Acute Episodes of Memory

In spite of my having arrived at office plenty early to get some some necessary real estate work accomplished, I wasn’t able to pull my real estate hat off until it was approaching lunchtime, and only because of the walk-in’s and phone calls I had to attend to. As I mentioned just yesterday, when dealing with these crazy times of real estate sales, work has to come first, or there’s another agent ready to scoop-up your buyer or seller.

One of the phone calls that came in, just happened to be the third person living out West who’s very interested in 1165 Hwy 9 in Manly. Pretty much the same questions were asked regarding the well and septic system, along with its general structural integrity. I made it as clear as possible when describing its negative, as well as positive features, which seemed to meet her satisfaction. The only thing that bothered me about that conversation, was the fact that the buyer didn’t want to make the long drive out here to personally inspect it. She asked about a video tour, which I can do, but there’s always that cloud of uncertainly as to whether they’d go ahead and close on it upon arrival. Truth be told, I can only think of four instances in my entire career when someone purchased something without walking thru it. I visited with the seller this afternoon, so we’ll see what he decides over the weekend.

Each and every time I look at the exterior photos of that home, I can “see” it finished, and now that I’m fully familiar with its layout, I can safely say I know near-exactly what several of those existing rooms were originally created for. It definitely didn’t have a main floor bathroom when it was built, and because of where it’s situated, it was likely a pantry off the kitchen. Keep in mind, back in those days, people didn’t have supermarkets where they shopped every day. That pantry was likely lined with cabinets and shelves used for storing canned goods and staples.

I’m still not sure if the home had indoor plumbing because the year it was built, would’ve been around the time they started installing wall-hung kitchen sinks and rudimentary bathrooms where there’d be a toilet, sink and claw-footed bathtub. The only way I’d be able to see if that second floor bathroom was orginal, would be to remove the ceiling in the kitchen, just so I could see if there were modifications to the floor joists and flooring to accommodate the installation of its bath after it was built. What the seller did point out, which I later realized, was the fact that all the rooms on the 2nd floor are the same dimensions and situated right above, which makes for less settling and stress points. Another thing I noticed, were the inside supporting stone walls which those inside walls are resting on. Now that’s what I call forward-thinking. There are two things I know about the building of that home. Number one, whomever did the design and subsequent building of it, was a master carpenter. Number two, whomever the original owner was who had it built, had more than a pocketful of change to afford it. I’ll wager it took an entire Spring, summer and Fall to get it to the point where they could move in. I’m sure by now you’re convinced I’ve been smitten by that grand county home’s design and appeal.

One of my visitors this morning happened to be a gentleman who’s slowly moving in the direction of getting his home readied for sale. Knowing the amount of prep-work he’s facing, I’ve been gently encouraging him to take one day at a time, just so he doesn’t lose heart because it’s definitely the perfect time to get it on the market. I’d already pulled some comparable sales, and when I showed them to him, I think he’s now going to be more head-strong in getting it readied. Yes, the prospects of making more money than expected, always creates an incentive.

Somehow when visiting with a client of mine yesterday, we ended up on the subject of memory, and wicked me couldn’t help teasing her about the time she’d done something quirky with a piece of her clothing which I noticed from afar. I then went on to say that even to this day, I remember the color of that cloth. Of course the laughter started along with my being teased about my so-called razor-sharp memory. I finally had to stop her and say, “Truthfully, I don’t have a photographic memory, but rather just those little acute episodes of memory retention which have always been random happenings I’ve never been able to control, and thank goodness for that.” I’m not sure if she believed me, but that was about as close a description I could give when those moments take place. I would have to say that conversation ended up being the highlight of my day.

I was so afraid I’d not have time to get my mowing jobs done before I had to drive out of town to show several properties, but yours truly kept his nose to the grindstone and got it finished just in time to get cleaned up, clothes changed, and make it to the first house just before the buyer arrived.

The first home was a complete waste of time for us because of its horrible condition. If it wasn’t the smell of mold, it was the filth, and if it wasn’t the roller-coaster floors, it was the cobbled improvements that were made. I finally said to the buyer, “This home is hopeless because I wouldn’t know where to begin, and if I did start on it, it would be a never-ending battle to make it livable.” Yes, it was that bad.

The second home was also a fly-over because of the funky floor plan, weak improvements, and above all, visible structural issues going on in the basement. As we were walking out, I couldn’t help saying, “I don’t know why so many owners bother with cosmetics, and then close their eyes to serious structural issues.” Those two home showings were a waste of my time, but at least my buyer’s getting a much-needed education on what to look for before pulling the trigger.

Tonight’s One-liner is: Elephants and grandchildren never forget.

Joe Chodur

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