So my plan had been to blog every day. But I missed yesterday.
Work was incredibly busy; I went from there straight to a fish fry at my in-laws’ church; then I brought Sage home and fed her (and that was a little bit of an ordeal… she took only 2 ounces instead of her usual 3.5 to 4, and she needed to take 3 breaks for significant diaper changes). And I managed to get to bed at a reasonable hour, having completely forgotten to blog.
I considered writing two posts today, but it occurred to me that I’m writing this blog partially to be real about who I am, what I do, and what I think… and missing a post because of work, family, and sleep? That right there says a lot about who I am and what I do.
So instead, I’m writing one blog post with two topics. The first topic, you’ve already read. The second topic: house hunting.
Ann and I have decided that we need to move closer to Indianapolis. Right now we live almost 20 minutes south of the city. I commute 37.5 miles to work; on a good day it takes 50 minutes, on a typical day it takes between 60 and 70 minutes, and on a bad day it takes 90. On a really bad day, of which there have been a handful, it takes over 2 hours. We also travel over an hour to our church, many of our friends live significantly north of us, and ComedySportz is downtown too. Admittedly, where we are now, Ann’s commute is 0.4 miles, and moving will increase her commute to half an hour or more… but she doesn’t work as many days per week as I do, and we just really need a different house. We need one that’s better for a baby who will grow up into an actual real-live toddler all too soon.
I’ll miss being only two miles from Ann’s parents, who are wonderful, amazing people… but I’ve been married to Ann long enough to know that we’ll still make sure to see them regularly and often, especially because of Sage.
Today, we saw three houses.
The first house, we had seen online. We had really liked the pictures and the description, so we contacted our real estate agent and scheduled a visit.
It was a disaster. An absolute disaster. The house was still occupied (not at the exact time of the visit, of course), and the first thing we noticed when we walked in the door was the intense smell of cigarette smoke. The carpets were dirty, the tiles were cracked, there was obvious water damage in a few places, and there had been very little attempt made to tidy up the place. The upstairs smelled of cigar smoke. The basement, though… oh, dear Lord, the basement. It was very large and carpeted, with a pool table and stereo, and an adjacent room for laundry, and a section that was partitioned off to create another bedroom. That was all fine, but as we were walking down the stairs we noticed the pervasive smell of dog urine… except that it intensified with every step, and we suddenly realized that it wasn’t dog urine at all. It was ferret urine. That particularly pungent rodent smell that I remembered from when we had briefly had a pet mouse (Gus) who was insistent on marking his territory by peeing outside his little Habitrail cage. Ann had to tuck her face into the neck of her shirt to breathe.
I would be willing to buy the house if they reduced the price by 40 percent, because I think I would have to spend that much to get somebody else to clean the place thoroughly before I ever set foot in it again. Those people don’t want to sell the house. I have a feeling that the “short sale” they’re doing is basically to stave off eviction. I don’t say this as judgement, but as my best guess for why they have done nothing to make the house attractive to anyone else.
The third house (I’ll get back to the second) was nice. There weren’t many things that I could say were outstanding and awesome about the house, but the problems it had seemed to be pretty limited. There were a few issues that I think I would need a professional to evaluate, because I don’t know if they’re extremely minor issues or extremely major issues, and I tend to assume that any repair-based problem is major. We would also have to scrap the entire kitchen and start from scratch, but considering Ann’s skill in the kitchen I’d love to be able to set her loose in an appliance and cabinet shopping spree.
The second house… honestly, I wish I could get it out of my mind. It’s at the top of our budget (despite the fact that online calculators suggest that we could afford significantly more, but of course you can’t believe everything you read on the web), and we estimate that it would need at least $20,000 in renovations. The house is huge, with loads of potential. Lots of space, big open rooms, an entire basement that is ready to become whatever we want it to be.
But the best part about the house is the setting. Nearly at the terminus of a dead-end street, close enough to the highway that you can actually see it from one angle, but you would never know it. Nearly two full acres of woods behind the house, with a tiny creek running through it. It feels like a camping getaway. It’s a place we could have friends over and hang around a campfire. It has a screened-in back porch; it has tons of storage. It has so much potential. So much.
If money wasn’t an issue, it would be The House… the one that I was willing to fix up because it would be a sanctuary (with, I should point out, incredible resale value once it was fixed up… possibly bringing in more than 30 to 40% over what we would have paid for purchase and repair).
But the last thing I want to do is go chasing a house that might be a money pit.
We’ll be looking at more houses. So, you know, stay tuned or whatever. I’m sure I’ll write about them too. Hopefully, we’ll find the right one soon.