Friday, May 12, 2023

Stunning Houses! Dream Homes!

 Dateline: Golden Beach, Venice, Florida

A major conversation topic when I set off on my early morning power walk with my neighbours is house sales and house prices. Which makes Golden Beach no different from London. Despite rising interest rates, house sales here show no sign yet of calming down. The pretty cottage up the road has just sold and I hope the new owners will be of the Small is Beautiful persuasion and not want to pull it down and build their own version of Mar a Lago - which is happening all too often around here. 

 There are some transatlantic differences in the way estate agents/realtors conduct their business. Here they don't sell "houses", they sell "homes". Once you've got that linguistic nuance out of the way, there are other, far more pronounced differences. Just read the blurb on the online house ads, which I'm far too fond of browsing. In Britain it'll tell you stuff like how many bedrooms and how close to the railway station. In short it's about the house. Here in the US it's all about how you will live your life once you're lucky enough to buy the house, sorry, home. Well, for a start you're going to be doing a lot of "cozying" [sic].  As in "Cozy up in front of the wonderful stone fireplace in the great room. Play a game of cards in the dining room while you’re cooking a crockpot of chili in the kitchen. "

   Like it or not, you're going to be the host/ess with the most/est, "Picture Sunday brunches with friends and family! You'll love the extra-large kitchen that opens to the spacious laundry room with ample shelving for your canned goods and supplies! The formal dining room is wonderful for those sit down, holiday dinners! And while the chefs are busy whipping up their gourmet dishes, your guests will have plenty of room to roam between the parlor and formal living room - each displaying a beautiful fireplace!"  Presumably keeping their sticky fingers away from the family silver.

   Next, you're going to be doing a lot of coffee sipping (it's always "sipping", which sounds more genteel, I suppose, than slurping or chugging). This may happen on the patio, or the  balcony or, if you've dished out enough dosh, by the (always) sparkling pool. When it's time to watch the sunset, you'll change to a "cool drink". Intellectual pursuits aren't forgotten,  "The spacious master suite features a beautiful fireplace and sitting area, great for an evening in with a book." 

   And in case you don't know what to do with that "office/bedroom/flex room with closet", worry not - it'll be "perfect for those guests who come to dinner and never want to leave." 


 You'd better lock your guests up and get some rest because you'll be leading an adventurous life, "This active and social community hosts many events and gatherings, one is sure to peak [sic] your interest". But if you, "Take a spin on your golf cart and enjoy the beauty around you and your friendly neighbors", just don't run them over. They could turn nasty.

   And if you're risking buying  that partly-demolished beach house in a town devastated by Hurricane Ian, you can still enjoy "priceless pleasures only such an island location can provide; and be blown away (oops) by its renowned sunsets."

    A neighbourhood in Britain is merely "sought after" (or in some cases "sort after" - a weak grasp of grammar uniting estate agents on both sides of the pond); here you won't have to let your imagination run riot - they'll do it for you,  "No loading up the car, no walking across streets with your beach gear, no waiting in traffic looking for a parking spot. Just bring your friends and family and walk out to the beach to enjoy the blue waters and beautiful Sunsets of West Coast Florida! Enjoy live music while dining or (of course) having coffee. 

 The agents also offer dubious sartorial advice, "Pack your flip-flops, your Paradise is waiting!", or, scarily,  "No shirt! No shoes! No problem!"

  Unless they're actually falling down, houses for sale in Britain are invariably "stunning". Here, though, they're  always "your dream home", offering the "life you deserve". Amazing how they know.