In October market prices continued to decline gradually. Median sale prices for single-family homes went down 3.6% from September 2022, and median sale prices for condos and townhouses went down 3%. Since the interest rates continue to rise, it is very understandable that the sale prices decrease accordingly. The number of homes sold in October went down 17% for single-family homes and down 30% for condos and townhouses compared with the number of closed transactions in September of this year.
I receive calls from potential sellers asking if this is a good time to sell. There is no universal answer to this question, it all depends on the seller’s finances, goals, fears, etc. But I usually ask just two questions that help sellers to decide. What are you going to do with the sale proceeds? Do you have to sell? If you need the money and have to sell, then do so as soon as possible because in this declining market delays can be very costly. If you don’t have to sell, then hold on to your property, rent it out so that somebody else will pay for your mortgage, and wait for better times ahead.
For buyers, the current market is a great time to buy and negotiate a good price and terms only if they can afford the increased monthly payments. Many buyers pulled back because they could not afford these payments, which is why the number of sales dropped.
The holidays are right around the corner, and historically it is a slow season in real estate. The last two years were completely different due to COVID and low interest rates, but looks like this year it is going to be more or less a normal, slow winter season.
There is so much fear and uncertainty in the air, so if you need help understanding your position in the real estate market, please feel free to call – I will be happy to help you sort things out.
If you are thinking about buying or selling, let’s connect, talk about your options, run some numbers, and see if this is the right time for you. Call me, I am always here for you.
Want to shake up your usual Thanksgiving plans? Just add a few of these easy Thanksgiving activities or games for kids and adults to your Thanksgiving dinner party to make the celebration special. And who knows, you may start a new Thanksgiving tradition.
Guess the gratitude Sharing what you're grateful for is a time-honored tradition, but this year, turn it on its head. Have your friends or family members write down something a little uncommon that they're grateful for (no "family" or "good health"). Then have everyone else try to guess who is thankful for Ted Lasso or TikTok.
Create a design challenge
While we have plenty of ideas for gorgeous Thanksgiving table décor, why not put your guests to work making your table beautiful? Gather some goodies from craft stores and farmers' markets and let them have at it. (This works great for virtual get togethers with far-flung relatives, too! You can even pick the same raw materials for each house and see who gets the most creative with it to make it a more competitive game.)
Test their knowledge
If your crew loves trivia, put together a customized set of questions about your loved ones—and see who remembers the name of your daughter's favorite stuffed animal or which grandma's middle name is Louise.
Send them off on a scavenger hunt
Create a list of offbeat or Thanksgiving-themed items your guests should go hunt down. (Just make sure you don't have them snag a turkey baster or other tool you're still using for cooking your Thanksgiving dinner.) You can make some of the must-dos videos or photos they need to make (i.e., take a picture of something you're grateful for, gobble like a turkey), and show those during dessert.
Serve a signature cocktail
Mix up a batch of special cocktails for the day. Apple cider cocktails are a natural fit.
Have a Thanksgiving-themed cooking class
Set up a get-together or Zoom call where you can have your mom, BFF, or another friend or family member show their tricks for a perfect pie crust, a fun Thanksgiving cocktail, or a killer leftover sandwich.
Make an all-natural craft
Take a walk on Thanksgiving to search out pretty fallen leaves, pinecones, acorns, and other cool finds and get creative with them. (Un-crunched fall leaves make pretty name cards when you write on them with metallic markers, or use them to make a feathery tail for a Thanksgiving turkey.)
Have a pie contest
Have everyone bring their version of a Thanksgiving pie, and let your guests taste test and declare a winner.
Include a tasting
Thanksgiving dinner may be the main event, but you can have a little more culinary fun. While wine, beer, whiskey, and other spirits may be traditional tastings, you can try several different takes on a family favorite food, too—i.e., different chocolates, types of apples, or cheeses. Have everyone taste a nibble and talk about what they like or don't. (No need to get fancy about mouthfeel or notes, unless that's your thing!)
I hope I inspired you to try at least one new fun thing at your Thanksgiving dinner. I know for sure that we are going to have an unusual gathering this year, and we are planning to try the culinary class. I would also like to try making new cocktails and guess the gratitude activity. Let me know later which activity you did and how did it go. Don’t forget to have fun!
As you know, I grew up in a small village in the Siberian taiga, and the forest has played a big role in my life throughout. We had a vegetable garden near our house, but we got much more from the forest. We collected all kinds of wild berries, firewood for the long cold winters, and of course, we picked tons of mushrooms. When I was little, I remember that my dad and I went down the river on a motorboat, lived in a tent for a week or two, and collected berries, mushrooms, went fishing, and on the way back our boat was full of all the great things that we had collected.
My favorite activity was picking mushrooms. Dad taught me about edible and inedible mushrooms, how to find them under the leaves, and what kinds of mushrooms grow in different types of forests. We collected tons of mushrooms and preserved them for winter. All spongy mushrooms like porcinis, slippery jacks, and boletus, were cooked and preserved in glass jars with oil. Some were dried. The other ones like lobster mushrooms, coral and orange milky cups, were placed in special brine with salt and spices. We had barrels of salted mushrooms in the basement. We made mushroom soups, potato with mushrooms, mushroom spread, pierogies stuffed with mushrooms, and much more. Everything was so delicious!
The best mushroom hunting I had was in the Yakutsk region during my student years. For two hours in a forest, we could collect a few buckets of the best mushrooms. What a wonderful time! Here in California, we have gone mushroom picking in different areas. We respect rules and pick up mushrooms only where it is allowed. Some years we found a lot of porcinis, other years were very dry, and we couldn’t find anything. I remember one year when we found only one porcini, but it was huge! It weighed 2 kg when we took it home! I cooked it with potatoes, and it was more than enough to feed the five of us.
Last weekend we were in our house in Monterey and one morning we went for a walk in a nearby forest. During the walk, we found just a few mushrooms, but it gave me a great mood for the rest of the day. After we walked in the forest for a couple of hours, we returned home and found a few mushrooms on our front lawn! Next time we will start our morning walk in our front yard, just in case.
The mushroom season just started, so I hope there will be more rain that will bring more mushrooms and more joy to me and other people who love the “quiet hunting”. If you happen to go mushroom hunting, send me the pictures! And if you have your favorite mushroom recipes, please share them with me, I am looking forward to trying them.