Real Estate Reference You're not paranoid -- the house really hates you!
Monday 12 November
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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 didn’t look right on the walls. Cakes fell in the oven. Curtains fell off the rods. The house, she concluded, hated her. And it wasn’t much consolation to realize the house hated her husband, too.

What I want to know is, how could she tell? Let’s 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 I’d waited longer, a better owner would have come along. So I’m going to make this one’s life miserable."

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

"You’ll see a lot of repair services in the first six months," I was warned. "When a house hasn’t changed hands in five years or more, lots of little things will happen when you move in."

Now, you’ll notice this doesn’t 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 isn’t so bad after all!") they took the plunge and bought their own home. I’d like to say they’re doing great but in fact they’ve dropped out of sight. They can’t take phone calls any more. "Sorry, we can’t tie up this line. We’re 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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