Sunday, August 28, 2005

Open House

On the way back from town we decided to stop in on a few open houses. We're thinking it might be an education in what people do to prepare their homes for the market.

When we aren't looking for an open house, the signs for them are pointing in every direction and appear on every corner. We did find a few. One in particular stood out.

As we drove into the cal-de-sack a group of teenagers were climbing into a car. Some of them were yelling to their friends in the house. Two houses over was the open house. As we walked up the driveway, a car pealed out. Some of the teens came out of the house, jumped into another car and pealed out after them, but in reverse! They yelled out of the car: "Don't buy that house, it's a bad neighborhood."

I looked over my shoulder just as the car spun around forward. A teen in the passenger's seat tossed a glass bottle out the window, it exploded in a crash in the street. Do I even want to continue up the driveway?

The people were friendly, in their 60s. They had done several things to upgrade the house. The place was immaculate. As Ruth followed the wife through the house I asked the man: "How's the neighborhood?" He grimmiced. I'm so bad.

We looked at several other homes and then stopped into a new subdivision. We just wanted to check out how they are building these new units. What I didn't expect was the cost of the HOA (homeowner's association fee). First she wanted me to fill out all kinds of stuff. I asked her: "Do I have to fill out all this stuff?" I gave her some info, but very little. Finally she started to tell me that the HOA is $1200 a year! But get this, they charge $1000 dollars initially. That means that it would cost $2200 in the first month of move in just for HOA. They must be crazy. Yet there are some people that have already moved in. I'm just not seeing it. The only reason I can think of that would enable them to get this kind of cash is the golf course the homes were built around. But who wants a golf ball in their window. And here's the thing, you have to sign a waiver that says you, the homeowner, is responsible for repairs to your home. Yeah, I'm up for that, where do I sign?

When we got home, I took a fresh look at our house. I donned my jeans and t-shirt and went out and mowed the lawn

To believe in one's dreams is to spend all of one's life asleep. -Chinese Proverb