Real Estate Reference You're not paranoid -- the house really hates you!
Sunday 17 February
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  by Cathy Goodwin, PhD

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  Lonesome. When Ms. Angelou moved into a designer house in California, she says, nothing worked. Her pictures didnít look right on the walls. Cakes fell in the oven. Curtains fell off the rods. The house, she concluded, hated her. And it wasnít much consolation to realize the house hated her husband, too.

What I want to know is, how could she tell? Letís face it, most houses hate their new owners. They have adapted to the rhythm of one family and resent being sold. Like most cats that you rescue from the pound, your house probably believes, "If Iíd waited longer, a better owner would have come along. So Iím going to make this oneís life miserable."

Those who are trained in modern research methods will be skeptical, but thereís plenty of evidence. Everyone knows what happens when you move into a new house.

"Youíll see a lot of repair services in the first six months," I was warned. "When a house hasnít changed hands in five years or more, lots of little things will happen when you move in."

Now, youíll notice this doesnít happen when you rent a house or apartment. Some friends of mine rented a house while they saved to buy their own property. For two years, the refrigerator purred and the air conditioner hummed contentedly. The plumbing flowed silently and the insect life remained hidden. Encouraged ("see, a house isnít so bad after all!") they took the plunge and bought their own home. Iíd like to say theyíre doing great but in fact theyíve dropped out of sight. They canít take phone calls any more. "Sorry, we canít tie up this line. Weíre holding the phone open till we hear from the handyman..." Or the pest control guy, or the electrician. They considered Call Waiting but were afraid to jinx the only object in the house that seemed to be working.
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