I am a bookworm, happiest with my nose in story. As a kid, I was terribly shy and books were my escape. To this day, I love fiction.
Of course historic events take place in fiction all the time—but the first time the events of 9-11 were featured in a book I was reading, it was a surprise. It was such recent history at the time, it was sort of shocking to have that suddenly show up in a story.
In the same way, I just read a book with the backdrop of the California foreclosure crisis. It’s Michael Connelly’s Fifth Witness, if you are interested in checking it out. The “Lincoln Lawyer” works in L.A. and he is heavily involved in helping stave off the foreclosure process for a steady stream of clients. At one point, he explains to his 14-year-old daughter what it means for these people to be “underwater” and how the crisis came about.
It’s Connelly’s latest book, and it feels like it was just published yesterday. We are still living through the housing market he describes. So no wonder it’s the first time I’ve encountered this setting in fiction—and no doubt in a dozen years, foreclosures may be as common in novels to place the character in time and place as living in NYC during 9-11.
When the events of 9-11 took place, it was a day that none of us will ever forget. The foreclosure crisis isn’t something that happened on a certain day, but in the same way, we are living through a time in history that we won’t ever forget.
Are things getting better? There are a lot of optimistic voices lately. The low inventory is resulting in multiple offers on some properties, and that’s something. There were many nice new listings on Tour yesterday: Thursday Tour included 11 in Alamo, 10 in Blackhawk, 17 in Danville, and 10 in San Ramon. In Alamo, I was open at www.136ByerleyCourt.com, a beautiful home in Stonebridge Estates (open Saturday and Sunday 1-4).
Inventory numbers now look like so:
Alamo – 63 (-1)
Danville – 153 (same)
Blackhawk – 35 (same)
San Ramon – 135 (+5)
Dublin – 80 (-7)
Pleasanton – 114 (-6)
Lafayette – 53 (same)
Orinda – 32 (-5)
Pleasant Hill – 67 (+1)
Walnut Creek – 116 (+6)
Rossmoor – 82 (-11)
Antioch – 168 (+1)
It’s interesting, as always, to glance at what is happening in Antioch. Inventory (after spiking at 1300 homes in 2007 and then settling around 200 for the past couple of years) is now at record lows. Agents in my office that work in this area told me that it’s resulting in multiple offers on homes, driving the sales price over appraised value–but buyers are often willing to pay the difference. This is certainly a positive sign of recovery.