Wednesday, 9 July 2014

"Ghosts": people who live in show homes as if they are not living there

This is the set-up. A family lives in a house. They are neat. Very neat:

"Every inch of furnishing, every little trinket and votive candle, sits precisely as designers placed it five months ago. That would make them the most perfect suburban ideal, except for one catch: This isn't actually their home. Bob and Dareda Mueller and their three grown sons are, instead, part of an "elite group" of middle-class nomads who have agreed to an outlandish deal. They can live cheaply in this for-sale luxury home if it looks as if they never lived here at all.

The home must remain meticulously cleaned and preserved: the temperature precisely pleasant, the mirrors crystalline clear. If a prospective buyer wants to see the home, they must quickly disappear. And when the home sells, they must be gone for good, off to the next perfect place.

Rationally speaking, this is a happy story: a family fallen on hard times gets to live in a nice house pretty cheaply, on condition that they keep it (very very) tidy. But phrases like 'human props' and the sentence "He [a 23-year old man] has taken to "periods of rebellion," marked largely by not making his bed" make me wonder.

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