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.