In this week’s post, I share some musings from the past year, some based on practical advice and others admittedly and patently absurd. For an index of previously published articles, see the index here or visit: www.PrimaveraRealEstate.com and click on The Home Guru icon.
Are Trees the New Enemy? Most of our communities have rigid standards about tree cutting on one’s own property, but after the wrath of Hurricane Sandy and Irene before that, where most damage was caused by fallen trees, probably more people are thinking about having their homes bask in bright sunlight, rather than sequester in deep shade.
He’s Boiling, She’s Freezing: Men have more insulating muscle than women do, so sometimes people living in the same household have a hard time agreeing on a room temperature. To the rescue are the home heating/air conditioning systems with several zones. But what about in a shared bedroom? An electric blanket with two controls is one answer. Another is, he strips, she bundles.
Living Life with a “Neatnik” can have its benefits, but it also has its downside, like constant reminders to the “messynik” that he do his fair share in keeping things orderly. It was a great joy for me when I discovered and shared with my wife a book called “A Perfectly Kept House is the Sign of a Misspent Life.”
St. Joseph Strikes Again: I’ve told several\stories about the lore attached to burying a St. Joseph statue on the property of a home seeking a buyer. My favorite is about a home owner who tried several underground locations and positions for the statue, but none worked. Frustrated, he threw the statue in the trash, only to learn a week later that the town dump had been sold.
Yes, Size Does Matter, But Make Mine Smaller, Please: With the housing boom following World War II, Americans became obsessed with size, from larger cars and wrist watches to the size of burgers and orders of fries that have made the majority of us fat. The most visible evidence of this obsession has been the increasing size of our homes, growing from 1,000 sq. ft. in 1950 to 2,400 sq. ft. today. In the greener future, we will want smaller living spaces, and hopefully the association made between men and their cars will not also apply to their houses.
I Never Say “It Sucks” Except for My Vacuum, which Doesn’t: Despite manufacturers’ claims, my wife and I have never found a vacuum cleaner that really performs the job as promised. At present we have three different vacuum cleaners in our broom closet and, to coin a phrase, they all suck.
Woof, Woof can be music to a dog owner's ears, but not when trying to sell a home. Real estate agents tend to moan when they book a showing and instructions with the listing office might include a comment like "Dog's name is Killer, but don't be alarmed. His bark is bigger than his bite."
Will We All Return to Dust? Did you know that household dust is composed mostly of our own flaking skin? If we are uncomfortable when our house is dusty, is that being uncomfortable in our own skin?
The Great American Front Porch is disappearing from residential architecture in America. Blame the advent of television and computers that keep people inside. The society that created the need to socialize with neighbors and passersby on the street has vanished. Those who still build front porches are expressing a longing for the way things used to be.
Confessions of a Weeding Addict: One might judge my mental state at any given time by how well my garden is weeded. When I’m anxious, I’m out there in the yard yanking and pulling. When weeds are more in evidence, my friends and neighbors can assume that I’ve not had much need for any occupational therapy and I’m safe to be around. In the winter time when plants and weeds alike are asleep, it’s riskier to hazard a guess.
Must We Have Toilet Humor? Two thoughts on that subject: The design of the elongated toilet bowl surely was designed to accommodate the male anatomy. Trading up from a circular bowl to an elongated one is for a guy like going from jockeys to boxer shorts. And recently, when I was told that the Kohler “smart” toilet seat could be programmed to heat to any temperature, I inquired, “but there’s no chance that I could burn my butt, is there?”
Of Death and Taxes: We’ve all heard the expression that the only certainties in life are death and taxes, and, while we can’t do anything about the inevitability of death, we can try to negotiate property taxes by grieving them. If a tax grievance is in your future, I wish you good luck. And if somehow you manage to negotiate the inevitability of death, write and let me know how you did it.
Bill Primavera is a licensed Realtor® affiliated with Coldwell Banker and a marketing practitioner who writes regularly as The Home Guru. For questions or comments about the housing market, or selling or buying a home, he can be reached directly at 914-522-2076.