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house hunting update LONG

i went out this weekend with the realtor.  dh and i are narrowing our options, and next weekend we will be going out together to look at our top options.

small wonder: the owners only bought this house two years ago, but they have outgrown it. in the meantime, they did make ALL the changes that i would hope that everyone would make: new floors, new cabinets (kitchen and bathrooms), new countertops, new appliances. these people are awesome. i want to give them the "good homeowner" award.
the issues: it is the absolute minimum in terms of sq footage, corner lot, and the yard is all front yard. i think dh will say no because it's too small.

country living: another master bedroom the size of rhode island! the two "wings" of the bedroom were connected by a giant bathroom. it also had just about the cutest kitchen i have ever seen (terrible counters and appliances older than me) -- stucco all around with exposed beams. they also had this giganto great room with a vintage wood burning stove. i started to get all lenny with it, and the realtor was all, "... i am going to look at the other rooms."
the issues: the rest of the neighborhood is becoming teardown city, so we could be "those" neighbors. the lawn goes on forever (the lot is like an acre and a half) -- i don't want to deal with that.  there is no basement ... but there is a stabbin' cabin!  for shiz, there's a full-size barn in the backyard, with the sliding doors and everything. i could see that being finished as a studio/storage/playspace.
and the majeur issue: right next to the "water reclamation plant." there's a fence topped with barbed wire and everything!  whee!

triple decker: this was a split level with three levels.  the master bedroom was on the top level, then the other bedrooms were on the second level, and then the rest of the living areas. it was huge! it looks like they put an addition on, and the living room and dining room were greatly expanded.
the issues: stupid ugly NEW laminate countertops (whotf does this?) and original 1967 cabinetry. and the entire main floor -- kitchen, living room, dinig room, family room -- is all lime green. i know it's an easy fix, but really -- that lime green clashes with the leopard print chaises they left behind.

omg, you guys.  i was saving this one.  it's been two days, so i've had time to recover. but omg Omg OMG.  let me just say -- michael jackson and his oxygen tent totally make sense to me now.

THE.  HOARDERS.: first, realtor and i knew we were in from some serious nonsense when we walked into the unlocked house and a cat hissed at us. oh wait -- one of FOUR cats hissed at us. the dog, it turned out, was locked in a carrier.
anyway, the homeowners were expecting us, and not a single light was on -- and not a thing had been cleaned or put away. there were piles of stuff on the dining table, kitchen counter, etc. the staircase was partially carpeted, and there were just ROLLS of cat hair in the risers.
we went through the kitchen (which was gorgeous -- new cabinets, corian counters, beadboard ceiling) and went to the back porch -- to get some air. that's also how we noticed the floor was sagging.
realtor went back in and saw cat poo on the dining room floor, and i said, "let's look upstairs and downstairs QUICKLY and then let's leave." one of the upstairs bedrooms was an "office" and by office i mean three walls with bookshelves crammed with books all unorganized and not caring about the books and then an insanely sad master bedroom that was all dark furniture and more stuff all crammed on top of the furniture and underneath it and lying on the floor next to it.  and maybe another cat.
the basement would have been nice -- finished hardwood floors, separate rooms, projection tv, wine closet (like, room for 60 bottles of wine, glasses and even one of those wall-mounted openers) -- if it wasn't for the terrifying collection of old toys and the four litterboxes.
oh -- and the art collection. OMG YOU GUYS THE ART COLLECTION.
so there is clearly a child there who is an "artist."  and by artist, i mean, collects naturey things and gllues them together and calls it art. but this kid is like a teen because there was a giant -- i mean, it was like 2' x 2' x 2'-- birdhouse called "house of poe" and it had a heart and a pendulum and a raven and black cat and all the edgar allen poe things. except all those things were handmade and not in a crafty way -- but in a "i <3 dead things and i wish you were one of those things" way. (btw, one of the cats was sleeping and i realize now that i should have given it a poke to see if it was sleeping or forever sleeping.)
anyway.
i felt bad for the house, yo. it was a really nice house and in a really good neighborhood. the house is a short sale, which i think it needed to be because i think they need the money because someone is going into a care facility. we could get the house for a song but i would never, ever buy a hoarder home because i watch "hoarders." 

realtor and i got back in the car and we were both like, "i feel like i should call the authorities. but i don't know who is the most endangered -- the cats, the kids or ME."

anyhoo, that's it for now.  further bulletins will be issued as events warrant.




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Re: house hunting update LONG

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    YAY!  I missed these updates!

    OMG @ the hoarders house.  I was shuddering the whole time I was reading the description.  IDK if I would have made it past the front door.  It sounds like it's a great house, which makes the condition of it really sad.

    "Water Reclamation Plant"?...I hope there's no poo involved. Because if there is, it can get really stinky. 

    The triple decker?  Just say no.  I hate it sight unseen.

    The small wonder sounds nice.  And if you have the outdoor space, even thought it's small on sq. footage, it may not be that bad. 

    Good luck this weekend.  I hope you find a house and there's no deaths.  ;)
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    DG1DG1 member
    5 Love Its Name Dropper First Anniversary First Comment

    Sounds like triple decker is the winner.

    As someone who is dealing with a big yard, I'll say you're right that you don't want to deal with that crap. We have no HOA, and our neighbors don't particularly care, but it's still a PITA. 

    I'm also wondering whyTF your realtor is taking you to places like Hoarder House or anyplace without a basement. I mean, YAY for stories like the Poe Birdhouse, but really. 

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    we had no idea the house was a hoarder. she tried to take dh there, but the homeowner was all "oh, i have guests."  o rly?  i assume she calls child protective services "guests.'

    some places don't have basements -- they have attics.  OR STABBIN' CABINS.
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    DG1DG1 member
    5 Love Its Name Dropper First Anniversary First Comment

    I thought you decided that no basement was a dealbreaker in the midwest because of resale issues, no? 

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    there was one house that didn't have a closet in the master bedroom -- because the homeowners decided they wanted a giant bathroom.  i'm guessing there were serious ibs or crohn's issues in that marriage.

    because there was no closet, they had a wall of built-in cabinets installed.  that were tres ugly. 
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    I was hoping Small Wonder came with a robot girl in a frilly dress. 

    Honestly, if the price of Hoarder house makes it affordable to call in a professional cleaning team, I might go for it if it were really that nice. 
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    the issue with the hoarder home is that there could be a lot of hidden damage from the hoarding and the pets. no amount of cleaning can bring back a floor weakened by cat pee.

    the other issue is that due to the number of cats, dh can't see this house anyway because he would need three days to recover from the allergy issues it would set off, and he's not buying a house he hasn't seen.
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    The hidden damage I would worry about.

    Did you smell ammonia when you came into the house?  B/c that's the sure sign that cat pee would be a problem.  If they were truly hoarding and not cleaning anything (including cat boxes), there's no getting rid of that smell.  I wonder if a really great inspector could tell any damage from the hoarding.  B/c that wine closet sounds amazing!

    I know you guys have a kid, but honestly, square footage is cheaper to heat/cool and easier to take care of.  And it's made me pare my "stuff" buying down.  Once I had my e-reader, that's really pared down our books too, to first editions, collector type things.  You just have to adjust and shift your thinking.   Sounds like a young house and with the updates, you could live there a long time w/out having to repair anything.  Is there enough footage in the areas that matter to you guys (for us, it was living room and kitchen, since we used to entertain a lot)?
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    I'm not a fan of split levels, but that sounds like the best option.  Or keepo looking.
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    that wine closet made me tres sad.  it really looked like a house that was a gathering place, and then someone became ill and no one came there anymore.

    we're not looking for 4,000 sq feet.  there are a lot of places where the sq foot is oddly distributed, which is tres frustrating.  like a 11x10 bedroom <-- wtf is that?  we would like an "extra" bedroom because dh works from home, and we would like it to be comfortable for him.  that's just too closety.
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    Houses don't get out of control like that because of a (non-mental) illness.  Maybe it used to be a little better, but if cleanliness and order were important to this person they would have brought in friends and family to help or sent the cats away to better homes.  It sounds like someone who was routinely more interested in buying new fancy things rather than maintaining anything they already had.  I'm super judgey pants about this. 

    I wouldn't buy a hoarder house unless I was buying it 100% for location and bones (house bones, not kitty cat bones).  I would assume that everything else needed to be gutted.  No matter how pretty the kitchen is now, it would likely be trash once you get below the surface to the roach infestation.

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    I just a friendly gal looking for options.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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    "I started to get all lenny with it" just killed me dead.
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    your reviews make me miss the house hunting experience. 
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    Her reviews make ME miss her Family Ties reviews.   And miss her in general.
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    We turned down a house because it was *next door* to a hoarder. So hoarder house would be a definite deal breaker for me.

    I'm torn on small square footage. On one hand, I'm surprised at how comfortable we are in our house, and our bedroom is only 10x14. On the other hand, I fantasize about our renovations every. damn. day. And every fantasy involves more than doubling the size of this place. The only reason I was willing to entertain the idea of living in a house this small even temporarily was that we absolutely love the neighborhood and the price was stupid low.

    In conclusion, I'd keep looking.
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    theduckis was just afraid of finding the crazy rat ladies in the neighbor hoarder house

    (random zombie link to the story because it reminds me of why I don't want to house hunt :-P
    )
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