Thursday, August 13, 2009

Gained the world

The last few months have been all about new sights, sensations and smells. They told me it was a buyer's market and I bit the bullet. Lived like a hermit for the last few months (by my standards anyway), and readied myself for a 30 year old loan. The only hurdle is to find something to blow that credit on. I work well with a routine, and so I duly set myself one. Search for houses in the night, drop them into an excel sheet and list the pros and cons, the latter easily outnumbering the former. Appointments are set, and I leave work a wee bit earlier that day. As I wait for the realtor to pick me up, there's no sense of anticipation, no excitement, nothing. After a futile search for emotions I sit down to play some pinball on the jesus-phone. A white prius pulls in, and the driver is immaculately attired with a matching crisp professional smile. She's taken to me of late, and is trying hard to convince me that I should eat food that suits my blood group. "O+ve", she declares, "need meat. We need lamb, onions, and exercise. We should avoid dairy and bread. You're young now, but when you're 35 you'll thank me". I nod in agreement. I love lamb. Not as much as pork, but love it all the same. I can't live without milk, but I'm not telling her that. In fact, that's not something I should tell most people.

Yes, forget I said that. It's scotch that I can't live without. She makes it clear that she's a Church going, Greek orthodox, family woman. I couldn't care one way or the other, but if it's that important, I'll play along. On every slow ride. I do enjoy her company - she's intelligent, educated and cultured. Her heels clatter loudly over the concrete steps as we make our way into a stranger's home. They've been informed of our arrival well in advance (by her suspect dyslexic assistant), and the house is empty, left in a state of stasis. It's fascinating, like walking into a tomb. Most houses are setup with staging furniture but there's signs of life in corners and in the back of wardrobes. An empty grocery bag, a few hangers, a pair of shoes. Some houses are still occupied. They've let me into their lives for the next 20 minutes. I know what colors they see when they wake up in the morning. I know what's for dinner. I'm taking down notes. Commenting that their kitchen's small. The carpets need work. Sure, strangers are allowed to comment on your housekeeping skills. We discuss what we can use to haggle and bargain.

I will take away your loan - at the cost of your home. Not just yet. How old is the furnace? Why's the living room this tiny? How can the closet have enough space for two adults' clothing? *What were they thinking when they made the living room so small*? It's probably why I got to see this house in a market full of sharks, I reason.

Home, house, bullshit. Someday I'll find an apartment with the least set of compromises.


Purely Narcotic said...

House-hunting when one is renting is such a pain, I don't even want to imagine what it would be like when one decides to buy it. And to think these are houses that are built already, so it's almost always the interiors and the exteriors that get a face-lift and not the entire structure-form and the layout itself that is designed to suit one's tastes!

I find it extremely disconcerting to walk into houses that are occupied at the time of 'inspection'. It feels like walking into a living breathing organism with a life of its own and you don't know what you're going to see etc.

Perakath said...

I didn't know your plans were so long-term..

Perakath said...

And my folks just bought/built a house now, in their fifties. Quite ambitious you are, young paduwan!

Thanatos said...

@ Narco : Yep, pretty surreal inspecting an occupied house.

@ Perakath : But all the cool kids are doing it!

Rassles said...

A house? A house? Owning something permanent, that exists in one place all the time?

I can't fathom it.

Thanatos said...

If someone moved all my shit for free once a year, did all the paperwork involved, I'd rent forever!