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November 28, 2007


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I've never heard of this but St. Jude is the patron saint of lost causes.

CFO --

Yep, and many people trying to sell their homes probably feel it's a lost cause.

Chief Family Officer is right--St. June is the patron of lost causes, so if your house isn't selling, a quick request to St. Jude to prayer for the sale of your house might be in order.

I don't get why the St. Joseph statue is supposed to work, but that's the standard "help" for selling a house. Maybe because Joseph was a carpenter, and a house is framed with wood?

We did not do this, but we talked about it a few times. Of course, the previous owners had a mini-torah on the front door frame. We left it there because it was a good conversation piece ("What's that little scroll looking thing on the front door?" "Oh, only a portion of the Jewish Bible..."). Since St. Joseph is a Catholic saint, would there have been a divine implosion on my property? Maybe that's what we should have done--I'm sure the insurance proceeds would have been better than what we got for the house when it did sell :(

You're right, though, too, the point should be prayer, and praying to St. Joseph gets him praying for you--it can't possibly hurt to get more people on your side, right?

It sounds silly, but it works! I know several people who buried St. Joseph and their houses sold soon afters. But there does seem to be a trick to how it is buried, what I have heard is upside down with the toes pointing to the house and I think it's suppose to go in a certain corner of the yard....

Then there's the joke about someone who buried and reburied the statue with no luck of selling the house, so they threw it out. Then a couple days later the landfill sold. LOL

I thought the afterlife was supposed to be a time of bliss. It sounds like these saints are working hard. They probably have a support staff of a 3 or 4 angels. I wonder if the prayers come off a heavenly fax machine.

First time I heard of this was on the show "Flipping Out" on Bravo. But that guy does a ton of weird stuff to get his homes to sell - psychics, prayers, blessings, you name it.

St. Joseph (the earthly father of Jesus) is indeed the patron saint largely called upon to expedite the sale of one's house. St. Jude is another fellow entirely. Growing up Catholic, we referred to him as "The Patron Saint of the Impossible." He's a good one to pull in as an emergency back-up saint, even before you've figured out that your situation is a lost cause. When prayers to St. Anthony (patron of lost items...) aren't having the desired results, for instance, an auxiliary request to St. Jude is in order.

BTW, google "saints" and you'll come up with lots of sites on which you can learn all about the hundreds of saints and their causes.

A religious satire magazine I enjoy did a good piece on this. They suggested a few people not to bury:

"--If I bury a statue of Korah— the guy who rebelled against Moses and was destroyed when the earth opened up and swallowed him and his followers (Numbers 16)— will my yard turn into a big bottomless gravel pit?"

Fair question. ;)

Their full article is at:

The "mini-torah" in the doorframe of Hal's old house was actually a mezuzah, which most Jews place in the doorframes of their homes to fulfill a mitzvah. It's a holy article, but not one that is likely to help you sell your house. The previous tenants definitely should have removed it when they left, but perhaps they forgot.

The idea that St. Joseph will help you sell your house is not based in Scripture, rather it is a tradition of the pious dating back to the middle ages. Legend has it that it was started by a convent who needed more land and ultimately procured it by praying to St. Joseph and burying medals with his image on their property.

What can I say? I have a Jewish mother and a Catholic father.

But from a financial perspective, go with whatever works.

Suae--YES, that's what it was called! The previous owners didn't put it up to sell the house, though, it was just there. We noticed it when we looked at the house and asked about it at closing; he said we could take it down ("It should pop right off"), but we liked having that extra bit of character in the house. It didn't seem to hurt anything, and was a conversation starter at parties and the like.

I think a far better way to sell your home is to price it about 2% lower than what it's worth (not what you want for it). Though that's sometimes hard to judge for the area if you just go to similar open houses and watch ones that do sell for a while you'll probably get a good idea what the homes in the area go for. I would rely on this one if you really need to sell far more than I would rely on an upside down statue buried in the back yard. It's interesting what crazy people believe in though.

I wonder if it only works because the people looking at the house see the recently dug hole and ask the agent. The agent will reply 'Oh, that's the upside down statue of St. Joseph . . . they're getting desperate' so the people will put in offers thinking they will get a deal.

I'm interested in the real estate market where I'll be moving and saw evidence of where I can only guess they buried a statue in a couple places and have heard numerous people mention this as many statues were buried that I couldn't tell because of how long the home has been on the market for months is a mystery.

How about if your house has been on the market for 3+ months with no real offers that some sort of price reduction is in order? The amount of homes that have been for sale over 3-9 months with no price reduction is amazing.....I watched someone put their house up for sale as the most expensive place in the development expecting multiple bods and no negotiation on price....sit on it for 4 months then pour $10k into improvements....and then still sell it for $80k less than they were originally asking on paper but also paying closing costs to avoid foreclosure. I still joke with my girlfriend about how much money we saved by not buying that house. We're looking at renting the same model down the street for about 2/3rds the mortgage(assuming 20% down...LOL) of the new owner

Suae has got the history right. For the record, no serious Catholic actually thinks that an upside down St. Joseph statue is some magic token that causes a house to be sold. To me it's a practice that borders on the superstitious and gives piety a bad name.

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