Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Home Staging - really?

We are moving. We are building a new house. It's not our dream house, but it's a beautiful house on a big lot with all the upgrades....well, a lot of upgrades, like granite counters, all wood cabinets, iron balusters, nice stuff. Great, huh, only this house has not sold. We are practically giving it away at this price and still not selling...not only not selling, but not even any showings. Some of you have been here...it's a nice house. Over 4300 Sq. Ft., huge family room huge kitchen...what the hell is wrong with people? I know what it is. It's HGTV. That's what's wrong with people. HGTV has trained us that everything has to be perfect. We have to totally flip this house before it will sell. HGTV has told us sellers that we need to put in all the upgrades before we have a buyer because they will expect to see granite counters and travertine floors and pretty artwork everywhere. What they have failed to do is remind people that many times when people upgrade a house, they do it for themselves; they don't plan to pour money into houses to sell. Sure some people do, they are the flippers. I'm not a flipping flipper! I'm a mom trying to move my family into a new house.

HGTV has also trained us into believing we have to have a model home staged for our potential buyers' viewing pleasure. I try to stage underwear on the floor for viewing pleasure, but it's not working. What the hell do you mean I have to rent furniture to make my living room look like a living room? My couch and huge TV don't scream "TV Viewing area?" You need some shiny elephant on an art deco table sitting next to some fancy fake tropical tree before anyone realizes it's a living room? Pack up my kids toys? Are home buyers not aware that children are still allowed to be seen and heard and in my house they are also allowed to play with toys! Well, OK, I'll confine the toys to the playroom and their bedrooms. That's not really too much to ask. But the bitch stager that came to my house and turned it on its roof with nothing sticking to the ceiling before she left, told me that my playroom loft would be better served as a sitting room because you want to potential buyers to imagine they are in a sitting room. Well, grab a fucking chair from the doll house, pick up Green Eggs and Ham and fucking sit, why don't you? Why don't you imagine an office here, or a spa, or a salon, or a place where you fucking stuff dead animals because you see when you live here and I no longer live here, my shit won't be here anymore so you can make this room whatever the hell you want. Imagine buying this house and filling it with whatever you want. You see if it's a doll house or a big TV and couch or even a pretty purple elephant sitting on an art deco coffee table with a coffee table book about pretty purple elephants sitting in staged homes with beautiful fake tropical trees, it doesn't matter because unless you own the same stuff, I am certain it will appear just a little different after you move in.

Do we not have an imagination anymore? You see when I bought the house, the previous owners were in the process of moving out. But I was so lucky I am married to a professor. Between the two of us, we figured out that the room with the two sinks and the stove was the kitchen and for the past four years we've used it as such. And we figured out that the room with the two sinks and the tub was the bathroom and we've used it as such. It's worked out great for us. I did get confused for about a year or so there. I had Arwen in the room on the right, but I later realized that her room was the one the left and Zoe's room was the one on the right. But it didn't all click for me until I became pregnant with Zoe. You see, the previous owners had it set up as a guest room on the left, so of course we did that too, and the room on the right was sewing room when we first looked at the house, but since I don't sew, we couldn't do that. I did buy a sewing machine, but I just couldn't make it look like the older retired woman that lived here before me. And being pregnant with Arwen and all really confused us because there was no nursery here. So we had to improvise and hmmm, think outside the box. After nine long months, we came to the conclusion that that room on the right didn't have to be a sitting room; it could be a nursery after all. It took a lot of talking out loud and personal growth, but we did it. Fuck! Do you really believe that we are that stupid as a society that we have to be shown that same cool headboard we see Cater Oosterhouse making in the bedroom before we know a certain room is actually a bedroom?

So back to the bitching. I think I am the only one that understands what this whole thing is doing to me and my kids. And frankly, I am so tired of it. Our house has been on the market for six months. Many times this summer I was late to things, yep I know you had to wait for me several times, because I had to stop and clean the house before leaving it in case someone wanted to come look at it. No one came. No one ever comes. So my house sat for six months, always clean…OK, well mostly clean. And it has not sold. Now about three weeks from the end of our contract and the end of any possibility of any commission, our realtor has had our house staged at her expense and tomorrow she is having our house cleaned at her expense. This is all fine and dandy, but as I stated above, the stager was great until she tore the house apart and then left. It took me days to get breakables off the floor and away from my small children. It will take us days to move the furniture she wants us to move. And guess what? We move in about thirty days. So someone please tell me what the point is in making it all look pretty when soon we will have boxes everywhere. Maybe I'll leave the boxes in the room where they are packed with a big note that says the name of the room, so people that and come a look aren't confused. "well, I thought this was the garage, but that box there says kitchen, so let me know when you find the dishwasher, Myrtle." I can hear it now. "I was sure it had a kitchen, but I'll be damned if I can find any boxes in here pointing the way to a kitchen. We best go look somewhere else, there's bound to be a house with a kitchen somewhere in Longmont. Let's go back to that one with the purple elephant, I liked that purple elephant. It'll look so good with this little purple Easter Eggs I put out in the Spring time."

So cleaning lady comes tomorrow. I know I am not alone in wanting to "clean before the cleaner". You know…you have to remove your toothbrush from the bathroom counter (that's the room with the tub) or else she may take it for the toilet brush. You have to remove the toys from the bathtub because, well, you don't want to have to admit to wanting to sink the battleship in real water every now and then. You have to remove all the toys from the floor so she has a surface to actually clean. This whole process takes hours to do and I'm starting to think it's not worth it….wanna know why? Because I'm moving in less than thirty days!! Come clean my new house after I've been there two weeks. Now that would help!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Word Evolution

I can remember those days when Arwen first started to talk. It's funny that even now she says some really cute things. She started Gymnastics a few weeks ago and every time she talks about it, she says, "Mash Sticks" or "Mashed Kiss Class"

I was moving some old things I wrote around (from an old blog to my PC) and found this....funny that two years later, I am still giggling and how words evolve from a little one.

Words should be taught by children
Why bother teaching children the proper way of saying a word. Personally, I'd prefer to wake up in the morning and have a big cup of "fawkey" to wake me up before I start the day. Arwen is starting to put real words into sentences now, but I miss the days, you know last month, when potatoes were "Toe Pees" and coffee was "fawkey".

She still says down-da when she no longer wants to be in her highchair and she says climb me when she wants me to pick her up, but lately her cutest thing is saying
"Ein tine" when you draw a picture of a face with hair sticking straight up. This of course is from the Baby Einstein videos. I wonder if she will be disappointed when she discovers Einstein was not just a stick figure's face on a children's video.

So I say grab a cup of fawkey and learn a few things from your children for a change.

I can't wait for Zoe to say more than "Hi Key" - even with her, I'm not sure if she is saying "Hi, Kitty" or if she thinks that animal's name is Hikey....who knows. But it's damn cute!