We all from time to time have given inanimate objects and things that don’t have the ability to speak voices. And then in turn said, “if that … dog, couch, car, could speak, you may or may not want to hear what they have to say”! I have often thought if my house could talk, what would it really say??? I do believe I may be able to speak for it. I do know some of its wonderful secrets but of course not all of them. How invaluable would be to a REALTOR® and their buyers and sellers if a house could speak! It would be able sell itself by convincing a buyer of its worth and informing potential dwellers of secrets and hidden attributes, as well as unforeseen problems that may need to addressed immediately or somewhere down the road. I like to give special things names so I will refer to my home as “Gem”.
What we don’t know and can’t see when we enter a home can raise a lot of question and concern. It really is what makes buying a home feel stressful at times. How long will that roof hold out and protect us? Will those windows keep the cold and wind out as well as let the fresh air in? Is that electrical wiring still safe and efficient? If a home could tell us the answers to those questions we would in turn have the peace of mind to feel comfortable with a purchase. Inspectors are one of the voices that speak for our homes. When an inspection company sends an inspector out to a home and a detailed report is filled out, a copy gets sent to the REALTOR® and the home owner. This report is based on detailed findings and searches of the mechanicals that make the house run, like the electrical and heating and cooling. The inspector will look at the windows and roof and foundation and things that are structural. As we all know, this report is based on the findings that particular day. Things can “look” a-ok at that specific moment and one week later windows can crack and roofs can start leaking. I kind of correlate this concept to that of people when they go to a doctor for a physical and get checked out with a clean bill of health and then find themselves in the ER a week later dealing with symptoms related to a heart attack. What this means is, there is no “for sure” on any inspection or visual check. This leads me back to, “if only our house could talk.” I think I might hear Gem say, “Last winter was really tough on me … these windows are not going to hold back that wind forever … my furnace worked like a dog with that cold … I think that heavy snow load took 3 years off my roof life!” What we should probably know is that nothing is for sure; something’s are unpredictable and we can worry, as we will, but there is no way to know.
This unpredictability is mostly seen as a negative attribute but I do believe we need to focus on the positive side of the unknown. This is what I would call having a little faith. Gem would tell you if you were trying to buy her that, “the big, beautiful tree that the inspector said should be taken down in case its roots start to encroach on the water lines has brought wonderful shade for picnics, hammocks and lemonade stands. Maple told me herself that she will spread her roots around those lines, no problem at all. And, oh yes, those old windows make the most amazing winter scenes when the frost freezes on them and my family peers out with their hot chocolate. My house friend next door said those new and improved windows may never fit quite as tight; she has firsthand experience with new windows. Oh, let me tell you about those squeaky hard would floors that seem “worn out.” The sounds they make brought smiles to my family’s face as their new puppy ran around and scared himself, and their teenager tried to sneak up the stairs past curfew. Those floors are wonderful and will last many years to come. And by the way, that cracked concrete on the driveway gave such character to the hopscotch and designs my family’s children spent hours designing. I do have “issues.” I like to refer to them as “fine aging lines.” Perfection and one hundred percent without flaws won’t be found, but don’t let inspectors, agents or anyone get in the way of how a house makes you feel. Trust your instincts and know that if you feel that it’s “the one,” a little risk may be just that … a little risk and that’s all. In the long run, those unseen or hidden things that you worry about may be the very things that make you fall in love with your home and provide you with unforeseen delight. We houses have amazing secrets … if we could only talk.”
Inspections are definitely needed in many instances and are, without a doubt, very helpful in putting major unforeseen problems in plain sight. But don’t get hung up on perfection … it does not exist, and if it’s too close to perfection, its character can be squelched. Allow for a little flexibility in what may seem to be a problem and you may begin to see it as something special.
I would like to answer the question that was posed above, “Why you might want to live here” with: pull up a chair and lend an ear, Gem will fill you in.