, but the living room and kitchen are separated by a pony wall. I couldn’t see him– but I could picture him, sitting there on the couch staring straight into the sincerity of Fran’s brown eyes, a little thought bubble hovering above his head with the 5’1″ singer of the German heavy metal band Accept stuffed inside. I stared straight into Dave’s eyes, the same bubble hanging over mine.

“Yes,” he said.

It’s not ideal having your kids with you at business meetings, but it can be fun. It IS really busy out there, after all. You’ve seen the news– sales volume in Bellingham proper up more than 20% and prices nearly 10. Buyers are very anxious, their index fingers twitching like Lee Van Cleef’s at almost any listing that falls off the table. There are an unbelievable 93 pending used residential listings in the middle-end alone, between $200-$350k with an average time on the market of a mere 61 days. Take out a couple of well-known drags and the market times– the average market times— are more like 30.

The spring listing season has commenced, but you wouldn’t know it looking at the inventory because stuff is getting wrestled to contract nearly as fast as it sees the light of the market. Plenty of un or “not actually” listed stuff in escrow, too. We’re in that climate now–again– all of a sudden after five years of banging our heads against the wall as inventory piled up. From a buyer’s to a seller’s market seemingly in the wink of an eye faster then Udo could sing “Fast as a Shark” from the Restless & Wild album from 1983.

So if you’ve been thinking about selling, but have been waiting for an opportunity to recoup some of your downturn losses– this is a good one. Incredibly, this is also a prime time to buy in consideration of the sustained cheap money and the fact that prices will never be this low again. 

Or, you know– I don’t think they will. Let’s work! 


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