We have been in mansion update mode for several years. The house was built in 1900 and had only one serious update in the late fifties or early sixties, with burnt almond shap carpeting added sometime when it was in vogue. Structurally sound but with significant aesthetic issues, we snapped it up for about 80K (mortgage-wise) in the trough between one hot market and the next.
Being poor as the proverbial churchmice, we did almost everything we could and tried to live with everything else. First off came the six layers of wallpaper. What an archeological project; after that, we tore into the shag carpet everywhere, including bathrooms and kitchen; it was just nasty.
Then just as winter was getting well underway, the venerable oil burner died, and we went into debt for a new heat source. Finally, in the spring, we replaced a roof that said it had given everything to the house. It went on like this. Eventually, we could catch a breath and began to gain on the house.
Three years ago, finances finally supported updating the kitchen. Two years ago, we ripped out the old bathroom upstairs and watched with amazement as more and more poor qualtiy early twentieth-century craftsmanship was laid bare. Let’s see, along the way, we rewired, replumbed, and installed new walls and ceilings.
It’s now an old new house, I guess. But, at last, my wife and I are entertaining “small” projects and enjoying what we have.
Then a smarmy real estate leach contacts me with suggestions on how to prep my house for sale. As politely as I can get out between clenched teeth, I tell him we are not on the market. He insists on showing me a listing of nearby properties he has hustled, er moved. He shows up on a weekly schedule. Politeness doesn’t work. I begin now to reach for a handy tire iron. He leaves but pollutes my door with unsolicited postcards, envelopes, and offers for weeks.
Once again, he appears early in the morning. I now barely politely inform him that he has to count thirty before I unleash the hound. I holler for Max. Max loves to lick people and roll at their feet. But in a loud voice, I holler out, “Brutus, now boy, sic, sic! Attack!”
He stumbles on the pavement running as the baying of the hound approahes, slobbering with kisses, eager for a belly rub. I debate filing a trespass complaint, but the dog now demands that I give him belly rubs.
Real estate agents…the vampires of our current economy.