Ode to vacation

I wish I was on one right now. I’m obsessed with dirt, people. I’ve become a fascist about dishes. If I had a nickel for every time in the past few days that I’ve shouted, “Why can’t you keep your FUR on your BODY!?!” I’d have a shit-ton of nickles. (Which is what they measure nickles in.)

Ah, the delights of showing a house. I’ve never experienced them in this capacity before. Today is my first showing, and I’ve been obsessively picking at fluff. This doesn’t make sense, you say? Of course it doesn’t. Being incredibly weird, I don’t know what makes “normal” people turn down a house. (I also don’t know why I picture everyone who will come to look at my house as incredibly average, yuppie types, but there ya go.)

Something inside me says they will judge this house based on how clean I’ve gotten the shower. (A bit of the mold is still there. Cat missing for seven days. Send help.)

This obsessing over average, normal, yuppie judgement could just be me trying to justify all the hard hours I’ve spent trying to make it look like no on lives here, or if someone does live here, she is an obsessive neat-freak with no pets or life, and certainly no delightfully cheerful knick knacks or pictures of dragons. Nope, nosiree, no dragons here…except maybe the mold.

I’m off to search now for fun things to do in Austin. Ah, Austin, it’s become the land of Turkish Delight in my mind. Let me cling to my hopes and dreams…

Did the cleanliness of a house ever influence your decision to buy it?

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6 thoughts on “Ode to vacation

  1. We bought our house because it was within biking distance of Husband’s work, and because I really liked the front courtyard/fenced in bit around the front door and study/ex-carport. — in the L-part of the house. Unfortunately that part was rotted and we had to take it down for safety reasons and haven’t gotten around to putting it back yet. It had rotted out cupboards in the kitchen, smelled like dog-pee, had a cocker spaniel locked in the laundry room so we couldn’t see it on the tour without the owner present (that laundry room was horrible too). When the owner left, she took out the area rug from the center of the room (where the dog food was!?) and revealed a two foot area of shredded linoleum — my guess from that same dog.

    It was clean though. No clutter. But our biggest thought was that it was as big as I’d wanted (almost 2000 sqft — good through many years and two kids) and in an area we liked. –And a little bit that house prices were going up quickly in 2003 (If you were house-hunting then you could watch it rise month by month), it was mostly reasonably priced, and we didn’t want to be priced into an apartment. (A little less than a year later, my sister paid 15,000 less than we did for a house half the size of ours, needing just as much work, and further from the area of town we preferred, so even with all the work we’ve put into it, we don’t really regret it..)

    But we’ve watched enough of those learning channel shows selling or buying houses to know that we don’t go for the blanded-up thing that apparently sells most people.

  2. With so many homes looking like they just came out of a magazine, I’d gotten a little spoiled on what to expect when I was house hunting.

    When I was house-SELLING, I was lucky to have a friend who’s a phenomenal decorator. We went room by room. She’d point at stuff: Move that out. Move that there. Dress that up. I swear to you the house looked fantastic when she was done. (I think I did a post on that once.) The realtor was so impressed she even offered her a job as a ‘stager’.

    We had offers before it even hit the realtors’ feeds. But offers don’t constitute sales. I think it took us almost 3 months to sell, but we sold it close to our asking price.

  3. General neatness was never a buying factor for me, but it did make me look closer at other things that might indicate lack of cleanliness and maintenance, because those things do put me off… the mould you mention in showers, black grunge around window casings and patio doors, evidence of water leaks under sinks and behind toilets, damaged carpets or flooring, etc.

    We also have a realtor friend who went through our house with us and made suggestions before putting it on the market. We cleaned out closets and cupboards, storing boxes of excess items and extra furniture off site (not in the basement or garage) so the house seemed more spacious, put away most personal photos, cleared the clutter and nicknacks off counters and tables so potential buyers could more easily visualize the house with their own things in it, cleaned the fridge and stove, light fixtures, and windows so they would sparkle. He even pointed out where first impressions would be made and offered suggestions to improve curb appeal… keeping the lawn freshly cut and edges trimmed, removing children’s bikes and toys, sweeping sidewalk, driveway and decks, and placing a pot of flowers on the porch, etc. The idea is to creative a positive reaction in people before they even determine whether the house as a whole will meet their needs. That ‘staging” Maria mentions has become a real business that pays. I hope all your efforts pay off and you’re able to sell quickly.

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