"Have you ever had an engineer out to the house to give you an opinion on the foundation?" I asked the prospective Sellers, "That's quite a hump you have in your floor."
"We've honestly never felt it," they said.
To quote Igor, from Young Frankenstein, "What hump?"
It doesn't necessarily surprise me that as homeowners, people stop noticing such matters, especially when the defect becomes part of the daily scenery or their ongoing experience, but as Halloween falls on Sunday, it seems appropriate to print some of the scarier examples of where things can run awry with respect to Real Estate, and why you might just want to pay attention, especially if any of these sound familiar.
"I'll leave it to you . . . ", the text message said, ""to decide how to make our home look better."
While that's certainly not the first time a Seller has turned over their project to us, it's unfortunately all too rare; such trust is usually limited to those Sellers who live out of town OR out of state, and even then, there can be some serious Monday-morning quarterbacking. As a whole, most Sellers tend to be wary of turning over there beloved home - even to Realtors - whom, let's face it, up until the listing presentation, were often veritable stranges. Afterall, they rationalize, who knows the home better than we do?
It's definitely feeling like fall; the days are shorter, the weather is crisper, and the leaves are beginning to shed. I absolutely love this time of year when summer is behind us, when pumpkins decorate the doorways, and when the holidays are just around corner. It's festive to be sure, and there's loads of good old-fashioned fun to look forward to (Tristan is coming home for Thanksgiving, so I'll have both boys for the first time in many years.) Like the playoffs, October feels like the 7th inning stretch. There's just enough of a breather in our calendars to consider the entire playing field. Sometimes we're so totally engrossed in what's on this week's "TO DO" list, that there's NO time to assess the BIGGER picture. (It's been a hectic couple of days.)
But the BIG PICTURE is important to be sure . . .
Cliff and I are back from the Big Apple and could not have had a nicer time. The weather was spectacular, Little Italy was a blast, Broadway is up and running, our hotel was gorgeous, Citibikes were plentiful, there were NO lines at the Empire State Building, and Tristan seems to be thriving in his new environment. What's not to love?
For those of you following the great chocolate-chip cookie saga, I was successfully able to bake the promised batch in Tristan's tiny little kitchen in his tiny little 4th floor walk-up after mistakenly leaving four dozen behind in my freezer in Oakland. (Dumb.)
We'd just about arrived at the airport for our 7:30 am flight to NYC when I suddenly remembered that I'd forgotten to pack the cookies I'd baked for Tristan; the ones he specifically asked for; the ones he'd promised his roommate and friends I'd be bringing; the ones Cliff left room in his backpack for; the ones I'd gotten up early to bake . . . Yes, those ones.
Now, Tristans a dutiful son and he'll forgive me (in time) and I'll absolutely make it up to him, but it was a boneheaded mistake to be sure (the worst kind). Cliff thought I'd packed them; I thought he'd packed them, and in our rush to meet our Uber driver on the curb well before the light of day, neither of us remembered to ask the other. Thus, four dozen beautifully-caramelized, chocolate-chip cookies were left behind. Sh#%!
Julie Gardner, has been writing The Perspective for 17 years and has published more than 650 essays. She is also a frequent contributor to the Sound Off column in the Real Estate section of The San Francisco Chronicle.