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By Kim Murphy
Murphy and Murphy Southern California Realty 

Real Estate Round-Up: Stay at Home, Part 2


Last updated 4/3/2020 at 4:02am

It is difficult writing a column with so much changing day by day, week by week. It is a very surreal life we’ve been asked to live. Fallbrook, like the entire state, has been asked to stay at home.

Many Fallbrook residents are retired or semi-retired, so the change may not feel dramatic. But I’m betting that even if you fit that category, you are accustomed to volunteering or participating with one of the many nonprofits or special interest groups in Fallbrook. This stay-at-home lifestyle is challenging.

Last week I wrote about some ideas of positive things we can do while we are sequestered. I read messages every day of what mothers are doing with their children, what projects people are taking on in their homes or how residents are supporting the restaurants and online retail shopping. It is uplifting and speaks volumes to the character of Fallbrook residents.

I have been thinking about some of the potential positive effects this required change in behavior could possibly have on how we live and work in the future.

Considering the work from home mandate, if you happen to venture out, you will be pleasantly surprised at the lack of vehicles on the freeways. I drove to Costco Friday, at 3:30 p.m. and arrived safely in 20 minutes. In comparison, during any previous Friday afternoon, I would never have entertained shopping at Costco on a Friday, much less a Friday afternoon, because the drive alone would have taken me close to an hour one-way.

Over 50,000 people regularly commute from Riverside County to San Diego County for work, and now most of them are working from home. Companies have had to go to “zoom” conferencing to bring their employees together. Only essential workers are traveling to work, all others are working from home.

Imagine if this change in habit caused companies to rethink how they do business. Imagine if companies realized that many of the employees that formerly drove to the office every day, could now work from home and collaborate, via tele-conferencing?

If even 25% of the existing workers would be transitioned into work at home status, our freeways would be less congested, our current housing issues would be lessened, people would get to spend more time with their families and less time on the road, stress levels would decrease. This mandatory change could lead to a very positive long-term change.

Another result of people having to stay at home will hopefully bring forth a positive effect on how we connect with each other. I must tell you; the social distancing thing is hard for me.

I’m a hugger, a smiler and an engager, so stepping back from people feels all wrong. But the fact that my husband and I have been in the presence of each other nearly every minute of every day has been great. We are much more relaxed about our business and are finding that we can start and end our days at more reasonable times.

I’m guessing that this same thing is happening to families across California as we get to interact with each other continuously throughout each day. Having the time to notice the importance of everyone in our lives, and the value that person’s character or talents brings to our lives. Once we can get back to hugging and gathering together, it will be perfect for me.

Schooling our children has been brought back home. Colleges and universities have offered online classes for years. Many high schools across the nation have also offered online classes. But now, elementary and middle schools are having to provide support for “home schooling.”

Perhaps as parents embrace this role, they might find that the benefits of teaching their children at home builds a bond wrapped in your own family’s values that equals or exceeds the desire or need to send their child out of the home for schooling.

Imagine if we needed smaller buildings for education, if children were brought together weekly for collaboration, socialization, sports and the arts. Perhaps there could be more funding for those areas of interest, if the basics were being taught at home.

What is the old saying, “necessity is the mother of invention?” We’re seeing innovation occurring in many sectors. Sage Yoga Studio is providing all of their monthly auto-pay students, unlimited online classes, so that while their students are sequestered, they can take more than 20 classes online, at the time they wish in the comfort of their home.

I’m sure there are other fitness groups offering similar ways to connect with their clients. These online classes will not replace the experience that comes from the socialization during a live class, but it can enhance it, once life returns to normal.

This component could become part of the package, so when a student is traveling or required to be home due to a personal situation, they can remain connected with their personal fitness routine.

North Coast Church has always had an online sermon experience, reaching our military around the globe or communities geographically distant.

With the social distancing requirement across the U.S., the numbers of people participating in the weekly online sermons has nearly doubled from the previous physical attendance of 12,000 members. Even North Coast Church’s small group experience will be going online, via Zoom to help keep everyone connected at a time when we may need it most. There are other churches offering this type of connection.

Home has become our workplace, our school, our fitness center and our place of worship. Sounds to me like we are engaging in personal ways that we discarded years ago, all in the name of progress.

Seeing things in this new light, may provide insight on how we create our future in our employment, our education, our health and our gratitude. Home was the center of it all, perhaps it is becoming that again. Just my opinion, while I’m home living my best life.

Kim Murphy can be reached at [email protected] or (760) 415-9292 or at 130 N Main Avenue, in Fallbrook. Her broker license is #01229921, and she is on the board of directors for the California Association of Realtors.


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