Gift ideas for the older couple who sold me their house.
November 29, 2005 10:28 AM   Subscribe

GiftFilter: I need some gift ideas for a older (early to mid 70s) married couple who I don't really know.

I'm buying a house. Actually, I bought a house and I'm just waiting for settlement. I'd like to get a gift for the sellers, who I don't know from Adam, but they sold me their house over two other bidders because they liked me. Some background: lifelong Baltimoreans, early to mid 70s, he's a retired electrician, she works in a bakery, lived in the house they're selling to me for 25 years, previously lived two doors down for 20 years. They're moving into a retirement home after we settle. The house has been beautifully maintained, and they remind me of my grandparents, who passed away several years ago. They appear to be fairly religious, but not extremely so. I do not know if they drink alcohol. Any gift suggestions? Alternatively, is this something that people do for people that sell them houses? Am I being weird? I feel like they did me a favor, they could've gotten more money since there were multiple bidders.
posted by electroboy to Human Relations (10 answers total)
Send them a nice food basket when they move into their retirement community.
posted by matildaben at 10:32 AM on November 29, 2005

An easy-to-care-for plant. Or a bouquet.
posted by JanetLand at 10:34 AM on November 29, 2005

Food may be difficult because they're likely to have dietary restrictions.
Microcosmos or Winged Migration (nature documentaries)?
posted by leapingsheep at 10:39 AM on November 29, 2005


Weird, yes, but a "why don't more people do that" kind of weird. Good for you.
posted by booth at 10:45 AM on November 29, 2005

Plants or flowers could be problematic because of allergies too. Maybe an attractive vase would be a good gift. They can fill it with whatever doesn't aggravate their sinuses.

I don't think you're being weird at all, I think you're being nice. It's not "customary" to give somebody a gift to thank them for selling you something, but if they opted for less money because they liked you, they were being nice too.
posted by Gator at 10:45 AM on November 29, 2005

I'd make a little photo album of you moved into your new house (the rooms, etc) and write a letter telling them about how much you appreciate and love the house, with specifics. I think that would be more meaningful than a gift basket or bouquet of flowers.
posted by undertone at 10:48 AM on November 29, 2005

I really liked undertones idea. Or I would send flowers, regardless of the potential allergy problems that Gator mentioned. It's really the thought that counts here. If they're allergic, they can toss the flowers (which are going to die anyway) and keep the vase they came in.
posted by geeky at 11:16 AM on November 29, 2005

Along undertone's lines...a nice framed picture of their home.
posted by TheLibrarian at 11:32 AM on November 29, 2005

To expand on the Librarian's idea (and, in turn undertone), you could commission a painting of the house. The people we bought our house from had one done and took it with them. It was really well done, didn't cost much and meant a lot to them.

At the other end of the spectrum, my wife is also a baker. Her favorite cook/baking book is The Village Baker's Wife for the stories as well as the recipes.
posted by Atom12 at 12:43 PM on November 29, 2005

I like the idea of a plant (get a pothos or something easy-to-care-for.) It's a traditional housewarming gift, and they're moving into a new home, too. Or flowers. That, along with a detailed thank-you note, would be really appreciated.
posted by desuetude at 1:48 PM on November 29, 2005

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