by Dan Seagren
Posted: November 4, 2018
What our houses say about us…
When I was a youngster, I forfeited my nickel allowance for a magazine route. That grew into a more rewarding allowance when I inherited a paper route. Now I read two major newspapers, one local and one with a broader range. It has a large Sunday edition including one section entitled MANSION (planetary house, manse, residence) with its last page usually full of ads for homes in the millions.
Although out of my range, we did own a home that sold for just over $50,000 above what we paid for it and the new owner sold it about 20 years later for just under a million. No, we didn't begrudge the owner because we left answering a telephone call to pull up stakes and move to Sweden. An experience without a dollar value.
I do peek at the section usually and find it fascinating, well out of my range but within my imagination. The most recent issue featured A Nantucket 'Nest' Just for the Grandkids for $2.8 million. The other featured a house with a $500,000 upgrade to make it non standout to flaunt their neighbors. We have all seen these statement homes tucked into modest neighborhoods which speaks for itself.
The next page featured a house reduced 22% and another one for rent at $55,000. Fascinating for me but frightening for others.
The next page caught my eye quickly: From a Two-Car Garage to a 20-Seat Tiki Hut. The newspaper stated that 110 people visited the Tiki Hut opening now called a Papuzzas (forbidden) or Tapu Bar. Why? Because the husband made deal with his wife that he could convert the double garage to house his odd ball collection of Tiki mugs, Polynesian carvings and Pupper-fish lamps seating 20 - allinvisible to the rest of the home. See why I read that section?
A Swedish entrepreneur bought a vacation estate in Portugal and his family lives there but now it is on the market at $6.44 million. Interested? One more opportunity. This one is a home purchased by one of the world's wealthiest men for his late first wife who loved it in the early '70s for $150,000. He kept it after her death in 2004 for occasional visits, updates and the beach house is now on the market for $7.9 million from an earlier price of $11 million.
In every MANSION Issue I learn something new, exciting, maybe depressing, and occasionally discover something affordable if we were in the market. A waste of time? Maybe, maybe not. I plan to continue pending availability, eyesight, curiosity and yes, increased knowledge. My daughter and husband recently watched an adjacent modest home get purchased, demolished and an expensive Mansion on the rise next door. The story has just begun. There are stories everywhere, some in infancy, others well-seasoned. Such a pity to miss out methinks.
Dan Seagren is an active retiree whose writings reflect his life as a Pastor, author of several books, and service as a Chaplain in a Covenant Retirement Community.• E-mail the author (su.nergaesnad@brabnad*) • Author's website (personal or primary**)
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