There were 149 single-family residential homes sold in August in the Lakes Region communities covered by this report. The average sales price came in at $410,095 and the median price was $275,000.
With little new on TV worth watching today, I have started to watch the reruns of Cheers. I figured it will take me a while to get through the 275 episodes that ran from Sept. 30, 1982, to May 20, 1993. I am making good progress. I am up to season six already.
For those too young to remember or haven’t seen this hilarious show, it is was based on the now-famous Boston drinking establishment named Cheers and its many wacky characters. The early seasons starred Ted Danson as Sam the skirt-chasing owner of the bar; Shelley Long as Diane who is Sam’s on-again, off -again girlfriend and waitress; Rhea Perlman as Carla, who is another waitress and single mother of six; Woody Harrelson as Woody the bartender who just fell off the turnip truck from the midwest; George Wendt as Norm, the owner of the corner seat at the bar; John Ratzenberger as Cliff, a postal deliveryman and know-it-all of the bar; and Kelsie Grammar as the self-aggrandizing psychiatrist Frasier Crane.
It seems that sooner or later in every TV series, there is an episode about home ownership. In Cheers, it showed up in Season 5, Episode 5, as the The House of Horrors with Formal Dining Room and Brick. There are real estate lessons to be learned as well as mistakes that would give any real estate agent heartburn … but you know, it really is just a TV show.
The real estate storyline starts with Norm asking, “Hey Carla, how’s that house-hunting going, huh?” She promptly stuffs Norm’s tie in his mouth and says, “Does that answer your question?” This is an absolutely normal everyday reaction from any buyer that has been looking for over three months for a home.
She complains to Cliff and Sam that it is hopeless, that she has looked everywhere in the Boston area for something she can afford but can’t find anything in her price range … and this is like in 1986. She says she has been scrimping and saving and has finally gotten enough money so that she could buy a house, but now there is nothing she can afford. That sounds familiar, too!
Cliff then arrives after his appointed rounds and excitedly tells everyone about his new postal route in Meadowview Acres. He claims it is one of the best routes in the city. Carla comes up to the bar to order some drinks and Cliff tells her that, if she is still looking for a house, he has found a real “doozy” for her on his new route. He hands her a paper with all the particulars and she can’t believe the low, low price. She knows how nice the area is, so she says, “The house is either built on quicksand or is currently on fire!” Cliff assures her that no, no, it’s a nice house and that he checked it out.
Sam tells Carla she should go look at it, pointing out to her that her horoscope today said to “explore other avenues.” Since Carla is a superstitious nut cake and because the horoscope aligned with her Tarot card reading, she decides it would be a good idea to check it out. Off she goes. This is another fine example using the stars to find your dream home. No real estate agent needed here.
Carla returns all excited that she got to see the house and says it was “perfect!” She says that she and her older kids can all have their own rooms, that it has a big kitchen with Formica for as “far as the eye can see” and even a lawn that she can lie naked on. She says there is even a fireplace. “Finally, the kids are gonna have a place where they are supposed to start a fire.”
Diane comments that, “You’re talking like you already bought the place,” to which Carla responds, “I did! My first offer went through without a hitch … They knew I was a tough negotiator.” Imagine that!
Norm shows up and is surprised to hear that Carla had already bought the house. He had done some checking to find out why the house was so cheap and learned that it was built over a 17th century prison — and not just any prison; it held only the worst murderers and prisoners of that time. Legend has it that they will rise from the dead to take revenge on whoever is living in the house.
Now they are afraid Carla will freak out when she finds out why the house was so cheap, but they reluctantly decide they must tell Carla the truth. Instead of having a meltdown, she says “Oh, I thought you were going to tell me it had dry rot.”
Seems like Carla should have had an agent to do some due diligence. I wonder if there were any property disclosures? Ahh, this is just TV….
After a while, everyone at the bar learns that Carla has never moved into the house because she is scared to death. She says there is something cold and clammy there and the house doesn’t want her in it. They encourage her to confront her fears and suggest that, if she could spend just one night in the house, she’d see there was nothing to it at all. She says, “I’ve never been a quitter. I’m going to spend tonight in that house.”
Carla creeps into her new home with a wooden cross poised to protect her from the evil within. After fumbling a bit to turn on the lights, there is a knock on the door and Cliff and Norm enter with beer and pizza. They feel obligated to stay through the night with her. Norm sits on the floor and starts munching on the pizza. The telephone rings … no, not a cell phone …this is 1986. It is Norm’s wife telling Carla that he must come home. This is the perfect opportunity for him to skedaddle and he takes it.
So, it is just Carla and Cliff at the house and, after some bickering that turns into dance lessons for Cliff (I’ll let you watch the episode for the romantic scene), eventually, they fall asleep and awake to find it is early morning. Carla is ecstatic that she has made it through the night without any demonic visitors. Just then the house starts shaking, bright lights come in through the windows, and there is a roaring and howling sound from the gates of hell. Carla jumps into Cliff’s arms and screams. Looking to the heavens, Cliff realizes that there are not demons coming up out of the graves to get them but that this is the sound of an L1110 widebody taking off from Logan … “the sounds are very similar,” he says. Carla jumps down and says to Cliff, “You mean that this house, my house, is at the end of a runway?” Cliff starts shaking. She continues, “And that was a widebody jet trying to hit me from my backyard? And, that this house is not cheap because it is haunted, but because it is right next to the airport?” Cliff mumbles, “Uh-huhhh.…” Carla yells gladly, “I’M HOME!”
Morals of the story; 1. There is a good, logical reason why a house might be so cheap; and 2. If you are buying a house … get an agent.
Visit www.DistinctiveHomesNH.com to learn more about the Lakes Region real estate market and sign up for a monthly newsletter. Data compiled using the NEREN MLS. Roy Sanborn is a sales associate at Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty. Contact him at 603-677-7012.