Weed out the junkers – a playful analogy for the potential home buyer

In June of 2012 my husband and I sold our house in San Jose. Before we sold, we began looking for a new home the March prior, we did not find anything. In June we moved to Santa Cruz and began renting a small bungalow three blocks from the beach. We continued our house hunt -nada. The first week in November of 2012, we found a “fixer-upper” that met most of our criteria but it was a “short-sale.” The name is deceiving as there is nothing short about it – the process took nearly five months. All that is behind us now and we hold the key to our new home, a full year later from when we first started looking – aggressively looking, I might add. We looked at nearly 100 houses and wrote eight offers; the market is crazy. When looking for a new house or relationship, remember one thing, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig – weed out the junkers.

If you’ve never purchased a house, I liken it to the process of on-line dating. When you join a dating service such as Match.com or OKCupid, you carefully choose your criteria for a mate so the search engine will be as accurate as possible when sending potential matches. Your number one goal is to weed out the junkers. This is not much different from telling your agent your list of “must have’s” and “deal breakers.” Once your agent has your specific criteria, s/he enters it into a database, and whenever a new listing that meets your objectives comes on the market, you receive an email in your inbox with pictures and details of the property. When a suitable mate meets your criteria, you also get an email. In this first connection, you check out the photos and sift through the details of the posting with a fine toothcomb to weed out the junkers. If you like what you see, you reach out to your agent/potential lover and set up an initial meeting.

At your first viewing, you walk around the property looking for any superficial damage that is visible to the naked eye (water damage, dry-rot, leaky roof, sliding foundation, etc.). On a first date, you peruse the other person, looking for any signs of aging, making sure his or her flesh matches their profile picture. If the house or potential lover passes the first impression test, you decide to invest one step further. You set up an official inspection/second date to discover whether there is indeed consistency with what you first perceived as having “good bones” (if you’re looking to start a family, good genes). If the inspections go well, and there are no deal breakers, you move forward with the third date with destiny. Did I mention most homes in Boulder Creek run on a septic system which is incredibly expensive to replace? This third and final inspection is the “tell-tell sign,” the “make it or break it” before moving forward with the investment, because this is where you find out if the person / tank is full of shit. Once again, look out for the junkers because a pig with lipstick is still a pig.

Using analogies in a speech can bring to life a potentially dull topic. The idea is to stimulate audience interest by talking about something seemingly unfamiliar with the familiar. A one-sentence theme or what PowerSpeaking Inc. terms a “Core Message” helps listeners retain the key take away message from your talk. To create a circular feel, tie your conclusion back to your intro.