Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Of Money Pits Etc.
When we went back to Vlad's, he had clearly been instructed by his real estate agent to keep a lid on it. His behavior was exactly what you would expect of a Labrador who has recently learned the command 'stay' and is expected to remain still despite the hunk of cheese just inches from his nose. The man was having a hard time. He was obviously trying to leave us alone, but instead of just going out on the porch and having a much-needed cigarette, he tried to look nonchalant as he awkwardly followed eight feet behind us. A few times when he was trying to keep it real, I think he actually squeaked. Poor guy.
We placed an offer on his house.
It was accepted.
The inspection was scheduled. When we arrived, the inspector was in the basement. First thing out of his mouth was "Have you guys MET THE OWNER?" We nodded knowingly. "Yes, we have. Has he been following you around, too?"
"He was, and he was talking so much I couldn't do the inspection. Finally I had to tell him straight out that I needed him to leave me completely alone so I could do what I was hired to do." Poor Vlad. It's hard to sit on the porch with hunks of cheese walking around inside the house.
The inspector advised us of his concerns with the house. They were extensive and expensive. He used the term "money pit," which is not music to the ears of a first time home-buyer. At one point he started a sentence with, "I just know if you were my kids..." and then trailed off. I guess he decided he may have crossed one of those subtle-yet-palpable inspector/home-buyer boundaries, but we got the point. We bailed. Sorry Vlad. Might want to replace that furnace. Oh, and insulate the attic while you're at it. And shut the merciful H up.
Even after making the offer, the truth was I never felt fully comfortable with Vlad's place. I mean, the peach tree was a major selling point, but in truth it just didn't ring my bell. As a wise friend told me on g-chat, a person should buy a house that speaks to them. Vlad's didn't. But there was another one that did. This was the great tragedy.
As I stewed and festered about Vlad's, never comfortable even though I had signed the contract, there was another place I couldn't get out of my head. The yard was larger and would need more maintaining...the location wasn't quite as prime...but it had a really cool bathtub. A really, really cool bathtub. So I called our agent again. I know, we put an offer on that one house, and I know it was accepted, but I just can't get that bathtub out of my head--is it too late to go see it again?
A paragon of patience, our merciful agent called. The House of the Beautiful Bath was under contract. Someone else's contract. Our contract was with Vlad.
My heart sank, but I tried to be strong. "What's for you won't go by you," my Scottish great-grandmother used to say. But I was disappointed. Even moreso once I found out we wasted our contractual moment on the hoar frost of Vlad's.
It was back to the house hunt for us. The emailed lists of dismal properties (only dismal properties are generally available in our price range), the visiting abominable little houses waiting to blow down with one huff-and-puff. But, with no other options, a-hunting we did go. While we were touring a house that my sister-in-law called the Alice in Wonderland house for its nausea-inducing tippiness, the agent's phone rang.
"The contract on the house with the tub fell through! How much time do you have?"
My heart skipped a beat and then it sang. I pumped my fist in the air like an idiot. I told her I would risk failing my measurements class to see that bathtub just once more, and we went right over.
The tub was even lovelier than I remembered. So was everything else. The house, it spoke to me! Glory, glory! We put in our offer the next morning and it was accepted.
The inspection is tomorrow. Pray hard that the guy doesn't say "money pit" again. I can't take much more of this.