Can you tell what is going on in this photo? It’s “Bobbing for Donuts.” (You know, like bobbing for apples, turned upside down, with no chance of drowning.) This game was one of the many events that took place at a recent neighborhood Block Party…to the delight of all. To the best of my knowledge, no families actually moved to this neighborhood because their wish list stipulated “4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths and dangling donuts.” But on some level, I think the truth is that they came for the donuts.
Well, not really the literal donuts. But they definitely moved there for what the donuts represent in the land of real estate metaphor. The dangling donuts represent the kind of community these folks were looking for.
They wanted the kind of neighborhood that has block parties, where hundreds of residents (aged baby to 80-something, and everything in between) gather together to bob for donuts and toss water balloons and enjoy a potluck dinner. They wanted the kind of neighborhood where kids grow up in a pack, and parents parent in a pack, and you’ll see familiar faces if you go to the playground, and anybody’s mom or dad will give you a bandaid if you scrape your knee. They wanted sidewalks and sliding boards and school buses…and they wanted those buses to deliver kids to awesome schools. And they wanted to be able to walk a few blocks to the ice cream shop or the post office or the pool.
4 bedrooms? Sure. 2.5 baths? Sure. They could have gotten those in many places, and paid less for their houses. But they didn’t go elsewhere…they picked THAT house in THAT neighborhood. Because really, it wasn’t actually just about the house. They came for the metaphorical donuts.
Lots and lots of folks want 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths. And most end up choosing their home based on the things that come AFTER that on the wish list. For some it’s the “donuts.” Some house hunters, of course, couldn’t care less about neighbors and balloon tosses. For them maybe it is 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths…and a REALLY short commute to work. Or 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths…and a golf course in my backyard. Or 2 bedrooms, 1 bath is plenty…and I want to walk to bars and restaurants.
We talk about folks buying houses, when actually people are often buying the “donuts,” the commute, the golf clubs or the beer on tap…or any of a long list of other lifestyle choices. One floor living. Or urban energy. Or convenient shopping. Or a place for a veggie garden and some congenial chickens. Sure, the house has to have the right number of beds and baths so our lives make sense…but most of us get serious about making an offer when the “donuts,” the commute or the chickens make us know that this is the place we will really feel at home.
On Facebook: Laurie Simon Goldman, Sibcy Cline Realtors