Cautiously Stoked

The results are in on the home inspection. He found a bunch of things, but they were mostly small. The two most troubling things being some separated duct work under the house (easy to fix and will probably be done when the new a/c unit is put in) and the fact that the siding on the part of the house that was an addition is masonite. MASONITE, for fuck’s sake. Anyway, the other 2/3 of the siding is aluminum, and I was planning on having all of the siding redone in the next 5 years anyway since I knew it was kind of half-assy and jacked-up. On a related note, does anybody know of any siding companies that sell light pink siding? Mwahaha.

I’ll get the full monty report tomorrow morning, but things look promising so far. Other, smaller, issues include…

  • dishwasher is hooked up to cold water, not hot
  • no trap on washer hookup to keep sewer gasses out of the house
  • some outdoor lights not working
  • a couple open junction boxes in the attic
  • a teensy bit of mold in the crawl space, but it’s less than 10 square feet. “Should be an easy fix,” says inspector guy
  • there’s no weather stripping on the doors
  • the garage barely qualifies as a garage, but we already knew that. It’s totally half-ass, but it’s a place to have photo shoots and spray paint things

So, yeah. I might have a house. Whoa.


Casa De Evil, Part the Second

Readers, I’ve had another contract go through. Let’s not excited; no excitement until after the inspection, which won’t be happening for about a week. There’s some stuff that needs to be done before we bug the inspector (replacing a door and the a/c unit). This house isn’t as sexy on the inside; it’s boob lights as far as the eye can see and there are no doorknobs, air vent covers, or light switch plates because the renovators got bored and stopped before finishing the detail work. This is fine by me because they’re gonna give me some money for these things and…well, it’s an opportunity to shop. Be afraid, readers. I am so totally not afraid to bust out some of THIS:

YEAH! Except I would pick the antique pewter finish. Or maybe not. Wrought bronze does have a certain Steampunkish quality. You know you can get a black porcelain knob? Or cobalt blue? Fuckin’ A! Don’t even get me started on the light switch plates. I’m not saying that I’m gonna do it, but it’s nice to know that I could get a pewter plate that has jewels and fairies embedded in it. Not gonna do it, but it’s nice to know it’s there. What WOULD I do? Well…yeah. Maybe going with bronze would make it less old ladyish? But would that mess up my design theme? Does “Victorian Whorehouse” count as a design theme?

If all this weren’t enough to knock the testicles right off any dude who dares set foot in my house, maybe we should talk about the dressing chamber. I had some pause about the small closets in House 2, until I had an epiphany: the small bedroom shall not be the music room. The piano shall go in the bedroom (as God intended), and clothing, makeup, shoes and all other sartorial whatnots shall go in bedroom 3. Buying a settee and pretending to be Mariah Carey? Optional.

But I’m still not as crazy as The California Milk Processor Board.

Casa De Evil = perhaps not.

See, readers? This is why we don’t get excited. The House, which was supposed to have been inspected not only by the buyers who preceeded me but also by the sellers post-renovation…failed. Hard. I believe the words that the inspector used were “run like hell.” Now we’re only dealing with a question of whether or not to accuse the sellers of intentionally not telling the truth and making them pay for this inspection, which may have been the most costly and complete wank for which I have ever paid 250 dollars (my ill-fated battle with Sprint was HALF that). There is no way this house ever passed a crawlspace inspection. There is no way they missed the fire damage in the attic. These are the same people who said that they’d installed a sump pump. Does “stick it in a side-turned bucket” sound like an installation to you? Me neither.

They put a Chanel suit on a crackwhore and tried to tell me it was Jackie Kennedy.

Did I mention that the soil in the back yard is graded so that water runs TOWARD the house rather than away? Or the termite damge in the floor joists? Or the faulty wiring in the attic? Really, tell me when you’d like me to stop, because I have 41 pages. FORTY-ONE. I’ve also got a suspicion that they only put a deck on the back to cover the portal to hell that is probably underneath.

They have wasted my time, my real estate agent’s time, my loan broker’s time, my parents’ time, and my house inspector’s time. They have lied and then said something like, “oh, yeah….we said we were WORKING on that, not that it was done,” when caught. They have pissed me off, told half-truths, and wasted 250 dollars of my money. They have broken my heart. Twice.

May the dogs of karma hunt them down and place termites in their houses.
May they lie awake at night thinking about what they’ve done.
May they develop male pattern baldness.

10 Tips for Real Estate Agents and House Flippers.

As someone who’s shopping for a home, I thought I’d write an open letter to the real estate agent community. Just a few little tips for these troubling times in real estate. Smooches.

1. Don’t Bullshit Me.
Do not list “stained glass window” in your listing, only to let me drive all the way to East Nashville to find out that it’s a stick-on decal that LOOKS like stained glass. Ugly stained glass, I might add. Do not say that the bathroom is tiled and let me find out that it is, in fact, hollow plastic tiling. “New roof” and “patched roof” are not the same thing. Doing things like this makes you look like a dick, and makes me wonder what else you’re lying about. It makes me not only NOT want to buy your house, it makes me want to punch you in the dick.

2. Don’t Bullshit The System.
Do not upload a second copy of a picture that’s already on your web site just so the listing will appear as “new photo alert” in my email. Also, do not change the price of the house 3 dollars so that it appear as “price change alert.”

3. Pictures = important.
How are you going to expect me to drive all the way across town when you can’t even be bothered to take some pictures of the interior of the house? Maybe the interior is completely jacked-up? Either way, I’m either not going to bother pursuing the house, or I’m going to visit the house and SEE how jacked-up it is. The truth is going to come out, so it might as well come out in a fashion that doesn’t involve me driving for 20 minutes.

4. If I drive out there, make sure I can get in.
It is exceedingly irritating to take time off work and schedule an appointment, only to get to the house to find that the person who was supposed to be home is now NOT home…even through I set an appointment. Seriously, do you want to sell this house or not? Cause it seems like you don’t.

5. Bother to make the house presentable.
If I were a listing agent and someone came to me and said, “hey, I want to sell this house, but I have piles of crap everywhere,” you know what I’d say? “Rent a storage unit and call Professional Organizer Person.” OK, so the listings in my price range aren’t exactly the kind that one would want to pay to have professionally “staged,” but you could at least bother to not have a giant, rabid pit bull caged up in each room of the house. Just make SOME effort.

6. Your Photoshopping isn’t fooling anyone.
If there’s a big stain on the carpet, people are going to find out when they look at the house. Don’t Photoshop it out of the pictures. If you MUST Photoshop it out of the pictures, do a good job at it. Use the clone tool instead of the blur tool. If the stain on the carpet is dark red and NOT blood, tell me what it IS.

7. Don’t half-ass the renovation.
I know nothing about renovating, and even I can sniff out when “tile” is really vinyl. I will bend down and feel the floor, and I will feel the “tile” in the bathroom. I will feel the “stained glass.” I notice when you do a sloppy paint job. Have some pride in your work as well as your wallet, and don’t put industrial low-pile berber in a house.

8. “Bars on windows” is not a feature, no matter how many exclamation points you put after it.

9. “Walk-in closet” means that a grown man could walk into it, not my cat.

10. Just say no to Boob Lights. They’re not that much cheaper than good lights, and they look half ass. And like boobs.

House Shopping, Part 800

It seems that the realty downturn has finally resulted in there being houses in Sylvan Heights that I can actually afford. I know I said before that I was aiming for a condo, but it’s worth the pain in the ass of having a lawn to be able to stay in almost the same neighborhood that I’m in now. Besides, Asli had a good point about condo association fees that can go up and up. A year ago, some lady at some bank kind of laughed at me for wanting to buy a home of a certain price. Now? There’s plenty. It’s just a question of finding a place that’s not in a sketchy neighborhood and not out in BFE. Finding a place that’s reasonably in-town where you won’t get raped and killed is hard in itself. On a related note, Katy was right about the Torbett/Batavia area. It’s sketchy and, apparently, a go-to destination for the sex offenders in the 37209 zip code (which covers Sylvan Heights and Torbett/Batavia).

There’s a certain address in Sylvan Heights that I’m stalking. Granted, there are a couple of sex offenders on the street in question, but they’re both old. I can take ’em. Anyway, the house is small, but big enough and looks as though it’s been well cared-for. Big plus: hardwoods throughout, which is almost a requirement now that I’ve realized that Murphy is getting old and may become incontinent. Better safe than peed on. I did a drive-by last night and, while the neighborhood is kind of trashy, it wasn’t nearly as scary as Dickerson Rd. If all goes well, the payment will be about what I’m paying in rent. I’m trying to get my parents to cosign so that I can maybe get a better interest rate, so tonight I have to do the Bruce Mauk credit check…which is, in some ways, harder than a normal credit check.

Anywho, the pics from Sunday are up. My face totally sucked in this picture, but my boobs look nice. Per the norm, Jen looks fabulous. Seriously, I gotta quit standing next to her in pictures.