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there goes the neighborhood

Househunting sharpens neighborhood observations. 

I notice:
- the smiling cracks traipsing across homes
- the fingers, hands and arms of weeds protruding from the earth
- curtains flapping wildly outside the confines of the window
- the energy moving up and down the street...good, weird, unhappy, forlorn, neglected, energized
- cars congregating in spaces no cars belong

Looking at homes to buy hones the senses, helps to see what is often ignored or accepted.

Here is a scene: 

An ad is read outloud - "Home owners in process of moving."

Flash forward to potential homebuyers entering the premises. It's not the piles of debris that catches the visitors off-guard, it isn't the peeling paint or the sad excuse for a fireplace. No, it is the scent of ammonia that assails our dedicated potential home-buyers senses. It is the smell of cat urine and it permeates every square inch of the house...even outside, our intrepid trio cannot escape the odor.

Note to home-sellers: Don't let potential homebuyers walk through a house that appears to have been struck by a tornado than soaked in the urine of a hundred cats. Your house will not sell. Trust me.

Another scene:

The ad proudly claims "interesting colors" as if "interesting" and "color" were meant to be united in selling homes.

All is well in the house - new cabinetry, new tile, a well-kept backyard. The visitors wonder momentarily what is so interesting about pastel yellow and eggshell white. But those thoughts are lost when their eyes attempt to adjust to a room of neon hot pink. Upon entering, everyone becomes martian pink, a new alien species in a northern Californian town. Another room, a splash of violet becomes an ocean of purple and cascades into a shade of lavendar. Sounds nice, but does not see nice.

Ah, the art of looking for a home.



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 18th, 2007 10:00 pm (UTC)
It always amazes me that people think that their home will sell for top dollar regardless of the condition or decorating. People can literally make thousands of dollars just by putting a few hundred into their home and making it appeal to the masses.

Good luck with the search .. I know it is frustrating but eventually you will find "the one".
Jun. 19th, 2007 12:32 am (UTC)
There was one home that had a staged setup - I guess companies go in, set up furniture and decorations so it shows nice. Which adds to it, of course, but also makes it tough to see those hidden flaws behind sofas!!

The "cat place" and "interesting color" home were both bank foreclosures, though I'm surprised the bank let the former take so long with moving their stuff out. The latter was sad, because you could see how much effort the homeowners had put into that home only to have it taken from them.
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 19th, 2007 12:33 am (UTC)
I think that would be fair and feasible. The house wasn't in a nice neighborhood, so we ended up passing on it. Inside the house, though, it was gorgous (excluding the brightness of those two rooms!)

I'm pretty sure the people had at least 10 cats. The number of scratching posts was astounding. Even more astounding was the number of uncleaned litterboxes - disgusting is an apt term for it!
Jun. 19th, 2007 12:13 am (UTC)
House hunting is indeed an art. Not necessarily a fun one, some days. I went to a house in Dallas that was decorated every inch, including ceilings and all furnishings, of every room, with pink and green cabbage roses. It was...surreal, to say the least.
Jun. 19th, 2007 12:35 am (UTC)
Pink and green cabbage roses! That is definitely...odd.

Well, at least house hunting can be rather entertaining.
Jun. 19th, 2007 03:02 pm (UTC)
one of the houses i looked at was sponged painted. every freaking room was two toned sponge painted in varying colors. the basement was obviously some kind of craft workshop for the owner, and has a hand painted quote repeating all the way around the entire basement, continuing in and out of each room.

i think the worst thing to encounter is definitely cat urine stink. its awful and always makes me wonder how the owners dont notice the overwhelming stench.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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