Thursday, October 19, 2006

Adventures in Homebuying: A Day With the Realtor, Part 2

Can you believe I actually managed to get up on time? I had time to take Sam to daycare, go home, get ready, call Paul and nag his ass out of bed (he was coming with me for experienced home-buyer input and moral support), then I had some time to spare to do...nothing.

The realtor met us because the houses we were to look at were all in the Northland. Settled in her posh Caddy, away we went.

House #1
I did a lot of looking on internet real estate sites. Some listings come with pictures, some do not. This one had a virtual tour, and from what I saw, was cute. I was particularly excited to see this one. A Cape Cod with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 car garage, and remodeled.

From the street, it looked charming.

Inside, it looked like hell. Everything needed replacing. The master bath, while boasting a jacuzzi tub, was so small that you had to suck in your gut to get between the bathroom sink and the toilet. Not such a good thing when your bladder is full and sucking in anything is a bad idea. And what if I have to barf? I'd have to do it in the tub because I wouldn't make it on time. I can projectile vomit with the best of them, but my aim isn't that good.

I was bitterly disappointed. The pictures on the internet made it look so good. It was like on those online dating sites...where the person you are talking to has a great picture, but when you meet in person, they look like they fell out of the ugly tree and smacked every branch all the way down. False advertising!!

The house was vetoed and we moved along.

House #2
This was actually a good house, in a good neighborhood. Clean and sparkly. Big yard. Pergo floors. Newer carpet (but in deep forest green). Paul obsessed because the neighbors had children's bikes littering the driveway. I didn't mind so much. Had there been a rusted transmission, rusty bathtub and old toilet with plants in the bowl, I might have been more bothered.

I liked this house, and I could very likely put a bid on it. I wonder if the deer head hanging on the wall came with the house...

House #3
Very cute from the driveway, I believe they call that curb appeal. It was at the end of a dead end street, so it was quiet. Inside, the house had settled...a lot. All the floors were sloped, the kitchen floor was so bad that I could buy a skateboard and use it as a half-pipe when I wasn't making macaroni and cheese. Nothing was level, and the house didn't appear to be the most stable. We feared for our lives and beat a hasty retreat.

House #4
I haven't seen a color like that since the 80's!! Inside, it was nice and big. An older couple lived there, I could tell. Some things needed updating, but minor carpet and paint. The man of the house was an avid could tell from all the guns hanging in the basement, or his man-den. He also owned enough hunting clothes to outfit the local chapter of the NRA. Either that, or he was his own one-man militia.

Two fireplaces, big rooms, big back yard with a big deck. I noticed a pulley on the living room ceiling. I don't know if I care to guess why it's there, and what exactly the couple used it for.

Also, another potential house for Heather. Pulley and all.

House #5
We're moving closer to the metro area now, and this house sits on a dead end street. It looked harmless from afar, then we got closer. What the hell was that all over the house???

Bugs! Hundreds of them!! Ack!! They were even inside, but those were dead. Doors and vent covers were missing, but we do know that Curtis used to live there. His name was written on one of the bedroom walls.

Everyone feels dirty when we get back into the car. Good thing the realtor carries hand sanitizer in her car. I bet she goes through buckets of the stuff.

Moving right along...

House #6
The listing said garage...but I don't exactly think a carport qualifies as a two-car garage. The seller went to the trouble of having a white fence built around the front yard. Apparently, they could only afford part of it. Why even bother?

No basement, and the layout sucked. The seller also went to the trouble of hiring a business that "stages" homes for sellers. While the staging was done well, the house still sucked. The realtor hated it more than anyone else. I asked her if she was ever embarrassed by some of the houses she shows. She replied, "All the time."

House #7
This had to be the most interesting experience ever on record for the agent, who had been selling houses for almost 30 years.

Again, this house has curb appeal. A quiet little cul-de-sac, and it's really close to Trish's house. Cool! We notice there is a big carport in the back, and apparently the sellers don't use the garage.

Well, not to park their cars in anyway.

We go to the door. The agent is is reading a note from the seller telling us that there are pets inside, and to please not let them out. The agent pulls the key out of the box, and I notice a smaller note higher up on the door.

Sellers are foster parents of the Parkville Animal Shelter. Uh-oh. You know where this is going, don't you?

Paul also sees the note. In preparation, he pulls out his inhaler (he's asthmatic) and gives it a couple good shakes.

Oh...what cute kitties. One...two...three...four! Four kitties in the living room! The sellers must be softies for stray cats.

While I admire the sellers, I'm not digging on the house. Where in the hell are all the kitchen cabinet doors??

Oh look, there's a fifth cat in one of the bedrooms. Cute!! Oddly enough, the house doesn't smell like cats. I'm impressed...but I still don't like the house.

Down to the family room we go...JESUS, MARY, AND JOSEPH!!! Are those dogs in the utility room and garage? They all start barking in unison. The realtor covers her ears and runs from the room. I stop to count the kennels. One...two...three...four...five...six...seventh one on the washer. All filled with barking dogs of varying shapes, sizes and colors. Oh, there's number eight. He's too big to be in a kennel.

This couple has more dogs than a Korean deli!!

The barking reaches decibels that make my ears start to bleed. I'm not allergic to animals, but my eyes start to water, and my nose starts running even though the place still doesn't smell like it's housing half the passengers of Noah's ark. Collectively, Paul and I run out of the house, the realtor is already at the door, holding it open.

Wow. That's all I can say.

House #8
This house is all the way up in Platte City. The realtor somewhat complains at how many miles she has driven today. Everything in the Northland is spread out, so we're used to driving. No big deal to me.

We arrive at the house. As long as you are looking just at this house, it has curb appeal. Look at the house across the street, and you wonder if maybe it should be condemned. Not a good sign.

We ring the bell and go in. The agent hollers up the stairs and some lady appears...very large and wearing a shirt five sizes too small, not to mention she had a serious case of camel toe. The lady is not the owner, but her sister is, and the seller is not home. The sister, self-appointed guardian of said home, doesn't let us look around. So, we leave...which is fine with us. I'm sure the sister was real pleased about that when she found out. Her house was in a crappy location. Good luck selling it!

Thus far, I've seen over a dozen homes...and only two I would consider buying. This is going to take longer than I thought.

Good thing I didn't pack away my underwear.


Anonymous said...

Heather - Great post! Good luck and, stay north of the river!

Have you looked at Liberty? Very convenient. I think you'd like it here.

Jennifer & Jesse said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Faith said...

These people probably haven't the first clue why no one is putting offers in for their home. My favorite house, back when I was first looking 3 years ago, was the one off of Wornall that was cute, and across from a park and had a great floorplan. But the person that lived there seemed to be obsessed with clowns. Creepy, weird, scary as hell clowns were EVERYWHERE! Pictures of them, statues of them, little hand-sewn pillows with pictures of clowns on them. Very unsettling. I could never live in the clown house. Bleh.

Make sure that you get info on the sewer line for whatever house you are interested in. Not to say it's the biggest thing you could wind up having problems with, but it has been in my home. I really, really, really wish I'd known what a t-line was before I bought my house. Would have saved me $800 and a LOOOOT of heartache, dammit.