Our House is a Very, Very, Very Fine House

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.

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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 Β 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

20 responses to “Our House is a Very, Very, Very Fine House

  1. Madness and houses, perfect mix. Shame that the uploader would not let me listen to it over here where they are from, but I can hum it to myself.There are a number of estate agents phrases ( that’s what we call them over here, as if every Englishman has an estate! Pah! ) that we use, that might be useful, but the one to really beware of is: “in need of modernisation”, which means derelict. Incidentally I once did a film poster for the European market for a film called the Money Pit starring an unknown Tom Hanks, in the brief to me they described the house as the star of the movie. It’s well worth a watch.

  2. HGTV has spoiled people for the real world. What’s your move, Phil? Are you moving moving – like to a new city? Best of luck, my friend!

  3. Those picky people can go get bent
    I always like to buy a car that has a few dents.

  4. Wonderful post, Phil!
    Yes, a home is what you make it. When we fell in love with our house, it was literally dirty and dingy and smelled old. There were cobwebs and bad paint colors, misspelled wall words, and a garage you couldn’t even see the floor of. We knew she was ours, and we bought her, and continue to make her our own. That’s how to do it.
    Good luck with your sale! πŸ™‚

  5. This made me want to buy a house and make it my home. Good luck on the sale and move. The right person who will cherish your home will come by.

  6. Good luck. If I had your porch, I would do the same thing.

  7. I loved this – I’ve never owned my own place, but when I buy a house I’m focusing on the fact that I’m buying a home, not a set of bricks… Have you had any offers yet?

  8. Pingback: The Ten Most Popular Phil Factor Posts of 2016 | The Phil Factor

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