What Makes a Home

It's the personal items you bring along that make a house a home.

And they always want me to move. I’ve resisted, but this year I just might take a look around. For good reason. It might be the right time to buy.
According to the Metrostudy report, new home construction is at its highest level in years. The reason is because the high volume of home sales reduced the inventory of new and existing homes to record lows in 2013. This year could be even stronger.
Now although interest rates have eeked up a tiny bit, they are still unbelievably low, especially from the perspective of those of us who were active in real estate in the early ’80s. In October of 1981, 30-year fixed mortgage rates were at...Are you ready?...18.45 percent. But you know what? We didn’t care, because times were starting to get good. For those who can’t recall, it was the era before reality shows, press 1 for English and rehab. Real estate values were soaring, so everybody was happy. That’s why bankruptcy and divorce attorneys made less money than a poet. Of course the savings and loan crisis changed all that in 1985.
Now although we had another “minor” housing crisis back in 2008, I really think that those who have a hankering to build or remodel a home should give it a go. That’s why I’m glad the editors decided to include a home resource guide in this month’s issue. It includes everything you need from architects and contractors to floors and doors. And that’s all well and good, but it’s the personal items you bring that really make a house a home. Mom’s 20-year-old bathrobe, sis’s Barbie dolls, junior’s poster of LeBron and Dad’s old DVD collection. (The ones nobody knows about.)
With that in mind, I’ve done a little digging, and I found some actual additional items that a family may want to consider bringing along to make their home distinctive.

Just had the kids over for Easter again this year and, as usual, there was the same old murmuring and head shaking when they came through the door. I really don’t know why. It’s not that difficult helping me take down a Christmas tree.

1) The Taser MP3 Music Player 

This item is perfect for Mom when she’s ready to relax by herself during a hectic weekend. She can pop on the headphones and listen to some Kenny Chesney or Air Supply. If Dad happens to pop in feeling a little randy, she can zap him with 50,000 volts. Don’t worry, he should regain consciousness right after Lost in Love has finished playing. Dad will have no memory of what he wanted and get right back to mowing the lawn.


2) The FM Radio Toaster

Dad will be partial to this item because it’s something he would probably pick out in Skymall magazine after his fifth drink. Should easily fit in any closet or crawlspace.


3) Stairlift

Now I realize a mechanical chairlift is a pretty expensive item, but hey, it’s a long trip to the attic. Why should Gramps have to set up base camp halfway up the stairs?


4) Self-Help Book Rack

Although Mom has hundreds of self-help books, this rack only holds one. Think about it. If self-help books really worked, that’s all she’d need.


5) The iPhone Bacon Odor Alarm Clock

The folks at Apple have come up with a device that wakes the entire family by emitting the smell of sizzling bacon. But if bacon is not their thing, there are other odors available, including unsavory ones like “1-day-old underwear” and “Beaumont.”
I hope this information is helpful.
Well, I can smell by the old clock on the wall it’s nap time again. Back to the attic