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shinysideup How to buy a house


By Ron Davis #111820 MY WIFE AND I


have recently been going through the process of selling our house and buy- ing a different one. It’s been a bit short of what I


would call a pleasant experi- ence, much more akin to jour- neying through Dante’s fifth or sixth circle of hell. Muddling through offers, counter-offers, contingencies, inspections, showings, and the truckload of paperwork has been mind- numbing, though my wife per- sists in cheerily referring to this phase in our life as “A Grand Adventure.” What’s this got to do with


motorcycles? You’d be sur- prised. When it came to selling our house, I’d been patiently informed that to prepare for showing it (called “staging,” I learned), the pre-eminent prin- ciple, at least according to HGTV, is to “reduce clutter.” Apparently this extended to getting my Beemer out of the garage, since, it was reasoned, stabling my bike at a friend’s house every time we had a showing would transform our skimpy, one car garage into an expanse suit- able for a U2 concert. After four or five showings, I got tired of all this shuffling around, and somehow was able to convince my better half that keeping a BMW in the garage would only enhance our prospective buyers’ opinions of us as sellers with discrimi- nating tastes, a lofty sense of style, and an uncompromising appreciation for quality. Though all family photos were to be removed from our walls to


16 BMW OWNERS NEWS October 2017


facilitate a buyer’s ability to “see themselves in their new home” (another HGTV com- mandment), I insisted on leaving up my “BMW 1933 GERWINNER DER INTERNAT SECHSTAGEFAHRTS TROPHAE” poster —again, taste, style.


web. But we did get to look at a few homes,


and it quickly became obvious that my wife’s and my lists of “must haves” were dis- tinctly different. My wife was preoccupied with things like “closet space,” the mysteri- ous “Kitchen Triangle,” and something called “Open Concept” (a phrase which doesn’t mean what I hoped it might). I had different standards, most nota-


bly among them, where would my bike live? Call me eccentric, obsessive-com- pulsive, or just plain weird, but it’s my custom to keep my bike in the base- ment through the long Wisconsin win- ter. Maybe it’s the effect of a garage’s temperature fluctuations and conden- sation, maybe I can’t stand the thought of a BMW banished to the caste of snowblowers and lawn mowers, or maybe I just like being able to look at a bike while the snow piles up outside, but my understanding realtor (Gold Wing Owner) raised her eyebrows, pulled me aside and whispered, “So, a walk-out, then?” With each showing, while my wife


methodically checked for soft-closing drawers, I searched for a closet worthy of my hoarder’s collection of helmets, gloves, jackets, rain suits, boots and all the gear that populates my panniers.


Looking at homes to buy was another


matter. In case you haven’t heard, in many cities it is a blistering hot market for houses. Since the pull-back from the overly gener- ous financing schemes about ten years ago and the consequent decline in home build- ing, there are lots more buyers than there are sellers. In fact, after a few disappointing incidents where we weren’t quick enough on the draw, I began to think the only way to find a house would be to sit in the car with the motor running, ready to tear off toward a new listing as soon as it hit the


Against which wall would my seven tiers of painstakingly organized issues of BMW Owners News and Motorcycle Consumer News go? Would the garage support some serious farkling? And what about the driveway? A severe pitch was a deal breaker. Long story short, we eventually made an


offer on a home. Apparently its Kitchen Triangle is sufficiently equilateral to stave off starvation, and the feng shui of the liv- ing room is shui-y enough that visitors won’t shriek in horror. And yes, it’s walk-out.


the club


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