This past week’s glorious weather has made all of us a little bit calmer. During such perfect, blue-skied days, It is not uncommon for me to hear buyers commenting, “This is what it must feel like to live in California year round.” Point well taken, but with conviction I respond, “... and give up the thrill of winter’s first snowfall and the chance to be a child again?” The buyer thoughtfully replies, “True, there is something wondrous about the change of seasons in this part of the country.”
As a realtor, this exchange highlights for me an interesting set of challenges. I may be selling you a home now in spring, and everyone’s focus is on outdoor deck space, barbecue grill locations and central air conditioning, but that’s only a summer concern. A house has to be experienced through all four seasons. This is particularly formidable as most of us suffer from Seasonal Amnesia. In the dead cold of winter a cozy living room and stone fireplace may really speak to you, but how do I challenge my customers to think about this room and its role on a Triple H (hot, hazy, humid) day that is the New York area summer?
There is no room in a home that defines this dilemma more than a “three season porch.” Some of you may have never heard of such a room as they were no longer built in the new construction era of the 60s and 70s when central air became more affordable. As much of Teaneck was built before this time, many of its homes proudly feature a three season room. My son, to this day, will tell you his favorite childhood memories were sitting in this room in the midst of a wild summer thunder/lightning storm and feeling the room’s protection.
Depending on the time of year that I am showing a home, the reaction will vary greatly. On a beautiful spring day, one couple walked onto a three season porch, turned to each other and smiled. They were surely envisioning themselves, glasses of chardonnay in hand, toasting their good fortune. One of their mothers suddenly walked in and said, “Oh gosh, I hate these rooms, one never knows what to do with them in the winter.”
I didn’t know how to respond, but I was glad the point was raised.
I never told my son (I hope you are not reading this) that his favorite three season porch was turned into a glass enclosed hot tub room by the new owners.
Nechama Polak is the broker of record and owner of V and N Group LLC located at 1401 Palisade Ave in Teaneck. [email protected] 201 826 8809.