Active Rain April 27, 2011


The ultimate formula for long drivesI have barely had time to notice Active Rain’s server issues because of a frantic past two weeks in my own little corner of the world. Among many things, I had to take two days and drive to Rochester, 300 miles away, to handle some business with some properties we own. Like any busy broker, getting away in April is difficult. 

There is an art to driving 300 miles in a minimum amount of time without speeding. I used to make the drive frequently when Ann and I were first dating, and one of the keys is to not stop very often. 

The other key is to not doze off. Coffee is great for staying awake, but awful if you don’t want to become Joe Rest Stop. So, playing with body chemistry, you eat beef jerky. It is genius- caffeine to stay awake and salty beef jerky to dry you out and combat the diuretic effect of the coffee. You fight one catch-22 with another catch-22. I can drive 5 straight hours and not stop until I get home. But I typically stop once to stretch my legs. And buy more coffee and beef jerky. 

I’m glad to be back home. I was told the dog was out of sorts and slept in front of the door, and my kids missed me. All the while, I had to manage the goings on back home. Among the challenges were a listing we have under contract that was appraised in late March. Like many in our market, we have to sweat out appraisals, but it came out fine.

Just this week however, the underwriter asked for more comparable sales, which we provided. Requests like this are worrisome, because it starts to feel like the lender is looking for an excuse to not make the loan. Nobody likes the suspense, and it was particularly a weight on my shoulders because I assured all parties that we would not under-appraise. I found out just today that everything is OK with the file and it should be closing next week. My clients, whom we listed  in October, can exhale. So can I. 

Everything seems to be harder in this climate. Buyers are more cautious, news is bleak, and lenders seem more strict with each passing week (why couldn’t these dopes be 1/8 this careful back in 2003-006??). It’s like trench warfare; you pay for every foot advanced with hard work and sacrifice. All the while, you have to figure out solutions to problems that don’t create new problems. 

Stock up on coffee and beef jerky.