every street i’ve ever lived always had one house that was perpetually for sale.
you know what i mean. the one house in the neighborhood that just can’t get itself settled. there’s always a string of owners who perpetually work on the place, decorating, redecorating, renovating, gardening and generally over-updating. the place seems like it’s always looking over its shoulder for the next best thing. it’s generally the house that someone once paid too much for and everyone after that continued to pay too much to justify the price that the first person paid.
the houses on our street are all the same cape cod style, all made of brick, some with front porches, some with back, every one with a large picture window facing the street. it’s a dead end street with a park at one end and easy walking access to nearby amenities. because the houses are cape style (one bedroom on the ground floor and two bedrooms upstairs) people tend to live in these houses for a very long time. even during the roaring real estate days there wasn’t a whole lot of movement on our street.
it’s not a roaring real estate kind of street.
the perpetually-for-sale house is a cape that’s ashamed of being a cape, one that halfway tried to become a colonial by slapping a dormer on the back and half of one on the front. the dormers made it think much more of itself. the dormers make it embarrassed by itself, increases the longing to be something else somewhere new. the perpetually-for-sale house doesn’t want to inhabit a little dead end street with a park. it wants to live in the exburb with a german car in the driveway and a large themed flag in the front of itself. It longs for attention, to be at the center of style. it pulls off the masquerade long enough to lure in another buyer. buyers yes, actual lifers, no.
there is a dwarf weeping cherry and a sculpted evergreen in front garden instead of sturdy azaleas, reliable boxwoods or a slow growing dogwood. style without soul. the resume looks great, live in the house and the story changes. there are odd leaks, moans from too much renovation, marble where there should have been wood, sculptures where there should have been sinks, saturated colors that force the house to think it needs botox to keep up. the windows are perpetually shaded so the inside won’t have to mingle with the riff raff, cringe when it sees the street where it actually lives.
this house is the reality tv house on the block. the one that brags and rants, argues and over represents itself. it gets away with it for awhile, but the kind of person attracted to the house is also the kind of person who easily moves on in search of the next best thing.
there will be a new resident in the house, but the house won’t really change. i give it four years or so before it’s up for sale again.