May Newsletter: A Killer Trip to Hawaii

Posted by Isabel Affinito on Thursday, May 30th, 2019 at 11:06pm

At the end of April, Chris and I took an awesome trip to Hawaii with my cousins.

This was my first time in Hawaii and Kauai is breathtakingly, jaw droppingly beautiful. I spent the whole time gawking like a little kid and whispering "wow..." wondering how something so beautiful could exist in real life.

I always thought Hawaii was over-rated. Why do I need to fly halfway across the world and spend so much more money, when I could just pop down to Mexico on a 2 1/2 hour flight? It can't be THAT cool.

I was wrong. It was that cool.

We spent every day doing something beautiful, fun and exhausting. We went hiking, we took surfing lessons, we boogie boarded, we did a helicopter tour and an ATV tour and drove around in a minivan rocking out to Killer Surf Session.

If you want a taste of Hawaiian pop radio, go listen to this gem.

There are a few downsides to Hawaii. One being that the food is really expensive. We mostly cooked at home in our AirBNB and took full advantage of a family Costco membership.

In addition to the expensive groceries, there are also a lot of rather eccentric individuals. Which could be a pro or con, depending on how you look at it. This story captures both. On a quick grocery run to grab a few incidentals at a local grocery store, I met an interesting gentleman as I was walking inside. By incidentals, I mean limes for our drinks to the tune of $1.25 each. This gentleman pulled up on a bicycle with a very cute dog in a baby backpack. He took her out and put her on top of a trash can, where she dutifully and drowsily waited for him to get himself arranged to walk into the store, and then waited there, on that trash can, the whole time he shopped. As I walked by, I said "She is so cute! Can I pet her?"

"Sure!" As I pet her he added, "Don't mind her. She's a little sleepy. She just pulled an all nighter."

I decided that at that particular moment, I really didn't have it in me to ask him what the hell he meant by that, and just smiled and went on my way instead.

Then there was our delightful ATV tour guide, Gabriel, who ended all of his sentences with "...yeah." with an upswing. As in, "It's just amazing, yeah. To imagine this island... born out of the core of the earth with such violence and fire, yeah."

Gotta hand it to him. Great photographer.

I have wanted to learn to surf for years, and I'm proud to say that I was able to stand up on a surf board during our surf lesson. Or, rather, during our killer surf session.

The first time I stood up and successfully rode a (small) wave all the way to the shore, I was so proud of myself. I jumped off my board onto the sand and turned around to look back at everyone still out in the water waiting for waves. I threw my head back and my firsts straight up in the air over my head, celebrating my victorious surf run with a loud "YES!"

It was at this moment that a wave caught my floating board and sent it right into my ankles. This knocked me face-down into the sand, where I proceeded to flail around laughing. The waves are still pretty big even right on the beach, and even while rolling around and getting salt water up my nose I already realized how funny this was. The waves finally subsided enough for me to stand up, and I stood on the shore doubled over laughing until I could finally compose myself.

The beach was completely full of people. I really hope someone somewhere got this on film.

In short. Hawaii: 5 stars, would recommend.

Women Who Rock

When I was in Charleston for the 30 Under 30 Mastermind awhile back, I had the pleasure of meeting Stephanie Lanier. She is a speaker, agent and owner of Lanier Property Group in Wilmington, NC. She has an amazing story of personal tragedy and success, and is refreshingly real when she talks about how those two things can both exist in your life together.

She's a woman who rocks. Go check out her TedTalk here.

I also recommend her community for women, https://www.theinspirationlab.co/

I went through the free "Take Heart" workbook myself and found it refreshing.

Check her out. She rocks.

The Market

Right now I am working with a lot of buyers in Central Austin. Each week, I'm touring lots of homes and writing offers. And then continuing to write more offers. Because every time we write an offer, we lose to cash or a higher offer or what have you.

I can tell you, this spring is different than last spring.

It was starting to bug me. I consider myself to be very good at winning for my buyers in multiple offers. The issue is that the landscape has changed. Where $20,000 over asking used to be enough, now it's often $50,000. And being willing to cover an appraisal difference is almost required right now. That means you need to have your down payment plus some extra cash ready in case it doesn't appraise. That's a very competitive situation for buyers. Tough for younger buyers, which is most of my current clients.

I started looking at the numbers and I noticed something surprising. The number of new listings this spring is DOWN from past springs. Think about that. The city is growing, but we have fewer homes listed recently. No WONDER multiple offers are so common. No wonder median sales price is up and days on market is way down. Lots of buyers, very constricted supply.

Which is one reason we're listing our home on Deerfield for sale soon. More on that next month.

So home owners, pay attention! If you're wondering when a good time to sell is, the answer is RIGHT NOW. There is not enough supply for buyers. Eventually other home owners will look up, realize what's happening, and list their homes. Then things will loosen up a bit. But right now, options are slim. So if you've considered selling, give me a ring. I bet I have a buyer for you in Central Austin.

Closings

Shout out to my friend Alyse who closed in Mueller since our last newsletter. Alyse, I had so much fun working with you. Thanks for trusting me to help you navigate your home purchase with the builder. 

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