Monday, December 31, 2012

Home Is Where The Heart Is

Image courtesy of  Simon Howden,
Homes, houses and apartments, have always fascinated me.

You know how there are archetype dreams? The dream where you realize you should have been attending a class, you need to pass it and now the final exam is being held … somewhere? Or the one when you are at high school and realize suddenly you are wearing your pajamas?

There’s also that dream of some childhood home – and now there’s a wing that you had never known was there and it’s filled with all kinds of stuff, even furniture covered in sheets like in the movies.

Even back when I didn’t have two nickels to rub together, as a 20-something, I’d head into an open house – just to see: a basement rental apartment or a multi-million-dollar brownstone – didn’t matter.

When we bought our own house, I am sure I drove our real-estate agent crazy. She showed me our file, which was about two inches thick with all the houses I had seen.

Here’s what I learned from my house-hunting:

A large percentage of houses, at least in our price range, smell strongly of cat pee;

If a house is advertised as being “professionally decorated,” there will be some bizarre mural in it. My personal favorite was of bigger-than-life-size organ-grinder monkeys, with evil expressions on their faces, on a living-room wall;

A surprising number of houses have secret rooms, usually as the result of a renovation.

Homes are such an expression of the people living there. And to be honest, I feel that the houses in the television show, “Hoarders,” filled to the rafters with crap and outright garbage that their owners just can’t deal with, are less crazy than the houses that the owners have hired an expert to rigorously decorate for them.

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