Real Estate Sucks


Appropriate shape for all the crap we've seen...

Well, not the concept. I mean, land and/or the buildings upon it are not inherently bad. But buying real estate when the market has supposedly crashed but owners don’t want to admit it – that is not peachy. And going through the homes people obviously overvalue is painful. Though it might be comical if I were not the person wanting to scream as I see this overpriced crap.

So Monday’s house hunt was a never-ending stream of dumpy homes. I guess it’s a function of our price range; at the lower end, people don’t have too much of what the realtors  (ha, take that – no cap or dumb little ® or ™ or whatever, you uptight organization of real estate people, with the stupid economist who month after month played his violin or viola or ocarina as the Titanic of housing slid farther down into the depths) call “pride of ownership.” Maybe they’re just lazy. Maybe they really don’t care about selling their houses. All I know is, we saw some cluttered, dingy places that to my untrained eye looked worth nowhere near their asking prices.

Sometimes the problems are related to the house’s age. I know a house built in 1900 is most likely not going to have high ceilings in the basement. And having to go through the kitchen to get to the one full bath is not ideal, but not the current owner’s fault. However, seeming to put more love and care into the game room/sports memorabilia shrine above the garage than into the rest of the house speaks of some warped priorities.

And in the empty houses we saw, we were probably dealing with foreclosures/short sales or the departure of an elderly owner to the great beyond. Still, can anybody really think that the almost perfectly triangular scorch mark from an iron on the old, green wall-to-wall carpeting is an improvement? And colors – don’t get me started on colors.

Then there are the places where the owners have not heard of presentation. Put some things away! Clean a little! And who are these realtors who let the houses go on the market looking like this? I guess it’s no wonder some of these houses have been sitting unsold 200-plus days and counting.

I know everybody is not like us, but I’m still waiting for the one house that looks as good as ours did when we sold it. It helped that it was in good shape when we got it and we made some key improvements. But we also cleaned it and generally had it looking its best when we got ready to sell. And we had two offers the first day. Though to be fair, that was during the heady days of ’04, when  prices kept going up, up, up, and the subprime frenzy was just waiting to be unleased.

If we had more time to look, maybe I’d be more patient. Or if we had more money and could avoid some of these issues by merely bumping up our price range. But we don’t. Add in my general apathy about being a homeowner, and you have one painful process.

So the bad news is, the hunt continues, with no promising game in sight. The good news is, I don’t have to do the house-to-house trips again, though the virtual search is no fun either, as I’ve written before. Luckily, we have a realtor who is prompt and helpful and understanding of our situation. She will earn her meager commission for this deal, let me tell you.

Samantha and I keep hoping she’ll walk into a place and know instantly, this is the one. Her optimism is a little higher than mine. I think. Maybe we gotta think about renting again…


~ by mburgan on May 6, 2009.

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