houses houses houses
Last night we looked at 4 houses, including the one I talked about in my last entry that looked so potentially perfect for us from the outside. After seeing the inside, my review of the house is: Utterly Horrendous. I can't imagine how the owner thinks she's going to sell the house with it looking like it does (crazy cluttered on the inside--it's almost impossible to imagine it empty--and with a huge pile of junk on the outside, purportedly waiting for an upcoming yard sale), and at the price she's asking. I was able to look past the hideous paint in every room, and the clutter, and take the obvious needed repairs in stride until we saw the upstairs one bedroom apartment. As soon as we stepped inside that, I knew there was absolutely no way I could take that house on. The apartment was the most depressing craphole ever, and Francisco's mom would weep if she had to live there, even if we fixed and painted and did all we could to make it nice. So that house is definitely crossed off the list.
The first house we saw was really interesting, style-wise, and offered a lot of amenities, including one acre of land (it's about 3 miles out of town) with fruit trees and grapes. But it has a shared well and that makes me a little nervous; it's like making a pact with your neighbor that at some point in the future, the two of you will be embroiled in a bitter dispute that will probably involve lawyers and leave you hating each other forever. We decided that even though the house had a lot to offer, its distance from town (which would inconvenience Sharky, mostly) and teeny tiny kitchen took it off our contender list. Plus, an acre is really more land than we can use with the both of us working full time and not having a lot of spare hours to garden and whatnot.
The last house we saw also had a TON of style. It was built in 1965 and has super mod details like sliding screens and cool built-in chandeliers. We are considering this house, but with the knowledge that it will need loads of work. Specifically the carpets are loathsome (ancient ugly shag) and need to be pulled up, but fortunately there's hardwood underneath. There's a section of flooring that has old, scuffed linoleum squares on it, and those would need to be pulled up as well, and the floor refinished. Oh, and it has these massive sliding glass doors at the back (the back has sort of a sunroom with a glass wall) that were installed completely wrong, so that the screen doors are on the inside, and the locks (key locks) on the outside of the house. What the. Whoever owned the house when those doors were put in got ripped off, and we'd have to get sliding door people to come in and reinstall them--it is not something we would want to attempt. Besides the flooring and door issues, the house has a dirtiness problem, because no one's been living there, and the walls would all need to be repainted too, so with the flooring and cleaning and painting, it might be more work than we'd want to tackle, especially since the gardening space is not ideal.
There are a few other houses we want to look at; houses that don't seem to offer much in the way of style but which do have great yards (there are two houses which both have 1/4 acre at the back--perfect for what we want to do), so we're asking to see those. I really like the buyer's agent we've got; she's pretty great and I think we'll work well with her.
Gosh, aren't you glad to get all this useless information? You are welcome. Can I just say one last thing about house hunting? I vastly prefer it when the owner is not in the house while we're looking at it. Two out of the four houses we saw yesterday had the homeowners present while we were there, and it was sort of uncomfortable and therefore those houses got less consideration than the ones where the homeowners were absent. This is a tip from me to you, in case you'll be selling a house at some point: When the realtor tells you people want to see the house, you should make yourself scarce for a little while, even if it's not convenient for you. If your presence makes potential buyers uncomfortable, they can't give your house the proper consideration, and they may even associate your house with an uncomfortable feeling. I'm just saying.
Today I'm off work for my kid-like summer vacation, but I've decided there's really no way I can do only fun things, because there's stuff that truly needs to get done today. Therefore I have a small list of chores that I'm going to knock out before 8am, and at 8:00 my kid vacation will commence. I'd best get to it.
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