St. Joseph, Sell My House!

‘Twas the longest of winters, and clients were few,
The house in Virginia (4 beds and 2 loos)
had been on the market so long that I doubted
we’d sell the damn thing before daffodils sprouted.

And missing my sweetie, the cats and my bikecat sketch
I pulled up Google, found a map, took a hike
to the barrio mercado, to the Santeria I went
With a mission to find the Mover of Kent.

The Santerista-priestess knew why I came
She brought out the statue, I never gave out his name,
She prayed over St. Joe, quite vivid and bold
And told me he hated staying out in the cold.
But I was to bury him face down in the dirt
And a little prayer and promise sure wouldn’t hurt.
Facing the street by the real estate sign
He’d sell the house, and all would be fine.

So I sent him first class all the way to Virginia
My hopes were so high, I can’t even begin ta
tell you the prayers I sent with that guy
to send me someone who was eager to buy
my house and bring me my husband and cats
So Kent buried him right, and that, now, is that.

I promised St. Joseph if he sold the house
and brought me my bike and my far-away spouse
That I’d build him a shrine in my new desert homeSt. Joseph\'s shrine plan
And honor his gaudiness and never would moan
about plastic and likenesses injection molded,
No, I’d be happy and honor him, hands nicely folded
and feet bare and ready for desert-hot days
And I’d tell the glad story and heap on the praise.

I’m hopeful and already designing the shrine
I will build him to honor the end of the long-waiting time.

NOTE: Within 8 weeks of burying St. Joseph in the yard, we received a successful offer for the house. Two months later, we closed the deal and moved West.

–Image: cat and shrine, Quinn McDonald.

Quinn McDonald lives (alone) in Arizona, while her husband (and the cats) are in Virginia. She decided to solve the difficult real-estate market with the knowledge she gained in graduate school. . .folklore. There is a common belief that a statue of St. Joseph, buried head down, facing the street, next to the real estate sign, will sell the house. It can’t hurt. Watch this space for updates on the house. A qualified buyer should appear any day now.
(c) 2008. All rights reserved.


19 thoughts on “St. Joseph, Sell My House!

  1. I buried St, Joseph an hour before Our open house. Our house was on the market for almost 2 months.
    days later we got a call form the first couple that came to the open house. They gave us an offer we went back and forth and then aggreed on a price.
    Their inspector made all these unrealistic suggestion — his opinion on replacing a 10 year old door. Real crazy stuff — We took care of our house from day one. No infestation, no mold no water. The couple wanted new doors, lift up the cabana. Change slidings doors that are 5 years old and cost $2000.00. The deal fell through. We were already approved for our mortage- we had the house we wanted. All down the drain.

    St. Joseph doesn’t want us to move. Maybe he knows something we don’t know in the future.

    I will still honor him – I place my faith and trust in his hands.

    —Not every buyer is a good buyer. Sometimes it makes sense to stay in place till the right buyer shows up. It’s a good thing to know, and to be ready to wait. -Q

  2. Pingback: Leaving it Behind « QuinnCreative

  3. Yes that is tough, the housing market is very immobile for now.

    It’s true the house in D.C. would still be yours with all the care for the payment of the mortgage and costs of repairs and an agent.
    That is why I suggested to rent it to people from abroad, for there are some interesting clausules that you could include in the contract.

    From the rent we payed our mortgage, eventual repairs and the rest we just saved.
    You could also ask to be payed in Euros for the Euro is a stable currency. But I certainly understand your worries and the house as a downpayment should not lose its value due to damages.

    We also have many things in climate controlled storage and that costs quite a bit. And in the end you still throw or give away so much once you realize that you can live perfectly fine without most of it.
    Life doesn’t exactly get any easier when you own a lot 😉

    —-Ah, Euros, the stable currency of the world. Who would have thought? Yes, the idea is a very good one. My guess is that we live too simply for most European ex-pats or diplomatic workers. Unlike most people our age, we chose to live simply in an area of town that housed many nationalities–but working class people. We loved the pride in our neighborhood, the pride of people who had the American Dream in hand. But it is considered declasse among many of our friends. -Q

  4. There is a little alternative to selling your house. You could let it to foreigners, expats who come to D.C. for some years.
    Of course I don’t know in what aerea you live but this is an idea.

    Our house is rented of and on to expat families and at least people live there and we get some money on our bank account.

    That way you could be together again.

    —-True, we could be together, but in a risky way. Renting out a house 2,500 miles away means engaging an agent to handle repairs, etc. And it also means that we are still responsible for the mortgage, as the house is not paid off. That means renting the house out for more than we are paying on the mortgage, to cover both the fee and the existing mortgage. Of course, if the payer stops paying, there is an immediate financial crisis.

    Once that happens, it means we can’t own a house here, because we don’t have a down payment. That, in turn, means renting an apartment here, and storing much of our house-hold goods, an additional significant payment, because you have to store in an air conditioned place, because of the summer heat.

    Much as we would like to be together, it looks like we will have to wait till the house sells.

  5. Hope this works Quinn. I am sure the very action made you feel more empowered.
    ==> As a folklorist, it behooves me to pay attention to the folklore of my area. And because I’d like to have my husband living in the same house with me while we are both young enough to enjoy it, I’ll do anything I can think of to sell the house. Come on, St. Joe!

  6. I didn’t bury the statue of St. Joseph to sell my last house, but a nice picture of him, downloaded from the internet and sealed in a plastic bag. I promised him a nice picture frame in a place of honor if he’d sell our home and we got it sold in plenty of time to make the deadline on our new home and made a handsome profit as well. St Joe is still sitting in a handmade glass cabochon frame in my studio, gazing serenely out at me every time I look up and thank him for our nice house.
    I’m not sure it was the saint or the prayers but I’ve heard that it works more often than it doesn’t, so keep your spirits up and start working on the shrine to protect his colors from fading by UV rays.

    ====>That’s what I’m hoping–that it works. Whether it’s devotion or sending the right message to the universe, I’m counting on it! -Q

  7. My neighbors have had their home on the market for well over a year. Built in the 1800’s, beautiful gardens, huge yard, needed just the right buyer. Their realtor recently buried St Joseph in their backyard. They will be moving into their new home at the end of the month and I will be getting a new neighbor!

    ====> I’d love to give my Virginia neighbors new neighbors. I’ll just have to keep faith in St. Joe.

  8. I’m guessing that any sale following the burial of St. Joseph (what a way to treat a saint!) will be attributed to him and any failure to sell will be attributed to a lack of faith or improper burial! Poor old Joe — often forgotten as the figure in the background behind the three wise men, Mary, and Jesus, his claim to fame is real estate! But I am curious to learn if it works anyway. Stranger things have happened. I am trying to sell a house in Mississippi and I want to scream everytime a nightly news talking head reveals with goulish pleasure another “blow to homeowners in the troubled real estate market.” Hmmm, maybe we should bury THEM upside down somewhere.

    ==> Well, sure. Once you’ve started down the religious road, the only excuse is “it works” or “I wasn’t holy enough.” But I made the promise before I sent him off, so there parameters are in place. I do agree with you on the news, though. All I hear is the bad stuff, the discouraging stuff, and I really do feel that they are making a big effort to scare of any potential buyers. No one will ever know the exact low point, but buying anywhere around it is a good idea. Because once it goes up, it will continue to go up, and then you will have missed the entire thing. -Q

  9. You have a REALTOR. But I sold my house to someone who saw my DC Craigslist ad. I found my present condo rental through a DC Craisglist ad placed by the owner himself, who was fed up with his real-estate company’s lethargy. The ad I wrote said my house was in an “unbeatable location” and a bargain for a visionary investor or rehabber. It was just one of many homes for sale in my old neighborhood–and frankly, it was crumbling. The home I sought had to allow my big dog and a couple of cats, have garden space and 2 bedrooms and a kitch with a window–for less than $2K monthly rent and understanding a huge and truly odd credit glitch. Here’s how both of these dreams came true: I prayed to St. Brigid, the female equivalent of St. Patrick. Then sailed forth on sheer faith with that highly personal FSOB ad (which a mortgage banker who was helping me advised me NOT to post) and a direct-appeal-to-the-owner rental application. You might try Craigslist and craft one of your uniquely Q-to-the-heart messages. But for sure try St. Brigid, protector of home and hearth and the harvest. Here’s hoping for you!

    ===> Your success is amazing. I’ve always thought you have special saints on your side. I didn’t know it was St. Brigid, but I’m sure it’s St. Francis!

  10. When the market was starting to soften in DC and we had already moved to Nashville, we had a friend go bury St. Joe in the front garden bed of our Fairfax house. No lie, within weeks we had an offer. Folklore contains all wisdom ;D
    This will work for you, I just know it.

  11. Quinn,

    I drove to Fairfax for our St. Joseph statue to help sell Dave’s condo in Del Ray in 2001. He helped! It just takes one right buyer. Neighbors of ours here in Lorton just sold there place after a long time on the market so luck is in the air!


  12. My house was sold in six months and I thought that was good, but I wasn’t separated from loved ones. Hope you get a buyer soon.

  13. In the interest of equal time, I’d like to offer this alternative technique;

    Purchase a Jackie Mason bobble head doll.
    Have Kent bury it, carefully facing the doll towards the Catskills.

    At the very least, the azelia bushes get a good laugh! 😉

  14. I can already see it! It’s already on its way because the universe will do absolutely everything and anything possible 😉 This was a highly creative post! I’m certain that it will work!

    ===>I’m counting on the universe to pick up the positive energy I have toward the new real estate agent and hope I have to have Kent out here with me soon!

  15. I’m hoping. Quinn, that this will work for you, and soon so that your husband and kittioes will be with you in your desert home.


    I’m hoping to get my husband out here while we can still get some hiking in. I envision the kitties lounging in the back yard with dark glasses on.

  16. I have heard of this practice. I hope it works. Good luck!

    ===> Well, Lori, if it sold the house, I’d swing a chicken over my head and yell “Shalimar!”, so I thought it might be worth it. I must have heard a dozen success stories in the past month, so I’m keeping my hopes up! -Q

  17. Best of luck Quinn. I sure hope this does the trick!

    —> I did everything I could think of, now I’m leaving it up to the universe. But a LOT of people told me about this, in positive terms.

  18. Worked for me. 1984, when housing loans sported 15% interest during stagflation. Six weeks flat! 🙂

    If he can do it in 6 weeks with 15% interest, I’ll have offers out the cul de sac!

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