Yesterday I borrowed a Canon 5D with a wide-angle lens (and briefly considered faking my own death so I’d never have to give it back) and took the MLS photos for our house. It was a sweaty and near-impossible task, trying to keep surfaces clean and child-free for long enough to snap the photo, and I am officially in a state of anticipatory despair over the idea of keeping the house in show-ready condition with two small kids in the house and a husband who apparently believes all cereal bowls and shoes are continually sucked into another dimension by invisible dimension-sucking fairies and a dog who sheds giant haybales of fur every five minutes and the toys and the dirt and the mess, oh god.

Here’s what the pictures look like:





(I’m not sure about using this photo. On the one hand, I should show more than one bedroom, right? On the other, it’s nearly impossible to photograph well and is so Kid-Decorated which might be a turnoff.)








If you have any thoughts on house staging, I’d love to hear them. I’ve de-cluttered the closets and cleaned our windows and we’re about to touch up some trim and remove 90% of our family photos, what else should I be thinking of? Oh and also, hey, just how the shit am I going to manage this whole thing without losing my mind?

The first thing I fell in love with in our house was the cedar-lined ceiling in the living room. That, and the striking red wall over the fireplace. I just loved those two things, so much that I felt like I didn’t even care what the rest of the house looked like.

Over the years, we’ve put a lot of work into this place. We tore it apart at both ends and added a living room, an office, expanded a master bedroom and added a master bath. We added the two-car garage which has become the Man Shop. We expanded and updated the tiny kitchen. We replaced the carpeting with hardwood floors.

Was it worth the expense? I’m not entirely sure. We thought it was a great investment at the time, and for a while our market value soared. Then, of course, it crashed, like everyone else’s.

The renovations have made this a wonderful home to live in, though, and for that reason I don’t regret the effort and money. I hope we can get a fair price when it comes time to sell. I’m worried that we won’t. I’m worried because there are plenty of houses nearby that aren’t selling, whose FOR SALE signs have gathered dust over the months they’ve been on the market.

We had some realtors—from an agency that touts their quick sales and aggressive marketing—come through and look at our house, and the first thing they told us to do was paint the ceiling. Paint the red wall, too. People want neutral tones, they said. Oh, and you’ll need to price your house 40K below what you were thinking.

It’s the weirdest thing, I don’t know why that bothered me so much. They’re just doing their job, right? Telling us what, statistically, helps sell a house. It’s advice we can take or leave. And yet I thought, fuck these guys. Fuck ’em right in the ear. The fuck if I’m going to cover up the very things I fell in love with, years ago. The fuck if we’re going to give up on our asking price without even trying.

Everything about this is hard, right now. Hard choices and scary possibilities and people telling us we’re making bad decisions. Money worries, god. I don’t know what the right answers are.

So what else is there to do, but go forward with hope? Hope that someone else falls in love.


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