Saturday, February 19, 2011
I've been a little off of the radar lately. It's not that I haven't had anything to say, it's just that the Bulldog informed me that we will be moving. Again. This is something like the fifth time in ten years. This will be number three on how many houses we have bought in six years. If we didn't have to sell one we purchased when the market was sky-high, I'd be a little more excited about the prospects. The Bulldog and I are fairly practical people and we bought our current house because we had to have somewhere to live. Up until that point buying a house had always seemed to be a responsible investment to make in our future. Hell, I was raised on that proposition.
I've become somewhat addicted to searching for real estate online. It's sort of surprising how many people are still trying to scratch out an existence as real estate agents. They must be some serious optimists. Maybe they really do believe what they write in those online real estate ads. A whopping fifty percent of the homes listed in the area we are searching in Florida are either short sales or foreclosures, but Realtors are keeping their heads held high. Realtors are selling a dream:
"Nestled in a lovely cul-de-sac at the end of a peaceful tree-lined street is where you will find the home that you have been searching for. With a private pond view, an abundance of birds, squirrels and egrets, you will never believe that you are only walking distance away from all the conveniences .... [T]op this all off with a sparkling, in ground, screened pool and what more could you ask for? This home really has it all - 4 generous size bedrooms, 2 full baths, gorgeous wood floors, tile and newer carpet."
I WANT THAT HOUSE!!!! I love Real Estate Land, because in Real Estate Land that egret is never taking a dump in your driveway. Those squirrels aren't chewing holes through your screened-in pool, which not only jacked-up your homeowners insurance, but sent your water bill sky-rocketing. (Who knew a pool would cost so much to run?) No one in Real Estate Land will tell you that a "private pond" in Florida (probably a man-made retention pool) will at the very least be a breeding ground for mosquitoes, not to mention the occasional snakes and alligators.
Homes in Real Estate Land are never dinky and small, they are "cute and cozy". No home is ever a dump, instead it is "a fixer upper", "investment property", "has potential" or (when they get really desperate "...is in a desirable school district". (You do love your children, don't you????) Realtors truly believe in that old adage that if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. Never mind that the pictures of that "fixer-upper" showed what looked to be major flood damage as well as black mold; the "investment property" was a boarded-up crack house; and "has potential" would require razing the current construction and evicting the next door neighbors. In Real Estate Land, ALL property is valuable. It's like one of those kiddie contests where ALL the kids get a trophy.
Now I don't even want to look at a house that is "...gem in the rough", because in the picture that house has its windows boarded-up. It's not a "...gem in the rough", that's a dump. Ditto any "fixer-uppers", "AS-IS" (They always put that in big capital letters too, what's up with that?)or "...handyman's dream". I am not interested in any houses' future, I am strictly interested in the here and now. If the people who actually own the property aren't interested in fixing it, why should I be interested in fixing it?
One of my favorites:
This gorgeous home is truly one of a kind. This special home was built by a builder for his own personal use. The bedrooms in the main house are massive, easily the size of two normal bedrooms in a house of this age and large enough (and already designed) to be divided into two with separate entrances to the bedroom already in place. The home has a traditional bungalow style layout except for the fact that the rooms are huge in comparison. Also featured in this fantastic home is a stand up attic with stairs going up. This historic residence has patterned red oak hardwood floors which have just been refinished, loads of original built in… cabinets in almost every room and closet, many of the original elements of the kitchen including the original sink. The kitchen is also very large. The home has just received a makeover including paint and all the new landscaping, sod and well sprinkler system. Don't just drive by this home; you have to see the level of original detail in the interior that is still intact to truly appreciate this architectural gem.
It may be an "architectural gem" in Real Estate Land, but if you click on the Google satellite map for a street view to get a good look at the used car lot right next to this "historic residence". What? No "sparkling pool"???