Selling My Little Piece of California

Penelope Trunk linked to me today! Folks, imagine you were a programmer and James Gosling or Linus Torvalds gave you props in front of a very large mailing list. This is how I feel! And my latest blog entry was from like a week ago! I feel so naked.

I haven't posted in a few days because I'm in the middle of a month-long vacation. I'm back in California getting our house ready to sell. If I'm lucky I'll sell it while I'm here too. It has increased in value pretty well in the 7 years since we bought it and we'll use the profit to buy a condo in a new development called Shimao Olive Garden in Beijing, where we live now.

Here's our California house. It's in East Palo Alto and it can be yours for only $800k.

Preparing the house for sale is a HUGE task. And it got even huger last weekend when my girlfriends came over and gave me their recommendations on what I should do to stage the house. They gave me some tough-love messages, as only your true friends will do. My swags in the dining room are outdated:

My chandelier is all wrong:

The color of my walls has no character. All these things will need to be changed before I start showing the house to people.

My friends are all program managers. As we were talking about all the work I have to do, the terms "critical path", "long pole" and "regular status updates to us" came up. And not in jest.

So I'm working my tail off every day and sending them regular status updates every night. With any luck the house will be repainted, clean, staged and ready to show to potential buyers by the middle of next week. I'll try to post something every few days to let you know how I'm progressing.


I recommend a good dose of HGTV's "sell that house" type shows, for inspiration. What a great house though, and amazing location! I imagine it'll go like hotcakes. thanks again for stopping by Melanie... p.s. the math questions at the end of these comments always freak me out. I feel nervous, like I might get it WRONG. what is my problem?

Posted by christin on July 20, 2007 at 02:48 PM CST #

I know what you mean about the math questions! I prefer blogs that ask you decipher some crooked word. That way if you get it wrong you can always blame it on the font... :)

Posted by melanie gao on July 20, 2007 at 03:03 PM CST #

Good luck with your house sale. I was just reading the other day about an interesting characteristic of the housing market in the bay area - the low end is slumping while the high end is quite strong. Another characteristic of the widening gap between the haves and have-nots I guess. BTW I was browsing through the pages of Shimao Olive Gardens and I notice their apartments feature "open bathrooms". This is the first time I have come across this phrase. If "open bathroom" is anything like an "open kitchen" do you still want to buy an apartment there :)

Posted by Shubho on July 20, 2007 at 04:55 PM CST #

So you're never coming back? :-( It is a struggle to own 2 houses, but we figured we never be able to buy back in.

Posted by I18n G.A.L. on July 20, 2007 at 11:59 PM CST #

'hope I get a chance to see you while you're here.

Posted by Sue Weber on July 23, 2007 at 06:15 AM CST #

Shubho I hadn't gotten to the part about the open bathrooms! I have no idea what that even is! The ones in our floor plan are closed. Lately the trendy hotels in Beijing have introduced bathrooms with glass walls. Maybe that's an open bathroom. IMHO that makes way too many assumptions about who might be on the otherside of the bathroom wall.

Andrea we'll probably move back to California when the kids are ready for high school, so in 8-10 years or so. We did think about our ability to 'buy back in' to the Bay Area but we figured if we invest well then it would appreciate in value as fast as our property here would. Especially if you take into account the interest we would be paying on our house loan.

Sue, it would be great to get together while I'm here. Feel free to swing by my house (942 Baines) any time and tell me what you think of the staging. And if I get to MPK I'll come by your office.

Posted by melanie gao on July 24, 2007 at 03:19 PM CST #

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