The Hot New Real Estate Trend? Guitars

Although I am a paragon of virtue 99.9% of the time, I will admit to occasional procrastination. One way I do it is looking at real estate. If I were seriously in the market for a house that would be a different story; but my material of choice is things like “Real Estate for $760,000” and similar slide shows in the New York Times.

In other words, fluff city.

This morning I happily drooled my way through a two-bedroom one-bath cabin on over five acres of rolling hills and forest in Carmel Valley, Calif., and was somewhere in the bedrooms of a three-bedroom midcentury modern house in midtown Atlanta, when I saw this:

Since I’m a musician, my first thought was, Cool! Nice guitar! But the longer I looked at it, the less sense it made. There are broke musicians whose guitars live in their bedrooms, but electric guitars require cables and tuners and picks and amps. Which is why my bass and its attendant junk live in the den.

I’m just taking a wild guess here, but I’m guessing none of those are in this bedroom (especially since the article mentions that the home owner is an architect, not a guitarist for Bon Jovi).

But hey, maybe they just pulled the guitar from another room and dropped it on the bed. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Otherwise, the bedspread in the center of the photo is pretty darned plain. Plus, all things being equal, if the owner has a cool hobby I’m more inclined to like him.

That thought lasted until the very next picture:

See the guitar on the couch? Here’s a pro tip: The one thing you never, ever want to do with a string instrument is bend its neck, since a bent neck is basically a death sentence for the instrument. Guitarist don’t put their instruments down that way. I wouldn’t even put my guitar or bass down that way to go get a cup of coffee. It’s just too easy to have someone accidentally put weight on it. I have a guitar stand next to the couch. If you have a $760,000 house and a $500 guitar, I suggest coughing up an extra $10 for a stand.

So the guitars may belong to the home owner, but what’s more likely is that the photographer (probably not a musician) is putting them in for visual interest.

All of which wouldn’t even rate a blog post, except that I hadn’t been looking at real-estate porn in a while, so I was a few slideshows behind. After I finished touring the the bargain homes, I moved on up to the ones for $1.6 million.

I was in one of the four bedrooms on the second floor of an eight-bedroom Federal-style mansion built in 1827 in Salem, Mass., when I ran across this:

Another guitar! And it has a practice amp, like someone actually plays it!

Except that again, there’s no cable. And the guitar doesn’t have whammy bar, even though it has a hole for one. And it’s sitting in the chair like a favorite teddy bear.

In other words, it’s just a prop. And a badly used one at that. So let this be a lesson to you, real estate stagers: Once I win the lottery, I am not buying a house if I see an improperly treated guitar in it.

So there.