“This House is Suspect”

or so I whispered to my husband in the unfinished basement of an allegedly newly constructed house this afternoon.

I love Open Houses because I like to see how other people live. I like to imagine that I live other than how I do. I like to redecorate in my mind and imagine how much easier it would be to corral my kid in this new space. And then I like to go home because I hate moving.

My husband and I have it in our heads, however, that we need more space and a second garage and one more bedroom and a better school district and we don’t want to pay for any of those things. We belong on House Hunters. We are those assholes. Although quietly so because we do not announce how much we hate the paint and would prefer granite counter tops so much as we say, “Oh, mmhmm” to whatever the realtor says and then bitch behind her back.

Oh but the house we saw today! It was lovely from the outside, on a quiet street in a busy area of town close to grocery stores and ice cream stands and not too far from work. It was a split level, which he loves and I tolerate, but laid out such that I could stand living there. Gorgeous kitchen WITH granite counter tops and those drawers that won’t slam no matter how hard your toddler tries. But there were scuff marks. And gouges. And paint peels. All those little destructions even a year with a child or a pet would make or several years with adults who occasionally bump into things or drop things or spill things would make. Things that are no big deal… unless it’s a brand new construction.

I ran my hand over a section of cabinet that looked like it had been keyed by Carrie Underwood and asked, “This is a new construction?” The realtor affirmed and added some comment about how new is always nicer. “Is it?” I asked, rubbing a dark spot to see if it would come off. It didn’t.

My aunt has three dogs and 4 cats. Her house has this kind of damage.

My husband asked about the unfinished basement. In a split level. That conspicuously mentioned the extra living area in the basement… you know, for a Neil Gaiman character known for his weapons skills who doesn’t mind a little mold or terrifying darkness. “No,” said the realtor who didn’t even bother asking us to sign in or if we had representation, “This is it. This is finished.”

So we should finish installing the light fixtures and the electrical socket plates, then? Do you still have the paint so I can touch up the walls and the trim where the paint has been scraped off? Oh and you’re asking price is more than the 5 year old house down the street with 1200 more feet of living space?

t-alp-desolation-wld-07-2013-052_optDarling, this house is suspect. My estimation is that they ran out of money and now have to sell as high as they can to cover their losses. And if this “new construction” is indeed “finished” looking like it’s been lived in for 20 years, I can’t imagine what other shortcuts they may have taken to get it on the market. Let’s go home, shall we? Let’s buy more baby gates and call it a day.

 

 

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