Category: Surreal Estate


Thursday, October 8th, 2009

I’m becoming the real estate version of Gladys Kravitz… the neighborhood HARpy

I find myself running to the interweb when I see neighboring properties with fresh for sale/future development signage. God help me if I drive past cleared land with multiple stakes marking too-close-for-comfort future slabs. I’ll stalk the builder’s web page and scour their site plans. Two weeks ago, a local builder put up a sign near my house and I thought “Awesome! They build cute homes…” My friend Sarah even has one of their great houses. I covet her closet space!

And then I remembered that when I last checked, their Inner Loop properties were moving toward the cold, contemporary, corrugated steel construction I cannot stand. NO BOX HOUSES in my fauxtorian neighborhood! I panicked when their website didn’t have any information.

Luckily, they’ve since added a large on-site rendering of the planned townhouses. Cute. Traditional. Definitely not something in which you’d park a plane.


knock on wood.

And another thing

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

I don’t know what it is about home improvement stores, but the fiance and I can’t leave a Lowe’s or Home Depot without leaving behind something we’d intended to buy. We make lists, but that doesn’t preclude inevitable forgetfulness.

Normally, I’m an independent shopper. I’m a huge fan of “no thanks, I’m just browsing.” But that goes out the window in Lowe’s and Home Depot. I shamelessly push those help buttons and track down sales associates like nobody’s business. I’ve mastered the deer in headlights look for faster assistance.

The other day, I needed a right angled plastic thingamajig to prevent water from splashing off the tub and onto the tile floor. I half-assedly looked in plumbing before stalking a Lowe’s dude. Turns out the “splash guard” display was about 15 feet from where I’d waited. They were out of stock until tonight, when I scored it and my new favorite temporary fix.

Now I just need to install the splash guard. If only Lowe’s had a Geek Squad…

Bring the Noise

Monday, May 25th, 2009

You know that prison syndrome whereby released inmates have difficulty adjusting to life without restriction? (Think the old dude from Shawshank) I’m having a similar issue with the noise level in my new home.

For years, I’ve lived in dorms and apartments where refraining from loud walking, talking or just about anything was expected. A quiet neighbor is a good neighbor right? I can’t count how many times I yelled “SORRY!” toward the floor when my clumsiness resulted in a loud thud on a downstairs neighbor’s ceiling.

So as the fiance knocked on the walls, attempting to locate studs, I instinctively cringed and thought “SHHH THE NEIGHBORS!!!” Earlier in the day, I’d even caught myself walking softly on the wooden floors and closing cabinet doors ever-so-gently.

I keep having to remind myself that we don’t share walls. We’re our own contained unit, free to make as much damn noise as we want.

And that’s so bizarre.

Scratch One of the List

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

See that blue sticky note up there? Scratch buy a house off that. Wahoo!

We closed the Monday before last and then promptly boarded a plane to Miami. It was 4-1/2 days of bridal party goodness, capped by my friend Sarah’s wedding on Sunday night. I’m not the most social of butterflies, so I was exhausted come Monday. I attributed it to excessive bootie shaking, but later that night I discovered the real culprit: flu!

Knowing that I had a *crazy* work week ahead, I stalked my doctor’s office for a Tuesday morning appointment. Before going, I got a call from my mother, who happened to also be sick. She wasn’t able to get into our doctor and booked a nurse practitioner, so I offered to drive her. I got into the room, went through the normal pre-doc vitals hooha and greeted the doctor when he entered the room. Within seconds there was another knock on the door. My mom didn’t like the nurse practitioner, so she bogarted my appointment and the proceeded to insist he test me for swine flu. We both kept telling her it wasn’t H1N1, but he caved. I got a Z-Pak, Tamiflu and the most wonderful shot ever. She tried to work him for Tamiflu and a swine test, but she just had bronchitis and he’d reached his limit.

Thursday morning was move day. I headed to work as Dan awaited the movers. It was weird knowing that all my stuff was being moved without me. I’m kind of a control freak. I’d color-coded all of the boxes to assure a language barrier wouldn’t be an issue. Feeling guilty for not being there, I wanted to make the move as smooth as possible for Dan. I stopped short of chalk outlines for furniture placement. 😉

Our first night in the house involved me working on a client RFI until I crashed at midnight. There was one awkward WTF neighbor encounter. I get a knock on the door, which I couldn’t avoid because of the exposed windows. (We’re getting shutters). I open the door and this girl introduces herself, her dog and her cat and then ignores her pets brushing past me and romping throughout the house. I am allergic to cats and most dogs. This romping, I didn’t appreciate. I casually mentioned how I was recovering from the flu and had a big work deadline… You’d think she’d say “Oh, I’m so sorry – just wanted to introduce myself…I’ll let you get back to what you were doing…” and immediately herd her pets. Nope. She nonchalantly said “We’re animal people here” and just let them go! I made small talk while following her cat’s every movement until I couldn’t take it anymore. I scooped up the allergyball and handed it back to her with a “Well, it was nice meeting you – if there’s anything you need…”

We’ll eventually meet all the neighbors. We’ve at least seen their faces as they walk by staring into the windows. It’ll be nice to put names and houses to wide eyes.

The second night was much more fun. We unpacked the kitchen and master bathroom, moved my office furniture and cleaned the bathrooms. Yes, we call that fun. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve run through the house like kids in a candy store. With walkie talkies.

I was supposed to go to Austin with Dan and my future rents-in-law today, but I’m afraid my hacking (picture an 80 year old smoker’s cough) will scare the small chillens. Instead, I’ll unpack more boxes.

And buy some temporary blinds.

Yo Mama

Sunday, May 10th, 2009

Someone in West Houston has “TA MERE” on his license plate. I aime that beaucoup.

Speaking of mothers, I kicked off my day with an early lunch with my mom and immediate family. It was much better than last year’s 3 hour restaurant ordeal with the extended fam. My sister had a good idea: we should move the Thursday or Friday before Memorial Day, because it’ll give us more time to unpack. A-ha! I looked at the calendar – that’s the weekend after next. With us going to Miami on Thursday and returning Monday, that will leave us 6-7 days to pack up this place. AGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH

It’s not that it’s an impossible task – it’s just quicker than I’d envisioned. If we pack a room a night, it should go swimmingly (kow). So Dan and I headed to my office and stocked my car with old boxes. We then headed for the new house to time my commute (5 minutes-wahoo!) and locate a suitable bike route for Dan (eh, not so easy).

On that note, I should go pack something! Maybe I’ll start with the kitchen. That way I won’t have to cook anything or do dishes for 2 weeks… 😉