Jan 17, 2011

Condo Shopping: What's With the Salesperson's Countertop Obsession?

With snow blanketing the East Coast, it's no surprise our out-of-town visitors thought checking out retirement condos in California would be a nice way to spend an afternoon. Better yet, prices are down, as many condo units sit unsold.

So, we waltzed into the sales office of a high-rise luxury condo unit in Oakland. The salesperson looked happy to have a reason to get out of her office -- it appears she's been sitting there since 2008, slowly selling off the inventory.

In fact, she's probably getting a little bored. Which may explain the countertop obsession. While we were looking at the model unit, and asking sensible questions like, "What are the monthly homeowner dues?" (at over $400 per month, I hope she was planning to mention that topic soon), she was pointing out the color of the granite countertops.

Indeed, those countertops do come in an amazing array of colors, from black to green to tan, with evocative names like "Uba Tuba" and "Baltic Brown." They're shiny. They're fun to touch. In fact, the more I looked at them, the more I wanted to be the one choosing countertops for my unit -- which I guess means I would've had to buy a unit. Hmm, if I were a cynic, I might believe that that was her plan all along, to get us thinking about decorating before having made the decision to buy, so that buying becomes almost a foregone conclusion.

Good thing I'm not a cynic.