Bussing Broker: Week 22

This week has been so busy and it was insufferably hot until yesterday.  I want to hug today’s weather and invite it to stay all summer.

I ducked out for a walk and hit three properties on tour today.  I wouldn’t have bothered except I wanted to have something to report here.  I’d been to three counties and on five kinds of transportation by the end of the day Tuesday. So instead of rambling about today’s tour, which happened but isn’t terribly, interesting, I’m going to share a story from Monday.

In the last two years I’ve been doing a lot more work on vacant land deals than I had in my career before.  Vacant land is just making a lot more sense for buyers than it used to.  They can’t live on it, but frequently they can’t afford to buy something they can live on right now, anyway.  At the same time, they have some resources at their disposal.  At the rate the market is growing, and with the rents keeping up with that growth, a lot of buyers are in a position where they won’t be ready to buy in today’s market for a year or two, by which time the market will be out of reach again.  So they buy land, and that gets those resources tied into the market at large.  Eventually they’ll save enough to build, or they’ll be able to sell it and have a down payment that has grown with the market.  Since transactions on vacant land aren’t moving as quickly has transactions on houses, it also means those buyers have time to think about the purchase and make sure it’s a good idea for them in a way they don’t buying a house or condo.  It’s not a path I’d recommend for everybody, but there’s a significant portion of my clients where this is a really viable option in a market that would, otherwise, block them out.

Showing vacant land, however, does not work the way showing houses does.  A point illustrated very elaborately for me on Monday.

I had a client who wanted to see a lot in a gated community outside Seattle.  I’d contacted the listing broker ahead of time to arrange access; there was a box we could put a code in to open the gate and go into the community.  Great!  Except, not so much.  The box was dead and completely unresponsive when we got there.  So I called the listing agent for advice.

And that, gentle reader, is what led to me scaling the fence to a gated community, in broad daylight, during rush hour on a busy street, then flailing my arms like a mad woman to trigger a motion sensor so the gate would open.  Nobody called the police or stopped to ask me what I was doing.

I can now say that I’ve professionally broken into a gated community.  Credentials like that are just one small part of why I love my job!

Location: Capitol Hill
Time: 1.25 hours
Transit modes: Foot
Cost: $0
Cats petted: 0
Tea consumed: Iced basil-infused oolong with honey
Properties Viewed: 3

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