I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream
During the pandemic, an amusement park in Japan banned people from yelling while on the rollercoaster as a way to curb transmission. They posted warning signs reading, “Please scream inside your heart.”
That is exactly how I feel about fall right now—I am screaming inside my heart! There’s nothing more exhilarating than a new school year and the fresh start that comes along with it. Fall is blank notebooks and sharpened pencils and sneakers so white they’re practically blinding. Fall is all about possibilities and new pathways.
I love everything that fall brings, from the crisp, clean air to the cozy sweaters to the Friday night lights to the leaves crunching underneath the heels of my cute boots. Sure, it’s still ninety-something degrees in Atlanta, and hot enough in places like Texas and Arizona to bake cookies on your dashboard, but the minute those big yellow school buses begin rolling, it’s pumpkin spice season in my heart.
No matter how much we love and cherish our children, no matter how much we sacrificed to get them in the right school district, after an entire summer of togetherness, time is up and every parent I know is in high spirits. (Often, even long after their kids are grown and have finished their schooling.) So, in this week’s newsletter, we’re gonna celebrate fall, regardless of what the thermometer reads.
When the heat melts me into a Glennda-shaped puddle on the tennis courts this week, please know I’ll be screaming (with joy) inside my heart.
THE REALITY OF REAL ESTATE
WWWBD (What Would Warren Buffett Do?)
I am all about the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so I won’t lie and say it’s not still rough out there. Mortgage rates continue to rise upward and they just matched a 22-year high. Mortgage demand has dropped, as have the demands for refinancing. I’m reading predictions that the housing market has hit rock bottom and that experts predict an 8% rate for 30-year fixed mortgages.
Y’all. Deep breath in, deep breath out.
But like queen Taylor Swift says, we’re gonna shake it off. Let’s focus on the positive. The good news is that mortgage applications to buy a spankin’ new home are up more than 35% since last July. In fact, Warren Buffett is so bullish on new home stocks, Berkshire-Hathaway has added new positions in homebuilder stocks like Lennar, D.R. Horton, and NVR.
I don’t have a crystal ball, but Mr. Buffett sure seems to, so I am interpreting this as a good omen. Speaking of buying a newly-built home, you likely can’t go wrong if you guide your clients to new properties in good school districts.
“What makes a good district, Glennda?” you might ask. Well, there’s no single criteria, but the best tend to have the most skilled teachers, smaller class sizes, and challenging academics, with a side of lots of extracurriculars and an emphasis on safety and support.
When you’re advising your buyers about school districts, be sure to point out their test scores, graduation rates, and the ratio of students to teachers. Introduce those buyers to other parents in the district to find out their experience. (And be sure to ask them exactly how surreal it is to hear their kids practicing their Mandarin or Italian or Russian or whatever bonus languages that school teaches that we never had the chance to learn.)
You’ll also want to point them to the national rankings. According to Niche.com’s 2023 survey, the best school districts in the United States are:
1) Adlai E. Stephenson High School, No. 125 in Lincolnshire, IL
2) Glenbrook High School District 225 in Glenview, IL (I think this is where Ferris Bueller went to school, which explains why he was dangerously clever)
3) Great Neck Public Schools in Great Neck, NY
4) Jericho Union Free School District in Jericho, NY
5) Syosset Central School District in Syosset, NY
6) Roslyn Union Free School District in Roslyn, NY
7) New Trier Township High School District No. 203 in Northfield, IL
8) West Lafayette Community School Corporation in West Lafayette, IN
9) Palo Alto Unified School District in Palo Alto, CA
10) Eanes Independent School District in Austin, TX
As y’all know, the best school districts come at a cost, but if the children are our future, isn’t it worth it to invest in them?
However, if the current inventory level means you can’t get your buyers in the most attractive school district, fear not, for things are changing.
Do you really need college? In an era where you can learn anything on YouTube and Google or you can deploy the assistance of chat GPT… Wil… See more
SUGAR & SPICE REAL ESTATE ADVICE
Reading Is Fundamental
I used to joke that I wrote the book on selling luxury real estate.
Well, it’s not a joke anymore!
Since our theme is going back to school, I’m inviting you to read a book. Specifically, I’m talking about the ebook I wrote with James Harris and David Parnes.
It’s a free download here, so there’s nothing to lose… and everything to gain!
ONCE UPON A TIME WITH GLENNDA
Perception Is Everything
It doesn’t matter where you (or your children) start in life. Ultimately, what matters is what you do with the tools you’re given and I, Glennda Baker, am living proof.
For me, I was in the fourth-grade slow learning class, taught by Miss Cohen, whom I still despise more than forty years later. I’ve told y'all before that school was never ever my thing, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t learn what was interesting to me, or that I’d be barred from a successful future.
What’s funny is that I did not know I was in the slow learning class. My mom told me, “Punkin’, now you know you just don't read a lot and you don't comprehend well.” Well, that didn’t sit right with me, so I told her, “If you tell me something, I can comprehend just fine.” I went to school when Jesus was a baby and school districts didn’t have the level of IEPs they have now, so I didn’t have any diagnosis other than that of being a slow reader. Nobody delved deeper into the reasons behind it. Did I need glasses? Was I bored? Who knows! Also, I am a voracious romance novel reader now, so it wasn’t that I couldn’t read. Maybe it was more like no one was offering me anything that made me want to turn the page?
Anyway, I told my mama, “I don't understand why I'm in this class with all the other people who are slow.” She put her hand on my shoulder and looked me in the eyes, saying, “It's not slow; it's dedicated to your reading enrichment, punkin’.” Well, that sold me! I thought I was in some fancy enrichment class… until Nicki Greiner goes, “No! We're in the slow learning class.”
This just goes to show that your perception is your reality. When I thought I was in the enrichment class, I thought the workload was so much easier and I was into it. Then when I found out I was in the slow learning class, like that, I was just done and over it.
So, don't think that just because somebody else told you so (ahem, Miss Cohen), you’re a slow learner or whatever other label they slapped on you. It’s you who gets to decide who and what you are by the effort you bring to the table.
Now, God only knows where that witch Miss Cohen is, but I guaran-damn-tee you she never sold—or bought herself—a big-ass house.
Watch This Space!
Y’all, school is truly about to be back in session, so watch this space. I have read every bit of your feedback, and I know how much you love seeing me talk to gurus, so we’re about to double down on them, featuring them every week!
I’m about to chat with one crazy-good guru after the other. We are busy filming now and, oh my stars and stripes, I could not be more excited for what’s about to happen next. Stay tuned!
Learn It, Live It
Never let anyone else dictate how brightly your star shines.”