April 1, 2006

Unreal Estate

What a fabulous day to sleep in. Or not. Why do cats not understand weekends?

With a silent house, I can quietly read all the parts of the newspaper I usually am too busy to spend quality time with. The obits, the puzzles, the travel section, and of course now, the auto section. Well, I glance at that one.

Spring favourite is the Homes section. It's probably a deep-seated desire to spring- move rather than spring- clean; it just seems like less work.

I like deciphering the cryptic codes of real estates ads. One of my favourites is a picture of a horse. No, you're not buying a horse. You're buying an overpriced hunk of land, and you're supposed to imagine you will have a horse. It may already feature a falling down barn (where even that little horse wouldn't live) but they really can't show you that, and expect you to fork over $1.2 million. They should call this the idea section.

'Here's your chance to own'...means cheapest price on the street. Usually for a reason. Bring your toolbox. And a bulldozer. '3+1 bedroom' means where you currently store sheets and towels is now considered a fourth bedroom. If only you'd known. 'Parking for six cars' probably means Your Name is Earl.

'Room for a pool' means the backyard is so unattractive, they want you to view it through a kaleidascope. 'Needs TLC' means do. not. buy. unless you have a pickup, no children, an empty Home Depot credit card, and preferrably are licensed in 5 of the 6 main trades.

'New Open House' means they finally convinced the owner, who's had it on the market for a year, to let them fluff it - throw out the dog peepee carpet, hide the Star Wars collectibles in the master bedroom, and paint over the life-sized unicorns in the baby's room.

I had an agent once tell me the wording they would use if I sold my house. I looked at it, and said 'I'll buy it!'. It sounded perfect.

I just figure if these houses are half as great as they make them sound, nobody would be moving.


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