I’m not looking for a place to buy because my wife Sally and I recently down-sized from the two-story, 150-year-old house where we lived for 32 years and I wouldn’t go through the process of moving again for all the money in the world.
The reason I read the ads in the paper is I enjoy a good shot of humor now and then and some of them are funny as all get out.
Like the one I saw the other day that began “Restful - Don’t get run over trying to keep up with the Joneses. You’ve paid your dues and now you can enjoy your retirement years in something more than just a bungalow.”
Another come-on in the same paper promised “Real fruit trees. . .that’s what you’ll get with this four-bedroom ranch in Washington Township.”
I’ve noticed how ads for homes in the suburbs tend to make city living sound really horrible, as evidenced by an ad that began “Moved out of the confusion and noise of city life to enjoy a slower pace in the country.”
By the same token, ads for homes in the city lean toward trying to make country-living sound like a nightmare.
“Why drive a longer distance to work every day when you can enjoy life right here in the city?” one ad asked.
Homes are described in a variety of ways in the newspaper, with the most popular superlatives being immaculate, homey, super-sharp, lovely, cute, terrific and gorgeous.
Phrases designed to get you to run, check-book-in-hand, to your local real estate office include “neat as a pin” and “sharp as a tack” and ”snug as a bug in a rug.”
Some ads begin with such attention-getters as “Must sell” and “Like new.”
Others seek to snare prospective buyers with terms like “Not in a plat” and “No money down.”
One ad that stood out described a home that was said to be “For the discriminating buyer.”
Another - obviously targeting a whole different breed of buyer - began “Handyman special.”
Another advertising trick is to offer prospective buyers little . . . um . . .”bonuses” – things like golf club and private swimming pool memberships, basement recreation rooms, covered patios, built-in microwave ovens and spacious yards.
Then there was that one-of-a-kind advertisement that said “Avid antiquers, happy horsemen, would-be-gardeners, designing doctors. We’ve got just what you’ve always wanted: 22 smashingly beautiful acres and one drop-dead-gorgeous home just waiting for you to move in. Will pay for itself in 10 years.”
Any way you look at it, that’s a pretty darned good deal.
©2007 North Star Writers Group