A Random Rant

 

I’ve been watching House Hunters and International House Hunters.  I am always amazed by the people they profile.  Maybe they are looking for people who are a pain in the ass or a cry baby.  I don’t know.  But it always cracks me up when you see these people who have a small budget and want the world.  What’s that they call it?  Champagne tastes on a beer budget?

You get the real estate agents who tell them they are not going to get everything they want on their budget but these people still insist.  Listen!  You are looking for a house for the first time.  Or perhaps you are looking for an apartment in a completely different country.  I would be willing to bet the real estate agent knows the market just a tiny bit better than you!  I love the guy on Property Brothers because he takes the clients out to a house that has everything on their wish list.  Once they’re done ooh’ing and ah’ing over the perfect home he drops the list price on them.  It is always way out of their reach.

You have the Americans who are relocating overseas and they want all of the American amenities with the cultural charm of their current city.  I’ve never lived overseas; I have however heard from quite a few people who have, whether they’re Americans who have relocated or simply citizens of another country.  We’re gaudy over here.  We have McMansions and lots and lots of space.  I watched one episode and the people had no idea that most of the apartments didn’t have closets.  They typically also did not have lights, unless it was the bathroom and kitchen, which I didn’t know either.  We’re a relatively new country compared to others.  You move to Europe you’re looking at buildings that are hundreds of years old!  We just don’t have that.  Plus, all the excess storage so many of our homes have.  Dishwashers, washing machines… not to say that there are no houses in other countries with those appliances, but in some countries it is not a given.

And then you have the people who are buying houses here in the USA.  Some of the things they look for are ridiculous, and their comments border on insanity.

I’ve bought a lot of houses.  These are things I’ve discovered.

  1. Paint is fairly cheap and the results are pretty much instantaneous. Hell, I painted an entire room with a tiny trim roller while waiting for the power paint brush to get fixed.  It took a little longer, but it did get done!  If you don’t like the ugly brown walls, paint them!  The owner will not be offended; they won’t even know you’ve done it.  If you’re not a fan of drab beige or white, paint them!
  2. If you don’t like the couch or the comforter on the bed, good news!  The owners will be taking those things with them!
  3. Typically you are going to find a lot of similar things in your budget.  It’s not like one house in your budget is going to have formica countertops, tiny bedrooms, and outdated bathrooms while the next house ALSO IN YOUR BUDGET has granite countertops, huge bedrooms, and bathrooms with a walk in shower and Jacuzzi tub.  Sure, you may luck out and get a huge master bedroom in one house while the others have regular size bedrooms.  Or maybe one of the bathrooms has been spectacularly redone, but generally, it’s going to be a wash.  The difference is going to be in the floor plans most likely.
  4. It is very rare that you will ever find a house that is absolutely perfect.  I’ve had houses that I’ve really loved, but even those weren’t perfect.  In probably my favorite house ever the master bedroom was so small we couldn’t even fit all of our bedroom furniture in the room.  But the rest of the house was amazing.
  5. And Jeez Louise!  If you’re moving to the Virgin Islands take the damn house with the million dollar views and swimming pool over the stupid condo!  If I’m moving thousands of miles away from home I’m not downsizing from a 4000 square foot house into a 1400 square foot condo.  Especially one with no view and no charm (from what I could see).
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8 thoughts on “A Random Rant

  1. I hate both those shows for exactly the same reasons you describe. My DH and I purchased our first home 4 years ago and it was a wreck! It was bank owned (a foreclosure) and had not had much updating done since the 70s when it was built, on top of which it needed major maintenance and repairs. But the location was perfect and we could see past the painted over wall paper, harvest gold appliances, and truly tragic carpet. This was near the very bottom of the market, so we got it for less than half that the previous foreclosure clients had paid for it. Did we get everything we wanted? Oh H–L no! But the most critical – location – we won big; the rest took some cash and a lot of sweat equity to make it our home.

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    1. Yes! I always love it when the buyers are listing all the wants they have, they tell the agent their price range and even when the agent tells them they won’t get everything they want for that price they still insist.

      I also don’t understand those people who want to move but they want to remain in the same neighborhood. Maybe it’s because our shortest move was 2 hours away (aside from times we rented) and always across state lines.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It just seems to illustrate the entitlement attitude so prevalent these days. My DH and I were in our 50s before purchasing our home, because we always felt priced out in prior markets and decided saving our money was better than being house poor. For once it worked in our favor. So these people … get over it! Either fix what you have and make it work or accept that this is how much house your budget buys you.

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  2. I am a little different since at this point I have no desire to buy a house. BUT that is because I own my grand parents house and truthfully at some point 6 generations have lived here either before me or with me. From my great grandmother, my grandparents, my parents, my Aunt and Uncle and myself and my children. I own a row home in a good neighborhood where neighbors are paying 3 to 6 times what I purchased it for from the estate. Of course that was when I was young and in the 80’s. And at the time I was sick since my grandparents only paid 15,000.00 for the house. I do try to fix one major thing each year since I will probably stay here forever.

    I never understand the need for mcmansions. But I did see tiny house nation a few weeks ago at my Uncles and found that very intriguing. Love your blog by the way…I found it through Janelle 🙂

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    1. Thank you! I’m glad you’re enjoying it.

      Wow- I would love to actually make money on a house. That’s the downside of moving a lot. We bought our first house right before we first got married. CF is a vet so we always used a VA loan and didn’t put anything down. We moved a year after buying our first house and made a whopping hundred dollars on it! And that was only because the company he was working for paid closing costs and commissions. We did make some money on our second house which we lived in for 2 1/2 years but we also finished the upstairs. Our third house we lost our asses on. Thank the stars above that his company came to our rescue. We had refinanced a year prior to moving and the buyout offer was $40,000 less than the refinance amount! It was also less than the amount we had paid for the house six years prior! Finally, we did make some money on our last house although it, too, sold for less than when we had purchased it. All the previous times we’ve had his company paying our closing costs and sales commission so selling this time should be a fun ride.

      As for tiny houses… no thank you! Maybe if I were single with no kids but no way would I try that with a family! A lot of people seem to love it, though.

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      1. You have to be very careful during your settlement discussions about the house. Lots of divorced people (mostly women) get really messed up financially because they keep the house. Given that you only have a few years left in the area, you very well may want him to buy you out and let him deal with it. Or some other solution, but absolutely don’t put yourself in the position of having to be the one to sell at a loss.

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  3. I read an article once about how fake most of those shows are. In fact, the buyers have often picked out/even purchased a home before filming begins. Lots of editing for drama etc. Not really surprising — ratings after all!

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