Part One: Can You Guess What This Home Sold For?
Can you guess what this home sold for? Can you guess how high above list this fixer-upper went for? Can you guess what somebody paid for this tiny beach bungalow?
Sound familiar? Real estate memes are everywhere generating lots of engagement in the form of clicks and page views. Since we all have deep, heartfelt connections to home, it’s easy to trigger collective dopamine rushes with the latest updates about the market. Who can resist taking a wild guess at what the house up the street sold for? Or how high over asking it went?
Welcome to real estate – the new national pastime and fast-growing spectator sport that’s turning a large audience of people into Armchair Realtors charged with keeping tabs on the crazy trajectory of the market. Like rotisserie baseball and fantasy football with a little TV game show thrown in, the whole world is playing along with the market right now, watching it unfold, testing their savvy against it and betting how high prices will go,
We’re helpless in the face of all the juicy clickbait coming our way: notifications about the tape-measure home run shots that Sellers are hitting and posts about the slew of historic records that are falling as the most-lopsided market in history continues to run up the score in neighborhoods across the country.
We love feeling like we’re right in the middle of the action even if we’re only voyeurs sitting on the sidelines streaming virtual tours that offer intimate glimpses into all those dream homes. As average places skyrocket toward obscene prices, it’s hard not to watch with a mixture of rapt attention and prurient interest. Call it another form of house porn that people enjoy in the privacy of their own homes while ignoring the 11th commandment: Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s home.
Just last week, a Realtor.com post ranked the 10 hottest markets in the country and Santa Cruz was # 2 on the list while Redfin also posted its own list of the 10 top metro areas in the country with the highest sales price over list price with Santa Cruz ranked # 10.
Of course, the real estate market is only fun and entertaining if you aren’t one of those crazed buyers trying to do it for real. Like the guy at work who just put in an all-cash offer with no contingencies, $300k above list and still didn’t get it. Or your friend’s sister who just lost out in a thirteen offer scrum.
The rest of us can afford to sit back and play the home version of Jeopardy without suffering the slings and arrows of the outrageous fortune it takes to buy in the toughest buyers market ever.
Next Week: Part Two