Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Real Values

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Real Values

Article excerpt

This was Larry the Landlord's longest day.

His apartment had to pass one more inspection before it could be rented.

Larry skated through the look-see by the rental agent. He survived the city inspector.

Both were easy compared to the P.I. - the Parental Inspection.

Landlords and real estate agents dread Parental Inspections. There is no better way to kill a deal.

Larry was so close. A nice young couple, with a pair of handsome jobs, looked at his apartment and liked it.

They called the big, old rooms "spacious." They thought the dust-catching molding was "gracious." They didn't think about the utility bills at all.

They were ready to sign. Larry was ready to celebrate.

Then the couple said the words that turn a landlord colder than his rental unit in January: "We're really interested. But we'd like Mom and Dad to see it first."

If the parents said yes, Larry had 600 smackers each month. If they said no, Larry still had to pay for the new paint, plumbing and mini-blinds.

Mom and Dad showed up, with a desire to wise up those kids.

Dad started with a warm greeting for Larry. "What's it cost to heat this place?" he said.

"Urk!" Larry replied.

Mom looked around and frowned. "Reminds me of the place we lived in when we were first married."

Larry knew that was not a good sign. Mom and Dad lived on pork and beans for a year to get out of that dump.

The young couple began their selling job.

"The big windows make it light and airy," says the young man.

"Curtains for oversize windows cost a fortune," snaps Mom.

"Don't you think the clawfoot tub is cute?" offers the young woman.

"It'll take all day to fill," counters Dad. "And there's no shower. You'll have to wash your hair in the kitchen sink."

"Did you see that sink?" pipes up Mom. "There's no garbage disposal."

"There's no central air, either," adds Dad.

"Window units are more efficient," says the young man.

"Window units rattle," says Mom.

A chill settles over the apartment, as the parents pour cold water on everything. …

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