I’m trying to sell my house.
But I don’t have two cats in the yard. If I did, one potential buyer would want three cats and another would want only one.
Apparently house buyers nowadays believe that somewhere there is a perfect house that’s tailor-made to their tastes. Guess what? My house isn’t it, and unless you pay an enormous sum and wait a year to have a house made to your personal specifications and tastes, that perfect house doesn’t exist. I was going to go on one of my sarcastic rants about the stupidity of home buyers, but in very un-Phil-like fashion I decided that putting that kind of negative vibe out into the world would not help sell my house. I’m also hoping that the two best songs ever written about houses will help too. It is Music Monday after all. You know how the saying goes: You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. What follows is my open letter to all potential buyers of my home:
Dear House Shopper,
Congratulations! You have come across a wonderful house that has been well taken care of, and significantly upgraded, over the last decade. In the price range you’re looking at, you’re going to have a hard time finding this much square footage that is move-in ready. What does move in ready mean? It means that there’s nothing you have to fix to live here. Is the house perfectly decorated the way you would want? Of course not. I don’t know what your tastes are just like the previous owners didn’t know mine. We changed everything. That’s how you make a house a home.
Is some of the wood trim and baseboards a little scuffed? Yes they are. Mostly likely from boys or dogs chasing each other up and down the stairs as they played hide and seek. Those dents on the inside of the garage door? My oldest son created them as he taught himself to skateboard in there one winter. Does that peony bush in the backyard look a little overgrown and unruly? Of course it does. How else would you expect it to stop wiffle ball home runs from flying into the neighbors yard? Are there a few scratches in the sink? Maybe a stain or two on the rug that’s hidden by an end table? Of course. This house is full of imperfections. Do you know why it’s not perfect? Because we lived there. We lived there. If you can get through life without bumping into anything please let me know your secret. On second thought, don’t. I don’t want to know. If life doesn’t cause a few bumps and scratches now and then, you’re not living it right.
If you’re house shopping, don’t look at a house and decide what it is. Look at a house and imagine what it can become. That’s how you make a house a home. When I moved into my house, it had wall to wall orange shag carpet from 1978 and patterned wallpaper everywhere. It doesn’t anymore, but that’s not what makes a house a home. It’s not the right paint color in the dining room or tile in the foyer. Once you buy the house, you own it. Just like life, it’s yours and if you don’t like something, you can change it.
Right now, I’m sitting on my front porch with my feet up, having a glass of wine and writing this. What will you do on this front porch when it’s yours?
Have a great Monday! ~Phil