Saturday, September 10, 2011

Badass Adventures in Real Estate

Today Sarah and I went hunting for a new house. First of all, let me give a shout out to our agent, Georgia, who was friendly and extremely helpful and made the whole thing a blast, even when we were viewing the lousy houses. And oh, Lord, there were some lousy houses.

House Number One: This house came with a bad first impression, in the form of a shared driveway that was narrow and had little room to park in. I'm still not sure how one house gets two cars parked without causing a turf war. But the rest of the house: gorgeous. A beautiful kitchen, tons of space in the bedrooms, a large living space downstairs, and a big old yard that Lina could run around like a maniac in (once we fenced it in). Sadly, this house was the highlight of our day.

House Number Two: Corgi house! Whoever lived here looked like they were actively stalking Lina: just a ton of Corgi portraits, statues and other furnishings. Unfortunately the actual Corgi wasn't present, just a cat I never saw because it bolted immediately. Also a deck that looked like it was going to fall apart, a driveway that mandates a parking brake, a door that leads to empty air, and half a fence. I admire whoever lives there (excellent taste in dogs and reading material), but I'm not going to.

House Number Three: A horticulturist's dream! I'm not kidding about that: there were plants growing in every room in the house, and the backyard looked like an enchanted fairy forest. Great if you like gardening, but I want a yard where Lina can run around like a psychopath, not something I have to pay someone to keep trimmed. To its credit, the house did have good bathrooms and a spacious (if not modern) kitchen.

House Number Four: This is where we really started running into trouble. And tenants. Someone had called the girl living at this house and told her our walkthrough was cancelled, and she ended up spending five minutes throwing things in one of her bedrooms before she left for her job at the local barbecue hut. The house was decorated in Rue Morgue Red carpeting and featured all the amenities you'd expect to find in a college dorm. The outside included a messy backyard, house-killing trees, and a spider the size of God.

I think he was the landlord.

House Number Five: This one started off well with a covered driveway with ample space. The rest of the exterior was a bit overgrown and crumbly, but that didn't seem like a big deal once we got inside. A beautiful kitchen and living room, with a furnace and a cast-iron stove/fireplace. I also liked seeing ceiling fans that weren't threatening to crack my skull open. Aside from the yard and some slightly undersized bedrooms, it was a fine house, and a nice palate cleanser for House Number Four. Which was good, because next was...

House Number Six: Or as Sarah keeps calling it, the meth lab. Have you ever seen a house where the sidewalk looked decrepit? Because that was our first sign of danger. The second sign was the lack of a For Sale sign. The third was the fact that the door was ajar, and Georgia had to yell inside for the tenant to put his shirt back on. There was a door with what looked like knife scratches in. There was a shattered ping-pong table that didn't come with the house, and a massive hole in the ceiling right above it. And the asking price was the same as what House Number One was asking. Georgia shooed us out of there before we saw the second story.

That was supposed to be our last house for the day, but Georgia had seen a listing for a house that had been on the market for a long time, and she was curious as to why. So we drove out to...

The Bonus Mystery House: Which is called that because we never saw the inside of it. Georgia recognized it as soon as she saw it and advised us not to go inside. We understood why as soon as we saw the fence in the back. Still, morbid curiosity prodded us to carry on; but the driveway was narrow, hilly, and positioned right off a main road, and we didn't have the heart to make Georgia drive down it (and possibly get us all killed in a T-bone accident). She ended up showing us the local Adam's Ribs restaurant instead, which was probably for the best.

So! No real luck today, although House Number One is going to stay on the list for now. But we'll keep looking, and we've got every confidence that Georgia will have us sorted out; if not by Christmas, then shortly after. We're not in any rush, after all. Neither is Lina.

Hell, she'll wait forever if we let her stay in that corner.