Milestones: Truth in real estate


Imagine, if you will, a universe where the City Council has finally done the right thing and signed the new water storage contract …

Finally, Henderson’s water policy has paid off! Middle-class home buyers from Wake County, parched with thirst, have crawled to Henderson on their swollen tongues, looking for housing with abundant running water. Unfortunately, saboteurs from Franklin County have put a truth serum in the drinking water so carefully hoarded by those who believe that it will one day make Henderson a paradise. Real estate agents seem particularly susceptible to its effects.

Home buyer 1: Wow, this is a really nice house. I love the wainscoting. What did you call the neighborhood again?

Agent: We call it the “Country Club.”

Home buyer 2: So the school must be really good, right?

Agent: No, not really.

Home buyer 1: What?

Agent: Well, the teachers are good, but the building is 52 years old, contains asbestos and doesn’t have a gym. Most people in this part of town send their kids to private school. Think of it as a public service to those less fortunate than you are. It helps to relieve the overcrowding at the public school. We can roll a few years’ tuition right into your mortgage. Or you can always get on the list for the charter school. It’s only a wait of a year or two.

Home buyer 1: Well, we’d have to see about that. But a small town like this probably doesn’t have high taxes, right?

Agent: Only 97 counties have lower taxes then we do!

Home buyer 2: You’re kidding.

Agent: But the city does pick up the garbage right from your back yard. You don’t have to worry about rolling the bin to the curb in Henderson, no sir.

Home buyer 1: What’s the water bill like?

Agent: Water is very inexpensive in Henderson, even with the new water storage contract. The late fee is only $12. Sewage is different, however. You may want to invest in some rain barrels for wash water and such.

Home buyer 2: How about the crime rate?

Agent: Not only do we have one of the highest crime rates for a city our size in the whole state, but we’re also near the top in STDs AND unwed teen pregnancy. Our unemployment rate is around 10 percent, too. You know how much THAT helps.

Home buyer 1: Goodness! Does Henderson have anything going for it?

Agent: We have a lot of water.

Home buyer 2: Honey, let’s just buy a house in Wake Forest. We can get Culligan to deliver water.

Agent: No, don’t do that! We have a really big library!

Home buyer 1: We can always look in Johnston County.

Agent: Wait! We have three McDonald’s, two Bojangles’, a Chick-fil-A, three Burger Kings, a Taco Bell, a Wendy’s, two Kentucky Fried Chickens, three Subways and a Ruby Tuesday!

(The home buyers walk toward their car. The agent chases them.)

Home buyer 2: Thanks anyway.

Agent: No! Don’t go! We have a Wal-Mart Supercenter! A Staples! We’re getting a Target!

(The home buyers begin to run.)

Agent: Please! Buy the house, or it will become a rental and the value will drop. Please! I’ve got kids to feed. My taxes will get even higher! I’ve lost the equity in my house! I can’t escape! None of us can! There is no escape!

(The agent falls to his knees, pleading, as the home buyers peel rubber getting out of Henderson.)