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Saturday, May 06, 2006
Objects Online Are Uglier Than They Appear
A quick post before T and ST get back from the hotel pool:

We are in New Town, and have visited several homes. Very, very disappointing. Now, I've chatted with ABDmom about houses and about searching for a new home, and she knows how picky I am so it will come as little surprise to her that I've found NOTHING I like. Nothing. We saw one house this afternoon that excited me a lot when I looked at it online (ABD, it's the house with the kitchen I thought was small and you thought was huge, with the apple tree in the backyard) -- I liked it mostly because it seemed a lot like our current house, which I love. The pictures online made it seem neat and orderly.

We arrived there today. The neighborhood was nice, golf course across the street. No problems. But when we got inside -- oh my goodness. We could not believe that someone would actually put a house on the market in that condition! The carpet was stained all over -- every square foot would have needed to be replaced. The oven had a huge crack down the glass front door. The sink? Dirty! The bedrooms were closet-like, the basement was dark. Very disappointing.

We also drove by two of the houses we're scheduled to see tomorrow. The first is one I really, really like from the pictures online (ABD, it's the one you liked, too, with the trees in front -- the good news is that they've painted over all of that orange and pink paint!); we're seeing it tomorrow morning. The house is empty, and so when we drove by it today for a preview we decided to get out and walk around, peek in the windows, etc. I hope the inside is good because the outside is horrendous. It's in a charming, wooded neighborhood -- the kind where all of the yards are perfectly manicured with little stands of trees to separate the yards -- but this house's yard is the eyesore. Totally overgrown, no lawn to speak of -- the current owners have let it go. And the outside of the house -- oh dear. The gutters are full of dead leaves and muck, the siding is really dirty, and two of the spindles on the porch are snapped in half. Add that to the fact that someone has literally kicked the air conditioner unit in on one side, and you have what could be a lovely house turned into a landscaper's challenge. I honestly hope that the inside is as nice as I think it might be.

The thing is, it's not like we're looking at cheap houses, and we're not looking at houses advertised as "fixer-uppers." We're looking at houses usually less than 10 years old, mostly newer than that even. We're going to plunk down a signficant chunk of change for a piece of real estate here in New Town. You'd think that such a significant amount of cash would at least earn us the privilege of seeing homes that are kept up and nice (I've seen the house AD and his family have just accepted an offer on, and that was an adorable house that was well-maintained -- you could tell they took care of it!). Even though my house has an accepted offer on it, I still maintain it like it was for sale (since it technically still is) -- I believe in pride of ownership. Heck, when I lived in an apartment, I believed in pride of rentership! Clearly, some people don't... it's just frustrating.

Here's to a better day of home-searching tomorrow. Gotta run.
Posted with care by Prof. Me @ 5/06/2006 05:30:00 PM  
5 Words of Wisdom:
  • At 8:10 PM, Blogger Dr. Mon said…

    Oh dear is right! Don't these people watch HGTV?! These are definitely things that you would think the seller's agent would have encouraged them to address. But here's to knowing that the home just for you is waiting for you--and I hope you have a much better day of looking tomorrow.

  • At 8:14 PM, Blogger Laura said…

    Oh I feel for you. When we were house shopping, we'd pull up to these houses that cost a fortune and they'd be horrible. Toward the end, we would see something online that seemed good and reasonably priced, but as we drove over to see it, we'd tell ourselves that it was probably on fire or something because we'd had so many incidents where the house had been completely misrepresented.

    I hope you find something you like.

  • At 10:00 PM, Blogger Peri said…

    I'm with Mon on the HGTV thing. The only upside is.....BARGAIN! With all the stuff wrong with that house you ought to get quite a discount. Sounds to me like sellers that need to unload in a hurry or have overestimated the price they can get. Perhaps you can get a real deal. I know you won't have tons of time to work, but I bet the neighbors would be mighty glad to have you around to fix it up. Find a good home inspector too, they're invaluable!

    Thinking of you and wishing you well.

  • At 10:14 PM, Blogger ABDmom said…

    How disappointing. I'm so sorry.
    :( I hope tomorrow goes better.

  • At 12:28 AM, Blogger phd me said…

    You have my complete sympathy. The discrepancy between some of the listings and the actual houses was amazing. One house had a full jacuzzi bathtub in the bedroom (honest, it was practically at the foot of the bed); another was between two rental properties that screamed "Keep the police on high alert" and another had a floor plan that only made sense if you were high (there was a full bathroom off the kitchen at the back of the house!).

    My fingers are crossed for good things to happen tomorrow. I'd love for you, ABDmom and me to all find houses this weekend!

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