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Is it a good time to sell and hit the open road?
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Dear Real Estate Boys: My wife and I have been reading your articles in the Journal now for over a year.  So far we give you a B+.  Not bad at all; we’ve learned some real estate facts. Anyway, we are Dick and Jane.  We met you in early grammar school.  Remember us?  It went something like this.  See Jane?  See Dick?  See Jane run?  See Dick run?  Well, I finally caught Jane and we’ve been married for many happy years now.  And yes, we have a dog named Spot.   OK, here’s our question.  Jane was a school teacher of 2nd grade and was offered the Golden Handshake last spring and Jane jumped at the opportunity.  Again, see Jane run?  See Jane smile.   I can retire this spring and then we both can travel to lands far and wide.  Go see the kids and our grand kids.  Now the question, I promise.  Our house is in a great location and we have kept it updated over the years — granite counters, oak floors and newer appliances.   We have resurfaced the pool and replaced the equipment so each warm summer evening I can go stand in the cool water just prior to putting my head to the pillow.   We love our home and we own it free and clear.  We were told in 2005 that we could get about $500,000 if we sold, but we didn’t.  We are considering becoming Rolling Stones, going from kid to kid, traveling the states and then coming home once in a while.  Is it a good time to sell?

— Sittin’ On A Fence in Turlock, Dick & Jane

Well, Dick and Jane, old friends from grammar school, it has been a long time.  Larry probably doesn’t remember you guys; he still can’t read.   If you are going to become Rolling Stones then you’ll have to Get Off My Cloud.  Larry and I were just talking about this exact subject — retiring and going on a cross country trek.   We baby boomers are getting to that time in our lives when we begin to think about that 19th Nervous Breakdown and thinking it may be time to become Johnny Cash and say I’ve Been Everywhere.  Larry and I are not Fortune Tellers but the market has gotten much better for the Dick and Janes of the world.  While it’s not 2005, it’s closer than you think.  While the Valley still lags behind the Bay Area in prices, there is a market where there are not enough contractors around to fulfil the demand.  Larry and I feel that people in your situation might wish to finally make the move and list your home for sale. 

Here are some pros to selling now.  Yes, your home may not be worth the 2005 value, but on the flip side neither will the replacement home you purchase.  Keep in mind You Can’t Always Get What You Want so you may wish to just sell for now and re-purchase here after your travel days are done. But, the prices may be much higher in a year.  If you do rent, make sure you sign for only a six month lease, if possible.

With the money you net from the sale of your home go to Bonander’s  and talk to Jerry Russell or Smith Chevy and talk to Lee Smith, tell them the Real Estate Boys sent you. Buy a new truck to pull your new fifth wheel and yell Start Me Up and hit the road.  See Dick drive.  See Jane relaxing.  When you both have had the Satisfaction of traveling and seeing the kids and grandkids, you can come home and move into your rental or your scaled down home you purchased before you left town.   The really cool thing is the market is on your side right now.  The inventory is as low as our rain fall presently.  Traditional sales right now have turned to the norm in our market.  Short sales and REO are Dust In the Wind.  Homes in Turlock are selling quite well and Larry just told me Turlock, for some reason, has always sold higher than the rest of the county.  There really is a special quality of life in Turlock, as well as the entire county.  Time is On My Side you might say, but hey we’re all about 60 years old and it’s time to call the kids and say Can’t You Hear me Knocking on your front door and go visit the family.  After a few months of being Rolling Stones, all you need to say is Gimmie Shelter and make a U-Turn and head back to the great Central Valley until the next travel bug hits.

So far Larry and I have not tried to hard sell our readers into using our services as a Realtor.  This time we feel that most of our fellow Realtors are working hard to get listings and make a sale.  Your Real Estate Boys enjoy working with people like Dick and Jane.  Think about it.  If you want to consider making a move give Lloyd or Larry a call.  Lloyd’s cell is 209-531-4853. Larry’s is 209-484-4216.  And “We’ll keep the lights on.”