Today after work I spent 2 and a half hours riding around town behind a realtor looking at houses. I realize I’m full of contradictions. I spent an entire post complaining about buying a washing machine and here I am looking at houses. Just like I wrote about how West Virginia isn’t as trashy as it’s cracked up to be, and every day I see something that makes me question that. But here’s the thing, I already pay rent every month, and a mortgage is kind of like rent except instead of sending all my money away forever in an envelope, I get to own that much more of a house and hopefully get most of that money back when I sell it. Now that I’ve convinced you, I’ll say that I’m not desperate to buy something immediately, I just want to see what’s out there and then happen upon a beautiful newly remodeled little house in a nice neighborhood at an obscenely low price. And I thought it would be fun to look at houses.
Today I found out that house hunting is not like it is on HGTV. Where were all the wacky designers and sassy appraisers? Not one of the houses was even staged! The first house we went to was, um, recently vacated, and it didn’t look like it was vacated on good terms. There was trash still in the lawn, and when the front door opened I was knocked back with a stench of cat that made me gag. I also have low tolerance for cat smell. I refused to go past the porch. We went to a house that was being shown to a man by another realtor at the same time, and when she saw me she suggested that this strange man and I move in together, because here we were both looking at the same house! The next house was a bit cleaner, but it had kind of dingy carpet and flowery wallpaper everywhere. The living room had a ceiling fan that was so low it would have chopped my head off had it been sheathed in razor, and there was a wheelchair lift up to the front porch. I insisted on making sure the wheelchair lift worked, then told the realtor it was a deal breaker. Then we went to a house that was still occupied, although not at the moment. When I told the realtor I couldn’t get past all the old lady pictures, puffy lace curtains, and pink walls, she fought back annoyance and patiently told me that I need to learn to look past all of that because not all the houses we look at are going to be empty. It just feels weird going into people’s houses with all their stuff still in it. And then my stepmom, who was with me, started really going through this old lady’s stuff and it made even more uncomfortable. I don’t mind having to do work on a house, that’s part of the fun, but to start what I’m sure will grow to be a really long list of things I can’t get past in a house, I don’t want flowery wallpaper, wheelchair lifts, old lady vibe or cat smell. Note to realtors: I am probably a waste of your time.