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Tuesday, November 30, 2021
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Early on in my budding real estate career, long before smartphones took over our lives and before Teaneck real estate became way more fast paced and hectic, there were moments during the day when I could let my mind “meander” a bit. Few occasions were more enjoyable than arriving early to a showing appointment and wandering through the seller’s home alone until my potential buyers arrived. Keep in mind that before cell phones came on the scene I never knew if the wait would be mere minutes or over half an hour.

While waiting, I would walk through the house and imagine it as my own. I tried to picture my kids doing homework on the kitchen floor. In my mind’s eye I would rearrange the rooms, swapping the living room with the dining room, adding more closet space to the master bedroom etc. I guess we could call this the adult version of a child “playing house.”

One of my favorite customers recently moved into a home that was built in the 1940s and underwent major additions/renovations sometime in the late ‘90s. My customers had been toying with the idea of renovating their own home but when I showed them this house both husband and wife immediately connected. Though my buyers were no strangers to construction, they came to the conclusion that to try and recreate what this family had already accomplished 20 years earlier would take too much time and effort. Immediately after the closing my buyers were still unsure of their decision to purchase a “used” but completed product. A few months later I happily received a letter that they had sent to the seller and I asked if I could share it on these pages.

The letter reads as follows:

Dear Mr. and Mrs. So and So,

We have been living here for a few months now and wanted to let you know how truly happy your home has made us. I say “your” home because the thoughtfulness and attention to detail that must have been given at the time of your renovation is felt by me and my family every day. The aesthetic details, the storage, the organization and of course the lighting… it all just works so well. Intuitively we feel so blessed to have benefited from your foresight and excellent choices. We sometimes feel your presence here which is reflected in the work you so lovingly put in. Thank you!

It’s odd sometimes to think about the history of the homes we live in and how, in most cases, not just one family has lived in the house prior to “us” but, perhaps, many families have come before. Each family leaves its special mark either through a renovation or a simple paint job. The friends and family we share time with … maybe a Thanksgiving dinner … These moments belong to us alone to cherish and are what truly make our homes “ours.”


Nechama Polak is the broker of record and owner of V and N Group LLC, located at 1401 Palisade Ave in Teaneck. 201 826 8809 [email protected]

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