Tales of a Seasoned Broker

The alarm in my house is always on. When we sleep, it is on stay mode and when we leave it is on away mode. There is no venture out of the home too small to not put the alarm on. A 10 minute walk around the block, put the alarm on. Go pick up some groceries on Cedar Lane, put the alarm on. This is not a new phenomenon brought on by some later in life anxiety about the precariousness of life, I have been like this for as long as I can remember.  It has served me well in my professional life as I don’t believe I have ever left a house I’ve finished showing unlocked or unalarmed. I can recall that on  occasion while debriefing one of my agents about a house they had shown,  a light suddenly went off and the agent shouted out “oh no! I didn’t lock the door!” This has never happened to me.  

I do remember my father checking the locks every night before bed, going to each and every door and pulling on the knob to make sure the door was completely fastened down. These were the days before  security systems were available for an attached house in Boro Park. But just as my father did his ritual before me and I do mine and when the last check has been performed and the house is deemed safe, a sense of calm pervades. A sense of safety and security in our homes is almost a given at this point. None of us would think of buying a home that we wouldn’t feel “safe” in.  

Before moving to Teaneck in the early 70’s, my newlywed husband and I looked at an apartment in Manhattan to settle into. We found a great Junior 4 in a clean building with plenty of windows and sunlight. I told my husband I wanted my father to see the apartment before we signed the lease and so I told the broker we just needed one more day before we were ready to move forward. I met my father at the scheduled time in front of the building and he was shaking his head and mouthing the words “No!” I asked him if he already went in without me to see the apartment and he replied that there was no need to go in. He said “I looked around a bit and discovered the local precinct’s holding cell a few doors away. I will never sleep again knowing that you would be walking these blocks.”

When I called him a few weeks later and told him we found an apartment in the  Terrace Circle apartments in Teaneck I could sense his relief. He made the trek to Teaneck with the same scenario.  He met me outside and even before he went into the apartment he had already made up his mind. “This will be just perfect!” he said. 

Today world events loom large on all of our minds. It is hard for most of us to even imagine what picking up our family and leaving home because it is no longer safe could possibly feel like. We may all agree that our taxes are too high and the transportation to the city takes too long. But living here “will be just perfect!” 

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.