Saturday, November 18, 2006

It Just Ain't So...

Ya know that old adage: Pictures don't lie? It's false!!

And that one about pictures telling a thousand words? Yep! A lie, too...unless you are looking for a thousand words of untruths...

And I have proof!

I've been house-hunting this year (yes, I for almost a year...but I am sticking to one small area so I go and see each home that comes on the market...). Recently one went up for sale that was a model that is really too small for my needs. But, because I am seemingly a masochist at heart, I did a drive-by. And wow! It was in a perfect location, had a tile roof (as opposed to an old original shake roof which quite a few in that area still have...remember...I have vivid memories of not goin' there again...), and was on the side of the golf course that I'd really prefer.

Alas... the realtor had not posted any pictures of it, but the description sounded lovely. Lush landscaping, fountain in the entryway, pristine condition. (Yeah...we could also talk about truth in advertising here, too...). But my current home is not ready to put on the market yet (yes, we are still in the friggin' cleaning mode...), so I kept my cool and did not call my agent for a showing. After all, the floor plan was really too small for my needs. I don't want to throw out or give away everything!

But then...this week... the listing realtor put up a picture. Not the normal four or five or six or ten... but one. And oh my!
It was one of the backyard...and it was amazingly beautiful. Large! Covered patio for part of it that overlooked a grassy area with some trees, secluded, the golf course and mountains farther out. So what if the floor plan was small...I could LIVE on that patio, I excitedly told myself! And geez... maybe the owner would consider throwing in the terrific patio table and chairs!

Alas...why hadn't I finished getting my place ready, I berated myself. I knew this would happen, I chastised. No sense in going to see it, I meanly told's so terrific, it'd be sold in no time...and you, Ms. Procrastinator-Extraordinnaire, still have shoveling to do in the current abode. So hop to it, I commanded thyself.

But, but, but, Ms. P-E came back meekly... maybe seeing it would be just the "push" I needed... And, and, and...what harm could viewing it actually do? Other than waste a bit of my agent's time and my time... So, I made an appointment to see it today...

When I arrived at my agent's office, she handed me the detail sheet to read over, and it says it has a walk-in closet in the master bedroom. Now I've been in enough of these homes to know...they ain't got no walk-in closets in the master bedroom or otherwise! Buy hey...I'm not opposed to that! Even it is done without a permit... So off we go!

Upon entering the gate, I see that the fern-lined walkway with fountain is really a fern-entangled jungle! Hmmm...okay... I can just have my new landscape dude fix this for me...

I walk to the back as my agent struggles with the door locks...(graphite, I think to myself...just a little graphite is all that's needed...) to view the "gorgeous" huge, honkin' backyard... that's the size of a postage stamp. Talk about trick photography! It turns out it's about half the size as MOST the other yards I've viewed! And lush landscaping: uh...can we say "overgrown mishmash"? Yes, yes we can. My heart sinks a bit.

But, there's still the lovely patio table... which was obviously turned the long way to make the picture look better, but has a huge crack in the glass, and the chairs are all broken and beat up. So, I won't be beggin' for them in the offer, I think...

And the "covered" patio...uh... it's bird netting. Yep. Bird netting.

But, it's also pretty secluded, and I can see the golf course, and the view is pretty amazing. By this time, agent has struggled through the four locks with success, and we go inside.

It is very clean. A definite plus. The only room remodeled in the "extensive" 2002 remodel was the kitchen (which is very small but really, really nice!)...and the master bedroom closet which has been made into a walk-in by taking up half the garage. And there is a HUGE dip that could substitute for a skateboard gangplank between the two rooms.

So...pristine really equals permitless...

And is probably why there's only one picture. That has been expertly doctored.

So...the next time you see a photo of yourself that you hate...and think that can't possibly be you... you'll be right! And you have my full permission to refer to this blog entry for proof.

And the good news here: I don't have to rush with the Current Abode Clean-Up this weekend. Woo Hoo! Ms. P-E is most gleeful about that!


Okay....deep sounds like you still really like the place...? I was in the same situation as you about ...I dunno...5 years ago??? I found the place I'd been looking for...except it needed some work...and so did mine. Long story short, by the time I got mine in shape, it was too late to buy the place that needed A LOT of work...and I didn't feel so bad...except that place is worth about 1.2 million, and guess what?? Mine didn't quite appreciate as much. So, my advice is to go with your gut...don't look for reasons NOT to buy. Unless, of course, there's not enough room for me to come visit....

LOL... It's really too small. And it was surprisingly dark inside (which I need light and airy!), though that could be in large part to the heavy overgrowth and the bird netting.

Two thing about the place, however, are deal-breakers: the closet conversion without permits and the fact it wasn't done well and takes up better than half the garage...I need my garage especially if the inside is small, I need to store my precious "stuff" somewhere!

And, termites are a HUGE problem in this area. The overgrowth and birdnetting have added to those woes. I saw evidence of some minor damage on the patio cover, and I kinda think there might be a bee's nest on one side. Because there's a shared wall with your neighbor, getting the place tented for termites becomes trickier... So one kinda wants be sure it's termite-free. This place, I suspect is not.

And, the model is really just too small...I really need that third room...

So...with a bit of luck and patience shall be rewarded. Just not this week...

I guess the silver lining in this one is that you aren't being tempted to get something that's too small, and you don't have to go nuts hurrying to get your place in order to sell.

Still, it sucks when you are so looking forward to something, only to find that the realtor has embellished WAY more than usual. You'll find a place you love, though, and in the meantime you can get your place in apple pie order.

Since I can't blog under my old name, I guess I'll be anonymous. Sorry that you were duped. One person's description certainly does not match yours. Just realize it's not your time...was that wise or what? Huggs, Phyllis

Don't do it, Brooke. Sounds like Deja Vu. Don't trade one unhappy house for another. Follow your instincts.

Brooke, just keep looking and one day you will find the house you want. This happened to us about 18 years ago. We looked and looked and even offered for a few places, feeling that we would be happy in them. Luckily for us we were too late for those homes. So in November we decided to hang it up for the winter and look again in the spring. Well our realtor called us a few days later and said "You have to check this place out!"
Well one look and we were sold on it, we were the first people to look at it and we offered for it immediately, got the house and still love it. So your dream home is out there, you just have to be patient and you will find it.

Gloria T.