Loose Ends: Of house and home …

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Dolly Viscardi
“Do you know of any place to rent in town?” the woman asked the grandmother pushing a toddler in a swing.
“Well, depends on what you are looking for.” She paused as if to ponder the woman’s dilemma. “Lots of houses for sale, but I don’t know of any to just rent right off hand. Do you think you’ll want to buy eventually?”
She went on to mention quite a few rentals, but said that it seemed the option to buy was part of most of the ones she could name. The word “nice” jumped out of their conversation. She soon realized that the use of the word seemed to mean something different to the two of them.
Descriptions of real estate offerings are like that. As they continued their conversation, the grandmother soon realized the words used in real estate listings were put there to attract interest and they were not the ones in which the young woman was interested. Descriptors such as beautiful, outstanding, or one of a kind wouldn’t work, as she saw that the woman had a young child and an older woman with her. She wanted to know the skinny on houses just right for a young family, which most likely had inexpensive, clean, and warm and cozy on the top of the list.
She was describing one that was convenient and clean as nice, whereas the woman seemed to think nice meant more amenities. It wasn’t that she wasn’t looking for something nice, but she needed something immediately that was family friendly. She didn’t want the prom queen of houses, she was looking for the place with the most personality. Anything like “beautiful view” was a bonus.
Usually though, the generic describers such as beautiful or nice come up time and again. Both words in this area usually means lots of trees (mature landscaping), great views (hilltop location), as well as being roomy both inside and out. The summer season is the best to look for all of those things, as the town is gussied up for the mid-summer Independence Day celebration.
Yet, what a listing often doesn’t say about a house are the things that only someone who has lived in an area year round for many years can tell you. Surface descriptions such as wonderful or outstanding don’t mean so much after a particularly long cold winter. The below-the-surface words describing the house of everyone’s dreams highlighting the things as energy efficient details may not be the eye-catchers, but they are the most important. It is a myth that a house becomes a home when someone moves in and hangs curtains. It only becomes a home when it fits the needs of the family who is presently occupying it.
— dolly@theheraldtimes.com