Feb 25, 2022

Spring Real Estate Trends: Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.

Our housing consultant gives us the latest and, well, latest

By Ed Goldman

With spring lurking just around the corner—oh, maybe lurking a few blocks away, what’s the diff?—residential real estate analysts have been trend-spotting like crazy, hoping to be the first to predict The Next Big Thing.

Fortunately, my longtime housing consultant, Aorta “Skip” Towne, dropped by the other day to illuminate me. He arrived fashionably attired in a business suit and complementary mask—Skip couldn’t care less about COVID, he just needs to hide his identity, especially in large groups, where he says he’s concerned he’ll be “served” (I don’t believe he’s referring to a  crowded restaurant). 

Edgy Cartoon

Reversal of Mortgage

Plopping down on my living-room couch and demanding “heavy hors d’oeuvres,” Skip gave me a sneak preview of what’s on the horizon as we transition from a cold, unforgiving winter to a warmer, indifferent and doubtless perilous spring: 

OMICRONDOMINIUMS: Skip says these will be the rage or, as he wittily puts it, “contagious.” Consisting of spacious rooms that allow proper distancing for you, your family and your positive-testing dwarf hamster, these tri-level homes will feature identical designs on each floor: two bedrooms, two baths, a kitchen and a casual room he calls the “den-tilator.” (“It’s the same basic concept of ‘the man cave’ but with an IV drip station where you’d usually put your caroms table,” he explains). 

“These omicrondos will allow couples and their children to lead completely independent lives,” Skip says, “and may lead to not only greater health but also that elusive fiction known as family harmony.” 

Skip knows whereof he speaks: He recently dated a woman who had 12 children and lived in a shoe. “The woman and I got along great,” he reports, “but the kids never acclimated to my personality or criminal record.”

TEENY HOMES: Also dubbed “mother-in-law flats” provided your mother-in-law is teeny, these 100-square-foot modular houses can be placed anywhere on your property you desire, as long as that adheres to your city’s rigorous building codes: “In your backyard or side yard, atop your garage or at the bottom of your diseased-renal-shaped pool.” 

Skip adds that if one’s mother-in-law should meet with an unfortunate accident, like being run over by a John Deere tractor while playing canasta on the veranda, the Teeny Home can be easily monetized by converting it into a full-service kennel or Air B&C (air bed and crypt) provided survivors of the deceased guests have proper credit and that the deceased are, of course, teeny.

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PHONETREE HOUSES:  Designed for nonprofits in perpetual fundraising mode (i.e., all non profits), PhoneTree Houses allow volunteer board members to live in close proximity as they go about their task of placing solicitation calls when people are just sitting down to dinner—without leaving the comfort of their wallpapered kitchen or paneled den-tilator. 

“Usually, nonprofits like to herd all of the people making calls into a single, stuffy conference room so they can drown each other out and have pizzas delivered a few times during the evening,” Skip avers. (He asked me to use “avers” instead of “says” or “explains” because “Let’s face it, I need all the class I can get. And this way, if I go back to prison, the cons will dub me ‘Professor’ because of my vocabulary.”) But by having the members all eat, live, work and sleep together, he says, “There’s a certain closeness and certain murderous sense of competition that can turn any worthy cause into blood sport.”

Which may, in fact, be The Next Big Thing.

Ed Goldman's column appears almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A former daily columnist for the Sacramento Business Journal, as well as monthly columnist for Sacramento Magazine and Comstock’s Business Magazine, he’s the author of five books, two plays and one musical (so far).