You're always asking me if home prices are going to continue to rise?  I can tell you one thing, when I stand on my tippy-toes supported by my hot pink stilettos, I take a look, and as far as I can see, there's all kinds of newbies coming to California, in search of an opportunity, and I have no idea where they're going to live.  Tents maybe?  Did you know, I'm a 9th generation Californian (on my grandpa's side)?  My grandma's family, the Starbucks and the Russells came to California to escape Nantucket politics and to search for new opportunities - GOLD.   

Original 49ers, we are.  We came around the Horn of South America, on a ship that docked in Sacramento, California.  I remember being a kid, just having learned that Rosa Parks was around my grandma's age.  She was born in 1909, the year Woman's Day became an actual thing.  I wrote down a bunch of questions for my weekly interrogation of Grandma Erma. 

For my first question, I asked her if racism was scary in California?  She got up, and I followed her to her bedroom.  I watched as she carefully pulled a box from the back of the closet - Having just heard the 49er story the week before, I knew she was going to show me gold, for sure!  She carefully opened the box (my mind chanted, "gold, gold, gold..."), as she pulled out her elementary school pictures, she began to tell a story of her childhood.  One photo showed her arm locked in with her best friend's arm, a little "negro girl."  

I was mostly disappointed there wasn't any gold and totally convinced there was racism, so I asked her if it was difficult for her friend, because she didn't look like everyone else?  I'll never forget the angry look on Grandma Erma's face.  "No!  She was the nicest person I ever met."  I cut her story off again and defensively demanded to know if there was racism in those days!  She barked, "Not in Folsom, California!" 

For generations, we were just miners.  Everyone had the same skin color when they worked.  They all went to the same schools, ate the same food, worked and died, all the same.  No one boasted about how strong or pretty they were based on their skin color or their sex.  She was an O.G. bra burner, fighting to vote, and the men in California helped her distribute pins to wear.

She put off having a family until she was in her 40s, so she could aid in an actual war and survive a depression that was starving people to death.  Despite the times, she worked three jobs and paid off her house, so she could stay home and raise two children with her husband in Oakland, CA.  This is the California my family grew up in.  A State, full of opportunity.  The 5th largest economy in the world, fighting for the rights of other States, by setting examples to live by.  

We aren't just trend setters, we invent the technology that causes the trends to go viral.  So, all you newbies coming to my beloved California, please remember this?  Stop rattling about how awesome you are because of this, that and the other. Assimilate into my culture, start inventing the stuff that's going to make us the 4th most largest economy in the world.  Because if you do this, you'll be able to afford that *luxury condo.  You won't care if you overpay a little for that unique property.  You won't care, because you'll be too busy actually being awesome.

Welcome to Northern California!

Your favorite East Bay Area Realtor ;-)

Elizabeth Russo 

*Luxury Condos?  Yep, we've got some nice ones too.  Don't forget to call me when you're ready to make an offer?  See them by clicking here:

Ah yes, another big question:  What do the mortgage rates look like?  Click here: