There are things that must be remembered on Memorial Day Weekend. First, this is a weekend to remember. Not to remember what it’s like to grill and to boat, nor to remember what it’s like to make a jello desert in the shape and colors of the American flag. No, this is a weekend to remember those who gave far more than I’ll ever give to anything. Here’s to those men and woman who died so that my kids can sleep in their beds at night without a single care in the world.
The other far less important thing to remember this weekend is that Memorial Day Weekend, try as we might, is not summer. It’s not. It sort of feels like summer, and depending on the direction of the wind and the intensity of the sunshine, it can seem just like summer. But alas, summer it is not. This is a warm up for summer, a weekend where we work through the kinks. A weekend where we practice what it is to spend the summer lakeside. If you’ve made the decision to hand your weekends over to Lake Geneva, then this is a weekend to sharpen your vacation skills. Keep that in mind and a rainy day or two won’t ruin your life.
There was an auction last week, that of a house on the North Shore of Geneva. It was advertised as an estate, but it wasn’t an estate. It was, instead, a very nice house on a nice lot. It sold for $5.35MM, plus a bidder premium, and as a result it will appear as though the auction company worked their magic and beat our little market with their advertising procedure. What actually happened was the house sold for market value, and if the seller had listed the home in the range where it just sold, there could have been a closing a year or two before now. The buyer purchased a very nice house, and in that we can all be pleased. But did the auction really achieve a superior result to a traditional brokerage model? No. How would I have determined the process to have been a market-beating success? If the sales price reflected the prior brokerage list price of $6.495MM.
I closed on a little Willabay condominium yesterday, the first such Willabay closing for me in several years. Willabay is that large condominium complex just to the East of the Williams Bay beach. It borders the Kishwauketoe Conservancy, and so the frogs and herons are the Westerly neighbors. It’s a nice little place, and the two bedroom ground floor unit I just sold for $208,000 backs up to that wooded refuge. It’s also close enough to the lake where a simple peak outside the patio door reveals a very pleasing view of the water. It’s not lakefront, but it’s $208k, with low taxes and low dues, and if you’re wishing to spend your weekends but anywhere in your boring suburban back yard, this is not a bad way to accomplish that goal.
And that brings us back to this weekend. It’s a Holiday, one for remembrance and practice, but it’s a Holiday that, perhaps more than any other, reinforces in each and every one of us a strong desire to spend our weekends doing something different. A block party thrown by your subdivision board is not something different. If you’re confused as to what I mean, consider this quick Memorial Day Weekend litmus test. The answers can only be determined on Tuesday morning, after the weekend has come and gone.
Did you, at any given point between Friday afternoon and Monday night, step inside a shopping mall?
Did you, at any given point between Friday afternoon and Monday night, eat at a Red Lobster, Olive Garden, or Outback Steakhouse?
Did you, at any given point between Friday afternoon and Monday night, mow the lawn at your primary home?
Did you, at any given point between Friday afternoon and Monday night, take a nap in the same bed that you sleep in every weeknight?
If you answered yes to any of the above, your weekend was awful. I can help change that. I might not be a Chicago broker that comes at you with the promise to dazzle you with technology, but I am a Lake Geneva kid who knows everything you’d ever want to know about this lake, and that just might be enough to change your weekends.