Tuesday, July 12, 2005

House tales

As a living example that there is no such thing as normal, we, on our way to our fourth house, have never had a normal real-estate experience.

I found our first house in the AJC Sunday paper, which I bought and perused on Saturday (the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, your source of news from the day before yesterday). In what would become a pattern for later in life, I looked through the paper, made a list of possible candidates, and then did some driving. Only one house looked promising.

My wife stayed home that Saturday. The next day, on the way to church, I drove her by that one house and something must have caught her eye, because she called the next day to go see it. Once we saw the inside, my wife loved it, mostly because the guy was a Delta Faucet rep, and all of the faucets in the house were new and very nice. So, house #1: faucets.

We found our second house while on the way to a party in Tucker. (We were selling our first house to my wife's sister and her husband.) We had been looking in Tucker because it was closer to my work and to our church, and so we had seen a lot of houses around that area. As we were cutting through a neighborhood on the way to the party, we saw a FSBO sign.

Again, something caught my wife's eye, so we took down the number and arranged to see it. In this one, she liked the smooth ceilings and crown molding in each room. So we bought it. House #2: smooth ceilings.

The third time around (our current home), the house never went on the market. It is right across the street from our good friends (the same ones whose house we were going to for the party above), and was owned by an older couple. We had seen the house many times before, and I had made many not-very-nice comments about the brick, brown, and lime green exterior.

Regardless of the color scheme, it was a big house in a nice neighborhood. We had 3 boys in a 3 bedroom house and needed to move (this was before we learned about "stacking"). So we offered to buy the house and then tried to sell ours ourselves. This turned out to be very difficult, and after a several months (including two with two mortgages), we sold it to a very mean old lady with one leg.

(I kid you not, she was the meanest person I have ever met face-to-face. I'm talking Eisner-mean. At the closing she refused to even look at us and utterly ignored the several attempts my wife made to engage her in conversation. Plus, the thing about only having one leg . . .)

Anyway. House #3: four bedrooms and a separate dining room (and no pirates; okay, I'll stop).

Which brings us to our current adventure. Again, we are buying a house that did not go on the open market. This time we're buying from friends (as opposed to selling to family), but it's still making half of the experience much more palatable.

But we've learned our lesson, and are selling with a realtor. It's just not worth the hassle to me, and I'm not libertarian enough (Int 18, Wis 3, Cha 3) to believe I can do a better job on my own.

At the very least, my house is now ridiculously clean. More houseblogging tomorrow. Yo-ho-ho, it's exciting stuff!


At 9:52 PM, Blogger 4BoyDad said...

Here's a list of the people I insulted in today's post:

- The AJC
- The former owners of our house
- An old lady with one leg
- Michael Eisner
- Libertarians

I'm not making any friends here, am I?

At 9:53 PM, Blogger 4BoyDad said...

And maybe pirates.

At 10:23 PM, Blogger Dignan said...

Nothing libertarian about not using a realtor; more anarchist if you ask me. :)


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