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Signs of the Times?

By Datta Khalsa, Broker

Over the past few days, I have seen literally dozens of plastic yard signs popping up across town, placed by some enterprising individual on the same ubiquitous wire stands that are used for political messages—only these signs have a different message entirely.

The headline reads WE HELP YOU LEAVE CALIFORNIA, with sub-headings SELL YOUR HOME, FIND YOUR NEW HOME, SAFELY MOVE YOUR BELONGINGS and START A NEW LIFE. At the bottom of the sign, it directs you to a site RELOCATEEXPERT.COM, and so for a second time this month, I took the bait and clicked on an unfamiliar site to see what this was about.

What you find when you click is an entity based in Las Vegas with an address that looks like an anonymous PO Box. The banner page has what appears to be a stock photo of a town I didn’t recognize, and a message addressed to anyone in any state seeking to make a move either in-state or out-of-state.

Their “Meet the Team” page introduces the viewer to an agent in Tennessee with a team of self-titled Relocation Experts, each with a brief bio introducing themselves as they stand at the ready to refer to you to their network of moving companies, lenders and agents. They also have a list of top relocation destinations, which predictably consists of East Tennessee, North Georgia and Chattanooga. There’s even a survey form you can fill out, which asks “What excites you when considering a relocation to another state?” and goes on to give you suggestions of “4 seasons, no state income tax, less political restraint, and strong community values, etc.”

So basically, these signs are advertising a real estate team in Tennessee who will gladly sell you a home in their area or make a few calls and refer you to anywhere else in the country and get a fee from whomever they send you off to for the favor. All very enterprising, and yet you can count on any place in the country having their own issues that you can grow just as sick of as some might be with California.

While this team from Tennessee may have some valid points, most locals around still agree that if you can afford to live around here it still beats the heck out of just about anywhere else in-state or out-of-state. The ongoing challenge is figuring out how to maintain a sustainable lifestyle in the face of high rents, high interest rates and home prices that are still amongst the least affordable in the country.

For answers to these challenges, you will likely find it more productive to speak with a trusted local professional about options such as adding an ADU or junior ADU to help with the mortgage on your current home, or the re-emerging trend of using a wrap-around note to take title subject to a seller’s existing lower interest rate when buying their home. Generally, where there’s a will you can usually find a way to make things work.

Then again, there’s always that team in Tennessee.

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