Tales of a Seasoned Broker

The pollen has mostly fallen from the trees and left its yellowish green haze on every outdoor surface. There is now only a short window to enjoy the mild weather before a new generation of thirsty mosquitos begin their yearly invasion. This time period is known on the calendar “officially” as Memorial day but to many in these parts it’s the time when you realize you have less than a month to get your kids ready for summer camp. Socks, labels, tick repellent and endless piles of snacks.

One would not necessarily connect summer camp to the design of one’s house but sure enough the sophisticated residents of this community have figured it out.

I worked with a builder who was among the last remaining hold outs regarding moving the laundry room up to the second floor. He held steadfastly, insisting its place was in the basement. He kept arguing with his potential customers saying that “If you can afford to buy this brand new home, you are most likely not doing your own laundry.” His logic was as follows: why take up precious space on the second floor for the cleaning of your dirty clothes when the person in charge of the cleaning and folding might be sleeping in the basement bedroom and would benefit from having the laundry room right there.

This did not go over so well and time and time again my customers would say, “that’s an interesting theory but that’s not how our family works.” Still, this builder constructed house after new house, installing all the plumbing for his laundry rooms in the basement.

Finally, one day he met his match and it all changed. A buyer signed up with this builder when the house was early on in the planning stages, thus giving the customer much leeway in the design. The three of us were sitting at the V&N office when the laundry room on the second floor came up. Before he had a chance to give his line the buyer laid out her plan. “There will be a laundry room in the basement… and there will be a laundry room on the second floor. The second floor will be the main laundry room with space to fold the clean clothing and the basement laundry room will have the slop sink. When my kid’s trunks arrive home from camp they will be brought straight down to the basement and not enter the second floor until everything has gone through the basement laundry room (twice!) Only then will the clothing be allowed up to the second floor.”

The builder took out a pencil, immediately sketched in two laundry rooms and the buyer and builder moved on to the next item. Of course, now the builder, pro forma, installs two laundry rooms in every home he builds and proudly enjoys the customers cooing over his brilliant idea!

Nechama Polak is the Broker of Record and owner of V and N Group LLC located at 1401 Palisade Ave in Teaneck. nechamapolak@gmail.com 201 826 8809.