Once we decide to move, at our advanced ages, from our townhouse condo in Westchester to our first real house in North Stamford, we discovered there was one thing we needed immediately: a good real estate agent. A really, really patient good real estate agent.
It wasn’t so much to pick out houses for us to see; we pretty much did most of that online ourselves. We’d go to listingbook.com and realtor.com and then email the agent, whose name was Nancy, and say “Here are the ones we’d like to see this weekend,” and attach a list of 50 or so listings.
Then she’d call and say things like, “Well, that one is next to an insane asylum,” or “You can wave to drivers on the Merritt from your porch,” or “Do you happen to own a construction company?” and we’d narrow the list down to a more manageable number.
The real reason why Nancy needed the patience of a saint, or at least a saintly real estate agent, was that she had to explain everything.
A typical conversation would go something like this:
Me: So what does it mean when the listing says “well water.”
Nancy (looking perplexed): It means, um, that the water comes from a well.
Me: You mean a well as in, “Lassie, is Timmy down the well?”
Nancy (eyes rolling): Well, yeah, I guess.
Me: You mean we have to, like, lower a bucket to get our water?
Nancy (laughing nervously): No, no. Nothing like that. It’s just where your water comes from. You’ll have indoor plumbing and everything.
I was flabbergasted. Here we were, moving to what I considered to be a fairly major city, and we had to supply our own water? I would nod pleasantly and we’d continue on, although I still carried the image of my wife Barbara and I wandering around our property with dowsing rods.
And after awhile, I’d blurt out something like, “Next thing you’ll tell us is Stamford doesn’t even pick up our garbage.”
See you again soon.