Friday, May 11, 2012

Parade of Homes

I haven't written much about our search for a home because it's been a fruitless journey filled with dead ends, lost opportunities, and feelings of desperation and failure.  Several offers have been written, all of which have been laughed at and perhaps jumped upon by the seller.  Housing is crazy in Seattle right now;  inventory is low so competition is fierce and so far, we're losing.

Painful as the journey can be, I sure do love looking at houses.  I enjoy seeing how other people live and imagining how I could make their space mine once they get all their ugly sh*t out of it. 

 Sometimes it's hard to see past that aforementioned ugly sh*t, though.

When a house is great, you can tell immediately by the tingly sensation you get -- though this can get confusing if you also have to pee and/or are horny.  But if those two other things aren't factors, you'll know you love a house by the giddiness that starts in your toes and shoots straight up to your brain. 

Sometimes a house is so great it overwhelms you and you end up falling on the floor, humping it and yelling, "I WANT TO MAKE AN OFFER" in the middle of an Open House. (Alex swears he's not taking me to another Open House until I perfect something he calls a "poker face."  Sounds dumb, I don't even like cards.)

I felt giddy about this next one.  This was the big Victorian with mountain views for which we enthusiastically threw our hat into the ring.  Unfortunately, so did 29 other people.  And I hate them all, especially the guy who "won" the house by offering less than we did, but in cash.

You have to love old fixers the way we do to see the perfection of this house.  If you don't love fixers, you're probably thinking I've inhaled a lot of dangerous fumes in my lifetime, which is the only explanation for loving that sad old thing. 

Whatever you think about the house, losing it hurt me badly, so badly I wasn't sure I could love again.

Take good care of that grand old staircase, Cash Guy.
I'm watching you.

This one is an old Victorian, too, but it's already been renovated.  It's too bad they renovated it stupid, though, by consolidating the three bedrooms into two large bedrooms with a huge bathroom.  A two-bedroom house at that price?  Good luck, jerk.


This next house had a pit bull locked in a kennel in the basement.  He stared at me through the chain link of his pen without moving a muscle.  He had dead eyes.  I no longer cared about checking the condition of the foundation;  I cared only about running away.

Beautiful wood floors.  French doors into living room.  Devil dog in the basement.

I'm a sucker for a grand staircase.  This next house had one but was missing the banister.  Pretty convenient, I thought, because we were able to just take a flying leap at the stairs from the side and skip a large chunk of the "walking" nonsense.

The banister-less house also had a large dog locked in a pen in the backyard, a German Shepherd, who was also quite intent on killing us.  Have you ever prayed for strength -- as in, the strength of a chainlink fence?  I sure have, twice now.

Some houses were modern --

Some were total gut-jobs --

Some showcased the amazing abilities of the wide-angle lens.  When I walked into this next home, I realized this apparently spacious room shown on the website could actually be crossed in about four steps.  Photographic exaggerators!  --

What a whirlwind it's been.  I've seen old houses, modern houses, big houses, small houses, expensive houses, cheap houses, beautifully restored houses, houses that need to be taken down to the studs.  I've seen it all. 

It's been a long road.  But now, I'm thrilled to say, we may be at the end of it.  We stopped by an Open House over the weekend on a whim, not really believing the house was what we were looking for.  On paper, it didn't check all our boxes -- and the boxes it left empty were very big boxes.

But screw the stupid boxes.  From the second we walked inside, we were tingly from the toes all the way up to the brain.  A quick check revealed neither one of us had to pee nor was horny.  We were shocked -- we both wanted that house.  And badly. 

We made an offer.  The sellers countered.  We counter-countered last night at midnight and then didn't sleep worth a damn.  Now we're waiting.  Anyone else need a stiff drink and a Valium right about now?  If not, send yours over to me.

I don't want to get my hopes as high as they've been in the past only to have them dashed to smithereens again.  So I'm going to keep this one to myself for a minute, won't say too much about it.  I will say there are a couple photos of it in this post.  And I will also say that sometimes life is surprising.

Just when you're absolutely sure you know what you want, you can be totally wrong,


  1. i adore seeing little miss coco's head in two of the photo's...and no matter which house you get it will be the best because it will be your home-your haven all yours...and my prayer this friday night is that whatever you are keeping in your heart becomes your reality . my quess is that it is the modern one with coco in it-GOOD LUCK Al and MJ-

  2. Hope you get the house....Esther.

  3. I hope you get it, and that we get fabulous pictures to ogle too. Only thing better than Paris porn is Real Estate porn.

  4. You go grrl! I just got done apartment hunting, and the one we chose didn't check our very big boxes either, but the second we saw the living room, we knew this was it. It wasn't the exciting "wow" from the other places, it was a very calm "yes". So we fit ourselves into the place, instead of the other way around. bonne chance!

  5. ps I hope you got the one with no bannister so you can entertain us with your CPS investigation stories. ;)

  6. Ooh, so exciting. I hope you'll be hearing excellent news soon!

  7. amen to jenn up there...if it's not photos of a foreign land, then let it be photos of houses! :) two years ago (to this day, in fact) jimmy and i walked through an open house--though we weren't seriously househunting, nor were we particularly enthralled with the house. we walked out completely enthralled with the house, called a realtor, wrote an offer that night, moved in a month later. so, here's to finding those sneaky houses that seem to actually find us! good luck, i'm excited for you guys!

  8. Arlington BigFishMay 12, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    Interesting. We're starting to see the same kind of market inside-the-Beltway here in the DC area. Although the houses aren't nearly as quaint, having been built (mostly) in the 1950's -- not a great time for residential architecture. I'm guessing you picked the one with the nice white millwork.

  9. Ooh it's just like in a romantic comedy when she realises the love of her life was right in front of her the whole time :) "He's everything I never knew I always wanted"

  10. If you think it's fun buying houses in Seattle, try doing it from two states away with,a realtor who has apparently mistaken us for Bill and Melinda Gates. And yes, you are right. Photography students should study with some of these realtors. I'm not even sure the owners would recognize their houses from the photos on the net.

    I will keep my fingers crossed for you, though. It would be nice to know someone who got out of this between-houses purgatory.


  11. Is there enough place for the prehistoric animals of the Loosh? Go for it!!!!

  12. You made an offer on the total gut job, didn't you?;)

  13. Not only are they shot with wide angle lenses, but they are also photoshopped to appear brighter. Oh and the erase the clouds from the sky on cloudy days. :)

    I am also a horrible house hunter. I want them all and have no poker face. I may have jumped up and down and screamed like a school girl when I walked into the master bathroom of our current house. :)

  14. Poker Face. Disguise. The art of feigning disinterest. Its probably more diplomatic than hollering 'This place is a dump, man' to disguise your true feelings.

    I go through the same despair as your house hunting just trying to
    find a shirt that looks and fits right. And by the turmoil I
    work myself into, you'd think the stakes were just as high.

    My guess as to which picture is the house you like is the
    white bathroom pic with the two uncircumcised wash sinks.

    I didn't know bladder and libido overactiveness caused similar sensations. I'm getting up in years and its hard for me to distinguish if I've had an orgasm or a heart attack.

  15. From this group of photos, I vote for the contemporary one.

  16. Woot! Very excited. Can't wait to hear more.

  17. Can't wait to hear if you get it! I have to agree with jenn, love me some real estate porn! 2 years ago with 2 kids in the pjs sick from a stomach bug and me recovering from it and hadn't showered in days, we walked into our house, it didn't check all the boxes either but it said something to us and we made an offer. Good luck!

  18. I saw on twitter that your offer was accepted. Way to go! We went to a house last evening, did the floor-humping thing, left and went directly to our agent's office to write the offer. It was accepted this morning, and all the paperwork signed tonight after supper. Now, to wait for the bank to rubber-stamp it then sit back and wait for the vendors to find a new house! We're lucky, in that we're renting from family right now and can pack up and go whenever we're ready. However, right now my house could be a candidate for Hoarders, so I guess it's time to start going through all this crap and having some yard sales!

    I'm kind of bummed that I won't be cruising the MLS site for hours a day and running around town to Open Houses on the weekends. Being a looky-loo was the BEST part of house hunting! But godamn, we found the cutest house on the market, and it's MINE ALL MINE Muhahahaha!