Home Guru: Reminisces About the Past Dozen Years

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Bill Primavera
Bill Primavera

By Bill Primavera

Welcome to the 300th article written by The Home Guru for The Examiner over a six-year period. Actually, the Guru gestated more than a dozen years ago for another publication as a way to promote the start-up business of a fledgling real estate agent.

It was the tragedy of 9/11 that prompted me to take on a second job as a realtor as an adjunct to my public relations business. As a specialist in restaurant promotion, my business had taken a hit. Not knowing how safe travel would be after the terrorist attacks, my wife and I made a conscious decision that I should stay home for a while, rather than keep up the coast-to-coast travel schedule that I had maintained for years.

That decision signaled panic time for me, a stranger in my own town where I spent maybe only 20 percent of my time. As I look back now, after a period of adjustment, it was the best decision I ever made. For the first time in my married life, I became June Cleaver’s husband, Ward.

In switching gears to make a living locally, I relied on two basic skills I utilized in public relations: salesmanship and writing. I decided to get into real estate because I had always had an interest in it and because I could arrange my time around what odd PR jobs I could pick up.

Most of the stuff I was learning about real estate wasn’t enthralling, so when I first decided to write a column, I tried to personalize it. The feedback I received was encouraging. Over the years, The Home Guru has developed a life of its own.

I had every advantage in keeping my column about homes and real estate vibrant week after week, and I expect to be able to continue to do so for another 300 columns and beyond when one considers that my subject matter involves where we are born, where we grow up, fall in love, marry, raise our children, experience great joy and sorrow, grow old and finally die. It is the very setting for our life’s experience, all the while filling one of our basic needs, that of shelter. How can it not be a vibrant component of our daily lives?

And, especially during the past dozen years, our life’s major investment has engaged us like never before. If you are old enough like me to have purchased a home 30 or even 40 years ago, you experienced some normal ups and downs in the market and the value of your home. But what you saw in the giddy years of the Great Bubble (2002-07) and the Great Recession (2007-09) gave you a roller coaster ride that your parents or grandparents hadn’t experienced since the Great Depression. Most of us weathered it through together, and I had the opportunity to report on those years, both exultant and desperate, for you.

During these years, I witnessed great joy, sadness, challenge, opportunity, and yes, even prejudice and discrimination, despite all the federal, state and local laws we have in place to protect us against it.

On the joyful side, I have most enjoyed working with young couples buying their first homes, like Jennifer and Tim Nelson, who found their dream home with me and, when they had their first baby, brought her by my home to introduce her to me. On the sad side, I’ve helped recent widows and widowers downsize their homes and possessions, trying not to shed tears with them in the process, and not succeeding very well.

And I have touched the lives of people in trouble, such as the woman, reading the column I had written about the dangers of hoarding. She called me anonymously, in desperation, telling me that she was afraid that eventually she would be unable to get out of her own house in an emergency. I made some calls, and from what I understand, she is now getting the help she needs.

Time and again, I’ve shared with my readers that I’m no expert as a handyman, but a communicator of other artisans’ skills. Through my work, I’ve met scores of them who are some of the greatest men and women on the planet, and they’ve become good friends.

Finally, to satisfy my own ego, I just love it when I’m in a drugstore or restaurant and someone I don’t know approaches me and tells me that they love my columns.

Public relations and real estate are keeping me busy nowadays, but my favorite job is writing this column for you every week. So, thank you, dear readers.

Anybody who would like to have my book, which people tell me is funny, can buy it at

And, here’s to the next 300 columns!

Bill Primavera is a Realtor® associated with William Raveis Real Estate and Founder of Primavera Public Relations, Inc., the longest running public relations agency in Westchester (, specializing in lifestyles, real estate and development. His real estate site is: and his blog is: To engage the services of The Home Guru and his team to market your home for sale, call 914-522-2076.




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