So, if you read last Friday's blog, you know we looked at sixteen houses over the last few days. We narrowed it down to our top two or three and are getting ready to make an offer on one. I won't elaborate on all that until we actually have a house -- then you can get all the details. But boy, looking in on people's houses is an interesting thing.
A couple of these were empty. But there were a couple which were not being lived in but were still "staged" with furniture. The agent said that there are furniture companies in town who will dress up your house for a fee, with the hopes that the people who buy the house like the furnishings enough to buy them. Pretty darn smart, I say. But it's kind of funny the stuff they put out to make the place look "homey". One house had a lovely wooden tray in the middle of the kitchen island with a few loaves of artificial bread on it. It added a very nice ambience to the kitchen -- but really, how many people do you know who have random loaves of artsy-looking breads sitting out in the kitchen to dry out?
One of the tips we got a while back when we were selling the house was to have every light in the house on when we left for a showing. It really surprised me how often we went in a house and had to hunt for lights -- and these were cloudy days, so it really did make a difference. A couple houses had soft music playing. Aha! There's a good idea. Gotta add that one to our show-prep routine.
Essentially, you know, the goal here is to make the house look NOT like a place where people actually live. The goal is to create an image. "The people in this house listen to classical music, hide away their shampoo and razors in the bathroom, and eat three loaves of artsy-looking bread every couple of days before they get a chance to dry out. If I live in this house, I'll be that kind of person, too! Ooh! I want to buy this house!" Really, rich people aren't as smart as you'd think.
One trend that I noticed in most (if not all) of the houses: a separate "living area" by the bedrooms, especially if there was a second floor. The intention being, I presume, that the kids of the house would hang out there. Now, I see some advantages to that. Toys not being underfoot in the main area of the house. When you're entertaining, the kids have their own area to be in while the adults visit in the main living space. Essentially, I guess, these took the place of a basement in most houses -- basements are rare around here, apparently, because the ground is too rocky to dig down that deep.
But it kind of made me sad to think of designating different parts of the house for the kids to "live" in away from the parents. I mean, I want to see my family when I'm home with them. Yes, I get tired of the Disney channel and all, but I would rather watch "Good Luck Charlie" all day long and actually interact with my kids than send them off to another part of the house for the bulk of our lives.
Of course, you may want to ask me that again by the end of the summer. We'll start our stint in San Antonio living in a two bedroom apartment for a while. I may have my fill of togetherness by August!