Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places

Stalkers, please note, I’ve got a deluxe (ie sketchy) double room all reserved on up at the La Quinta Inn in Sacramento.  All the remains to complete my evening of magic and romance is a bottle of vodka and a bag of corn nuts. Ooh lah lah. I am sure I will make the most delightful of impressions when I stumble out of the Jetta towards that rental house we are supposed to view at 8 am!!!!! tomorrow morning.

Seriously, though, why do people even post shit on Craigslist? I just don’t get it. If you have some kind of ISSUE that prevents you from showing your rental house to people, why have you posted an ad for a rental house on Craigslist? Is it an imaginary house that you are renting to fairy people in never never make up pretend land?  Jesus, people, get it together.

I am starting to think that shopping for houses is disturbingly similar to dating.

There’s the house you know you absolutely cannot have, but you can’t help oogling it at every opportunity and picturing yourself snuggled up with it anyway.  You know you have to stop but you just CANNOT HELP IT IT’S SO DREAMY.

There’s the house you SHOULD pick, the smart choice, but that you just can’t sell your self on, no matter how hard you try.

There’s the house that needs so much work you just don’t know if you have it in you.

The house that you know is all wrong for you and that you should just put out of your mind but the backyard is what you have been looking for all your life and you can’t let it go.

The house that’s not even your scene and so not your taste and is just what you tell everyone you HATE in a house, but something about it just draws you in.

The house that seems like a really good deal but when you dig a little deeper it turns out not to be what it appears.

There’s the house you that’s exactly your type but that’s in a bad part of town and that everyone else warns you away from.

Then there’s the flashy house with the granite counters and the remodeled bathroom and a gas stove and shabby chic accents and it’s so very far out of your league that you can’t help thinking “Huh. I wonder what it’s like to live there?”.

The house that scares you, but that seems really exciting and that makes you want to just throw caution to the wind and go for it!

There’s the safe house, the boring house, the neutral house.  These are the ones your realtor thinks you should see, the ones your mother likes, and the ones you can’t stand.  You like the houses you find trolling Craigslist that sounds too good to be true.

I am reminded, in the course of this process, as with any major decision in life, of how very easy it is to lose yourself, how easy it is to forget who you really are.  The siren song of granite counters or safe streets or irish eyes put in with a sooty finger or curly black hair is so difficult to ignore, even when we know better, when we know it can’t last.

So here’s my manifesto:

I’m Elizabeth. I don’t like subdivisions. I don’t wish it was 1972 or 1983 or 2004. I think 1921 was a good year.  I want to live in an old house with a front porch and trees and I want to be able to think about all the people who lived there before me and wonder about their lives. I want a very small very neat very clean backyard and I have to have a bathtub. I want to live in a neighborhood with real sidewalks where I can walk to real things. I don’t want rolled sidewalks and I don’t want to live in a house that makes me feel like I am sealed in a box and I don’t want a 3 car garage to be the first thing you see when you pull into my driveway.  I hate carpet and I hate fake flooring and I want a gas stove and a dishwasher and a place to put all of our outgrown baby stuff and I am not living anywhere with bars on the windows or next to a highway and I don’t mind rolling up my sleeves and doing some work or picking paint or pulling up carpet but I must feel a sense of SOMETHING when I walk in that door.

I don’t want a safe house or a practical house or a sensible house or a smart house. I want love at first sight.


6 Responses

  1. Sometimes I read your post and think “you just read my mind, wrote it down, and made it sound better than I ever could.”

    I love your blog.

  2. Yes, nice palette of houses 🙂 My field is Vancouver lofts real estate but my colleagues (and me too time from time) are dealing with houses and it’s exactly as you said. But the most important thing is not to be driven to anything! If you like it, go for it! Only thing you should consider, is the location – you may not notice on the first sight, how does it look like in during the night, who are the neighbors, or so. But good advice is to take a small walk, talk with people, shop in a local grocery and in few hours you will understand if the neighborhood is good for you or not…

  3. I hate house-hunting. We’ve been looking for our One True Love for almost a year now. Everything in our ridiculously modest price range sucks. There are so many homes out there that we love, but they come with a mortgage that we would hate. It’s so frustrating.

  4. Your house manifesto matches my house manifesto 100% ! We held out for wood floors and the perfect hippie neighborhood and trees and a gas stove and arts & crafts details and a fireplace and a bathtub and we got it! People would have laughed at the idea that we could have found a nice place in our price range, and our realtor showed it to us literally the day before we were about to finally give up and buy a place in the … gulp…suburbs. So there is always hope! You have a vision, and I just know your perfect house is out there waiting for you to fall in love with it!

  5. I still regret not buying in a neighborhood with sidewalks. Hold out for the sidewalks. You can fix up the house and remodel, but you can’t do anything about the lack of sidewalks.

  6. This is wonderful – it is so very much like dating. An astute observation, missy.

    I think we want the exact same house, though I could live without a dishwasher. (I don’t have kids. I am sure I’d feel differently if I had a little monkey of my own.)

    Walkable. Very, very necessary. Suburbs? I very seriously think they are the root of all evil. I am not even exaggerating there.

    A. is convinced we will never find what I want for less than $1M. I say – I WILL WAIT IT OUT.

    Stick to your guns. And how smart was that to take a minute to figure out which gun, exactly, is yours?

    Good luck!

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