Buyers are liars and sellers are storytellers is the first adage I heard when I got into real estate.
While I got the gist of what the second phrase meant, I couldn’t quite grasp what agents meant when they called buyers liars. Then I caught on when I would hear such things as, “let me talk to my husband, I’ll get right back to you.”
In my own case, I have a completely different interpretation of the expression. I was a liar, but only to myself, in what I said I wanted as a buyer because what I ended up buying just last week is completely different.
After some years of promising–or threatening–to move from the home in which I have been ensconced for 43 years, The Home Guru is moving. After having utilized my beloved and historic Ebenezer White House for a broad range of articles as I prepared it for sale, the odd thing is that I’m not even selling it in order to move.
Besides being a realtor, I am the owner of Westchester’s longest-running public relations firm, headquartered in these historic digs. When a new client came along to sign contracts, management fell in love with the house and decided it would be perfect as their new offices.
This offers me the opportunity to become a landlord of a professional office building that can be expanded upon and maintained as a profit center for life. Of course there are responsibilities, but my investment in restoring and maintaining this property that I had always felt was above and beyond what I should spend to get a reasonable return has paid off for me and I’m thrilled.
Now let me tell you what I have in store for The Home Guru’s new lifestyle, the one to which I will eventually retire, but I promise, not any time soon. It all started with the urging of Mrs. Home Guru, Margaret. Our property here is gorgeous but did require a lot of outside work, which when I was younger, was my domain and I loved it.
However, it became more challenging as I got busier and downright burdensome physically as I got older. I’m still in good shape but admit that my stamina has its limits compared to when I was in my thirties.
I had always expected to downsize to a quaint cottage in the woods in some rarified elevation, perhaps with a small pond or on a lake. But my wife has always been more gregarious than I and she had other ideas. She first looked at attached townhouses, then condos, and finally convinced me to visit Trump Park in my hometown of Yorktown in Shrub Oak. Since first built in 2002, I had thought they were beautifully done, but I preferred a place where I could swing open my doors and walk directly into the great outdoors.
“If I wanted to live in a building that’s like apartments in the city,” I’d say, “I’d live in the city. I don’t want to walk down a hallway to get to my home.”
But my wife was determined and told me to contact Nancy Kennedy, the exclusive agent at Houlihan Lawrence, for a showing.
From the first time I met Kennedy and experienced her skill, knowledge and manner with her clients, I thought if I were not me I’d want to be her. When she was walking us through the building to the unit Margaret had identified as perfect for us, a resident walking in the opposite direction, a man about my age on his way to the gym with his duffel bag, leaned into her and whispered with a smile, “Did you tell them that really bad people live on this floor?”
It’s amazing how one comment, that one small thing, can change the whole paradigm about where and how you want to live. This was the prelude to a kiss with my new life.
After more than 40 years of living in isolation, separated on an island of streets and trees from any other living soul, I wanted to know who this fellow was. I wanted to know where he came from and whether we could be friends. I wanted to go with him to the gym. I wanted to be close neighbors and friends. I wanted to belong.
Next week, I will tell you how my new lifestyle unfolded before me.
Bill Primavera is a Realtor® associated with William Raveis Real Estate and Founder of Primavera Public Relations, Inc., the longest running public relations agency in Westchester (www.PrimaveraPR.com, specializing in lifestyles, real estate and development. His real estate site is:www.PrimaveraRealEstate.com and his blog is: www.TheHomeGuru.com. To engage the services of The Home Guru and his team to market your home for sale, call 914-522-2076.