“When you walk through the door hang on to your senses. At best you must assume it’s a house of many rooms.” – A House of many Rooms (1995). Recorded by: Mike & The Mechanics. Composers K/A B A Robertson, Brian Alexander, P. Robertson & Michael Rutherford.
Here in north Texas, it’s a terrific time of year for a garage sale. We plan on making it happen. However, our friends, who live next door, are selling their entire house.
No, not that one!
They are a kind, young couple with two toddlers in tow and twins on the way. They MUST move out.
Our neighborhood is in a historical district. In fact, the Dallas, Texas suburb, where we live, was founded in our neck of the woods. So, most of the homes on our street are older, frame-pier & beam style houses with large windows. Their house is particularly small. For only being there for about 3 years, they have put loads of work into the place, refurbishing and repairing. They are very creative, as well. They have built back-porch stairs, a store house and a nice garden of veggies. Just in the short time they have resided there, the upgrades have lifted the value of the home to a nice rate any realtor would be proud of. As of last night, they have had a parade of prospective buyers tour the place, drawing a few offers. Relatively quick for a brand new realtor sign by the curb.
One of the first people who took advantage of the open house tour, said out-loud, “This is MY home! I’ll give them an offer today!” He obviously liked what he saw. Ironically, he mentioned he and his wife live in a newer part of town where they raised a family in a multi-bedroom & bath home that would dwarf the house of interest. He went on to say they are wanting to retire and scale-down now that they are empty-nesters. I hear that! There have been many who have chosen to go the same route.
As I’ve mentioned, our neighbor’s house is old, but solid and well worth the price. We will miss the family.
Yet, sometimes, window-dressing can be deceptive. In 2003, I bought a great house in Williamsville, NY (Buffalo area). It was beautiful, stoutly built by hand from a team of Mennonite contractors in 1968. I was astonished it only had one owner.
As the buying process moved slowly on, a home inspector looked the place over with a fine tooth comb. I walked alongside him, as he almost wore out the batteries of his flashlight, inspecting every nook and cranny. Thirty minutes later, with his stamp of approval, he took my money and off he went. Fast forward to our first week in the house, the furnace died. It was the beginning of November in Buffalo, NY!!!! Need I say more? Yes, it was a big problem. In the end, we found out the inside of the furnace had rusted out. It was the original furnace from 1968. The rust could clearly be seen with a flashlight through the vent on the casing of the old furnace. As it turns out, the home inspector worked closely, almost exclusively, with my realtor. They shared a wallet. ARG! BING! “That’ll be $3,500.00 please.” AND, by law, they had to cut off our gas line until the new one could be installed, no matter how much snow covered our roof. It took another two weeks with nothing but a fireplace, along with loaned-out space heaters. Be careful, deception is often in the list of ingredients to wheeling and dealing.
“The eyes are the window to your soul…” – William Shakespeare –
I guess I can’t judge the realtor and inspector too harshly. In life, I have had to sell myself over and over again with certain temptations. You probably have too. Right? Sure, you give someone the truth in an interview for that job of a lifetime, but maybe there’s a bit of fudge in that cake of a resume’. Or, you are introduced to prospective in-laws for a dinner and you found you smiled way too much for no good reason. Maybe, you oversold while writing a blog. If you’re a politician running a campaign for an upcoming election, well…yeah. Possibly, in efforts to encourage your non-athletic child, who is about to try-out for the soccer team, you just couldn’t help but say, “You’ll be the best! You’re gonna slay ’em big-time today! Go get ’em!” Sure, it’s an oversell, in efforts to let him/her know you believe in them. Yet, you knew in your heart it wasn’t going to happen. In retrospect, you realized there was another, more truthful way, to cheer him/her onward as they display their best. The opposite is also suspect. In love, my mom tried to use reverse psychology on me just before a musical audition, recital, or a karate tournament. It went something like, “Okay, Alan. If you mess-up, don’t come cryin’ when you get home. Just suck it up.” Later in life, she admitted that wasn’t the greatest way to encourage me. Of course, I agreed with her, but I didn’t admit that I also held a grudge for decades. Not good. Oh, the things we learn.
Window dressing is fine, unless the outfit on the mannequin isn’t on the rack inside the store. When on a date, you might find you change yourself, in some way, to make the most impact. You were selling. After the future wedding is over, the newlywed spouse sees you for who you really are. OUCH! Deception, no matter how small, can have a large price. It’s better to calculate, analyze and reveal than to barter a shady soul. Otherwise, the future relationship may come to a dead end when concealed rust is found in the core of what turns you to the right or left.
Last weekend I attended my high school reunion. It was a wonderful time of reuniting old relationships, memories and tons of hugs and kisses. One of my closer friends went to a small after-party that went into the wee hours. I was not too shocked of how she described the afterglow gathering. She said, “Alan, I just had to leave after awhile. There were too many trying to be cool.” My understanding was, there had to be a smattering of overselling in play.
I’ve learned it is better to be who God knows you to be in front of others. No doubt, a vehicle to loving others more than yourself.
Our neighbors will enjoy a bigger place as their young family grows. Possibly an older buyer will purchase the cottage-style house in efforts to downsize. Now THAT is a sale looking through a humble lens. Maybe, in the doorway, will be found, a FREE nozzle for fuel for the race.
“In my Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” – Jesus – John 14:2-3 (NASV)