When I was a kid, I had a paper route. It was everyday after school and Sunday mornings. Other than about 3 houses in my blue collar neighborhood, my route was in a neighboring upscale neighborhood called Inverness.
It was during this time that I started noticing differences between neighborhoods, lots, houses, and everything that makes me The LEXpert today.
I got bullied a lot as a kid. I didn’t really like many of the kids in my own neighborhood. This was back in the days before the internet and cell phones so kids went outside. Even people with cable TV only had like 12 channels, 10 really since one was the weather and another just scrolled what was on the other channels. I remember always dreading delivering papers to the 3-4 houses in my neighborhood. Once I got those done and Inverness was in sight, I always felt relieved and would take a deep breath.
Inverness was a very peaceful and calm neighborhood. It had maybe 50 houses in it? All the lots were very large. There were no street lights or side walks. Most of the houses were built in the late 60s and 1970s. It is very much like Greenbrier in Lexington but it did not have a golf course. I loved this neighborhood and always wanted to live here. I eventually ended up living in a 1980s house in Greenbrier, which I now see was the fruition of this desire.
The people that lived in Inverness were mostly middle aged since you often have to work many years to be able to afford such nice houses. They were all very polite to me. I got to know several of them. Many knew I was into houses and neighborhoods and would let me see inside their homes. It wasn’t until last week that I realized the impact this neighborhood had on my whole life. I was early for a showing that wasn’t too far from this area so I thought I would drive around for old times sake.
I started to remember the people, their homes and my thoughts as I would pedal my bicycle through my route, with my bag full of newspapers getting lighter with each one I delivered.
There was one woman who wanted me to leave the paper in a small tin garbage pail by her back door. Once or twice a week, I would open the pail and there would be a bag with a few cookies in it. Another resident had a new 280ZX that I drooled over. I saw my first Audi 5000 with the then new flush windows. There was one contemporary house owned by some big-wig in his political party that I absolutely loved. I became fairly close to one older couple who wanted to move to Florida. I told them all about the community where my Grandparents lived and arranged for my Grandparents to meet them and give them a tour of the area……probably the first realtor like thing I’d ever do.
I would privately critique each house in the neighborhood. My clients will probably laugh when they hear that I would say much of the same things they have heard me say like:
“That’s going to be a difficult driveway to get out of in the winter.”
The columns on the front porch are too far apart and don’t really match the style of the house.”
“This house looks like it was designed on a napkin by somebody who just won the lottery while meeting with their builder at Waffle House.”
“This house is right by the only entrance and exit to this neighborhood and that means EVERYBODY driving in and out of here has to pass your house each time.”
I don’t recall when or why I quit doing this paper route, probably when we moved to Lexington. It sure was a special and influential part of my life.