Saturday, November 18, 2017

House Hunters - Chapter 3 (sigh ...)

G'afternoon friends!
It feels nice to be back ... I've missed you!

Cut to the chase, you say?   OK. 
We're not double-mortgagees.  Yet. 
I'd love to keep this short and sweet ... but there's soooo much I want to tell you!

* * *

 Saturday-before-last went (suspiciously) according to plan. 
Tom's hip and his walk have been increasingly wonky, but I was still surprised when he agreed to a wheelchair at the airport.  

(Don't tell him I shared this picture, OK?)

Aside from the fellow in the seat next to me who screamed he was going to "Beat the s*** out of!" someone for accidentally jostling him in the aisle ... our flights were wonderfully smooth.   Even our suitcases were the first out of the chute.  That's never happened!

Since both Tom's and my night vision has super declined, we elected to stay the night at Birmingham airport's Ramada Inn.

Oh.My.Goodness, y'all!
I appreciated the employee discount, but I'm thoroughly embarrassed that Big Corporation owns this property.

Yes, someone stole the smoke detector ... There appeared to be mold in the bathroom ... Even the bottom sheet was put on inside out!

My boss says the hotel group isn't held to the same standards as we are, but it was still disgusting.  (Yes, I checked for bed-bugs.  LOL!)  

Poor Tom was so looking forward to having a nice, sit-down evening meal, and I'm sure Birmingham must have some normal family restaurants.  Except, aside from a Hardee's there was nothing to be found in the vicinity.  The further Tom drove through the unsavory neighborhood, the more alarmed (and cranky) I became.   
After our 4th pass by Hardees, he finally pulled in.

Jasmine-at-the-counter was so cute!
She was probably doing a mental eye-roll when we kept asking her to repeat herself  .....we couldn't understand her accent!  Nevertheless, her recommendations were yummy.  We were the only ones in the restaurant, so she came out and visited with us and wanted to make sure my 'buffalo' wing sauce wasn't too hot.

Up n at'em the next morning, I was glad Tom offered to drive.  (I was the one who chose to rent a popular SUV, but wound up being intimidated by its bulk.)

We stopped at Cracker Barrel where I happily abandoned all concerns about carbs.   Tom was astonished when I ordered catfish (my first!) and cleaned my plate.  I was a little disappointed that it didn't have much flavor, tho.  Are you a fan?

On to meet our realtor, Belyn.  Man, I love it when strangers greet you with a hug!

And so it began! 
I'd pre-selected 8 homes, but can't begin to describe how disappointed I felt at the first few.  I totally take back what I thought about Tom (being) "unimaginative" when he wouldn't get all ga-ga over homes on Zillow.

Sure, there was a crazy feeling of Deja'vu when I stood in the living room of a home I'd lusted over for months.  At the same time, I wanted to weep at the reality.  High-def photography can sure fool!

There were a couple winners, and I thank God that my DIL took time Tuesday afternoon to revisit the finalists.   Lois' keen eyes and realistic insights were invaluable.  I loved what she said about 'older' homes being a lot like older people:  We may have scars and bruises, but they're/we're still sound.

There was nothing not to love about the tidy home out on Tallassee Highway:

(Click to enlarge)

 I didn't even mind that it only had ONE (blue) bathroom and stainless steel appliances.  Ha!

Then, a God moment:
As we sat in B's office signing papers, her broker happened in.   She introduced us - and, as an afterthought, asked:  "Chad, what would you think if you saw K**** H*****'s business card out there?"

"Well, I'd think that he wanted to buy it  -- to go with the parcel I sold him last year."

Stunned silence.

We learned that Mr. H has a reputation for being a mover/shaker in Wetumpka, his fingers in lots of pies. Immediately I regretted saying I didn't think a survey was necessary.

At B's suggestion, Tom and I took a lunch break while she made some phone calls.
When we returned she was near tears.  "I can't in good conscience write this contract for you."

Seems Mr. H is even challenging a property line and has plans to put up a parcel of self-storage units.   "I'm afraid your secluded little porch wouldn't be so secluded." 

Heartsick.  I made a few unflattering remarks about Mr. H ... but a few hours later I thanked God for the happenstance encounter with B's broker.  Can you imagine if we'd gone ahead?!   Ours would have been a real David v. Goliath scenario.

Friday my son was off work and  agreed to accompany us and  share his thoughts about a 1920 charmer in Wetumpka's historical district.   (Goodness, I love that little town!)

Tho' Tom and I'd butted heads about this home earlier in the week, he put aside his reservations and talked about putting a deck out back.
That night we brokered a deal, and boarded the plane Sunday morning with smiles on our faces.

Until Tuesday night when the inspector's report arrived.  26 pages.  Tom wasn't half-way through reading it to me, when I held up my hand and said, "Stop!"   It read like a bad Stephen King novel.

The seller countered, to no avail.
Last night they dropped the price almost $20k and offered to hold the paper while we contracted the repairs ... but frankly, that place scares me.

Kenny Rogers' song comes to mind:  "You gotta know when to hold, when to fold ... know when to walk away, know when to run ..."

* * *

Bless Tom's heart.  All this week I've been unusually pooped tired.  Even my eye sockets hurt.   
"I just can't zig and zag like I used to."

His response cracked me up:
"Honey, you never could.  If you can't plan every detail 3 weeks in advance, you're not comfortable."
(LOL. He's not far wrong!)

* * *

The week was far from being wasted. 
I learned what communities I don't want to live in ... consumed half my body weight in fried onion rings and BBQ pork ...  did some serious front-porch sitting ... and got to spend precious hours with those I love.

 Meanwhile?  B continues to send me listings she feels are a good fit.I just got off the phone with Troy and Lois, who've agreed to go check out those we feel strongly about.   (I just can't justify the last-minute airfare ... and the place is going to be theirs someday, anyway.)

Thanks so very much for listening so long!
(I probably wouldn't know "Brevity" if it snuck up and bit me.)

Color me humming "Let It Be" and sending hugs ....