We also had hopes for the second house as it was moderately priced and in a neighborhood with little ranches and ramblers. Pulling up to the house, we felt encouraged. It was quite cute and the neighbors didn't look sketchy. There were big trees in the front yard and we could hear crickets in the woods behind the house. "It could be the one!" we thought, as we always think. Unfortunately, once the realtor swept us up the walk and through the front door we knew that it wasn't for us right away. It's interesting how I never have to look at the Mister but always have a sense that he's also thinking "No way in Hell would I live here." He was walking behind me but I could feel his disappointment.
The realtor was seriously out for commission. She didn't even let us get two steps into the house before she was treating us like we were on a paid home tour. We kept trying to make a break for it but she just kept going and going and going. No matter how many times we told her that we didn't like it, she just kept encouraging us and trying to sell each part of the house as if we'd suddenly change our minds. It was beyond overkill. Plus, we were the only potential buyers there so all of the attention was on us.
When we got to the kitchen, we saw that it had once been completely knotty pine (you know that's my weakness) however they had ripped out the cabinets and put new dark wood ones up on top of the knotty pine paneling. I was completely ill. I'm just so tired of seeing "ghost houses". And by that I mean little 50's, 60's and 70's houses that you can look at and just see what they used to be. You can tell that if you'd gotten there sooner, you would be running to write out a contract on them. So many beautiful little homes have been completely jacked up in the name of "renovation" when in the end, it just makes these dear little houses seem schizophrenic.
While the agent was bragging about how great it was that it had pantry space, I was staring forlorn at the homeowner's framed wall photo of a very young and tan Yul Brynner and wishing that I could just run down the street. Since the Mister and I hadn't decided on that escape strategy beforehand, I guessed it might be rude to leave him there and just kept trudging along. We've remedied that now and have since discussed and agreed upon what will be our "Yul Brynner Sprint" if the correct hand signal is given at future open houses.
She tried to convince us that the dark little Master bedroom was great, though the only thing interesting about it was the tiny vintage tiled bath that had somehow been left unscathed during the renovations. It seemed to me like the lone survivor of a mass murder, huddled back there at the end of the house and practically gasping for air...for someone to save it.
Then she made us tour the basement which was a big maze of other peoples' clothes and too-low ceilings before we finally washed out into the back room where her husband was watching football on the owners' big screen TV. We tried to escape through the basement door but as luck would have it, it was locked. We were forced to go back upstairs where strangely enough, she started the tour again! As if we were a totally different couple than the one that she'd seen moments before, descending hunched-shouldered and bored into the basement.
How many ways can you tell a person that you hate a house? We tried them all, trust me. Outside of lighting a match and throwing it on the couch, we did everything that we could to tell her that we would not live there even if someone paid us.
After she finally started to realize that I wasn't hankering to put down roots there (as I was the more vocal of the Kitsch family and kept skittering toward the front door like a house dog that had to go out to pee) , she tried to appeal to the Mister's manly side and in one last gasp, extolled the virtues of the huge parking pad and carport. She actually forced us to go and look. "It will be a great place for your boat!" she said as we stared uninterested at a big slab of concrete.
We don't have a boat nor do we want a boat. Even though I'm a lady person and the husband is a man person, we do not want children OR boats.
In the end, we had to get pretty pushy to get out of there. And still, she kept telling us to have our realtor call her so that we could come back for a second showing. It was really weird. And such a waste of an entire afternoon. Last weekend, we went to an open house that was billed as "a picnic" where all of the signs leading to the house were white styrofoam plates with arrows written on them in sharpie marker. When we got there, the "picnic" was an additional styrofoam plate filled with knock-off Oreo cookies. That was the entire picnic. Sometimes house hunting feels the same way. You get lured in with the hopes of pimento cheese sandwiches and potato salad and once you get inside of a house, it's all stale sandwich cookies.
I have such mixed emotions while looking at houses. It's a very big deal to put your house on the market and have the public traipsing through with all of your personal items and decor taste on display. Every time that I don't like a house, I telepathically sense the disappointment that the owners will have when their agents tell them that we just weren't their buyers. It totally sucks. And it sucks even more when you know that even in this frenzied market with very little inventory, some houses just aren't going to sell. It's interesting to me that I don't get sad feelings from estate sales but I do get them from failed house viewings. Like this one where as we arrived, the little lady who owned the house was driving away with her dog. We felt hopeful. She probably felt hopeful. We absolutely loved the house but in the end, found that her back yard was nothing but power lines and transformers.
I remember while we were standing there we saw a lone brown horse standing under the power lines, munching on grass. The Mister tried to cheer me up by saying, "But look...there's a horse! You'd have a horse as a neighbor! " Bless his heart. He knows that I love horses. All that I could do was wonder aloud if the poor horse was suffering from cancer from living in a field of transformers and power lines. The Mister = glass half full. Me = somebody spilled the damned glass on my nice rug and Mama ain't happy.
Anyhoo, I hope that you all are having a great week so far. Have any interesting house viewing stories? Please share them with me if you do. Sometimes you've got to laugh to keep from crying, right?
Until next time,
x's and o's,