After the disappointment of the first house we looked into, we definitely learned some serious lessons. The most important one being that pictures can be very deceiving. So, we began a new search using some of the more popular realty apps like Zillow & Trulia.
We found one in a quaint, little town near a park that we frequent. It’s not a kids’ type of park, but it is one that we take our boat to throughout the season. In fact, this house was so close to the water that it was literally a 5 minute walk or less. We loved the location. We even let ourselves dream a bit about the possibilities of daily walk with Buster by the water. Plus, it would take mere minutes to hook up the boat, drive down, and be on the water.
For this one, there were 24 pics total. We were confident that we’d seen what we needed to. On a weeknight, we took a drive there, walked the property, and made note of any issues that concerned us. At one point, my husband even said that he could be happy there. I let myself get excited about the prospect. Financially, it wasn’t a big stretch and the monthly payments were affordable. They even had a public water system so we wouldn’t be giving up that luxury. The view from the house was park on one side, mountain on the other. Granted, there was a state route running in front of the house. This was a minus.
We’re used to solace. However, we timed the cars and realized that it really wasn’t that bad. At, ‘rush hour’ we counted 5 cars total. Our son had a pretty busy week and was in no mood to talk houses, but he saw the pics and approved as did my mom and aunt. We thought maybe it was a sign that next door was a small church. At one point, the hubs was ready to sign, sight unseen, for it. I’m glad we didn’t.
My first red flag actually came from the realtor. I sent 3 emails. No response. I waited until day 4 to call. It took until literally 5 minutes before their office closed for a response. The realtor in charge went on vacation. This was after she’d gotten my emails. She passed the buck per se to another realtor who was less than enthused to drive 45 minutes to show the house. We didn’t know what the problem was then. But, when we received the multi-list from business associates, it became clear.
The multi-list is essentially info the realtor has that the public does not have. Under the commission portion, we saw clearly that the realtors were making zilch on this sale. Why? I have no idea. Also, the older couple who had owned the house were already relocated to another state. I got the feeling that the house had become a nuisance to them. They didn’t downsize. They bought a much larger property. The next red flag was that the owners had stipulated that they maintain the mineral rights.
In our state, that’s kind of a big deal. Natural gas is rockin’ here right now. We could’ve overlooked that, though. We were excited that it had 2 sheds and a 2 car garage on site. In the ad, it also stated that there was a full basement, new roof, and new siding. All these were huge pluses to us. That is, if they’d been true.
We arranged to meet the realtor and excitedly hurried out there on a Sunday afternoon. We had plenty of time and the youngest was with grandma for the weekend. The realtor arrived, late, and new next to nothing about the house. There was no way to get into the garage. We followed a very evident extension cord to see that the outside lights were plugged into it. Strange. When we finally got into the house, we noticed gas heaters in every room. Carbon monoxide, anyone? The ‘spacious’ bathroom had only enough room for the hubs to turn around partially and only had a sink, toilet, and partial shower stall. But, the straw that broke this camel’s back was the ‘full’ basement.
Accessible only from the outside, it was basically a small closet. You couldn’t even put an entertainment center in it. It contained no support beams, just a jack to level the house, which was crooked. From the basement, one could access a crawl space that I’m sure mice are happy in. There went my fantasies, again.
We thanked the realtor who high-tailed it out of there. On the way home, we discussed our devastation. We drove to see 2 more after that. Both were as bad as this one. Regardless, we’re taking a house hunting break, fixing up some TLC issues here at home. On the brightside, my sister found her forever home in Alabama. She’s moving in July. So, there’s hope. I just wish realtors took better pics, homeowners were more honest with themselves and their homes’ issues, and things were priced accordingly.
To be continued…..