Tag Archives: Frontier Sales

Searching For Mr. Tenant

If somebody in Toronto spots this man, tweet me pronto.  Not for me, perv, for my daughter.  I might be in my cougar years but I’m not on the prowl for young prey.  Please.  But daughter is a big fan of his work.  Although we would both love to get a real-life glimpse of the enigmatic (and by enigmatic, I mean: What’s the story, morning-glory? Is he gay or straight?) Robert Pattinson, the sparkly star of that heinous Twilight franchise.  He’s in town RIGHT NOW filming “Cosmopolis.”  He wasn’t at the Pride Parade on Sunday, but then again all those oily young bucks looked alike in blazing sun.  He doesn’t seem to sleep or eat anywhere, so he could possibly really be a vampire.   So yeah, if you spot a Cosmopolis film truck, call me, and we will put our slap on, change our shoes, and Scionate on over to the locale and pretend we are part of the makeup crew.  Hilarity would ensue, it would be like a hybrid episode of Gilmore Girls meets I Love Lucy. It would make our whole summer.

And speaking of slippery young men, last week my tenant gave me notice that he was leaving.  And by “notice,’ I mean a text on July 1;  “Just a head’s up, Kristin, I’m looking for a cheaper place.”  Me:  “You mean September 1?”  He: “Well, like, kind of like August 1, I’ll let you know.”  WHAT DO YOU MEAN “LET ME KNOW?”  You’re leaving or you’re not, and you’re only giving me 30 days notice, JESUS MO-FU!   I didn’t say that to him, instead I remained calm and told him I would have to advertise it right away, blah blah, but inside I was seething with the usual fear-based rage I have become so accustomed in the past year.  As much as I love my tenant, and by “love,”  I mean from afar, from very afar, because he spends most of his time in Woodbridge.  And for me, there is no better tenant than the absent kind.  But he was having problems with rent, so, maybe it was really for the best.

So onto to Craigslist I went.  It’s a scary place, that’s for sure.  Last year I put 8 harp-backed dining room chairs for sale.  Those are those ubiquitous chairs that every East York gramma has but I put the clever spin on it in the ad:  “As seen on Sex and the City.”  It is true, when you own these harp-backed chairs, you can spot them a mile away anywhere.  So I noticed in the episode where Charlotte wants to convert to Judaism and she barges in on the Rabbi’s Seder, she is offered a seat on a harp-back when they say their prayer.  Funnily enough, the person that answered the Craigslist ad, was a woman named Esther, who came to see them one evening with her husband.  They were a young Jewish couple from Bathurst and Lawrence and they drove all the way to the beach late at night   She was wearing a long black wig ass-length wig that made her look like pole dancer in a witness protection program.  She was  painfully thin and covered up in a button down shirt and one of those long, ankle length corduroy skirts that Ralph Lauren still puts out for that particular demographic.   He was all conservative, also,  wearing a yarmulke and suit and was non-stop finger fucking his Blackberry the moment he stepped out of the mini-van.  I took them to see the chairs which were in the empty dining room of the apartment that I hadn’t yet rented out to the current dingle-douche. It was way past my bed-time and one of those sweltering hot Tennessee Williams-style July nights that make sensitive souls such as myself want to ruminate in the dark with a wet washcloth and sweating glass of icy vodka-laced lemonade bed-side.  It took these two wretched characters the better part of an hour for them to fight over whether to buy the chairs or not.

He:  These chairs are UGLY!

She:  I like them, I want them.

He:  You just like them because you want to buy them.  You`ll hate them when you bring them home.  You do this all the time.

She:  No I don’t, I haven’t done any decorating in that apartment!   I really like them.

He: You don`t like them,  you just like buying things.

She:  They’ll fit perfectly with the table.

He:  WHY?  They are UGLY and they are too small!  We have fat relatives! (and he turns to me and says) I’m sorry, lady, but I know my wife and she just likes to buy things even if they are ugly.

Me:  But she likes them…..But you are right, she married you and you are ugly (haha, I don’t actually say that part)

He:  SHE DOESN”T LIKE THEM!  YOU’RE NOT HEARING ME!  I KNOW MY WIFE!

And so it went.  I shut up and just watched this post modern, twisted version of “Fiddler on the Roof” play out until she finally complied right around the time his Blackberry ran out of battery.  Off they went, chairless, into the sultry hot night.  When they got home, they probably had negotiated sex:  “I’ll buy you an ottoman,” he said,  After he planted his seed into her bony loins, he rolled over and said, “If you have a baby, it better be a boy,” as he plugged his Blackberry back in the charger.  Stupid Craigslist, creepy people, dumb chairs.  A week later, the good folks at Frontier Sales ended up taking them off my hands.  “These chairs are a dime a dozen,” Frontierman said, ” But I will give 50 bucks.”  Sweet!  Deal!

That was a year ago.  So when I reluctantly put the apartment up on Craigslist this week, I was delighted with 8 responses in one day, and 6 people came.  It turned out I had my choice!   Everyone was so nice!  There were ladies and couples but I ended up choosing the single, mid- 20s male, once again, to replace the old one.  The house is top-heavy with both fresh, ripe, and spayed estrogen (poor 15-year-old Freddy, even the dog is a girl)  that the virile testosterone of a young buck can be the only remedy to make the house feng shui balanced.  That is my story and I’m sticking to it.

Kristin’s 6 Things To Do To Sell Your House

I remember being a first time homebuyer in 1992….those were the days, my friend.  Although it was a “seller’s market”, the most a homeowner would do to tart up their house was to boil some sprigs of mint over the stove to control the odour of the kitty litter right beside the fridge.  And in the beach, people still fought over these houses.  We paid $1000 over asking on a semi-detached on Waverley Rd that had wall-to-wall rust carpet and different floral wallpaper in every room.  Now of course, it’s a different story.  In the last 7 years, we see houses in the east end going Recommended :  Diana at Flohaus http://flohaus.com/ for design consulting, 86it Junk  http://www.86itjunk.com/book.php for junk removal, for tens of thousands over asking and even more.  But to generate such a bidding frenzy takes work.  Like a gold medal athlete, there is preperation involved and sometimes it is psychologically draining!  Which is why, I highly recommend a consultation with a homestager before you tackle your to-do list.  A good designer will point out things in your house that are your blind spots, they will obliterate the ugly and suggest the remedy.  It can be as little changing the lampshades and throw pillows or as much as actually removing your furniture and replacing it with rentals. 

1. De-Clutter It  The first step is the hardest step but I promise you, this one is the most rewarding.  Once you start the purge, you might not be able to stop so be careful when you get to #6 on our list.  Go through all your closets and drawers in every room and get rid of everything you don’t use and there are methods that can help you, ie. Peter Walsh from the show “Clean Sweep” has a book “It’s All Too Much” and will suggest you make piles of keep, trash, and sell.  You can donate, have a yard sale, or have someone take it away.  If you have too much furniture but you want to keep it for the next house, you need to rent out a storage unit or a pod, stuffing it in the basement corner won’t do.  Basements are considered as living spaces these days now that televisions have gotten so huge.

2. Clean It   Thoroughly!  Have the windows cleaned  inside and out.  Potential buyers will look inside your fridge and make subconscious judgements if it s sticky and smells like old cheese.  They will peek inside your closet so spray your shoes and put some scented reeds in the corner.  They will also prowl inside your sanctuary, the furnace room, where you sneak cigarettes and talk to the spiders.  Vacuum and dust, under and over and keep it that way during the selling process.

3. Fix it  and if you can’t, hire someone!  Loose tiles, doors that don’t close properly, grungy grout, and the list goes on.  Always remember what Mies van der Rohe said “God is in the details” and  let me add the Devil is picky!  Buyers notice everything so make sure everything is well oiled and functioning.

4. Paint It  I know what you’re thinking “Ugh, why should I paint it when they’re probably just going to paint over it?”  My answer is, sometimes buyers lack imagination.   Decor is somewhat important for buyers to imagine themselves living in your house.  A new paint job is like a facelift for your house.  Pick light and neutral and you can’t really go wrong.

5. Re-Arrange It  Hopefully you have edited some of your furniture and put it in storage.  Now it’s time to move things around.  When people are viewing your house, they are going to need space to move around, so think about paths and arteries around the rooms.  Move a clunky club chair up to the master bedroom.  For some reason people like to see different kinds of furniture other than a bed in the bedroom.  Maybe because they think it gives them options.  Also move your dining room table around, I bet right now it’s in the wrong spot, most people go long when they should go wide.  And now that all your tchotkes are gone (they better be!), put out some flowers!

6.  Gather It  Find all your existing warranties fior your appliances, your receipts from house repairs and have it in a folder so when potential buyers, ask, you have some answers.  If you are selling your home in the winter and you have photos of your garden in the summer, have those set up to view.  Some sellers provide a pre-home inspection that is available for potential buyers but traditionally a home inspection is at the buyer’s expense.  Another option is to provide a home inspection binder from when you bought the house and then list the things that were done that were suggested by the inspector at the time.

Now you can sell it!  If you want more information and are thinking of selling, you can contact me kgp@rogers.com

European Clean 416-729-2077  for a deep clean, Frontier Sales 416-691-3300, see website here, for buying your used furniture and they will take it away