If I was looking at a house, I had plenty of raw material at my disposal.
Standing in the $2.3 million beauty on Ganton Avenue in the Concession, I could have studied the 75 gallon gas water heater, the four cast coral stone Roman Doric columns, the custom marble backsplash in the kitchen or the 18-inch Travertine tile.
But I'm a people person, so I look at homes, not houses.
I found out a whole lot about this particular home in 30 seconds.
As 50 to 60 people milled about during an open house, homeowner Karen Tulman had wandered off by herself and was standing in front of a couch. She began fluffing the pillows.
Now you have to understand, this was a really special open house set up by realtors Deborah O'Mara and Tom Cinquegrano of Michael Saunders & Company. Rob Satori, one of the area's top special events entertainments over the past 20 years, was walking around a living room, making like Frank Sinatra. Renowned chef Paul Mattison, for goodness sakes, was making lunch.
Lamborghini of Sarasota had a showcase set up in the driveway and Maduro was rolling cigars by the pool.
And Karen was fluffing pillows.
She wanted things to be just right. She wanted them that way because she loves her home.
I'm no expert on real estate or home sales, but if I were a potential buyer, I would consider it valuable information that the sellers were passionate about their home.
My grandma was passionate about our home, and she fluffed the pillows when people came to visit.
I chatted with Karen, who along with her husband Steve, decided that it was the right time to downsize. I had to ask her about that movie theater upstairs, especially after I had stopped for a few moments to watch five minutes of "Bull Durham."
Come on now, Karen, do you and Steve really spend much time in the theater? After all, you have exceptional options all over the house and the master bedroom is downstairs?
"We're in there every night," she said, and then laughed as if the memories poured back into her head.
Steve broke away from the guests for a moment and joined the topic, which has been at the top of his list since the couple had the home built in 2007. "When we moved in, that theater room was like the God," Steve said. "We've probably had 50 people in there for the Super Bowl."
Karen talked about dancing down the theater isles during a New Year's Eve celebration as everyone watched the festivities on the big screen.
There were other stories as well, about family enjoying the pool and the spa or guests going to the golf course or the club.
"When we opened the front doors, we had the feeling that this was 'our' home," Karen said.
She looked around, most likely locking out the guests and imaging how it was that very first day. "It was so inviting. It flows beautifully, don't you think?"
Indeed, it does.
"We could have lived anywhere," Karen said. "This is where we chose. It's paradise."
Those looking for a house will find all the amenities on Ganton Avenue, a to-die-for kitchen, a game room with an amazing billiards table, a regular outdoor oasis. It's an amazing work of art.
But one thing I quickly learned here in East County is that some wonderful stories exist behind each and every door.