We have really been off balance for the past 18 months or so. It doesn’t matter if you talk about houses, food, electronics, or household items. If you are looking for something specific you will need to keep an open mind as you may end up settling for something different.

I have had clients looking for very specific types of homes, but they happen to be in the areas where bidding wars are happening. To avoid the bidding war, you have to get creative. Remember you can do anything to a house, but moving it becomes extremely difficult. So, pick your location and think about all the possibilities you can do with a fixer-upper. Maybe it is not the type of house you were looking for. Can you change up some things to make them more appealing to you? I always wanted a cape-cod-style house because it reminds me of the beach. I ended up with a rancher. Definitely not the beachy look I always wanted. Over some time, I added the colors I wanted on the outside. Changed the shutters, windows, and landscape. We have a weeping willow and lots of bay grass around the yard. We added a larger front porch with white rockers and a sofa. Sitting on the front porch feels like I am at the beach. It isn’t the same view, but I realized it is as relaxing. You can make any place you live what you want. What you can’t do is make it a different location.

Another thing I am noticing is certain things are not easy to find at the grocery store anymore. Who would have thought half and half would be hard to find? When I tried to find veggies already cut up, the store was very limited. My guess is an employee usually does it and they are shorthanded. I am forced to chop my own veggies. It is okay with me. Yes, I will have to get out the knife and hope not to remove a finger or two, but it is fun once you get in the groove of it.

Have you attempted to order a refrigerator or stove lately? A friend wanted a white refrigerator, and it was on order for a year before Lowes finally canceled the order. Stainless steel is the more popular and they can get you several brands, but only what they already have in stock at the store or warehouse. Manufacturers are shorthanded of employees and some of the parts they need are not available. This is bigger than one company or country. It is a worldwide problem. If you have been looking for a new car you may have already encountered the problem. Manufacturers are struggling to get computer chips and some of the parts need to assemble the cars. Without the parts, they cannot ship the cars out to be sold.

To adapt to this new world situation, you need to keep an open mind. No one knows when or if it will ever return to the way it was prior to COVID. What is the old saying? If you get lemons make lemonade.