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Be vewwy qwiet, I'm hunting houses

I had no idea that untamed hallucinogenic drug use had permeated this far into the greater Los Angeles area. It's the only explanation for the house we saw today. Now, mirrors on the wall aren't my favorite thing and gold leaf mirrors on the wall haven't been my favorite thing since 1968 but gold leaf mirrors on the wall accented with tree bark-mounted plywood? I don't think that has ever been anyone's favorite thing. That was someone's den. And then there was the faux-stonework on the fireplace surrounded by the tree bark mounted plywood. The whole effect was somewhat like the Caveman Room at the Madonna Inn only this was really, really exceptionally badly done. When I pointed out all of this, the big holes in the wall (it was a foreclosure) and the lack of kitchen cabinets of any kind (again, it was a foreclosure), our poor long-suffering real estate guy pointed out the backdoor and said, "But just look at that pool!" They wanted $140,000 for this thing. In Lancaster, that's a lot of money for a house. We passed.

Oh, I forgot the house with the "gill" windows -- so the house "could breathe". We got the metaphor but not the house. Then there was the big stone decorated house -- they were all in these fanciful rows and the result was straight out of a Flintstones ride at Universal Studios ... if they had one. We passed on it, too.

One of the houses, we didn't even get out of the car to look at. Someone had hurled a camper's shovel through a bottom floor window. It was hanging, half in and half out. We decided it was an ill omen. But still -- "just look at that pool!"

The 70s have been revealed to me to be the decade of awful pea green carpeting. The 80s carpet styling seem to lean toward either deep brown shag or icy blue shiny crap (I think I had hot pants in the early 70s with that fabric). And I have today seen purple wallpaper. Purple. Wallpaper. It had a black glitter border. In certain circumstances, I might like that look and would even claim it as an office. But not in this instance. Just ... not.

And oh, we do not live in Hawaii -- I wanted to get up on the roof and scream it at the neighbors. Half the houses with pools we saw had a Hawaiian/Tahitian motif to the yard. Not everyone has a luau every weekend. Hawaii has been one of the nifty fifty for fifty frickin' years people. Get over it.

We have now decided against a house with a pool. We're going to buy a house without one (a 2006ish house with 1700 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and no bark, plywood, or icy blue shiny crap goes for around $125,000 right now). Then we'll build our own damned pool.

I'm preparing a list of real estate terms and their real world translations for use by anyone of our fellow house hunters. I'll post it in a couple of days. You've been warned.

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
seren_ccd
Mar. 16th, 2009 09:06 am (UTC)
I'm sorry? 'Gill' windows? So the house breathes? The image that popped into my head is decidedly William Burroughs ala Naked Lunch-esque. And it isn't pretty.

Wow. House hunting sounds extremely treacherous. I hope you find something you like!
melodyclark
Mar. 16th, 2009 12:21 pm (UTC)
Thanks, we hope so, too. lol I haven't shopped for houses in 25 years. I'd forgotten how awful the choices can be. I don't remember them being this bad though back then.

And yeah, the guy who owned it explained that the windows were built like that so the "house" could "breathe". I'm sure he meant well in terms of energy usage and it may well have looked like a good idea on paper but in application, not so much.
carose59
Mar. 16th, 2009 11:06 am (UTC)
Neighbors; I have an announcement for you. I have never seen such a collection of dirty windows. Now I want to see you all out there on your fire-escapes with your "Mr. Clean" bottles, and let's snap it up--
melodyclark
Mar. 16th, 2009 12:18 pm (UTC)
Sorry, but after you've seen ten houses straight with incredibly shabby Hawaiian cabanas that looked great fifty years ago, it drives one to sermons on the mount.
adaveen
Mar. 16th, 2009 11:11 am (UTC)
Hmm... be cautious of the whole "we'll build a pool" idea. You never do, and even if you do get around to it - it'll cost you $45K and only give you 10K on your resale value.

On the other hand, if I'm insane enough to talk about "resale" value right now, you probaly shouldn't listen to me. But I have to say that I wish we'd have bought the one with the pool.
melodyclark
Mar. 16th, 2009 12:15 pm (UTC)
Yup, I'd been warned about the "you never build it" syndrome. The horrors of looking at houses with pools have pushed us to the point, though. I've heard a lot of other horror stories about people buying houses with cracked pools. I don't know which worries me more.

Maybe we'll buy one of those permanent above-grounders and build a deck around it. lol Now I know why those things exist.

And in this market, it's never "insane" to talk about resale. I have noticed, in California, the value tends to be hiked up to 25K in terms of pricing.

Edited at 2009-03-16 12:16 pm (UTC)
snowydragon1776
Mar. 16th, 2009 03:47 pm (UTC)
Purple wallpaper...O.O

And yeah that was asking a lot for that area of CA.
I know this because my parents are trying to sell their house in CA.

Good luck with the house hunting.
melodyclark
Mar. 17th, 2009 05:32 am (UTC)
They aren't by any chance selling a house with a pool in Lancaster, are they? lol
snowydragon1776
Mar. 20th, 2009 02:37 pm (UTC)
No they are selling in Thousand Oaks a big house, but no pool.
john_booth
Mar. 16th, 2009 05:11 pm (UTC)
Reminds me of the Bob Heinlein story 'And he built a crooked house'

The intro is about the crazy houses in California, Los Angeles, etc

After all these years, your house descriptions finally make sense of that intro...
melodyclark
Mar. 17th, 2009 05:33 am (UTC)
Yup, we're known for our wacky abodes. lol
catalenamara
Mar. 17th, 2009 12:06 am (UTC)
I loved working for that real estate appraiser all those years ago; I got to see all kinds of weird things and get paid for it too. I must say, I never saw anything with a camper's shovel stuck in it though...!

Go for the pool...!
melodyclark
Mar. 17th, 2009 05:35 am (UTC)
Actually, my real estate agent called earlier with four more pool homes he wants us to see (he promises no clunkers) so we'll give it one more shot before we opt for above ground with a deck or something. lol

I hope we'll find a nice house with a nice pool like you guys have but I'll settle for something with a Tahitian fringe if the rest of the house is okay.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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