I couldn’t help but look back to this time of year as a kid growing up when we carved pumpkins and watched horror movies on Chiller Theater that left us so scared that every creak and sound we heard in our home had us diving under the covers somehow thinking we wouldn’t be seen by these creatures of the night. What Halloween would be complete without Frankenstein, The Wolfman, Dracula and a supporting cast of Ghouls, Mummies, Werewolfs, Ghosts, Witches and Vampires! After working ourselves into a terrified frenzy the thought of putting out the garbage that night was the last thing you wanted to hear your mom ask you to do. “Mom can’t it wait until morning, I really don’t want to be burned at the stake?”
We dressed up as our favorite creatures, sports heroes and celebrities. Guys dressed as girls, girls dressed as guys and we even dressed up like old geezers, which at that time anyone over 30 years of age qualified.
We freely roamed our neighborhood streets filling our shopping bags so full of candy it would take decades to consume, while keeping most dentists gainfully employed. And of course the ammunition of the day was a carton of eggs, cans of shaving cream, sticks of chalk and a sock full of flour. You never had to ask which home didn’t hand out candy, as the dreaded chalk mark on the sidewalk indicated no one was home and as a consequence for being so unthoughtful typically resulted in the owner being seen washing off the salvo of eggs from the night before.
It was fun trick or treating in disguise when no one knew who you were and the stories told the following day from that special Halloween night were priceless. It also gave us the opportunity to express ourselves in ways that were fun, carefree and creative. However, despite our unique way of expressing ourselves we seemed to bond a little bit closer.
This year has been a year of adjustment. For many it has been a year of despair and others a time of reflection. However, one thing I think we can all agree on is that it is a time when we are focusing on our differences rather than what has brought us together. Just like those horror movies we watched as kids that depicted creatures we knew not from where they came, today we are seeing different kinds of monsters who are tormenting us 24 hours a day.
Back then we could put our monsters back in the closet until the following year, the kind we are facing today think they are here to stay. They are dressed differently and walk amongst us both day and night. When we got scared we pulled the covers over our heads, today I hear kids say they don’t want to hear what is going on in our country or around the world as it sounds too scary.
I’m not sure how we got so off track, but when I think of so many wonderful things we have to enjoy that are found in community events, family and friends it seems like those are the things we need to take back out of the closet labeled “Taking for Granted,” and realize our fondest childhood recollections are within easy reach with lots of great memories still to be made.
While this year’s Halloween may be a little different, it can still be one that will be fun to enjoy and give us that emotional break we all could use. Just make sure you keep an eye out for those creatures in the night when you hear those terrifying words, “Honey, can you take out the garbage!
During this time many discovered they could work remotely and with management seeing no drop off in productivity, employees as well as entrepreneurs started to relocate south to areas such as Florida and Texas. New contracts for single-family homes in Charlotte County were up 41% in August compared to this time last year. Single family homes are the “crème de la crème” vs condos and townhomes because most feel it is not only easier to social distance in a house, but weren’t quite ready to give up homeownership and downsize into a condominium.
With inventory levels so low, if there was ever a time in which to sell your home, this would be it! As of July, the median is 49 days on the market, a trend that is 9 days less from last year, and I see it moving lower in the next few months. Looking at sales of homes over the last year, the market in our area is highly active. In July of 2019, there were 345 homes sold in our area where for July 2020 we had 488 sales. Recently Punta Gorda was in the top 3 cities for people who are relocating to Florida. A lot of interest in our housing market is coming from people relocating from the north looking to escape the harsh winter weather and high taxes, but with concerns from this pandemic are looking to move to areas with less congestion where they can work remotely and avoid mass transit. With the influx of those moving to the area competition is fierce which has resulted in the median price of homes rising to $237,450. So not only are our sales looking good, but the price of our homes are attractive as well. Homes valued in the $250,000-$350,000 range are the most popular among buyers right now.
With mortgage rates at record lows, some buyers who are self -employed are having a harder time qualifying due additional qualifying guidelines stemming from the impact of the pandemic. Others are challenged in trying to get pre-qualified fast enough in order to submit offers quickly on what has become a very limited supply of inventory. Buyers shopping for a home in our area should first get pre-approved so they know what they CAN buy. Second, you need that pre-approval or proof of funds letter as sellers don’t want to tie up their properties for those who can’t qualify. In short, get pre-qualified and if you see a house you better act on it. If you are someone who has a hard time making up your mind now is not the time to just be looking. Homes have hit the market and are immediately going under contract when priced well and buyers are trying to make their offers very attractive in order to outbid their competition.
An article I read recently, “More Buyers Nix Inspections as Bidding Wars Heat Up”, a Redfin agent study found that almost one in five offers (19.9%) waived the inspection contingency to make their offers more attractive. This study was done with agents in select major US markets. The previous year it was 13.2%. Although, I understand why some are doing this I do feel this is a major part of home buying not to skimp on.
We have a good education system, good government and we offer a vibrant waterfront town with many medical options nearby and our crime is low. It is just a great place to live and why we love to call it home!