Just recently Keen and I found, and lost, a very cute house
in the dance of bid-counter bid. I’ve
been looking, at first casually and then more seriously, for the last several
months. Several LONG months. I haven’t written
about the house-hunting previously because I knew if I did Keen would
claim that I was “jinxing” us. (He has
made claims of the blog post-jinxing relationship before but I, as a scientist,
have rejected the theory regardless of his many 20-20 hindsight “proofs”. BTW, he was also quite upset at the landslide
victory of Rudy over
and claims I didn’t present his argument correctly. So to set the record straight… for Keen love
story trumps family story. If any of you
would like to change your preference based on this criteria please feel
free.) In any case, to avoid jinxing or
claims thereof I haven’t bored you with a play-by-play of my house-hunting
saga. However, now I feel I must say a few words before I explode.

There is a plethora of houses on the market and most of them
are crap. To spare any future house-hunters
the pain I have been experiencing I need to point out a few things to the home
sellers on which the fault of this pain clearly lies.

First, it is no
a seller’s market! Get over
your dreams of retiring in the Caribbean.

Secondly, slap some paint on the walls. I don’t want to see the outlines of all the
furniture and pictures you used to have in the place. Or the chocolate-ly fingerprints from your
kids in the kitchen. It is not
“homey”. Your dirty walls are not a
prime selling feature.

Third, maybe try to get that stain out of the carpet,
too. Or that cat urine smell? Yeah, you know the one. DO something about it! That old “oh, but the new owners will want to
completely remodel so why bother?” really is just an excuse. NO ONE has that much cash to remodel anymore…
‘cause have you SEEN the price of houses?!

Fourth, if your house has been on the market for six months
or more, especially if it needs structural repairs or updating, GET A CLUE
you’re pricing it too high. (Ahem, see
the first point.) And by the way,
pulling the house for a week and then putting it back on as a “hot new listing”
doesn’t fool anyone. Repeat after me… buyer’s market! 

Actually, I think we would have gotten this last house
except someone swooped in and outbid us at the last minute. After no one bid on the house at all for two months, someone just
happened to see it three days before our final offer and decided to bid. It wasn’t like our offer was unreasonably low
or anything either. It was a really cute
place, too (I would have had an office,
with a DOOR!). Whatev. If you want to pay that much you go ahead and
do it.

I’m holding out for spring.          – the

(I’ve been considering posting the Top Ten Worst after this is all over.  You know, the House of Shag, the House of Tile, the Miami Vice House of Termites, etc. etc.  The insanity of what people think is acceptable to view for sale (much less as a small glimpse of what their decorating sensibilities must have been) is mind-boggling.)