Tuesday, December 25, 2007

And to All a Good Night!

For everyone out there to whom Christmas means more than a day off of work and an excuse to eat cookies-- Merry Christmas! For anyone like me-- enjoy your day off and your cookies (and spiced cider, spiked eggnog, and/or chocolates). Right now, I am basking in the sense of accomplishment that can only come from finishing a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle. Not just that, but finishing it between the time it arrived as a Chanukah present and today. I think working on puzzles may be an undiscovered form of meditation-- the intense concentration, the forgetting of one's daily concerns, and yet the mindlessness of sorting and piecing. I bet that studies would show that doing jigsaw puzzles lowers one's bloodpressure and resting heartrate the way that meditation does. Since no one seems to be studying this, however, I have no proof to my theory. Or disproof, for that matter.

Speaking of searching for houses (Yes, I am master of segue. No, there is no missing paragraph.) Don and I have potentially found another candidate. The log cabin we were interested in turned out to be a burned-out shell.

Us: So when was this place last occupied, do you know?

Agent: Oh, not since the fire in 2002!

Us: .... fire?

So the "Unique opportunity for first-time homebuyer or investor!" was ever so slightly exagerated and should have read "Burned-out building ready for tear-down-- but has a nice corner lot." We have learned to take the listing ads with not so much a grain of salt as a full tablespoon. Our weekends lately consist of driving from town to town, clutching a handful of ReMax printouts. Good times.

Because our price range is at the bottom of the barrel for these parts, we've seen some interesting interpretations of "house". One that defies description sits on four acres of land that seem to have been used as a private dump for decades-- and as a private cemetery, with 3 graves behind the house. Not old graves, either, but from the 1980's. Between that, the junked-out car engines, camper shells, boats, and random trash, and the hunters that we could hear but not see had me desperate to get back into the car and onto the main road.

However. There is one possibility I'm quite hopeful about, in a town about 20 minutes away. It's a farmhouse, built in the 1880's, and it's in our price range-- barely. To me, it looks like what a real house should be. You know, with two stories, a staircase, pitched roof, porches, fireplaces. We haven't been inside yet but it looks like people actually live there, or did until recently. Which indicates that the house is habitable. This is a real step up for us. The brochure claims the place is "fundamentally sound but could stand some cosmetic improvements." ...we just need to find out what that means once translated from realtor-speak into normal human. "Cosmetic improvements" aught to mean that some surface stuff needs updating. But we shall see. The house is over 100 years old, after all, and not so expensive. There must be a reason why.


Analisa said...

New reader here from MDC (Megs Mom). {{{HUGS}}}

Mara said...


ayla said...

Wow. I do NOT miss house hunting, for all the reasons you mentioned. I highly recommend getting a buyer's agent. I don't know how it is in your state, but here, the buyer's agent is paid by the seller, believe it or not. Our agent was fabulous and truly helpful in getting us a great deal on our house. Good luck!

Mara said...

Thanks for the tip!

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