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Real Estate Matters

Original post made on Jan 24, 2013

There are two types of deal killers in real estate: those that are correctable or avoidable and those that are core beliefs or superstitions and unalterable.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, January 23, 2013, 3:44 PM

Comments (18)

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Posted by puzzled
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jan 24, 2013 at 8:33 am

I'm assuming that most of these beliefs are those of Chinese clients. Why not just say so outright?


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Posted by homeowner
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 24, 2013 at 8:51 am

To my knowledge, in California real estate transactions it is forbidden for agents to get involved with ethnic/racial groups/discussions, so THIS discussion disconcerts me.
A buyer cannot (or is not supposed to) get an answer from his/her real estate agent if s/he asks, "Are there many (my ethnic group) in this neighborhood?" and similar inquiries. Another one would be a reassurance that someone who shared the above beliefs is the seller of a home the agent is taking the client to see, "Oh yes, the seller is also (your ethnic group), so the staircase has an appropriate number of steps on it as you also require."
I dislike being lectured on this topic about such inane nonsense as the numerals in a home's address.
If someone really chooses to refuse to consider purchasing a home because of the numerals in the home's address or because it is located at a T intersection, that is their own choice, to be sure, but we as sellers cannot modify the above and to imply our home has much reduced value because of that is RIDICULOUS! Sounds like a buyer's agent who wishes to wear down a certain percentage of sellers on behalf of her clients(who all happen to be buyers currently) - don't fall for this.


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Posted by fengshui
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 24, 2013 at 9:25 am

In one word "Feng shui". It's a knowledge of living in harmony. If you are a seller in PA, you can choose your buyer. Nothing RIDICULOUS. Perhaps you learn something when you're ready to buy the next house.


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Posted by homeowner
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 24, 2013 at 10:47 am

@feng shui, do you agree with me -
I have been told different things about it, like with horoscopes. One person will insist a certain thing about feng shui, another will state something different. There is no "definitive" feng shui anyway. I will listen politely, but since I don't subscribe to either feng shui or running my life based on horoscopes, I will not pay too much attention to either.
Being aware of some home buyers with cash preferring certain attributes is fine, and probably a good idea, but an agent trying to lecture me and devalue my home based on a random fact like it has a numeral 1 in the address sounds to me like someone who is trying to get a good deal for her clients. Create a climate where certain things are more "valuable" based on rather flimsy ideas.
The government assigned the numeral 1 in my street address, not me, take it or leave it. Fortunately, there are plenty more buyers who prefer top location, home, lot, school district, commute convenience, neighborhood, and multiple other principal attributes, and most of us in PA are strong in these factors and have plenty of potential buyers.


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Posted by Feng Shui
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 24, 2013 at 12:34 pm

In my last neighborhood, our house was across the street from a short cul-de-sac. it was a great place for kids to play, since they were out of the traffic flow. We thought of it as a plus. However, when we put the house on the market, many Chinese would not even get out of the car to look at it, even though it was a very desirable style of house at the time, in a very desirable neighborhood. As a result, it took two years to sell this house, and we had to sell it dirt cheap because our son was enrolled in a private school in another city which we needed to move to.

Most recently, we tried to sell our home in Palo Alto. It has beautiful oak floors, and when you open the front door, you see a stunning oak staircase. However, most Chinese buyers refused to cross the threshold because in Feng shui, a staircase that lines up with a door means you will lose all your money. We actually had one Chinese woman who ran away screaming when the front door was opened!!

My neighbor has a beautiful, high tech, ultra-modern house on a very large lot with a four car garage. it has sat on the market for months, because the front door lines up with the back door. The Chinese feel that this also means you will lose all your money.

How can educated people who work in high tech and have so much money be so superstitious in this day and age? It is just ridiculous. Do they not know that most of the world laughs at them for being so superstitious?

Meanwhile, we are stuck in a very small home that we outgrew two years ago, and our hopes of selling it are slim, unless we sell it dirt cheap, which we cannot afford to do again.


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Posted by feng superstition
a resident of Atherton
on Jan 24, 2013 at 2:27 pm

"How can educated people who work in high tech and have so much money be so superstitious in this day and age? It is just ridiculous. Do they not know that most of the world laughs at them for being so superstitious?"

Wow, I totally get it - how STUPID!

We're not talking about what shirt I'm wearing on Super Bowl Sunday (same as I wore the two playoff games, unwashed, of course!)

And of course I'm not shaving all weekend with a game like that on the line! Waddaya think I am, a lunatic?

But yeah, superstitions by others are just stupid! Crazy folk, all!


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Posted by A CEO told me
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 24, 2013 at 3:16 pm

Not sure how Feng Shui figured out that all these buyers where chinese and not, let's say, Americans of chinese descent or japanese of Korean. funny how no caucasians or any other race where interested in her house.
Or maybe they were not interested in your home because you seem to have no problem making fun of other's beliefs. I would also like to see the data supporting Feng Shui's claim that the rest of the world is laughing at these people
I was recently in europe and I met a number of influential Chinese CEOs, CFOs etc, that head up large Chinese companies and they told me that the Chinese are not superstitious and the following Feng Shui is not being superstitious.
I am also stuck in a small house, with a shared driveway, near the train tracks that I cannot sell. My neighbors hate me and I have othr family members, some of whom may be kidnapped because of my husband's business, living with me. But I am not complaining.
Meanwhile a realator and home builder, who I cannot name, told me that the Chinese are buying plenty of properties in this area, so I am not sure why Feng Shui is having problems offloading her house.


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Posted by Feng Shui
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 24, 2013 at 4:12 pm

We actually had four Caucasians who made good offers on our home. Three did not qualify for a mortgage whose payments would be over $7,000/mo. The fourth brought his friends to see the house, and they insisted that HSR would be going through Palo Alto any minute, which he believed. His agent and my agent tried to talk sense to him, but he was convinced and backed out.


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Posted by feng superstition
a resident of Atherton
on Jan 24, 2013 at 4:18 pm

@A CEO told me

+1

thanks!

(make sure you wear your lucky shirt, especially at Baume. Try the ducky, girl!)


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Posted by Brugge
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 25, 2013 at 8:16 am

Sounds like you have not tried to sell a house in the past ten years. The optimum time of year to sell is March thru June, when people look to buy so they can move during the summer before the next school year starts. However, if a seller misses that window, they will get buyers looking for a smoking deal. Most of these buyers are from mainland China or Taiwan. One can tell by their names, accents, and Mandarin speaking. People from Hong Kong speak Cantonese. As an honor student of Mandarin in sixth thru ninth grade, I can tell the difference.

Anyway, most of the Chinese buyers are not from the backwoods of China, and do not seriously believe in Febg Shui, but use it as a means, along with insulting the seller's house and making ridiculous offers below market value, to try to convince the seller to sell cheap.

I know this because before I developed chronic fatigue, I was a professional stager and I worked with many real estate agents. I am also well versed in Chinese culture as well as German culture.


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Posted by get it
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 25, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Brugge's hypothesis makes a lot of sense. OTOH, I wonder whether discomfort over the number 4 in the address partially explains why we were recently able to buy a lovely condo in Palo Alto for just above the asking price (unlike other ones where we were outbid by many other prospective buyers). In any case, we are enjoying our good fortune.


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Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 25, 2013 at 7:27 pm

Aren't people just crazy?


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Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Jan 26, 2013 at 12:35 am

I know this is off subject, but the posters here seem to be quite knowledgeable of the PA real estate market, and I am curious.

Do the Chinese buy Eichlers?


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Posted by Brugge
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 26, 2013 at 9:12 am

Yes, they do, but only if extensively remodeled. Otherwise, they just buy them as income property to rent out to people not so fortunate to be able to buy here.


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Posted by enough!
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 26, 2013 at 9:56 am

Look! Chinese use Feng Shui and sky numbers to run their country and there is not even one noble-price economists live there!


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Posted by Brussels
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 26, 2013 at 9:13 pm

People laughed at China for foot binding of little girls, too. That was what it took to finally get them to stop doing it fifty years after the law forbidding it was passed.


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Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Jan 26, 2013 at 9:53 pm

Laugh all you want about China, but just remember one thing.

They are on the way up, and we are on the way down.


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Posted by enough!
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 26, 2013 at 11:17 pm

Outside got it..


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