Author Topic: Removing Catholic articles from a house for sale  (Read 1361 times)

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Offline Raoul76

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Removing Catholic articles from a house for sale
« on: January 16, 2012, 08:46:49 PM »
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  • My house is going on the market again soon.  It didn't sell last year.

    My real-estate agent has pressured me to hire a "home stager," someone who comes in and who makes the house look like what the generic buyer wants; or who clears space so the potential buyer can imagine themselves in the house, rather than the house being YOUR house that they walk into.  She basically insisted that I do this, and she knows this market like the back of her hand, having worked here for 30 years or so.

    The concept makes sense.  What bothers me of course is that they are going to want me to take down all religious imagery.

    I have talked to my priest about it, he said it was okay, not a sin nor an imperfection.  But there is a difference between "okay" and virtuous.  Would it be BETTER to leave the religious items up?  Or would it only be scrupulous?

    I have no problem leaving religious things up even when it costs me money.  I'm not kidding, last time, a woman panicked when she saw my room and thought she was in The Exorcist.  But with more time and reflection, I'm wondering if that was a scruple.  Since I had cleaned out the room and taken out the bed, it looked very weird, just this empty, showcase-like room with a big bloody crucifix by the window.  It didn't even show Jesus in a good light.  It looked like some depressing Protestant chapel.

    What I don't like about this whole thing with staging, I have now realized, is that it's like participating in the irreligious aspect of society.  In order to accomplish anything, Jesus has to be swept under the rug.  People don't want anything to disturb their Zen peace of mind and their Feng-Shui.  I don't like being part of that.  

    But I must admit, it doesn't make sense to clean out the house, to take out all your personal effects, and then just leave Jesus up!  It just looks weird.  Obviously if the house were decorated the way I wanted, I'd not only have Jesus up but all my other personal effects, and it would all work together.  But I have basically emptied the house of clutter and have put it all in the garage or closet.

    And in a house that has been staged, leaving a Virgin Mary statue up will look even weirder -- like Virgin Mary in the middle of Pottery Barn.  

    The thing is, this was never my house, it was my mom's house.  I never had my decorations up, it was never arranged according to my liking.  I couldn't go into the living room and put up religious imagery because I had to take her wishes into account.  And just months after my mom died, it was on the market.  So it has never really been a house that has been designed in the Catholic style that my next house, the one I buy, will be designed.  It's not like I had to go around dismantling everything that is Catholic in the place.  I just have a few things.

    I felt fine about staging the house, but then two people awakened my scruples.  So I want more opinions, if possible.  Remember, I want to do THE MOST VIRTUOUS thing, it's not just about not sinning...  I already know it's not sinning.  So either there is a more virtuous action to take here, or, as I suspect, it's merely neutral, neither way is virtuous and it doesn't matter as far as the faith is concerned.

    Even though my priest said I could do it, he kind of raised a question mark when he said "If it doesn't sell after staging it, put the religious imagery back up," lol.  
    As I was a new convert when posting here, my posts are often full of error, even unwitting heresy and rash judgment, all of which I renounce, and all my writings are best avoided -- MDLS

    Offline ServusSpiritusSancti

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    Removing Catholic articles from a house for sale
    « Reply #1 on: January 16, 2012, 09:05:12 PM »
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  • Well, I would leave up everything you have that is religious. When my parents put our house on the market years ago, they were told that same nonsense about taking all religious stuff down. That is a trick from the devil. If whoever looks at your house is offended by the religious items in your house, then that's there problem, not yours.

    I disagree with the priest who told you it would be ok to take it down. Again, I consider that to be from the devil, that you have to take down anything that resembles Christ.


    Offline Raoul76

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    Removing Catholic articles from a house for sale
    « Reply #2 on: January 16, 2012, 09:21:51 PM »
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  • This seems to be the common Catholic opinion, of the laymen.  But as is usually the case, it's not so black-and-white.  

    You definitely can't just say he's wrong, I am sure he's not.  It is perfectly acceptable to do what he said.  I just want to do what is most virtuous.

    I thought like you at first, SS, I wonder if it's an emotional reaction.  But then, sometimes there's a reason for emotional reactions.  I feel the same way, in that I don't like hiding the Virgin Mary.  

    I did take down a crucifix before, but that was because it set Jesus in a bad light.  I was scaring people away from the faith with that.  I don't want to put any holes in the walls, after having the house repainted, so I just had the crucifix leaning against the window in a bare room, it just looked weird and awkward.  

    The thing is, when you're selling the house, you have to appeal to the buyer.  That means it's not your house anymore.  I am taking down ALL of my personal effects; my stereo, my CDs, my big painting, my whole former office, my cabinets, etc.  It's not just the religious items.  I made the house bare bones.
    If I'm removing all my personal effects, does it make any sense to leave up ONLY the religious items?  Either this is my house, or it's not -- which one is it?  Well, it is not my house, because I have stripped it down in order to sell it.  If I were planning to live here, I would have it decorated totally differently, with my personal effects AND the religious items.  

    I am pretty sure that this is a superstition.  But it is one that I am having a hard time overcoming.




    As I was a new convert when posting here, my posts are often full of error, even unwitting heresy and rash judgment, all of which I renounce, and all my writings are best avoided -- MDLS

    Offline ServusSpiritusSancti

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    Removing Catholic articles from a house for sale
    « Reply #3 on: January 16, 2012, 09:25:46 PM »
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  • Well, yeah, there's nothing wrong with taking down that certain crucifix. As for everything else religious though, I would leave it up.

    Offline Raoul76

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    Removing Catholic articles from a house for sale
    « Reply #4 on: January 16, 2012, 09:35:41 PM »
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  • Thanks for responding, SS -- that is an act of charity since I am going through one of my usual doubts.  I know the devil is working on me here, since I am frozen in my chair, shrivelled up, afraid to move, this usually happens when I'm having a moral quandary.  O me of little faith!

    It is the thought that counts, God will reward you for it.  But a little voice in my head before I even started this thread said "Listen to the priest, nothing will be resolved here."  

    Laymen are not moral theologians.  The deeper I get in the faith, I see how black-and-white and superstitious laymen are, including myself.  I have thought so many things were wrong that really weren't.  I now see at least a little of how complex many issues are, the Jesuits were good at going into the extremely fine points of moral theology.  So I have to listen to the priest alone on this one because I am simply not skilled enough to know and I doubt anyone else here is either.  God gives His inspiration to the confessors on these matters, otherwise we could just confess to each other.

    It is disobedience to even come here and post after he already told me what to do, I'm second-guessing him.  ( By the way, he didn't tell me to take them down, he just said it was okay to do so ).  It would be one thing if what he said was clearly wrong, but it isn't, this is a more ambiguous matter.


    As I was a new convert when posting here, my posts are often full of error, even unwitting heresy and rash judgment, all of which I renounce, and all my writings are best avoided -- MDLS


    Offline ServusSpiritusSancti

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    Removing Catholic articles from a house for sale
    « Reply #5 on: January 16, 2012, 09:38:55 PM »
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  • You're welcome, Raoul. I'll be sure to keep you in my prayers. I can relate...I sometimes have scrupulous thoughts like that as well. I'd imagine alot of Catholics do at some point, though obviously some more than others.

    Offline Telesphorus

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    Removing Catholic articles from a house for sale
    « Reply #6 on: January 16, 2012, 09:38:57 PM »
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  • What is that you are selling?  Are you marketing your house to Catholics or to whoever wants a place to live?

    Offline PartyIsOver221

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    Removing Catholic articles from a house for sale
    « Reply #7 on: January 16, 2012, 09:39:01 PM »
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  • SS is correct here. My gut reaction was this is evil, to remove all religious objects. That thought is not of God.

    Let the house sell with the religious items up. Watch a buyer come who is Catholic, or even a Novus Ordo-ite, and want to buy your place at full price and even talk with you about the faith and you become a light to the traditional Catholic faith to them.

    Watch.


    Offline Matthew

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    Removing Catholic articles from a house for sale
    « Reply #8 on: January 16, 2012, 09:39:35 PM »
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  • I would take it all down.

    You're about to sell your house (part of the earth under dominion of Christ, with you as the vice-regent) and turn it over to some infidel or heretic.  And this for a mere $500,000 -- money that you can't take with you.

    That is true, and can't be denied.

    So are Catholics to never sell any property, because they have consecrated their homes to the Sacred Heart, while most people use homes as hives of sin?

    That can't be.

    Therefore, I conclude it's OK to sell your house. And it's true that people won't buy a house when it seems like "someone else's house" -- if it's stamped with your personality. It doesn't matter how that is done -- via religious decorations, personal pictures, or anything else.
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    Offline Telesphorus

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    Removing Catholic articles from a house for sale
    « Reply #9 on: January 16, 2012, 09:42:31 PM »
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  • You're not selling a shrine.

    Offline PartyIsOver221

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    « Reply #10 on: January 16, 2012, 09:48:19 PM »
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  • Quote from: Matthew
    I would take it all down.

    You're about to sell your house (part of the earth under dominion of Christ, with you as the vice-regent) and turn it over to some infidel or heretic.  And this for a mere $500,000 -- money that you can't take with you.

    That is true, and can't be denied.

    So are Catholics to never sell any property, because they have consecrated their homes to the Sacred Heart, while most people use homes as hives of sin?

    That can't be.

    Therefore, I conclude it's OK to sell your house. And it's true that people won't buy a house when it seems like "someone else's house" -- if it's stamped with your personality. It doesn't matter how that is done -- via religious decorations, personal pictures, or anything else.



    "Hive of sin" can never be close to looking like a "house of God".  Even Jews can appreciate Catholic art, I bet.

    I do admit though, I wouldn't go into a house with Jenna Jameson photos posted on the wall, vulgar photos everywhere, pornographic videos playing in the background, marijuana smoke in the air, etc. Then again, are there realtors that would even take on someone like that as a client? I wouldn't doubt it actually, now thinking about it.

    If I go see a house with a Buddhist statue, or some Hari Krishna things up, even some Tibetan chant monks music in the background, I'm not going to be repulsed and leave the house though. I'm looking for a home to live in (that will be given to me empty). I will think "Wow , if I buy that house, all that crap is getting out of here and I will christen this place as Christ's home, with a priest's blessing and all."




    Offline Raoul76

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    « Reply #11 on: January 16, 2012, 09:48:24 PM »
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  • Is that a pointed question, Tele?  

    Of course I'm marketing it to whoever.  If the point of your intervention is that this isn't the place to proselytize, I'd agree.  However, God does sometimes work it out that maybe a Catholic will come in and love the house for that Catholic feeling, maybe they will see a fellow Catholic and want to buy.  But then again, a Catholic coming into a bare house can imagine it with their own statues and crucifixes.

    That has happened, by the way, a girl came in who said she was Catholic, probably Novus Ordo, married to an Anglican, but I don't think that my crucifix is why she liked the house.  It just prompted her tell me she was Catholic.  Yes, having religious items up is a good chance to have conversations, but so is wearing a Miraculous Medal, and I don't do that every day nor do most people -- so is that wrong too?

    Like I said, this house is NOT decorated with my personal effects anymore.  There are just some religious items that I keep around for my own comfort.  So it looks very odd; it is not homey or anything, it is not my style or decorated like a Catholic home.  Like I said, this isn't my home, it's my mom's.  Right now, it is like a showroom with a Virgin Mary statue and some crucifixes sitting there.  They want to make it like a trendy but generic house that other people can imagine themselves decorating in their own way.

    Thanks for your spin, Matthew.  It clicks with me.  I understand what others are saying but I think it is an emotional and not intellectual reaction.
    As I was a new convert when posting here, my posts are often full of error, even unwitting heresy and rash judgment, all of which I renounce, and all my writings are best avoided -- MDLS

    Offline Matthew

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    Removing Catholic articles from a house for sale
    « Reply #12 on: January 16, 2012, 09:48:45 PM »
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  • The phrase "pearls before swine" comes to mind, too.

    Shoving the most sacred and beautiful artifacts in front of every passing infidel isn't always wise.

    What do you think of the Mexicans who tattoo "Our Lady of Guadalupe" on their bodies?  They think they're expressing their culture/faith with zeal. But honestly, they're degrading Our Lady by flaunting her in that way.

    Sometimes, beautiful things (gifts, graces) should be kept private and sacred.

    I would never downplay Our Lord or Our Lady in my home before any visitor -- but it's at least MY home. If I was trying to make this home SOMEONE ELSE's, I might as well move some of my stuff out now. It's going to be moved out at closing time anyhow, right?

    Are you trying to make a statement, or sell your home? In today's market, one can't afford to make any mistakes in the presentation of one's home.
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    Offline Raoul76

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    « Reply #13 on: January 16, 2012, 09:50:05 PM »
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  • You have convinced me, I feel my fear lifting.  It makes sense, it's what my priest said.  Thanks again Matthew!  
    As I was a new convert when posting here, my posts are often full of error, even unwitting heresy and rash judgment, all of which I renounce, and all my writings are best avoided -- MDLS

    Offline PartyIsOver221

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    « Reply #14 on: January 16, 2012, 09:52:16 PM »
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  • Quote from: Matthew

    Are you trying to make a statement, or sell your home? In today's market, one can't afford to make any mistakes in the presentation of one's home.


    This is true.

    If the point of leaving items up is to specifically proselytize, then think again about leaving those items up. Proselytize elsewhere.

    If its just cause they are there, and so numerous to take down that it would be a tremendous hassle, then you don't have to do it.

     

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