Monday, September 04, 2006

A Slice Of Life In These United States

When our sizable family migrated to the US over a quarter of century ago, the statistics then showed that house owners stayed in their homes for an average of over 10 years before moving on to other houses/locations.

But the intervening years have seen that drastically reduced to less than six years. Credit that to the phenomenal surges in the housing markets and the rapid development of outlying areas, giving rise to what is derisively referred to as urban sprawl.

Our own experiences show that we have lived in three residences over the last 26 years, getting an average of 8 plus years per residence. Not bad. However, we have always maintained the original residence that we had purchased all this time. Home-grown sentimentality made us quite reluctant to part with it.

But now inevitability has set in so we are now prepared to part with it. Thus, for a good part of the current year, we have been moving out stuff that we have accumulated all these years. Stuff the entire family, parents and kids, have stowed away in the little 1100sq.ft two-storey building that was home for the growing years of the kids. In the same neighborhood highlighted in this previous post.

Selling an old house is a rather involved and at times a tedious process, especially much older houses that predate the passage of building codes that now apply to and cover modern buildings.

For this purpose, I have seen myself in the past two weeks immersed in various types of house work/repair to get the place ready for market. Not unlike a late-term bride, getting all dolled up and ready to be marketed to her prospective groom. Serious cosmetic touch-up of the exterior, with sealant and paint. Sprucing up of the interior with a fresh coat of paint and deep grooming of the carpets in the rooms. And of course, a new layer of impressive and shiny wood laminate flooring for the living/dining area to add crucial points to its overall ambiance.

And now, here she is all set to go – to the highest bidder!

Does anybody know how skewed the housing markets are? Try guessing how much this little shack can command in the present markets.