Saturday, April 01, 2023

“We just need to move already!” exclaimed a customer to me only hours ago in what must be the succinct and “distilled” version of what all buyers are feeling these days. For many it’s the frustration of having not been able to capitalize on such historically low interest rates and for others it’s less the financial piece of the puzzle and more the bewilderment of why suddenly everyone in America decided that now is not the precise time to sell their home and adapt to something new. There appears to be less focus on transitioning these days as opposed to our laser focus on maintaining and holding on to what we already have.

And with all this, I sense an anxiety I haven’t seen before in the myriad questions I am asked when out and about in town these days. It’s not that I haven’t been asked for a market update while standing in the produce aisle before, it’s the anticipation of the person asking the question—as if they already know the answer and are just looking for me to validate their own lack of clarity and confusion over what is happening to real estate sales and overall value.

All of these sentiments are creating the backdrop for how each of us thinks about our own future and the future of our families, and not surprisingly this perspective has led many in our communities to just want to “stay put!”

Is the message of the sukkah many of us will enter in the coming days the opposite? When our inclination is to “stay put” inside our homes after the long toil of the summer months the Torah now commands us to go outside and celebrate with the Creator. Should this be taken as a message that we must all be prepared to move?

I would like to think the message of the sukkah is ambivalent as to where one eventually chooses to make their permanent home. It’s precisely the mindset all of us should take to heart as we “wait and see” how the real estate market evolves. Our expectations that we can anticipate what is coming next, that we are able to “know” exactly what will transpire in this market or that market is the kind of thinking the Yom Tov of Sukkot is looking to modify. We invest much in securing our homes, our families and our lives and this is praiseworthy. But to have expectations as to what will be next? It’s like trying to predict whether it will be raining over our sukkahs this year, or do blue skies and sunshine prevail!

Nechama Polak is the broker of record and owner of V and N Group LLC located at 1401 Palisade Ave in Teaneck. [email protected] 201 826 8809.

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