Do Nicknamed Houses Sell?

I had just staged what I called the Halloween House…in the middle of Summer. I had removed gargoyles, bats and plaster “tushies” from the walls. I became curious, and posed this question in a chat room of home buyers: “Do you assign nicknames to homes you tour? And if you made fun of it, did you end up buying it?” Here are some of the responses (edited for brevity)…enjoy!

Well, I’ve seen the Pink House (everything pink including the trim outside), the Plant House (had probably 100 houseplants in it, most of them needing attention), the Roach House (self-explanatory), the Pot House (pot growing in a bedroom closet with plant lights), the Poop House (had a new puppy).

There was the Burnt Kitchen House. Looked to be a stove fire and nothing was repaired after it happened. Then there was the Swamp House. All the yards around the house had sitting water on them, even after several months of no rain, no sprinklers. And the Cow House. The sellers were overly in love with the cow motif and every room was decorated with cow wallpaper, cow bedding, furniture, pictures.

One that still makes me cringe to this day was the Snake House. OMG!!! I’ve never seen so many live snakes in my life, and that was just in the living room. I went back out to the car while hubby and Realtor toured the house. Hubby said there were snakes in all the bedrooms as well.

The very first house we looked at in this town we called the Dead Zone. The Realtors print-out said the fridge stayed. I opened the fridge out of curiosity. We gagged and our Realtor actually got sick to her stomach. To this day we both swear something had died in that fridge.

Our particular favorite was the Thomas Kincaid House. It was wonderful! The inside was done so beautifully that you would think it was what Thomas Kincaid’s cottages looked like inside. Charming and beautiful. We almost bought that home but didn’t due to a teeny-tiny back yard and no side access for our ‘toys’.

The Pee House. Opened the front door and the stench hit you in the face like a baseball bat. Didn’t make it halfway through the living room because an inch of liquid squished out of the carpets when you stepped on it. Never was sure if it was an attempt to clean carpets by themselves or what.

My husband’s favorite was the Group Home. It might have been a nice home, but it was hard to tell from all the people living there. All the bedrooms looked to have small families living in each one…and they were all in those rooms when we peeked in, laying on the beds, watching TVs. My husband still cracks up because there was a camper in the side yard with people living in that also.

The Bordello: the master bath was red, with red and white FLOCKED wallpaper, and a red toilet seat which, when you lifted the lid, had an owl WINKING at you!

We were house hunting during the holidays and came across the Christmas House. It was so full of Christmas decorations—with a full-size tree in every room—we had to walk sideways to get from one room to the other. And I kid you not, there was even a decorated tree in the garage.

The Waterfall House. It sat below the street level and when we toured it the rain was pouring down the driveway, under the garage doors, and into the garage.

I remember the Scotch Tape House, the Ugly Lamp House, and the Greyhound House (the owners rescued Greyhounds and they were running all around). We wound up buying the Ugly Curtain House: the filthy, hot pink curtains had been shredded by the dogs jumping on them to look out the window. 

We nickname houses we’ve actually lived in! Our first house was the Mosquito House—thousands of mosquitos every summer. Our second house was the House of Many Switches—so many light switches and some we never figured out what they turned on/off! Our current house will be called the Acorn House.

Some of the nicknames we’ve used in the past: Bone Yard House (near a cemetery), Towel House (had an unbelievable number of white towels in the linen closet—still wish I knew the story on that one), Bird House (lots of birdies in cages), Sprawling Bungalow (tiny bungalow with a few additions), Jungle House (crazy-full of indoor plants), Rose House (tons of rose bushes in the back), Shuffle Board House (had a shuffle board course embedded in the basement floor tile).

The Slaughter House, with blood red paint on ALL of the walls, and the paint job was sloppy and drippy.

As an agent, it sure works for me when the buyers call and say, “We think we’ll put an offer on the Duck Pond House, or The Shag Carpet House, or the Nazi—do NOT ask!—House. I know exactly what house they mean. And, yes clients make fun of houses; sometimes it’s impossible not to.

The Purple House: every inch of the house was a different shade of purple, from the garage door to the carpet. The floorplan was nice and we were able to see that it “could” be a great house, but in the end the feel of the neighborhood turned us off.

The Pumpkin House because the exterior looked like a giant pumpkin. We actually found the paint can: “Pumpkin Patch Orange.” The shutters were burgundy.

Kujo’s House. The owner had a huge St. Bernard. The slider to the back yard was never closed so the dog could go in and out during the day. The fence had holes chewed by the dog which were almost large enough for the big head to fit through. I never had an agent show the property because they were afraid of the dog.

I’ve been in the Moth Ball House with the stench of mothballs throughout; the Cave House because every room was so dark and depressing—not to mention the cobwebs! The Rainbow House with different colored carpeting throughout and nothing really flowed. The Will-This-Lady-Get-Off-My-Arse-and-Let-Me-Look-in-Peace House. Yup, tons of those kinds of houses out there.

The Turtle and Bird House: the sellers had this big BOX TURTLE sitting on her kitchen table, and in her living room (just a few feet away) were two HUMONGOUS bird cages, with a parrot in each cage. The house was on the market over two years.

We must be the oddballs…we referred to houses by the street. Well, we did look at two on one street and the first became known as “the ugly one on Mustang” and the second as “the other one on Mustang.”

There’s one on my street for sale that even the owners call it the house built by gerbils, so, the Gerbil House.

Stairway to Heaven House. A nice townhouse, completely upgraded, but it had five flights of stairs.

My husband is a firefighter and had rescued an alligator for the owner when a house was on fire. It was on the market when we were looking, and we referred to it as the Alligator House.

The Jetson’s House, a lovely 50’s style bungalow with a lot of jet-age features considering the time it was built.

The Sistine Chapel House, with an upstairs bath covered in wallpaper of the Sistine Chapel.

The Forest, because every inch of that house had faux plants or trees. White carpet, white sofa and trees, plants and a few flowers. It was being sold furnished, so it sat there for over a year.

The Holy House. Many pieces of furniture were made from church items: church pews, king size bed made from a communion railing, and the powder room sink looked like it was a baptismal font!

The house we did buy was the Disco Ball House. It had this huge addition in the back that was, inexplicably, partitioned off with a lattice fence. Behind the fence was red and orange shag carpet and a disco ball hanging from the ceiling, complete with red and green lights on either wall.

We still talk about one we saw years ago that we called the Potential House, because on the listing it said, “This house has P-O-T-E-N-T-I-A-L!!!!” (spelled out just like that).

We looked at the Doll House, which scared me! It had really ornate wallpaper everywhere, and dolls, lots of them, every kind, jammed in every spot of the house. The house wasn’t half bad if—that’s a BIG if—you could get past the dolls. Seller couldn’t understand why it didn’t sell. She finally took it off the market.

The Bachelor Pad, with the biggest TV I have ever seen in a tiny living room, blocking the window. You had to climb over a large black leather sofa to get into the room. The entire house was full of boy toys, and the appliances had never been cleaned.

The Bacteria House. The WALLS of their bathroom were carpeted in burgundy shag. I shuddered, thinking of all the bacteria that must’ve been in there. There were tons of skylights that looked like a DIY gone bad. Buckets were under each to catch the leaks. The living room was set up as a bedroom. What a nightmare. And we had to do a courtesy look because the family was there when we arrived. I wanted a shower afterwards!

The moral of this story: try to eliminate items that drive the invention of nicknames for your home if you want it sold sooner rather than later. Need help? Schedule an appointment today!

You might also enjoy: 10 Rookie Mistakes Home Sellers Make

Copyright © 2022 by Cynthia Gentry Black, Home Staging by Cynthia, LLC in Kansas City.
All rights reserved. No portion may be shared, reused or republished in any format without express written consent of the author.

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