A New Perspective: Deck the Halls | Real Estate Advice

The personal stories of one Realtor’s battles and triumphs in the highly-competitive Bay Area Real Estate Market, seeking to illuminate and humanize the very real ups-and-downs of homeownership.

Is it just me or has the year flown by? 

Thanksgiving rolls in next week and Christmas is just around the corner (or in my household, Chanukah) and then that pretty much wraps up the 2021 calendar.

Whether it’s one of these familiar holidays you celebrate, or your own cultural/family tradition, or simply winter solstice, the slower work pace brought on by the holidays gives us all a chance to reboot, regroup, and breath as we look ahead to 2022 . . . .​ For me, the free time presents an opportunity to attack my own “to do” list and address the items that were conveniently ignored throughout the year. (I had a good excuse; Jill, Sarah and I were incredibly BUSY!) This week, I’ve met with a painter, gardener, electrician, upholsterer and window washer, and that’s just for starters (I also finally saw the doctor). For a gal who takes pretty good care of her home, I’ve got a lot of outstanding projects that need attention. Such is the nature of the beast. When you enjoy a life well-lived, you’re gonna chip some paint!

While taking care of a home requires a fair amount of ongoing maintenance, let’s be honest, we didn’t exactly all land in the “same boat” when it came to Covid-19. However, with “mortgage forbearance” at play, we also didn’t see homeowners go under as happened after the 2008 financial meltdown, and that was a very good thing indeed. Even so, the lack of distressed sales of any kind added to the scarcity of available housing stock overall which further tipped the supply & demand inequity, especially at the lower end. Typically, we’d see some such properties make it to market, but that wasn’t the case in 2021, which is both good and bad, depending on where you sit.

For those lucky enough to be financially unaffected by the ongoing pandemic (in fact, the rich got richer), as a Realtor of luxury real estate, it was both fascinating and challenging to see where our clients were pivoting, prioritizing, or relocating as they scrambled to find a home that could address new and unexpected requirements while also providing a safe harbor for their families during a fairly distressing time. No matter where you lived on the lifestyle continuum, it kinda sucked. So long 2021. I’m hoping 2022 provides more freedom and less frenzy for us all.

That being said, working from home suddenly provided a bevy of options that didn’t exist before. Consequently, Piedmont benefitted from high demand coupled with very little inventory. Currently, there are only four houses on the market in Piedmont and one of them tops out with a list price of nearly $20 million dollars! That’s head spinning to be sure, and truthfully a number that far exceeds the maximum sale for any Piedmont sale, EVER, but knowing what other regions in the Bay Area warrant, this stunning unicorn may – in time – find a willing and able buyer (“time” and “able” being the operative words here). Who knows?!? What I do know is that kind of price tag exists in very rarified air. That being said, such well-heeled Buyers  don’t come along very often. (In other words, if you’re interested and qualified, please call me!)

While we’d like every listing to be a slam dunk at the present meteoric level, what I’ve learned this year (yes, I’m still learning from each and every transaction) is that each home provides a unique value proposition. Case in point, Sarah and I are currently marketing 340 San Carlos Avenue. This truly special home deserves another look and will be open the Sunday after Thanksgiving for our out-of-town guests and hometown friends. Currently, being dressed up for the holidays, this spacious, grand and updated Arts & Crafts home is nothing short of exquisite. Am I biased? Absolutely! But the more time I spend in San Carlos, the more aware I am of just how inviting it is, and more importantly, how amazing it promises to be for the next homeowners. (Could this be you? It could.)

So while we continue to work to the best of our abilities, finding solace in the comforts of partnership, friendship, and family, we wish you a lovely holiday season. Come the new year, we expect to be off and running once more which is why planning and preparation are the hallmarks of our practice. In the meantime, I’ll be prepping my yard for spring, painting the front porch, delivering toffee, decking the halls, . . . and counting my many blessings. Fa-la-la-la-la!

How can we help you?

(I’ll be taking next week off to enjoy the break with my family. I’ll see you in two weeks!)


340 San Carlos Avenue, Piedmont

• Gracious living? √
• Room to grow? √
• Multi-functional √
• Beautifully renovated? √
• In the center of town? √
• Close to playing fields and public parks? √
• Stunning natural light? √
• Beautiful views? √
• Potential ADU √
• Home office √
• Hot Tub balcony √
• Storage galore √
• Community √
• Excellent public schools? √√√

If you missed this gorgeous home and would like to be in new surroundings by the holidays, there’s still time to move in before Christmas.

In the heart of Piedmont, this magnificent Craftsman offers stunning views of the SF Bay & Oakland skyline, and has been beautifully updated and meticulously maintained by its current owners. Masterfully renovated by William Holland, AIA; this stunning home offers an inviting floor plan w/abundant natural light, an “Insta-worthy” eat-in kitchen opening to a stone patio for al fresco dining and entertaining, formal living and dining rooms, separate sunroom w/French doors, 4 spacious bedrooms on the second level, sunset-spa balcony, primary suite w/built-in office area on the third floor, family/media/junior suite w/full bath below, and flexible spaces to accommodate exercise equipment, wine collection, and holiday decorations, not to mention Costco runs. Close to the playing fields, coveted K-12 Piedmont schools, and the public parks, this exceptional property is move-in ready and truly special. Don’t miss this rare and wonderful opportunity!

Julie Gardner & Sarah Abel | Compass Realty

Not just Realtors, but consultants in all things house and home, we’re here to educate, explore, examine and refer . . . In short, you may count on us to take care of your home as if it were our own and anyone who knows us, knows we take pretty darn good care of our homes.

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