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Houses

  • ... there are three sorts of liars — liars, damned liars and house agents ...

  • Old houses, I thought, do not belong to people ever, not really, people belong to them.

  • ... I am as susceptible to houses as some people are susceptible to other human beings. Twice in my life I have fallen in love with one. Each time it was as violent and fatal as falling in love with a human being.

  • ... all the houses you can afford to buy are depressing.

    • Jean Kerr,
    • "Our Gingerbread Dream House," Ladies' Home Journal ()
  • What is a house but a bigger skin, and a neighborhood map but the world's skin ever expanding?

  • There is, apparently, some law of nature decreeing that all home construction must double in its projected cost and take four times longer than originally anticipated.

  • Any real estate agent would tell you that most people are looking for the house they spent the best part of their childhood in ...

  • [On falling in loved with a house:] I feel as if I were going to get married — to the right man at last!

  • We lived in a housing project graced by the architectural style of Early Chicken Coop ...

  • Despite all the cynical things writers have said about writing for money, the truth is we write for love. That is why it is so easy to exploit us.

    • Erica Jong,
    • "My Italy," What Do Women Want? ()
  • Real estate is the closest thing to the proverbial pot of gold.

  • Every house we have lived in, every building to which our hands have lent their work, belongs to us by virtue of love or of regret.

  • Porches are America's lost rooms.

  • Opal lived in her house like an egg in a shoe box, curves enhancing corners.

  • A house can have integrity, just like a person ...

  • Well! some people talk of morality, and some of religion, but give me a little snug property.

  • A house does not need a wife any more than it does a husband.

  • All houses in which men have lived and suffered and died are haunted houses.

  • Houses turn to corpses overnight when we cease to live and love in them.

    • Anaïs Nin,
    • 1939, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, vol. 2 ()
  • The furniture and trappings in the apartment are all in a state of flux — here today, gone tomorrow. Nothing is anchored to its place, not even the coffee-pot, which floats off and returns, on the tide of the signora's marine nature.

  • The house, while sound in wind and limb, was described as being of 'no character.' We didn't think then that it had anything but character, rather sinister perhaps, but definitely character.

  • ... the eternal ranchouse [was] given extra length by the two-car garage facing the street (this always reminded Justin, architecturally speaking, of bare buttocks presented to one's face).

  • For all the huffing and puffing of the doubters, a home of our own is still the rock on which our hopes are built. Price appreciation aside (and most houses will appreciate, eventually), homeownership is a state of mind. It's your piece of the earth. It's where a family's toes grow roots. It's where the flowers are yours, not God's.

  • Everyone said, 'You can't lose money in real estate, because they're not making any more of it.' Hmmmm. Where did everyone go wrong?

  • Anyone who has undergone home repair lately knows that your everyday artisan uses language so loosely and makes false promises so glibly as to make your politicians, even the presidential candidate, seem like a model of accuracy and rectitude. 'Be there Wednesday at nine,' the workman will tell you. It is a lie. He is humoring you. He says it to silence you, the way you tell a child you will take it to Disneyland if it will stop crying.

  • I know of nothing more significant than the awakening of men and women throughout our country to the desire to improve their houses. Call it what you will — awakening, development, American Renaissance — it is a most startling and promising condition of affairs.

  • But when you dwell in a house you mislike, you will look out of a window a deal more than those that are content with their dwelling.

  • The highest yield you can get on an investment in the United States is in real estate.

    • Mary Elizabeth Schlayer,
    • in Mary Elizabeth Schlayer with Marilyn H. Cooley, How to Be a Financially Secure Woman ()
  • It was an experienced house. It was kind and lenient in its influences, it had known dignified living and nice people, and I felt it.

  • Houses of evil similarity appeared like rows of disciplined, humiliated orphans.

  • He who loves an old house / Never loves in vain, / How can an old house / Used to sun and rain, / To lilac and larkspur, / And an elm above, / Ever fail to answer / The heart that gives it love?

  • ... it's still not 'done'; good houses never were.

  • ... a man who builds a house never really dies.

  • At the beginning of a remodel, money is everything, but as you go along, it becomes secondary to the vision. You can't have the house looking like a glorious jewel and leave the cracked linoleum or the icky light fixture, so you spend and spend and spend. Then one day it suddenly occurs to you that all that play money you've been throwing around is real — and it's in someone else's bank account.

  • Remodeling is like pulling a loose thread on a cheap sweater — the job keeps unraveling.

  • ... making home improvements is an addiction that can be cured only by bankruptcy.

  • ... our landlord's idea of maintenance was cashing the rent checks.

  • I gave my love to the house forever. / I will come till I cannot come, I said, / And the house said, I will know.

  • Many of my friends lived, surrounded by the most subdued and neutral styles, in Chevy Chase Careful. Another lived in a style I think of retrospectively as Kenwood Pompous, which was Chevy Chase Careful with wall-to-wall carpets and fake flowers. There was also Suburban Virginia Expensive Comfortable, which reached its peak in the early '60s with the boom in Ethel Kennedy fauna and flora — dog hair and chintz.

    • Constance Casey,
    • "Memoirs of a Congressman's Daughter," in The Washington Post Magazine ()
  • ... I could remember the house on Lexington Street, where the mortgage hung over our heads almost as tangibly as the roof, and we still managed to enjoy life ...

  • The house, shut up like a pocket watch, / those tight hearts breathing inside — / she could never invent them.

    • Rita Dove,
    • "Obedience," Thomas and Beulah ()
  • Little boxes on the hillside, / Little boxes made of ticky-tacky, / Little boxes on the hillside, / Little boxes all the same.

  • ... the house protects the dreamer; the houses that are important to us are the ones that allow us to dream in peace. Guests we've had stop in for a night or two all come down the first morning, ready to tell their dreams.

  • It is a lamb of a house, a dove, a child, a dear kind woman of a house.

  • The three most important rules in selecting the right piece of real estate are location, location, location (and when we have periods of tight money I would add terms, terms, terms).

  • I do feel that houses have faces — and feelings too.

  • ... a house without a family will surely die of loneliness

  • ... every house that is a family home has a soul ...

  • To one of my intense inter-uterine nature there is no measuring the shock that the loss of a house can cause.

  • Houses are the abiding joys; they are the most emotion-stirring of all things. An automobile is regarded with fond affection, a typewriter becomes the inseparable companion, clothes can stir sentimentality, and the bit of bric-a-brac is a toy one would weep to see torn away — but houses are real, deep, emotional things. How much excitement in the cutting of a window, what enormous importance in the angle of a roof!

    • Rose Wilder Lane,
    • 1927, in William Holtz, ed., Dorothy Thompson and Rose Wilder Lane: Forty Years of Friendship ()
  • ... families, and homes, have always been in flux, evolving to meet the needs and circumstances of each era. The only permanency has been our belief that there is one unchanging reality, perhaps the strongest and most comforting myth of all.

  • When a house is used to capacity it is like a heart being exercised well.