Thursday, August 11, 2011

Defining highlights

Initially, I'm sure the near-universal reaction to our house on the selling date would have been “what a piece of ….” Some would likely use a stronger last word than others, but most would have been fairly accurate. The house was a piece.

But—like any house I've inspected—it wasn't without highlights.

The wood floors were pretty in places. Or maybe they were only pretty in one place—I remember that the floor in the southwest corner of the dining room was pretty. But it's notable that the value of the floors shouldn't have been seen as a foregone conclusion, as they are made of longleaf pine. Pine is soft. And the wood that made up the flooring throughout much of the house was pretty beat up when we purchased the house.

The floors did end up being valuable, but they were highlights regardless of their end value because highlights in real estate transactions are based on the present: when you buy a house, you buy the house in it's present shape. You're not buying some mythical future version of the house in which the old (but presently working) air conditioner fails and therefore the previous owner can be presently held responsible. If the air conditioner works, then enjoy it, live in the moment, and move on when the time comes—but not a moment sooner.