May 16, 2024
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May 16, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

COVID, Real Estate and Life

Now that we have embarked on Elul 5780, with the acronym, Ani Ledodi Vdodi Li, it is time for reflection on both our past and how to improve our future with Hashem’s guidance and oversight. This past year in particular was unprecedented and strange since we look back to a time period where we had to unlearn all the middot, niceties and warmth we were brought up to incorporate as a caring person. No longer can we proudly walk the street while giving the passerby a warm greeting, to the point of an acceptable new appropriate behavior of “rudely” crossing the street to avoid contact. A warm greeting was always in the category of expectation and held in high esteem of Jewish values. Well, the expectation has reversed itself and now the greeting may be reduced to, “Please raise your mask, it fell under your nose.” With mask and gloves, we are now required to space the distance between us and our friends to further ensure minimal contamination.

What has transpired in the last five months? For me, it was a time of introspection. Having been lucky to have a real estate career in helping prospects buy and sell houses, I did keep busy working with clients within the guidelines of proper COVID protocol, while wearing a mask and gloves, and distancing with Purelling along the way… yes, Purelling has become a verb, since we must Purell frequently between any social connections. As strange and enigmatic as COVID is, the nature of real estate reflected that abrupt change. All of a sudden, with clients flocking to the suburbs to leave the city, the desirability of a metropolitan life of close quarters now on the wane of, we are currently saturated with client buyers, truly making it a sellers’ market. Clients now who are making earnest offers have no choice but to recognize that their offer is being weighed against 15 others. Then, the pressure of the blind “highest and best” ultimatum demand evolves only a few days later to choose the lucky candidate, inciting offers to increase out of fear of loss of the house to someone else. I used to be happy for the buyer who made the offer to start working on the transaction to create the synergy between the buyer and seller for an agreement of terms and “meeting of the minds.” However, now my biggest fear is my buyers being out-bid. Many clients are even making offers without physically getting into the house, basing the decision to purchase on virtual-tour presentations due to the virus restraints.

So, times have changed drastically. Over the long haul, I did my own nails, cut my husband’s hair in my master bedroom suite turned beauty salon, cleaned out all the closets that needed attention, Zoomed on everything life has to offer and watched (from a distance) my grandchildren and neighborhood kids fill the streets bike riding to prepare for the Tour de Bergen.

Now, to focus on…family, health, community, career, health, weight, sustainability…and, best part and biggest nachas, my first granddaughter is getting married. The most thrilling simcha to share for my family’s next generation of smachot.

Slowly getting back to life the best we can…Happy Rosh Hashanah to all! And, with all that we’ve gone through, make it the best Rosh Hashanah ever!

By Ruby Kaplan

 

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