Monday, July 15, 2013

Who Are "They"?

So, like I said, we decided a few months ago to sell our house.  It was---and wasn't---a quick or an easy decision, but now, 4 months down the road, one house is sold, and within 12  hours we will be in our new one.

What a ride.  The time between a casual discussion over dinner of "what would it take to renovate this kitchen" to "we need to downsize, find a maintenance free house, first floor master" was less than 24 hours.  Then the initial thought of "we should talk to a realtor to find out what we need to do in----say----the next year to be ready to move" turned into trips to Lowe's, Goodwill, the attic, inspectors, repairs, and oh, by the way, wondering where in the world we were going to live!

Our realtor spent about 3 hours with us, telling us what we needed to do to put the house on the market.  Everything was built around a target buyer, in the 35-42 year old age range.  He told us "they" like Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn, clean lines, little color, modern, utilitarian, simple, lots of wood.  Hmmm.  Our house was more like Target, JCPenny, rounded corners, Williamsburg Blue, antique, functional, historical and meaningful, nostalgic----and with rugs to protect those wood floors.  So we changed everything for "them".  Rugs rolled up, banned  to the attic.  Cleared---"edited," he called it----all the personal stuff.  Excess furniture stored or donated.  Brass fixtures changed to brushed nickel or stainless.  Glass globes changed to alabaster---white, not the yellow ("they" don't like the yellow). Red flowers on the patio ("they" like red).  The list went on.  It took 6 weeks, but we got it on the market, right down to a cookbook on the counter, turned to an Italian dish recipe, because "they" were going to want to cook dinner in that home.   We put a bowl---not a basket, because "they" wouldn't like that---of lemons on the kitchen table, so "they" could imagine eating healthy there.  We left an open textbook on Cameron's desk, so that "they" would be able to imagine their children becoming great students, and getting into great colleges.  We hid tissues so "they" wouldn't imagine having a cold, plungers so "they" wouldn't have to think about those kinds of problems, and even the kitchen trash can, because "they" wouldn't want to see that.  We joked about it----"don't leave that out---'they' don't like that," or "Did you put the clothes in the washer?  'They' don't like dirty clothes."  Honestly, after all the work we did to get it ready for "them," we had a hard time feeling any fondness for the imagined "them."

But then it was listed.  "Lovely Colonial home, great location, excellent school district.  "They" didn't like it.  "They" wanted a transitional, open floor plan.  Then why did you come look at a colonial?  "They" didn't like hearing traffic on the nearby road.  "They" thought lights from cars entering the neighborhood might bother them.  We began to wonder if the right "they" even existed, but after 5 weeks, "they" arrived.  Two visits, and we had an offer.  

So who are "they"?  Do "they" fit the expected demographic?  From what we understand, yes.   We hope "they" will be very happy here, raising a family, and making memories, turning it from a house "they" bought, into their home.

And, I wonder what "they" think of us?  The house was so staged, it didn't look lived in.  There were no towels in the bathroom, no toiletries on the sink.  No dishes in the kitchen sink.  No mail on the counter.  No laundry baskets.  There was next to nothing that said, "a real family lives here, does normal, everyday stuff.  Nothing.  It was sterile.  We cleaned every night, tidied every morning, just for "them"----and I wonder if "they" even realized it, or if "they" thought we were terribly blah and boring.  Interesting thought.  What of our style was unlikeable by "them"?  Was there anything "they" did like?  Can't help but wonder.  It was our home, and now "they" have the chance to make it "their" home.  We wish "them" well.

Then I stop and wonder about the house we are buying.  Who was the target market?  Do we fit the demographic? We know in at least one way we do, since its a 55 and over neighborhood----well, one of us does, at least.  All that matters is that we know its what we were looking for, and we want to make it our home, so we are the right "them."

We have met the enemy, and he is us.

Psalm 71:18
Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come.

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