COLUMNSGenericHome Guru

More Observations and Musings From The Home Guru

We are part of The Trust Project
Bill Primavera
Bill Primavera

By Bill Primavera

 From time to time, I pick out snippets from my past columns that readers tell me they enjoyed. Here are some I enjoyed as well.

 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 families. At 11 years old, my neighborhood buddy Tommy and I would listen to that anonymous woman who was quite verbal with the guy she was having an affair. It was a party line, all right. We didn’t need sex ed to learn about the birds and the bees.

A Man Holds on to His – Pardon the Expression – Junk

I was meeting with a couple after signing a listing agreement and was suggesting that we call a stager to help them neutralize their rooms to show better. “Ouch,” he said, “please, don’t say that. It sounds too much like “neuterize.”

Whatever You Do in Bed, a Mattress to Support It

Wasn’t that a clever ad campaign Sealy conducted some years ago? “Whatever You Do in Bed, a Mattress to Support it.” 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. I haven’t drawn any conclusions but perhaps you might.

St. Joseph to the Rescue, for a Neighbor, That is

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 had the statue face the wrong way, and his neighbor’s home across the street sold – and it wasn’t even on the market! Another favorite story I heard about St. Joseph is about the disappointed homeowner whose buried statue wasn’t working. Frustrated, he dug it up and threw it in the trash only to learn soon after that the town dump had been sold.

Remembering 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 can’t figure out, including those on doorknobs. Too bad they didn’t exist when I was two years old and opened the door to the basement, falling down a flight of steps and landing on my head on a concrete floor. I survived, but as I grew older and started 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.”

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. When I owned a big, old colonial house, I was always aware that I could do the job myself, but was always timid about scaling a ladder, being afraid of heights. 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?

Besides serving as a way to find where you live, can the name of your street influence the perception of your home and its value? The thought occurred to me a while back when I read a newspaper report about a complaint among residents of a town in Putnam County where a local motel housed a number of sex offenders in their midst. At the end of the article, almost as a throwaway, the motel’s street address was listed as Sodom Road.

You just can’t make this stuff up.

Bill Primavera is a Realtor® associated with William Raveis Real Estate and Founder of Primavera Public Relations, Inc. ( His real estate site is, and his blog is To engage the services of The Home Guru to market your home for sale, call 914-522-2076.







We'd love for you to support our work by joining as a free, partial access subscriber, or by registering as a full access member. Members get full access to all of our content, and receive a variety of bonus perks like free show tickets. Learn more here.