Homebuilders on Crack

One of the best things about looking for a house to buy is the fact that we get to walk through other people’s houses. I’m a voyeur like that, in that I like to look in people’s windows as we drive around in the evening. Not because I want to see them naked (most people are not good looking clothed, much less naked, and besides, looking at naked people is easier on teh Internet, which is why it was invented).

Over the past few weeks, we have walked through around 10 different houses. They have ranged from empty but nice enough to “HOLY GOD, what the hell is this?”

The layouts are the most problematic, since I can always paint. Some houses are intelligently laid out, like the two split-levels that we wanted to make and offer for. The first one had already accepted an offer and the second one was offended by our lowball offer so much (so it would seem), that their realtor told ours “It’s obvious your clients can’t afford this house.”

Whatever, jackass.

But for the most part, the houses are put together in some logical fashion, except the one, which had a full bathroom off the living room (?), and the one where you have to walk through a bedroom to get to the Danger Stairs (steep!), and the one we saw today that had three bedrooms and one bathroom. Which was off of the kitchen.


So you’d have to go through the kitchen, through the living room, and then up the stairs? What if you’re having company? Yikes. Plus, the only way to get to the back yard was through the neighbor’s driveway (past their turquiose El Camino, yikes).

The second house we saw today seems like it might be a good fit. We will spend this evening discussing it and the possibilities, then we’ll probably put an offer in tomorrow, if possible. It’s a cute house, right around the block from the one that we “couldn’t afford” and it’s really really cute.

Lots of possibilites, while still being livable. We saw a few houses that had possibilities, but we couldn’t have lived there in their current state. Like the one with NO cupboards in the kitchen. Where would I put all my gadgets? That one was haunted anyway, but that doesn’t bother me. Lack of counter space DOES.

Today’s house has a brand-new kitchen. It’s really sexy, with nice granite work surfaces, new cabinets, and a new double-oven range. Sweet. I could really get my chef on in there. The bedrooms are on the small side, but looking at possibilities, you could bash out the wall in the master bedroom and make it into something really special. It is a VERY cute house.

The challenge now will be to get Mr. Negative to see the house as it COULD be and to get over the small bedroom situation (like we spend that much time in there anyway). He needs to see what can be so he can get over what IS.

Part of his problem is that he is spoiled from living in this townhouse. Our kitchen is HUGE. Our bedroom is ridiculously huge. Much too big, in fact. Plus an en suite bathroom? That’s crazy. For the amount we’re willing to pay for a house, there is NO WAY we’re going to get the kind of space we have here. Sure, the overall square footage might be more, but the layout is going to eat up a lot of it.

So I have to gently steer him away from “it’s smaaaaaallllll” to “oooh, we could add on by a third!”

We shall see.


Filed under Real Estate

2 Responses to Homebuilders on Crack

  1. Oz

    When we were house hunting, we went through one place where the people had added a loft above their living room. The loft was so small than only short people, like me, could stand up in any part of it, and then only the very middle, under the peak of the roof. A metal spiral staircase stuck smack dab in the living room lead up to the loft, and there was a rotating ceiling fan that, if on, could easily have snagged the finger of anyone climbing up the staircase in to the loft. So, unusuable and dangerous, yet the real estate agent kept trying to sell all that extra space for a kid’s room. Crazies.

  2. rachel

    We saw a house exactly like that – spiral staircase and all but they were trying to sell the “upstairs” as a Master Suite. There was no way in hell my king-sized bed was making it up that spiral staircase (and how, pray tell, does a DRUNK PERSON go up a spiral staircase? They don’t, is the answer). Nor would my dresser get up there. It was SO odd.

    That was one of those situations where the photos and the listing looked promising, but when we got there, it was WTF all the way.