27 March 2007

HouseHunt '07: The Real Estate Lexicon

I'd love you if I weren't so goddamn jaded. At this point, I'm not so much
concerned about getting my offer on this place accepted as I am interested in
being done looking for houses.

The backyard. Why do they call it "beauty bark" if it is neither bark nor beautiful?


So the house hunt is going. Just going. Not "going well" or "going poorly". Simply going, as in it is a force of nature that I can not stop. The good news is that I've become better at weeding out the "crap shacks" as my agent Gloria calls them...that is before I make her drive all over hell and gone looking at them.

"Don't go south," she tells me. "Go north. I'm not going to let you go south any more. Too many crap shacks." So I said fine, I'll stop looking in the Honkie Hollows trailer park even if that's the only thing in my price range. Speaking of which, we've effectively raised our ceiling by $50k over where we started. And yeah, we put an offer down on another place, this one in West Seattle. It seems decent and it is, for all intents and purposes, completely brand new even though it was originally built in 1928. It was a 2BR, 1BA Craftsman bungalow once upon a time. Then somebody raised and leveled it so they could make the basement a mother-in-law apartment, and did a studs-out remodel of the whole place. John did a thorough inspection on it and didn't find anything that would stop a person from buying it. The only drawbacks I can find are that there is no formal dining room and no garage (it was in the basement and became the mother-in-law).

But still, even though this place is kinda sweet, we've decided that if they don't take our offer (there are currently six other competing offers), there are probably other houses in the world that someone will sell us. We've gotten over that whole "attachment" thing.

The thing we haven't gotten over is the sheer magnitude of the falsity, gall, and outright blasphemy present in some of the listings we've read. What do they do to listing agents, I wonder - send them to Republican Spin School? I mean c'mon, nothing that is 6' by 8' is a bedroom. It's a cell. And water cascading down the basement wall really is a problem, regardless of how much the owners say it's not. I swear to Jehovah's Curly Beard, this one place we looked at had so much water in it we were expecting Baby Moses to float by. Yes folks, it's only "not a problem" if you have gills. I mean if you're gonna be that obtuse, at least be inventive while you're at it. Tell people the place comes with an "double-secret underground submarine port".

So Teresa and I, after much study and increased bile flow, have come up with our own Real Estate Lexicon that translates Realtor-ese into English. I have published it below for your edification. Oh, and if the offer we've submitted gets accepted, you'll know. Believe me, you will know.


Weasel-to-English translation

Cozy: cramped
Charmer: shithole
Fixer: tear-down
Artist's Studio: can't get the smell of weed and patchouli out of the walls for love or money
Up-and-Coming Neighborhood: fewer meth labs and crackhouses on the block than last year
Priced To Sell: did not pass inspection and never will
Motivated Seller: going to prison for tax fraud
3BR 1BA: 1 bedroom, 2 closets, and half a toilet
Craftsman: it's old and we wanted to justify jacking the price up by $50k
Daylight Rambler: former bowling alley that has several holes in the roof
Completely Refurbished: completely ruined by some jackass with a Home Depot card
Off-Street Parking: the location that your car will be stolen from
Fenced Yard: we didn't say "all the way around"
Mature Trees: dead elms

Shy Quarter Acre: huge if you're from Lilliput
Mother-In-Law: dank basement crypt for storing relatives; see also "toilet included in garage"
Hardwoods: fiber board with 38 coats of shellack
Near Public Transpo: Metro bus parked in the yard
New Construction: spackle was too expensive so we used toothpaste
Near Shopping: ...if you're shopping for crack
Must See!: there aren't enough words in the English language to describe how much of a shithole this place is

1 comment:

Hunter Bang said...

I learned something in the joint ... other than "it hurts gettin your spokes broke". When shopping for a house in an inflated market it's not always a "can do" spirit that's required. Sometimes you need a "Con do" spirit ... as in take it illegaly, by force, or move to a (you know the song) "deluxe apartment in the sky" that you own. GET IT!!! Con Do - Condo!!! Good lord I'm punny. Punny like a fox!!!