From time to time, The Home Guru picks out snippets from columns that readers have enjoyed. Here is a sampling from past Home Guru articles.
By Bill Primavera
I’ve never understood the practice of placing reading material next to the bathroom toilet. I’ve always thought that if the process took long enough to scan a newspaper or take in an article from a magazine, a visit to a gastroenterologist was in order.
How I First Learned About Sex
With the pending demise of the home phone, it’s sad that our children will never know the history and idiosyncrasies of the pre-cordless era. When was the last time, for instance, that you heard the term “party line?” For me, it took on meaning when my family moved to Virginia during a time of limited telephone lines, and most people had to share a line with one or more other families. At 11 years old, my neighborhood buddy, Tommy, and I would listen in secretly to that anonymous woman who was quite verbal with her boyfriend, with whom she was having an extramarital affair. It was a party line, all right. We didn’t need sexting.
A Mattress for Everyone
When I was a single young man, living as a carefree bachelor in the city, I preferred firmer mattresses that allowed greater movement. But once I got married, I preferred softer versions where one tends to sink into a spot and pretty much stay there.
St. Joseph to the Rescue
There are so many stories about St. Joseph being petitioned successfully to help sell a house, but there are also warnings about the best way to bury his statue in the yard. Usually we are told to bury the statue upside down, facing the house. One real estate blogger shared the story of how his client made a directional error in the way the statue faced, and his neighbor’s home across the street sold. And, it wasn’t even on the market!
The Days Before Child Safety Devices
I get so frustrated when I am showing a house and I encounter one of those child safety devices that I cannot figure out, such as those on doorknobs. Too bad they didn’t exist when I was two years old. I opened the door to the basement and fell down a flight of steps, landing on my head on a concrete floor. I survived, but as I grew older and starting acting up as a teenager, my mother would say something like, “It must be from the time you fell on your head as a baby.”
I soon learned to turn the tables on her and used it as an excuse many times. When she’d say, “You forgot to take out the garbage again,” I would respond, “Gee, Mom, I guess it’s from the time I fell on my head.”
The Attic Reveals Our Past
Functionally, the attic is the hat and umbrella of a house, but it is also the repository for the remnants of our past, and anyone who might have looked at the attic in my last home would think, wow, this guy has quite a past.
When it came time to move, I had to clean our attic out for the first time in 25 years. To save steps, we opened the attic window and threw down old clothes, books and office records directly to the lawn to sort out there. Any passerby would have thought that someone had gone berserk inside the house. After a number of subsequent attempts to perform the ultimate job of adequate attic cleaning and organization, I have only one tip: Get help!
Fear of Heights
Clogged gutters and drains can cause terrible problems in the home such as wet basements, damaged soffits, deterioration of siding materials and soil erosion around the house. To avoid these problems, it is best to clean rain gutters at least twice a year. You can do it yourself if you’re not afraid of heights as I am. Correction: I’m not afraid of heights; I’m afraid of falling off the ladder and breaking my neck.
Does the Name of Your Street Affect Its Appeal?
Can the name of your street influence the perception of your home and its value, positively or negatively? The thought occurred to me a while back when I read a newspaper report about a complaint among residents in a town in Putnam County where a local motel housed a number of sex offenders in their midst. The motel’s street address was listed as Sodom Road.
You just can’t make this stuff up.
While a writer and publicist, Bill Primavera is also a Realtor® associated with William Raveis Real Estate and Founder of Primavera Public Relations, Inc. (www.PrimaveraPR.com). To engage the services of The Home Guru to market your home for sale, call 914-522-2076.