The highs and lows of parenting and real estate.

Not Worrying About Things I Can’t Control

This real estate market is making me mental. I know I always say that. It’s always true. But it’s extra with a cherry-stuffed-with-anti-anxiety-meds-served-in-a-vodka-martini on top true right now.

The big problem is that I feel like I have no control. I have all these well-qualified buyers in great price ranges who just really want to buy the right house for their family or their situation. In a normal market this would be the key to the city. I’d be binge shopping at Anthropology and hiring a summer nanny who would do laundry and fix me margaritas when she’s not helping Bennett catch up on his Chinese.

In this market, even if I can find my buyers a decent house with our ridiculously low inventory we’re fighting tens of competing offers, cash buyers and low appraisals. I’ve resorted to begging my Realtor-friends for preferential treatment on their listings and sweet-talking young, inexperienced male listing agents.

My female client last night: I probably should have made out with the listing agent when he walked into that last house we were seeing, huh? Every little bit helps, right?

Me: That or we should have started making out with each other. He looked like the type who might have enjoyed that.

Client: Oh you’re so right. Damn it.

Client’s husband (who’s also my client): Do whatever you need to that will help us get this house, Dear.

I’ve been putting way more mental energy into trying to figure out how to manipulate appraisers into giving us the price we need than is probably ethically prudent:

Plan 1: Have a cookie basket delivered to the house while the appraiser is there and have them spell out the price we need on the cookies over and over again.

Plan 2: Hide in the master closet of the house with a 12-pack of imported beer and a bacon blue cheeseburger and when he opens the door hand them to him, whisper the price we need and say, I was never here.

Plan 3: Leave the appraiser a note in the subject property that says, I have your youngest child. He’s safe and comfortable now, but if you don’t give us the value we need on this house I’m going to stuff him full of movie theater candy and Mountain Dew and bring him back to you. Make the smart choice and no one needs to suffer.

I spend hours pacing back and forth worrying about if a house will go through or if it will fall apart. I have dreams about how to handle a negotiation I need to have in the morning. It’s all giving me a goddamn ulcer (no, it’s not the booze, it’s the stress. Shhh.).

So I’ve decided I can’t worry about things that are out of my control any longer. Sure, I can do my job to the best of my abilities, but I can’t let it eat me alive every day. Instead, I’ve come up with a list of 10 things I’m going to do instead of worrying about stuff I cannot control:

1. Eat chili cheese fritos. Because they’re the best and salt and carbs reduce stress, it’s a proven medical fact*.

2. Work on my turn-out for ballet class.

It's easier if I have help.

3. Schedule the trapeze class my sister bought me for my birthday while watching videos of the last time I went:

4. Figure out what to do about the hideous zombie toenail problem I got from running.

It's making sandal season a problem.

5. Try to pretend I can’t hear my idiot cat vomiting loudly, likely on the carpet in the office Jason spent an entire day shampooing 2 weeks ago.

6. Make my own friendship bracelets because I’ve decided it’s totally back in to do it, if you’re in your mid-30s.

7. Read Fifty Shades of Grey. PSYCH! Not read that book because it’s terrible and the housewives deserve better erotica.

8. Try on everything in my closet and find a bunch of new awesome outfit combinations.

Just because I bought this dress when I was pregnant with Jonas 5 years ago doesn't mean it can't totally work with cowboy boots and the necklace I got in my ABC goodie bag, right?

9. Watch Mad Men on Netflix and wonder about how anyone could ever be attracted to Don and how I can kidnap a hair stylist from the show and force her to do my hair every day.

10. Nap.

*It’s not a proven medical fact.

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