Pat Kennedy - Your Washington, DC Real Estate Connection


Are You A House Wimp?

 Once I dumped a perfectly nice man because he gave me a blank stare when I asked him if he knew how to fix my leaking kitchen faucet.

"My people call plumbers," was his response.

When, like me, you are a single woman living in This Old House, handy is sexy.  And it's not like I can't afford to call in the pros when it's necessary.  It's just that there's something about a guy who can fix things or build things.   

For years, I thought I was attracted to engineers because that's what my father did for a living.  And when he wasn't in the office, he was building an addition to the house, or framing my mother's paintings, or building bookcases.  So I sort of grew up thinking that was what guys did.

And, like my mother, I am pretty much of a house wimp.  Of course, my mother was smart enough to end up in new construction where a resident handy man isn't a necessity.

A lot of my clients are single, professional women, and they are buying old houses.  We like to joke about how one's taste in men changes with homeownership.  What one of these high powered attorneys used to think of as "dating down" is now a good thing.  As renters, they may have sought out guys who they thought were headed for a partnership at Akin Gump, or even the White House.  Now they troll the profiles on looking for cute plumbers, engineers and carpenters.

But I have to ask myself, would I have dumped the guy who said he didn't do plumbing even if he had pulled a wrench out of his back pocket and, with a flourish, repaired my little drip?  

Yeah, I would have.   I should have said handy is often sexy.  There are still exceptions to the rule.




Comment balloon 16 commentsPatricia Kennedy • January 24 2008 08:19PM


I can fix your leaky faucet, Pat, but I'd probably rather date the guy you dumped!  ;-P
Posted by Gregory Maley, REALTOR, GRI, CBR, SHS, e-PRO, ABR (Sold Buy the Sea Realty & R.E.N.T.) over 12 years ago
Cute story. My husband is very handy and now i might consider that sexy.
Posted by Gaye Granice, Associate Broker (Robert Defalco Realty) over 12 years ago
I can fix your faucet and frame your house but supper had better be on the table at 5pm or I might get lazy!
Posted by Jeffrey Dolfinger, NRBA Member (24/7 Realty Inc.) over 12 years ago

Thank God I'm off the dating market.  Not only am I not that handy but I have the problem of roundness and relative shortness.  I do have a cadre of handymen and licensed specialists at my beck and call, though.


Not Me <<-------  NOT ME!


Posted by Ken Montville, The MD Suburbs of DC (RE/MAX United Real Estate) over 12 years ago

Ken, What's his number? 

 Oh by the way dinner is ready...Wine included.. I have a list for you ...My handy man husband does all his side work for Cristie Brinkley  (actually her double)  Family Joke ... If she gets a handy man shouldn't I  !!!

I am actually seeing more women do it themselves.

Posted by Kathleen Lunsford (Century21 New Millennium) over 12 years ago

Gregory, I am laughing so hard right about now!  But I will trade faucets for food, or Maker's Mark.

Gaye, you are a lucky woman!

Jeff, unlike my mom, I am a sometimes cook!

Ken, is that one of your handy guys?  Can I borrow him?



Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 12 years ago
Pretty funny, huh Rich?
Posted by Alix Pinzon, (562)743-6086 (Open Mortgage, LLC NMLS # 2975) over 12 years ago

Good call, Pat.  I adore my sweet husband, but for the life of me cannot figure out why the closet door knobs are so jacked up around here after Mr. Goodwrench changed them all out last month!  He's lucky he's so cute and according to him, I am lucky we have a dry cleaner.

"If the ladies don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy!"  The Red Green Show

Posted by Amanda Evans, Real Estate Broker - Fort Worth Texas (DFW Living) over 12 years ago
Patricia, so that's why my wife seems to have a strange attraction to the engineer in our condo building who's always there to fix something when we need it done.
Posted by Brian Block, Northern Virginia & D.C. Real Estate (RE/MAX Allegiance, Managing Broker/Branch Vice President) over 12 years ago

I grew up with a mother who could fix lots of things.  My dad on the other hand, well lets just say we didn't even let him change a lightbulb.  So I can fix the toliet and unclog a drain.  But I draw the line when it comes to electricity.  One jolt with a 220 fixture when I live in the Germany taught me to stay away.  And yes you probably would have dumped him anyway!

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 12 years ago

I am pretty handy myself, but my husband can do most everything. Not that he wants to, but he can. Together we tackle many things ourselves ~ except when laziness sets in and requires a call to an expert! Truthfully, hiring an expert is worth every you see the parallel I'm trying to draw here?????

Posted by Kelly Sibilsky (Licensed Through Referral Connection, LTD.) over 12 years ago
I am laughing so hard....    I am the least handy person in the world - and I don't cook.  Ok - so I can do both; I just choose not to.  :-)
Posted by James Downing - Metro DC Houses Team REALTORSĀ®, CRS, GRI, ABR,MRP, MilRes, When Looking to Buy or Sell - Make the Right Move (Real Living | At Home) over 12 years ago

Amanda, I actually think handy is better than adorable, unless you're a Labradoodle!

Brian, somehow, I think your wife appreciates your traits that compensate for a little less than handy!

Cindy, I'm with you on electricity!  

Kelly, I am so not handy it's almost funny.  And when I was married (both times) it was not a case of opposites attracting, at least not in the handy domain!

James, you are lucky you are cute and can sell real estate or you'd be in trouble! 

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 12 years ago


What an adorable post! Depends on where you are in life as to what is sexy. I had a friend who married her apartment maintenance man. She though he was really cute!

Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) over 12 years ago
Patricia - I have had 4 husbands - the first was the best when it came to an all round guy that could do anything (including being the father of my two wonderful children) - he was an electrician and then went back to school (at the insistence of his mother) and became a computer engineer - he could repair anything and did all of the repairs - he taught me a lot too - and none of the following husbands could hold a candle to him when something needed to be fixed - the last husband at least did some things and did learn how to do more, but Herbert was by far the best - that little German boy that I met when he was 21 and I was 23 - ah, memories!!!!
Posted by Billnulls Blog Florida Realty Professional, AHWD (Charles Rutenberg Realty) over 12 years ago

Margaret, cut and handy!  If he could also cook, he might be my dream!

Barbara Jo, so where is he now?  Is he single?  Does he live anywhere near Washington?  I've never ever had a handy husband!  My first was a dear, but a cello player.  He didn't want to hurt his fingers.  The second was the learning curve! 

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 12 years ago