Monday, October 29, 2012

This is Where They Hide the Dead Bodies

I have a little game I like to play when I am showing homes, especially old homes. The game is called, "this is where they hide the dead bodies." Most old homes have a little nook under the stairs, or a crawl space under the house that borders on the creepy. Whenever a client asks what that space is supposed to be used for, I just tell them it is where you hide the dead bodies. I am not sure this tactic helps sell houses.

Last month I was showing houses to a client who wanted a big garage. We found a house that had a 6 car garage- perfect. The house was built in the 80s and was all brick. It was late evening when we went in and I was standing in the storage room with my client when we realized the entire room was concrete - it was a bomb shelter! As we looked around we noticed that there was a child height peephole in the door to the storage room and a tiny, child sized rocking chair in the corner. I tried to keep my cool but I ran out as soon as my client uttered the words, "this is creepy."

We pulled ourselves together and went to check out the second garage, which was attached to the house, but could only be accessed from the outside. In the garage was a 6 inch pipe which led to bomb shelter/storage room. Seems weird, right?
Then we noticed this other hole which made clear that this was a thick cement wall - 9 inches thick.
So why do you need access to the bomb shelter/storage room from your attached but not attached garage? Finally we saw this note, printed on the back of a bill from 1982:
Clearly, they have concocted this elaborate knocking system to cover up the evil that was being perpetrated in the garage and bomb shelter/storage room!

When I spoke to the listing agent the next day I mentioned that these items were disconcerting - to me and my clients. (I think I actually said, "What on earth was happening at that house?"). Well, it was less exciting than the story I had dreamed up. Turns out the former home owner was an engineer who liked to tinker in the garage and wanted a way to communicate with his wife without having to walk inside, hence the knocking system.

If you want a home with lots of garage space and bomb shelter this is still available - give me a call :) I promise to stick by you even when it gets a little creepy.

1 comment:

  1. Hilarious! I love that you'll stick by us even when it's creepy--or when we are crazy!