A couple of years ago, we found a home we really loved. The market was competitive at the time, but we choked on the list price and thought about going in a bit under it. Our Realtor, someone recommended to us, someone possessing a proven track record in the community and someone garnering much respect among fellow agents, highly advised against lowballing the offer. Eventually, we bid a little over list and got the home. One of the reasons the home was so desirable was the school district. The teachers, overall, have a tremendous reputation and years of experience that just seem to best position the student body to learn in a great environment, test well and excel later on as they go to high school and college.
Back to buying, when we consulted one of the county’s top-rated mortgage professionals about locking the interest rate on our loan, he urged that we get things nailed down and not take needless chances. With a 25-day escrow, he reminded us that there was not going to be much time to pray for a correction if the financial markets moved in the wrong direction and that we could really get burned by trying to control something over which we had no control. Personally, we thought rates might go lower so we were tempted to float things a bit longer, but fortunately we took his advice and landed on our feet. Oddly enough, the financial markets got detrimentally volatile about a week into our escrow, though thankfully we were spared that agony.
The new home needed some work, so we eventually hired a contractor that our neighbors referred with honors. We also decided to kick out the garage to fit a third car. The contracting firm suggested that we replace the aging and failing sewer lateral before pouring the new footprint, since the line ran under it. While this would be a short-term financial hit, it would save us a ton in the long run and it proved to be a smart move, as some of the new appliances would also require more efficient capacity in the plumbing. So the forethought and competency of our contractor proved to be a smart investment all the way around.
In the new garage, we keep a car that we mostly use when we go into the mountains and on road trips. We’re lucky to have a great mechanic who helps us keep the vehicle in reliable running order. If the brakes, belts or fluids need replacing, he gives us good advice and advance notice on replacement and this has always served us well. Yeah, I’ve tried to DIY some car repairs but I have to admit, they have the tools and techniques that promote a far better result. Plus, they can do in two hours what takes me six, and without the busted up knuckles and epic tirades of profanity characteristic of my home projects.
When we hit the hills, we love to fish in mountain streams and are grateful to have a local tackle shop that keeps our gear in top shape. Now I’ll admit we’re a bit of gear junkies ourselves, but these guys know angling hook, line and sinker. The only tough part is that we can’t get out of the store without dropping a few hundred bucks each time we go in. Come to think of it, that’s not the only tough part — every time I step foot in that door I usually fritter away a couple of hours talking the joy of fishing. They are like human encyclopedias. But I guess if you don’t appreciate the finest nuances of the sport, you wouldn’t get it.
Back in March, though, this COVID-19 pandemic thing really threw a wrench in the works and now I feel like we’re trapped in our home and being oppressed by these officious elected officials and misled by the hysterical mass media. These high-minded epidemiologists, virologists, medical professionals and so-called “experts” are telling me I have to wear a mask, I have to avoid indoor gatherings, and I should keep physical distance in public. Well, I’m not gonna do it. I’ll follow my instincts and set my own guidelines and they can just leave me alone. I mean, seriously! Who the hell do these doctors, with their fancy degrees, hours of residency and years of experience think they are? I know better than the experts — in fact, you give me a choice between my gut and their brains and I’ll choose my gut every time. I’m smart and I know what the facts are and besides, if I want to learn about something, I can just read about it on the internet or tune into my favorite network and get their opinions. Experience and expertise are overrated and I can see right through that mask. Especially with matters of life and death.
Live and let die,
Vice President of Mortgage Lending
Marin Office: 324 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., San Anselmo, CA 94960
Berkeley Office: 1400 Shattuck Ave., Suite 1, Berkeley, CA 94709
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