How not to sell a house

Poor Michael had food poisoning last night. We aren’t sure where it came from – I had no such trouble. It started becoming a problem at about 1:00am and didn’t let up until late morning. Since Michael was unable to function, I had to start looking at houses alone today.

Unfortunately, and maybe predictably, I didn’t find anything that was as good as the houses on our short list from yesterday. The houses were certainly OK (although one smelled of dog or maybe old people – I’m certain it was in the carpet which covered every square inch of flooring in that house), but nothing was stellar.

I was feeling a little disappointed about where it was all going when Michael called. He was feeling well enough to meet us and see the rest of the houses on the list (there were 10 total today, and I saw 3 on my own). We swung by the hotel and picked Michael up, and I caught him up on what I learned that day. The second house from yesterday, Michael’s favorite, got a bid. We won’t be ready to bid on anything until Thursday, so he said, “Well, I guess it wasn’t meant to be.” I think that is the best attitude to have at this point.

The next house… wow. The sellers told us there were some dogs in the house, but they were friendly. Fair enough, I like dogs. We went inside and noticed that the only readily accessible (to us) room was the living room right off the front door. The dogs – I think there were 3 in total – were behind a baby gate. After concluding that the dogs were indeed OK, we proceeded to examine the house. I looked to the right, to the area where the dogs were barred off from, and there was a dog turd in the middle of the carpet. Looking to where the dogs actually were, I noticed several more turds under the dining room table. Seriously? You’re trying to sell a house and you leave dog crap everywhere? My best guess is that the current residents are renters trying to keep the owner from selling. I mean, one of the turds had to have been there when the people left the house. So gross. We didn’t look any farther than the entry – we just left.

The houses that followed really didn’t make much of an impression, especially after the dog turd house. We were starting to believe that maybe a third day of looking was pointless. The last house on our list was the furthest away from where Michael will be working, and on paper, Michael thought it looked too feminine.

When we pulled up to the house, I noticed that the owners seemed to be focused on detail. This is the facade:


Notice the lattice above the garage. There is also a really nice faux finish on the front door. It seemed like a nice touch.

The view from this place is really nice. Here is what I saw while standing in the driveway:

fifth-view Not bad.

Inside it was pretty and not nearly as feminine as Michael had worried. I realized at this point that this was the only reason this place was on the three star list – I really liked it, but Michael was turned off by the decor in the advertisements. This is the only house in the running so far that doesn’t have a wood shake roof. The wood roofs are very hard to insure because they are a fire hazard; however, at one time they were considered attractive, so nearly everyone has this type of roof. It is something to work out in negotiations, I guess. The roof on this house is made of concrete tiles, and our agent says this roof will last forever (not literally, but certainly longer than the wood ones).

concrete-tilesConcrete Tiles  wood-shake-roofWood Shake roof

Not all of my pictures of this place turned out well, but I will show you what I can here. The most disappointing thing about this house has to be the kitchen. The island is placed so poorly that it crowds the already small space. Also, for a house that is nearer the top of our ideal price range, the kitchen isn’t all that well appointed. At that price I expect to see marble or some other fanciness, and maybe stainless steel appliances (or at least matching appliances. This is what was there instead:

fifth-kitchenIt isn’t horrible, just not what I would have expected.

The rest of the house was amazing, though. The master bathroom is very pretty and very bright. It is one of the few houses that actually has a door separating the master bath from the master bedroom. I prefer the door because Michael wakes up earlier than I do, so it would be too noisy and bright if he actually used the master bathroom to get ready in the mornings without a door blocking most of it. The garage is surprisingly clean and large. They put some sort of finish on the floor that really made it nice.

fifth-mb-2 fifth-mb-1 fifth-garage

The biggest surprise was the finished basement. This is what you are greeted with when you walk down the stairs:


There are 3 finished rooms in the basement. One is off to the side of the above picture, and two more are around the corner, connected by what I’ve learned is a “Jack and Jill” bathroom. Have you ever lived in a dorm room that shared a bathroom with one other room? Well, it’s like that.


The last little thing that caught my eye was something for the cats.

cat-rampThe owners built a ramp to let their cats up to the cat door in this window that leads to the back yard. Our cats wouldn’t be allowed out (my cats are strictly indoors, and even if they weren’t, there are coyotes here that would eat them), but they would like to use the ramp to get into the window so they could see outside.

So, this house will take the place on our short list of the one that received a bid. I suspect that one of the houses from yesterday is a more likely bet for us, but you never know what will come up. We are going to see 7 more houses tomorrow, then make the trip to Denver that we missed today due to Michael’s unfortunate illness. Michael’s mom will be coming tomorrow night, and I can’t wait to show her what we’ve seen!


2 thoughts on “How not to sell a house

  1. Welcome to Colorado! I am a Colorado knitter, and found you through a link on Ravelry where you were asking about the yarn shop “Knitty Cat.” I live in a northern suburb (Westminster) but work down here in Centennial, and Knitty Cat is the closest shop to my work. When I am having a bad day, I go buy yarn : ) Ann, the owner, is a delight. We also have 3 cats, and I love your stories about your fosters! Hope to meet you when you move here permanently, love your blog!


  2. Oh wow! That sucks about the food poisoning. I hope he’s feeling better today. And, I can’t believe that someone would leave their dogs to make a mess in the house when it’s trying to be sold. I’m right there with you and would have left shortly after walking in. I hope the last round of viewing was fruitful.

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