Monday, March 31, 2014

Still Working on the Southern Address...

Well, we made it through what I consider our first "real" house hunting experience in North Carolina. (I'm not counting December, since at that time we could only look...wistfully...with no possibility of even considering a purchase...) On a dreary, drizzly Saturday we piled into Agent C's Lexus-tank to shop around...real estate style. When we met her at the office, she handed us a folder with all of the information she'd prepared to facilitate our productive day. First off, she had divided the appointments into a Morning and an Afternoon Session, with a lunch break in between. (Clearly, this lady speaks our language...) Next, she had printed a map of the area, including all of the sites we'd be visiting designated--in order--with green numbers. (Organization--I just LOVE that!) Of course, she had also copied the listing pages for all of the homes, so we could read about them while we drove. (Which I ignored, but Husband seemed to get a big Nerd Thrill out of, so "to each his own"...)

Then it was basically a matter of stopping at each candidate, wandering up and down stairs (all of us), counting rooms (Husband), yelling "dibs" on living quarters (Derek and Riley), analyzing the layout for function and...pleasing...ness (yeah, that would be me), eyeballing a likely "home office" (Husband again), and all of the other things--concrete and intangible--that go into evaluating a property. After getting a few stops out of the way, Husband cheerfully remarked, "I didn't like the upstairs of the first house, the downstairs of the second, and the yard of the third. Who'd like to place a bet on what I won't like this time?" (Not surprisingly, no one took him up on that...) We knew we were getting a bit punchy when we arrived at a prospective home...burst into a group fit of giggles upon entering the front door...and still toured it anyway, for entertainment value. (It shall I put this...a log-cabin-like interior appearance, with bizarrely-shaped rooms, as if a giant had laid it out using building blocks, with no particular plan...)

Meanwhile, the boys were having a bit TOO much fun, racing each other around corners, gagging at One Direction posters they encountered in current-occupants' bedrooms, and whooping with glee when they identified a "Bonus Room" (not kidding--that term appears repeatedly in the official literature) that could be used as a..."Teenage-Boy-Cave". (Husband coined that term, and it was instantly adopted by the adolescents...sigh...) Somewhere along the way, Agent C suggested we name the homes, so we could more easily remember what they looked like when they all inevitably began to run together in our overloaded brains. For example, the one house we all liked had a tasteful green exterior...which Riley immediately dubbed Kiwi Thunder. (Well, I guess it worked, since we certainly won't be forgetting that one anytime soon, right?) Then there were not one, but TWO houses near each other, where as we approached the front door, we were "greeted" by a large....slug...on the step. Yep, welcome to what shall hereafter be known as: Slug Neighborhood (which got the unanimous thumbs-down anyway, for other reasons than...insect...ular...ones)

Finally, we all agreed that when we paused for much-needed sustenance, we would talk about absolutely anything except the house search...because we still had the post-meal batch to get through. All together, we spent about 7-1/2 hours with the ever patient, helpful, kind Agent C. Although we didn't find anything we felt compelled to make an offer on this time around (we re-discussed Kiwi Thunder the next day, after sleeping on it, and decided it wasn't "the one"), this just means we get to take another shot at it in a few weeks, when the boys will be on their Spring Break and we can make our next trip. So we headed back northward with the promise to do it all again soon...and traveled right into a freakin' snowstorm. Terrible visibility, strong wind, white flakes pummelling the car, slush beginning to pile up on the roadways...Are. You. Kidding. Me? Ohhhh, I get it now: obviously, we weren't supposed to leave at all! Dang it! (Is it Spring Break yet?)

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