Friday, July 20, 2012

More About Jane’s New Domain (And Vince’s, Too)

So I was writing about our new home.  And the agonizingly slow process that is begun when one decides to purchase a new home. 

What I’ve definitely learned is that I could never be one of those house flippers – you know, the people who buy a house, move in and make some improvements, and then sell it for a profit before moving on to the next house. 

I don’t care if the profit was utterly ginormous, I couldn’t do it.  Moving for the first time in ten years was painful enough and I couldn’t imagine moving willy-nilly in and out of houses like that without the aid of heavy-duty prescription tranquilizers.

I suppose those flipper people are wired differently than I am and probably don’t hang on to possessions like I do.  Take, for instance, my grandfather’s big chipped coffee cup.  It shows a cartoon drawing of a man in a hillbilly hat peering out of an outhouse while his wife yells out the window of their log cabin, “Paw, yer coffee’s ready!”
It’s embarrassing, really, to have a chipped coffee cup such as this.  And yet it’s the only thing of my grandfather’s that I possess – and, even though Grandpa died when I was nine, I can clearly remember him drinking his afternoon tea from this cup.  So I couldn’t possibly get rid of it.

Thus, we moved last month and Grandpa’s cup came with.  Never mind that I have no clue what box it is stashed in. Eventually, I’m sure, I’ll unearth it.

Getting that goofy coffee cup into our new place seemed like a herculean task, though.  I mean, besides the physical move.  For instance, there were times during the whole house hunting process that I just wasn’t sure we were ever going to find the right house or move into it. 

The pre-approval process alone was enough to give me pause.  Having complete strangers digging into my personal financial information was a little disconcerting.  And, of course, that was nothing compared to the final approval process! 

I kept hearing, “Too bad you didn’t buy a house five years ago – we would’ve given you a loan on your handshake!”  Ha ha.  Sadly, that is probably true.  I’m guessing all those handshakers who ended up foreclosing on their homes these past few years are the reason I had to jump through even more hoops.  

I knew it was going to be tough when I had to justify and explain a deposit of forty-seven dollars and fifty-three cents to my checking account.  Like I can remember every nickel that goes in and out of my account!  Well, okay, so I actually DO know every nickel that goes in and out of my account, but in this particular instance I had two deposits that totaled forty-seven dollars and fifty-three cents – so it was a little harder to unravel the mystery.

But once we were preapproved and we knew what our price range was, finding houses to look at was the next step.  We started out looking at homes from the northeast side of Columbus all the way to the northwest side.  Believe me, that covers a LOT of real estate! We knew we had to narrow down our search to a more targeted area when on any given day we had to slog through over 500 listings. 

Yeah, not real interested in that. 

Since we liked the suburb where we lived, we decided to stick close to home.  And when the pickings were slim, we’d add a surrounding suburb or two just so we could add a few more possibilities.

Eventually we started looking through actual houses instead of merely driving by them.  Since we had our realtor in tow and he had keys, we didn’t risk any Peeping Tom or Thomasina charges.  But I learned a few things from visiting all these houses:

Like, for instance, wear slip on shoes.  People trying to sell their houses leave signs requesting that visitors remove their footwear before traipsing through their home.  Apparently they don’t want people tracking dirt on their hardwood floors and on their carpeting.  Interestingly, half the houses we looked at already had dirty carpeting. And the dirtier the carpet the bigger the sign asking people to remove their shoes.  Huh. Does not compute…but whatever.

Oh, and by the way, if you wear socks with your slip on shoes, make sure they match and/or don’t have holes in the toe.  Your realtor won’t admit it, but he’ll judge. 

Conversely, if you’re barefoot under those slip-on shoes, make sure your pedicure isn’t from the last calendar year. I mean, ewwww.  Now that I’m thinking about it, this is a good rule to follow in general and not so much just for house hunting.

Of course, it’s more difficult to keep those tootsies in tip top shape when you’re spending every waking moment in front of the computer searching for the perfect home, and my feet rather resembled those of Cro-Magnon Man – with a bit of leftover chipped burgundy polish on the odd toenail or two. 

But I think we will go with the old adage here, “Do as I say, not as I do.” 

Our new kitchen. Big enough that more than one person can stand in it at one time!

Our new living room. LOTS of windows. So...lots of great light...but also lots of windows to clean. 
There were other things I learned about house hunting, but I spent so much time on proper footwear and foot maintenance that the other lessons will have to wait for another day.  Besides, I want to leave room for another picture or two of our new home.

To be continued…

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