The Kindness of Strangers
Move-in Ready?

House Hunting

Lesson one in house hunting: Nothing is as it first seems.

For instance, you have to actually drive by the house in question to make sure that it really is in a "wonderful" neighborhood because while you're picturing parks and swing sets, they mean, "Hey, if you want to buy a car, you just have to walk next door! And if you're craving a Big Mac, it's right across the street." This one house sounded great, had most of what was on our list, so we did our drive by and were surprised to find it shared a fence with the local Honda Dealership. Can you imagine hearing this all day long: "Jimmy, call on line one. Jimmy, line one." or "Roger to parts, please. Roger to parts." No thank you. The next house sounded so perfect, and it was at first glance. Then I looked up. Cool, we wouldn't have to buy night-lights because we'd be living right under the Golden Arches. Next.

The first house we actually looked in was also quite promising. A "charming cottage" in fact. Cute fenced yard, white picket even! Then, I looked left. Auto parts junkyard. Then right, tagging on the fence. The tagging itself can be painted over, I understand. But odds are whoever tagged it had a gun in their waistband causing their pants to slip down their cracked out self. What the hell, we're here, let's take a look. I loved this agent's strategy of waiting until we hesitated over something before making us aware of the heavy duty issues. Example: Matt started eying a dip in the floor in the kitchen.

"Oh, that's where the oil tank is buried."
"He's going to have it decommissioned." I start backing toward the door as I'm not stupid and now that this should have already been done and is not something that will happen by say, oh any time soon. But Matt wants to see the basement. Where we find standing water. It is brown.

"Oh, he's going to replace the sewer pipe."

"Hmm. Any idea when he plans to do these projects?"
"Oh, as soon as there's an offer."

Well, it won't be our offer, I'm thinking as I climb back up the stairs silently hoping Matt doesn't see more potential here than I do. I get a little nervous as he's talking with the agent on the way out about maybe coming back some time to take a look under the house.

"Why the hell would you go under the house when what we've seen inside is enough to know we are not living here?"

"I was just being polite."

"Okay. Next."