This has been a crazy busy week. Between getting ready to spend five days in the Bay Area with my mom and trying to view houses and pack, I haven’t had time to do much else.
Yesterday we hooked up the GPS and spent the day viewing houses in an area we particularly like. It’s a very personal business house hunting, both for the hunter and the huntee. I’ve been on both sides and find it frustrating whichever hat you’re wearing. For the seller, it’s having strangers wandering through their personal space, potentially observing their taste in wallpaper, decorating, tile, paint colors, etc. and possibly finding them wanting. For the potential buyer it’s finding a house in their price range that fits, at least on some level, the criteria that would inspire them to sign on the dotted line and commit to pay through the nose for the next thirty years. Big doin’s.
After viewing a gizillion homes for sale on one realtor’s website, we settled on an area to concentrate on and a couple of homes to see. I had two appointments in the area so, after speaking to the realtor and finding time restraints on her side as well, we settled on drive-bys for four homes and a viewing at one location. At 12:00 we met outside of the home we were to view, and, after introductions, made our way up the hill to the house itself. It’s amazing how a property’s true nature can be manipulated with a few clever photographs. Kind of like a dating website where people in their forties post pictures of themselves taken most probably when they graduated from junior college. At some point if you ever meet in person even if you wear a hat that dispenses beer and carry a basketball under one arm, it’s just not going to fly.
Back to the house. The area was pretty. Heavily wooded, a little scruffy, but one large drawback, and I mean an elephant in the living room big, was the freeway traffic noisily just beyond the trees. A semi went by as we were going through the gate and shook a filling out of my lower molar.
At the door we were greeted by the tenant who was a renter, not the property owner. Obviously not delighted to have us visiting, he reluctantly put his dogs in the back yard and sat next to them to have a smoke.
In the pictures, the kitchen didn’t look large, but in person it looked like it was made for one of Snow White’s seven. Two people at a time in that small space would have to be extricated by the “jaws of life”. I have never seen a stove that small. Made my granddaughter’s Easy-Bake oven look full-size. It boasted a pantry, which, in reality, turned out to be a door that opened to a cupboard that was about 5″ deep and did, in fact, store canned goods but not much else. Okie-Dokie.
To clarify, this house is around 1200 sq. ft., 3 bdr., 2 ba. The two smaller bedrooms and one bath were located on the ground floor, with the master bedroom and second bathroom on the second. Now by smaller bedrooms, I refer again to Easy-Bake oven smaller. Clothes were hung in both rooms on long dowels stuck in the wall like shower curtains. This, it seemed, was their solution to the closet space situation, which was such that if you put five hangers in these closets you hit capacity, and were in danger of overcrowding. It became obvious as we continued our tour that the occupants weren’t in a hurry to have anyone like this house as every piece of clothing that wasn’t hanging on the dowels, was either deposited on the beds or lying on the floor. This included gently used underwear and a bra or two strewn around for atmosphere. The rooms were so small, and the beds so large that a trapeze would need to be installed in order to get out of them at night to make a run to the loo.
We made our way up a steep set of stairs with no handrail visible to the second floor which was an addition. The carpet stopped at the landing, which in a way was a blessing because it looked like they’d been repairing auto parts on it. We were reassured when we asked about the incredible stains that no, actually, it was just dog urine, etcetera, etcetera, that caused the discoloring. Oh, that’s a selling point.
The upstairs was at least sunny as there were no black curtains on the windows as evident downstairs. Again, the master bedroom was small, but larger than the two downstairs. It was unfinished but apparently he’d at least gotten permits before he’d built it. Good information, wouldn’t want to fall through the ceiling without making sure all the permits were in place.
To add to the ambience already created just by the house itself, they had chosen a lovely pea soup green to grace all the walls which was peeling here and there to show a cabbage flowered red wallpaper peeking through. Why is this home still on the market?
Saving the best for last we went outside to the much touted “spacious patio area”. It was spacious, I’ll give you that. The two huge dogs were chained, and like their owner, didn’t look all that excited to have us trespassing in their yard. In the center of the patio, where you could sit and enjoy the incredible noise emanating from the freeway traffic, was a rectangular gated area surrounded by chain link fence. The fence had a plastic liner inside to prevent seeing through it. As we approached this area, the tenant began pacing nervously. Peeking through the gate we could see a bountiful crop of weed growing back there. We were assured at first these were tomato plants, but then were told that he had a medical prescription for them. Hmmmm, and to think I’ve been lucky enough to be able to buy my tomatoes OTC (over the counter).
At any rate, this was not a fit, as you might have guessed. We live to look another day.
Give this a try, and have a great day!
Classic Tomato Caprese Salad
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 Tbsp. EV olive oil
1 2 oz. ball of buffalo mozzarella
6 basil leaves
Mix tomatoes, oil, salt and pepper in bowl. Toss until evenly covered. Refrigerate. Place cheese on serving dish. Surround with tomatoes and oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and basil. Serve with garlic cheese bread.
Garlic Cheese Bread
1 loaf of French bread, halved lengthwise
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
Parmesan cheese, grated
4 cloves of garlic minced
6 Tbsp. EV olive oil
Preheat oven to broil.
Mix oil and garlic together in small mixing bowl. Spread half the mixture on each cut side of bread. Sprinkle lightly with Parmesan cheese and paprika. Evenly distribute 1 cup of mozzarella cheese on top.
Place under broiler and cook until cheese is melted. Yum.