They say the most stressful things the average person experiences in life are death, moving, and beginning a new job. Actually, they say that all of those things are pretty much interchangeable on the stress-o-meter (a word that I just made up but like to assume measures stress in wine bottles consumed). I don’t know who they are, but they’re right. Those things are very stressful. But what about when you are going through all three of them at the same time? And, you also have a new baby? Where does that register on the old stress-o-meter?
Imagine knowing you are packing up to leave the last place your loved one lived. Or beginning a new career at 35. How about touring house after house while holding onto a sticky toddler with one arm and cradling a newborn with the other… stress-ful.
Fortunately, I’m me, and I can find the humor in most things. Even house hunting in a what appears to be a seller’s market, but only as long as I’m not the one selling. Seriously, how has my house not increased in value since the bubble burst, but every house I want to buy has?!?!? Thanks, Obama.
My husband and I are optimistic people by nature, so we’ve kept our chins up throughout this process.
Sure, it was a little disappointing that the first house we saw, that seemed awesome on paper, ended up being on the side of a mountain (as in, the roof and road were level with one other, side of a mountain). And it was even more disappointing when I almost fell through the rotted floor of the laundry room in the second house we toured (that boasted only needing a little TLC ).
We even saw a house that we were happy to survive touring. Not just because it was in bad shape (it was), but because we were pretty sure that the owner was a serial killer. We assumed he used listing his house for sale as a way to lure potential victims into his home. The entire entry way was lined with saws and other tools, and there was a very real chance that a dead body had recently been soaking in the tub… but it was a gorgeous colonial from the 1800’s that would have been perfect if it only had more one more bathroom. THIS IS WHAT HOUSE HUNTING IN 2017 IS LIKE.
Eventually, we found a house we loved, but we discovered it had a basement full of standing water during the tour. And then we found one that we really loved, that we were going to bid on, but our realtor called us as soon as we got home to let us know that the seller’s agent told her they already received four offers (it ultimately sold for more than twice the asking price, because of course it did). And then we found another house that we loved (and were going to make an offer on), but found out it was in a flood zone. Not even the swimming pool and recently remodeled kitchen were enough to erase the images of me holding two kids above my head as I fled waist high waters.
So we continue to hunt. I spend most of my free time pouring over online listings, and emailing anything with potential to our realtor while asking, “Okay, what’s wrong with this one?” Nine times out of ten the answer is, “cesspool.”
Which is why I can tell you that online listings are bull shit. I have learned that the people who write them have either the loosest understanding of the English language or are very very bad at staging their photos.
I was very excited when I found this listing. I contacted our realtor and asked her to set up a viewing as soon as possible.
The price was right, and as the listing said, with a little elbow grease I could turn this house into a home. Now to me, elbow grease means heavy duty cleaning. Literally, if you Google the phrase “elbow grease,” all of the examples they give are scrubbing related.
No where does it say that elbow grease also means installing a brand new toilet. Or you know, repairing a giant hole in the ceiling that some crafty photographer tried to avoid capturing when they took a picture of the awesome fire place in the living room.
So yeah, beware of descriptions. Not that I haven’t seen some good descriptions. This one actually made me want to buy this house sight unseen. I’m a white, 35 year old, suburban stay-at-home-mom. This may very well be my last chance for baller status!!!
I have also seen the word “quaint” thrown around with reckless abandon. Yes, I know quaint is code for small, but small shouldn’t mean 600 square feet. If you’re listing a home at 600 square feet or less you should no longer be able to use that word.
Let’s just agree that word is reserved for larger small houses. From now on use the word “miniature.” Or even say that it’s perfect for a minimalist.
Also, if you say charming I expect to see some charm. Not a home where every square inch is covered in floral wall paper. Every. Square. Inch. Did you even know that some people wall paper their ceilings? Because that’s something that I know now. And if your listing uses the word “unique” more than once I’m going to assume that it is code for, “shit show.”
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but shouldn’t those words make me want to buy your house? Not run screaming in the other direction?
For example, WTF is going on here? Is this child a ghost that only I can see? Or is he a hostage and this was the proof of life picture that whoops, ended up in the real estate listing?
I have no idea what is going on here and while I want to know more, I also kind of don’t.
One more thing… just how quaint is this house that the only place they could stand to not be in the bathroom while they were taking pictures was in the hallway outside of the bathroom? Miniature? Pass.
This one… whew, where to begin…
First of all, no matter what your feelings are on the Confederate Flag, you are aware that there are other feelings on it. That is a fact. Nobody lives in that big of a bubble. There are strong, long held feelings of oppression, slavery, and horror associated with this flag. There is legislation written about this flag.
To most of America (and probably, the world) this flag is a symbol of hate. So whhhhhy would you let it be the centerpiece of this picture? I mean, you want to sell this house, right?
I have to imagine the realtor was snapping pictures and telling the owner about how it’s a seller’s market, while dying a little bit inside imaging the conversations that would take place with potential buyers.
“We’ll take it! The master bedroom can be the white one, the toddler can go in the green one, and we’ll turn the racist room into the nursery.”
Also, who lives in this room? Based on the Cars curtains, Minecraft pickaxe, and flag, I’m thinking an eight year old and their uncle from Mississippi? Hard pass.
For now I’m just going to keep my fingers crossed while clicking my heels three times saying, “There’s no place like home.”
(all images from realtor.com)