A major case of sticker shock

COMMENTARY

MILT THOMAS

I received this postcard in the mail yesterday and the first thing I noticed was the price on this small, basic home. At first I thought it was a joke, no way a house this size could sell for that price, even if it was on the waterfront. Then I thought it must be very special, like inside was John Dillinger’s vault, or the building was a storage shed at Mar-a-Lago.  But clearly, it was a realtor’s postcard (name blurred to protect the flood of fake inquiries sure to follow) and the address was in North Hollywood. I know real estate is much more expensive in South Florida, but this is ridiculous.

Wait a minute…there is no North Hollywood in Florida – but there is in California.

I flipped the postcard over and it was addressed to a person  in North Hollywood, California. So how did I get it? I have certainly received other people’s mail and then either walked it over to the appropriate neighbor or put it back in the mailbox. But to mis-deliver a postcard 3,000 miles away? It had to go through the hands of more than one person, more than one post office, and many screw-ups to arrive in Vero Beach.

Part of the answer could be found in the cancelled stamp – Orlando FL. So this postcard was mailed from Santa Ana, California to an address in North Hollywood, but was placed in a bag of mail headed to Orlando, (possibly from Disneyland to DisneyWorld?). Then it somehow ended up in a truck headed to Vero Beach, where it was sorted – by zipcode? Certainly if machine sorted, this zip code would have triggered some type of response – the machine would have shut down, the postcard ejected, maybe stamped “undeliverable” and returned to California. Assuming nothing happened at that point, then an actual live person would have to sort out the mail by carrier route and had a good laugh with his co-workers before tossing it in the trash. But if it passed that threshold, then our postman or woman would bring the postcard to our mailbox. All this with a North Hollywood address visible to the naked eye.

Aside from the all the funniest case scenarios to explain how it came to me, is the more important issue – $790,000 for a mini-house with no garage or even a carport (the driveway running past the house apparently leads to someone’s garage), in an apparently treeless, and primarily grass-less postage stamp property. And that was the selling price! We can guess what level of income would be necessary to pay that price or if the buyer paid cash, what line of work. But who would want to live in it, assuming that level of wealth. There’s only one bathroom for crying out loud!

I am never complaining about inflationary home prices again – as long as I stay right here in bargain priced Vero Beach.

 

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