Sunday, May 2, 2010

St. Joseph Flipped This House

More than 20 months ago I put my house up for sale when the owners of the newspaper did the same. I didn’t have a great feeling about my job prospects if and when the paper sold, which turned out to be prescient. There were personal reasons as well, such as wanting a larger house for my fiancé and her daughter, since this lovely old house has doodly squat for closet space. I had no idea it would take this long to sell a house. The fact the market crashed the next month should have told me something. My house sat on the market with few lookers and no offers, month after month.

When I was unceremoniously cut loose from the paper in mid-March, the sense of urgency to get out from under home ownership rose exponentially, since it was clear I would be leaving town as soon as possible to go run someone else’s newspaper. That is when I found out about St. Joseph, Patron of Families & Homes.

My Beautiful Mystery Companion learned about St. Joseph from her hair stylist. We asked around. It turned out it was common knowledge, just not to us. If one wanted a quick sale of a house, we were told more than once to bury a statue of St. Joseph upside down. Soon, you will be sitting at the conference table in the title company office, signing papers. Sales price is not guaranteed.

Of course, I pooh-poohed the entire idea. It sounded a bit too close to voodoo to me. But after at least three people avered it had worked for them, or someone they knew, I decided to give it a try. I checked online to ascern where to find a statue of St. Joseph. It only took a quick trip to to find (No, I am not making this up. Go look yourself if you doubt my word.) As the name implies, the site sells every product imaginable that one might associate with the Catholic faith. Even though I was raised in the church, I must tell you I had no idea of the depth and breadth of items one could purchase, or that such a site existed.

For a mere $3.99, plus the requisite shipping and handling, a 3-inch plastic statue of St. Joseph soon was headed my way — complete with instructions, which were simple and precise:

“When burying a St. Joseph statue, it is commonly placed upside down next to the ‘For Sale’ sign or near the property line. When the property is sold, unearth the statue and display it in a place of honor.”

I didn’t want to be spied burying a statue out by the street, so I elected to bury St. Joseph near the backyard property line. Further, I didn’t want the little guy to get dirty; thus I used a nice wooden box with a sliding lid in which the pocket watch arrived that my middle daughter gave me when she got married last year. To complete my OCD tendencies, I encased the entire operation in a freezer bag to keep out dirt and moisture.

Less than two weeks later I received the first offer on my house. Admittedly it was for a lot less than I was asking. We dickered for a few weeks. I settled for thousands of dollars lower than I expected but considerably more than I owed, which is better than a whole lot of folks are doing these days. St. Joseph did his job. I will be leasing for a while in the next town I land, to recover financially, but that’s OK.

As instructed, I dug the statue of St. Joseph back up a few days before closing. The freezer bag kept both the box and the statue pristine. This deal is going through. The new owner has already changed over the utilities to her name, forwarding her mail to my address.

I’ll put the wooden box back in the junk drawer and place St. Joseph in a place of honor in the new house — silently awaiting his next tour of duty, when it comes time to buy a new home.

Life goes on. New adventures await.

No comments:

Post a Comment