Househunting

I hate to call this househunting, since I’m not buying a house, even though I really, really, really want to. But not in this godforsaken state. Here are a few stories (and at least one illustration).

Realtors here are spoiled. Not only are they used to business coming to them, they’re used to business begging once it gets there. We went to one place (keep in mind, we’re just renting, not buying) to ask for a rental list (MLS basically provides it to the realtors). They wanted to charge us a dollar, for “printing and secretarial services.” I told them I wasn’t going to pay for it, but I’d look through the list while I was in the office.

My refusal to pay wasn’t because I can’t afford it. I assure you, $1 is not an issue on my day-to-day budget. I found the idea of paying a company that wants my business ridiculous. MLS is basically an advertisement for them. “We have this! Please rent it!” Not, “Give us a dollar and we’ll tell you whether or not we have anything for you.” Fuck that. Fuck them. Furthermore, upon my self-righteous refusal, the lady got self-righteous in return, saying something like, “Well, this is a courtesy to people like you who don’t have a place to live,” in a very pointed fashion, seemingly believing I’m homeless and unemployed and at the end of my rope. I wonder how much business condescension earns her? We walked out.

Another place we called and asked a pretty standard question, “What’s the square footage of the house?” The answer: “Why do you want to know?” Well, because we’d like to know how big the fucking house is before we take the time to look at it! Moron. Rude moron.

One house we looked at belonged in the Alpines. It looked like this. We’re in California. Do you really think it’s going to snow? Let alone snow enough that you need a steep slope on the roof to allow the snow to slide off without collapsing the home? It was a decent sized home, but with slanted walls, it would have been nearly impossible to put anything like an entertainment center or a bookshelf against the wall. Plus the master bedroom didn’t have a door. It was open to the rest of the house. I doubt the roommates would have appreciated that. I wouldn’t have either. That one was about forty years old, I think. At least it had personality. It was also a block and a half from the beach.

Since then, we’ve seen a few other places. Some are nice, but expensive and/or far from work. Some are cheap, but shitty. Bad. Smelly, stained, and falling apart, with no plans for repairs. By “cheap”, we mean less than $1900 a month.

This will give you a general idea of what “nice” houses out here are like. You see here two Californian ‘houses’. These two are actually remarkably dissimilar for two houses in one subdivision. As you can see, the two houses are both touching the property line, and their eaves actually hang over the other yard. You might think, “Well, these are small and cramped lots. They’re probably not very expensive.” If you thought that, you’re not from California. My guess is these two houses are each “worth” (note the quotation marks) over $700,000. They build houses on lots less than a tenth of an acre, and still have the balls to advertise “big yards”. Also note, that a subdivision containing over 120 houses is usually built in a year. How well do you think they’re constructed?

On the bright side, our enforced relocation caused us to recycle our beer bottles. The place we took them goes by pound instead of by number of bottles (which is a good thing, considering how many bottles we would have had to count, but also not as lucrative as it could have been). I was guessing we’d have about 75 pounds of glass. We got $30.72, at $0.081/pound, that comes out to 379.3 pounds. So I was a little off. At one point, KrisDi and I found out that four empty bottles are approximately one pound, which makes for about 1500 bottles. This is somewhat inaccurate, since it assumes 100% beer bottles, when we had a fairly small number of liquor and wine bottles in there too.

Also, Oblivion arrived at my house today. This presents a large monetary issue, since my computer does not have the hardware to support it.

My original plan was to take this current computer (which is pretty much a top-of-the-line 32-bit single-core pre-PCI-Express computer) and turn it into a web server, mail server, network drive server, and MythTV box. I had (and have) all sorts of elaborate plans for it. And then I was going to spend a lot of money building a new, genuinely top-of-the-line computer to use. After some research, I discovered that I was only a video card short of exceeding all the recommended hardware for Oblivion, and that building a new computer would have been more expensive than I thought. So I bought a new video card (*sigh*), and will (eventually) dual boot my current machine while figuring out how to configure it for all the fun stuff. Once I make this machine do everything I want it to do, *then* I’ll start to build the new machine so that this one can be dedicated. I’ll move this website to it, and upgrade my internet service so that home web-serving is feasible. And that’s the plan.

snaotheus

Posted by snaotheus

3 comments

Ah, yes, my sweet… househunting. What a joy. You should make a point of saying to rude-ass realtors: “Well, we’re wanting to rent for now while we look for just the right house. We expect it’ll be in the $4-million range, maybe higher, and you can be assured we won’t come anywhere your agency when we’re ready to buy it.” Hit ’em where it hurts, the jerks.

Builders in California have been throwing up toothpick houses held together by masking tape for decades. The first house your dad and I bought, in Riverside, was 2×4 frame on slab, with no insulation. It was $27,900 (according to Dad, though I remember it as $29,900; that was probably the asking price). Three bedrooms one bath (if memory serves), and a fireplace, with quite a large yard (big enough that a wolf/malamute cross I had was able to dig enough holes to resemble the moon).

I looked it up on Zillow.com the other day. Someone’s added two more bedrooms, but those can’t be too big because it was built right on the property line and there was nowhere to go but out–and restructuring it so traffic patterns would be logical going out that way would be pretty tough.

According to that, it’s worth about $400,000. Yeah.

When I was pregnant with your oldest brother, Dad and I used to take walks down the street just to the east of us, where somebody was building a big development. It was, like all California structures, going up very fast. We were astonished at the cheap-crap construction: big cracks in freshly poured foundation slabs, wiring obviously connected wrong, rock hung crookedly and covered up with tape so there were big gaps in the walls, no insulation–just horrible. And that was what, 30-odd years ago, a period usually referred to by my age group as the good old days, when things were done right.

Best y’all should get out of there and come to Seattle. 😀

Good luck finding housing!!

Avatar
Heather Cory

What a bunch of ball sacks!!!!! There are certain things I hate about living where I do (the conservative politics, not a lot to do, low wages, ignorance) but at least people can AFFORD to live here. Also people are POLITE here for the most part. I notice that when I travel and when I have lived in other places, people are so fucking rude!!!! Good luck finding a place to live, I am sorry you have to put up with this crap.

Leave a Reply

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.