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House Hunting

Hunting for a house is like hunting for a deer. You think you might see one, from afar, but as you approach you realize you were wrong. The deer is actually a rotting tree stump and the house “for sale” is actually advertising that Mile Hi Aeration was responsible for leaving the lawn looking like 10,000 dogs simultaneously used it as their collective toilet.

On Saturday we went out with our real estate agent, J. We saw eight houses in about six hours. I have a small set of criteria when it comes to our future house:

1. It must have at least four bedrooms.

2. It must have at least two bathrooms.

3. The driveway must not face north.

4. The yard must be fenced and there must be a deck or patio.

Here is a note to those of you who might be selling a house: do not pretend that the closet in the basement with exposed pipe and an orange shag throw rug is a “bedroom”. Do not advertise your 3X5 expanse of concrete outside your back door as a “deck”. Do not state that you have a “country kitchen” when New York cockroaches would find it cozy. Tell your children not to put “Dragon Tales” stickers all over their glass closet doors (still there in an empty house). I have my own children to clean up after. If we buy your house one of the contigencies is that you show up with a bottle of Windex in hand on moving day. Thank you. Another phenomenon we noticed is that nearly every house touts “RV parking.” This usually means there is gravel on the side of the house. “RV parking” is a nice way to say “we were too lazy to finish putting in the lawn, so we went to Home Depot and bought a truckload of gravel instead.”

We did have some good, but confusing results. My #1 house is hubby’s #2, and vice versa. It has made for a little bit of conflict, but we will get through it. We have more houses to consider later this week.

On Sunday we drove around neighborhoods on our own, searching for sale signs down side streets and hoping to see one we could tell J about. Our game plan was to put on a movie for the kids (Shrek 2), go through the McDonald’s drive-thru, and then hubby and I could concentrate on me leaping out of the car to retrieve the FREE (no kidding!) informational flyers attached to the for-sale signs.
home sweet home

After awhile every suburban street begins to resemble the last and it all becomes a blur of basketball hoops, tulip borders, tri-levels, ranches, split-levels, lawn ornaments, sidewalks, and nauseating curves meant to slow down traffic. I am a good navigator, but all the twists and turns in the typical subdivision rendered me incapable of discerning east from west and north from south by the time our day was through. Our hours of searching only produced three possibilities, which was a bit disheartening.

Do most people just settle for the lesser of all the “evils”, or do they find homes they truly fall in love with? I am not looking for the white picket fence, just somewhere I can picture my furniture. A backyard that my kids will make their own. A deck for summer evening barbeques, a non-padded toilet seat (ick!), and a garage that doesn’t have a poster of the Denver Nuggets cheerleaders left behind for the new man-of-the-house to enjoy.

My future home must still be out there, somewhere.

4 comments to House Hunting

  • Maria Kunz

    Oh, we can so relate! As we close yet another chapter in our ever-mobile family life, we will be searching for our 7th home (in 14 years) very shortly in the Phoenix area!

  • hamster

    I hear you. In this market I feel like we will priced out of any home in a neighborhood that we’re remotely familiar with that would allow us to reasonably comfortably have a baby (or two?), a dog and warm clothes. Good luck. You’ve gotta follow your gut though. We looked at 50 house in GJ before we found the ONE, and when I walked in I knew it was for us. You’ve only been at a week, so I think you should hold out for that feeling a bit longer if you haven’t experienced it already.

  • We just bought our first home. It was the first one we looked at and I adore it. Some minor problems, but what home doesn’t? I’m curious though, why can’t the driveway face north?

  • Matt

    Where you , like, IN OUR CAR WITH US or something??? Precisely the same experience we’ve had; kids and all. My mother told me I was unique and special, but I didn’t know I was the only one in the world who wouldn’t like brown trim and split level homes! Best of luck to you–and us!

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