Interesting real estate facts you may not know

Why is it bad luck to give a knife to new Boston condo owner?

Superstition says that if you give a knife as a gift, you risk severing the friendship. The best way to give a knife as a housewarming gift is to tape a penny to the blade. This way, the recipient can take off the penny and hand it back to the giver. That way, they’re paying you for the knife, and it’s not technically a gift!

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What were the first Boston relators called?

The first realtors were called “curbstoners,” and they were pretty much hustlers. When a house was for sale, they would rush over, put up a big sign, and sit on the curb in front of the house from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., ushering prospective buyers in for an “inspection.” The competition was fierce and it sometimes got ugly. It also limited each realtor to selling just one house at a time.

As the profession became more organized and agencies grew, they could take on more listings. Instead of having a 12-hour “inspection” period, the industry shifted to a two- or three-hour open house. The first record of an open house offering incentives was in 1952, when an agent in Dallas, Texas, offered free Coca-Cola to attendees and a Cadillac to whomever purchased the property.

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What does a cast iron eagle outside a home symbolize?

There are many ways that homeowners used to celebrate the full payment of their mortgage, including the “house warming.” But one of the more popular (and deeply American) ways was to put a cast iron eagle on the outside of a home. This announced to the world that the house was owned free and clear and that the owner was free from mortgage payments

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How much is wire fraud costing Americans?

Wire fraud is one of the most prevalent cybercrimes we face today, and 2020 was one of the worst years for it. According to the  National Association of Realtors (NAR), 13,638 Americans fell victim to wire fraud in both real estate sales and rental transactions — an astounding 17% increase over 2019. There are even predictions that cyberattacks and scams will double by 2025.

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Why are New England Farm Houses mostly red?

Farmhouses and barns across America are traditionally red, but that’s not by accident. Farmers, ever a thrifty bunch, experimented to find cheap ways to make paint. They used what they had on hand: lime, milk, and red iron oxide (what we commonly call rust) and mixed it all together. Voila, they made a nice red paint—and at a bargain!

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How did Boston housewarming parties start?

In the early days of the mortgage, interest rates were pretty high (sometimes up to 15% or 20%), and the loans would often culminate with a “balloon payment,” similar in size to today’s downpayment. This made paying off a mortgage an even more momentous occasion, and homeowners would celebrate by throwing a big party and burning their mortgage documents.

Guests would bring gifts to help commemorate the home being owned free and clear, and this tradition has since evolved into what we now know as the housewarming party.

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Does the Empire State Building more money on rent or on observation deck ticket sales?

Even before 2020 and the seismic shift in commercial real estate and work-from-anywhere economy, the Empire State Building wasn’t making much money from commercial rent. In fact, it’s estimated that about 70% of the building’s operating revenue comes from ticket sales to its observation decks.

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Who officially named the Presidents home the White House?

Generations of Presidents called The White House home, but they didn’t officially call it The White House. Instead, they called it the Executive Residence, Executive Mansion, or the People’s House.

None of these have the same Presidential ring as The White House, so it was Theodore Roosevelt who decided to make The White House official. It is repainted every four to six years to keep it that symbolic white, which requires a staggering 570 gallons of paint!

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