I was on a roll, cleaning up and preparing for Pesach weeks in advance. Proud of myself for having the house, and especially my kitchen, all ready, I decided to take some time to clean out the worst place in the house — my office. Usually I do the basic stuff and move on to more important priority items on my desk, but this year I decided to take on my file cabinets which hold closed files of sales I completed over 20 years ago.
These file cabinets have been staring at me for years. Although I’ve reminded myself countless times that it’s ridiculous to still be keeping closed sales files dating back 20 years, I somehow never had the time to go through these files and finally get rid of stuff that is long overdue for tossing.
I started with the oldest, but I couldn’t throw them out without at least briefly looking through them, since “you never know” — there really might be something in there that is valuable and important for how I am selling today, and G-d forbid I should throw it out and then realize that I needed it.
What a walk down memory lane! There were houses I sold on Sealy and Muriel in Lawrence in the $200,000s. You cannot buy even a hut there today for those prices — and back then we brokers thought those prices were very expensive.
In back Lawrence, there was a mansion on close to an acre with three floors, a tiny kitchen, and a cellar instead of a basement. We brokers shook our heads and said, “Who is going to pay more than $400,000 for this piece of junk?” Someone did, and my file reminded me that they paid $600,000 — unheard of then!
In some more files I leafed through, I found colonials on Church and Barnard between West Broadway and Peninsula, older homes that were getting $150,000 to $175,000. One on Church with a larger property even made it to $200,000. Back then, only buyers who were just starting out would buy on the ABC blocks in Woodmere, since who else would ever consider buying a house that was directly under the flight path. Who is having the last laugh now?
Boy, what I could do now with available houses on those streets at those prices!
As you can see, I am not making very much headway through this cabinet, although I have managed to push my way through to 1992. I guess I should feel it an accomplishment to get this far, but I was really hoping to be able to dump at least 50% of this file cabinet and end up with just 10 years’ worth of closed sales folders.
Well, I guess there is always next year, and I will have to content myself with the satisfaction of at least breaking ground on this ongoing project. What would have happened if there was no Pesach to clean for? Would I have had even more forsaken stuff piled up here waiting to be dumped? I don’t even want to think about it! I especially do not want to think about those closed sales prices that I found in those folders from back then. But I now understand why my parents always speak about “the good ole days!”
Anessa Cohen lives in Cedarhurst and is a licensed real-estate broker (Anessa V Cohen Realty) and a licensed N.Y.S. loan officer (FM Home Loans) with over 20 years of experience offering full-service residential, commercial, and management real-estate services as well as mortgage services. She can be reached at 516-569-5007 or via her website, www.AVCrealty.com. Readers are encouraged to send questions or comments to anessa@AVCrealty.com.