Occasionally I share “musings” from past columns that readers have commented on. Sometimes practical, other times absurd, they are observations of home living made along the way. For an index of previously published articles, visit: www.TheHomeGuru.com.
St. Joseph Strikes Again: There is much lore attached to burying a St. Joseph statue on the property of a home seeking a buyer, and sometimes the instructions can be quite specific about how it should be buried. The most favored position for the statue is upside down and facing the house. One laughable story online is about the homeowner who buried the statue facing away from the house only to have the house across the street sell, and it wasn’t even on the market! Another is about the homeowner whose house failed to sell and, frustrated, he threw his statue out with the trash only to learn that the town dump was sold soon after.
Can You Guess the Most Popular Street Name in America? It’s a good trivia question, and no, it’s not Main, Maple or Elm. It’s 2nd Street. Surprised? The reason is that most towns in America started with a simple grid of numbered streets, but many times 1st Street was renamed Main Street, boosting 2nd Street to the lead. So you might say that 2nd is second to none.
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 storage closet and, to coin a phrase, they all suck.
Will We All Return to Dust? Did you know that household dust is composed mostly of our own flaking skin? If we are uneasy when our house is dusty, is that being uncomfortable in our own skin? And did you know that, contrary to popular belief, it’s better for people with allergies to cover their floors with wall-to-wall carpeting, rather than hard wood, to keep allergens contained until they can be vacuumed up?
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. One way to avoid the issue altogether: buy Preen this spring!
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 accidentally 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.
Two Mattress Tales: My wife tells a cute story about mattresses. When she took her 88-year-old mother to buy a new mattress and the salesman noted that it came with a 20-year guarantee, her mother said, “At my age, I only need a five-year guarantee. Can I get a better price for that?” When I was a bachelor, I preferred firmer mattresses that might allow greater movement, but once married, I preferred softer versions where one tends to sink into a spot and pretty much stay there. I don’t draw any conclusion about that transition but the reader might.
Too Much Shorthand in Real Estate: If you’re buying or selling a house, you’ve certainly encountered such abbreviations as FSBO (for sale by owner), AO (accepted offer), CMA (comparative market analysis), EIK (eat-in kitchen), SLD (sliding glass doors), etc., and sometimes it seems that our whole world, especially with texting, has gone much too far into shorthand degeneration. When making an admittedly low-ball offer on a house and told that the listing agent would “follow up” after speaking with her clients, you can imagine how startled I was with her return email when the subject line was abbreviated simply to “FU!”
Bill Primavera is a Realtor® associated with William Raveis Real Estate and Founder of Primavera Public Relations, Inc. (www.PrimaveraPR.com). His real estate site is www.PrimaveraRealEstate.com, and his blog is www.TheHomeGuru.com. To engage the services of The Home Guru to market your home for sale, call (914) 522-2076.