Li's Blog: Who knew?

Who knew?

Who knew that the ten week closures in my province would unleash a storm of real estate activity?   Who knew that happy techies and millenials and retirees, thinking that a city lifestyle, walking distance to every lovely little thing to enjoy, might turn out to be a negative?  Who knew that the online world would be so quick to be put in place?  

Well, all sudden shifts only seem that way when sudden change hits.   Often, the changes were subtly there, earlier.  

The rise of the rural area as a lifestyle choice seems to be a solid one.   When they sell, those city mice are off to find their forever home in a country mouse setting.   The trouble?   Lack of inventory, and we all know what that means...rising prices.  

With the ability for everyone to consider a work-from-home lifestyle, with zoom and its alternatives that allow for meetings, distance-learning education choices, and long-distance family contacts, we are seeing a quieter time evolve.  Is this what life used to be like before the tech revolution? 

In my rural/recreational area, all businesses may not survive.   Some will be able to pivot into the online world, and others not.  Is that just the way of all change, whether fast or slow?   Probably. 

I always think real estate agents are the canaries in the mine of change.  We see shifts before many others even get a glimmer.   The purchase of a home is a shift-ometer.   Are single family homes in suburbs or rural areas the latest flavour of the month?   Maybe.   And what about all the money that has been pumped into the systems in all countries.   Are some people looking to land bank, just to preserve capital?   Lots of questions, and as we segue into Fall, we may start to see some answers.  

Meantime, back to the crystal ball of real estate sales...a director of outcomes?   Maybe.



How may I help you to discover special Salt Spring Island & the Southern Gulf Islands?   Call me!

Comment balloon 23 commentsLi Read • August 27 2020 08:06PM


Hi Li.... once the city peeps experience life in the country, they never leave.... everything is online and that can be done from any where you love...

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired ) 2 months ago

Hello Li - it's interesting to note that informed(and aware) local real estate agents can be canaries in the mine of change.  It's certainly an interesting match for self-proclaimed industry psychics who try to "predict" such things, huh?  

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 2 months ago

Lots of animals in that rural countryside, mice, canaries who knows what else might turn up. Love the analogies you give. It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out eventually.

Posted by Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line (Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400) 2 months ago

Hi Li-what a wonderful post. When we returned to Houston, we chose to actually move just outside of it, in Cypress. We have all of the benefits that Houston has to offer and none of the traffic. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) 2 months ago

You're right that real estate professionals can see changes before most know things are changing. There are many people moving to my area from busier areas. Interesting!

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty) 2 months ago

Well, I know Barry Habib, Dr. Lawrence Yun Chief Economist of NAR knew this would happen and so did Brian Buffini of Buffini & Company knew as they were both predicting in back in March & April I knew too 

Posted by Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets, & Host of Postcards From Success Podcast (Big Block Realty 858.232.8722) 2 months ago


Love your analogy to the canaries given the world's health crisis.  Wishing you a wonderful week.  A


Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) 2 months ago

So appreciate, always, hearing from you all!

Posted by Li Read, Caring expertise...knowledge for you! (Sea to Sky Premier Properties (Salt Spring)) 2 months ago

It seems so unlikely that real estate would be booming right now, but it certainly is in my area as well.

Posted by Brian England, MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ (Vacasa) 2 months ago

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) 2 months ago

Good morning Li. Chicago is seeing many flee and the future may see a stampede. Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) 2 months ago

Hi Li Read - this certainly is the trend.  And why pay high prices to live in the city when you can have a better quality of life.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) 2 months ago

Good morning Li Read ,

Loved your post and so glad that Kathy Streib featured it in her "Ah-ha" moments for the week. We are seeing this trend because you should live where you love. Working from home means you don't have to commute. They just need to improve on the Internet in outlying areas but that will happen too as the demand increases.

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899) 2 months ago

Hi Li Read

Coming from the city and suburban life, I was always concerned about being disconnected from shopping.  Sedona and small-town living are my way of life now and I would never go back. It is fun to visit the city but I won't live there. 

Posted by Sheri Sperry - MCNE®, (928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR® (Coldwell Banker Realty) 2 months ago

Li oh yes we're seeing many people fleeing some states in particular and looking for a more laid back lifestyle in my area. Have several folks in town this week and I'm looking forward to helping them find their new home and lifestyle.

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, CRS, Broker, Instructor, 602-380-4886 (HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000) 2 months ago

Hi Li:

Love this post and it says so much about what's going on these days.

I loved living in an urban setting when we were in Boston, but prefer things as they are the burbs but close to all I want. I can always vsit the city (LA, San Diego) when I want, and we do.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California, Inc.) 2 months ago

yes, canaries can sense approaching doom.  rural is now being highly sought.  make hay while the sun shines!  Thx

Posted by John Henry, Florida Architect, Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design (John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc.) 2 months ago

Food for thought for sure.  Good points here.  The housing industry can pivot and change and well take note.  Reminds me of the fall of 2004.  I bought a condo conversion to flip, closing in September.  I saw others taking longer to sell so I dropped my price and got out of there. Others were too proud of their prices and saw the market start to change for condos.  Homes followed and we all know the rest of that story!  

Posted by Jan Green, HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN (Value Added Service, 602-620-2699) 2 months ago

So interesting to see the changes in the market due to the pandemic!  I have heard of so many sellers taking off for the wide open spaces...could it be a phase? I don't think cities will die.

Posted by Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR, Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area (Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes) about 2 months ago

So so appreciated all of your thoughtful comments...thank you!!

Posted by Li Read, Caring expertise...knowledge for you! (Sea to Sky Premier Properties (Salt Spring)) about 2 months ago

If there has been a positive side to this pandemic, it has been the ability to carve out a little more time to contemplate the direction our lives are taking.  Folks are looking around in the spaces they now dwell, and asking themselves questions!

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) about 1 month ago

Li Read - You are truly an original and an excellent writer! Your language and how you explain things in your profession for your local areas are exceptional!  I loved the analogy to "the canaries in the mine of change."


Posted by Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP, Selling Homes Changing Lives (DFW FINE PROPERTIES) 17 days ago

Li, Nice analogy, the purchase of a home or a season of purchases certainly can and does set trends.  Real estate is one shift after another - a "shiftometer."  Clever.

Posted by Kris Collis, Associate Broker, Professional Results you Expect 702-574-8102 (Smart Way America Realty) 12 days ago