02 April 2007

HouseHunt '07: Home At Last

GunnMansion 3.0: The Cottage of Industry. It's gonna take
some tough love, brow sweat and hammer blows, but she'll be the
most ossum cottage in the shire when we're done with her.


We did it. We made an offer on a house and it got accepted. This was owing in no small part to the efforts of our agent, President-Award-Winning John L. Scott realtor Gloria Lee who put the seller's agent in a headlock and rapped her soundly on the snout until she acquiesced. (Figuratively. Not the "acquiesce" part, the snout part. -Ed.) But more on that later.

So yes, we are 30-some scant days away from posession of a 2BR, 1BA 1930s cottage with a 1BR, 3/4BA legal mother-in-law apartment. And - oh yeah - arched doorways. Picture molding. Coved ceilings. SWEET. And - dig this - a climbing wall in the detached garage! DOPE! (Stop it with the 90s-era hip-hop slang. It does not suit your Urban Bur-Zhwa-Zo-Honk lifestyle. -Ed.) The lady who lives there currently is a mountaineer, so she built a full-on-Kevin's-mom climbing wall, and yes, it can take my weight. I leapt upon it the moment I saw it, bringing the full force of 220 pounds of Scottish love to bear on its frame and it did not protest.

Oh oh oh! Wait! And check this out. She has a full free weight set with dumbbells, a bench and everything, plus a speed bag and a heavy bag. These will be ideal items for relieving the stresses of first time home ownership if I can talk her into either leaving them behind or leaving them behind for money. But yeah, if I can get all the workout equipment too, I'll be a SUPERHERO! The yard will go to hell because I'll be down in the basement every day feeding the pythons, baby!

And speaking of yard, it's hooge! The house is on an 8,800 square foot lot, which in Missouri terms is "cozy" or "a window garden" but in urban Seattle terms is "freaking vast, yo". (Again with the slang. -Ed.) 'Nother thing about the lady who lives there currently: she does landscaping, so she got in the habit of bringing home orphaned plants and plugging them into the ground. Therefore we have three apple trees, three or four lilac bushes, raspberries, blackberries, bamboo, rhubarb, bluebells, rhododendrons - I mean it's like we have some kind of Audobon collection going on back there. Plus we have a gi-normous cedar tree. (Sacred to Buddhists! Big plus! -Ed.) The downside is that the yard, while rife with flora, is undisciplined and looks like exactly what it is - a place where somebody randomly took orphaned plants and plugged them into the ground.

We'll get around to taming the yard eventually. Our first priority, though, is the house. Since the plumbing and wiring are new, the only work we need to do is cosmetic. And I just want to make it clear that we're going to be restoring, not remodeling. Thank the carpenter Jesus that in 70 years nobody came along and screwed up the kitchen or the bathroom in the name of remodeling. They're both still structurally the same as they were when the place was built. And the kitchen still has the original sink and cabinets. Someone did, however, come along and put recessed light cans in the kitchen (why, Jesus, why?). I will be plugging them right the hell up forthwith and restoring the original central and sidewall fixtures - plus cheating a little by installing under-cabinet lighting.

However the first order of business is to throw some new linoleum, carpet and paint into the mother-in-law so we have a decent place to live while the chaos of restoration reigns on the main floor. Teresa and I know you're handy with the tools and stuff, so don't be surprised if you get offered an all-expense-paid "vacation" to Seattle some time this summer. Snicker. Grin.

Oh wait, I was going to say something about the headlock thing. You'll appreciate this since you're in real estate. Yeah, so the house had been on the market three days and we were the only ones who submitted an offer. The owners had planned an open house for last Sunday, but our offer was set to expire on Saturday at dusk. It was a full-price offer with an inspection contingency and a pretty handsome chunk of earnest money, so it wasn't bad. But the seller's agent tried to tell Gloria that maybe if we offered more money, they'd just accept our offer right then and there. But Gloria said NO YOU DIH-INT! NUH-UH GIRL-FREEE-IIND! Knuckles were bared. Claws were unsheathed. Hair flew. Caps were forcefully placed - "popped" as it were - in asses. Forsooth, the seller's agent soon saw the error of her ways, and mutual acceptance ensued.

The inspection is this morning. Keep your fingers crossed for us.