Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Buying a House = Complicated

I don't know where this month is going. I expected it to be a pretty quiet one and foolishly thought that my job was going to be peaceful and simple.

It was not.

It was a jealous mistress. NOT THAT I KNOW WHAT THAT IS, CATHIE.

And what's more, as it turns out, buying a house is the most complicated transaction in which one can engage. Having never done this before, I have been surprised to discover that exactly eleventy trillion things can go wrong with a house.

You guys. I'm not kidding. I had an inspection company come through and look at every piece of dust in the entire property and give me disconcerting assessments about exactly how many seconds I probably have before any given thing explodes and takes out half the neighborhood.


The report the inspection company printed out for me was the length of a Harry Potter book. And at first I was all excited because QUIDDITCH but then I opened it up and it was just a bunch of gibberish that I think basically said, "if you sneeze while standing near this window, the back of the house will collapse on grandma." Which, now that I think about it, that does sound like something that could have been in Harry Potter.

Maybe I should go read the report again and see if there are any hints in there about Dumbledore's sexual orientation.

I guess I didn't really need to read the report because someone named Mike or Eric or Bartholomew or something walked me through the whole house and pointed at things, using words that I had never heard of. I just nodded and tried to laugh super hard whenever I thought his intonation indicated that he was trying to make a joke. Because I wanted him to be my friend. Fortunately, Jess came with me and asked him a thousand questions on my behalf, which made me feel a lot more responsible.

I have been freaked out throughout the inspection period because everything is a potential disaster and everything costs an absurd amount of money to fix. The lowest price for repairs on a home is your virtue. And it only goes up from there.

NOT THAT ANYTHING IS WORTH MORE THAN MY VIRTUE, CATHIE.

Did you know that sewer lines cost infinity dollars to replace? I'm not kidding. I got a bid for repairs to a sewer line and they just wrote the eternity symbol down on a piece of paper and handed it back to me.

And while all of this inspection and prediction about how long it will be before my home is considered a nuclear grade weapon, here I am, little old me, hoping and praying that somehow all billion things that need to happen for this purchase to go through will somehow happen.

HOW ON EARTH DO BILLIONAIRES HANDLE THE STRESS OF BUYING ENTIRE ISLANDS?!

Also, the lender calls me every 12 seconds, day and night, demanding that I write letters to explain the reasons for every single haircut I've ever had in my entire life. AS IF THE 1997 THROUGH 2010 BOWL CUT CAN BE EXPLAINED. He assures me that the documents he's requesting are necessary for loan approval, but it all seems a bit too much for me.

BACK IN MY DAY, you walked into a bank, shook a man's hand, and he gave you hundreds of thousands of dollars on your word alone.

The house I'm attempting to purchase is old. It was built in 1929. (This is pretty old for Salt Lake City, where the oldest homes date back to the mid-nineteenth century). Naturally I'm already assuming that anywhere from five to thirty people have died in this house over the course of its nine-decade life. Which means that it is FOR SURE haunted.

But there are some downsides to purchasing an older home, too.

For example, it seems that back at that time all basements existed merely for punishment purposes. So the ceiling is like two feet from the floor. Also, there are some odd floor plan issues. Take, for example, one corner of the house where a bedroom is only accessible through another bedroom.

This, however, is not nearly as freaky as one 19th century home we looked at last month. Among other things, there was the most horrifying feature on the second floor. We were in one of the bedrooms, looking into the closet, when my realtor, Megan, noticed a small door at the very back. We opened it and saw that it went into a crawl space of sorts.

Against our better judgment, we went through it and moments later discovered that it opened up into a very sizable bedroom that we did not know existed and had no windows. That bedroom had it's own closet, which had another small door that opened into a smaller room where we found what appeared to be a treasure chest, lined on the inside with newspapers from over 100 years ago.

If this home is not featured in every horror film for the next five years WELL THEN I GUESS THIS ISN'T EVEN AMERICA ANYMORE.

I like the old houses and strange floor plans because I feel like they fit me. And sure, I could wander into the suburbs and find something one hundred years newer and two times bigger, but where's the fun in that? Plus, families live in the suburbs. DO I LOOK LIKE A FAMILY TO YOU? Twice up the barrel, once down the side.

So, the fingers are crossed that this Thanksgiving I can be grateful for an old home that isn't exploding and is probably haunted. Updates to come.

~It Just Gets Stranger

18 comments:

  1. Congratulations all the same Eli, it's a very bold step you are taking

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  2. Oh I TOTALLY would've gone for the house with the hidden closet room!!!! It'd be like a secret passage so even MORE like Harry Potter!!!!

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  3. You can do this Eli!

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  4. I really wish you took pictures of that secret room. It reminds me of this terrifying movie I saw, The Pact. So, so frightening. If you haven't seen it and have a desire to shriek like a girl, go right ahead. I'll be hiding under a bed. In a non-secret room. With lots of windows. And lights.

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  5. Just be sure you can handle an old home. Lots of work, especially if they end up having asbestos which can be very costly to have removed. Just make sure it's a strong sturdy house and that the frame and foundation are good. Buying an old house isn't bad if you can find one that's sturdy. I've seen a lot of newer homes that are terribly built, so buying new isn't necessarily a safe bet either.

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  6. Yes, this is an accurate description of buying a home.

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  7. Once you own an old haunted house and decide to paint every room 4 times because you don't like the color anymore, and want (someone else) to explore the haunted crawlspace, or want to do any miserable project, you will learn who your real friends are. And as I know your friends… I'll just tell you right now MALLORY PLATT will be your best friend. Anna and Isabelle might still be good friends, if they're not sick of old houses yet. :)

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  8. That house with the Secret room sounds fantastic. I always wanted a house with a hidden passageway and rooms. Only question is how would one get furniture and stuff into the hidden room when the only way in is through the closet?

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    1. Mind power. Or a crew of midgets that can build it in the room. Or blow up furniture. Or you sleep on a Smurf's sleeping bag.

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  9. Can you tell us where the house with the secret room is so that we can pretend to be interested buyers and go explore it?

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  10. YOU CAN HAVE GHOST BEST FRIENDS!?!?!?!?!?!? Just think of all the possibilities. Especially if they're ghosts that can hold stuff. They could do your laundry.... YOUR LAUNDRY!!!

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  11. One word... Polygamy. Polygamy was practiced long after it was legal which led to lots of hidden rooms built for the men to evade the capture of the US Marshals.

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    1. I think I meant long after it was illegal. But I'm not the lawyer here

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  12. You are growing up so fast *tear rolls down smiling face* we are all so proud of you! Congratulations Eli! I hope the new home that you get is everything you ever wanted. :)

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  13. I would be so scared to sell a house to a lawyer... unless it was Eli.

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  14. And this is why I will never buy a house. And laziness.

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  15. Ok I'm just catching up on your life after a hiatus because I also just bought a house and even though we are both now out of the woods I am still finding it such a relief that it was just as torturous for you as it was for me. I'm not sure I should find this comforting, but I do.

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