Mindful Monday is a weekly series that explores the present status of my world. There are often weekly meal plans, website updates, family events, links to crafts and recipes, and whatever I find useful and meaningful.
Well, good news! We are pretty much all set for the closing of our house. The appraisal was perfect and the foreclosure sale is set. My hubby and I are definitely the DIY types but I’m sure you could have guessed that from my blog, lol.
Home previewing and open houses can be a surreal experience from a buyer’s perspective. I love HGTV, but they don’t really prepare you for the realities of searching for homes. On HGTV, anything without granite counter tops is a fixer upper. I know my husband and I are more open to houses which are not move in ready, but I have found that the average house is never pristine. I have learned a lot from viewing open houses and home viewing. If you are starting the home viewing process, here are a few of the unexpected items we have come across:
People are Dirty
Not everyone cares to have a clean house for open houses or viewings. I do not understand this mentality, but it does happen. As a DIY-er, I can look past any decorating. However, I have seen houses so cluttered, it made me wonder what was hidden. I have heard that messy divorces or unwilling tenants can mean that only one party desires to sell.
Go to the bathroom before leaving home. I personally would not presume that I could use the facilities of a home I was viewing, but I do have a 5 year old who does not have the patience to wait. Many vacant homes have the water shut off. For example, our foreclosure was winterized, meaning no water.
Will our bed fit here?
Bring a tape measure. Sometimes pictures on home sale websites can be deceiving about space. Before leaving home, measure the beds, dining room table, and anything that will be coming to the new house. We have a king size bed and this was a big problem for us.
5 houses scheduled, only 2 viewed
Have backup open houses or home previews in mind. We scheduled five homes to view a few days ahead of time. Then after we arrive at the first home preview, we learned that two other scheduled viewings accepted contracts the previous evening. Bummer.
How do we get out of here?
Be careful of closing doors behind yourself. This may seem like common courtesy or even just habit. However, my husband and I were surprised to find that we had locked ourselves onto a second floor deck with no other exit. Thank goodness another couple was viewing the home.
Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!
Expect cats, pet snakes, turtles, pet rats, or whatever. I was startled one time by a cat in a closet. People usually take dogs with them during open houses, but other pets are often left at the home. And some of the animals may no longer be among the living. Think hunting trophies and deceased pets. This was very common when we lived in Tennessee.
Take notes. Keep tally for negotiations and for reviewing if interested in the house.
Can’t change your neighbors
Pay attention to the neighborhood. You can change your house to suit your needs, but changing your neighbors is a little harder. I sat outside our house and just listened to the neighborhood for a while. I actually have not personally had any bad experiences with this, but I had a friend who was afraid she could not sell her house because the neighbors had a port-a-potty rather than fixing their bathroom.Yuck.
I love the 80s!
Expect to get a reunion with some of your childhood decor memories: wood paneling, green appliances, black art deco, and even pink tiles. These trends are surviving in middle class america better than you may realize.
Who is in there?
Knock before entering. We have, on more than one occasion, found owners unaware they were having a viewing or did not care to leave.
DIY people do not always know what they are doing
I love DIY, but you gotta know when your over your head. My dad taught me the importance of doing home improvement the correct way. It is slow. It is arduous. And it will last if done right. Bad DIYs can range from walls buckling to flat paint used in bathrooms. I have seen both of these and many more.
My most unfortunate experience
Understand that you are taking a peek into other people’s lives when viewing their homes. And you cannot possibly know what you are walking into every time you view a home. My favorite crazy house experience was what I call “a tale of 2 houses”. My hubby and I walked into this amazing 3 bedroom, 2 bath starter home. On the main floor, it had everything we wanted plus a huge walk-in closet. We were feeling great and really seeing ourselves purchase this home…..until we started walking downstairs. First, the smell hit you as soon as you opened the basement door: mildew and decay. Second, the mold was everywhere! I couldn’t believe it. It was actually growing on closet doors! But this horror story doesn’t end there. In the basement was this room where the walls were covered in dog paw prints and dried blood. Seriously! A lot of it! There was only a cement floor. From my experience in animal shelters and being a pitbull owner, I am pretty sure we had stumbled upon a dog fighting rink.
All in all, house hunting can be a very exciting experience. I have learned to take a sense of humor with me when walking through other people’s homes. I love our new home and cannot wait to get started painting, picking out furniture, and decorating. Week and half to go. Team Beach is gonna be epic!
Have a great day!