Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I need a new house to love

I had my sights set on this house. Five bedrooms, almost 1600 square feet (which may not sound like much but it's nearly twice what we have now), fenced in yard with a swingset for the boys...ahhh. It was perfect. I saw it twice at open houses--once with my friend L, once with B and my mom. It was open again this last weekend so we decided to go one more time, this time to get my dad to look it over.

It did not go well for the house.

I have to say, even before he came I was having misgivings. I walked in and my stomach just sank. The first two open houses had been when the owners were still living there, so obviously their stuff was still there. I know they say that it's better for people to see a house with furniture in it because then it's easier to visualize how things will fill the space, but after this I much prefer seeing it with all the stuff out of it. Then it's easier to see all the problems.

Problems like interesting cable installations.


And floors that were supposed to be sanded to be refinished but...well, they were sanded, but it was hardly good enough quality for refinishing.


A hole in the wall--presumably for dryer exhaust--plugged with a tiny bucket.


I'm not sure what the handle on the left is for, but I don't remember the stair railing being broken off at perfect eye-gouging height the last time we were there.


There was a suspiciously large patch in the basement floor that Dad thinks may have been put down to cover up evidence of leaks. There was one basement window put in where you could literally see through to the outside around the edges--all the stone work looked like they took a hammer to it to make openings for doors and windows.


And I didn't even show you the terrible roofing job where they apparently forgot an entire row of shingles around the edge, or the window half covered in oversprayed paint from the siding or the wall covered not with siding, but with painted plywood. How did I miss these things? Was I drunk?

The thing is, I am fine with fix-ups. Little fix-ups, not major roof and foundation-type fix-ups. But little paint and patch fix-ups? Removing wallpaper or putting in base or crown? I'm fine with that. However, when you have enough little things to fix--things that need to be fixed, not things that are just personal preference--that you're counting in three digit numbers, that's too much. I'd go so far as to say that once you get past, say, twenty or thirty things to fix that you are no longer in little fix-up territory. You are now entering Big Fix country.

So the house, of course, was vetoed. And now I am in need of a new house to love, to check every day to make sure that it hasn't gone from active and pending overnight, to imagine which rooms would be used for what, what color I would paint the walls and where the furniture would go.

I'm going to go look at real estate listings.

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