How Many Occupations Does It Take to Buy One House and Sell Another?

My wife Diane and I have just moved, after 25 years, from Minneapolis to Eden Prairie.  Early on I needed to hire a painter to do a modest amount of inside work to get our Minneapolis house ready for sale.  But after a half-dozen calls I couldn’t find one who could squeeze us in for at least three weeks, which would be too long.  I finally tracked down a painter by speaking to a friend, who urged me to call another a friend, who knew a very good one who might be able to start in a couple of days, which happily he could and did.  That time-consuming exercise got me thinking about how dependent we might be on people in the trades, especially since I’m not the most adept or enthusiastic person when it comes to home repairs.  As it turned out, we were dependent on dozens, in and out of the trades.

Correction:  We’re still dependent on several.

The following alphabetical list contains the kinds of practitioners and businesses we have paid and, in some instances continue to pay, trying to repair and/or jazz up both our homes.  It may not be a complete list as I may be have repressed some.

I can only guess at what kind of education or training each person has, or what kind of credentials they hold, or how much money they make.  In other words, I don’t know how many ever pursued any of the educational routes my American Experiment colleagues and I have been advocating under the banner of “Great Jobs Without a Four-Degree.”  Pathways such as jump-starting a career via an apprenticeship, participating in a one-year or two-year certificate program at a community college, or acquiring a valuable job skill in the military.

Rather, I thought it would be interesting simply to get a sense of all the occupations potentially involved in selling one house and buying another.  Which is to say noting all the men and women who are important, often essential to the adventure and who are usually remunerated well.  Or more precisely, all the players who might have a four-year degree.  Or for our purposes, might not.

  • Appliance technicians
  • Appraisers
  • Boiler technicians
  • Concrete specialists
  • Consignment store
  • Electricians
  • Floor cleaners
  • Garage door specialists
  • Glass specialists
  • Handyman
  • Hardwater specialists
  • Hardwood specialists
  • Home inspectors
  • Inside house cleaners
  • Landscape specialists
  • Lighting specialists
  • Mortgage bankers
  • Moving companies
  • Outside house cleaners
  • Painters
  • PODS
  • Plumbers
  • Public Storage
  • Realtors
  • Rubbish haulers
  • Security system technicians
  • Stagers
  • Videographers
  • Window cleaners

A sincere postscript:  Yes, our new house is great.   As is our new neighborhood.  And, I’m guessing, so will 169 be someday.  Diane and I are happy to be where we are.  But given what moving can entail and cost, unless getting out of town is a near-life-or-death imperative, you might want to consider staying put forever.