Getting words to effectively form sentences after this weekend is… It’s difficult. It was such a total roller coaster ride in every way [yay! Trite Metaphor winner!], and I’m still in the process of recovery. While I don’t have any REALLY! BIG! NEWS! to share yet, after this weekend I’m hopeful that the homebuying process is going to be a lot of fun, and possibly require a few vodka-tonics. By a few I mean “seventy or so.”
What I’ve learned so far is… well, a lot. For starters, that I’m not remotely terrified about one of the biggest steps that a person can take in their life. I remember when I bought my first new car with my Dad (who was also by my side through the whole process this weekend too. I am a lucky girl), and later in the evening the situation really hitting me as I sat on my bed crying at the enormity of having DEBT and leaving my beloved blue Volvo behind.
There’s none of that this time, just an unbelievable excitement and the thrill of OWNERSHIP.
I’ve also found that people really shouldn’t mess with adorable houses built in the 50s and 60s. Granted, they are small. There’s no question about that. Sticking on an ugly addition in the back that was CLEARLY oh so clearly “totally 90’s”? Big mistake. That shade of teal carpeting was never a good idea…. Nor are multicolored ceiling fans.
The trend that I found in my home touring this past week is that people love to “finish” basements. Sorta. Kinda. Like frame them and then A.D.D. and leave them half-finished with creepy partitions and such.
Let me preface this by stating: I am. A huge. Wuss. If you’ve been reading for a while, this doesn’t come as a surprise. But I am. The Dark and I do not get along.
I knew I had a problem when we entered the basement of House #1, and found a veritable labyrinth of unfinished spaces. The gentleman had framed walls and insulated them, but hadn’t finished anything. There was a clear “man cave” space, a “guest room,” a “laundry room” and an area with the water heater, water softener and the required basement exit.
In English: Standing anywhere in that basement, there were 90 million corners that you couldn’t see into. I am NOT OKAY with that. If I had to go down there during the night to get a load of laundry or check the fuse box and couldn’t see into all parts of the space, I’d immediately imagine zombies or giant spiders or Gollum from “Lord of the Ring” huddled in the shadows crooning “my preeessssssshhhhuuuusss….”
Translation: No Good. (Because, ya know… saying “In English” was not translation enough.)
Now, the house was above our price range and in no way was the basement the deciding factor in why we wouldn’t make an offer. But it may have played a part if it were between 2 similar properties.
House #2: Oh where to start? This place was a NIGHTMARE. It had been vacant for almost a year, and there was no heat and power. We had to schedule our walkthrough during the day, because of available light. I should have picked up on that, but hey. Am first-time homebuyer. Am stoopid.
When we walked in the front door, it seemed perfect. The living room was huge, with lovely hardwood floors, arched doorways and built in bookcases. It was allll downhill from there. The kitchen had NOT been updated since ever, and this was the house of the horrible addition. There was no flow whatsoever to the 2 extra rooms that had been added, and everything was completely filthy.
To give credit where it’s due: The original structure was just lovely. The teeny bathroom and adorable bedrooms were exactly what we were looking for. The rest of the house was just too big (read: UGLY).
And then? The Basement. For the love. Of. God.
I descended slowly into the depths with the realtor, and came into a room with white painted walls and a wood-burning fireplace. “Haz potential…” my brain said with as little certainty as possible. I turned into the next room that was extremely dark, and thought I could make out some spotting on the walls. “Haz… fungus?” my brain complied.
By the time I made my way to the full bathroom and saw the patchwork of mold on the door, I was ready to vomit/run for the hills. That was before I turned to my left and saw the dank, cobweb infested room that looked like it had been a torture chamber.
True, my mind could be over-dramatizing this visit in hindsight. For the sake of creative liberty, bear with me. Because OMG. I suddenly felt like I was in “The Silence of the Lambs,” in the creepy basement labyrinth that housed “Buffalo Bill”.
My heart-rate sped up and suddenly I expected any minute to come across a man sewing a suit out of human skin, or a deep well with poor Brooke Smith trapped inside…
“It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again…”
I quickly made my way to Army Boy’s side and he could tell from my krazy eyes that this was a big “No” and that we should move on to the next one.
When we got to the car, my Mom and I just looked at each other.
“Were you thinking what I was thinking?”
(in unison) “Silence of the Lambs!”
Gee. Wonder where I get it.