I have been very remiss on keeping the blog up to snuff. I know you have dusted it until you are blue in the face but I have an excuse. Probably not a very good one, but talk about draining the creative juices, house hunting will do that. By the time you have viewed 8 houses in one day and 8 more the next and each one begins to blend into the last one, you begin to feel like you would rather live in a tent. I am very tired of Realtors telling me they can be a facilitator or a buyer agent, which would I like. I would like you just show the house and answer me questions and nothing more, but no, no now you have to sign papers before you even head out so they get a commission as one kind of agent or the other and it becomes all about the money and after a bit of this I SIMPLY DO NOT CARE.
As you and a few others know, I be looking for a new abode. With the family expanded we are falling all over each other and it lends to grumpy Grumplesons all over the place. I have actually started referring to us as the Grumplesons and embarrassed the wife when we had reservations for dinner and they asked me for the name of me party of two. Yes, I said Grumplesons not realising I had said such. There was a loud audible TSK from the wife who then corrected me with O'Sullivan.
Well, that be the last straw for Mrs. Grumplesons because as soon as she got home that night she was on the computer looking at homes for sale. I tell ya! I thought this would all fade away but no, no, she found a few prospects and dragged me out to look with her.
Having since June (or was it July? Can't remember which) I have looked at a grand total of what seems like 3 million homes but in reality (I am told), was about 43 houses on the market. I will say since I looked at these 43 homes, none have sold but one, and 3/4 of them have come way down in price. Which is a good thing if I liked any of them, but I didn't.
We decided that if we bought a home it would be an older home as we rather like the charm and character of our own antique cape. So if we could find another just a wee bit bigger that would be great. And we wanted quiet as we like to not hear traffic, all those leaf peepers going by I tell ya! We wanted a few acres like we have now, so we aren't right on top of our neighbours but not far enough away we can't at least see their chimney.
Let me regale you with one choice property. It stands out to me this mid century Victorian, that was restored beautifully, airy rooms, high drafty ceilings, big drafty windows, acres of green grassy land and a barn which at the time of the showing had show horses in it. Well, we looked at the wonderfully decorated interiour, and then went outside. The first thing I noticed was the smell of horse. Yes, indeed horsey manure o'de' smell! The horses were turned out up by the house which intrigued me as there were acres (at least 10) of prime pasture land. So why up by the house I wanted to know.
Flood plain. Flood what I asked? Corps of Army Engineers came down and dug out so when the river which is right behind the house (hidden by a slope so you don't see it), when it overflows its banks, the water comes down into those nice grassy lower pastures and floods for about 8 weeks in the spring! The house and the ones on the road don't get flooded because of this engineering marvel which happens to be in (if I bought the place) ones own backyard. For joy instant boating. I don't think so. Anyway the floods had only subsided a month ago, the grasses were coming in and they were keeping the horses off it until established, and the horses come up near the house when it floods. So there you go Mr. O'Sullivan (not that I'd have horses, but flood waters in the backyard?).
We took a walk to see this river and oh my goodness me, but it is a huge belt of water and rapid and I thought me kiddos would not be safe if they took a tumble down the steep embankment. I was told I could build a dock and put a boat down there. How was one to get down there to build anything I wanted to know. The Realtor's bright idea was to get slabs of stone and pound them in like stairs into the steep slope. Can you see me doing that and trying to get wood down the stone stairs to build a dock? Me either. And the rushing water would not allow one to build a dock so just what the feck? But while we were there, on the other side of the river were these rather sketchy looking characters walking along and I asked about that. Seems there is a nature trail across the way. And at close observation of these three "nature lovers" I spied what looked like cannabis ciggies. Oh wonderful NOT. This sighting prompted the wife to ask about the crime rate and home invasions. We were reassured this "probably" was a safe area but the Realtor would look it up when he was back at office. Yes indeed the drug trade in one's backyard!
I also asked what was on the other side of the hill where the 'nature lovers' were and was told -- trees. In fact, as we later drove over that way, there is a strip mall and a busy highway which was somewhat buffered by the hill on the other side of the river with a belt of trees inbetween. I thought I heard traffic but couldn't understand where the sound was coming from. Well . . .
So as we came back through the "flood plain" up toward the very lovely screened in porch we passed by six whitish stone objects protruding out of the ground. I saw them from the corner of me eye and thought Halloween had come early, or the owners never put the decorations away. But me wife was more observant and actually turned and looked hard at the "decorations." Seems not decorations at all but the real thing, headstones. Yes, the headstones come with the house as the original owners are buried there, yes R. Linda, right in the backyard where if you were enjoying the first of many martinis you would be looking down on their headstones, wondering WHY. For joy! NOT.
"Could they be removed?" I wanted to know and was told, ha ha no they are grandfathered on the property and are a permanent fixture or fixtures to the place. Halloween year round, just your sort of thing I suppose, but not mine.
As I was contemplating this, there was a buzzing like large saws heard in the background and then grinding noises like a machine eating up tree trunks. I asked about that and was told OH a neighbour down the road was clearing for a pasture. In fact it was (I later found out) not a neighbour but a housing developer clearing to build a development (a large one which means lots of traffic). When I later told the Realtor this, he said he didn't really glance down that way, but maybe. Maybe? No maybe about it. I looked the plans up online and at least 20 homes going in. So we would be subject to the noise of construction for as long as it took to build those 20 new homes.
How would that be, here we'd be in our antique Victorian looking out on a flood in the backyard, and new cookie cutter housing from our side window with across the street a quaint but run down cape and on the other side what looked like muddy, rocky cleared land. And what do you supposed will be going there? Aha! I looked that up too, condos! So the quiet small town housing I was looking for was going to be smack in the middle of a boom town.
And the worst part of this whole scenario was that two days later I get a call from Mr. Realtor telling me that someone else was interested in the property and I should quickly put a bid on it. I thanked him very much and told him no, I was not interested. I must say that every single property of the 43 had someone bidding, or about to bid, or interested ready to pounce if I didn't pounce first. I have observed in passing no one seems to be looking at homes but me and Tonya. NO ONE. So I be getting very annoyed with this hurry up and buy this house or that house. Not gonna happen.
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