After 72 years in the same house, a 96-year-old woman is ready to reveal a piece of history
A call was put through to one of the best duos in real estate; they weren't just duos; they were sisters who had some incredible bond. The call would turn out to be the beginning of an incredible story with the main cast being a 96-year-old woman who wanted to sell her 72 years old house. As professional realtors, the job of Gladys and Carla Spizzirri was to find a suitable buyer. They thought it was just a house like any other until the unexpected happened. Not only were the realtors shocked about the house they were supposed to put up for listing, but they were also stunned at how a 96-year-old woman was able to keep the house at such a pristine state.
Finding The Right Realtor
The realtor sisters flowed together flawlessly not only because they are from the same bloodline, but also because they have operated at the same business wavelength. Gladys and Carla Spizzirri were born to handle real estate business. Gladys, the older of the two sisters, has over 30 years’ experience. In 2009, Carla, her younger sister, joined the outfit, and together, they became unstoppable.
They were so good together that they named their tactics the “Spizzirri’s approach.” The way they operated involves one of the sisters place a house on sale; the other then comes in to close the deal. It was how they worked, and they have been enjoying success in what they do. In 2014, when they got a phone call, little did they know that it wasn’t going to be business like the usual.
Taking It On As A Team
When the phone rang, Carla was on hand to pick the call, but she noticed that the caller sounded cautious. When the caller mentioned that her name was Joyce and that she was 96 years old, interested in selling her 148 Jane Street home in West Toronto, Carla was surprised. She could not believe how someone who was well advanced in age could sound so confident.
Carla couldn’t take her mind off the call as she fell into thoughts of how this woman close to 100 years old was living on her own and fending for herself. Carla thought about her relatives, who were also in Joyce’s age bracket. But that wasn’t the only thing that amazed Carla from the call that day.
An Optimistic Initial Estimate
The sisters got to work and started looking at how they could sell the house at 148 Jane Street without any hassles. Carla and sister knew what to do. And having been in the system for a long time, it is only reasonable that they get an estimated value of the property in the market before they put it up for sale.
After getting raw data on the average price of the houses around that area, they would be ready for listing the property. Gladys was familiar with the location of the building, considering her vast experience and homes she has sold in that area. So they were naturally upbeat, but that excitement would subside short after Joyce disclosed details about the house to them.
A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood
As professionals who know their onions, Gladys and Carla needed to consider certain factors before they would name the market value of the home to potential customers. One of those factors is the location of the building. The area could either affect the pricing of the house positively or negatively. It’s was a norm in real estate business.
If a neighborhood is filled with wealthy occupants, state-of-the-art hotels, and fancy stores, the market value of the house would be on the high side. The sisters were pleased about the neighborhood of Joyce’s home. Everybody kept to his business, people often notice with curiosity the 96 years old woman who lives in 148 Jane Street, but nobody knows what goes on inside her house.
The House Of A Lifetime
While this house would have made the sisters hearts flutter because of the potentially expensive listing, Joyce had a revelation to tell. She said that after having lived for 72 years in the house, she felt it was the right time for her to leave the place. That decision got the sisters worked up as they wanted to connect the dots that would make an older adult give up her house for sale.
They began to get skeptical about the sale of the house as they thought there was no way home would have existed for almost eight decades without getting run-down already. Living in the same place for an extended time has its pros and cons. The Spizzirri sisters became afraid that the house may not scale up to the market value they had already marked for it.
A Homeowner Horror Story?
Every business has its challenges. Real estate doesn’t come without its own. The Spizzirri’s knew about these risks considering their vast experience in the industry. The duo has had to deal with hoarders before, a very unwanted risk that comes with the job. So the question they kept asking each other was, “what could be piled up in the house?”
When they found out that Joyce had been living in the house since 1942, they knew that hoarding was inevitable, plus the house has not seen renovation since Joyce moved in. Add this to the fact that Joyce seemed skeptical about the sale of the home. These were indicators to a disaster looming on the horizon.
Does Untouched Means Un-Sellable?
For a house that hasn’t been renovated or had any form of cleaning and repairs for more than 70 years, it was inevitable that there was a lot of work to be done in the house. Even if they employ the services of a professional cleaning agency, how much can they do? Repairs would be needed more than anticipated.
For a thorough cleanup of just the kitchen, the price is to the tune of $20, 000, and that is only one of the rooms in the house. The sisters didn’t think a 96 years old woman would want to spend on a house just to make it attractive to buyers. Does this mean the sisters just signed what they probably could not fulfill?
Moving Forward With An Estimate
Even though they had concerns about the house, the Spizzirri sisters weren’t ready to forgo an opportunity to sell a home in a choice location. Putting things into perspective, the sisters finally set a price which they think was fair enough, $968,000.
Now Gladys and Carla Spizzirri felt better. At least, there were going to help a woman who was well into her 90s sell her cherished property for a reasonable price. After discussing with Joyce about the plans, they have for her house, another problem struck.
Was It All For Naught?
Although they were excited about the valuation of the home, the state of the house was still a matter of concern to Gladys and Carla Spizzirri. The condition of the Joyce home was scary. Another issue was the uncertainty of Joyce decision in listing her house for sale.
There comes a nostalgic feeling of leaving a house one has lived for years. That feeling was real with Joyce. She had gotten attached to the house that she had made memories in for seven decades. If Joyce decided not to sell again, nobody would have blamed her. So could the condition of the house be the reason why Joyce is considering selling her home?
Calming Realty Concerns
Carla and Gladys were super sure that the house would make an attractive listing, considering its location. Location was all they had as a bargaining chip. They haven’t inspected the inside of the house; in fact, the only picture they have of the house was a photograph that Joyce showed them, which shows only the exterior of the home.
Even though the picture of the house didn’t make them think there was a disaster looming, what got them concerned was Joyce’s indecision on selling the home she had lived all her life. Joyce kept saying she doesn’t think she really wanted to leave the house. But for the sisters, they knew what to do, and they made plans to fix the house.
Convincing The Seller To Move Forward And Move Out
Usually, the feeling that you have to leave a house that you have lived in for a while can be emotional, not to talk of living there for a whopping 72 years. It was going to be challenging for Joyce. This issue wasn’t a problem for the sisters as they have encountered people with the same problem Joyce has now, selling anxiety.
As business-minded people, what was going on through the minds of Gladys and Carla was not letting Joyce give in to her reluctance, seeing that there is money to the tune of a million dollars at stake. So they swung to action, making calls here and there to reassure Joyce that she was making the right decision. Joyce finally agreed but what they later discovered was not what they had envisaged.
Not Exactly Business as Usual
When the sisters finally decided to pay a visit to 148 Jane Street, the home of Joyce, they had already prepared their minds for the worse that could happen. Joyce was a hoarder, that was their conclusion about Joyce. But when they got to the front doors of the house, they didn’t just get shocked, what they saw beat their imagination.
When they got inside, the realtor sisters realized that the house was one of the spotless houses they have ever been. Each room looked as if they had been in museum preservation. The sisters were awed at how the house was cautiously kept and maintained over the years. All the furnishings and finishes were still intact.
Is It a House or a Time Machine?
All the rooms were lovingly adorned in pale pink, lavender, mint green, and robin’s egg blue. The fabrics were barely faded, and the furnishings were original pieces from the mid-20th century. Gladys and Carla wouldn’t ‘have seen this coming; it took them by surprise.
Each room had a perfect decoration and excellent color coordination to perfection. The furnishings indeed looked topnotch, and they all sync with the theme of the rooms. Still, there was a need to fix the appliances considering they’ve been in use since the 60s.
The Cost Of Living A Lifetime In A Home
Without a proper maintenance culture, an older house can be a money-pit with the cost of renovation piling up year after year. Usually, the budget reserved for maintenance of a home is 1% of the total cost of the house.
Joyce and her husband moved into the house in 1942, and this alone shows how long the house has been in existence. It was shocking to know that Joyce and her husband alone kept the old house in its present condition. Not only that but making the house it habitable would also have been one hell of a task for the couple.
Everything Kept In Mint Condition
Carla and Gladys had marveled at how the house had meticulously cared for seeing the rooms. Maintenance of had been outrageous, and it was evident in the way all the places had evolved. It is one thing to keep to the style of those days, and it is another thing to follow the evolution as they happened. It has been quite some effort.
Most houses show signs that they need renovations after 5-10 years of people living in them. On the other hand, when a house gets to about 30 years, probably a total reconstruction would be needed to bring it to a modern living standard. For Joyce’s home, everything was fine except for a room.
A Thorough Inspection Of The Appliances
It was surprising to Gladys and Carla when they found out that all the plumbing fixtures were still functioning correctly. The only room that needed some rework was the kitchen, understandably. But then, the kitchen only had to be refurbished once, and that was in the 1960s. Other than that, no room received any renovation.
Kitchen appliances like ovens and refrigerators are known to have a shelf life of 10-15 years. Joyce, a survivor of the World War II, knew what surviving on little meant, she saved thousands of dollars by investing early in home appliances that served her till this day.
Investing In The Future
Joyce’s furniture proved to be valuable, and it wasn’t hard to realize it. She got the furniture in the 1950s and 1960s, and they are a vintage product in today’s market. The dining sets and the bedroom furniture would be a bonus while sourcing for a buyer for the house. It could even fetch a little more money. Everybody wants to have a piece of the past’s most elegant monument.
Just like when shopping for a house, the components of the interior can be an added value. Some people like to collect items that were once the “rave of the moment,” and later sell them at an auction site. They get more money in the process. Joyce’s home with the furnishings had been selected by a woman who had a thing for past collections.
A Mid-Century Modern Masterpiece
In their listing, Joyce’s home was filled with furnishings from the 1950s. It was an extensive collection and thus would be an attractive feature because articles and furniture from the mid-century are in fashion every year. It is expected that each year comes with an increase in the value of such items.
It appeared that Joyce’s home appealed to almost anyone who has an eye for old-fashion and original pieces. Joyce didn’t also realize that her home was the citadel of some sincerely admired pieces of furniture and paintings. In Joyce’s home were pieces that would command hefty prices because of their uniqueness.
A Passion Project, Not A Profession
You can’t but ask if Joyce had one time undertaken some lessons in interior decorations. The reason being that her house speaks of some highly commendable interior decors. Well, it turned out that she had been a fashion designer or seamstress. Also, Joyce had taken an interest in interior decorations, hence the way her home is well adorned.
Though she didn’t take up interior design as a path to follow career-wise, her home reek of some intense interior decorations that would marvel anyone. Every room told a story! Her home was a beauty to behold, even though most were layered in pink. The house is a sight to see, but how would the potential buyers react to it the feminine color?
Too Much Of A Good Thing
The two sisters did appreciate all of the work out into making the home beauty. They saw the wallpapers, the rhyming carpets, the carefully selected curtains, and delicately laid out upholstery. But they soon discovered that they might have a problem as they moved from one room to the other.
During the tour around the house coordinated by Joyce, the sisters surprise about the house taking them back in time wore off. That happened because they began to realize that the house was looking way too feminine and might make some buyers drop their interest. Even though it was possible to repaint and all, the problem still stood as perception is very important.
A Little Change Of Scenery
When they moved into the house in 1942, Joyce’s husband had agreed for her to paint all the rooms in any color she deemed fit except for the master room. But it turned out that Joyce had other plans.
She knew that her husband wouldn’t just need a bedroom to be devoid of the color she wanted, especially if he wanted to have some chill moments outside of the master bedroom, so she made a wood themed mini bar, where her husband could relax. So what was the response to Joyce’s 1950s home?
The House Goes Viral
It didn’t take too long for Joyce’s house to go viral after listing. People were thrilled to see that such a home with unique features was still existing, the maintenance also got people digging into the vibes of the house. As if this wasn’t enough, the story Joyce gave alongside the listing made more people lobbied for the place.
Joyce’s house was getting publicity for free, and people were talking about it everywhere. The time machine-like house plus Joyce’s love for purple and pink also caught the eye. Yes, everyone loved what they saw, but who would like to make the house their possession?
Putting Together A Final Price
Having already decided that the value for the house should be $968,000, to be honest, considering the articles and the vintages of the house, this wasn’t a bad deal. They, however, had to think that the house would need a makeover to make it look modern. Doing that would cost money too.
Carla and Gladys had to find a way to incorporate the value of the pristine nature of Joyce’s house into their valuations. It means they would research to put a fair price that would cover the cost of renovation. The realtor sisters would have to compare with other houses around to settle for a final price.
Novelty Houses That Have Hit The Market
Houses of Joyce’s nature usually find it hard to get a buyer. In fact, they rarely make it to the market. Yes, they have all the makings to be a beautiful house, but sometimes skepticism can come in when a buyer sees the structural potential of the house behind all the perks. Remember the house is quite old.
All these in perspective is where Gladys and Carla would come in and make a show of the doubts surrounding the house. It is a unique situation to prove their professionalism. Once upon a time, a house painted in purple was the rave of the internet for a price of $500,000. Vintage homes would cost more, though and perhaps be a lot harder to find a buyer.
How Does Joyce’s House Stack Up?
For instance, a house in San Antonio, Texas market, once listed for a price of $355,000. The house was frozen and still had its 1970s decor intact. What makes Joyce’s different is the aesthetics of her 1950s decor. That would make it more appealing.
Another house also was listed too, it was built and furnished in the 1950s. It was a two-story bungalow that had retro furniture. The only thing about this house is that nobody lived in the house. It valued for $129,000. Joyce’s house, on the other hand, was a better option.
An Asking Price Perfect For Purchase
Joyce’s house was without any shred of doubt very unique. Apart from the fact that it had so many perks, talk about the immaculate nature and the vintage furnishings, it was still one place to live because of where it is situated. The sisters finally settled for an asking price of $699,000.
Concluding on the price, they started sourcing for serious buyers. Gladys and Carla Spizzirri needed a worthy buyer for Joyce’s home, which she had used the more significant part of her life to put in place. It is not uncommon for potential new homeowners to consider a lot of factors before signing. Such was the case of people showing interest in Joyce home.
Knowing Some Home-Buying Basics
If you have any plans of playing the real estate game, you must bear in mind specific factors guiding your sourcing for a house. Even though 148 Jane street had no maintenance problems, a potential buyer will still consider the environment and land that bears it.
Joyce’s house backyard wasn’t as glamorous as the rest of the houses in Jane Street, but the land in that arrear appreciates well with time. That has been beneficial to Joyce all along. So you want to build a house, take note of the location.
The Housing Market, Then And Now
Houses built as residential dwellings became very popular in the 1950s, as there was a pressing need to accommodate young families. Families were getting bigger and bigger as the years rolled by, hence the need for more houses to provide shelter for people. The housing market now would have been way different from what we had in the 1940s.
When Joyce and her husband bought their house, little did they know they the value would shoot up. They also didn’t think it would be the most significant investment they could ever have made. Indeed, the amount they used repurchasing the house then in the 1940s would be nothing compared to what they would sell it now, some 70 years later.
Turning A Profit
A business-oriented individual would always take note of the potentials of a house to yield profits before buying it. There should be no reason for a new buyer to worry about anything, especially the plumbing a d the wiring once there the house has potentials.
Since the house was in Joyce’s custody, there was the guarantee that the building wouldn’t suffer in its interior decor. Besides that, the house was constructed with bricks. Can anything go wrong with the use of bricks? Also, when you add the appreciating nature of the land, a potential owner has nothing to worry about 148 Jane Street.
Ready To Move On And Move Out
To leave the house she had lived in for more than 70 years was going to be a tough decision, but she had to anyway. At the ripe age of 96, Joyce was ready to leave the big house to a smaller one. The old adult was still sharp in mind, but she felt she needed a place she can handle. Something quite simple was what she wanted.
Maintaining a house with such detailed attention for over 70 years was not what Joyce felt she could continue. Her job was done, she had enjoyed every of her time in the house, taken care of it too. It is a testament to the publicity the house got. It was time for another owner to continue the maintenance. For Joyce, she was done and what a great job she did.
Joyce home was a remarkable story of an incredible house owned by an indescribable older adult. At 96, Joyce treated the house she and her husband bought some 70 years ago. A vintage home like this deserves all the reactions it got, all thanks to the Spizzirri sisters who made sure a beautiful house as this got the right owner at the right price. If you enjoyed this article, kindly follow us and read more scintillating articles. Also, don’t forget to share with your loved ones and acquaintances. We do have a comment box just beneath, dropping some comments would be pleasant.