Tuesday, June 28, 2011

That Was Fast

We had a showing today.

I need to back up a little though.  About a week or so ago we had a showing, it was a realtor previewing houses for a client.  I thought it was kind of funny that a realtor was previewing houses that cost in the $130s, that just wouldn't happen back in the day but I guess now you do what you have to do.

I was here when the realtor arrived to preview the house.  I didn't mean to be but I couldn't get the car that day.  I was going to leave with Fox, the escape artist cat, and wait in the park but she showed up before I was ready and then told me I could stay.

She told me she really liked the house and asked me if all the fixtures came with the house like light fixtures and so forth and I said yes and then she asked me about the neighborhood.  This is the kiss of death question.  If you have to ask about this neighborhood you don't want to live here.  I live downtown in the historic district.  The further out you go the more hood-like the neighborhood gets (for lack of a better word).  So say 2nd street is very desirable (and expensive!) and 12th street is sketchy.  We're on the verge of sketchy and desirable on 8th street.  The fact is when we got the houses one of the things we both wanted was to improve the neighborhood.  The big house was also on 8th street but over 4 blocks or so and the street itself was doing awesome at the time loads of homes being improved.  We may have picked a little too far over but we were also expecting to have our listing price reflect that.  We're in a spot with houses only on one side, the park is across the street.  So if we bought 2 houses out of the six houses on the block that's pretty good.  We can really make an impact.  And really 2 of the other houses were fixed up, one before we bought and one just recently but only slightly improved.  There's a vacant house and a house lived in by a neighbor and her son who needs her own post.  The folks who own the vacant house came over while we were renovating and asked loads of questions.  He told me he would wait to see how we did on these houses before he did any renovations to his.  Since we still own both houses I guess it was clear to him not to make any changes so there his house sits.  I guess I thought maybe our renovations would do more and maybe they would if the housing market didn't drop out but still for the most part some people are nervous to live here.  Basically if you have to ask you aren't the right person to live here.  And hey, that's okay. 

Downtown living takes a special kind of person.  On the upside we can walk 3 blocks to breakfast at a local place.  We are three blocks from the "antique" district (antique and thrift stores abound).  My husband can walk to work.  We can see downtown 4th of July fireworks from our backyard.  And there's something to be said to live in a neighborhood where you are the outsider, you are the minority.  It's so different and I feel like it adds to my life, makes me think about life more and self reflection, more than a neat little suburb where everyone looks and acts like me.

So anyway when she asked the question I knew what it meant.  I said the neighborhood was fine and I never had any trouble.  Later when I talked to Brian, my husband, about it, I told him I wished I put a positive spin on it rather than a negative spin, "we've never had any trouble" makes it sound like trouble was a possibility but I just wish I said it was a great neighborhood and we really like being downtown.

So she complimented me again on the house and left.  Later I heard we were not on her list because the house was overpriced.  I hate this comment.  You know coming to look at the house what size it is, where it is, and how much it's priced for.  If it was overpriced (which I'm not denying) why come look at it at all?  I think she didn't want to remark sketchy neighborhood so she choose another reason.

In any case, another day of cleaning the house down the toilet for no reason.  Then yesterday the showing people called and she scheduled for today at 2:30.  Around lunchtime they called and pushed it to 3:30.  I was leaving the house early at 2:45 when she showed up, luckily Fox was in the car and I was backing up already.  I went around the block and parked in the parking lot in the park where I could see her minivan.  They were in the house for less than 5 minutes.  I cleaned for two days for less than 5 minutes of showing time.  Ah, what can you do.  I came home, dropped Fox off, changed into a swimsuit and went over to my mom's pool for the afternoon.  Showings depress me, I get anxious and then after the showing I release all that angst to depression.  But I feel better now.

Monday, June 27, 2011


I don't even know how to begin a house blog.  I feel like I've already lost 75 pounds and I'm starting a weight loss blog.  The thing about your home, that is if you love decorating it, it's never really done.  But don't tell my husband that.  Tastes evolve, cats break things, even just wanting to look at something new.  And sometimes even when you've lived somewhere a long time you realize the house would be better if...

Really I think I started this blog and gave it this name just for the day when we move I can say "We're UPROOTING!!"  Ha, ha, no, the truth is, I wanted a place to jot home ideas and projects, purchases and lessons, as a fun place for me to go, because when it comes down to it, my passion is decorating my home and watching it evolve.  Some people are really good at expressing themselves through words or work accomplishments or their personal style, for me, I think, I express myself through my home.

We've lived here for a little over three years.  We didn't choose this home to live in.  We lived about 4 blocks away in a very large historic home.  We bought this house and the one next door, affectionately known as the "blue house," we live in the "yellow house," as investment properties.  I, along with a handy man and some other great helpers, were going to come in and fix this house and the blue house up and sell them.  At the time it was all the rage but as you probably know the housing market burst or fell and we had to sell the big house because it had equity and move into this one.  Both this house and the blue house have been on the market ever since off and on, currently the yellow house is on the market but not the blue house because it was easier to rent that way. They haven't sold yet, obviously, and I don't expect the yellow house to anytime soon but I like to write about any house showings and sometimes I'll share a comp house (a house that is similar to our house in neighborhood and size and would potentially sell for around the same price).  And then one day I'll be able to come here and post, "We're UPROOTING!!" which basically will mean we'll move in the blue house and I'll knock down my first wall, the wall separating the kitchen and dining room and it will be awesome!  Sorry, I have a little bit of renovation withdrawal.

So what could possibly be happening in a house that I've lived in for 3 years with my husband and four, yes, four, cats?  We'll tons of things.  I just changed out the quilt on the master bed, I saw a photo in BH&G of patio string lights that they spray painted aqua and I just bought the same set from Target and if it's ever less than 100 degrees outside (only slightly exaggerating) I'm going to copy it.  Also I have a wicker porch swing on the back porch that's been rotting away for about 3 years now and I'm going to replace it with a DIY daybed (I'm going to get the handy man to make it for me) and I'll order a piece of foam and cover it with fabric, fabric I've already been researching and soon will be sharing here.  We have a vacation in mid-July.  And in August we're hoping to put in a deck in the back yard.  So really loads of things to share.  And since we're both new here, I think weekly, that's my plan, I'm going to share a room in my house to get the blog caught up.

So, stay tuned.