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VOL. 37 | NO. 33 | Friday, August 16, 2013

Pride goeth before the sale in real estate

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Putting a house on the market can be frightfully maddening. Having a group of people with varying tastes, interests and needs evaluate and – even worse – opine on the condition of something that has been loved and nurtured by the homeowner can be even more disheartening.

Open houses and the statements made by those that attend can drive sellers to insanity. Following the inspections, the demands that buyers make upon older homes can be almost dreadfully disturbing to sellers.

The buyer may as well be recommending renovation of the homeowner him or herself, as the owner has become one with the home.

Imagine if seller had to complete a disclosure statement on his own physical state, as well as that of the house. The disclosure statement for the seller could be even more invasive than that of a house.

Are there any defects in the exterior? Over time, the hairline may have receded, similar to the way flooring shows wear and tear. Perhaps a nicely woven rug would cover either.

Inspectors force buyers to worry about the age of mechanical systems, appliances, roofs, and gutters. Many buyers insist that the sellers replace the components that are functioning well simply because they may be old. In particular, there are numerous demands for new ventilation systems.

Yes, but the lungs and the air conditioner are functioning well. There is no more need for a new HVAC in a house than a lung transplant for the owner.

That growth on the wall looks like mold. Buyers fear it will kill them. And that growth on the seller’s back is a mole, not melanoma. Both should be checked, but moles and mold are often benign.

It is often noted that there is moisture in the unfinished basement of 1935-era houses. The truth is most basements in older homes have water when there is heavy precipitation. The reason for the intrusion is that the basements were not designed to be totally dry. Rather they were created to house coal.

Coal doesn’t mind a bit of moisture and, when thrown into the flames of a raging furnace, the moisture meets its match. The sellers should not be required to waterproof an area that was neither designed nor constructed to be free of wetness.

Now, plumbing is another issue altogether. Older homes boast galvanized plumbing as its material of choice for inflow and outflow for the various things that plumbing lines provide transport. Galvanized pipes are the prostate gland of home construction. Over time, there is the buildup of rust and the opening for the water is constricted, very similar to the prostate in an older male seller.

Fortunately, both can be remedied.

There was a television advertisement in the 1960s and 1970s suggesting that some houses have house-a-tosis, the home version of halitosis, i.e., bad breath. In the treatment of either, there are a number of products that overwhelm the unpleasant odors, yet in both house and its keeper, the cause of the stench should be explored for the search could lead to the discovery of a serious condition.

Some homes have outdated appliances, and some residents insist on 1970s coiffures. Both are corrected, albeit it a matter of taste, but the brains still function. The harvest Gold Kitchenaid dishwater may function better than its stainless steel Fisher Paykel counterpart.

After trying for years to manufacture a better wood siding with aluminum, Masonite, fiberboard, the industry finally solved the riddle when James Hardie created his Hardie Board, or concrete siding. The substance seems to last an eternity.

Let’s send Hardie to med school. To quote a statement attributed to Steven Wright, “I intend to live forever. So far, so good.” With Hardie on board, it’s doable.

Sale of the Week

The sale of the week this week is the largest sale ever on its street. It is located at 5924 Long Meadow Road and sold for $1,125,000. Christopher Simonsen of Fridrich and Clark Realty was the listing agent and sang all the way to the bank when it closed. Singing is not an unusual activity for Chris, as he sings at weddings, funerals and other events all over town.

He can be found singing in churches, synagogues, cathedrals, funeral homes and, in this case, the branches of Nashville banks. This house, new construction, has 5,209 square feet newly with five bedrooms, five full baths along with two half baths. Two baths do not make a whole, just as, according to Wright, being scared half to death twice is not deadly.

In describing the home, Simonsen wrote: “The latest from the Dynamic Duo HR Properties that can’t be matched! Your clients will love this destination neighborhood.”

To his credit, Simonsen did not overstate the dynacsim of this duo consisting of Scott Hailey and Jack Raney, who perennially produce $1.1 million dollar homes in the Green Hills, Belle Meade and, now, Hillwood estates areas.

Linda Doyle of Keller Williams Realty brought the buyers to the property.

Richard Courtney is a partner with Christianson, Patterson, Courtney, and Associates and can be reached at richard@richardcourtney.com

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