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HousesJanuary 7, 2006

So here were the housing options presented to us today in our realty crawl (this is after driving around together yesterday, looking at approximately one million listed houses, only to find out they're almost ALL already in escrow, even though they show as active in the listing):

61st: Oh, my god! The perfect house! (Shut up. Yes, again.) It’s yellow! It’s in a great neighborhood, has a crawl space that could be turned into something COOL, like a painting studio or a place to put yarn, just imagine, and it has three bedrooms, meaning one for each of us and one to share, and it has built-ins and a fireplace, and a huge yard, and it’s a great location, and it’s a great price, and it’s everything we want.

We're so writing an offer on this one. The market's dropped. The owner's dropped his price thirty thousand dollars from his original asking price last month.

Then we hear from the owner: He doesn’t want to sell for the reduced price that his realtor placed on it, and we can’t afford the inflated price, so he’s just going to hold on to it and rent it out.

Oh, the sadness. We send in the offer anyway, and hope for the best. There’s still the chance that he’ll review the offer and grant us our crazy-pants wish, and we hope for that. Hoping....

57th: From the outside, adorable. Or, as I like to say, ah-door-ablay. Low peak and red garage door, great street. A sweet pink cottage. Love it. Older guy on the front porch smoking, looking with little interest at us as we drive by at one mile-per-hour. I ask my realtor about it, and she says that per the owner, we must write the offer on this fixer-upper, tilted roof and all, SIGHT-UNSEEN. No getting into the house for a lookee-loo, to see what the bedrooms look like or whether there’s a toilet in the bathroom or not, until the offer is accepted. Then we can go in and look around and have an inspection.


We write an offer anyway. ‘Cause we’re like that. Crazy. Reckless.


63rd: I know, location, location, location. So we’re not sure about this location. There is a car with tags six years expired parked in front of us. But we look, and the house is wonderful, in that “fancy” way. You know, granite countertop/stainless steel appliance way. Lovely, new, burnished hardwood floors. New paint (red and orange, loved it). Best part: the converted garage in the backyard, with a full kitchen, bath, living room and bedroom. Can we say, hello, Lala’s practice space? Damn. That would be cool. The dogs running between houses, us sharing a kitchen and a bedroom, but able to get our own space, too. That’s damn attractive.

We drive the area to see if we can feel it out. Not too bad! Only yelled at once, and it’s more like the complimentary yelling. Lala finds a cop, and I get out and talk to him, having no fear of cops, even when they’re dealing with someone handcuffed in the back of their car.

“Hey, I’m local 911. Thinking of buying here. Whatcha think?”
“What about two girls living together here in this neighborhood?”
More than a wince, now I’m getting a shake of the head. “No. Not for you two. Rough neighborhood.”

I give him the numbers on the street.

“Nope,” he says, “two blocks from Avenal? That’s a huge drug deal corner. Really. Go somewhere else.”

He’s a young guy, too. The young cops are the tough ones, the dumb ones, the ones who refuse to see a threat on any corner, so when he tells me that, I listen.

We write the offer anyway, thinking that a compound like that, basically two houses on the same lot, is a very good idea for two very independent people. However, if it turns INTO a compound, that would be bad.

We get a call later that night, that they’ve accepted our offer, contingent on the provision that we keep the tenant in the garage apartment. Hell, no! Zap. At least we don’t have worry about the neighborhood.

Sigh. It's harder this time, wanted the most for our limited resources. Fun, yes, and house or no house, Lala's my girl.

Our house is out there. We just have to find it. That's it.


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Aww...you sound like you have a great, optimistic attitude going into this...half the fun, m'dear! Good luck! Site unseen--that is weird!

and...not you, the owner!

When you find THE house (and I mean, THE house, the really perfect, everything you want house) you'll know it. And then everything will fall into place. People told me this and I didn't believe them, but they were right. It's just true. Karma or something I guess. I'll keep things crossed for you in the meantime.

You have the proper sense of adventure about all of this! Carole is right ... when it's the right house, everything will come together. You just have to be patient (and thorough). I hope you don't have to wait long.

Didn't want to sound like I don't think you're being thorough ... obviously you are. That's the frustrating part, though, and I feel for you having to plow through it all to find your house. But you will. It's out there.

YOU WILL FIND IT! YOU WILL! And then when you do, maybe it will give me the fortitude to go out and look for our dream house. We're too lazy and everything out here is ridiculously overpriced. I mean $1.5 mil for a huge Victorian with seven bedrooms. Sounds great, right? (Well, if you $1.5 mil to spend on a house.) But guess what?! ONE BATHROOM. ONE! So you find that great house, for too much money already, and it's got one full bathroom in the semi-finished basement. Oh and you can thumb wrestle with your neighbor from the bedroom windows.


So heartbreaking, I know.

The perfect home sometimes takes awhile to find. It's been almost 4 years since I found my condo, and I havne't started looking for th house yet, but I remember the condo-search angst well.

You'll find it and it will be worth the all the disappointment ans anticipation and time.


i have to agree with carole.. even though i found THE house on the third one..

pateince is a virtue.. and when you find the one.. you will be glad you didnt settle ..

You'll find it! I know you will.

Patience may be a virtue 'n' all, but it really sucks when you want to get your house. The joy and fun when you DO get it will be all the sweeter for having been deferred.

Ok, sight unseen - that's just damned scary. Really scary.

Good luck on your quest. I think that when you've all but given up, you'll turn the corner and the perfect place will drop in your laps.

Hey, good luck! You will find the perfect place. Just takes time.

I'm glad about the garage tenant thing, since that place was sounding rather unsavory for you two.

And, um, I feel like we got your house karma, finding ours the first day we looked. Sorry, I'll try to send it back to you...

I lovelovelove hearing about all of this, and dreaming about getting a house of my own with my sweetie one day. I know you will find yours!

I'm reading. I'm hearing ya. I'm anxiously waiting to hear that the cop was all wrong about the neighborhood and the owner calls back to say the garage tenant is moving out. I'm just that crazy type of optimist. In the mean time, the right house is out there waiting for you to find it. Keep looking while you wait for the other stuff to come true. :)

Um, I'm going to respectfully disagree on the 'one perfect house' issue. There's lots of houses out there, and one of them will work out, but it's not your perfect home until you *make* it home. KWIM? There are things that aren't 100% fab about our house, but other stuff makes up for it, and it's ours, and we love it.

Wow, house buying really does suck.

Listen to the cops okay? Houses are perfect because we're in them with the people we love.

You'll find the right place.

I know you'll find something, lady. I'm sorry it's taking so long for you.

Good luck, and the perfect house will come soon and it'll make all these other "perfect" houses pale in comparison.

Sight unseen? Sounds wicked sketchy to me. Never. Ever.

Best of luck. You'll find it. It'll be right. Just like your girl.

I'm living vicariously through you in this, so, uh, thanks for doing this hard crushing of a daydream stuff for me. I owe ya. ;P

I have faith, you guys found each other, you'll find the perfect space.

you girls are crazy! you write an offer on a house sight unseen?!! oh my god. i'm afraid for you.... ;)

with that kind of optimism, you'll definitely find your dream home.

Oh, Rachael, do be careful! You can't return a house like a pair of pants you change your mind about. I agree that the perfect home will be anywhere you and Lala are together -- but promise us, your loyal fans, it will be in a safe (or semi-safe) neighborhood. And what about Santa Marta? (aka St. Martha, patron saint of homemakers.) Try putting up a little shrine to her in your condo, give her a little candle, a nice flower from time to time, a few prayers, a piece of homespun, and she'll help you find the right house. And she's very gay friendly -- never married, lived w/her "sister" all her life...hello? Can't hurt, and surely more helpful than yet another gushing realtor!

My Dad's advice: Just make sure you like it. Almost everything else, you can fix. Oh, and with the market slowing down, some realtors are even arranging sleep-overs, so the potential buyer can really get a feel for it.

You'll find the right house, I know you will. We're doing the same routine, though we made the offer on THE PERFECT HOUSE last month and just had our offer rejected last week. :( We're making an offer on an ugly on the outside, neat on the inside house today... *crossing fingers* Less money than the perfect one, but not cute at all outside.

House buying is so friggin stressful, in a adrenaline rush, knot in the pit of your stomach kind of way.

Good luck! I am reminded over and over how easy it was to buy our house, because we were insanely lucky and the sellers were, well the sellers were dirt dumb. I hope you get some of that luck from us.

What a journey you're on. I wish you the very best in that. DH and I will be looking soon so I hope to learn from your journey. YOUR house is out there. . . good luck!

(delurk again)
Yea, the cop was right. I'm not so fond of that little neighborhood myself (63rd). And I'm doing my visits in the day! (public health nurse) What a difference a few blocks makes! In price too. When we bought, looking at houses was fun when we saw things we liked and not so fun as we realized what we were likely to get for our price. But you already knew that! And yes, we did manage to buy something!

Rock on!

House hunting = looking for M(r)s. Right. You date and you date and you date, and you find a few "maybes" and "could have beens" and possibly even a soulmate or two. But they don't work out cause they have issues, baggage... someone who is broken and needs too much fixing up. Someone who looks great on the outside, but it rotten to the core inside (sight unseen? I second/third/fourth the Yikes!). You get your heart stomped on a few times. But you keep going back out there and looking and hoping and seeing the best in each and every one of them. Because that's all you can do. You have to love them fully and without reservation because that's who you are and if/when it finally does work out and you find a way to make a life for eachother, you want to know that your whole heart was in it all the time, that you never entered the relationship sideways, but head on.

Y'all are absolutely right in staying so positive and eyes open and on it. My empathy (The Mr. and I are gearing up for our own househunt this Spring) and hopes are with y'all!

So stressful! Good luck!

Just keep looking, darlings. It's out there.

Urk. This is making me relive the trauma I went through when I bought my house. Four offers. Four nosedives. I gave up and then, of course, found the house I really loved, justlikethat.

Wait 'til you're trying to sell one and buy another!

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