House hurting

So I looked at five more houses today.

None of them were worth considering.

Our realtor led me through two during my lunch break …

The first looked promising from the pictures we saw online, and it held some promise when we pulled up … Then we walked to the back door, and I saw that the back yard consisted of a small concrete patio between the house and the garage … The interior had some of the charms of a 19th-century house -- a big dining room, a grand winding staircase, a tall living room with plantation shutters -- but the home, like so many we’ve seen, also needed a lot of work. The flowery wallpaper -- so not our style -- was almost as dated as the house. The kitchen was tiny, and the washer and dryer were inside it. The floor was uneven, the ceilings and walls had large cracks. There was no basement …

The second home had some potential, but it would have required a second mortgage just to update it. The built-in oven in the kitchen appeared to be about 50 years old. The bedrooms had hardwood flooring, but the rest of the rooms had musty brown carpeting or vinyl flooring that was peeling up in the corners. The yard was decent, but the house sat on main road …

Next please.

We chose three more to look at tonight, the first of which had just entered the marketplace and a lot of people are wanting to see it -- or so we were told …

But it didn’t quite live up to the hype. It was a split-level -- the kind of layout Kates and I don’t want but can’t seem to avoid in our searches -- with an open floor plan and a large living area. But all of the updates appeared to have been done hastily, and they hardly fit our style. Plus the laminate flooring in the kitchen was bubbling, and the back yard backed up to the high school parking lot. If Kates and I went for the house, we’d likely spend just as much money redoing all the updates as we might have spent on improvements to an older house.

We moved on to another 19th-century home that looked promising in its pictures -- a wraparound porch, beautiful woodwork inside … I knew that one wasn’t going to work out the moment we stepped on the caving porch. The windows were in poor shape. The paint was peeling. The rooms were small. The upstairs was a sauna. The basement was a maze of pipes and hanging electrical wiring. The one-car garage was in total disrepair.

Oh, but we saved the best for last.

I decided to throw the final address into the mix for good measure. Kates and I had seen it listed for several weeks and weren’t overly impressed with it, but the pictures were intriguing and the yard looked nice. I thought it at least deserved a look … Bah! After we pulled up, our realtor warned me it had been student housing, and I was turned off the moment we stepped into the two-car garage -- which had been divided in the middle by a studded wall. One side of the garage was empty; the other had been transformed into a rec room with a pool table. And it reeked so badly of smoke and lord knows what else, I almost spewed. The entire house wreaked and the layout had no rhyme or reason. It was labyrinth of stairs and doors and rooms that seemed to go on and on and on. Which I supposed could be fun -- but not really.

This house hunt is starting to become torturous.

I've also been fighting a cold this week. I barely have a voice. The door of my dishwasher is jammed, so I only have a couple dishes to use. My refrigerator is nearly empty because I have't had time to go grocery shopping.

Everything's great.

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