The highs and lows of parenting and real estate.

If this house could win you over…

Hello, Internet! Nice to meet you! (And all of the other clich?©s that go with a first blog.)

This first post is a huge step for my family and me. It signifies the beginning of my new career in real estate. It’s a new world for me, folks! As of now, I officially have a license to sell real estate in the state of Arizona. Seven months ago I watched a reality show during which they taught a ski instructor how to fool a panel of judges into thinking she was a luxury home real estate agent and the spark of this undertaking was born. I was home on maternity leave with our second son, Gray, and not looking forward to the idea of returning to my tedious, uninteresting technical editing job 30 miles from home. As I fed the baby and watched trashy daytime TV that day, I thought about just how much I enjoyed the process of buying our home. I loved almost every part of it (once I got over the shock of what our monthly mortgage payment would be) from driving around potential neighborhoods, to reading the home inspector’s report. To me, it was all about potential. Potential places to put our furniture, potential meals to be cooked in our new kitchen and eaten around our dining room table, potential paint colors for our new rooms.

When we were house hunting, we definitely did not go with the first home we visited. In fact, as I tend to be a bargain shopper, and my husband is a skilled DIYer, we were shown several utter disasters of houses with a larger square footage and lower asking price, in the hopes that we could make diamonds out of coal. Unfortunately, with the first few houses, what we originally thought was coal, turned out to be nothing more than dog poo (and kitty urine). The one I remember most clearly we visited on the first full day we spent looking with our realtor, about the third house in. It was the right corner house in a cul de sac and had a beautiful mature tree in the front yard and a pretty brick exterior. The description from MLS noted a puzzling indoor pool, which we were anxious to see. From the outside, it looked quite promising. That promising feeling dropped into my stomach and was devoured by a growling monster of utter horror as soon as we set foot into the house. The ceilings were low. The walls were painted mint green. The furniture was dark and excessive, crowding us at every step. Adding to the claustrophobia was an odd musky stench we couldn’t quite put our fingers on. But we foraged on, discussing what a coat of paint and more minimal furniture could do to give the place a new life. The bedrooms were tiny and equally scary. We couldn’t even enter the master bedroom because it had a handwritten sign taped to the door that read, “Do not enter, bad cat pee” (Aha! The mystery of the stench was solved!). By that point even my mother, the eternal optimist, had checked this house off the list, but we decided that as far as we‚Äôd come, we might as well check out this ‘indoor pool’. We headed through the miniature kitchen and opened the sliding glass door to reveal a pool, inside a giant walled off porch. The roof had been extended to encompass literally the entire backyard. The concept of an indoor pool sounds glamorous and exciting, but when faced with the reality of it, we realized why you just don’t see many indoor pools in Arizona: if it’s indoor, you can’t experience the state’s greatest commodity, the sun. When we stepped a bit closer to the edge of the water, we also realized the notorious cats of the master bedroom had struck again. The entire pool had a layer of cat fur over the top of the water. That was enough for me. We hightailed it out of there.

I still think about that house every once in awhile. Maybe we were too hasty. Maybe we could have totally revamped the place and used the $40,000 or so we would have saved as compared to what we eventually paid for our house to turn in into a real gem…. but then again, nah.

So here I am, three and a half years, one more child, 90-plus hours of education and a real estate license later, ready to lead the masses down the same path I’ve loved (ok, we’ll try to stay away from cat urine). I figure if I can see potential and derive enjoyment out of even a horror of a house, this will be the career for me.

Hope to see you back here often!

Elizabeth

PS – Baby Gray says: Hire my mom!

Gray

(Have kids! They’re great for cheap marketing!)

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