Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Open Houses and Home Tours

I love going into the homes of complete strangers. I love it so much that I will happily fork over cash money to go into the homes of complete strangers. If there's a Home Tour, I'm THERE! And since Home Tours are almost always for some charitable organization, I can be giving AND catty at the same time.

I doubt I will be asked to open my house for a Home Tour as my house, Casa de Gramma, has no historical or architectural significance and we don't plan on moving anytime in this millenium. As my offspring are the Fourth Generation of my family to live in Casa de Gramma, the plan is for one of them to continue living here after I've joined the rest of my ancestors in my curio cabinet/columbarium and just keep passing the house, along with the original phone number and locks, down to THEIR offspring and so on and so forth and scooby dooby dooby.

But if I were to open my home for a Home Tour, I would do my bestest to show my home in the best light possible, unlike some homes I've seen. There was the house that had lovely architectural details. Every room was beautifully decorated and furnished according to the era the house was built. Except the Master Bedroom. All it contained was an old, saggy looking bed covered with a ratty old bedspread. No accessories. Personally, I would have been embarrassed to have people seeing my pathetic, depressing bedroom.

And then there are the homeowners who don't bother to clean their Open to the Paying Public homes. I've seen houses with stains on the counters and dishes in the sink and it was obvious the words "dust rag" was not in their vocabulary.

But for real fun, nothing beats realtor Open Houses. I really need to start bringing my camera with me when I attend Open Houses because I've seen alot in my career as a Professional Open House Attendee. I've seen houses that haven't been updated decor-wise since the Eisenhower administration, which can be charmingly "retro." I've seen houses where almost every surface was covered in brick. Front walkway, porches, floors, walls, counters. There was both real brick and faux, painted-to-look-like-brick everywhere the eye could see. I've seen homes decorated as shrines to Elvis. I've seen homes decorated in a style we like to call "Tuscan Tijuana."

But the best of the worst was a million dollar listing in a neighborhood of lovely million dollar homes. I'm still kicking myself for not whipping out my BlackBerry for photographic proof. Proof of what, you ask? Proof of the filth, I say. The kitchen hadn't been cleaned in days, weeks, months. There were greasy dishes piled in the sink. The living room was a dark, yet garishly painted room with lots of fake foliage that hadn't seen a dust rag in years. The many bedrooms had not seen a good cleaning in forever. The stale stench of cigarettes hung in the air, along with the full ashtrays in various rooms. The homeowners had cats and/or dogs with bladder control problems. The pool and spa were breeding grounds for the West Nile Virus. But the piece de resistance was the large, industrial size cans of Roach spray sitting in plain view in every room of the house. Along with the dead roaches. Not surprisingly, after almost two years on the market, this house still has yet to sell.

I'd like to thank everyone who opens their home to the public for giving me fodder for this here blog. Now, if I could only remember to take pictures.

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