Adventures in Real Estate

One of my goals for this year was to buy a house, but I did not complete that goal. We were under contract in October, but the inspection report was pretty bad. The crawl space needed about $21,000 worth of repairs. So our one-bedroom apartment began to look like a wonderful paradise, and I fully appreciated how easy it was to maintain and how kind the landlord is (and sometimes, they give away free food!). And the brightest side of all? Only 600-something square feet to clean! In the home-buying process, I grew quite cynical upon reading real estate listings and going to what seemed like three million showings. So here is my interpretation of the real estate language:

Location, location, location: There will be 12 offers on this house before you even get to see it.
Priced to sell: Consider running away.
As is: Run away.
Handyman special: Run far, far away.
Lots of potential: Run far, far away screaming.
Won’t last long: Will end up sitting on the market for two weeks.
Adorable: Only 1,000 square feet. You can rent an apartment bigger than this.
Charming: Looks like granny’s house… and smells like it too.
Cozy: Two bedrooms and/or less than 1,000 square feet.
Close proximity to the nearest highway: You will never sleep again. Sirens will become your lullaby.
Country living: You need to drive 30 minutes to reach civilization.
Easy access to downtown: Purchase a home security system now. Just sayin’.
New HVAC, new roof: Congratulations! You just put off fixing “the big stuff” for another few years!
Motivated seller: The next time you blink, this house will be off the market.
Bring your ideas: The house hasn’t been updated since the 1980s.
Only one owner: No maintenance has been done for the past 12 years.
Hard-to-find ranch: What? Practically every house in North Carolina is a ranch.
Hardwood and laminate floors throughout: BUY ME NOW! (Seriously, I hate carpet.)
No HOA: You can paint your house purple and have a pet giraffe!
Low HOA: Nobody is coming to power wash your house for the next 10 years.
Split-bedroom plan: Send the kids to the other end of the house when you’re getting fed up!
Double sinks: Send your spouse to the other end of the counter when you’re getting fed up!
Low-maintenance living: You will be paying through the nose in HOA dues.
Multiple offers; highest and best due tomorrow: Better hope your offer was better than that Chinese investor’s…
This CITY #-story home offers a FEATURE, FEATURE, and FEATURE: The seller is Opendoor. Show up anytime and wave to the cameras!

I still plan to buy a house, probably at the end of 2020. Wish me luck, because this is still largely a seller’s market and will most likely remain so.

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