Home and Castle

March 5, 2011


Oh, the house drama.

On February 9, I spent three and a half hours getting my hair done.  Finally.  Everything had been so busy that I had rescheduled the appointment twice when work meetings got in the way.  Finally, I devoted an entire evening, the night before I was doing the final inspections on the house of my dreams and an important faculty meeting.

At the end of our three and a half hour slog through foils, chemical smells, round brushes made of tourmaline or some other space-age hair-altering substance, and endless pondering of the Royal Wedding, I turned to my stylist and said, "The only person who is going to get the full effect of this is my septic inspector, tomorrow morning."  I hoped he'd appreciate it.

The product of our labours
To be honest, by the next morning I was sporting a limp, tangled, "morning after the prom" look.  Classy.  But he still did appreciate it, paying me the very high compliment of acting surprised that I was "from away," and telling me that I "sounded just like a Nova Scotian" as he toured me through the proctological video journey he was making of my prospective sewage system.

Just after this, my realtor showed up, looking grim.  "We've got a problem," he said, "Basically, we're f**ked."

There was a problem with the foundation.  A problem that would make the house essentially unsellable, should I ever lose my job, have to leave Canada, and need to unload the house promptly.  It was a $40,000 problem that, if solved, would raise the value of the house no more than $4000.  It was in addition to prospective problems with the roof, the chimney, the floors, and the septic system.  There was no concession that the sellers could make that would make it worthwhile.  We withdrew in deep mourning.

Actually, I was pretty strong at the beginning, acknowledging that it was the only possible logical choice.  D found it harder, having become attached to the property from afar.  But in the weeks that followed, I felt grimmer and grimmer, like I'd been dumped unceremoniously by my very first house-love.  "I loved it," I told people, "but the whole time it was hiding a bad foundation from me.  How could it?  How could I not have known???"

I began scrolling through real estate listings with a dull resentment.  "There's nothing," I wrote to D, "I feel like I will never love again."

"I don't know," he replied callously, "That last place was nice.  Kinda small."

I sighed.  We'll see.  We'll see.

3 Responses so far.

  1. On the bright side, it seems you can trust your realtor to discover problems (albeit not immediately) and your hair did look very pretty.

  2. Annie says:

    But you did the right thing! I once ignored a similar warning and spent the next eleven years regretting it.

  3. Thanks, Laura and Annie! I just went out this afternoon with my (indeed extremely trustworthy) realtor, and tried to buck myself up about the whole process while looking at a few new places. I know (intellectually) that I made the right choice, but there is nothing remotely as exciting on the market right now. In our price range, at least. Sigh. (I'm moping a bit.)

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