Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Another Day, Another Dollar

The jury is still out on 2013, but I'm already highly skeptical. It's been an unbearably difficult time for some of our friends with challenging illnesses and such. It's hard not to condemn the year in its entirety. It seems to deserve that for starting out so badly.

I left Moss & Daughters in mid-December after exactly one year. I didn't want to be in retail for Christmas again. At the end I felt a little bereft about going. I enjoyed the store and the customers, but I was tired of the dysfunctional way it was operated. In the first two weeks of December the store looked charming. It was busy and festive with Christmas music playing, but once I was gone I didn't look back. It's so nice to have my afternoons free for other pursuits.

I still love my mornings in kindergarten despite the fact that there are homicidal maniacs in the world that riddle six year olds with bullets. The Sandy Hook School shooting really got to me. I cried repeatedly for several days, but somehow it was easier for me than it was for Lucy. She was very jangled and haunted by nightmares. I seem better able to handle these situations than when I was younger. More inner strength or something.

In most jobs your first response to an attack would be one of self-preservation. Not so in a school. If you are entrusted with the lives of children you need to protect them however you can, including blocking them from bullets. That's a lot to ask for the pay, but I wouldn't think twice. It's instinctive. They are innocent, vulnerable five and six year olds and it's just what you do. Needless to say, I hope I never have to. It's strange enough to see the school that my children attended secured with locks and fences.

I went back into real estate at the beginning of the year. It was good to take a year off, although of course it cost me. I was so frustrated by gridlock in every direction. Buyers couldn't buy because they couldn't qualify for a loan. Or they lost their down payment in the stock market. Or the house they wanted to buy wouldn't appraise. Even worse, they lost their loan because they became unemployed. On and on in a vicious circle.

Now I have the energy for it again and I'm going to need it. The market has changed. Again. The stock market is way up. Interest rates are still low but inventory is still down. In certain sectors sellers are Gods and buyers are beggars. One property got 37 offers. There is such a dearth of inventory that some sellers won't even talk to you unless you have all cash. There seems to be no such thing as balance.

Might be time to sell, but then what? As we know, you can't sell high and buy low in the same market at the same time in the same place. Hmm. Sounds like more gridlock. Just in case, we're having the house painted so it will be ready for a new family. That is, when we find the perfect place to go...