March 15, 2004

A Place To Call Home

My mind keeps coming back to this one house. I toured it a couple of weeks ago with Melissa and the father of a friend of mine, Mike, who tells me straight up what he thinks, so he's invaluable both as a wise voice when it comes to house hunting, and a strong will who can keep the sales-hungry realtors at bay. As it turned out, the realtor I chose, Debbie, is really great and isn't pushy in the least, and she's a total freakin' babe (trust me, the picture doesn't do her justice).

I bid on the house a couple weeks ago, but I was outbid by, like, $6,000, so I had pretty much given up on it. But, the people who outbid me ended up balking for piddly little reasons that I can barely believe, so the house is still on the market, and Debbie believes I can still get it for about $125,000. It's a steal, really, and yet I find myself wavering. The unknowns of home-ownership keep me unsteady, and following the nerve-wracking bid process from a couple weeks ago, I'm loathe to go through it all again.

But, I can't escape the feeling that the house is a absolute gold mine just waiting for a lucky soul to snap it up. It's huge, for one thing, with over 2,500 square feet of space, which would make my meager worldly goods seem absolutely paltry when the enormity of the space swallows them whole.

All the big ticket maintenance items have been taken care of: news windows, new roof, fairly new furnace. I wouldn't have to sink gobs of cash into the home once I bought it, which is a huge bonus.

Cosmetically, the house is a nightmare. Built in 1958, its decor hasn't aged a day. The woman who lived there since the house was built, was a meticulous house-keeper, so it's like a time-warp back to 1958 every time I set foot inside. Thick green carpet and thick green drapes are the first things you see in a gigantic living room. And that carpet, I tell you, was put down not a day after 1959. But, that carpet hides a secret: gleaming-as-they-day-they-were-tacked-into-place hardwood floors. All the upstairs rooms, through covered in frighteningly dated carpet, hide hardwood floors just screaming to be set free. Then there's the paint. There's a pink bedroom, and when I say pink, I mean PINK. Pink carpet, pink walls, AND a pink ceiling. It's like walking into a swirl of cotton candy. The kitchen is small and sports appliances that were no doubt state of the art in 1958, right down to the push button range that looks like a command console used by Capt. Kirk.

There also a porch, bigger than any porch I've ever seen, and it has more potential than should probably be legal. The basement is largely unfinished and features a maze-like hodge podge of half-completed projects, including an attempt at a family room that looks like the gathering place of a witches coven, complete with ancient gas fireplace adorned with a coat-of-arms and wall sconces that look the lighting of choice for the Crypt Keeper. But, again, the basement is huge and is just screaming to be remodeled and updated. And it's all cosmetic and not nearly time-critical.

Mike assures me I won't find another home for this price with all the big ticket items already taken care of, and of course Melissa is mentally already moved in and is scoping out paint swatches for every room in the house, and I have to admit I've taken quite a shine to the abode.

Now it's just a matter of getting past this allergic reaction I have to spending large sums of money and going into debt, and I just don't know if I can get past that, at least not yet. So, I toggle between wanting to call Debbie and set up a bid appointment and just swearing off home ownership completely and cowering in a corner to weep.

This just sucks. It's exciting, but it sucks.

Posted by Ryan at March 15, 2004 11:49 AM
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