So here I am, living the last few weeks in my house with my dogs. I’m going to work, to the dog park, the dog beach, riding my bike around the neighborhood, riding my scooter, watching some junk TV in my overstuffed leather chairs, trying new restaurants, visiting with neighbors. That’s the good stuff. Meanwhile, I’m sorting through boxes and drawers and a garageful of things. Working, doing the paperwork for a loan, for my taxes, for my bank accounts and vehicles – and looking for a smaller place to buy. (Incidentally, I found myself wondering why I wasn’t also signed up for a class to improve my Spanish or Italian. Why don’t I allow myself time to breathe?)
Which brings me to the topic of this post. House hunting hates me. I’m not joking. Three out of four places I attempt to view downtown are either not actually on the market or impossible to get inside to view.
Let me elaborate. Today my realtor and I spent an hour trying to get to a key in a lockbox, it’s whereabouts unknown other than “in the garage”. The building had three garage levels, internal entries only. The push button lock code to enter the building didn’t work. So we opened the lockbox of an office unit on the ground floor with an external entry, entered with a key and went into the building through that unit’s internal door (yes, we basically snuck in). We did not have a key card for the elevator to the first garage level, so we waited to follow on the tail of some resident, then we jumped in after him. In the garage, I had to hold the door to keep it from shutting, lest we get locked inside (apparently this happens). No lock box in the garage. The realtor called whomever and was assured there was a lock box, but we had to enter on the ground level inside the lobby, to a level that was there but not indicated anywhere. So back down we went (fortunately the elevators did not require a key card to go down). We wandered through fire doors and hallways, and eventually found the garage passage from the lobby (but only after calling for assistance again). Again, I held the door so we didn’t get locked in. The realtor finally found the lock boxes, of which there were around ten. Not all of them were marked with unit numbers. Another phone call, and several tries finally located the correct lock box. My realtor opened it. There was no key inside. No, we never got in.
And that was only one of the units we attempted to visit today. We attempted to see 8 apartments, and we saw 3. Unmarked lock boxes, missing keys, unreturned calls for appointments, and listings that we “no longer on the market ” (but showed up as updated or new listing just this morning). And I’m not even looking at the short sales (where people aren’t really moving out, just camping mortgage free and putting the house on the market over and over to buy time).
The places I did see weren’t anything I liked at all. One place had amazing views, but not one appliance. The previous owner stole everything, you could see where they ripped the microwave off the wall. This place also had a shower in the kitchen area and a toilet and sink in the bedroom closet. You’d think I was in Barcelona with that kind of craziness.
Other adventures today included an old dude from a neighboring apartment building with a big knee brace, trying to talk his way coming with us to view a unit because he was interested in it too. He spent 15 minutes telling us all about the place as he remembered it from the one time he had seen it, as we struggled with a lock box and phone calls. He actually tried to hobble behind us into the apartment. I nearly gave him another knee brace.
Then there was the young, clueless office attendant with the 5 inch heels and the wrong pair of jeans for her bubble butt who showed us a developers unit. She seemed to be preoccupied with our reactions to her “tour” which consisted of traipsing us past the pool and showing us the gym and presenting them both with a flourish of her arm like the ladies on those late night TV commercials for some super vegetable chopper thing. Or 20 knives or superglue or something. Then this chick would glance nervously over to our faces then look away every 3 seconds while scrunching up her tiny mouth. After her performance and showing us one place, she let us walk out the door without showing us the other 3 or 4 available units we later learned about when the manager called to follow up. So I have to go back again. Did I mention I got a ticket there? Yeah, not really looking forward to returning to that place.
Something better turn up quick. I have 2 1/2 weeks left in this house and I need somewhere to put my overstuffed sofa and chairs. And I’m not too keen on peeing in a closet and showering with a stove and dishwasher.