For years I have been contemplating a way to share the hard-won knowledge I've accumulated as I navigated the rocky paths of motherhood and authorship, paying my bills through the unlikely venue of selling real estate on both the left & right coasts. It's been quite a ride, encompassing the AIDS crisis in 1980's San Francisco, the 1989 earthquake, a major housefire, the dotcom boom & bust, my daughter's graduation from Wesleyan and a difficult divorce from my Czech-born husband....but somewhere in there I managed to complete my coming-of-age novel, begin a memoir of my Greenwich Village childhood, and learn an awful lot about termites, plumbing, co-op rules, tax-free exchanges and why homeownership is the best second job in America- as well as being the foundation for feelings of security and joy that can enhance every other part of life. (I've also learned that real estate disputes bring out the worst in people but what else is new?)
Growing up in a series of small rented apartments and grungy hotel rooms in New York's Greenwich Village, I never thought that someday I would own a little farmhouse in upstate New York and a one-bedroom loft with brick walls in a converted high school in St. Petersburg, Florida, or that I would be someone who could give helpful advice to first-time buyers from all over the world in the two hottest real estate markets in the United States.
But I do, and I can.
I hope my words will help you to make intelligent real estate decisions, and give you an inside look into a process that too often does not serve the needs of the anxious and confused client.
Or maybe you will just be amused and that will make me happy too.
POODLES ON THE ROOF is dedicated to all my customers and especially to my French-speaking client who asked for a contractor's inspection to make sure that the roof above the Manhattan penthouse he was buying was not going to spring a leak down into his apartment- there were puddles and pools of water above his prospective unit, and my client told me he was concerned about the "poodles on the roof". I realized then how fond I am of my clients and how much I love my day job.
Thank you for giving me the inspiration to finally get this blog on the road!