Elves Aren’t the Only Tinkerers in December

And so on this, my first quiet day in the home office in the last few weeks, I have found myself buried up to my neck in code.

Those elves at the North Pole, allegedly working diligently to fill this year’s holiday order, have nothing on this self-styled Grinch.

PHP, CSS, HTML and a healthy dose of WTF … all have been my obsession since early morning, or the reasonable facsimile. Truth be told, it’s hard for me to complain because I’m in my element. Sort of. While Bill Gates was working on something called “Windows” I spent the 1980s playing away on my TI-994A, 16-color computer hooked up to a small color television set. I knew enough to write relatively simple programs but not enough to do anything spectacular.

Similarly, I’ve taught myself enough PHP – the lifeblood of WordPress – and CSS – the coding that makes it all look sorta pretty – to tweak things here and there without being able to create anything spectacular from scratch. I can steal appropriate add code here and there, change it when the adjustment is obvious and more or less make everything look the way I want. And sometimes I even take the time to make sure it turned out the right way.

Most of the changes from today, my four readers never will notice. The change I’m contemplating, once I work out the logistics, will be obvious to all four. It’s just a matter of bracing myself with some iced tea, Snickers bars (cardiologist be damned) and going to work.

Because, if nothing else, I know enough about the coding side of things to be dangerous. I’m a do-it-yourself technological nightmare.

Which, as you almost had to know, would bring me back to real estate.

Yesterday, one of the agents with whom I’m working on a purchase in Peoria was quite surprised when I asked if the broken-down cabinetry in the garage had been removed from the premesis. (These were cabinets from the inside unceremoniously placed in the garage and, happily for us, not nailed to the wall and thus not appurtenant to the property – another explanation for another day.)

Had I asked for this to be done? Not in my own words, not in the freestyle portion of the contract. But, yes, on lines 13 and 14 of the As Is Addendum which the seller and agent had insisted be part of the transaction:

” … and all personal property not included in the sale and all debris will be removed from the Premesis.”

Which leads to a question I’ve asked here at least a hundred times … if the professionals aren’t always aware of every word of the contract (though one can argue that they should be), what chance does a lay member of the public who never deals with these contracts except every several years when they purchase a home really have to protect themselves from what the contract does and does not dictate?

Do it yourself can be an expensive, time-consuming process with occasionally unexpected results. Like when I shut down my entire blog for 20 minutes earlier today while “fixing” a plug-in.

When in doubt, get some help. Even the Grinch learned about the power of community, of assistance, and whatever else those annoying little Whos were talking about. Eventually.

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at allphoenixrealestate.com.


  • Jay Thompson 7 years ago

    Anyone that can (correctly I might add) use “appurtenant” in a blog post should get a gold star.

    You and I “code” in strikingly similar ways…

  • Jonathan Dalton 7 years ago

    I may not be one of Inman’s Top 100 Divas (congrats, by the way) but I have my moments …

    Like your new blog look … much, much cleaner.

  • BawldGuy 7 years ago

    DIYers are those generally found on the symbolic side of the road when the inevitable breakdown comes to pass.

    Or, I’m just envious of your coding skills.

  • Jonathan Benya 7 years ago

    That’s why I leave the tinkering to late night marathon sessions fueled by Mountain Dew and my compulsive need to “fix” everything that’s not broken on my site.

    I’m digging the new look, it’s making me anxious to get off my butt and finish my own site. Perhaps there’s another marathon session in my near future…

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