Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Jane's NEW Domain

So I think life has settled down just a smidge and I may actually have time to write some blogs again. Wonder if anyone out there is still interested in reading them, though?

Oh well, even if there aren’t, I’ve missed writing, so I suppose I can attempt to entertain myself. Which means I’d better step it up since I’m a tough audience. “Okay, Jane – write something funny. Go!” 

(Aaaannnnd now I’m talkin’ to myself. Yeah, I’ve gotta admit, I’m scaring myself just a little bit.)

Okay, so the reason I haven’t written any blogs for the past several months is that for the past several months we’ve been house hunting. And house buying. And packing, moving and unpacking. And even more (grumble, grumble) unpacking. Yes, we have a lot of stuff. I mean, we have so much stuff, I’m not sure we’ll ever truly be unpacked.

Cripes, if I’d had any idea at the beginning of the process how much time would be involved in this little endeavor, I might have elected to stay crammed in our townhome and bagged the whole idea of moving. I could’ve just started pitching things in the middle of the night so Vince wouldn’t notice. On the other hand, it might have been tough to pretend that I hadn’t thrown out his leather recliner – the one I was always bumping into in our small living room, but the one that he relaxed in every evening.

So we opted to go house shopping. Only the process is a little different than, say, buying a new pair of shoes. I mean, when you go shoe shopping, you can look in the window or wander through the shoe department and see if there are any shoes that appeal to you. You can try them on. Walk around the aisles a bit and see if they are comfy. And you can even return them if you get them home and decide they really do pinch a little too much or they simply don’t match the outfit you bought them for.

Try doing that when house shopping. Oh sure, you can drive by a house that’s on the market to see if it’s located in a neighborhood you might like. And you can decide if the outside of the house looks appealing to you.

 But if you start peering in the windows to see if the interior layout fits your needs, well, let’s just say that getting arrested for being a Peeping Thomasina probably wouldn’t sit too well with your potential new neighbors.

Nor is it likely that the current owners will allow you to take the house for a test drive, as it were. Like if you could walk in, kick off your shoes and curl up on the couch in the sunroom with a frosty beverage to see if the evening light coming through the windows was pleasing or inadequate. Or if you could take a quick shower to see if the water pressure in the house was sufficient to meet your needs for the next thirty years or so.

But noooo. Instead, you have to take a leap of faith that your screening abilities are good enough to weed out the bad houses. Because the return policy is pretty harsh. I mean, like, there IS no return policy. You buy it, it’s yours.

That’s pretty daunting.

I don’t know about other people, but my first step was not to contact a real estate agent. I needed to do some pre-realtor research. I needed to see what was out there and at what price points to see if we should even be in the house-hunting market or if we needed to wait a little longer.

So I spent nearly every waking hour in front of the computer seeking houses for sale. I perused thousands of homes, most of which were accompanied by twenty-three photos. Each. So multiply “thousands” by “twenty-three” {carry the one…} and, wow, can you believe I looked at a gazillion photos?

Twenty-three photos, by the way, must be a magic number in the real estate industry. Perhaps someone scientifically determined that twenty photos are not enough for a potential buyer to determine if they actually want to see the property, but twenty-five photos would cause sensory overload such that the potential buyer would be put off and cause them to move on? I don’t know.

But I did appreciate the photos. And the pre-realtor research. Because when we finally met with our realtor, I felt a little more comfortable with the market and the process. Plus, (and I might sound a little smug here), I practically knew about new houses coming on the market before he did.

Oh, and a side note to realtors: You really don’t need to spend hours agonizing over the precise wording to entice potential buyers to visit your listing. They’re probably not going to read it. Or, if they do – and they’re anything like me – they’ll snort and mumble aloud, “’Relax in your tranquil retreat,’ my foot! I can see the neighbor’s jungle gym right outside the dining room window there and I KNOW that’s going to make me neither relaxed nor tranquil!”

Ah, but as a fellow wordsmith, I appreciated the effort. It can’t be easy to describe some of these properties to make them sound appealing. I’d have given up in a fit of giggles after writing, “Move-in ready!” when I know full well that few potential homeowners would be interested in keeping the do-it-yourself wall paneling in the living room. Or after writing “many upgrades” when all the owner did was slap a coat of ivory paint on the kitchen wall to cover up fifteen years of grubby fingerprints.

But anyway, I think I’ll write more about Jane’s New Domain tomorrow and I’ll post another picture or two of our beautiful new home. I’m kind of tired right now. And I have more boxes to unpack.

Grumble, grumble.

1 comment:

  1. You are such a hoot! You're also a little crazy. Don't try denying it. The facts speak for themselves. Perusing 1000s of homes and viewing 23+ pics of each? Yeahhh...I've heard of keeping your options open but come onnnn! Anyhooo, I'm glad you're nearly settled and that life will soon be back to normal (for everyone else). Take care! - Sue :D