Monday, December 12, 2016

Living vicariously through others

On the market
Some are real estate junkies. Whether on
the market for a new home or not, taking
an inside look of how other's live can be
quite addictive. This weekend I joined in
a search for an apartment in Manhattan
with a dear friend. While exhausting it
taught me three key real estate lessons -
1. Perception isn't necessarily reality.
2. Few have any sense of style or taste.
3. The majority of folks live like slobs.
Thus in reality, finding a nice place to
move into is never as easy as shown on
HGTV's House Hunters. IT'S TOUGH!

Clean sweep
You would think that if somebody knew that a
perspective buyer was going to check out their
home, they'd make sure it looked it's best. Yet
in most of the abodes we viewed, it was quite
obvious that nobody had fluffed the pillows nor
done a white glove test. The last thing I want to
see is a ring around your bathtub. Any evidence
of prior habitation such as that is disgusting!
As is peeking into somebody else's smelly and
neglected fridge. Yet that's all that we saw in
the majority of the homes under consideration.
Leaving one to wonder some people can't seem
to be able to clean up after themselves!

False promises
It's not like we were looking at hovels.
All were in quite desirable locations.
Take the pied a terre we visited on a
most primo upper east side block. On
the outside the townhouse (shown left)
couldn't have been more fabulous. But
on the inside, it was a DUMP. Thus my
confusion over why anybody would be
willing to shell out big bucks to live in
such a sad situation. Location, location,
location isn't a guarantee to quality of
life. Especially in Manhattan where the
big apple can often be rotten to the core.

Crowd control
Filth and a lack of maintenance aside, what
was most shocking is the blatant inability
of most tenants to properly decorate their
abodes. Thus the only inspiration one may
gain from a house hunting excursion is to
get out of town. From rococo to loco we
saw it all. Immediately apparent was their
inability to put things in their proper place.
Beyond spatially challenged, it seems that
most folks forget to measure before buying
furniture. Nor do they comprehend how
important it is to edit. Too much of too
many bad things is all the more AWFUL!

Over the rainbow
Thus the greatest challenge when buying
real estate is seeing the forest for the trees.
Most people find other people's stuff more
than a distraction. If you've watched HG's
House Hunters you've seen it for yourself.
Rather than focusing on physical attributes
most home buyers obsess over another's
decor. Few can see the possibilities. Thus
a visionary will spy a bargain beneath all
of that debris. Renovation or redecorating
miracles do happen. However they usually
require a deep cleaning, several cans of
paint, and the removal of a wall or two!

Paradise lost
Ultimately we found nirvana. The final
apartment we saw had it all going in the
right direction. Even if I'm proud to tout
my ability to see beyond the surface,
whoever owned the joint knew how to
leverage it's assets. From the furniture
to decor to finishes - everything seemed
to be quite lovely. Unfortunately the prior
appointment loved it as much as we did.
And got there first. Thus the search for
a perfect residence continues. Ultimately
a new home sweet home will be found.
But until then... HAPPY HUNTING!