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Friday, March 28, 2008

Funniest Darned Video

This is really making fun of over-enthusiastic would-be female homebuyers, I think. It's also not very kind to realtors. Worksafe and very funny video of a British realtor having trouble with one half of the couple to whom she's showing a house. Watch the interplay between the realtor and the woman.

Comments:
The Realtor actually answered the questions, though - gotta give her that - in that perfectly "no big deal" straight faced all-is-well humor the Brits are famous for.

"But the schools here are quite good....." LOL

The kids willl love the clown.
 
"Just don't look at it!"

The actress playing the realtor did a superb job.
 
This works on so many levels...

First, Britain is world-famous for its ghost stories; "Merlin's Isle of Graymarye" is known as the most haunted country in Europe, and the Brits like their ghosts.

Second, Realtors DO try to "convert" the wife, so the two of them can gang up on the husband and pressure/force him to sign. During the Everyone-Get-Rich-Quick-Flipping-Condos period a couple years ago, there was even a famous American Real Estate ad showing exactly that, with the realtor on the phone coaching the wife on what to say to nag her hubby into signing.

Women tend to be less skilled in money matters and more "nesting"; once She Who Must Be Obeyed (or hubby sleeps on the living-room couch for the rest of his married life) decides "This IS My Home", she'll stick to it the strongest and longest, regardless of any financial ruin (or dead clowns) involved.

Headless Unicorn Guy
(who's paying off his mortgage in full next month)
 
This video is hilarious!!

The Headless Unicorn Guy makes us women sound awful! It not that bad - is it now?
 
The Dead Clown might be Hank Paulson, but not enough stuttering.
 
Viola - the video is a caricature of how human beings really are. So of course it is an exaggeration.

Headless - congrats on retiring the mortgage. It must feel very good! You've been through one severe housing downturn and have entered into another with that companion!
 
The Dead Clown In The Garden!

It sounds like the title of a Ngaio Marsh mystery.
 
Mama, yes of course, I know the video was an exaggeration. I was talking about the Headless Unicorn Guy's depiction of us women of "either my way or the highway" mentality.

The video is hilarious! :-)
 
I have known women who do that.

Not all, of course. But I do think women's instincts sometimes guide them wrong on home-buying.

It's odd because overall I think most women manage money better than men, but on homes? Not necessarily. Financially conservative women seem more prone to lose it there.
 
Mama, what are some of the more important points a woman should look at when choosing a home. My husband has told me to look around to see if I find something I like. I've been looking for a number of years but can't seem to really make up my mind.

I have been blessed with a good nose as I find great bargains in almost everything I buy...yet still top quality. With a house, I have not been able to do that. I'm sure there is a trick. Can you enlighten me???? :-)
 
Beyond the obvious (you should like the layout of the house, the area, and the schools should be good):

-older construction. A lot of these new homes are not well built.

-the foundation is most important. Look for settling problems, etc. That's another reason why buying new construction isn't always a good idea. If you can find one, an older home with new double windows is a great pick.

-check to make sure that the home isn't in one of those not-designated flood zones. Especially if there is water nearby. The flood maps don't always catch the longer cycles in areas with more recent construction, and boy is that a nasty surprise.

-energy-efficiency pays off. Some older-type homes really made sense, especially the two-story ones with enclosed interior stairs on which you could close a door. That way when you get older, you can live on the ground floor and not bother heating/cooling the upstairs. Open plans don't always make sense. I really love the older type houses which had entries with inner and outer doors. That saves so much in energy costs!

For finances, buying in well-established neighborhoods with a mix of ages tends to create price stability. Also try to buy in the range in which you could rent it and pay the mortgage from the proceeds. That may require saving a hefty downpayment, but the peace of mind later will pay you back. Also make sure that you can save while paying the fixed mortgage down.

-for families with school-age children, I like a home that has one room in which you will tend to congregate after dinner. The room should have no TV (or you should have the will to keep it off), and it should have a big table where kids can do their homework and adults can work on projects. The top school problem is sending your kids to their rooms to do their homework. They are kids. They are easily distracted. Nine-tenths of the problem disappears if you have the old family kitchen-table dynamic going.

-if you have anyone with allergies in the family or any family history of allergies, carpeted floors are not that great. You can put down throw rugs on stone or wood floors, but wall-to-wall carpeting is unhealthy for many people.

But the top tip is DO NOT FORGET THE MAN. Whatever he likes to do, there should be space for him to do it. If he has hobbies, there should be one place in that house where he can spread out and do those hobbies. One thing my mother pointed out to me when I was young which is really true - if you go in a house of a long-term happily married couple, there will be one guyish spot for him. If he likes wood-working, he'll have a spot to do it in, etc.

So before you buy, sit down your husband and make him describe what he would like in a house. Does he want land? Does he like to work around the house? Does he like to garden? Does he like tools and want a shop? (Those guys are great for home projects.) Does he want a boat? Has his secret dream always been to build a kit plane? Whatever it may be, the home-buying decision should include his dreams as well.
 
Excellent tips and thank you so much for taking the time to write those down for me. I will print this out and will sit down with my husband to get his input. This is a great help!:-)
 
-older construction. A lot of these new homes are not well built.

That's an understatement. Here in SoCal, the 4000+ Sq Ft, 2 Bedroom McMansions in this last building boom are (almost literally) particle board and styrofoam construction. They're intended to last only long enough for the sucker to sign the mortgage and the developer/realtor to leave town.

I really love the older type houses which had entries with inner and outer doors. That saves so much in energy costs!

Those are called "vestibules"; you usually find them in cold climates. Failing that, make sure the doors and windows are weatherstripped and your window treatments have some insulation value; that's why I prefer draperies to the more common vertical- and mini-blinds. I've noticed a 10-20 degree difference between the window and the interior with thick drapes.

Also check orientation on the lot and whether the house is in shade during hot summers. This is a major flaw where I am now; the driveway & back alley prevent any trees from shading my Southern and Western walls, making for huge AC bills during the summer, and the bedroom in that corner overheats no matter what.

-if you have anyone with allergies in the family or any family history of allergies, carpeted floors are not that great. You can put down throw rugs on stone or wood floors, but wall-to-wall carpeting is unhealthy for many people.

Unfortunately, once you get past 1950s construction (or the shift to slab floors), wall-to-wall carpeting is universal. When you're covering it with carpet, you don't need to spend any money on a good floor. (My current place even has its BATHROOMS carpeted! That's going away in next year's budget. Commercial-grade one-piece vinyl, NOT residential-grade. Not only more durable, but cheaper.) Since you'll probably be stuck with wall-to-wall carpeting, replace it with quality carpet; I'm going with a short-pile for ease of maintenance (and less dust-catching than shag) and commercial-grade for the high-traffic areas like stairways and hallways. Under NO circumstances use the cheap Olefin shag (like mine came with) -- it sheds to the point of clogging any vacuum short of a Shop-Vac, making it impossible to clean, and crushes down into dingy dirt-colored felt within a couple years.

But the top tip is DO NOT FORGET THE MAN. Whatever he likes to do, there should be space for him to do it. If he has hobbies, there should be one place in that house where he can spread out and do those hobbies.

Cannot stress this enough. Women tend to have more "nesting instinct" than men, and without opposition will pretty much take over the House in her image. At which point, the man is just living in Her House (TM). He needs a part of the house that is His. Otherwise it's too easy for him to get the feeling he's just a kept ATM/handyman/stud service.

Headless Unicorn Guy
(who's filling out the wire transfer payoff forms)
 
kcdkt-older construction. A lot of these new homes are not well built.

That's an understatement. Here in SoCal, the 4000+ Sq Ft, 2 Bedroom McMansions in this last building boom are (almost literally) particle board and styrofoam construction. They're intended to last only long enough for the sucker to sign the mortgage and the developer/realtor to leave town.

I really love the older type houses which had entries with inner and outer doors. That saves so much in energy costs!

Those are called "vestibules"; you usually find them in cold climates. Failing that, make sure the doors and windows are weatherstripped and your window treatments have some insulation value; that's why I prefer draperies to the more common vertical- and mini-blinds. I've noticed a 10-20 degree difference between the window and the interior with thick drapes.

Also check orientation on the lot and whether the house is in shade during hot summers. This is a major flaw where I am now; the driveway & back alley prevent any trees from shading my Southern and Western walls, making for huge AC bills during the summer, and the bedroom in that corner overheats no matter what.

-if you have anyone with allergies in the family or any family history of allergies, carpeted floors are not that great. You can put down throw rugs on stone or wood floors, but wall-to-wall carpeting is unhealthy for many people.

Unfortunately, once you get past 1950s construction (or the shift to slab floors), wall-to-wall carpeting is universal. When you're covering it with carpet, you don't need to spend any money on a good floor. (My current place even has its BATHROOMS carpeted! That's going away in next year's budget. Commercial-grade one-piece vinyl, NOT residential-grade. Not only more durable, but cheaper.) Since you'll probably be stuck with wall-to-wall carpeting, replace it with quality carpet; I'm going with a short-pile for ease of maintenance (and less dust-catching than shag) and commercial-grade for the high-traffic areas like stairways and hallways. Under NO circumstances use the cheap Olefin shag (like mine came with) -- it sheds to the point of clogging any vacuum short of a Shop-Vac, making it impossible to clean, and crushes down into dingy dirt-colored felt within a couple years.

But the top tip is DO NOT FORGET THE MAN. Whatever he likes to do, there should be space for him to do it. If he has hobbies, there should be one place in that house where he can spread out and do those hobbies.

Cannot stress this enough. Women tend to have more "nesting instinct" than men, and without opposition will pretty much take over the House in her image. At which point, the man is just living in Her House (TM). He needs a part of the house that is His. Otherwise it's too easy for him to get the feeling he's just a kept ATM/handyman/stud service.

Headless Unicorn Guy
(who's filling out the wire transfer payoff forms)
 
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